Wars take place on this planet since the human being appeared on it, so every country is in need for a military, for they are responsible for protecting the citizens as well as the borders of the country. The military is essential for defending the country when it is wartime, but they actually do more than just stand there, protecting the borders. Thanks to Hollywood, there have been a lot of movies that gave us an insight of the life in the military; however, we are sure we have not seen the whole picture, but at least, we have seen most of it. People who join the army are usually trained to perform several functions that are in favor for the country’s wellbeing and they have been playing a significant part in the history of wars.
On the other hand, militaries may differ from one country to another; their strength and resources are determined according to the budget of their country as well as its requirements. Although every single country has its own military, some of them are known to be more elite and highly skilled than others. Conversely, there are some similarities that are shared among the militaries around the world; above and beyond, there are a lot of strategies that are followed by the military in order to accomplish their mission. Even though these strategies and techniques are supposed to be well-studied and experimented in order to ensure their success, there have been some strategies that were too weird and insane to believe they belonged to the military. Things may go wrong every once in a while, but since the safety of people and countries are dependent on the efficiency of the military, it is always expected that everything is actually calculated and well-planned. Surprisingly, these insane strategies have actually worked perfectly even though the opposite is what was totally expected. Check out this list and get introduced to the top ten weirdest and most insane military strategies that succeeded.
10 Zopyrus’s Painful Ruse
Zopyrus has been talked about in histories throughout the years, but there has always been a lot of doubts around his story since it dates back to the fifth century B.C. He was known to have had extreme measures for returning Darius the Great to the throne of Babylon. The story began when a massive upheaval had taken place and Darius had trouble taking Babylon back. On the other hand, Zopyrus, one day, came up with a cunning plan that was supposed to help him gain access to the enemy, but it required a massive personal sacrifice where he had to seem expatriated and severely punished by Darius, so he cut his own ears and nose off and whipped himself. This sacrifice had convinced the enemy that Zopyrus was ready to join them to take revenge and he was ranked highly as a soldier because the Babylonians saw him to be of a great benefit to them, so they handed him the charge of their army. Since Zopyrus had a deal with Darius, the forces of Darius were instructed to withdraw, so Zopyrus can gain victory several times, gaining the trust of the Babylonians. Then, he waited for the perfect opportunity where he opened the doors up and allowed the army of Darius to take over.
9 The Cat Army
Throughout the history of human wars, animals have been used and gotten involved in wars and massacres; Cambyses II of Persia used cats to achieve his victory. In 525 B.C, he was involved in a battle against the Egyptians and it was known as the battle of Pelusium. It was that time in history when the Egyptians had considered cats to be one of the most sacred creatures, holding a high place in their society; as a consequence, Cambyses II had decided to make use of this fact to help them in invading Egypt.
For that reason, he ordered his men to get their shields painted with feline shapes and bring a great number of actual cats where they were going to be placed on the front lines. The Egyptians’ high belief in the sacrament of cats had prevented them from firing on the army, fearing that they would injure the cats, which was an unforgivable crime according to them by that time, so they had to withdraw. The plan worked for the Persians’ favor where they were able to invade Egypt and capture the Pharaoh.
8 Snakes on a Boat
Hannibal was known to be one of the most prominent military leaders in history. He was also famous for embarking a journey riding elephants through the Alps, but luckily, that was not the only victory that paved the success of Hannibal’s leading skills. In 190 B.C, he had another bizarre victory when it was his time in banishment and he sought sanctuary with the king of Bithynia who was involved in a war against King Eumenes II of Pergamon, an ally of Rome. Consequently, Hannibal was so keen to destroy whoever was allied with Rome, so he met Eumenes in a naval warfare, but the army of Hannibal was cripplingly outnumbered, so he had a better plan than head-on fighting since it would have been a suicidal idea. Instead, since he wanted to kill the king, he sent a messenger to the king’s ship to deliver a message. Once he was guided to the location of the king’s ship, he ordered his army to fire on it, but that plan was only targeting the king; however, he had something in store for the rest of the navy. He ordered his men to capture every live snake they could find and place them in clay pots and to toss them onto the enemy ships as soon as they got close.
The Pergamenians first thought that the hurling pots was a desperate attempt from their enemy, but in no time, they realized that their ships were full of deadly snakes, so most of the men jumped off the ships and the rest tried to fight Hannibal, but they were distracted by the attacks of the snakes.
7 Flaming Camels
That may have been the weirdest strategy once used by the military, but surprisingly worked. Timur was the descendant of Genghis Khan; he was in an attempt to capture Delhi back in 1398 and he was faced by about 120 war elephants of the Sultan. His men were surely terrified and sure of the defeat, so Timur ordered them to load their camels with the largest amount of hay possible. Once the enemy’s army started to attack with the elephants, Timur ordered his force to set their camels on fire and push them away toward the enemy.
This may sound like a massive mistake, but actually, the sight of the flaming camels scared the elephants, sending them back toward the Indian army who was trampled by their own elephants. Easily, Timur gained victory and he replaced his camels with the Sultan’s elephants, using them to invade India.
6 The Swallows Of Volohai
This strategy was used by Genghis Khan who was known for being cruelly clever. He was in an attempt to capture the city of Volohai and China’s invasion was one of his greatest ambitions. The best asset that the Mongols had was having impressive horse soldiers, but they were no longer of use due to the heavy defenses of the city. This fact encouraged Genghis Khan to make one of the most bizarre requests in the history of war, for he asked for a tribute that includes 1000 cats and 10,000 birds as an exchange for lifting barrier off Volohai and leave. Confused as they were, the commanders of the city started to meet the terms of his condition and they captured every cat and bird they found in the city and sent them as a gift. Once Genghis received his gift, he ordered his men to tie a clump of cotton to the tails of all the animals and set them on fire, sending them back to their home city where they caused thousands of fires that gave the Mongols the perfect opportunity to conquer the city.
5 The Naked Celtic Army
The Celtic Army seemed to be the strangest cluster in history due to the most unusual techniques they used when getting in battles with their enemies. No matter how ridiculous it sounds to you, it actually happened and that one bizarre strategy they used, and surprisingly worked, was getting completely naked and marching into battle screaming like crazy people, throwing their enemy off their game, for what could be more irrational and cracked than seeing a bunch of naked men running toward you and screaming.
4 The Matchbook Trick
In World War II, the UK army forces used a trick that spread the disease among the German soldiers. They used their planes to drop matchbooks that contain instructions on how to fake illness in order to be sent back home to the German soldiers, but the German commanders found out those matchbooks and they assumed that all the soldiers are faking their illness, so they stopped them from returning home. As a result, all the soldiers were sent into combat including those were truly sick and that resulted in spreading the disease to the rest of the soldiers.
3 An Army Killing Itself
Goujian was a Chinese king who used a strange tactic to prove to enemies that his soldiers were much braver and stronger. This tactic includes the front line of the army killing themselves right in front of the enemy, but it was said that he used to place criminals that were sentenced to death in the front line, so he would not lose any of his soldiers.
2 Faking Death
After an unsuccessful blockade took place, King Harald Hardrada pretended that he was dead. The city that was plagued agreed to let the Vikings bury their king inside the walls, so they put Harald inside the coffin in full armor and once they got into the city, he jumped out of his coffin, fighting to the gates where his army was waiting to take revenge.
1 Camels VS. Horses
Horses are known to naturally fear the sight of camels and, astoundingly, Cyrus the Great was totally aware of the animal’s nature, so he decided to armor his army with camels and, as luck would have it, his plan worked and he gained the victory.
If we learn one thing from this list, then it is the fact that not every plan that sounds ridiculous is actually so, but it may turn out one of the most memorable strategies that the world will keep remembering. So, whenever you make a fool out of yourself, look at the bright side; it may turn out to be something great.