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Ancient China: 10 Weird But Powerful Ways to Wage War
Ancient China: 10 Weird But Powerful Ways to Wage War
How wars were fought in ancient China

The Chinese have turned war into a work of art. Thousands of years ago, they wrote strategy textbooks that are still referenced today. They were incredibly inventive and brought the art of deception in war to a level that other countries could not have imagined. Chinese combat tactics were ingenious, whimsical, but often brilliant. The military history of the Celestial Empire is full of some very strange ideas that nevertheless really worked.

1. Dancers

Blow "below the belt" and in the rear

In 623, when General Chai Shao saw the Togon hordes that crossed the border to raid the Tang Empire, he knew he was in trouble. In a fair battle, he did not have the slightest chance, so Chai Shao resorted to cunning. Instead of sending soldiers to meet the invading army, he dispatched two beautiful women and a few pip-players (a Chinese musical instrument like the lute). These people took to the field in front of the advancing army and began to perform a sexy dance.

The Togons were confused, stopped and watched the dancing girls. Meanwhile, the Tang army bypassed the Togons and attacked them from behind, eventually managing to win. So the horde that had terrorized the country for many years was finally defeated by two girls who performed an erotic dance.

2. Yue's Suicide Squad

Psychic attack in Chinese

Almost immediately, when he ascended the throne in 496 BC, the ruler of the ancient Chinese kingdom, Yue Goujian, had to face the advancing army. Although he did not have much experience in leading a country or an army, Goujian knew that fear and the element of surprise were always important. That is why he tried to do what anyone would hardly expect on the battlefield.

Before the battle, Goujian lined up the first row of his troops from … "suicides." When the enemies came close, the people from the front row of Yue's army, gazing intently and with hatred into the eyes of the enemy, cut their throats. After that, the rest of Yue's warriors rushed into the attack. The enemy army, convinced that they were attacked by complete madmen, fled.

3. Burning oxen

The oxen trampled the enemy into the ground

Chi-mo city was under siege for a full five years until Tien Tan was able to come up with a way out of a seemingly hopeless situation in 279 BC. The city, which had only 7,000 defenders, was surrounded by an army of 100,000. Tien Tang drove 1000 oxen together, ordered them to be covered with red cloth and the blades to be tied to their horns.

Then the men of Chi-mo picked up reeds, soaked them in fat, and tied them to the tails of the oxen. In the middle of the night, the townspeople set fire to the reeds tied to the tails of the oxen, opened the gates and began to beat the drums. Frightened animals rushed to the enemy camp, trampling it into the ground, followed by the Chi-mo army, finishing off the enemy fleeing in terror from the "burning demons".

4. Jealous wife

Jealous Wife as a Strategic Resource

The Xiongnu army defeated the Han Empire in every battle. After another battle in 199 BC. Emperor Han retreated to the city of Pingchen, but the Xiongnu literally pursued him on his heels. The city was completely surrounded. Since all contact with the outside world was cut off, famine soon began in Pingchen. Emperor Chen Ping's advisor had an unusual idea.Since the Han people could not defeat their enemy on the battlefield, they could only be dealt with by cunning. The artist painted a picture of the most beautiful woman he has ever seen.

After that, the painting was sent to the Xiongnu commander with an accompanying note that the emperor intends to surrender and, in recognition of the Xiongnu's skill, wants to present one of the famous beauties of China to the commander as a concubine. The wife of the Xiongnu commander was so beside herself with jealousy that she tore up the painting and demanded that her husband immediately lift the siege and go home. By morning, the Xiongnu army had left the city.

5. Untimely report

Straw arrows

When Yin Ziqi raised a rebellion in his army against the Tang Empire in 755 AD, many people followed him out of respect, as he was a capable military leader and a brilliant leader. Zhenyuan County Warlord Zhang Xun was confident that he would be able to break the enemy's spirit if he could kill Yin Ziqi. But there was one problem - he had no idea what Yin Ziqi looked like.

To find out, Zhang Xun ordered his men to shoot straw arrows at the enemy. When the enemy soldiers saw this, they thought that Zhang Xun's troops had run out of arrows and rushed to report this to Yin Ziqi. So Zhang Xun found out who was the leader of the rebels, after which he was killed with real arrows.

6. Seven Captures of Meng Ho

Cat and mouse in Chinese

In the third century AD, an uprising began in the kingdom of Shu, which they could not suppress in any way. Although the rebels were defeated in every battle, their spirit was still high. Warlord Zhuge Liang managed to capture the rebel leader Meng Ho and tried to convince him that the rebel's followers had no chance. Meng Ho, however, stated that the rebels would continue to fight until they won, even if killed.

In order not to make Meng Huo a martyr, Zhuge Liang let him go. They soon met again on the battlefield, and Meng Ho was captured again … and released again. This was repeated 7 times before Meng Ho finally realized that, regardless of any situation, he was won over and over again. After that, he swore allegiance to the throne and ordered his followers to end the rebellion.

7. Battle of the Wei River

Drowned self-confidence

In 204 BC. Han Xin was a young and inexperienced military leader who fought against a more experienced enemy. His opponent Long Jiu won more battles than Han Xin had ever seen in his life. Long Jiu was confident that he would quickly defeat Han Xin. Since their armies were divided by the river, Han Xin ordered some of his men to climb up the river and block the channel with sandbags until the water stopped flowing.

Han Xin's army attacked Long Chiu's troops, but almost immediately began to retreat. Long Jiu thought that his young rival was just a coward and rushed to chase him. Meanwhile, upstream, the people of Han Xin destroyed the sack dam. Part of the army drowned, and Long Tszyu was surrounded by enemies with only a few soldiers.

8. Fiery fleet

The dummies of the warriors destroyed the barricades

Sima Yan conquered almost all of China. In 280 AD, only one kingdom remained in his path - Wu. Lord Wu lived in constant fear, knowing that Sim Yan's attacks were just a matter of time. He believed that there were a lot of spies around him and executed almost all of his advisers. When the ruler was informed that Sima Yan's ships were approaching, he ordered to block the river with a bamboo barrier so that the ships would get stuck on it and become an easy target. It was a good plan.

As it turned out, the ruler's paranoia was not in vain, and he was indeed surrounded by spies who reported to the commander of Sim Yan, Wang Jun, about the barricades. Wang Jun built huge rafts and loaded them with straw mannequins soaked in oil. He dressed the mannequins in armor and sent the rafts down the river towards the capital city of Wu. When the rafts hit the barricades, they were set on fire with flaming arrows. Naturally, the barrier burned down, and Sima Yan's troops occupied the capital.

9. Battle of Chengpu

Chinese war chariot

When the troops of the Chu army saw the Jin army in 632 BC attacking them, they noticed something strange. A tree was tied to each of Jin's chariots and trailed after her. Shortly after the start of the battle, the Jin army began to retreat. Overjoyed, Chu's troops rushed to pursue the enemy, but that was not the case. The trees trailing behind the chariots raised such a cloud of dust that the army simply could not see anything. Therefore, it is not surprising that Chu did not notice that they were surrounded, after which they were easily defeated.

10. Death of Zhuge Liang

The "dead man" defeated the army

Zhuge Liang was one of the most fearsome generals in China. He has earned a reputation for always having a trick in hand. When Sima Yi's army surrounded him, Zhuge Liang's troops were outnumbered. But Sima had never been in the area until then and was sure that Zhuge Liang had actually prepared some kind of trap. The siege dragged on, and this time Zhuge Liang fell ill. He died in 234 A.D. right before the fight. His men took the body of their warlord and began to retreat.

Sima Yi, hearing that Zhuge Liang had died, took the opportunity and sent part of his army in pursuit, being confident that he would easily defeat the army left without a genius commander. Zhuge Liang's warriors turned around and prepared for battle. As soon as they did so, Sima Yi “convinced” that Zhuge Liang allegedly faked his death and prepared a trap. His army fled in horror from the deceased.

Continuing the theme of wars and conquerors, we have collected 10 little-known facts about the great conqueror Genghis Khan.

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