6 Brilliant War Strategies That Made Armies Win a War


1. World War II’s Ghost Army that never fired a single shot.

Officially known as the 23rd Headquarters Special Troops, this army was deployed by the US during the second world war to break Hitler’s rampaging streak.

The 1,100 man unit consisted of make-up artists, actors, sound technicians, painters, photographers and press agents.

They used inflatable tanks, fake radio transmissions and sound trucks to stage more than 20 battlefield deceptions.

The unit’s success was very vital in the Allied victory that followed. And their secret was revealed 40 years after the war.


2. Yugoslavia’s fake military bases and armed vehicles during the Kosovo War in 1999.

In 1999, Yugoslavia had feared an attack from NATO during the Kosovo War. So they decided to make fake fortifications, artillery, war machines and vehicles as decoys.

They made planes of wood and plastic.

They used old cars disguised as tanks and simulate engine heat.

They used old and obsolete tanks as decoys for the enemies to waste their ammo on.

3. The magician who tricked the Nazis during World War II.

The British employed the services of illusionist Jasper Maskelyne to confuse and deceive the Nazis in North Africa. He made a team called the ‘Magic Gang’, which consisted of a carpenter, a stage designer, a chemist, a picture restorer and a criminal.

He hid the Suez Canal using mirrors, lights and reflectors.

He created a ghost army in the Battle of El Alamein consisting of 1000 dummy tanks with fake pipelines in the South that were easily spotted & engaged by German aircrafts. While the British actually attacked the North.

He faked an explosion of an entire factory, using painted tarpaulin, paper-mache, rubble, and debris to create the illusion, visible both from the ground and air. The factory continued its operation smoothly.

4. Timur’s siege of Delhi where he just walked in and captured it in September, 1398.

Before invading Delhi, Timur asked his army to drop caltrops (3 way spikes) in the path of advancing elephants. The bottom of their foot is the only place where an elephant cannot be protected by armour.

He put bales of hay on the back of his camels and set them on fire, making them charge forward. The elephants got scared and trampled their own troops.

He simply walked in, captured Delhi and built towers out of skulls.

5. The empty fort strategy used by Chinese kingdoms.

It is the 32nd of 36 Chinese Startagems, and is completely based on luck, where you leave the gates of your fort wide open for the enemy to enter.

The reverse psychology involved would make the enemy think that an ambush was waiting for them inside. They would eventually retreat.

This strategy was successfully used by Cao Cao, Zhao Yun, Wen Ping, etc.

6. The USS O’Bannon using potatoes as weapon during World War II in 1943

The submarine spotted a Japanese sub (Ro-34) on the surface and wanted to ram into it. But fearing that it could be a minelayer, they pulled back and ended up being too close.

As the Japanese were readying their deck guns, sailors from O’Bannon, who had no arms, started pelting potatoes at the Japanese.

Taken from Quora.

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