It’s a well-known fact that war is more than just a numbers game and this has been evident countless times over the years. It takes strategy and cunning to win. Even so, some of the war tricks and tactics used are surprising. Check out these 16 war facts below.
1. War pigs were used in ancient warfare against elephants.
War pigs were sometimes used as a counter measure against enemies that used elephants. It became known that elephants are scared of the squealing and “ramming” of boars and bolted in terror, often killing many of the enemy’s army in the process. There are also accounts of incendiary pigs to greaten the effect. (source)
2. During WWII, a young actress decided to boost morale by attempting to kiss 10,000 young soldiers.
Her name was Marilyn Hare and she managed to pucker up to 733 of the soldiers on her first day in March, 1942.(source)
3. A group of school children from the Soviet Union presented a U.S. Ambassador with a carved US Seal as a gesture of friendship in 1945 which turned out to be a listening device.
Known as “The Thing” or “The Great Seal Bug”, it actually hung in U.S. Ambassador W. Averell Harriman’s office for 7 years before being it was discovered as a “bug”.(source)
4. There was a dog called “Gunner”, who helped warn of incoming Japanese planes 20 minutes before they arrived in Australia during World War 2.
Gunner was a Kelpie who could warn air force personnel with his acute hearing, and could actually tell the difference between allied and enemy aircraft.(source)
5. The author, Roald Dahl was actually a secret service agent during in 1940’s.
Known for “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and a number of other books, Roald Dahl was a fighter pilot in the RAF and then later a secret service agent during the 1940’s. He played the real James Bond and was known for seducing many “high class” women to gather intelligence.(source)
6. The Nazis invented a chocolate bar bomb during WW2. It was made of steel with a thin covering of real chocolate and was detonated when a piece of “chocolate” at the end was broken off after a delay of 7 seconds.
Some war crimes haven’t been given a name, and tricking people with chocolate is about is evil as it gets! A chocolate bomb was actually sent to Winston Churchill, clad in black and gold wrapping, but was luckily discovered in time.(source)
7. In an attempt to take advantage of England’s weaken state during the Black Plague, Scotland invaded England but ended up contracting it and bringing it back to Scotland.
The black plague swept across England in 1348-49, and had a devastating effect on the population. In an attempt to take advantage, Scotland raided Durham in 1349 although after catching the plague themselves, brought it back to Scotland, and wiped out more than half the population.(source)
8. A Chinese general who only had 100 troops with which to defend a town against an army of 150,000 told his men to hide, opened the gates and sat on the walls playing a lute. Fearing a trap, the opposing general ordered a retreat.
9. The Nazis developed an experimental drug cocktail which allowed equipment-laden test subjects to march 88.5 km (55 miles) without resting.
The drug was called D-IX and was a cocaine based experimental drug developed in 1944 for military application. Each tablet contained 5 mg of oxycodone, 5 mg of cocaine and 3 mg of methamphetamine.(source)
10. The US Air Force researched a non-lethal bomb in 1994 called the “Gay Bomb” that would contain strong pheromones and make enemy forces attracted to each other.
The bomb was proposed in a 3 page report by the Wright Laboratory in Ohio, and actually won an Ig Nobel Prize in 2007.(source)
11. During the Cold War, the CIA considered airdropping condoms on the Soviets.
The actual plan was to drop enormous condoms labelled “medium” in an effort to demoralize soviet troops.(source)
12. Cats were dropped from aircraft during World War 2 with bombs strapped to them in hopes the cat would avoid water and aim toward the decks of enemy ships.
This plan was proposed by the Office of Strategic Services (prior to the CIA), although didn’t work as the cats would become unconscious while falling through the air. Cats have actually been used in many ploys against the enemy, sometimes successfully – such as by the Persians against the Egyptians who would rather surrender than hurt their feline overlords.(source)
13. The British started a rumor that eating carrots improved eyesight in a bid to hide the fact they had developed radar from the enemy.
Although vitamin A is present in carrots which is vital to eye health, the British RAF expanded upon this to create the myth that carrots improve eye sight to help explain why their night operations were so successful due to radar.(source)
14. The British wined and dined senior German officers during WW2 as an effective means of gathering intelligence.
Rather than going the traditional route and forcing senior officers into poor conditions and interrogating them for intelligence, when the British captured senior German officers they sent them to a beautiful country mansion. Here they plied them with fine meals and drink, and allowed them to read German newspapers and listen to German radio. However, the whole mansion was “bugged” and a team of intelligence officers working in the basement learnt a great deal – such as the relationships between different commanders and Hitler, as well as military tactics and strategy.(source)
15. Indian kings would adorn their horses with “trunks” as the opposing elephants would refuse to attack the horses thinking they were elephants.
The Merwar rulers, led by Udai Singh, were well known for riding horses into battle with elephant trunks. They did this because horses are faster than elephants, and the trunk would make the enemy’s elephants believe they were baby elephants, and so refused to attack them.(source)
16. There was a 7 feet thick layer of mud around Lohagarh Fort in Rajasthan that withstood countless attacks.
The 7 foot thick layer of mud that surrounded the fort remained wet because of the water in the surrounding lake. Subsequently, cannonballs would get stuck in the mud and then taken and used by the enemy. The British attacked it four times between the 9th January and 21st February 1805, but failed miserably. (source)