Best Tricks In Ancient History Warfare?

Jan 2016
388
Ohio
Im talking about tactics used that tricked their opponents (like the Trojan horse).

Heck, even if it failed post it anyway (especially the funny kind of fails)
 
Oct 2013
40
Netherlands
Hannibal Barca when the Romans trapped him in a valley locked by mountains and there was only one way out.and it was heavily guarded by Roman troops.Along a path that ran parallel to the mountain road he stampeded a herd of cattle at night with flaming torches on their horns. The guards, thinking the cattle were Hannibal’s soldiers, rushed to confront them, abandoning their positions on the mountain. While they were dealing with the animals, Hannibal quickly sent his army through the pass and got free.
 
Mar 2019
1,954
Kansas
Im talking about tactics used that tricked their opponents (like the Trojan horse).

Heck, even if it failed post it anyway (especially the funny kind of fails)
In sieges, if anyone of the attackers found a hornet or wasp nests in the surrounding countryside, they would throw them over walls into the defenders settlement
 
Aug 2018
552
Southern Indiana
Another one that isn't ancient, I remember a story about the US using a superstition about a type of local vampire to help defeat communist rebels in the Philippines. They apparently caught a few rebels and drained them of blood making it look like the "aswang" got them, the rebels soon cleared out of the area.
 
  • Like
Reactions: TheMusicMan
Oct 2018
1,689
Sydney
Hannibal Barca when the Romans trapped him in a valley locked by mountains and there was only one way out.and it was heavily guarded by Roman troops.Along a path that ran parallel to the mountain road he stampeded a herd of cattle at night with flaming torches on their horns. The guards, thinking the cattle were Hannibal’s soldiers, rushed to confront them, abandoning their positions on the mountain. While they were dealing with the animals, Hannibal quickly sent his army through the pass and got free.
That was the first ancient warfare trick that came to my mind as well.
 
Mar 2019
1,954
Kansas
Another one that isn't ancient, I remember a story about the US using a superstition about a type of local vampire to help defeat communist rebels in the Philippines. They apparently caught a few rebels and drained them of blood making it look like the "aswang" got them, the rebels soon cleared out of the area.
They did something similar in Vietnam. Plugged into local fears and played loud ghostly sounds at night around various villages.
 
  • Like
Reactions: TheMusicMan
Jan 2018
52
NL
Caesar's trick at Pharsalus. He created a 4th line of heavy infantry to his right directly behind his very weak cavalry. He was outnumbered across the entire front and has much thinner lines. His cavalry, while battle hardened and brave was very weak compared to the opposition (1800 vs 5000 a 8000) so the first breach would likely be that Pompey's cavalry would defeat Caesar's and then outflank his army.
Which itself couldn't really hold the line that long as they were outnumbered 2 to 1. Because Pompey did not advance, Caesar did. Then stopped just outside of javelin range to rest a bit.

Once they advanced again and joined the battle the massive cavalry of Pompey started their assault and quickly drove back Caesar's cavalry. It looked almost without much of a fight really.
In reality Caesar's cavalry feigned a retreat just when the cavalry of Pompey closed in a big mass. It revealed the 4th line of infantry (of the renowned 10th legion) and the Pompeian cavalry smashed into that line. That line had been ordered to not throw their pila, but instead use it as a spear against the horses. Chaos erupted among Pompey's cavalry and many lost their lives. The majority was still alive though but fled into the hills in a very disorganized fashion. That left the flank of Pompey's army exposed.

Meanwhile Caesar's cavalry was returning. But even before they were back the 4th and 3rd lines were ordered by Caesar to attack the now exposed left flank of Pompey's line and that quickly crumbled. Caesar's cavalry could successfully screen against any returning cavalry. Quickly chaos erupted on the Pompeian side.
Pompey judged the battle lost and escaped...

The trick was the way the very thin lines of Caesar's cavalry could hide the infantry directly behind them, some simply retreated through the ranks, others had feigned a counter attack and then wheeled behind the 4th line. As a result all of a sudden the Pompeian cavalry charged into a wall of heavy infantry which totally broke their charge and their spirit.
 
  • Like
Reactions: TheMusicMan
Similar History Discussions History Forum Date
Military History
General History
European History
Military History