Military Deception and its Application

Discussion in 'Military History' started by Falcon, Jul 10, 2017.

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  1. Falcon

    Falcon Lieutenant Colonel Staff Member Social Media Team

    Oct 10, 2015
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    What is deception? Who better to ask than Sun Tzu himself

    I make the enemy see my strengths as weaknesses and my weaknesses as strengths while I cause his strengths to become weaknesses and discover where he is not strong.

    —Sun Tzu, The Art of War

    A little bit more on deception from Machievelli

    Although to use deception in any action is detestable, nevertheless in waging war it is praiseworthy and brings fame: he who conquers the enemy by deception is praised as much as he who conquers them by force

    The Capture of Troy

    The Trojan horse was a huge hollow wooden horse constructed by the Greeks to gain entrance into Troy during the Trojan War. The horse was built by Athena (goddess of war) that would make Troy impregnable. Despite the warnings of Laocoön and Cassandra, the horse was taken inside the city gates. That night Greek warriors emerged from it and opened the gates to let in the returned Greek army. The story is told at length in Book II of the Aeneid and is touched upon in the Odyssey.


    Hannibal's capture of Tarentum


    In 212 BC, Hannibal gained entrance to and seized the city of Tarentum from the Romans in a deception-produced surprise attack. Hannibal exploited the presence of a dissident Greek resident, Cononeus, to create a nightly ritual: Cononeus de- parted the city in a large hunting party, ostensibly to gather supplies, and returned in the wee hours, his men laden with game. The Tarentine guards became used to the sight (and grateful for the provender), and greatly relaxed their vigilance. When Hannibal introduced some of his best soldiers into the party, disguised as hunters, the guards barely took notice. Han- nibal’s men overcame the guards and opened the gates for the body of Hannibal’s host, which promptly captured the city with few casualties. (Drawn from Asprey, 1994, and Dunnigan and Nofi, 1995.)

    Battle of Hastings, 1066


    The Normans saw that the English defended themselves well, and were so strong in their position that they could do little against them. So they consulted together privily, and arranged to draw off, and pretend to flee, till the English should pursue and scatter themselves over the field; for they saw that if they could once get their enemies to break their ranks, they might be attacked and discomfited much more easily.

    As they had said, so they did. The Normans by little and little fled, the English following them. As the one fell back, the other pressed after; and when the Frenchmen retreated, the English thought and cried out that the men of France fled and would never return.

    Thus they were deceived by the pretended flight, and great mischief thereby befell them; for if they had not moved from their position, it is not likely that they would have been conquered at all; but, like fools, they broke their lines and pursued.

    The Normans were to be seen following up their stratagem, retreating slowly so as to draw the English farther on. As they still flee, the English pursue; they push out their lances and stretch forth their hatchets, following the Normans as they go, rejoicing in the success of their scheme, and scattering themselves over the plain.

    Sultan Baybars, Capture Of Krak Des Chevaliers,


    Sometimes all it takes is a well-executed bluff to confuse and capture the enemy. During the Crusades, following more than a year of what can only be described as a peaceful siege, wherein Sultan Baybars’s (also spelled Baibars) army camped outside the castle of Krak des Chevaliers, using its resources without engaging, the time had come to engage the formidable fortress.

    The castle was built to withstand long sieges. Its fortifications were almost twice the size of that of some European castles, and it featured a large moat, high walls, and a gate accessible only by a long, winding passage. While the sultan had a superior fighting force, which had successfully stood against the Mongols and won, the Hospitaller stronghold had the advantage of fortitude, and the fight would certainly be a bloody and costly one. Knowing this, Sultan Baybars, who by all accounts was a brilliant tactician, retreated and devised a plan that involved a single sheet of paper.

    Baybars finally got to implement his plan in the most spectacular way in 1271 during the Eighth Crusade, when he delivered a letter to his enemy—from his enemy. After a ten-day siege that took down a portion of the outer wall of the castle, a letter drafted from the leader of the Hospitaller ordered the men inside the castle to surrender. The knights immediately capitulated and followed the orders of their leader by sending a party out to meet the sultan and arrange conditions for their surrender. The deception worked, and the castle was taken without the need for further siege or bloodshed, all due to a falsified signature at the bottom of a piece of paper.

    Too be continued......
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  2. YarS

    YarS Lieutenant Colonel

    Oct 14, 2016
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    Wh40k, Battletech
    And when US state Department demonstrate absolute incompetence in knowledge of Russian geography and culture in their official documents

    A wordy State Department report slammed Moscow for underfunding a church-run shelter offering “food and housing” to the homeless in the Russian town of Kitezh – a mythical place that perished in a lake eight centuries ago, according to ancient legend.
    Describing Russia’s poor performance in protecting trafficking victims, a 2017 State Departmentreport entitled ‘Trafficking in Persons’alleges that Russian authorities“routinely detained and deported potential forced labor victims.”

    Some of the victims were “forced into prostitution for prostitution offenses,”the authors stated. They added that the Russian government had even failed to finance rehabilitation for trafficking victims, saying “several privately run shelters remained closed due to lack of funding.”

    In one of the more outrageous accusations, the report noted that “a homeless shelter run by the Russian Orthodox Church in Kitezh began accepting trafficking victims and offered them food and housing, though not medical or psychological care,” but “the government did not provide financial support for the shelter.” There’s just one catch – there is no such a city as Kitezh in modern-day Russia; it only existed centuries ago, if it ever existed at all.

    Legend has it that a Russian prince founded Kitezh in the early 13th century when he came across a spectacular spot on the shores of Lake Svetloyar. However, the ill-fated town was not to enjoy a long life.

    Shortly afterwards, the Mongols invaded ancient Rus and when the Golden Horde reached its walls, the whole city valiantly sank into the lake rather than submit. At least, that’s how the story goes – one it is doubtful that the US State Department is familiar with.

    Kitezh has long been the subject of legends and rumors that have survived to this day. Archaeologists have never managed to find the remains of the lost city on the bottom of the lake.
    The legendary city has long been a source of inspiration. Kitezh features in famous Russian musical compositions, including The Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh and the Maiden Fevroniya by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, which premiered in Saint Petersburg in 1907.

    The storyline of the 2015 Xbox game Rise of the Tomb Raider follows Lara Croft as she goes to Siberia in search of mythical Kitezh.

    So, may be, this can be compared with Avalon island in anglo-saxon mythology. What is wrong with human rights on the Avalon?

    So clear and demonstrative incompetence looks like a "deception". They demonstrate incompetence to hide what? As for me, they try to hide much more seriouse incompetence of all USA "elites" (not only state Department).
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2017
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