Throughout the combat history of humanity, there have been proven effective ways to increase, if not effectively, ensure your chance of winning the battle. These may be combat formations like squad file or maybe squad echelon; or techniques like ambushing them or playing with their minds with some psychological warfare. They’re pretty awesome, but sometimes, an unprecedented and unconventional strategy born from a combination of quick thinking and maybe fear is all it takes to turn the tides against the enemies and secure victory. Here are proofs:

Sending Erotic Dancers As Distractions

“The whole secret lies in confusing the enemy so that he cannot fathom our real intent.”

— Sun Tzu, The Art of War

Perhaps this was what Tang General Chai Shao lived by, so when he found himself and his soldiers on the low ground (literally and figuratively) during the Tuyuhun invasion of Gansu in 623, he came up with an idea to confuse and distract the enemy forces.

The battle was fought between the Tuyuhun Kingdom and the Tang Dynasty. The Tuyuhun invaders were on the high grounds showering the Tangs with waves after waves of their pointy sticks. Luckily, General Chai Shao was a quick thinker and thought of the women in their army encampments who were assigned to cook, clean, tend the wounded, and entertain the soldiers. His idea? Give the enemies some entertainment.

He sent some women up the enemy lines accompanied by a musician playing the pipa. The girls positioned themselves on top of a hill, visible to the enemy troops, before they started performing their erotic dances. Their attention turned to these girls, and they rushed to the hill to get a clearer view of the show, forgetting they were in the middle of a war. Chai Shao took the opportunity and attacked the entranced Tuyuhuns in the rear with their cavalry. As a result, they suffered more than 500 casualties throughout the battle.

Faking Your Death

Harald Sigurdsson, also known as Harald Hardrada, was the King of Norway. He was the brother of the saint-King Olaf II and was also the last great Viking warlord of Scandinavia. He fought for the Byzantine Empire as a mercenary and traveled to Sicily to retake it after the Saracens invaded it during his youth. Unfortunately, the walls were impenetrable, and their weapons proved ineffective. Fortunately, he had the best weapon he could ever bring: his big brain.

Harald Hardrada. (Colin Smith / Harald Hardrada / CC BY-SA 2.0)

He pretended to get sick before the gates and stayed in his tent for days. Soon, there were announcements that Harald was already dead, and his grieving mercenaries requested the townspeople if they could please permit his dying wish to be put to rest in one of their town’s beautiful churches. They told them that he was a Christian prince of Norway and brother of Saint Olaf. Perhaps their conscience didn’t want them to deprive a Christian of a proper funeral, or maybe it was so they could use his tomb to warn future besiegers of what could happen to them if they tried to invade. Whatever it was, they agreed to have him entombed inside the city.