War is far more than just two groups of people stabbing and shooting at each other. It is also a battle of the minds: one strategy versus another, in a complex process of deceit, trickery, disguise, and all sorts of tactics that would give you an advantage and get two, maybe three steps ahead of them. Throughout time, many different tactics have been made. Some of them worked, others were ridiculous, and there are a few that were ridiculous but worked. Here are some of those.

 

The Q-Ships

During World War I, the German U-boats became a major headache for the British shipping industry,  But the Germans were following the rules of war at the time. The U-boat would surface near the merchant vessel ordering it to heave too.  It would often send a boarding party over to the ship to inspect its cargo. If it was carrying stuff bound for England, the crew and any passengers would be allowed to take to the lifeboats and the U-boat would sink it by gunfire or a torpedo.  Since a U-boat then could not carry more than 10-12 torpedoes they would generally save them for warships rather than expend them against a small steamer. After sinking the small ship, the U-boat would then broadcast the location of the sinking so rescue ships could recover the passengers. The British were losing so many ships that they decided to do something pretty devious.   They began creating “Q-Ships,” armed vessels disguised as merchantmen.