History : Aug-Sep 2015
MONGOLS: MASTERS OF DECEPTION CONFUSING THE ENEMY The Mongols fighting under Genghis Khan and his successors made extensive use of tricks, such as fooling the enemy into thinking they faced a much larger army than they really did. Several variations of this ruse were carried out by Mongolian forces. 1204: The night before the final battle for supremacy on the steppe, Genghis Khan ordered each of his men to light five fires. He hoped his enemy, the Naiman, would be demoralized by this illusion of a mighty army. 1220: Civilians captured in Bukhara were forced to stand before the walls of Samarkand and unfurl Mongol banners and standards. This convinced the city’s garrison that the Mongols outnumbered them, when the opposite was true. 1221: In Afghanistan a Mongol force made dolls and mounted them on spare horses. Even if the foe was taken in by the trick, it did not help the steppe warriors this time: The Mongols (who on this occasion were not led by Genghis Khan) were defeated.