A Little Trick

One of the greatest tricks in military history was not a maneuver, but a calculated attempt to fool a superior enemy.

The Thirty Years War was waged from 1618 to 1648, and was predominantly about religion (Catholic and Protestant) but was also a chance to renew old battles and settle old scores. It was a world war that in the end brought eight million casualties (including famine and disease) and reset the power structure in Europe.

One of the best stories, if good stories can come from war, is the one involving the Swedish siege of the Moravian town of Brno. After over three months of attempting to take Brno, the commander of the Swedish army let it be known that if he had not taken the town by a certain date in December of 1645, that he would march his troops out of town.

The leader of the defending army in Brno discovered the pledge, and came up with a plan. On the day that the Swedish army had pledged to leave by noon, at 11:00 AM the Moravians rang the church bells 12 times, as if it were noon. The invaders heard the bells ring a dozen times, and even though it was still an hour until noon, they marched out of town.

Brno celebrated their success, and they still celebrate their victory by trickery. Even today, at 11:00 A.M. in Brno, the church bells ring 12 times. 

No comments