5 Real MacGyvers Who Won Battles With Improvised Weapons


War never changes.

That's why you have to switch it up whenever possible. Keep it interesting! Toss those spears and bombs away, have yourself a sit-down and really think: Can I win a battle with my bodily waste, fire reptiles instead of bullets or defeat an invading army with rock 'n' roll? Hell yes, you can! The historical precedents are already there:

#5. The British and Opium-Laced Cigarettes

Most of the fighting in WWI was taking place in Europe, but the Middle East, where British and Ottoman soldiers clashed, saw its fair share of the action as well. By1917, the British had the Ottomans on the run, and they were hoping to get to Jerusalem by Christmas. You know: Really honor the birth of Christ and all that by sacking the Holy Shit out of the Holy City. Elsewhere, an intelligence officer named Meinertzhagen was enacting a propaganda operation that involved dropping cigarettes and leaflets to Ottoman soldiers, hoping to convince them to surrender. The Ottomans, much like downtown homeless punks at an all are welcome church pancake breakfast, simply took all the free crap and paid no attention to the proselytizing.

Addicts don't stop for propaganda.

The Weirdness:

Later in the campaign, the Ottomans were making their last stand against the British, holed up in the city of Sheria. The British bombarded the Ottoman positions day and night, but they would not budge. It seemed the only way to take the city was a costly and brutal attack. Then in comes Meinertzhagen: He hopped into his plane and dropped thousands of cigarettes on the Ottomans, just like usual. They didn't even fire at his vehicle: The Weird White Guy Free Cigarette Express was always welcome in Ottoman Town.

Proof that, sometimes, smoking can be good for your health.

This time, however, Meinertzhagen's cigarettes also contained large doses of opium, so when the Ottomans lit up, they got a nice, unintended high with their nicotine. When the British attacked afterward, the Ottomans were too bombed to mount a successful defense. The British successfully took Sheria, and soon after Jerusalem.

And that's why the DARE. chapter in Sheria is so goddamn militant to this day.

DARE to keep Gaza out of British hands.

#4. Hannibal's Snake Catapults

Hannibal was kind of a bad motherfucker, but the Romans were kind of a lot of bad motherfuckers, and they eventually sent the great military commander into defeat. He traveled around the Mediterranean, searching for allies to protect him, and he eventually he came to live in Bithynia (in modern-day Turkey) under the protection of King Prusias I. Prusias was having some problems with King Eumenes of the Pergamenes and needed Hannibal's help defeating him.

When King Eumenes and the Pergamenes sailed for Bithynia to provoke a sea battle, Hannibal allowed it because, even though he had fewer ships, he had something better: A plan.

His favorite part is when it comes together.

The Weirdness:

Hannibal ordered his men to gather as many poisonous snakes as possible, and put them into pots. He then sent a message to King Eumenes and tracked the messenger to find out which ship he was stationed on. Hannibal ordered all of his forces to attack that ship when the Pergamenes fleet was within range, and then launched his pots against the enemy.

Elephants were so last war.

When they saw dishes being hurled at them instead of literally anything else -- burning material, boulders, vicious insults -- the Pergamenes thought it was the desperate last-ditch effort of a depleted enemy, and they laughed. When the pots broke, they stopped laughing: Thousands of snakes slithered throughout their ships, some venomous, some biting, but all terrifyingly unexpected. The Pergamenes went into panic mode, and don't you dare judge them for it: Everybody has a snake phobia when they're being launched at you from god damn catapults. Some of the sailors retreated back to the coast to slap at their clothes and cry, while others tried to fight the snakes and Hannibal's men simultaneously, and lost. Badly.

Their shins were weak.

Probably after slipping in all the puddles of fear urine.

#3. The Canadians' Piss

Less than a year of fighting into WWI, the Western front was at a stalemate. The armies of France, the British Empire and Germany were unable to break through one another's trench defenses. The Germans, not a people exactly fond of "calling it a tie," decided to use a new weapon of war to break the standoff: Chlorine gas. They deployed the gas on the French territorial troops, and "the line quickly broke." Well, that's how the Germans phrased it, anyway.

Jolly-fun-time Germans, not scary Buchenwald Germans.

A more accurate way to put it would be to say that 6,000 soldiers died in the first 10 minutes of the battle from asphyxiation, many more were blinded and a four-mile gap of destruction was carved into the Allied lines. The only downside to this tactic was that the Germans had to wait to advance into that gap, seeing as how Chapter 1 of The Art of War is "Don't Run Into Your Own Poison, Fellas."

Chapter 2 is "Owe Your Artillerymen Money."

The Weirdness:

While the Germans waited for the gas to disperse, Canadian forces were sent in to fill the gap. A medical officer (there is some debate as to which one, exactly) saw the greenish cloud approaching and identified the weapon. Then, thinking quickly, he spread word to the troops, advising them to urinate in cloths and hold them up to their faces.

"Dulce et decorum est, eh buddy?"

Whoever he was, we feel we can unequivocally state at this point that the medical officer in question was either the most beloved man on the battlefield or the most feared, because the troops quickly obeyed and basically pissed all over their own faces at just his say-so. And that's what saved all of their lives: The urea in urine reacted with the chlorine, effectively neutralizing the deadly gas. The Canadians were able to hold the Germans back until British reinforcements arrived. And though they suffered nearly 50 percent casualties defending Ypres, they successfully held the Germans off with the power of pee.

"The mustache will act like a filter!"

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