4 Battles Won by Using Food as a Weapon
Food is a powerful weapon in the war against hunger, and apparently also in wars against other human beings, because it has totally been used to kill people.
Uruguay Wins a Naval Battle with Cheese
For a brief time in the 1860s, Brazil and Uruguay were in the midst of a war where much of the fighting was done between ships, because both countries have been revered throughout history for their naval might. During one such battle, a Uruguayan ship ran out of cannonballs (see "revered naval might"). However, instead of quickly shedding his uniform and diving into the ocean, the captain ordered his men to fire stale balls of cheese at the enemy, because, for some reason, they had more of those than ammunition.
War is hell, but it pairs nicely with red wine.
One of the cheeses improbably shattered the main mast of the enemy ship, killing men with cheese shrapnel and shredding their sails. Wisely, the Brazilians retreated, presumably taking the long way back to port so the crew could rehearse their story about how their ship totally got attacked by a sea monster and certainly hadn't been crippled by volleys of petrified dairy.
The Romans Are Defeated by Honey
The Heptacomitae were a tribe that lived in modern-day Turkey during the 1st century B.C. who spent most of their time getting killed by the Romans (and, to be fair, that's pretty much how everyone spent their time in those days). However, they were able to get the upper hand every once in a while in the form of bowls of "maddening honey," which they would leave in the road behind them to trap the pursuing Romans (because ancient times were apparently much more like cartoons than we realized).
"Maybe they're leaving it as a goodwill offering. 'Thanks for the war, guys; here's a present'!"
Maddening honey was like mega LSD that, if ingested, would carpet-bomb your cortex with giggle-shitting lunacy. Since the Romans evidently had the impulse control of 6-year-olds, they would sit down and eat the bowls of honey left for them and lose their goddamned minds. At which point, the Heptacomitae would return to stab them in their already-melting faces.
The Americans Make Exploding Baked Goods
During World War 2, the Americans were looking for a way to smuggle explosives to Chinese rebels fighting the Japanese, which they eventually found by creating a powdered explosive disguised as baking flour and code-named "Aunt Jemima," because war can sometimes be quietly hilarious. To thwart suspicion, the powder could actually be used to bake edible food, although operatives were warned not to smoke a cigarette too soon after eating the composition -- because for some baffling reason, they would still eat it despite knowing exactly what it was.
"The taste of potential murder is just too good to pass up."
A Japanese Submarine Is Sunk with Potatoes
The USS O'Bannon, on patrol in the Pacific Ocean during WW2, came across a surfaced Japanese submarine, evidently operating with a catastrophically malfunctioning periscope and an all-blind crew. The O'Bannon blasted enough holes in the submarine to prevent it from submerging again, although, curiously, not enough holes to sink it, which arguably would've given them the tactical advantage. They had also pulled directly alongside the sub, positioning it too low for any of their weapons, but close enough to be blasted by small arms fire from the Japanese crew. This decision is equally difficult to explain.
"It makes a lot more sense when you've been drinking as much nautical toilet moonshine as we were."
The understandably furious Japanese submariners soon started to amass on deck, fully armed. However, before the Japanese could start firing, the crew of the O'Bannon began throwing potatoes at them, because it seems that there were no guns on the O'Bannon (or maybe they just had one gun for everyone to share).
The Japanese began scrambling to throw the potatoes away, thinking they were grenades, and were too distracted to notice that the O'Bannon was sailing back out into range of its deck guns until it finally opened fire and sank them.
Nothing heals the wounds of the past quite like cheeky racism.
Want more from Adam? If so, he has a blog you can read. If you want him to write some words for you, you can also contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org