7 Most Insane Historical Attempts To Create A Super Soldier

As it turns out, history is full of battle units straight out of a cocaine-fueled cartoon.


Because the people you hate rarely have the common gosh-darn decency to just die and give you all their stuff on their own, mankind had to go and invent war. But we didn’t exactly hit it out of the park on the first swing. Before we finally discovered that making the perfect soldier involved lying to them at the recruiter’s office and then angrily yelling at them for a few years, humanity has spent a lot of time tinkering with its warrior formula.

Over the centuries, the main theme of these experiments seemed to be the firm belief that when it comes to maxing out soldiers’ effectiveness in combat, there’s no such thing as a stupid idea.

This has resulted in history being full of real/legendary battle units straight out of cocaine-fueled cartoons starring soldiers powered by the most improbable things imaginable, including…


7. The Power Of Cross-Dressing

Patrick Robert / Corbis

Nearly 30 years ago, Charles Taylor started an armed rebellion aimed at overthrowing Liberia’s President Samuel Doe, and he went about it in the most fabulous way possible.

According to the Liberian Studies Journal, some soldiers in Taylor’s militia actually went into battle wearing women’s clothing (including wedding dresses), bright pink wigs, and feather boas. The reason for that was due to some Liberian beliefs that a person could "confuse the enemy's bullets" by taking on a new identity, like that of a runner up of RuPaul's Drag Race.

The logic was that a bullet would go looking for a man to kill, and when it instead found a soldier in drag, it would assume it was a lady and not hit “her” because the bullet was raised to be a gentleman.

This… apparently worked because Taylor would go on to win the war, become Liberia’s new president, and commit a whole bunch of horrific war crimes because life is depressing like that.

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Cezary Strusiewicz is a freelance writer and editor.