2016/04/11

Alcohol and the Military

 

Drinking alcohol was the only form of entertainment for the military in the time of handheld weaponry. It was used to stimulate and reward army men. Its stimulating properties could make cowards brave, invigorate the exhausted and heighten the morale of the army.

Therefore it was the most important and effective substance employed to raise morale before and during a campaign, and to reward a military victory afterwards. According to historical records, during the period of the Warring States, Qin Mugong of the Qing kingdom poured the insufficient liquor into the Yellow River and drunk with his soldiers. here were many stories like this, and generals who did this always won their battles.

In historical novels, alcohol and battles frequently went hand in hand. For example, in The Romance of the Three Kingdoms, Guan Yu, the Chinese Ares, chopped Hua Xiong's head off while his wine was still warm; Zhang Fei, pretending to be drunk, captured his enemy's fortress easily. In this novel, almost every chapter is associated with alcohol.

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