No Such Thing As Bad Press
The Ottomans once won a great victory against the Hapsburgs without even being on the field of battle.
In 1788, near Slatina, the army was given the order to halt for the night. But a few men heard it as ‘Allah!’, and thought the Turks were on them.
The men driving the wagons whipped them into action, far to fast. Many of them wrecked. But worse was that the rumble of the carts and horses sounded like the charge of the Ottoman cavalry, sweeping down on their heads. It made most those who weren’t panicking already join in the chaotic ‘retreat’, firing their guns at the ‘enemy’ that everyone was sure was there.
In the morning, ten thousand Austrian soldiers were dead.
At this time the Ottomans were at the beginning of the slow motion decay of their empire, but even at that, they still won a victory based on the fear felt in Europe of the very idea of the Ottomans. Fear of their image.
Never underestimate the value of a good public relations campaign.