Deadliest Warrior (2011): S03E04 – Genghis Khan vs. Hannibal


Deadliest Warrior is a 2009 documentary series in which the great warriors of history are examined for fantasy combat simulations.


Genghis Khan, the Mongol leader who conquered half of the Medieval world, vs. Hannibal, the Carthiginian general who nearly destroyed the Roman Republic.

  • Genghis Khan team: Khosbayar (US Marine & Mongol Weapons Expert), Timothy May, PhD (Author, “The Mongol Art of War”)
    Genghis Khan weapons: Turko-Mongol Saber, Jida Lance, Recurve Bow
    Genghis Khan armour: Lamellar Armour
    Genghis Khan tactics: Feigned Retreat
  • Hannibal team: Bryan Forrest (Classical Weapons Specialist), Patrick Hunt, PhD (Professor of Archaeology, Stanford)
    Hannibal weapons: Falcata, Soliferrum, War Elephant
    Hannibal armour: Musculata Armour
    Hannibal tactics: Double Envelopment
  • This is the first time in which a weapon that was alive was tested.
  • For short-range weapons, the Turko-Mongol Sabre was tested against the Falcata in eliminating four targets on foot and one target on horseback. In the first test, both swords achieved four kills but in the second test on horseback, the Sabre succeeded while the Falcata failed. The Sabre had a swing force of 72 mph but was deemed to be slower and draining on the user’s stamina while the Falcata was faster but had a swing force of only 66 mph. The edge was given to Genghis Khan’s Turko-Mongol Sabre for its cutting power and longer blade.
  • For mid-range weapons, the Jida Lance was tested against the Soliferrum in eliminating a moving target from horseback. Although the Jida was longer and more likely to achieve a kill, the edge was given to the Soliferrum since it could be used as a missile-weapon and that Hannibal would be carrying several of them.
  • For special weapons, the War Elephant was tested against the Recurve Bow. Suzie, not being a trained war elephant, was egged on by her trainer, Hayden Rosenaur, throughout the testing. The stomping power of an Elephant was measured at 2,045 lbs while the Recurve Bow could achieve painful, but non-lethal, penetrations into elephant hide with armour-piercing Arrows. Mac did point out that these arrows would cause pain to the elephant and likely cause it to panic and go out of control. The edge was given to the War Elephant for its massive intimidation and killing power.
  • For Armor, Hannibal’s Musculata was tested against Genghis Khan’s Steel Lamellar in protecting against the opposing warrior’s sword. Both Hannibal and Genghis Khan’s shields held well, with the arm behind it not encountering enough force to break bone. Both the Musculata and Lamellar sustained harmless penetration, not enough to even touch the wearer. But Hannibal’s Brass helmet dented and failed at 435 psi, which meant a depressed skull fracture, while Genghis Khan’s helmet was not only unscathed, but there was not enough force to damage the skull. The edge was given to Genghis Khan due to the failure of Hannibal’s Helmet.
  • For military tactics, Hannibal’s “Double Envelopment” was compared to Genghis Khan’s “Feigned Retreat”. At the Battle of Cannae, Hannibal tempted the Roman army into specifically attacking the centre of his army by deploying in a formation that had strong flanks and a thin, weak centre that was curved outward. The Roman Infantry force of 70,000 took the bait by focusing all of their efforts onto the centre until they were trapped in a double-envelopment and slaughtered down to only a handful of survivors. At the Battle of Kalka River, the Mongols, using only a small force of 2,000 Mongolian cavalry, agitated a sizable force of 30,000 Rus’ and Kipchak’s into attacking them and kept them focused on trying to pursue them by constantly launching hit-and-run attacks and denying them the opportunity for a battle. The pursuit lasted for 9 days and stretched for 200 miles which left the Rus’ and Kipchak’s disorganised, tired, and blindly determined which led to them being trapped and defeated, by a waiting army of 18,000 Mongolians, in an ambush on the banks of the Kalka River. The edge was given to Genghis Khan for his tactical ability in luring away and weakening the enemy. However, while Khan was given the edge, in reality he was not even present at the Battle of the Kalka River.
  • This is the only reality based episode in season 3 that did not feature any black powder weapons.
  • This is the second episode not to feature a long-range category (although the Soliferrum and the Recurve Bow are projectile weapons in the mid and special weapons categories.)
  • Percentage wise, Hannibal’s Soliferrum is the most dominating weapon in any category of season 3.
  • Genghis Khan is the only warrior of season 3 to win after getting the battle field tactics edge.
  • The war elephant is the sixteenth weapon to be given the edge and score fewer kills than the opposing weapon.
  • Despite being more effective than Hannibal’s bronze-rimmed wooden shield, Genghis Khan’s steel shield had a higher armour failure rate. This could be due to the fact that Genghis Khan killed mostly by striking the brass helmet first.
  • A bonus clip not in the original broadcast shows the elephant taking down several targets while charging at a speed of 24 mph, as well as Khosbayar attempting to stop a simulated elephant from charging with fire arrows.

Re-enactment 26

The battle starts with Genghis Khan, who is mounted on horseback, and 4 of his Mongol soldiers out walking on a hillside. They soon hear a strange noise and see Hannibal, who is mounted upon a war elephant and being accompanied by 4 Carthaginians: 3 foot soldiers and a single horseman. Hannibal soon makes visual contact with Genghis, and Genghis orders his men to load their bow and arrows. They aim upwards and fire, one which comes down in Hannibal’s shield, and another which sticks in an unlucky Carthaginian. In retaliation, Hannibal orders his horseman to ride on and attack with Soliferrums. As he charges, one Mongol breaks from the group and charges into battle with his Jida Lance, only to be struck down by one of the Soliferrums. Khan rides off and soon returns the favour to the Carthaginian with his own Jida Lance, which one of his men hands to him. Back on the other side of the hill, Hannibal dismounts from his elephant and prods him on with a Soliferrum to charge at the Mongolians. The three Mongolians kneel down and shoot at the elephant with their recurve bow and arrows, but soon retreat as the elephant charges in, trampling one Mongolian. The Mongolians regroup and continue assaulting the elephant with arrows, firing arrows into its hide and head, and driving it away from the battlefield. Elsewhere, Khan rides in on his war horse and strikes down a Carthaginian soldier with his Turko-Mongol Sabre. Meanwhile, one of the Carthaginians charges at the two remaining Mongolians, catching one’s attention by throwing a Soliferrum at his head. The iron javelin is deflected by the Mongolian’s shield and both men turn to face the Carthaginian. One tries to hack at him with a Mongol sabre, but he deflects the blow and stabs him through his leather lamellar with his Falcata. He then tries to strike at the last Mongol’s legs, but the Mongol jumps back and slashes his leg. While he is kneeling, the Mongol quickly follows up with a slash to the face, killing the Carthaginian. His victory is short-lived, however, as Hannibal comes up from behind and impales him through the chest with his Falcata. Genghis Khan soon spots Hannibal again and rides up toward him, throwing away his Mongol bow and dismounting. He walks up to him, measuring him up, and then gives a war cry while drawing his sabre. Both men clash swords, which are caught by both shields. Hannibal goes for a vertical head shot with his Falcata, but Genghis shakes off the blow and slashes Hannibal across the thigh. Hannibal goes for a horizontal slash, but Genghis ducks under the sword and hits Hannibal’s shield out of his hands. Tired and desperate, Hannibal deflects blows from the sabre and goes for a thrust strike with the falcata, but it fails to pass through the steel lamellar armour. Enraged, Genghis counters with two consecutive head shots to Hannibal’s brass helmet, severely denting it and knocking Hannibal dizzy. Genghis Khan then spins around and delivers the final strike, slashing Hannibal across the neck and cutting neck arteries. Hannibal falls down dead as The Great Khan gives a victorious shout.

Winner: Genghis Khan.

Deadliest Warrior Series

You can find a full index and overview of Deadliest Warrior here.

Production & Filming Details

  • Release Date: 10 August 2011.
  • Rating: Unknown.
  • Running Time: 42 minutes.
  • Country: US.
  • Language: English.

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