Deadliest Warrior (2011): S03E06 – Teddy Roosevelt vs. Lawrence of Arabia


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


Theodore Roosevelt, the rough riding American colonel of the Spanish-American War, vs. Lawrence of Arabia, the British Army officer who helped lead the Arab Revolt against the Ottoman Turks.

  • Theodore Roosevelt Team: Gunnery Sergeant Quay Terry [retired] (United States Marine Corps), Gary Harper (Military Historian/Armorer)
    Theodore Roosevelt Weapons: Bowie Hunter, 1896 Krag Carbine, Gatling Gun
    Theodore Roosevelt Tactics: “Suppress & Slaughter”
  • Lawrence of Arabia Team: Richard Reid (British Firearms Specialist), Gavin Scott (T.E. Lawrence Historian)
    Lawrence of Arabia Weapons: Jambiya Dagger, Short Magazine Lee-Enfield Rifle, Vickers Machine Gun
    Lawrence of Arabia Tactics: “Phantom Army”
  • This is the first episode to test rapid fire crew-served weapons.
  • For short-range weapons, the bowie hunter was tested against the jambiya in eliminating two targets. The bowie hunter only killed one target and had an impact force of 42 mph while the jambiya killed both targets and had an impact force of 51 mph. The edge was given to the jambiya for its larger blade.
  • For mid-range weapons, the SMLE was tested against the Springfield 1896 Krag in velocity, damage, recoil performance, and in eliminating 8 targets (3 static, 3 moving, and 2 pop-up) with 20 rounds during a simulated assault. In the performance test, the Springfield Krag had a muzzle velocity of 1958 fps, created a damage cavity of 5-in, and imparted a recoil force of 9 lbs while the SMLE had a muzzle velocity of 2592 fps, created a damage cavity of 5.5-in, and imparted a recoil force of 37 lbs. During the assault test, the Springfield Krag scored an 8/8 kill ratio and a 16/20 hit ratio of 80% in 2:26 while the SMLE scored a 7/8 kill ratio and a 14/20 hit ratio of 70% in 2:15. Although the Springfield Krag was lighter and more accurate and the SMLE was stronger, faster to reload, and could hold twice as many rounds, both weapons were deemed to be even, resulting in a draw.
  • For long-range weapons, the Gatling gun was tested against the Vickers machine gun in eliminating 18 targets with 250 rounds. The Gatling gun scored a 13/18 kill ratio in 1:11 while the Vickers scored a 14/18 kill ratio in 1:41 but jammed once. The edge was given to the Gatling gun for its faster rate of fire and resistance to jamming.
  • For military tactics, Roosevelt’s Charge, aka “Suppress and Slaughter” was compared to Lawrence’s Hit Hard and Vanish, aka “Phantom Army”. At the battle of San Juan Hill, the Rough Riders came under artillery and infantry fire and Roosevelt responded by ordering his Gatling gun detachment to provide suppressing fire which allowed his troops to charge up and take the San Juan and Kettle hill positions. At the Battle of Aqaba, Lawrence used several raids on the train routes north of the position to trick the Turkish army into thinking he was going to attack Damascus. The Turks took the bait by launching a pursuit against the Bedouin raiders which left only a battalion to defend Aqaba and allowed Lawrence to take the strategic port city after a successful attack. The edge was given to Lawrence for his tactical ability in deceiving and outmanoeuvring the enemy.
  • Lawrence of Arabia is the first warrior whose team members are not of the same nationality (Lawrence was a Lieutenant Colonel in the British Army who fought with Hashemite Arabs)
  • This is the eighth episode to have a tie in weapons edges.
  • Theodore Roosevelt is only the second warrior to win with only one edge between all categories (the other was the Shaolin Monk).
  • This is the only episode in season 3 to reveal the amount of kills for a weapon (10,316 kills for the Gatling gun and 7,544 kills for the Vickers machine gun).
  • A bonus scene featuring the Battlefield Experience X-Factor which was only mentioned in the original broadcast is available at

Re-enactment 28

The battle begins on a hillside, where Roosevelt and 4 of his Rough Riders are congregating with each other. Roosevelt looks up the hill to suddenly see Lawrence in full desert garb coming over the hill. Roosevelt distances himself slightly to measure up the stranger when Lawrence suddenly motions with his hand, summoning his Bedouin tribesmen carrying weapons and machine gun parts. Roosevelt calls for his men to prepare the Gatling Gun as Lawrence and his men prepare the Vickers machine gun and fire their SMLE rifles. Roosevelt takes aim and fires with his Krag rifle as the Rough Riders cart out their Gatling gun and aim it up the hill. The Vickers gunner opens fire on the Rough Riders, killing one of the gunners as he tries to run behind the Gatling for cover. The Gatling crew begins to crank out fire as Roosevelt and the other Rough Riders fire their Krag rifles. Eventually, one of Lawrence’s men is taken by the gunfire as the Vickers gun suddenly jams. Outgunned by the Gatling, Lawrence orders his men to retreat back down the hill. Seeing their opponents flee back down the hill, Roosevelt orders the Gatling gunner to cease fire as the two riflemen run up the hill, inspecting the machine gun site. One of the riflemen waves his hand, signalling “All Clear”. Meanwhile, Lawrence of Arabia and his men make their way up the other side of Colonel Roosevelt’s position, unbeknownst to him and the gunner. Lawrence takes out a bundle of dynamite and lights the fuse. The blast rocks the hillside as Roosevelt and the gunner quickly turn the Gatling towards the area of the blast. While their backs are turned, a Bedouin rebel shoots out the gunner. Roosevelt turns around and aims his Krag as the other two riflemen regroup with him, taking aim at the Bedouin. Behind them, another Bedouin charges over the hill, but is shot down as one of the riflemen mounts the Gatling, shooting him before he even comes within range. The other Bedouin aims his SMLE and fires, hitting Roosevelt in the left arm and forcing him to kneel. One of the Rough Riders takes aim and kills the Bedouin while he is still exposed. The other Rough Rider helps Roosevelt to his feet, with Roosevelt assuring him that he is okay. Before they come to their senses, Lawrence fires his SMLE, shooting a Rough Rider in the back of the head. Roosevelt then regains his senses and shoots the Bedouin across the hill. Both men now give chase after Lawrence of Arabia, attempting to reload their rifles. Lawrence jumps down into a trench as the pursuing rifleman reloads his Krag. The rifleman slowly makes his way down the trench, aiming his rifle in front of him when Lawrence comes around the corner, jambiya knife in hand. The rifleman tries to hit Lawrence with the stock of the rifle, but Lawrence ducks and counters with a slash to the Rider’s shoulder, knocking off his hat. Angered, the Rough Rider attempts to draw his knife, but Lawrence follows up with two slashes to the chest, killing him. Behind him, Roosevelt inhales deeply and draws his Bowie Hunter knife, preparing to show down with Lawrence. Lawrence takes a step forward and swings, causing Roosevelt to shout and lunge forward. Lawrence jumps back and counters with two slashes. Roosevelt jumps back and feints a slash, following up with a punch to Lawrence’s face. While he is still stunned, Roosevelt grabs Lawrence’s keffiyeh and wraps it around his knife-arm and stabs Lawrence in the stomach. Roosevelt pulls out the knife and Lawrence falls down dead. He then raises his blood-covered Bowie knife in the air and yells in victory.

Winner: Theodore Roosevelt.

Deadliest Warrior Series

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

Production & Filming Details

  • Release Date: 24 August 2011.
  • Rating: Unknown.
  • Running Time: 42 minutes.
  • Country: US.
  • Language: English.

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