Tonight at 10 PM, Sun Tzu takes on Vlad the Impaler. Join Max Geiger in this week's Blood on the Sand for more on how tonight's battle may be Deadliest Warrior's most gruesome to date.
Sun Tzu. The legendary author of The Art of War, perhaps the single most influential treatise on strategy, warfare, and tactics in all of human history. There's no doubt that among those who apply their minds to studying and mastering the craft of war, Sun Tzu is the standard by which others are judged.
Vlad the Impaler. The historical face and inspiration behind none other than Dracula. Feared for the atrocities, tortures, and general ruthlessness he displayed during his rule of Wallachia. Also, he's arguably the source of our modern media's vampiric malaise - not only as the man behind the myth, but quite possible as relative of Robert Pattinson. It's like the atrocities committed in his time weren't enough, and now, Twilight. Ugh. But that's neither here nor there when it comes to evaluating how Vlad would have held up in single combat with one of warfare's greatest minds.
There's no mincing around this issue either: this is a battle among legends more so than any other we've done. Sun Tzu is a difficult figure to pin down historically, and The Art of War is one of those texts where the influence of a multiple authors is clearly present - likely working to update the original manual to be relevant to their place and time. As for Vlad, well, his fearsome reputation precedes him, but he's better known for his tyrannical rule (and the atrocities he had others commit on his behalf) than he is for battlefield prowess.