History Main / DivideAndConquer

15th Jan '17 9:59:41 AM bobdog54
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** The Dutch, French and English East India Companies had low (think 10%) and ever-decreasing numbers of European personnel which eventually, after the Sepoy (Indian Soldier) Rebellion of 1857 resulted in the English East India Company being dissolved and and replaced by the British Raj, which directly administered two-thirds of the subcontinent's territory and population with an Indian Civil Service of no more than 2000 men. Only the very top level of the administration was British, and the remaining third of the subcontinent was governed by states loyal to the British Crown

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** The Dutch, French and English East India Companies had low (think 10%) and ever-decreasing numbers of European personnel which eventually, after the Sepoy (Indian Soldier) Rebellion of 1857 resulted in the English East India Company being dissolved and and replaced by the British Raj, which directly administered two-thirds of the subcontinent's territory and population with an Indian Civil Service of no more than 2000 men. Only the very top level of the administration was British, and the remaining third of the subcontinent was governed by states loyal to the British Crown
5th Jan '17 11:25:13 AM ixfd64
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Compare LetsYouAndHimFight. Contrast EnemyMine and DefeatMeansFriendship. #9 in UsefulNotes/TheThirtySixStratagems, making this one of TheOldestTricksInTheBook.

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Compare LetsYouAndHimFight.LetsYouAndHimFight and SetAMookToKillAMook. Contrast EnemyMine and DefeatMeansFriendship. #9 in UsefulNotes/TheThirtySixStratagems, making this one of TheOldestTricksInTheBook.


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* Helmut Zemo does this to Captain America and Iron Man in ''Film/CaptainAmericaCivilWar''.
26th Dec '16 5:42:58 PM PaulA
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* In the {{Creator/Filmation}} film, ''[[WesternAnimation/FlashGordon Flash Gordon: The Greatest Adventure of All]]'', this is how Ming keeps control of the planet Mongo, although they phrase it as "separate and rule".

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* In the {{Creator/Filmation}} film, ''[[WesternAnimation/FlashGordon ''[[WesternAnimation/FlashGordon1979 Flash Gordon: The Greatest Adventure of All]]'', this is how Ming keeps control of the planet Mongo, although they phrase it as "separate and rule".
10th Nov '16 12:14:08 PM Luigifan
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->''"Siamese fighting fish - fascinating creatures. Brave, but on the whole, stupid. Yes, they're stupid. Except for the occasional one, such as we have here, who lets the other two fight. While he waits. Waits until the survivor is so exhausted that he cannot defend himself, and then like SPECTRE... he strikes!"''

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->''"Siamese fighting fish - -- fascinating creatures. [[FearlessFool Brave, but on the whole, stupid. stupid.]] Yes, they're stupid. Except for the occasional one, such as we have here, who lets the other two fight. While he waits. Waits until the survivor is so exhausted that he cannot defend himself, and then like SPECTRE... he strikes!"''



ThePowerOfFriendship is a powerful thing. Some villains realize that after getting beaten by it too many times, so they try to somehow [[DividedWeFall split up whatever team of heroes they're facing]]. This might involve getting two heroes to [[HatePlague hate each other]], [[AchillesInHisTent getting one hero to hate the others]], or otherwise forcing the team to split up. TheLancer is a common target of this tactic.

On the opposite side, it's the usual hero tactic when [[LegionOfDoom their enemies try working together]]. Of course, they're usually much easier to divide, since not only they lack ThePowerOfFriendship, but they're probably already planning to double-cross each other anyway. By contrast, when the villain sets two groups of heroes against each other, they're much more likely to figure it out and team up.

Compare LetsYouAndHimFight. Contrast EnemyMine. #9 in UsefulNotes/TheThirtySixStratagems, making this one of TheOldestTricksInTheBook.

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ThePowerOfFriendship is a powerful thing. Some villains realize that its strength after getting beaten by it too many times, so they try to somehow [[AHouseDivided somehow]] [[DividedWeFall split up whatever team of heroes they're facing]]. This might involve getting two heroes to [[HatePlague hate each other]], [[AchillesInHisTent getting one hero to hate the others]], or otherwise forcing the team to split up. TheLancer is a common target of this tactic.

On the opposite side, it's the usual hero tactic when [[LegionOfDoom their enemies try working together]]. Of course, they're usually much easier to divide, since not only do they typically lack ThePowerOfFriendship, but they're probably already planning to double-cross each other anyway. By contrast, when the villain sets two groups of heroes against each other, they're much more likely to figure it out and team up.

Compare LetsYouAndHimFight. Contrast EnemyMine.EnemyMine and DefeatMeansFriendship. #9 in UsefulNotes/TheThirtySixStratagems, making this one of TheOldestTricksInTheBook.



* Naraku from ''Manga/InuYasha'' tried several times to put Sango against the others by threatening the life ([[{{Undead}} or some such]]) of her little brother. The first time he managed to make her steal Inuyasha's [[{{BFS}} Tessaiga]], but she's gotten wiser since. He also uses various tricks to physically split up the team so he can take them out one by one.

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* Naraku from ''Manga/InuYasha'' tried several times to put Sango against the others by threatening the life ([[{{Undead}} or some such]]) of her little brother. The first time time, he managed to make her steal Inuyasha's [[{{BFS}} Tessaiga]], but she's gotten wiser since. He also uses various tricks to physically split up the team so he can take them out one by one.



* Aizen's plan in the Soul Society arc of ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'' incorporates large amounts of this. He has Ichimaru let Ichigo's crew escape, so the thirteen squads spend their time and energy fighting them. At the same time he manipulates Rukia's execution to cause splits within the thirteen squads, and after faking his own death manipulates Hinamori into attacking Ichimaru, Kira and Hitsugaya. All of these things manage to divert attention from his machinations, and if it wasn't for [[SpannerInTheWorks Ichigo doing a little better than expected]] and Captain Unohana realising something was wrong with his 'dead' body, Aizen's plan would have succeeded, he would have escaped scot free and a significant amount of his enemies would be dead.

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* Aizen's plan in the Soul Society arc of ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'' incorporates large amounts of this. He has Ichimaru let Ichigo's crew escape, so the thirteen squads spend their time and energy fighting them. At the same time time, he manipulates Rukia's execution to cause splits within the thirteen squads, and after [[FakingTheDead faking his own death death]], manipulates Hinamori into attacking Ichimaru, Kira Kira, and Hitsugaya. All of these things manage to divert attention from his machinations, and if it wasn't for [[SpannerInTheWorks Ichigo doing a little better than expected]] and Captain Unohana realising something was wrong with his 'dead' body, Aizen's plan would have succeeded, he would have escaped scot free scot-free, and a significant amount of his enemies would be dead.



** As the above was happening, the Free Planets Alliance would have been able to rebuild their fleet, decimated in the latest battles, and maybe even attack, so Reinhardt freed a number of prisoners as a sign of goodwill... And to insert a {{Mole}}, who promptly used the mistrust between the corrupt politicians and the competent members of the military to have admiral Greenhill launch a coup, thus triggering the Alliance Civil War when Yang and his men refused to join the junta out of respect for the ideals of democracy.
** After the Long War ended in an Imperial victory but with the Alliance still independent, Oberstein manipulated the Alliance politicians into believing that Yang was assembling a clandestine military force to take over and restart the war (in fact Yang ''was'' assembling a clandestine military force... [[RightForTheWrongReasons but to counter the Imperial fleet in case the war restarted]]), leading to Yang's arrest and attempted execution and his men freeing him, leaving the Alliance divided and giving the empire the excuse to invade.

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** As the above was happening, the Free Planets Alliance would have been able to rebuild their fleet, decimated in the latest battles, and maybe even attack, so Reinhardt freed a number of prisoners as a sign of goodwill... And and to insert a {{Mole}}, who promptly used the mistrust between the corrupt politicians and the competent members of the military to have admiral Greenhill launch a coup, thus triggering the Alliance Civil War when Yang and his men refused to join the junta out of respect for the ideals of democracy.
** After the Long War ended in an Imperial victory but with the Alliance still independent, Oberstein manipulated the Alliance politicians into believing that Yang was assembling a clandestine military force to take over and restart the war (in fact fact, Yang ''was'' assembling a clandestine military force... [[RightForTheWrongReasons but to counter the Imperial fleet in case the war restarted]]), leading to Yang's arrest and attempted execution and his men freeing him, leaving the Alliance divided and giving the empire the excuse to invade.



* In one issue of ''ComicBook/IncredibleHercules'' Malekith combines this with LetsYouAndHimFight to weaken both Hercules and Thor sufficiently that his secret weapon will be able to defeat them easily. His plan fails ignominiously due to him not being aware that Zeus was standing right there when he sprang this trap.
* In ''[[ComicBook/{{Asterix}} Asterix and the Roman Agent]]'' this is the natural gift of the titular Tortuous Convolvulus (French: Tullius Détritus), who foments conflicts between the inhabitants of the little Gaulish village that come close to enabling Caesar to take it.
* In ''ComicBook/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicIDW'' the changelings separate the group with a cave-in and start causing feud between them through the use of disguises and personal insults. [[spoiler:[[BreakingTheFellowship It works.]]]]

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* In one issue of ''ComicBook/IncredibleHercules'' ''ComicBook/IncredibleHercules'', Malekith combines this with LetsYouAndHimFight to weaken both Hercules and Thor sufficiently that his secret weapon will be able to defeat them easily. His plan fails ignominiously due to him [[FailedASpotCheck not being aware aware]] that Zeus was standing right there when he sprang this trap.
* In ''[[ComicBook/{{Asterix}} Asterix and the Roman Agent]]'' Agent]]'', this is the natural gift of the titular Tortuous Convolvulus (French: Tullius Détritus), who foments conflicts between the inhabitants of the little Gaulish village that come close to enabling Caesar to take it.
* In ''ComicBook/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicIDW'' ''ComicBook/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicIDW'', the changelings separate the group with a cave-in and start causing feud feuds between them through the use of disguises and personal insults. [[spoiler:[[BreakingTheFellowship It works.]]]]
22nd Oct '16 5:36:00 AM Morgenthaler
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** A big part of why Japan was able to just seize Manchuria from its warlord Zhang Xueliang in 1931, nab bits of Inner Mongolia from 1931-37, and occupy the North China Plain without too much hassle from 1937-45. UsefulNotes/ChiangKaiShek tested his forces against those of Japan in the 1932 Battle of Shanghai and, with their horrible performance, saw vindicated his conviction that he would have been unable to contest the Japanese annexation of Zhang's territory in an open war. He immediately ordered a ''massive'' program of armament that could well have seen his army very-nearly on-par with [[UsefulNotes/KatanasOfTheRisingSun that of Japan's]] by 1942, and strove to avoid a war until then - given [[PatrioticFervor the nature of his Nationalist Party regime]] it's hard to imagine him not declaring war on them eventually. When the war ''did'' break out in 1937 and his half-reformed forces were driven off the North China Plain and the Lower Yangzi, the Japanese allowed the [[MaoZedong Chinese Communist Party]] to basically take control of all the areas of the plain that Japan didn't want and/or couldn't control - the two maintained unofficial truces throughout the war, with the sole exception of a brief battle in 1940 ('the Hundred Regiments offensive') which had been ordered at the insistence of UsefulNotes/JosephStalin.

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** A big part of why Japan was able to just seize Manchuria from its warlord Zhang Xueliang in 1931, nab bits of Inner Mongolia from 1931-37, and occupy the North China Plain without too much hassle from 1937-45. UsefulNotes/ChiangKaiShek tested his forces against those of Japan in the 1932 Battle of Shanghai and, with their horrible performance, saw vindicated his conviction that he would have been unable to contest the Japanese annexation of Zhang's territory in an open war. He immediately ordered a ''massive'' program of armament that could well have seen his army very-nearly on-par with [[UsefulNotes/KatanasOfTheRisingSun that of Japan's]] by 1942, and strove to avoid a war until then - given [[PatrioticFervor the nature of his Nationalist Party regime]] it's hard to imagine him not declaring war on them eventually. When the war ''did'' break out in 1937 and his half-reformed forces were driven off the North China Plain and the Lower Yangzi, the Japanese allowed the [[MaoZedong [[UsefulNotes/MaoZedong Chinese Communist Party]] to basically take control of all the areas of the plain that Japan didn't want and/or couldn't control - the two maintained unofficial truces throughout the war, with the sole exception of a brief battle in 1940 ('the Hundred Regiments offensive') which had been ordered at the insistence of UsefulNotes/JosephStalin.
20th Oct '16 9:39:32 AM Morgenthaler
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** RedOctober and the fall of the Czarist and Provisional Russian governments was effectively due to Germany successfully using public discontent to undermine the power of the Pro-Allies factions in Russia in the hopes of reaction against them that would open the door to a German-dominated Eastern Europe.
** A big part of why Japan was able to just seize Manchuria from its warlord Zhang Xueliang in 1931, nab bits of Inner Mongolia from 1931-37, and occupy the North China Plain without too much hassle from 1937-45. ChiangKaiShek tested his forces against those of Japan in the 1932 Battle of Shanghai and, with their horrible performance, saw vindicated his conviction that he would have been unable to contest the Japanese annexation of Zhang's territory in an open war. He immediately ordered a ''massive'' program of armament that could well have seen his army very-nearly on-par with [[KatanasOfTheRisingSun that of Japan's]] by 1942, and strove to avoid a war until then - given [[PatrioticFervor the nature of his Nationalist Party regime]] it's hard to imagine him not declaring war on them eventually. When the war ''did'' break out in 1937 and his half-reformed forces were driven off the North China Plain and the Lower Yangzi, the Japanese allowed the [[MaoZedong Chinese Communist Party]] to basically take control of all the areas of the plain that Japan didn't want and/or couldn't control - the two maintained unofficial truces throughout the war, with the sole exception of a brief battle in 1940 ('the Hundred Regiments offensive') which had been ordered at the insistence of UsefulNotes/JosephStalin.

to:

** RedOctober UsefulNotes/RedOctober and the fall of the Czarist and Provisional Russian governments was effectively due to Germany successfully using public discontent to undermine the power of the Pro-Allies factions in Russia in the hopes of reaction against them that would open the door to a German-dominated Eastern Europe.
** A big part of why Japan was able to just seize Manchuria from its warlord Zhang Xueliang in 1931, nab bits of Inner Mongolia from 1931-37, and occupy the North China Plain without too much hassle from 1937-45. ChiangKaiShek UsefulNotes/ChiangKaiShek tested his forces against those of Japan in the 1932 Battle of Shanghai and, with their horrible performance, saw vindicated his conviction that he would have been unable to contest the Japanese annexation of Zhang's territory in an open war. He immediately ordered a ''massive'' program of armament that could well have seen his army very-nearly on-par with [[KatanasOfTheRisingSun [[UsefulNotes/KatanasOfTheRisingSun that of Japan's]] by 1942, and strove to avoid a war until then - given [[PatrioticFervor the nature of his Nationalist Party regime]] it's hard to imagine him not declaring war on them eventually. When the war ''did'' break out in 1937 and his half-reformed forces were driven off the North China Plain and the Lower Yangzi, the Japanese allowed the [[MaoZedong Chinese Communist Party]] to basically take control of all the areas of the plain that Japan didn't want and/or couldn't control - the two maintained unofficial truces throughout the war, with the sole exception of a brief battle in 1940 ('the Hundred Regiments offensive') which had been ordered at the insistence of UsefulNotes/JosephStalin.
29th Sep '16 12:31:06 PM Morgenthaler
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** A big part of why Japan was able to just seize Manchuria from its warlord Zhang Xueliang in 1931, nab bits of Inner Mongolia from 1931-37, and occupy the North China Plain without too much hassle from 1937-45. ChiangKaiShek tested his forces against those of Japan in the 1932 Battle of Shanghai and, with their horrible performance, saw vindicated his conviction that he would have been unable to contest the Japanese annexation of Zhang's territory in an open war. He immediately ordered a ''massive'' program of armament that could well have seen his army very-nearly on-par with [[KatanasOfTheRisingSun that of Japan's]] by 1942, and strove to avoid a war until then - given [[PatrioticFervor the nature of his Nationalist Party regime]] it's hard to imagine him not declaring war on them eventually. When the war ''did'' break out in 1937 and his half-reformed forces were driven off the North China Plain and the Lower Yangzi, the Japanese allowed the [[MaoZedong Chinese Communist Party]] to basically take control of all the areas of the plain that Japan didn't want and/or couldn't control - the two maintained unofficial truces throughout the war, with the sole exception of a brief battle in 1940 ('the Hundred Regiments offensive') which had been ordered at the insistence of JosephStalin.

to:

** A big part of why Japan was able to just seize Manchuria from its warlord Zhang Xueliang in 1931, nab bits of Inner Mongolia from 1931-37, and occupy the North China Plain without too much hassle from 1937-45. ChiangKaiShek tested his forces against those of Japan in the 1932 Battle of Shanghai and, with their horrible performance, saw vindicated his conviction that he would have been unable to contest the Japanese annexation of Zhang's territory in an open war. He immediately ordered a ''massive'' program of armament that could well have seen his army very-nearly on-par with [[KatanasOfTheRisingSun that of Japan's]] by 1942, and strove to avoid a war until then - given [[PatrioticFervor the nature of his Nationalist Party regime]] it's hard to imagine him not declaring war on them eventually. When the war ''did'' break out in 1937 and his half-reformed forces were driven off the North China Plain and the Lower Yangzi, the Japanese allowed the [[MaoZedong Chinese Communist Party]] to basically take control of all the areas of the plain that Japan didn't want and/or couldn't control - the two maintained unofficial truces throughout the war, with the sole exception of a brief battle in 1940 ('the Hundred Regiments offensive') which had been ordered at the insistence of JosephStalin.UsefulNotes/JosephStalin.
26th Aug '16 2:12:05 AM JackG
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* ''WesternAnimation/BatmanUnderTheRedHood''. When Black Mask asks why Batman isn't after the Red Hood, Ms Li thinks he's waiting to see which side will win, so he can take on the winner. However Black Mask knows that Batman doesn't work that way, and so must be reluctant to take on the Red Hood for his own reasons.

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* Lampshaded but averted in ''WesternAnimation/BatmanUnderTheRedHood''. When Black Mask asks why Batman isn't after the Red Hood, Ms Li thinks he's waiting to see which side will win, so he can take on the winner. However Black Mask knows that Batman doesn't work that way, and so must be reluctant to take on the Red Hood for his own reasons.
26th Aug '16 2:09:21 AM JackG
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* ''WesternAnimation/BatmanUnderTheRedHood''. When Black Mask asks why Batman isn't after the Red Hood, Ms Li thinks he's waiting to see which side will win, so he can take on the winner. However Black Mask knows that Batman doesn't work that way, and so must be reluctant to take on the Red Hood for his own reasons.
14th Aug '16 8:50:57 PM Fireblood
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Added DiffLines:

* ''Series/Braindead2016'': When they get him forcibly drunk [[InVinoVeritas so he'll be truthful]], a bug-infected man explains the bugs make people become more extreme in their views so they'll fight each other to a greater degree, and make it easier for them to conquer humanity.
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