Follow TV Tropes

Following

History Main / BurningTheShips

Go To



* ''Manga/{{Berserk}}'': In the Battle of Doldrey, Griffith positions himself and the portion of his army that he expects to face the largest part of the enemy force with their backs to a river and no way to retreat. He does this not only to motivate his own men, but also as part of a BatmanGambit: Cornered and outnumbered, his force presents a tempting target that succeeds in drawing the enemy forces out of their castle, which is promptly captured in a sneak attack by a small flanking force.



* ''Manga/{{Berserk}}'': In the Battle of Doldrey, Griffith positions himself and the portion of his army that he expects to face the largest part of the enemy force with their backs to a river and no way to retreat. He does this not only to motivate his own men, but also as part of a BatmanGambit: Cornered and outnumbered, his force presents a tempting target that succeeds in drawing the enemy forces out of their castle, which is promptly captured in a sneak attack by a small flanking force.



* {{Deconstructed}} in ''Manga/{{Holyland}}'': in the flashback of how Masaki became a delinquent it's shown that, when surrounded by delinquents his sempai at the boxing club had called to beat him up, he put himself with the back at the wall to both prevent them from attacking from begind and cut his own retreat... And promptly became unable to move due the sheer psychological pressure from finding himself in this situation, leaving him helpless and forced to take their beating.

to:

* {{Deconstructed}} in ''Manga/{{Holyland}}'': in ''Manga/{{Holyland}}''. In the flashback of how Masaki became a delinquent delinquent, it's shown that, when surrounded by delinquents his sempai at the boxing club had called to beat him up, he put himself with the back at the wall to both prevent them from attacking from begind behind and cut his own retreat... And and promptly became unable to move due the sheer psychological pressure from finding himself in this situation, leaving him helpless and forced to take their beating.



* From ''Film/AguirreTheWrathOfGod'': After promoting Don Fernando de Guzmán to 'Emperor of El Dorado', Aguirre makes Carvajal write a letter to King Philipp of Spain which declares not only their defection from Spain, but also the "overthrow" of the House of Habsburg and the "dethronement" of Philipp. The letter is kept by Aguirre, who in this way makes sure that Guzmán and the rest cannot bail out of their rebellion, as the letter is incriminating proof of their complicity.
-->'''Aguirre:''' Fortune smiles on the brave and spits on the coward. Let's sever our ties with Spain and crown Don Fernando de Guzmán Emperor of El Dorado.



* ''Film/TheFinestHours'': After the ''SS Pendleton'' splits in two, the ship's engineer, Mr. Sybert, cuts the sole lifeboat down, which is then splintered by the waves, leaving the men no other choice but to help him keep them afloat awhile longer.
* Invoked in ''Film/{{Gattaca}}'': The movie features two brothers, Anton (born with genetic enhancements) and Vincent (without). Both brothers throughout their childhood competed in a game of "chicken" where they would swim out as far out to sea as possible with the loser being the one who turns back first. Anton would always beat Vincent due to his enhancements except for the last time they played, where Vincent won. When both are adults, they repeat the game, Vincent wins again and reveals his secret to Anton: he never saved any energy for the swim back. This parallels Vincent's quest to become an astronaut despite his genetics and thus society standing in his way via sheer determination and audacity.
* In the film of ''Film/TheHuntForRedOctober'', Marko Ramius, captain of a submarine carrying nuclear missiles, sends a letter to the CO of the Soviet Navy stating that he and his command staff are defecting. When his staff officers ask him why he did it, he cites the example of Cortes' destruction of his ships.
* In the first ''Film/{{Jaws}}'', Quint destroys the radio when Brodie tries to call for help, and later appears to deliberately burn out his engine so they can't escape their final confrontation with the shark.



* In the first ''Film/{{Jaws}}'', Quint destroys the radio when Brodie tries to call for help, and later appears to deliberately burn out his engine so they can't escape their final confrontation with the shark.
* In the film of ''Film/TheHuntForRedOctober'', Marko Ramius, captain of a submarine carrying nuclear missiles, sends a letter to the CO of the Soviet Navy stating that he and his command staff are defecting. When his staff officers ask him why he did it, he cites the example of Cortes' destruction of his ships.
* Invoked in ''Film/{{Gattaca}}'': The movie features two brothers, Anton (born with genetic enhancements) and Vincent (without). Both brothers throughout their childhood competed in a game of "chicken" where they would swim out as far out to sea as possible with the loser being the one who turns back first. Anton would always beat Vincent due to his enhancements except for the last time they played, where Vincent won. When both are adults, they repeat the game, Vincent wins again and reveals his secret to Anton: he never saved any energy for the swim back. This parallels Vincent's quest to become an astronaut despite his genetics and thus society standing in his way via sheer determination and audacity.

to:

* In ''Film/TheNakedJungle'', facing the first ''Film/{{Jaws}}'', Quint destroys invasion of [[TheSwarm a swarm of ants]], Leiningen burns the radio when Brodie tries to call for help, and later appears to deliberately burn out canoes of his engine native servants so they can't escape their final confrontation with the shark.
* In the film of ''Film/TheHuntForRedOctober'', Marko Ramius, captain of a submarine carrying nuclear missiles, sends a letter to the CO of the Soviet Navy stating that he and his command staff are defecting. When his staff officers ask him why he did it, he cites the example of Cortes' destruction of his ships.
* Invoked in ''Film/{{Gattaca}}'': The movie features two brothers, Anton (born with genetic enhancements) and Vincent (without). Both brothers throughout their childhood competed in a game of "chicken" where they would swim out as far out to sea as possible with the loser being the one who turns back first. Anton would always beat Vincent due to his enhancements except for the last time they played, where Vincent won. When both are adults, they repeat the game, Vincent wins again and reveals his secret to Anton: he never saved any energy for the swim back. This parallels Vincent's quest to become an astronaut despite his genetics and thus society standing in his way via sheer determination and audacity.
don't desert him.



* From ''Film/AguirreTheWrathOfGod'': After promoting Don Fernando de Guzmán to 'Emperor of El Dorado', Aguirre makes Carvajal write a letter to King Philipp of Spain which declares not only their defection from Spain, but also the "overthrow" of the House of Habsburg and the "dethronement" of Philipp. The letter is kept by Aguirre, who in this way makes sure that Guzmán and the rest cannot bail out of their rebellion, as the letter is incriminating proof of their complicity.
-->'''Aguirre:''' Fortune smiles on the brave and spits on the coward. Let's sever our ties with Spain and crown Don Fernando de Guzmán Emperor of El Dorado.
* ''Film/TheFinestHours'': After the ''SS Pendleton'' splits in two, the ship's engineer, Mr. Sybert, cuts the sole lifeboat down, which is then splintered by the waves, leaving the men no other choice but to help him keep them afloat awhile longer.
* In ''Film/TheNakedJungle'', facing the invasion of [[TheSwarm a swarm of ants]], Leiningen burns the canoes of his native servants so they don't desert him.

to:

* From ''Film/AguirreTheWrathOfGod'': After promoting Don Fernando de Guzmán to 'Emperor of El Dorado', Aguirre makes Carvajal write a letter to King Philipp of Spain which declares not only their defection from Spain, but also the "overthrow" of the House of Habsburg and the "dethronement" of Philipp. The letter is kept by Aguirre, who in this way makes sure that Guzmán and the rest cannot bail out of their rebellion, as the letter is incriminating proof of their complicity.
-->'''Aguirre:''' Fortune smiles on the brave and spits on the coward. Let's sever our ties with Spain and crown Don Fernando de Guzmán Emperor of El Dorado.
* ''Film/TheFinestHours'': After the ''SS Pendleton'' splits in two, the ship's engineer, Mr. Sybert, cuts the sole lifeboat down, which is then splintered by the waves, leaving the men no other choice but to help him keep them afloat awhile longer.
* In ''Film/TheNakedJungle'', facing the invasion of [[TheSwarm a swarm of ants]], Leiningen burns the canoes of his native servants so they don't desert him.



* In ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'', one of the important historical characters is the Princess Nymeria, who led a fleet of Rhoynish refugees away from their Valyrian conquerors. After ending up in Dorne and allying with the then-minor House Martell, she burned the rest of the fleet so that the Rhoynish would never leave their new home. This is the reason for the differences between Dornish culture and the other kingdoms'.
* Sun Tzu advises this as one of his stratagems in ''Literature/{{The Art Of War|Sun Tzu}}'', but for the same reason warns against [[CorneredRattlesnake forcing an enemy into a situation where it appears his only option is to fight to the death]]. Instead, he advises leaving an apparent escape route to encourage flight. A fleeing enemy is easier to kill, after all.
* Vegetius in 'De Re Militari'' suggests exactly the same. The side which has all of his escape routes blocked, fights with desperation.



* ''Literature/TheSilmarillion'': After the Noldorin Elves led by Fëanor have crossed over from Aman to Middle-earth on the ships they stole from the Telerin Elves, Fëanor orders them to burn all the ships. He does this to prevent any of his followers from returning to Aman, but also to make sure they cannot help the rest of the Noldor who follow Fëanor's brother Fingolfin get to Middle-earth.
* In ''Cursor's Fury'', book three of the ''Literature/CodexAlera'', Sarl, the Canim commander, burns the Canim fleet in order to prevent the warriors under his command who are there under duress from fleeing back home. The invasion was ordered by priests of two castes who [[WeAREStrugglingTogether dislike each other]] passionately.

to:

* ''Literature/TheSilmarillion'': After the Noldorin Elves led by Fëanor have crossed over from Aman to Middle-earth on the ships they stole from the Telerin Elves, Fëanor orders them to burn all the ships. He does Sun Tzu advises this to prevent any as one of his followers from returning stratagems to Aman, motivate your troops in ''Literature/{{The Art Of War|Sun Tzu}}'', but also to make sure they cannot help for the rest of same reason warns against [[CorneredRattlesnake forcing an enemy into a situation where it appears his only option is to fight to the Noldor who follow Fëanor's brother Fingolfin get death]]. Instead, he advises leaving an apparent escape route to Middle-earth.
* In ''Cursor's Fury'', book three of the ''Literature/CodexAlera'', Sarl, the Canim commander, burns the Canim fleet in order to prevent the warriors under his command who are there under duress from
encourage flight. A fleeing back home. The invasion was ordered by priests of two castes who [[WeAREStrugglingTogether dislike each other]] passionately.enemy is easier to kill, after all.



* ''The Burning Bridge'' by Poul Anderson. A starship going to establish a CultColony to escape persecution back on Earth get a message via SubspaceAnsible inviting them to return as the political situation has changed. Dissent breaks out as the colonists argue over whether they should return. Worried about [[AHouseDivided where this is heading]], TheCaptain fakes a second message changing this invitation to a [[ThatsAnOrder demand]] that they return, knowing the colonists will assume the government is just up to its old tricks.
* In ''Cursor's Fury'', book three of the ''Literature/CodexAlera'',the Canim commander Sarl burns the Canim fleet in order to prevent the warriors under his command who are there under duress from fleeing back home. The invasion was ordered by priests of two castes who [[WeAREStrugglingTogether dislike each other]] passionately.
* Vegetius in 'De Re Militari'' makes a similar suggestion as Sun Tzu. The side which has all of his escape routes blocked fights with desperation.
* In ''Literature/HonorHarrington'', the original colonists to Grayson wrecked their starship's [[HumanPopsicle cryonics equipment]], ensuring that it would be impossible to return to the "sinful" Earth. They didn't wreck the whole thing, though, which is fortunate because it turned out that the planet was basically one huge Superfund site and there's no way they would have survived without the ship's resources.



* In ''Literature/HonorHarrington'', the original colonists to Grayson wrecked their starship's [[HumanPopsicle cryonics equipment]], ensuring that it would be impossible to return to the "sinful" Earth. They didn't wreck the whole thing, though, which is fortunate because it turned out that the planet was basically one huge Superfund site and there's no way they would have survived without the ship's resources.
* In ''Literature/{{Redwall}}'': When Cluny the Scourge arrives in Mossflower, he press-gangs all of the local vermin into his cause and orders his rats to smash the new conscripts' houses, so they will have nothing to return to if they desert him.



* ''The Burning Bridge'' by Poul Anderson. A starship going to establish a CultColony to escape persecution back on Earth get a message via SubspaceAnsible inviting them to return as the political situation has changed. Dissent breaks out as the colonists argue over whether they should return. Worried about [[AHouseDivided where this is heading]], TheCaptain fakes a second message changing this invitation to a [[ThatsAnOrder demand]] that they return, knowing the colonists will assume the government is just up to its old tricks.

to:

* ''The Burning Bridge'' by Poul Anderson. A starship going In ''Literature/{{Redwall}}'': When Cluny the Scourge arrives in Mossflower, he press-gangs all of the local vermin into his cause and orders his rats to establish a CultColony to escape persecution back on Earth get a message via SubspaceAnsible inviting them smash the new conscripts' houses, so they will have nothing to return as to if they desert him.
* ''Literature/TheSilmarillion'': After
the political situation has changed. Dissent breaks out as the colonists argue Noldorin Elves led by Fëanor have crossed over whether from Aman to Middle-earth on the ships they should return. Worried about [[AHouseDivided where stole from the Telerin Elves, Fëanor orders them to burn all the ships. He does this to prevent any of his followers from returning to Aman, but also to make sure they cannot help the rest of the Noldor who follow Fëanor's brother Fingolfin get to Middle-earth.
* In ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'', one of the important historical characters
is heading]], TheCaptain fakes the Princess Nymeria, who led a second message changing this invitation to a [[ThatsAnOrder demand]] fleet of Rhoynish refugees away from their Valyrian conquerors. After ending up in Dorne and allying with the then-minor House Martell, she burned the rest of the fleet so that they return, knowing the colonists will assume Rhoynish would never leave their new home. This is the government is just up to its old tricks.
reason for the differences between Dornish culture and the other kingdoms'.



* In the finale of ''Series/BattlestarGalactica2003'' the survivors of the Twelve Colonies have no choice but to commit themselves to a primitive life on prehistoric Earth when the decision is made to literally burn the ships that brought them there - they are flown into the Sun on autopilot.
* One contestant on ''Series/{{Chopped}}'' reinforced her own commitment to remain a chef, rather than return to corporate life, by having each knuckle tattooed with small pictures of desserts. She knew that having such tats would hinder her chances at potential white-collar job interviews.
* In ''Series/HaltAndCatchFire'' Joe deliberately informs IBM that Joe and Gordon, as Cardiff Electric employees, have reverse engineered the IBM PC BIOS code. IBM sends in an army of lawyers and Nathan Cardiff is left with two choices: fully commit his company to the PC clone project Joe is advocating or get sued into bankruptcy by IBM. Everyone is furious at Joe but in the end he gets his way. This is then subverted when we realize that the project's failure will ruin everyone except Joe. He forced everyone else to take a high personal risk and commit fully to the project, but due to his father's connections he can walk away at any time and resume his old life.



* In ''Series/HaltAndCatchFire'' Joe deliberately informs IBM that Joe and Gordon, as Cardiff Electric employees, have reverse engineered the IBM PC BIOS code. IBM sends in an army of lawyers and Nathan Cardiff is left with two choices: fully commit his company to the PC clone project Joe is advocating or get sued into bankruptcy by IBM. Everyone is furious at Joe but in the end he gets his way. This is then subverted when we realize that the project's failure will ruin everyone except Joe. He forced everyone else to take a high personal risk and commit fully to the project, but due to his father's connections he can walk away at any time and resume his old life.
* In the finale of ''Series/BattlestarGalactica2003'' the survivors of the Twelve Colonies have no choice but to commit themselves to a primitive life on prehistoric Earth when the decision is made to literally burn the ships that brought them there - they are flown into the Sun on autopilot.
* One contestant on ''Series/{{Chopped}}'' reinforced her own commitment to remain a chef, rather than return to corporate life, by having each knuckle tattooed with small pictures of desserts. She knew that having such tats would hinder her chances at potential white-collar job interviews.

to:

* In ''Series/HaltAndCatchFire'' Joe deliberately informs IBM that Joe and Gordon, as Cardiff Electric employees, have reverse engineered the IBM PC BIOS code. IBM sends in an army of lawyers and Nathan Cardiff is left with two choices: fully commit his company to the PC clone project Joe is advocating or get sued into bankruptcy by IBM. Everyone is furious at Joe but in the end he gets his way. This is then subverted when we realize that the project's failure will ruin everyone except Joe. He forced everyone else to take a high personal risk and commit fully to the project, but due to his father's connections he can walk away at any time and resume his old life.
* In the finale of ''Series/BattlestarGalactica2003'' the survivors of the Twelve Colonies have no choice but to commit themselves to a primitive life on prehistoric Earth when the decision is made to literally burn the ships that brought them there - they are flown into the Sun on autopilot.
* One contestant on ''Series/{{Chopped}}'' reinforced her own commitment to remain a chef, rather than return to corporate life, by having each knuckle tattooed with small pictures of desserts. She knew that having such tats would hinder her chances at potential white-collar job interviews.



* Christian music artist Stephen Curtis Chapman has a song titled "Burn the Ships", which references the Cortez tale. It's a metaphor for not going back to your old life once you've made a change.



-->''Burn the bridge behind you\\

to:

-->''Burn -->Burn the bridge behind you\\



Will fall like melting snow''
* Christian music artist Stephen Curtis Chapman has a song titled "Burn the Ships", which references the Cortez tale. It's a metaphor for not going back to your old life once you've made a change.

to:

Will fall like melting snow''
* Christian music artist Stephen Curtis Chapman has a song titled "Burn the Ships", which references the Cortez tale. It's a metaphor for not going back to your old life once you've made a change.
snow



[[folder:Professional Wrestling]]
* Combining this with a parody of CelebrityEndorsement, Jay Briscoe tried to destroy the family's STIHL products going into the 2016 ''[[Wrestling/RingOfHonor Best In The World]]'', to show he was so confident he'd be getting "that world champion money" by beating Wrestling/JayLethal that none of them would need to supplement their incomes with the money said products brought them. None of the other Briscoes present protested, except for Jay's TagTeam partner Mark.[[/folder]]

to:

[[folder:Professional Wrestling]]
[[folder: Professional Wrestling]]

* Combining this with a parody of CelebrityEndorsement, Jay Briscoe tried to destroy the family's STIHL products going into the 2016 ''[[Wrestling/RingOfHonor Best In The World]]'', to show he was so confident he'd be getting "that world champion money" by beating Wrestling/JayLethal that none of them would need to supplement their incomes with the money said products brought them. None of the other Briscoes present protested, except for Jay's TagTeam partner Mark.Mark.

[[/folder]]



* In Episode 4 of ''VideoGame/LifeIsStrange'' [[spoiler:Max burns the photograph she had used to change history in the previous episode, making sure she isn't tempted to do it again.]] The game potentially ends with her [[spoiler: tearing up the butterfly photo that started it all rather than use it to go back and sacrifice Chloe.]]



* In Episode 4 of ''VideoGame/LifeIsStrange'' [[spoiler:Max burns the photograph she had used to change history in the previous episode, making sure she isn't tempted to do it again.]] The game potentially ends with her [[spoiler: tearing up the butterfly photo that started it all rather than use it to go back and sacrifice Chloe.]]

to:

* In Episode 4 of ''VideoGame/LifeIsStrange'' [[spoiler:Max burns the photograph she had used to change history in the previous episode, making sure she isn't tempted to do it again.]] The game potentially ends with her [[spoiler: tearing up the butterfly photo that started it all rather than use it to go back and sacrifice Chloe.]]



[[folder: Web Original]]

* Over Jon of LetsPlay/ManyATrueNerd's playthrough of ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim'', he develops a fantastically unhealthy relationship with one of the game's companions, namely by using them as a [[AnimateDead Dead Thrall]], trapping them in an unlife of endless servitude. When he finally decides to let them go, he kills his companion, then makes a point of reviving them with the Dread Zombie spell, because unlike Dead Thrall, when that spell expires the corpse is reduced to a pile of ashes that cannot be revived again.

[[/folder]]



* ''WesternAnimation/NeoYokio'': Helena does this when [[spoiler:she blows up the Bachelor Ranking Board in an act of terrorism. Law enforcement soon learned Helena is the culprit; forcing her to flee Neo Yokio.]]
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'': In "And Maggie Makes Three", it's shown that when Homer quit his job at the nuclear plant to pursue his dream job at the bowling alley, he burned his bridges both metaphorically (by mocking Mr. Burns and literally playing his head like a bongo drum[[note]]"Oh, I should be resisting this, but I'm paralyzed with rage! ...And island rhythms!"[[/note]]) and [[LiteralMetaphor literally]]. [[StatusQuoIsGod Naturally]], by the end of the episode [[CrossingTheBurntBridge he's forced to get his old job back]] and has to come groveling to Burns.



* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'': In "And Maggie Makes Three", it's shown that when Homer quit his job at the nuclear plant to pursue his dream job at the bowling alley, he burned his bridges both metaphorically (by mocking Mr. Burns and literally playing his head like a bongo drum[[note]]"Oh, I should be resisting this, but I'm paralyzed with rage! ...And island rhythms!"[[/note]]) and [[LiteralMetaphor literally]]. [[StatusQuoIsGod Naturally]], by the end of the episode [[CrossingTheBurntBridge he's forced to get his old job back]] and has to come groveling to Burns.
* ''WesternAnimation/NeoYokio'': Helena does this when [[spoiler:she blows up the Bachelor Ranking Board in an act of terrorism. Law enforcement soon learned Helena is the culprit; forcing her to flee Neo Yokio.]]

to:

* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'': In "And Maggie Makes Three", it's shown that when Homer quit his job at the nuclear plant to pursue his dream job at the bowling alley, he burned his bridges both metaphorically (by mocking Mr. Burns and literally playing his head like a bongo drum[[note]]"Oh, I should be resisting this, but I'm paralyzed with rage! ...And island rhythms!"[[/note]]) and [[LiteralMetaphor literally]]. [[StatusQuoIsGod Naturally]], by the end of the episode [[CrossingTheBurntBridge he's forced to get his old job back]] and has to come groveling to Burns.
* ''WesternAnimation/NeoYokio'': Helena does this when [[spoiler:she blows up the Bachelor Ranking Board in an act of terrorism. Law enforcement soon learned Helena is the culprit; forcing her to flee Neo Yokio.]]



* UsefulNotes/JuliusCaesar had the infamous crossing of the Rubicon: after Caesar's governorship ended, he was ordered to return to Rome from Gaul. Roman law required every general to disband his army before entering the Italian peninsula, and failure to do so granted an immediate sentence of treason for them and their troops. When Caesar arrived at the Rubicon river (Italy's northernmost border), according to legend he heavily dithered on whether to cross with his troops and take over the empire and when he finally decided to cross, remarked "Alea jacta est" ("The die has been cast"), knowing that he had to take over Rome or face certain death. However, the reality was likely much less dramatic: the Senate ''hated'' and (rightly) feared Caesar and it's likely that once he was recalled, they would sentence and likely execute him on some real and/or trumped-up charges and Caesar knew this. Nevertheless, "crossing the Rubicon" entered the lexicon as meaning "going past the point of no return".
* At the Battle of Dhi Qar, Arabs belonging to the Banu Bakr tribe had to contend with an army of the Sasanian Empire and some of its Arab allies. To prevent their forces from retreating, some of the Banu Bakr commanders cut the camels' saddle straps. This paid off, since the Banu Bakr won the battle.
* UsefulNotes/WarsOfTheRoses: King Edward IV did this in 1471 upon his return to England, seeking to take his throne back from Henry VI. It worked, as he crushed the Lancastrians and ended the Wars of the Roses.



* UsefulNotes/WarsOfTheRoses: King Edward IV did this in 1471 upon his return to England, seeking to take his throne back from Henry VI. It worked, as he crushed the Lancastrians and ended the Wars of the Roses.



--> ''"We have finally docked on the isle of freedom, and we have burned the vessel that brought us there."''
-->-- '''Pierre-Joseph Cambon''', on the execution of Louis XVI
* The mutineers burned the HMS Bounty after settling on Pitcairn Island, both to avoid discovery by any other British ships and to ensure that none of them would be tempted to escape back to civilization (as mutineers, their lives would have been forfeit had the Royal Navy found them). The result was a mixed bag to say the least, as the relationship between the mutineers and the islanders quickly deteriorated in large part due to the abusive behavior of several of the English, and most were killed in clashes over the next few years. However, as the eventual only survivor of the mutineers, John Adams took over as leader of the colony, and managed to create a peaceful society with both the native islanders, and the offspring of the other mutineers. The settlement is still there as of this day.
* At the Battle of Dhi Qar, Arabs belonging to the Banu Bakr tribe had to contend with an army of the Sasanian Empire and some of its Arab allies. To prevent their forces from retreating, some of the Banu Bakr commanders cut the camels' saddle straps. This paid off, since the Banu Bakr won the battle.
* UsefulNotes/JuliusCaesar had the infamous crossing of the Rubicon: after Caesar's governorship ended, he was ordered to return to Rome from Gaul. Roman law required every general to disband his army before entering the Italian peninsula, and failure to do so granted an immediate sentence of treason for them and their troops. When Caesar arrived at the Rubicon river (Italy's northernmost border), according to legend he heavily dithered on whether to cross with his troops and take over the empire and when he finally decided to cross, remarked "Alea jacta est" ("The die has been cast"), knowing that he had to take over Rome or face certain death. However, the reality was likely much less dramatic: the Senate ''hated'' and (rightly) feared Caesar and it's likely that once he was recalled, they would sentence and likely execute him on some real and/or trumped-up charges and Caesar knew this. Nevertheless, "crossing the Rubicon" entered the lexicon as meaning "going past the point of no return".

to:

--> ''"We -->'''Pierre-Joseph Cambon:''' We have finally docked on the isle of freedom, and we have burned the vessel that brought us there."''
-->-- '''Pierre-Joseph Cambon''', on the execution of Louis XVI
there.
* The mutineers burned the HMS Bounty ''HMS Bounty'' after settling on Pitcairn Island, both to avoid discovery by any other British ships and to ensure that none of them would be tempted to escape back to civilization (as mutineers, their lives would have been forfeit had the Royal Navy found them). The result was a mixed bag to say the least, as the relationship between the mutineers and the islanders quickly deteriorated in large part due to the abusive behavior of several of the English, and most were killed in clashes over the next few years. However, as the eventual only survivor of the mutineers, John Adams took over as leader of the colony, and managed to create a peaceful society with both the native islanders, and the offspring of the other mutineers. The settlement is still there as of this day.
* At the Battle of Dhi Qar, Arabs belonging to the Banu Bakr tribe had to contend with an army of the Sasanian Empire and some of its Arab allies. To prevent their forces from retreating, some of the Banu Bakr commanders cut the camels' saddle straps. This paid off, since the Banu Bakr won the battle.
* UsefulNotes/JuliusCaesar had the infamous crossing of the Rubicon: after Caesar's governorship ended, he was ordered to return to Rome from Gaul. Roman law required every general to disband his army before entering the Italian peninsula, and failure to do so granted an immediate sentence of treason for them and their troops. When Caesar arrived at the Rubicon river (Italy's northernmost border), according to legend he heavily dithered on whether to cross with his troops and take over the empire and when he finally decided to cross, remarked "Alea jacta est" ("The die has been cast"), knowing that he had to take over Rome or face certain death. However, the reality was likely much less dramatic: the Senate ''hated'' and (rightly) feared Caesar and it's likely that once he was recalled, they would sentence and likely execute him on some real and/or trumped-up charges and Caesar knew this. Nevertheless, "crossing the Rubicon" entered the lexicon as meaning "going past the point of no return".


* UsefulNotes/JuliusCaesar had the infamous crossing of the Rubicon: after Caesar's governorship ended, he was ordered to return to Rome from Gaul. Roman law required every general to disband his army before entering the Italian peninsula, and failure to do so granted an immediate sentence of treason for them and their troops. When Caesar arrived at the Rubicon river (Italy's northernmost border), according to legend he heavily dithered on whether to cross with his troops and take over the empire and when he finally decided to cross, remarked "Alea jacta est" ("The die has been cast"), knowing that he had to take over Rome or face certain death. However, the reality was likely much less dramatic: the Senate ''hated'' and (rightly) feared Caesar and it's likely that once he was recalled, they would sentence and likely execute him on some real and/or trumped-up charges and Caesar knew this). Nevertheless, "crossing the Rubicon" entered the lexicon as meaning "going past the point of no return".

to:

* UsefulNotes/JuliusCaesar had the infamous crossing of the Rubicon: after Caesar's governorship ended, he was ordered to return to Rome from Gaul. Roman law required every general to disband his army before entering the Italian peninsula, and failure to do so granted an immediate sentence of treason for them and their troops. When Caesar arrived at the Rubicon river (Italy's northernmost border), according to legend he heavily dithered on whether to cross with his troops and take over the empire and when he finally decided to cross, remarked "Alea jacta est" ("The die has been cast"), knowing that he had to take over Rome or face certain death. However, the reality was likely much less dramatic: the Senate ''hated'' and (rightly) feared Caesar and it's likely that once he was recalled, they would sentence and likely execute him on some real and/or trumped-up charges and Caesar knew this).this. Nevertheless, "crossing the Rubicon" entered the lexicon as meaning "going past the point of no return".



to:

* UsefulNotes/JuliusCaesar had the infamous crossing of the Rubicon: after Caesar's governorship ended, he was ordered to return to Rome from Gaul. Roman law required every general to disband his army before entering the Italian peninsula, and failure to do so granted an immediate sentence of treason for them and their troops. When Caesar arrived at the Rubicon river (Italy's northernmost border), according to legend he heavily dithered on whether to cross with his troops and take over the empire and when he finally decided to cross, remarked "Alea jacta est" ("The die has been cast"), knowing that he had to take over Rome or face certain death. However, the reality was likely much less dramatic: the Senate ''hated'' and (rightly) feared Caesar and it's likely that once he was recalled, they would sentence and likely execute him on some real and/or trumped-up charges and Caesar knew this). Nevertheless, "crossing the Rubicon" entered the lexicon as meaning "going past the point of no return".

Added DiffLines:

[[quoteright:350:https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/hernan_cortes_ship_fire.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350:''Hernan Cortes scuttling his fleet off the Veracruz coast''. Attributed to Miguel Gonzalez]]


* In ''VideoGame/WarcraftIII'', Prince Arthas Menethil impulsively leads his troops to Northrend in pursuit of the Dreadlord Mal'Ganis, while the undead plague is still afflicting his kingdom of Lordaeron. While Arthas is out of his camp, a messenger from King Terenas arrives with orders to recall the prince's forces, who are elated at the thought of leaving the frozen wasteland and returning home. The mission that follows has Arthas and his companion Muradin Bronzebeard fighting across the map, hiring mercenaries for help, all so they can reach and destroy the return ships before his men can finish preparations for leaving. Afterward, Arthas makes scapegoats out of the mercenaries he hired for the act, joins his men in killing them, and declares that they have no choice but to continue the hunt for Mal'Ganis. Muradin [[WhatTheHellHero chews him out]] for his actions, and the episode takes Arthas one step further from AntiVillain to VillainProtagonist.

to:

* In ''VideoGame/WarcraftIII'', Prince Arthas Menethil impulsively leads his troops to Northrend in pursuit of the Dreadlord Mal'Ganis, while the undead plague is still afflicting his kingdom of Lordaeron. While Arthas is out of his camp, a messenger from King Terenas arrives with orders to recall the prince's forces, who are elated at the thought of leaving the frozen wasteland and returning home. The mission that follows has Arthas and his companion Muradin Bronzebeard fighting across the map, hiring mercenaries for help, all so they can reach and destroy the return ships before his men can finish preparations for leaving. Afterward, Arthas makes scapegoats out of the mercenaries he hired for the act, joins his men in killing them, and declares that they have no choice but to continue the hunt for Mal'Ganis. Muradin [[WhatTheHellHero chews him out]] for his actions, and the episode takes Arthas one step further from AntiVillain AntiHero to VillainProtagonist.


* {{Deconstructed}} in ''Manga/{{Holyland}}: in the flashback of how Masaki became a delinquent it's shown that, when surrounded by delinquents his sempai at the boxing club had called to beat him up, he put himself with the back at the wall to both prevent them from attacking from begind and cut his own retreat... And promptly became unable to move due the sheer psychological pressure from finding himself in this situation, leaving him helpless and forced to take their beating.

to:

* {{Deconstructed}} in ''Manga/{{Holyland}}: ''Manga/{{Holyland}}'': in the flashback of how Masaki became a delinquent it's shown that, when surrounded by delinquents his sempai at the boxing club had called to beat him up, he put himself with the back at the wall to both prevent them from attacking from begind and cut his own retreat... And promptly became unable to move due the sheer psychological pressure from finding himself in this situation, leaving him helpless and forced to take their beating.


* The mutineers burned the HMS Bounty after settling on Pitcairn Island, both to avoid discovery by any other British ships and to ensure that none of them would be tempted to escape back to civilization (as mutineers, their lives would have been forfeit had the Royal Navy found them).

to:

* The mutineers burned the HMS Bounty after settling on Pitcairn Island, both to avoid discovery by any other British ships and to ensure that none of them would be tempted to escape back to civilization (as mutineers, their lives would have been forfeit had the Royal Navy found them). The result was a mixed bag to say the least, as the relationship between the mutineers and the islanders quickly deteriorated in large part due to the abusive behavior of several of the English, and most were killed in clashes over the next few years. However, as the eventual only survivor of the mutineers, John Adams took over as leader of the colony, and managed to create a peaceful society with both the native islanders, and the offspring of the other mutineers. The settlement is still there as of this day.


Not to be confused with SinkTheLifeboats (that is, Burning ''Their'' Ships), which is about preventing your enemies from escaping so you can exterminate every last one of them. Also not to be confused with "burning bridges", which is about [[SoLongSuckers cutting off relationships]] rather than escape routes. If you were thinking about burning pairings, see ShipSinking. It is also certainly not the same as a VikingFuneral, although they do both involve burning a boat.

to:

Not to be confused with SinkTheLifeboats (that is, Burning ''Their'' Ships), which is about preventing your enemies from escaping so you can exterminate every last one of them. Also not to be confused with "burning bridges", which is about [[SoLongSuckers cutting off relationships]] rather than escape routes. If you were thinking about burning pairings, see ShipSinking. It is also certainly not the same as a VikingFuneral, although they do both involve burning a boat.


"Burning the/your ships/boats" means doing something that makes it impossible for yourself to turn back, especially if it is done willfully and without necessity. The figure of speech derives from legends about conquerors who supposedly, upon landing their army in enemy country, ordered the invasion fleet to be burnt. Most people today have heard this tale about UsefulNotes/HernanCortez, but it is in fact centuries older than Cortez. "Burning the bridges" has the same meaning.

to:

"Burning the/your ships/boats" means doing something that makes it impossible for yourself to turn back, especially if it is done willfully and without necessity. The figure of speech derives from legends about conquerors who supposedly, upon landing their army in enemy country, ordered the invasion fleet to be burnt. Most people today have heard this tale about UsefulNotes/HernanCortez, but it is in fact centuries older than Cortez. "Burning the bridges" has the same meaning.
Cortez.



Not to be confused with SinkTheLifeboats (that is, Burning ''Their'' Ships), which is about preventing your enemies from escaping so you can exterminate every last one of them. If you were thinking about burning pairings, see ShipSinking. It is also certainly not the same as a VikingFuneral, although they do both involve burning a boat.

to:

Not to be confused with SinkTheLifeboats (that is, Burning ''Their'' Ships), which is about preventing your enemies from escaping so you can exterminate every last one of them. Also not to be confused with "burning bridges", which is about [[SoLongSuckers cutting off relationships]] rather than escape routes. If you were thinking about burning pairings, see ShipSinking. It is also certainly not the same as a VikingFuneral, although they do both involve burning a boat.


* ''WesternAnimation/SpongeBobSquarePants'': In [[Recap/SpongeBobSquarePantsS3E13NewStudentStarfishClams "Clams"]], Mr. Krabs enlists [=SpongeBob=] and Squidward to help him to get Krabs' millionth dollar back from the clam that ate it. As motivation to catch the clam (and in an allusion to ''Literature/MobyDick''), Mr. Krabs nails a sandwich to the mast of the ship--and then throws the boat's fridge overboard, so that no one may eat until the clam is captured.

to:

* ''WesternAnimation/SpongeBobSquarePants'': In [[Recap/SpongeBobSquarePantsS3E13NewStudentStarfishClams "Clams"]], Mr. Krabs enlists [=SpongeBob=] and Squidward to help him to get Krabs' his millionth dollar back from the clam that ate it. As motivation to catch the clam (and in an allusion to ''Literature/MobyDick''), Mr. Krabs nails a sandwich to the mast of the ship--and flagpole--and then throws the boat's fridge overboard, so that no one may eat until the clam is captured.



to:

* {{Deconstructed}} in ''Manga/{{Holyland}}: in the flashback of how Masaki became a delinquent it's shown that, when surrounded by delinquents his sempai at the boxing club had called to beat him up, he put himself with the back at the wall to both prevent them from attacking from begind and cut his own retreat... And promptly became unable to move due the sheer psychological pressure from finding himself in this situation, leaving him helpless and forced to take their beating.


Not to be confused with SinkTheLifeboats (that is, Burning ''Their'' Ships), which is about preventing your enemies from escaping so you can exterminate every last one of them. If you were thinking about burning pairings, see ShipSinking.

to:

Not to be confused with SinkTheLifeboats (that is, Burning ''Their'' Ships), which is about preventing your enemies from escaping so you can exterminate every last one of them. If you were thinking about burning pairings, see ShipSinking.
ShipSinking. It is also certainly not the same as a VikingFuneral, although they do both involve burning a boat.


* The "regicides", the politicians who voted for the death of UsefulNotes/LouisXVI during UsefulNotes/TheFrenchRevolution felt this about their action. At the time of the trial, France was at war with other European nations who wanted to end the Revolution and restore the monarchy. The advocates for Louis XVI's death argued that keeping the King alive left them open to betrayal from within since it didn't serve the King's interests to serve the Republic and that he had already conspired against the revolution repeatedly, the National Convention also wanted to prove to the people of France and especially Paris that it was committed to revolutionary success. By voting for the King's death, the conventionnels (as they called themselves) were drawing a line in sand, sending a message to the French public that the government is totally commited to the revolution, since their only hope for the war would be "Victory or Death":

to:

* The "regicides", "[[TheKingslayer regicides]]", the politicians who voted for the death of UsefulNotes/LouisXVI during UsefulNotes/TheFrenchRevolution felt this about their action. At the time of the trial, France was at war with other European nations who wanted to end the Revolution and restore the monarchy. The advocates for Louis XVI's death argued that keeping the King alive left them open to betrayal from within since it didn't serve the King's interests to serve the Republic and that he had already conspired against the revolution repeatedly, the National Convention also wanted to prove to the people of France and especially Paris that it was committed to revolutionary success. By voting for the King's death, the conventionnels (as they called themselves) were drawing a line in sand, sending a message to the French public that the government is totally commited to the revolution, since their only hope for the war would be "Victory or Death":



to:

* At the Battle of Dhi Qar, Arabs belonging to the Banu Bakr tribe had to contend with an army of the Sasanian Empire and some of its Arab allies. To prevent their forces from retreating, some of the Banu Bakr commanders cut the camels' saddle straps. This paid off, since the Banu Bakr won the battle.


* Sun Tzu advises this as one of his stratagems in ''Literature/TheArtOfWar'', but for the same reason warns against [[CorneredRattlesnake forcing an enemy into a situation where it appears his only option is to fight to the death]]. Instead, he advises leaving an apparent escape route to encourage flight. A fleeing enemy is easier to kill, after all.

to:

* Sun Tzu advises this as one of his stratagems in ''Literature/TheArtOfWar'', ''Literature/{{The Art Of War|Sun Tzu}}'', but for the same reason warns against [[CorneredRattlesnake forcing an enemy into a situation where it appears his only option is to fight to the death]]. Instead, he advises leaving an apparent escape route to encourage flight. A fleeing enemy is easier to kill, after all.

Showing 15 edit(s) of 120

Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report