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13th century Mongol armies regularly sent out small detachments from their main forces to start grass fires and fire settlements as diversions.Devastation by fire was not only used as an offensive tactic; some countries and armies employed 'scorched earth' policies on their own land to deprive invading armies of all food and forage.It was a scene repeated the following century, during the anarchy of Stephen of England's reign.
It was a policy which was repeated throughout the period.
Development of the early weapons has continued ever since, with modern war weapons such as napalm, flame throwers, and other explosives having direct roots in the original early thermal weapons.
Fire-raising and other destructive strategies can still be seen in modern strategic bombing.
It was a strategy put to good use by the Scots during the Wars of Independence; they repeatedly launched raids into northern England, burning much of the countryside until the whole region was transformed.
The tactics were replicated by England during the Hundred Years' War; fire became their chief weapon as they laid waste to the French countryside during lightning raids called chevauchées, in a form of economic warfare.