Uh... Humans from the 21st century!

Here is a very, VERY, VEEERY, important general from an AU in which we managed to create genetically crafted, sentient, four-legged, two-winged, fire-breathing Smaug-like dragons, who are able to communicate with us. We have technology similar to what your world had at the mid 20th century (around 1930s).

So. I managed to get myself into a PROBLEM. You know... My country is at war with a bordering nation. And obviously, ALL soldiers are dragon riders, thousands and thousands of them.

Luckily, we managed to capture one of their most well known dragons (the rider escaped our little trap. Worry not about him.), and chain it up on the wall. Well, the thing is BIG, like...Argentinosaurus big. We can't really kill it...since well, it has important information, AND we want to send a message to that country. They are losing so bad already that sparring this beast and letting it go back home would show how superior my country is to them, so NO KILLING IT.

But we have a little problem: How to torture it so bad that other country recognises their defeat?

Of course, we know that best way to attack those beasts is the back legs, tail, and wings. But I think that "back legs, wings, and tail" don't do very much for a weak spot. Therefore, my man won't be able gather useful information (or make it suffer enough to our purposes). Even if we opt to attack those areas, how do we pierce its bullet impenetrable scales or pick all the gems on its belly off so the soft plates get exposed, or even pull all his teeth off without getting toasted alive? Are those the best options for torturing this beast?

  • $\begingroup$ what about waterboarding? $\endgroup$
    – Li Jun
    Mar 10 '20 at 12:22
  • $\begingroup$ or buried him alive or immurement that will give alot of psychological trauma if you dont want to ruin his physic and want to use the dragon later. $\endgroup$
    – Li Jun
    Mar 10 '20 at 12:26
  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to the site! First off, I'll point out that there's a bit of a time discrepancy here. Creating Smaug is outside the realm of possibility utilizing the technology available to us today, let alone what was available in the 1930s. Second, and maybe unimportant, creating a flight-capable Smaug is going to require a bit of magic. Anyway, feel free to take the tour and have fun while you're here! $\endgroup$
    – Frostfyre
    Mar 10 '20 at 12:26
  • $\begingroup$ Maybe I should have been more... Specific. We are on century 37th. But you know... Big apocalipse struck and we had to start sort from scracth... But Hey! We had dragons. But all our fancy toys are gone... $\endgroup$
    – xdgbvfdvvf
    Mar 10 '20 at 12:28
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ This seems like an XY Problem. Your real problem seems to be about get a motivated enemy society to cease hostilities. Torturing a dragon will merely feed the enemy propaganda ("Look what those scum did to one of our dragons. Imagine what they will do to your family! Protect your children!") which seems counterproductive to your goal. $\endgroup$
    – user535733
    Mar 10 '20 at 13:46

Interrogation does not require torture.

You want this :

It has important information

Arguably the most effective technique for extracting useful information is skilled interview by a trained specialist. No knifes, fire, electrodes, pain, messing with their sanity. Just talk.

It's what the police do. It's what the British did extremely effectively against downed German pilots in WW2, and although less well known the German's also employed this technique (although the Gestapo and SS tended more towards muscle).

It's an art form and you have a sentient creature. It can work.

Essentially this is a chat over a cup of tea and sandwiches. Well, the dragon equivalent. It's just that your chatter is really a highly skilled interrogator who knows when to listen, what to ask and how to ask it.

It'll go home saying "these idiots don't have a clue how to interrogate", when in fact you'll have figured out most of what you need from the bits and pieces that drip out in any such skilled verbal interrogation.

sparring this beast and letting it go back home would show how superior my country is to them

This seems logical. Torturing it seems pointless as "They are losing so bad already".

Send the beast home tortured and it will become a clarion call to defense and also to treat your people the same way (or worse). You don't want that. People losing badly have won before because they decide that giving in is not an option because they perceive the enemy as ruthless and violent torturers. It's counter-productive.


The ideal interviewer for your side would be another dragon, so if one is willing to be on your side and has the required skills (or can be given them) then this is the best choice. A human interviewing a dragon may be fine, but it requires a lot more skill as you're bridging another very obvious species-gap while doing the tricky interviewing as well. However, a skilled human interviewer is a better choice than an unskilled dragon interviewer.


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