Spoiler: Wall of text incoming, TL;DR provided.

Once upon a time there were two worlds, separated by some kind of dimensional veil. One world is populated by WW2 level industrial civilization, the other is a fantasy world, inhabited by powerful wizards. At some point the Veil dissipated, and the two worlds merged into one. These two civilizations waged war on each other almost immediately.

The fantasy civilization is a feudal theocracy, ruled by the most powerful mages. When it comes to warfare, fantasy-landers almost always resort to illusion and mind control magic. When mages fight, they try to "hack" the enemy's brain in order to control or kill them. Simultaneously, they weave protective spells in order to prevent mind possession. There is also a type of stealth wizards as well, who specialize in illusion spells, that work like a perception filter.

All mages can be roughly divided into three levels, according to their power.

  • Level 3 mages are the weakest and usually don't get involved in wars, being employed as farmers, artisans and etc.
  • Level 2 mages form the backbone of magic armies. In terms of power, they pose as much threat as infantry with rifles, capable of casting various spells within ~500 meters radius. However, they can only "hack" visual targets (in other words, one can just hide from them behind some cover).
  • Every Level 1 wizard is basically an one-person army. These mages boast a huge ~10-20 km spellcasting radius, as well as having the ability to perceive the world in a "magic spectrum" - which means, anyone who isn't a powerful sorcerer or a Blank* (see below) can't hide or defend themselves from such wizards, as no physical barriers can protect you from their spells. If they must, they can also cast powerful AoE elemental curses that destroy everything in a wide range area. Naturally, these wizards are rarest and make up ~1-2 percent of fantasy-landers' armies.

Most powerful mages are also capable of teleporting themselves (and only themselves, they can't carry much cargo with them or transport others in such fashion) within the abovementioned ~10-20 km range. All magic combatants are taught how to communicate remotely with each through magical means.

However, it takes at least five years to train a Level-2 wizard, while even talented apprentices have to spend decades to become Level-1 wizards. This means that fantasy-landers can't field a large army by modern standards. Though wizards are outnumbered by muggles (~10 to 1), the latters have no means of magical protection. In other words, even an apprentice mage can hack muggle's mind momentarily in order, for example, to turn the possessed soldiers against their comrades.

Plus, many mages have an ability to feel when they're being watched, irregardless of distance. That means, trying to use snipers against enemy's officers would only result in alerting the entire camp, before a sniper makes a shot. Thanks to this, battlemages can also tell where the enemy is aiming - the sorcerers use this ability to dodge the incoming fire.

So far I have come up with a few tactics that muggles might use against mages.

  • Trying to take enemy combatants out with artillery/aviation from afar AKA "More Dakka"

While it probably wouldn't be that effective against Level-1 mages, muggles could just bring lots of big guns to the battlefield and suppress the enemy with superior firepower. Even telepathy can't help you to dodge a massive rain of bullets, missiles and shells.

  • Recruiting and deploying the so called Blanks.

Among the muggles there is a rare genetic condition, which, besides other symptoms, grants the subjects a complete immunity to magic. Blanks are impervious to mind-control, can see through any illusions, and can't be detected through magic vision. Though, one can still hurt them with magic indirectly (for example, throwing objects at them with telekinesis and etc.).

In particular, mages can't register their presence in aura or feel their gaze, so Blanks would make excellent snipers when it comes to fighting wizards. Plus, they would make a perfect counter against stealth illusionists. However, this condition is incredibly rare, which means that finding and recruiting Blanks would be an issue.

  • Getting the collaborating mages to teach the soldiers how to defend against hostile spells.

Some mages will desert to the muggles eventually for various reasons - and offer their skills and knowledge. Though one can't become a proper battlemage in a short period of time, even novices can weave some protective incantations, that might buy you some time, before a mind spell gets you. In a nutshell, such protection serves as a magic equivalent of bulletproof vest. Though it still won't save soldiers from the most powerful mages.

So far I have come up only with a few ideas on how muggle officers would respond to such scenario.

In short:

TL;DR: What can WW2 army do against HarryPotter-esque wizards who are willing to cast Imperius at every opportunity?

P.S. Neither of the warring parties possess nukes or their equivalents.

P.P.S. Because of strict religious taboos, the wizards aren't going to use any of muggle tech.

Edit: Concerning Level 2 mages. The spellweaving process involves inputting a sophisticated coordinate system, i.e. "telling" a spell where it should strike. When a mage sees the target (even if they wear a thick armor and an impenetrable gasmask), it is much easier to send a spell at the right coordinates. It is still possible to try and attack someone behind a wall or inside a vehicle, but in that case the risk of failure is way higher.

Edit 2: Concerning the mind control magic mechanics. When a mage weaves a mind control spell, they send a special signal to a target, containing a specific order. If the target fails to resist the spell, they obey the order without any questions. However, if the victim was cursed by a relatively inexperienced mage, there is a chance that the hypnotized person might break free from the spell, if they have strong willpower. Alternatively, a wizard can maintain persistent connection to the target, thus turning the victim into their willess puppet who does anything its master wants. As for the limits of this ability, it all comes down to the individual wizard's mastery over magic. The most powerful mages can singlehandedly enslave entire platoons for many hours, while your average infantry level sorcerers can control at best a few soldiers for less than a minute. Those, who are exceptionally skilled at MC magic, are capable of influencing the others minds imperceptibly - picture the Indoctrination from Mass Effect. Their victims, while remaining fully aware, can't help but obey the orders they were given. However, such mages can be literally counted on the fingers of one hand. As for detecting the signs of mind control by magical means (once the muggles have turncoats) - again it all boils down to who cursed a person with a MC spell. If it was a highly professional wizard at work, it's unlikely that, say, a L2 turncoat mage could tell if something's wrong.

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    $\begingroup$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. $\endgroup$
    – L.Dutch
    May 10, 2022 at 11:08
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    $\begingroup$ TL;DR: How to defeat the Scarlet Witch without Dr Strange and Wong? You don't. You stay out of the way because all of you are liabilities if you're subject to mind control. Don't make me have to kill everyone in this universe in order to preserve all of reality. - If your green friend won't be joining us.... $\endgroup$
    – Mazura
    May 10, 2022 at 20:50
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    $\begingroup$ What kind of mind control is it? Does it make you have to obey the wizard's specific orders? (and how are they communicated: are the orders a part of the spell and can't be changed later? Or is there a telepathic link, or are orders spoken normally?) Does it make you incapable of doing anything but obey the wizard's orders? (Potentially this is easier to detect, as the subjects will be acting strange, but also eliminates any chance for the victims to try to sabotage the mission or raise the alarm). Or does it it make the subject actively collaborate, with their full knowledge and intellect? $\endgroup$
    – Ben
    May 11, 2022 at 5:36
  • $\begingroup$ @Ben - Added Edit 2 as an answer to your question. $\endgroup$
    – Khangodr
    May 11, 2022 at 16:23
  • $\begingroup$ @Khangodr Can MC magic linger to trigger on a different MC magic to happen? Like "If you are Mind Controlled, kill the caster." $\endgroup$
    – Trish
    May 11, 2022 at 19:32

8 Answers 8


Death from Above

You can mind control all you want, but if you can't see them, you can't magic them. To see them, you need to be at level with the crews... but the humans are fielding planes that could routinely fly beyond 40,000 feet, some fighters inched in on 50,000 feet. That's the area of 2.7 to 1.6 PSI - or in other words "not breathable, ice cold and deadly", and so impossible for broom-based air defense. Even Mount Everest sports at least 4.8 PSI and you need oxygen to get up there.

The ceiling for anyone flying without Oxygen is only about 15,000 feet, and at or above 18,000 feet (FL180) pilots generally want to have oxygen masks as nasal extra oxygen just doesn't cut it at that height. So we can say assuredly, that the muggle Airforce has uncontested high air superiority. And that is all they need.

The moment the high air is free, the death comes in the shape of strategic bombing. Cities of the wizards turn into burning hellscapes, their castles are turned rubble and fleets of B-29 Superfortress strafe the airspace at somewhere between 30,000 and 31,850 feet, unable to be made out from the ground, dropping carpets upon carpets of incendiary, high explosive bombs, devastating everything below and making trying to detonate them in the air highly problematic for the mages.

These planes fly so high, that even if they could be reached by the high-level mages, the mage would need to be pretty much right below them and then would need to know that it is there - at which point the bomb load destined for that mage's position already is on the way downward. That bomb carpet has been dropped about 170 seconds before the plane passes the poor mage and was dropped when the plane was about 25 kilometers or 16.5 miles away. Oh, and the plane isn't watching for the wizard by themselves, they are only a spec on the scope anyway. The plane's crew is watching only for the street or town, or even just coordinates and dropping on schedule.

Who needs to aim?! It's time for Hailstorms made by men!

While the air campaigns ravage the countryside deep within the magical kingdom, Trucks only need to get close to where the muggles draw a line for their approach. About four kilometers to be frank. These trucks are properly named after a Russian song and their BM-13, BM-8, and BM-31 will start to sing a howling song of large area devastation and death on the borderlands, then they retreat and reload as the next battalion draws in some hundred meters to a different position and unleashes its barrage anew. Yes, the Katyusha, also known as Stalin Organ with its area denial-and-destruction will eradicate any border guard and battlefield on so much distance that the wizards can't make out the vehicles as being there at all.

Because they don't generally look for the target but just need to roughly aim in the right direction, the wizards have little to no forewarning as streaks of flame come diving in on a low trajectory, plowing under the landscape and blowing up everything.

And with the united human production might behind it, that hailstorm could be kept up 24/7.

Death from Afar

But we can deliver more devastation from further afar. Let's grab the German arsenal of the Aggregat 4 design, which delivers 1 ton of explosives over 320 kilometers (200 miles). It flies beyond the height that it can be intercepted at all (about 88 kilometers at the long-range shot). The moment it enters into the range of a class 1 caster, that caster has about 12.5 seconds to not only detect the missile (which doesn't see the wizard) but also decide on the spell, aim and cast it. In other words: Defense is meaningless, especially as the rockets are only rudimentary aimed and hit within a very large area. However, unlike Germany in WW2 (which relied on reports from spies where they had hit), the united muggle front has Superfortresses and aerial reconnaissance planes that can work as spotting aircraft and give the impact reports on the long-range missile strikes - even without seeing the wizards as they use aerial photography and filming.

Welcome to No-Wizard's-Land

Humans have learned how to build modern fortifications in the Great War. Muggles learned how to do that in pretty much no time using concrete and rebar. Only days after the magic kingdom is discovered, the first bunkers are built at the border. Behind them, a series of permanent artillery emplacements are erected. The moment hostilities begin, artillery strikes deep into the Wizard Kingdom start, destroying villages close to the border when heavy shells hit up to 22 kilometers away from the border garrison. Without seeing the actual target, these artillery pieces fire in a high arc.

The spotters that tell where the shot lands are in balloons and planes, often not even entering the enemy-controlled zone as they only need to direct the fall of the shot roughly - artillery is an area denial after all.

As the artillery and smaller pieces fire, the first 20 kilometers of the Wizard Country are literally plowed under and turned into a moonscape in which movement becomes very apparent. Forests turn beanstalks, fields turn mud craters, houses turn ruins.

To combat the approach of invisible wizards, not just normal loads are flung at the enemy, but short incursions into enemy lands are taken by engineers to deposit thousands of anti-person mines, barbed wire, electric fences, wire-controlled charges, and automatic, tripwire-activated machine guns into the no-Wizard's-Land.

All of these act as a strong deterrence for wizards to approach the border, turning those that try into chunks, metal spiked corpses or electrically dried/fried mummies before they can get into effective combat range. The message is clear: approaching beyond the line drawn by artillery is death.

Even the Air wants to kill you

If the wizards don't surrender because they are literally bombed into submission and have their lands set ablaze by hailstorms of small missiles as well as large cruise missiles blasting every strategic, tactical and governmental target there is into smithereens, then it is time to unleash the banes of the War to end all Wars once more: CHEMISTRY.

Once the muggles unleash the nightmare of chemical warfare on a couple of large cities that haven't been turned into burned hellscapes in the indiscriminate bombings already, the wizards will be faced by the victims of Phosgene, Chlorine, SARIN, LOST, and all the others. People are choked to death by something so intangible, that the wizards have no idea what hit them, and they are too proud to use the one thing that would help: Gas masks. The delivery is even too simple to understand by them: there come barrels and nothing more. Only as they hit the ground they burst open - and unleash their deadly cargo.

In the No-Wizard's-Land at the border, artillery delivers canisters into the zone, turning the puddles of water into acid, possibly even detonating seemingly at will to release deadly clouds while on some days barrels with the agents are opened at the border to have wind carry the gases over the border. It might not be the most efficient way of delivery, but Chlorine is a chemical waste and available in hundreds of tons.

Besides choking agents, other loads might deliberately contain toxins that poison the water or defoliate trees and turn the whole magic kingdom into a barren wasteland after a few weeks of bombardment of the fields and rivers. Rainbow Herbicides might be chosen deliberately for their ability to destroy not just the foliage but their lasting damage to the ecosystem. Once the united human war machine is done with the country, there will be nobody left to try and stand up against them.

Hunter-Killer Groups

How do the Blanks and Turncoats enter the picture?

At best, the blanks are drafted into special Hunter-Killer groups, armed with small guns and explosives. These infiltrate the enemy lands in safe zones. Safe from the muggle front's bombardment for the time that is. These agents disguise themselves as ordinary people of the country, seek out high level mages and due to the nature of being blanks and then assassinate those leaders either by popping a bullet into their head or blowing up the house they sleep in.

The Turncoats will not need to teach to defend against attack magic, no, they are used to create the most deadly soldiers by using the very tactic of the evil mages: by using specially tailored mind-control spells. The command is simple and effectively delays the next attempt to mind control them with its phrasing: When you are ordered to kill a comrade, kill the caster of that spell first.


If the wizards don't surrender, they will be thoroughly wiped from the face of the earth by the combined military-industrial complex of the USA, Germany, and the USSR. Fighting the Wizards is not a fight to win territory, it is an absolute total war for the survival of humankind! There are no silk gloves when dealing with mind-control wizards, rules and customs of war don't apply against something where defeat means the annihilation of humankind.

In the war against an aggressive overlord wanting to subjugate any and all human, no punches are pulled. Common enemies unite.

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    $\begingroup$ Good! You forgot anthrax, but otherwise I think you hit all the nails on the head. $\endgroup$
    – DWKraus
    May 8, 2022 at 21:43
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    $\begingroup$ Nice answer! Although I think you oversell the abilities of air and artillery to win wars - you can definitely make the life of wizards hell and weaken them substantially, but historically, winning a war has AFAIK almost always required "boots on the ground" as you can't really break a sufficiently dug-in army from afar (e.g. Azovstal). So some bitter fighting in the ruins is IMHO to be expected. The only exception is chemical warfare - which in reality is not that useful because of relatively easily available protections, but if mages won't use those protections, then it might just work. $\endgroup$ May 9, 2022 at 7:56
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    $\begingroup$ Off the top off my head, I see two protective spells that probably would protect against all that: The air-bubble spell used in the Triwizard tournament and the big protective bubble used in the battle of Hogwarts. Only complete surprise might lead to those measures not being in place, I gather. $\endgroup$
    – orithena
    May 9, 2022 at 10:32
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    $\begingroup$ @MartinModrák I'd note Japan was defeated without boots on their mainland. The long "strategic" bombing campaign and the blockade were enough for them to consider surrender. I'd also note if chemistry doesn't work, physics have made a particularly awful weapon during WWII. $\endgroup$ May 9, 2022 at 14:28
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    $\begingroup$ bombing itself doesn't work, bombing with chemical, nuclear, and biological weapons works great, once mind control is on the table the polite rules of modern war goes away. $\endgroup$
    – John
    May 9, 2022 at 23:47

/When it comes to warfare, fantasy-landers almost always resort to illusion and mind control magic/

Destroy their infrastructure.

This is how modern muggles make war. Your fantasy folks will not be used to that. You can't mind control a dam or a bridge or a dike. Illusions will not put out fires. Even if you got magic up the wazoo you still have got to eat.

Your muggles attack the infrastructure of magic land. They use planes and rockets and saboteurs. Cities burn. Fields flood. Granaries are spoiled. Bridges fall. If your magic folks are at a pretechnological level it will be hard for them to counter this. If they have their megawizards ready to mind control opposing soldiers on the battlefield, those wizards will not be psychically watching for planes dropping incendiary bombs on their capitol and V2 rockets blowing up their dams.

It is not a very elegant way to make war, burning medieval cities from the air. It violates the rule of cool in a couple of ways. But it is effective and was very much done in WW2. The idea is to have the wizards decide to make peace before everything they have is ruined and their people starve.

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    $\begingroup$ I am excited for the sequel "Muggle military tactics against mind-controlling GUERILLA wizards" $\endgroup$
    – Daron
    May 8, 2022 at 17:28
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    $\begingroup$ @Daron you mean they don't just do the soviet idea of "What land does the NATO want to fight on? Oh, you mean that burning hellscape?! $\endgroup$
    – Trish
    May 8, 2022 at 17:48
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    $\begingroup$ @Trish Once you have bombed the their city to bits the wizards move into your city and start zapping you. You could then bomb our own city to bits but might not want to. $\endgroup$
    – Daron
    May 8, 2022 at 23:06
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    $\begingroup$ Only if you allow anything to come out of the land you just firebombed and not used fully automatic defenses that kill every heat source that closes in. $\endgroup$
    – Trish
    May 8, 2022 at 23:13
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    $\begingroup$ Historically, air/artillery campaigns alone have rarely been enough to break the will of enemies to fight. Important contribution to victory? Very likely. Enough to win on its own? Quite unlikely - see e.g. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/… $\endgroup$ May 9, 2022 at 8:18

Same as every other first contact: smallpox.

Your muggles have had their vaccinations. The wizards don't understand vaccinations. Your muggles mass produce smallpox and rain it down in smallpox balloons all over the wizards' territory. Sometimes they even leave blankets with cheerful patterns woven in, as a gesture of friendship. When some wizards survive that, the muggles break out the monkeypox and the camelpox ... there are actually a fair number of pox viruses to work on evolving and making vaccines for, and very few other practical uses for wizard POWs who make you kill your friends and yourself if they ever manage to get their gags off. Don't forget the polio and the yellow fever... there's a lot of science to do.

Lots of comments on this one! I didn't think about the order of desirability for attacks here at first, but I think it might be...

  1. Anything the muggles have already been vaccinated for (smallpox), or consider themselves to "universally" have been exposed to (mumps, measles).
  2. Anything the muggles have a vaccine they could give out to more and more people at the conflict zone (yellow fever)
  3. Anything the muggles think is virtually inevitable to be exposed to (malaria if the contact is in an endemic region)
  4. Anything the muggles can rapidly research a vaccine for, given the desire to, based on existing data (actually, I should correct myself here - while it's not known, most likely monkeypox is a threat to humans because the smallpox vaccinations are too old to be protective, not because of a lack of cross-reactivity)
  5. Preferably not anything like bubonic plague that requires treatment for those exposed, since the wizards can make them infect each other, then cut off their access to supplies. (But in a pinch, whatever works) Chemical weapons are right out - they'll get sprayed around inside the forward base, and be far more deadly to the muggles than the wizards.

Oh, yes, and if the wizards do get past their prohibitions and adopt muggle vaccination tech, then you're pretty much out of luck with this. If they can control minds, they might read them; in any case they can make the experts explain everything about how to do the vaccination, and recruit teams to go in and steal the vaccines for them.

  • $\begingroup$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. $\endgroup$
    – L.Dutch
    May 12, 2022 at 3:26

More tactical rather than strategic suggestions, but here we go:

Two-man Teams

It might be clunky and dumb, but one way to avoid soldiers turning their guns on each other, might be to make it so that no one man controls the weapons. So one soldier carries a gun with no trigger. Another soldier, preferably always out of sight of the mages, carries the trigger, connected either via radio or with an actual wire running from trigger to the gun.


WWII also had early drones like the German Goliath Tank or Russian Teletanks. While these generally require an operator to use his or her own eyeballs, it would be able to put the actual mind-controllable soldiers further from the mages. These might be combined with the Two-man Team, so that the guy watching the battlefield isn't actually able to use the weaponry him/herself.


So Level 2 mages can only hack "visual" targets. What counts as visual? What if I'm looking at you through a mirror/periscope? What if I'm behind a one-way mirror / tinted glass?

Periscopes could work for rifles firing out of cover without exposing the soldier. One-way / tinted glass could be installed in tanks or other fighting vehicles.

If periscopes don't work, it might also be possible to install cameras on you vehicles, and control them via a screen inside. Or use this in combination with a drone (though it might require a wired connection). Vehicles with cameras probably isn't going to be a mass-produced technique at this tech level, but I could see some attempts being made.

  • $\begingroup$ The most common WWII drone was the doodlebug (V1), and V2 rocket. They didn't need eyeballs at all, only maps. $\endgroup$
    – Dan W
    May 11, 2022 at 13:31
  • $\begingroup$ Sure, that but that is basically just bombing or artillery by different means. You sometimes need eyes if you want to know if there are actually anyone where you are shooting. And in this scenario, Mark I eyeballs suffer a chance of the user being mind controlled. $\endgroup$
    – Rubberduck
    May 19, 2022 at 11:30

Plus, many mages have an ability to feel when they're being watched, irregardless of distance. That means, trying to use snipers against enemy's officers would only result in alerting the entire camp, before a sniper makes a shot. Thanks to this, battlemages can also tell where the enemy is aiming - the sorcerers use this ability to dodge the incoming fire.

What's the limitations of this?

Is it just a general sense that "we are being watched"? Or do they know who is watching them and where? Does this still work if the perception is indirect, or example, via a video camera?

Depending on how things work, there could be many ways around this:

  1. Indirect observation, for example, if it doesn't trigger perception. WWII had for example the Vampir infrared scope and primitive CCTV. Perhaps we can even insert a delay on the CCTV - does it still count as being watched, if there's a 1 second delay?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Closed-circuit_television#History https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zielger%C3%A4t_1229

  1. If these are detected, then we can flip the idea around - we can try to jam the high level wizard's sense by having them be "watched" all the time. For example, lots and lots of cameras all over the place, with wide-focal lens that technically are watching a huge area. Get the wizards complacent and used to the uselessness of their sense. And then boom.
  • $\begingroup$ Mages can roughly tell the direction from where they're being watched, either directly or through a mirror. However, the camera system you suggested would make a great counter against this ability, as well as the "jamming" strategy... Maybe. $\endgroup$
    – Khangodr
    May 9, 2022 at 15:55
  • $\begingroup$ @Fhnuzoag If you have questions that you need answered before you can reasonably answer, perhaps it's a good idea to ask them in comments ^^'? $\endgroup$ May 9, 2022 at 21:15
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    $\begingroup$ With good telescopes, the wizards can feel 'watched' from multiple directions at once, or just passively, thus jamming them. $\endgroup$
    – user86462
    May 10, 2022 at 10:35

As said in other answers, the hard-counter to your mind-control spells are investing air warfare and doing carpet bombing. To a lesser extent, heavy artillery strikes are a good alternative, though it's less mobile. However, let's further extend the concept and involve all of the militaries forces, especially in the early parts of the conflict where the forces haven't redirected most efforts into air yet.

Only YOU can smoke'em

Smokey the bear

Smoke will prevent 9 out of 10 mind-controls!. From Wikimedia commons

Smoke is a great tool to prevent clear visuals on a target. What makes mind-control so difficult to counter? It's not the effect of the magic, it's that it's triggered by mere visibility. Now send smoke grenades and shells everywhere the enemy troops are, and protect your troops the same way.

You don't have to worry much about your troops not seeing much. Indeed, while the wizards won't make a single hit, your guys still have bullets that can kill and don't need accurate sight, so your damage potential is much higher than them than if you lacked smoke. Before, just use small mirrors behind cover to check where you have to shoot, roughly. And of course, for better chances of hitting something you want SMGs and machine guns instead of bolt-action rifles. And don't forget gas masks, too : the M18 grenade for instance release fumes which are toxic if you breathe them all day, 7/7, all-year long.

The more the war progresses, the more tools can be developped against this threat. A very simple one to set is to put a smoking device on every gun, triggered on the first shot. It ensures nobody forget to cover when attacking, but it also makes the wizards losing the mind-controlled ones from sight when they lead coat their friends, reducing friendly casualties potential.

Avoid engagement until nights

Again, visibility is key. Night reduces visibility, so prepare your biggest assaults during nights. Your guys don't see well, so they won't trigger the wizard's instinct as easily. Besides, it increases the size of any unlit covers, since it's much easier to confuse what is a rock with someone's back.

To further enhances any heavy assaults, use strong spotlights to blind the enemies. You'll see them, but they cannot see you, therefore they cannot target you. It's even better than smokes, in some ways.

A (non-)peak into vehicles

Vehicles are key for this warfare, and I mean not only tanks. As soon as the inner working of illusions is known, replace the windows of every trucks, jeeps or basically any vehicle to use one-way mirrors -invented in the 1900s, or tinted glass (or... Smoked glass! I like smoke). A probably cheaper approach would be to use blinds instead; Simple, sturdier and still prevents line-of-sight with the drivers and passengers.

In case a driver happens to be mind-controlled (broken window, for instance), it's easier to get rid of them than them to get rid of you. It's because vehicles supported by a whole infantry unit is a common allied formation, while a surrounded vehicle by enemies is a dead vehicle. Moreover, moving around is very limited, both by roads but also any obstacles your vehicles will quickly pass by, cutting the line of sight.

Handling rebel mages

As soon as you get your first rebel or mercenary mages, use them at the door step of every recruitment center to detect blanks. If one recruit cannot be mind-controlled, it's a blank and must be treated more carefully. Otherwise, yes, develop mindproof protections to reduce the likelyhood of someone being turncoated if they're not being careful. Using them on the frontline is a waste of resources (ratio of 1 to 1 kill, but you have much less rebels, so...).

However, be sure to put those mages outside of any leading parties, it's very dangerous to have someone you don't have high-trust in with mind-control abilities near a general, for instance1. Ideally, you want to have blanks in leading positions to reduce risks as much as possible, and use extensively radios and sight-protection methods otherwise. It's not ideal, but it'll have to do.

1 : See Yuri in Red Alert 2, it doesn't end well for the Allied forces.

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    $\begingroup$ That RA2 Soviet mission where you need to infiltrate Area 51 and mind control the President was the best. Those pesky Secret Service agents! $\endgroup$
    – user86462
    May 10, 2022 at 9:51

The best ideas (strategic bombing, chemical and biological weapons, mirrors, vehicles) are already taken, so here are some weaker ones.

Naval warfare

Battleships were effective at 20 miles, carriers at 200. That ought to be enough to make life difficult for Hermione and co. The muggles will have uncontested submarine supremacy which should prevent any attempts to mind control a ship.


Can wizards detect landmines? If not, then mine the hell out of everything. Use poison mines if possible.

Blank torturers

Blank Gestapo or NKVD agents, or Allied or Japanese torturers will be useful. Once you have a few blanks, you don't just have turncoats available to find more blanks, you have tortured wizards. With a little thought, you can come up with creative ways to get captured wizards to help filter for blanks. Captured Level 1s, while immensely dangerous, could be quite useful. This strategy allows turncoats to be used on the front lines more.

Tank charges

WW2's main tactic may still be quite effective versus wizards, particularly in open countryside where a single mind controlled or broken tank won't hinder a column. This will depend a lot on how well armor stacks up against level 1's AoE attacks.


Wizards may be able to tell when they're being watched, but can they tell if a mike is picking up their sound and amplifying it into headphones (or a radar style map) inside a bunker or urban building? As soon as the distance gets close enough, pop out and use shotguns or grenades or a machine gun or some other indiscriminate weapon.

Propaganda, bribery, ideology and religion

With 10 times the population (?) and an industrial economy, the muggles can offer turncoats lifestyles that the wizards cannot and will not match with a feudal society, and have the media power to let the wizards know it. The wizards will be appealing to many, but most people will realise that being a muggle in a magical world, and banned from using technology, is serfdom.

Not only that, but the muggles will be centuries ahead in ideological development. Between liberal democracy, fascism, Nazism, and socialism, there will be something that the magic peasants go for. Every side in WW2 became masterful at propaganda.

And that's before the wizards encounter Christianity and the other major religions. What happens when a level 1 reads about an untrained carpenter who can still storms with a word and rise from the dead, while laying down some great morals? Even an 0.1% conversion rate is going to have BIG consequences.

Furthermore, as soon as a few percent of the mages start to use technology, the wizards are going to have the mother of all religious schisms on their hands.

Drugs and alcohol

Have the wizards gotten used to drugs and alcohol? If not, they're in for a lot of social dysfunction.

Guided rockets

Mass produced V2's could really change things. I guess V1s would be just as ineffective as they were in real life.

Political commissars or MPs

Some sort of troops dedicated to killing or incapacitating mind hacked troops will be necessary. They should be positioned to have good line of sight of their own troops but none of the enemy's.

Mass blanks

Blanks don't have to be of military age to be useful. Even a 5 year old blank can detect illusions. With a population of 2 billion, a blank rate of 1 in 10 000, and 70% blank usability, that's 140 000 blanks. At 1 in 1000, there's 1.4 million blanks.


Aluminum Foil Hats

Aluminum Foil Hat

If they stop the government from reading your mind, they should stop mind control spells too :P

For a serious explanation, if magic exists in the electromagnetic spectrum, then a faraday cage around the head would stop mind control quite nicely. It could even be incorporated as a liner in standard army helmets. As a fun add-on effect, chaff would work to stop other battlefield spells much like it did in actual WWII.

While aluminum foil seems like a silver bullet (pun intended), it's limited in power because the muggles would soon run into the same problem faced by the Allies in WWII: aluminum foil shortages (as is wont to happen when you dump tons of the stuff on your enemy during every bombing run). At that point, the war becomes what war actually is: a battle of logistics and economic power.


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