Vlad the Impaler: Eco-Warrior

by Ross Crawford

More stakes were desperately needed: 20,000 Turks was a lot to handle—even for Vlad—and they were not going to impale themselves. Yet he had pledged to a sustainable programme of deforestation, the main condition of his appointment by the elders to defend the realm. Victory at the cost of Wallachia’s sprawling woodland was no victory at all.

So, he had to get creative, a challenge of execution tailor-made for Vlad’s unique set of skills.

Firstly, the old method of impalement—from fundament to throat—was clearly too wasteful: just one prisoner per stake. No good. The transversal technique—from back to belly, or vice versa—was much more efficient, allowing for the stacking of Turks, sometimes as many as four or five on each post, in a manner reminiscent of their local delicacy, the kebab.

Once the rot began, and the disintegrating carcasses slid off the posts, another set of fresh prisoners could be skewered on the used stake. Recycling.

Vlad loved his country and its forests, but most of all, he loved his job.