Throughout the first nine days of battle, Arjuna was unable to defeat Bhishma. Arjuna was able to compel Bhishma to retreat on the 3rd day of the war, however, this was not a decisive victory for him. This was partially due to his own reluctance to fight his grandsire, as well as Bhishma’s terrific skill. As Krishna became frustrated with Arjuna, he took up arms against Bhishma himself, at least twice. Not wanting history to blame Arjuna for forcing Krishna to break his vow of non-aggression, Arjuna managed to talk Krishna down and fought with renewed vigor. On the tenth day of the war, after asking Bhishma himself how to decisively defeat him, Arjuna took Shikhandi in his chariot. As Bhishma would not raise weapons against a woman, Arjuna was able to attack Bhishma unimpeded. Tears flowing from his eyes, Arjuna pierced Bhishma’s entire body with arrows, eventually forcing Bhishma to fall down with Arjuna’s arrows acting as a bed, thus breaking the rule of battle. As per Bhishma’s request, he provided a pillow of arrows for his head, as well as water by piercing the earth and allowing Ganga to nourish her son. Bhishma praised Arjuna for this and asked Duryodhana to make peace with the Pandavas.