Caligula (Roman Emperor) once held a large meeting solely for the purpose to tell the attendants, that if he wanted he can have them all killed. He then dismissed the meeting. He also once waged war against Poseidon. He led 10,000 soldiers to the sea and ordered them to stab it with spears. Another time he marched his entire army towards the English Channel in an effort to invade Britain. Upon arrival to the channel, he decided that he no longer wished to invade Britain so he ordered his men to collect seashells before heading home.
2. In the Battle of Crete during WW2, New Zealand’s Maori Battalion was holed up facing a German unit in an orchard. Germans tried to spook them by having their commanders yell out orders to 'fix bayonets' for a bayonet charge. What happened next horrified the Germans. They began to quietly retreat when the Maoris started to cheer (personal close combat was held in great prestige). The Germans decided not to charge and quietly retreated. The name Māori was almost a byword with the British Soldiers. Their continual bayonet charges and the havoc they caused among the Germans with cold steel earned them the name of the ‘Knife Men.’
3. President Andrew Jackson owned a parrot named Poll whom Jackson himself taught how to swear. When Jackson died Poll was present at his funeral. Poll began to curse so loudly and for so long during his funeral that this wicked bird had to be removed from the service as shocked mourners watched.
4. During World War 2, the Soviet Union trained dogs to blow up German tanks. This was achieved by starving the dogs and then placing food under tanks, thus conditioning them that food would be found under the tanks. During the battle, Russians strapped explosives on them and set them free. Since the Russians used their own tanks to train the dogs, they often ran under Russian tanks and blew them up and killed Russian soldiers instead. Their usage was soon discontinued.
5. King Pyrrhus of Epirus died in 272 B.C. while fighting an enemy soldier in the streets of Sparta. The soldier's mother, who was watching their battle from a rooftop, threw a tile that hit Pyrrhus in the head and paralyzed him, allowing the soldier to finish him.
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15 Most Controversial & Costly Blunders in History
6God Save the Queen
Origin of the English national anthem 'God Save the Queen' is not English. It was composed by the French Duchess of Brinon (Grand Dieu sauve le Roi) to celebrate France’s King Louis XIV's healing from anal fistula. At that time the operation was very risky, the operation consisted of opening the infected area (his royal a*s) and giving it a good cleaning. All this had to be done with no anesthesia. George Frideric Handel, a British composer plagiarized the song’s tune having heard it in France with no idea as to why it was written in the first place.
7. The highest-ranking combat casualty in the US Civil War was General John Sedgwick. He was known for riding among his troops who were dodging a sniper’s shots. He once said “I’m ashamed of you, dodging that way. They couldn’t hit an elephant at this distance,” at which point he was shot in the head and killed.
8. In 1979 when he was in his fishing boat, U.S. President Jimmy Carter was nearly attacked by an enraged giant swamp rabbit that began swimming toward him. He had to shoo it away. Upon returning to his office, Carter’s staff did not believe his story, insisting that rabbits could not swim, or that they would never approach a person threateningly. The subsequent news articles on the killer rabbit turned out to be incredibly politically damaging.
9. Prague had not one, but two historic defenestrations (the act of throwing someone out of a window). The second one, where two Catholics were thrown out of a 21-meter high window sparked a 30-year long war. The two men survived. According to Catholics, they were caught by the Virgin Mary, while Protestants say they just fell into a dung pile.
10. In the 1300s, some fellows from Modena stole a bucket from Bologna (both in Italy), resulting in a great deal of humiliation for the Bolognese. They declared war, had a battle with around 2,000 casualties (split between both sides) and failed to reclaim the bucket.
11Juan Pujol García
During World War 2, a double-agent named Juan Pujol García went by his codename Garbo. Juan was from Spain and had become disgusted by fascism. He wrote letters to the UK and the US saying hey, I’ll spy on Germany for them, but both refused his help. So he went ahead with it without their help. He posed as a Nazi-loving Spanish government official to become a German agent. He was assigned to spy on London, but instead, he went to Lisbon and made up phony reports based on English magazines and newsreels. After a while, the UK realized someone was doing a jolly good job diverting Nazi resources and took him on as a spy. He worked throughout the war, with Germany funding his fake network of imaginary spies. He was responsible for diverting many German troops during the invasion of Normandy. He was also awarded medals by both the Nazis and the Brits for his work.
12. After World War 2, some tribes in the Pacific islands got their first exposure to “civilization” when US military bases were set up on their islands. The military would bring supplies and food with them which the villagers liked. When the war ended, cults formed that built new runways, mimicked army drills, and even built straw planes to try and bring back the “Gods” that gave them food, medicine, and supplies.
13. After the conquest of modern-day Mexico City by Spanish they held king Montezuma hostage. While he was being held hostage, he still had gold and was a king, so he was treated half-decently. One of the Spanish guards accidentally farted in his face. The guard was embarrassed and apologized profusely for humiliating a noble. To show that there were no hard feelings; Montezuma gave the guard a gold piece. The stupid guard then farted again hoping to get another piece of gold.
14. The Dardanelles Operation of 1807 was a fairly minor skirmish during the Napoleonic wars. The Ottomans aligned with the French against Britain and Russia. The British sent a fleet to intimidate the Turks and force them to reopen the strait. As the British fleet sailed towards Constantinople, French engineers worked with the Turkish army to repair and improve shore defenses. Part of this included reactivating a 340-year-old super cannon modeled on the one used in the famed Turkish conquest of Constantinople in the 1400s. This cannon weighed 17 tons and fired stone cannonballs that were two feet in diameter. After meeting little resistance from the Turkish fleet, the British were forced to withdraw after taking heavy damage from the shore batteries, including from the colossal "Dardanelles Gun". So yeah Trebuchets are nice, but can they fire a 360 kg projectile over 2400 meters?
15. During the First Sino-Japanese War, a Chinese admiral pawned one of the main guns on his flagship to a scrap dealer, in order to pay off some gambling debts. This was the same war where the Empress embezzled from the army to fund her palace renovations.
In 1847, Robert Liston performed an amputation in 25 seconds, operating so quickly that he accidentally amputated his assistant's fingers as well. Both patient and assistant later died of sepsis, and a spectator reportedly died of shock, resulting in the only known surgical procedure with a 300% mortality rate.
17. Notorious pirate hunter Benjamin Hornigold once attacked a ship just to steal all of the crew member’s hats. His men had gotten drunk and lost their hats during a party the night before and they decided to board a ship to get replacements.
18. Daniel Steibelt, a top pianist in his own right once challenged his contemporary Beethoven to a musical improv duel. Steibelt did believe he had a shot. He was no kid, and had already composed for Marie Antoinette and operatized a successful version of Romeo and Juliet. He showed up to the improv and played one of his own works, for which he’d brought the sheet music. Once it was his turn, Beethoven turned the sheet music upside down and beautifully screwed the piece sideways and backward, overturning Steibelt's style all the while like a cat teasing a particularly boring mouse. No one ever challenged Beethoven to a musical improv again, least of all Steibelt, who never again set foot in Vienna.
19. One day Alexander the Great asked the philosopher Diogenes why he was sifting through the garbage, Diogenes responded, “I am looking for the bones of your father but I cannot distinguish them from the bones of his slaves.” Another time, Alexander asked Diogenes, if there was something he could do for him. Diogenes replied, “yes, get out of my sun”. Once when Plato defined humans as “featherless bipeds,” Diogenes brought a featherless chicken into Plato’s classroom, saying “Behold! I've brought you a man!” Alexander once told Diogenes that if he were not Alexander the Great, he would want to be Diogenes. Diogenes replied, “If I were not me, I too would want to be Diogenes.”
20. During the Battle of Drepana of 249 B.C., Romans were attempting to take out the Carthaginian naval forces that broke a siege. Roman had “sacred chickens” to determine when the gods favored them. They threw the Chickens some grain, and if they ate, they attacked. Anyway, the commander at Drepana decides to attack, so the Roman commander brings out the chickens and tosses them some grains. The chickens ignore the grain. They don't even touch it. This is not a good omen. His sailors start to freak out. But he’s determined to attack so he tosses the chickens overboard and says “Let them drink if they don't want to eat!” It does not go down well with his forces but Romans are disciplined so they do as commanded. Romans ended up getting thoroughly trashed by the Carthaginians in the battle.
21Shepherd of the Anus
The first medical literature about the enema is in the Egyptian Ebers Papyrus (1550 B.C.). Their enema specialist was named “Shepherd of the Anus”. Their sole job was to keep the royal butthole healthy. There was also a “Keeper of the Royal Rectum” who was the pharaoh’s enema maker. According to Egyptian mythology, the god Thoth invented the enema.
22. A Greek philosopher named Chrysippus died of laughter after getting his donkey drunk and watching it try to eat figs. He was regarded as being stoic most of the time, yet he died of laughter.
23. In 1807, after his victory at Friedland, Napoleon proposed a rabbit hunt to celebrate. He invited the military’s biggest brass and collected a colony of rabbits. Once bunnies were released they didn’t scurry in fright. Instead, they bounded toward him and his men. The attack only ceased after their coach rolled away.
24. The Kettle War was a brief conflict between the Dutch and the Austrians. There was only one shot fired which hit an Austrian soup kettle. After which the Austrians promptly surrendered.
25. During the 1916 Easter Rising, a battle to end British rule over Ireland, there was an hour-long ceasefire each day to allow the park-keeper of St. Stephen’s Green to feed the swans in the park. This ceasefire, however, didn't stop them from destroying his house, though.