The direct cause of World War 1 was Archduke’s Assassination. What many people don't know is that the initial assassination attempt failed when the bomb blew up the car behind Ferdinand's. The only reason he was assassinated is because one of the terrorists (a Serbian organization called the Black Hand) stopped to buy a sandwich and saw Ferdinand in the store. Also, the man who threw the grenade that blew up the car behind Franz Ferdinand did not know the grenade had a 10-second timer. It gets better. He took the cyanide supplied by the Black Hand to kill himself after the attempt, and it was expired, so he just ended up throwing up a bunch. To "seal the deal" of death, he jumped into a near-by canal that was only two inches deep. It didn't turn out so great for him.
One of the funniest incidents to happen during the 14th century was the great schism of the Catholic Church. A bunch of cardinals walked into Rome to elect a new pope, and an angry mob declared it will kill all of them if they didn’t elect an Italian pope instead of a French one. An Italian pope was elected. So they returned back to France and elected a French pope to be the new pope. Now there were two popes at the same time, each saying the other one was a phony, splitting up Europe into two religious groups, each ready to use religion as their excuse to annihilate the other. The Catholic Church’s solution was to elect another pope, only for absolutely no one to stand behind him. So now there were three popes, all of them saying the other was illegitimate and all of their followers were going to hell. Finally, the Catholic Church got rid of all the popes and elected a new one, and this time they made sure no angry mobs were there.
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.
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.’
15Poll the Foul-Mouthed Parrot
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.
16Dogs vs Tanks
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.
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
18God 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.
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.
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.