Really Stupid Military Blunders

Discussion in 'History Forum' started by Dr. Bob, Jun 6, 2004.

  1. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob
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    Was thinking of some truly inane (insane) military leaders and decisions they made that make us scratch our heads.

    Trojans tearing down their own wall to let in a horse

    Custer at the Greasy Grass

    ANZAC at Gallipoli

    Burnside's "Mud March" at Fredericksburg

    Do YOU have a favorite story of some decision or action that in our 20/20 hindsight you think is just really "stupid"?
     
  2. Gina B

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    The election of Bill Clinton.
     
  3. Pete

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    I saw a list in newspaper a few years back along the lines of "stupidest mistakes ever". I can only remember #1 on the list. It was "Invading Russia! ANYONE invading Russia!"
     
  4. rsr

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    The Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor.
     
  5. Dr. Bob

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    In 1865 Lt Caspar Collins of the Ohio Cavalry came west after the War. He had grown up in a series of small western forts and outposts. His father, Colonel Collins, had been commander in the region and fortified the Oregon Trail outposts as well as the telegraph and Pony Express stops.

    Well, the war was over and young Collins wanted to show his comrades the West where he'd been raised and maybe fight some injuns. His opportunity came on July 25.

    Indians attacked a small train of supply wagons at Red Buttes, about 4 miles west (and within sight) of the Platte Bridge - the military outpost of 110 confederate pow's guarding the last crossing of the North Platte. Sgt Custer (no relation to another doufus) escaped to the river and floated down to the outpost.

    On the sand hills on the north side of the river, Red Cloud and some Cheyenne paraded in triumph, taunting the soldiers to cross the bridge and fight. Only 20-30 indians were visible, but the sgt's report was of hundreds. The infantry fired a few volleys and made a human wall - the indians didn't cross over to attack.

    Without orders, Caspar Collins and 20 or so of his pards mounted and charged across the long bridge, scattering the enemy. Of course, just over the sandy hill were 500 Cheyenne and Sioux in ambush.

    Some of Collins men were wounded and as he led a hasty ignominious retreat back to the bridge (and covering fire of the 100 infantry there) he decided to rush back into the fray to rescue his buddy.

    As the afternoon lengthened, the soldiers at the outpost watched from across the river as Collins dead body was wrapped in telegraph wire and drug back and forth by the victorious warriors. Finally, his body was mutilated, placed at the end of the bridge his mouth/cheeks filled with gunpowder and blown up.

    Platte Bridge Station was renamed Fort Caspar in his honor (already had a Fort Collins in Colorado) and he was given a hero's funeral.

    (The fort was disbanded soon after and the region remained empty of any settlement until 1889 when a railroad line terminated here. Looking on a map they saw it had been the site of Fort Caspar so named the new village "Caspar". A telegraph error changed the spelling to Casper.)
     
  6. Major B

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    Well, the Mongols did OK with it!

    The greatest military blunder would be joining the French Army...
     
  7. Dr. Bob

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    Thought it was the Italian army?

    Saw an ad in Guns & Ammo Magazine for Italian WWII Rifle - only dropped once. :rolleyes:
     
  8. pinoybaptist

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    :D :D

    Gina, you are a hoot ! (apologies to Lady Eagle).

    Seriously, the My Lai massacre.
     
  9. rsr

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    I know it's tempting to denigrate the French, but it's worth remembering that Louis XIV and Napoleon almost conquered Europe. Oh, wait. Napoleon did.
     
  10. Bro. James Reed

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    The ill-fated Gettysburg attack.

    A lesson...never attack an enemy when you have to cross 2 long fields, a road, and 2 fences to get to them, especially when they outnumber you.

    Another no-no...flying airplanes into the World Trade Center buildings and not expecting war with the US. BIG MISTAKE!
     
  11. Major B

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    1. Napoleon was not French--he was Corsican, which fits well with Rule #1 about French armies, they only do well when not led by a Frenchman.

    2. Napoleon's conquests did not stick.
     
  12. shane usry

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    Would the "Bay of Pigs" qualify?
     
  13. Jude

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    Rommel leaving France (early June 1944) for his wife's birthday celebration in Germany.
     
  14. mioque

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  15. Melanie

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    The magnificent,desperate and insane charge of the Polish Cavalry in defense of their homeland against an overwhelming superior army the Germans with their machine guns.
     
  16. Matt Black

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    The 'donkeys' who commanded the British troops on the first day of the Somme: "Right chaps, advance with rifles at walking pace towards machine-gun nests and barbed wire and give old Harry Hun what for! Bah!"

    Cardigan at the Charge of the Light Brigade

    Townshend at the siege of Kut(Iraq)1915-16

    THe Dieppe Raid 1942

    Hmmm...these all seem to be British...

    Right,then: Wesley Clark at Pristina 1999 for almost starting WWIII

    Yours in Christ

    Matt
     
  17. mioque

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    When looked at from a Zulu perspective, Blood River.
     
  18. Jude

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    LBJ running the Vietnam War.
     
  19. Bro. James Reed

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    Very true Jude...very true.
     
  20. Major B

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    The Turks at Vienna in 1683 ignoring the charge of the same Polish cavalry (back when it WAS technically appropriate). They were so concerned with undermining the walls of Vienna that they ignored the approaching Polish cavalry until the Polish lancers, led by 300-pound King Jan Sobieski, were in the middle of their camp.
     

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