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When you think about it, history is a long time.

Turns out when you study history hoping to learn from the greats, from the pioneers, from the people who built and grew and made civilization as we know it today, you'll discover there are quite a few f*** ups littered about, waiting to be picked up and put in the receptacles of our minds. Mistakes, right there, out in the open, for us to laugh at.


Reddit user, u/Ijustbetryingdude, wanted to hear about:

What's a huge f-ck up in history that people don't remember?

Accidentally Stumbling Into The Books

The most surprising thing you'll come across when you do your history deep dive is how many individuals sort of stumbled their way into historical relevance. They took a wrong turn or made a wrong call then, whoops, you're famous now.

Lack Of Foresight

Mao Zedong asked his people to kill sparrows and they did.

But then insects had free reign to eat crops and this was partly the reason for the Great Chinese Famine, which killed 15-55 million people.

nutcrackr

...It Was Part Of My Plan All Along!

George Washington, retreating from an advancing larger army, got lost, got lost again, accidentally flanked them, and won.

ChefHannibal

Hey, Dummies. Get Out.

The explosion of the USS Maine most likely wasn't a Spanish sabotage. The official report claims that a mine is what sunk the ship, but several officers disagreed and proposed a more plausible hypothesis: that the ship blew up because the coal they were using accidentally lit up the ship's munitions (the type of coal used can produce a gas that is very prone to exploding). Nevertheless, thanks to yellow journalism and the US being full-swing into imperialism, we went to war with Spain and wound up f-cking over the Philippines.

Also, the men holed up at the Alamo were told several times by friendly forces that they needed to get the hell out or they would all die. They didn't get out. Guess what happened.

XxsquirrelxX

Wait, What Do You Mean THEY LOST IT?

So apparently in the 1960s during the cold war, CIA and the Intelligence Bureau of India collaborated to install a nuclear-powered sensing device atop the Nanda Devi the 2nd highest peak in India at a height of 25,643 ft. During the installation, an avalanche hit the location and the team had to return to their base. On returning it was found that the plutonium required to power the device had been lost. Now, this plutonium is half of what was used in the Hiroshima bombing. There were multiple operations launched to retrieve it but they failed.

So somewhere atop the Himalayas, there is an active nuclear bomb. What makes it even more dangerous is that the Himalayas stand on a tectonic fault (google it if you don't know) and an explosion not only shall spew tradition but cause multiple earthquakes and avalanches causing a potentially much larger disaster.

thesamotar

Ineffectual Leadership

A common thread you'll find in history's annals is the ineffectiveness of world leaders. Whether it's their lack of knowledge or lack of courage, sometimes the people in charge are real dummies.

Just Tell Us You Didn't Do It And We Won't Punish You.

During WW1, America was looking at the war going "boy that sucks, good luck gang, here's some food and guns we guess." But Germany was worried that America would join in, so they sent a telegram to Mexico that basically said "If you guys join us and keep America busy with a huge war, we will give you back Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona when we totally win." Britain intercepted the telegram and immediately told the US.

Folks in the US were skeptical. Why would Germany say something like that, be so blatant about it? It had to be a fake, because it was too stupid of an offer to be real, and clearly something made up by Britain in order to force America to join the war, because no one would be so dumb as to put that sh-t in a telegram. So America asked the guy who sent it, expecting denials. The high ranking German, Zimmerman, immediately responded with "oh yeah I totally sent that, and I meant it, and I absolutely sent that to Mexico." A month later America formally declared war on Germany and entered WW1.

Had Germany not sent the telegram, and had Zimmerman not admitted that he did it, America probably would never have joined the war.

KnittinAndB-tchin

"It's Just A War. What Could It Cost?" - Russia, maybe

Russia thinking they had to bleed themselves dry fighting against the Japanese (1904-1905) to avoid a "humiliating peace."

Congratulations, dummies, you broke your country.

Russian domestic instability would become untenable, what was left of their military would become corrupt, incompetent and ineffectual, and an emasculated tsar would allow himself to be goaded into the First World War.

We know how that story went.

mindfeces

Whoopsie Doodle, Let's Set That Back To Where It Was

I guess this is considered a f-ck up, but not of huge proportions.

The battle of Athens Tenn, took place when a bunch of recently discharged WW2 veterans found out that the local election was being rigged, black people werent being allowed to cast their vote by use of police force, Media, and schools were bought and paid to spread propaganda etc.

In short, they took matters into their own hands, got into a huge shootout in the middle of town, over threw the local government, and made an entire new government consisting of nothing but G.I's, it failed by the early 50's, and they voted in the exact same system that they just overthrew. it also accidentally prompted a huge several statewide movement against corrupt politics.

nowforever13

I'm Seeing Double Here. Four Armies!

The surrender of Detroit in the war of 1812. Essentially the British and their indigenous allies hatched a plan where Tecumseh's men would dance past the gates of the fort and then double back and do it again and again making the Americans believe there were many more warriors than there were. They surrendered to an outnumbered British-Shawnee force.

HandFancy

Who Needs America When You Have Russian Winters?

People often said Hitler was a great strategist but he unnecessarily attacked Russia and at the wrong time (winter). He was unable or unwilling to support his attacking army with food, winter clothing and materials. Result: Russia held off the attack, killed hundreds of thousands of German soldiers, endured the winter while building tanks and armor and subsequently moved on to attacking Germans all the way to Berlin.

Spillway1

Ignoring History. Doomed To Repeat It.

Some parts of the world's history aren't so much mix-ups or mistakes of the past, but ignorance of the present. We forget our own history, thus, as they say, dooming us to repeat it and make the same mistakes again and again and again.

Hey-oh!

Electing Donald Trump?

munkis

Unable To Predict What's To Come

Western Union told Bell to f-ck off (paraphrased) with his "toy," the telephone. They offered the patent to Western Union for around $2M in today's money, and Western Union's president regretted it, saying that if he could buy it for $25M (roughly $550M today), it would be a bargain. Bell went on to start what would be AT&T.

jeff_the_nurse

Who Weeps For Them, Indeed?

The Armenian holocaust that occurred from April 24th 1915 and lasted until 1917 and nobody really paid attention. Hitler noticed that nobody seemed to care and believed that he would get the same reaction if he started a Jewish holocaust.

Christy-Brown

They Were Our Buddies. Remember?

France supporting the American revolution. The French government pretty much bankrupted itself supporting the American revolution, creating a financial black hole that lead directly to the French revolution and Louis XVI being sent to the guillotine.

DanTheTerrible

Did You Watch HBO's Watchmen?

The Black Wallstreet massacre in Tulsa.

It was just 100 years ago but we've swept that sh-t under the rug so hard.

Snelly_WorldCrusher

"Eh...We'll Let It Slide." - Reagan, maybe

Remember how badly Trump f-cked up the coronavirus response because of his ignorance and political agenda?

Reagan & Co. did that with AIDS. Just ignored the urgency of a new and unfamiliar disease because it was seemingly wiping out the gays.

AdvocateSaint

History isn't a well-woven tapestry, detailing our victories and shining moments. It's a hastily stitched together quilt with seams all out of place and the individual panels are made of paper. It's a mess, but somehow knowing it's a mess means we always have room to do better, to be better, than the people who were before us.

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