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Your Opinion: Biggest Screw Up in History

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posted on May, 3 2016 @ 03:45 PM
So today I am bored, and there are a million things I could do around the house....but hey, who wants to do dishes?

I'm not normally a Reddit browser, but I went there anyway and found this gem:
Biggest Screw Up in History
Warning: There are curse words aplenty, including the actual title of the thread, so if you're easily offended don't click on the link.
Warning #2: There are over 10,600 comments so don't click on the link unless you're prepared to waste some serious time.

Some of the top answers in no particular order:

Franz Ferdinand's driver taking a wrong turn and causing the beginning of WW1

Chernobyl and Fukishima

The War on Drugs/Prohibition

Invading anyone...ever

Union Carbide/Bhopal Industrial Disaster

Pissing off Genghis Khan:

The execution of Genghis Khan's envoy by the Shah of Khwarezm (Persia or Modern day Iran, more or less).

Genghis Khan legitimately wanted to trade with them in order to fund his war with China. Instead, the Shah decides to insult the smelly Mongol and kill his representative. This, of course, infuriated the Great Khan, leading to the Mongol invasion of first Khwarezm and then the rest of the Middle East, resulting in the complete destruction of his kingdom and devastation of the entire region: millions of deaths and the eventual burning of Baghdad, one of the world's greatest cities and great repositories of knowledge.

This legitimately could have changed the course of world history: at the time, the Islamic world was the richest and best educated region of the world. They had the largest cities, the best scientists and artists, and were generally tolerant of other cultures (especially in comparison to Europe at the time). All of that was burnt to the ground, because one ruler was a dickhead who didn't want to treat with a smelly Mongol.

There's lots of really interesting military history stories too:

The U.S.S William D Porter(A.k.a the "Frat Boat") is probably one of the funniest f*** ups in history. A destroyer whose job was to escort President Roosevelt(aboard the USS Iowa) during WWII.
During the process they manage to nearly kill him by accidentally shooting a torpedo at his ship while doing a practice drill where they stimulated shooting enemy aircraft, yes aircraft(which they were not ordered to do!), and then decide not to tell them via radio, and instead opt for light signals where they repeatedly give totally incorrect messages including telling them they shot a missile the other way, and that they're deciding to reverse.
After the ordeal the Iowa trained all its weaponry on the W.D.P
They were then arrested and a year later asked to patrol Antarctica , where one of them got drunk and shot a gun at a building with dozens of officers, blowing up the garden
They also scraped their anchor on the Iowa while leaving port because they forgot to lift it properly.
They then also nearly blew themselves up by accidentally dropping a depth charge off the side of their ship.
To round it all off, while off the coast of Okinawa, they shot a friendly ship by mistaking it for a plane, and then were the only ship sunk by an underwater Kamikaze attack from a downed plane.
And the best bit?During this whole ordeal not a single American life was lost due to their negligence. One man died when he was swept off the top by a freak wave

posted on May, 3 2016 @ 03:47 PM

The 1917 Halifax Explosion -
In the morning of December 6th 1917 the French cargo ship Mont-Blanc was carrying munitions from New York through Halifax ultimately to go to Bordeaux France. As it made it's way into the Halifax Harbor it made a collision with the Norwegian vessel SS Imo. The Imo was travelling through the harbor at an accelerated rate; having had been delayed earlier in the day it was attempting to make up for time. Despite repeated attempts at advising the Imo to slow down, the captain disregarded them and continued through at high speeds.
The Imo would eventually meet its fate as it began towards a head on collision with the Mont-Blanc. At this point both ships were aware of the potential collision, and both had shut their engines off to prevent significant damage; a force stop wasn't used by the Mont-Blanc for fear that doing so may set off its cargo. Eventually the two ships were steered to the point where they had become parallel, the Mont-Blanc passing the Imo bow avoiding a collision.
The Imo, for what ever reason, decided to go in reverse, causing its head to swing into the Mont-Blanc. Initial damage wasn't severe; the problem though was that barrels of Benzol toppled over and began to spill out. As the Imo restarted its engines it flew out sparks, igniting the Benzol vapors.
The resulting explosion released an energy equivalent to 2.9 Kilotons of TNT - at the time the largest man made explosion until the development of Nuclear weapons. The explosion obliterated all nearby structures, completely destroying the nearby community of Richmond, killing around Two Thousand people and resulting in the injuries of another Nine Thousand. It was a blast so powerful that it ended up creating a Tsunami, which subsequently wiped out a native population who were living on Tuffs Cove. Pieces of the Mont-Blanc was scattered, travelling miles away from the initial blast area, its main gun reportedly travelling 3.5 miles north. It was so loud that the explosion was said to be heard over 100 miles away
All because the captain of the Imo was feeling a bit impatient that day.

The death toll could have been worse had it not been for the self-sacrifice of an Intercolonial Railway dispatcher, Patrick Vincent (Vince) Coleman, operating at the railyard about 750 feet (230 m) from Pier 6, where the explosion occurred. He and his co-worker, William Lovett, learned of the dangerous cargo aboard the burning Mont-Blanc from a sailor and began to flee. Coleman remembered, however, that an incoming passenger train from Saint John, New Brunswick, was due to arrive at the railyard within minutes. He returned to his post alone and continued to send out urgent telegraph messages to stop the train. Several variations of the message have been reported, among them this from the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic: "Hold up the train. Ammunition ship afire in harbor making for Pier 6 and will explode. Guess this will be my last message. Good-bye boys."

posted on May, 3 2016 @ 03:48 PM
I love obscure history. Anyone got any more to add?

posted on May, 3 2016 @ 03:56 PM
I think immediately of Aristotle's 'scientific' view on the nature of gravity. Because he was the 'great' Aristotle' his ideas were taken for granted for a thousand years before other scientists began to seriously challange his age old thoughts. Basically retarded progress in that field for ages and ages.

Next to that? Maybe the election of Ronald Reagan.

posted on May, 3 2016 @ 03:58 PM
The biggest screw-up? Constantine converting to Christianity.

posted on May, 3 2016 @ 04:05 PM
a reply to: schuyler

Right you are schuyler. My take on that was basically he and his empire were floundering with the old gods and needed a new moral system to keep it all together. Worked for a long long time.

posted on May, 3 2016 @ 04:07 PM
a reply to: ladyvalkyrie

Bush/Cheney/Iraq invasion.... He/they had all the support they needed in Afghanistan,and blew the trust by going for Iraq.Bush would have been a saint in history,had he not gone to Iraq.
#2. Ronald Reagan....As soon as he was elected,the Iran hostage's were freed....Were they afraid of what Reagan would do? Nope,they had the Iran-contra deal made months in advance!

posted on May, 3 2016 @ 04:08 PM
(on the original link) I found mention of the Emu War in Australia. Never heard of it. Surely, maybe by 'Emu' they're referring to an obscure aboriginal tribe? Nope.

Actual Emus.
Approximately 20,000 emus invaded Australian crops. So let's call in the troops.

Military involvement was due to begin in October 1932. The "war" was conducted under the command of Major G.P.W. Meredith of the Seventh Heavy Battery of the Royal Australian Artillery, with Meredith commanding a pair of soldiers armed with two Lewis guns and 10,000 rounds of ammunition.

By 8 November, six days after the first engagement, 2,500 rounds of ammunition had been fired. The number of birds killed is uncertain: one account claims just 50 birds, but other accounts range from 200 to 500

But hey, at least Meredith reported no casualties on HIS end.
Then the second wave of attack:

Taking to the field on 13 November 1932, the military found a degree of success over the first two days, with approximately 40 emus killed. The third day, 15 November, proved to be far less successful, but by 2 December the guns were accounting for approximately 100 emus per week. Meredith was recalled on 10 December, and in his report he claimed 986 kills with 9,860 rounds, at a rate of exactly 10 rounds per confirmed kill. In addition, Meredith claimed 2,500 wounded birds had died as a result of the injuries that they had sustained.

In the end the government just went back to the bounty system.

posted on May, 3 2016 @ 04:12 PM
a reply to: TerryMcGuire
Speaking of the 'old school':

In the 12th century, a monk made a prayer book. Paper was scarce in those days, so instead of shelling out for brand new paper the monk pulled an old manuscript off the shelf, and just wrote it using that. He scraped the ink off, re-cut, and flipped the pages, and set out writing his book.
Later analysis has shown that that worthless manuscript that he practically destroyed was actually a book called "The Method" by Archimedes. The book, to put it lightly, laid out the basics of calculus and physics more than 1500 years before Newton and Liebniz.
Who knows how advanced we might be these days if that monk hadn't written his book?


posted on May, 3 2016 @ 04:12 PM
a reply to: ladyvalkyrie

The U.S.S William D Porter(A.k.a the "Frat Boat") is probably one of the funniest f*** ups in history

Man, what a hoot. I have never heard of that. What a movie that would make. George Clooney as the captian, Crispin Glover as the guy who hauls in the anchor and Key and Peele as that galley cooks always having their food and tools spilled from the rocking ship. Socko box office I tell ya.

posted on May, 3 2016 @ 04:14 PM
a reply to: ladyvalkyrie

Liverpool FC mishandled Luis Suarez.

The War on Drugs has been a social disaster and the War on Terrorism has been a global disaster - screw ups. Terrorists are bad and need to be dealt with but we all need to have a clear definition of what terrorism entails and what a terrorist is. It'd really help if all sides weren't playing fast and loose with the terminology.

We could blame Bill Clinton for bombing the ME in the 90s, blame Iranians for bombing/hijacking planes in the 70s or blame Bush for reacting to 9/11. Or we could go further and further back until we blame the Roman Empire for not handling their decline and creating the Middle East/West divide. Byzantine bastards!

The first 'chef' who discovered cooking meat didn't help us either. Or the lazy smartass who started planting seeds and sat around relying on their crops for food. Alexander Fleming for being too careless with the hygiene and discovering anti-biotics?

I guess we're the sum of our screw-ups

posted on May, 3 2016 @ 04:15 PM
OK I'll play, one of the 'What if ?' Hitler invading Russia

posted on May, 3 2016 @ 04:15 PM
a reply to: ladyvalkyrie

Why limit this to "history"?

I'd say the next biggest screw up will be the results of this election!

Regardless who wins!
edit on 3-5-2016 by TonyS because: ETA

posted on May, 3 2016 @ 04:17 PM
If the criterion is going to be "trivial moments with huge consequences", then there's a good military example in the battle of Leipzig, "the battle of the nations", in 1813.
Napoleon had got back from Russia, and a number of his enemies were now combining their forces against him. Nevertheless, he was holding his own very well, and was now in the middle of withdrawing his army from a dangerous position. The plan was to take it across a river and then demolish the crossing, slowing down pursuit and enabling him to re-group for the next move. Unfortunately the timing went awry.

Napoleon delegated responsibility for preparing the causeway for demolition to an unreliable general officer named Dulauloy. He in turn passed the task on to a Colonel Montfort, who soon decided that the whistle of musketballs was coming uncomfortably close and quitted the scene, leaving one miserable corporal in charge of the demolition charges. This unfortunate individual panicked at one o'clock and without the least need blew the bridge in spite of the fact that it was still crowded with French troops. This criminal mistake turned a successful withdrawal operation into a disaster, for the rear guard was trapped in Leipzig, with no means of making good their escape.

"The campaigns of Napoleon", p935, David Chandler.

This mishap cost Napoleon the battle and his empire.

edit on 3-5-2016 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 3 2016 @ 04:18 PM
The answer to the biggest screw up in history is easy,


They thought hope and change would be free cars, reeboks and iphones.
When he finally produced on hope and change, they found out they are getting Trump instead.

posted on May, 3 2016 @ 04:20 PM

Here are 10 good ones. My favorites are invading Russia in winter, something both Napoleon and Hitler are guilty of trying, and how Constantinople fell ... both times. There are also a couple on here that you already mentioned like Chernobyl and Fukushima.

posted on May, 3 2016 @ 04:20 PM
a reply to: ladyvalkyrie

"The Method" by Archimedes. The book, to put it lightly, laid out the basics of calculus and physics more than 1500 years before Newton and Liebniz.

This is the kind of thing that really makes me wonder. Just how close we might be to something that could really leap us forward. Especially these old scientific losses. Maybe had these little errors not taken place, our sciences might have stayed ahead of our population increases and by now we could be on the moon, and Mars and who knows what else. Ya gotta wonder.

posted on May, 3 2016 @ 04:24 PM
And thus the medical malpractice lawsuit was born:

One of the biggest one has to be the legendary operation with 300% mortality by Robert Liston (born 1794):
"Amputated the leg in under 2 1⁄2minutes (the patient died afterwards in the ward from hospital gangrene; they usually did in those pre-Listerian days). He amputated in addition the fingers of his young assistant (who died afterwards in the ward from hospital gangrene). He also slashed through the coat tails of a distinguished surgical spectator, who was so terrified that the knife had pierced his vitals he dropped dead from fright. That was the only operation in history with a 300 percent mortality."

posted on May, 3 2016 @ 04:28 PM
a reply to: DISRAELI

Yeah, "every two front war" was one of the comments on the original thread. Always have an out.

posted on May, 3 2016 @ 04:31 PM

originally posted by: TonyS
a reply to: ladyvalkyrie

Why limit this to "history"?

I'd say the next biggest screw up will be the results of this election!

Regardless who wins!

Oy vey! Yeah, a pre-emptive title winner. We are so boned.

Why settle for the LESSER evil? Vote Cthulhu 2016

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