Military Gear & Army Surplus Gear Blog



– There have been many things
that militaries have done that have been considered
mistakes in the past, but some were bigger than others. Militaries and armies are only successful if their intelligence matches their might, but unfortunately, some
militaries have made some big oopsies in the past
that were either embarrassing or in some cases,
actually lost them a war. So today, we’re going to look at exactly what the biggest mistakes
ever made were by militaries and what they caused. So let’s get right into it. These are the 10 biggest
military screw ups in history. Number one is Franz Ferdinand’s driver. Did you know that world war
one could have been avoided? Well, that’s what some
experts believe anyway, as many historians state
that the assassination of Austrian archduke Franz
Ferdinand and his wife Sophie were what really started it all. On June 28th, 1914, before
the assassination of Ferdinand took place, there was a
previous assassination attempt in which the driver of the
car that the duke was in managed to dodge a bomb. The duke later requested
to go to the hospital and visit those who weren’t lucky enough to avoid the explosion, but the very same driver
made a wrong turn. Instead of going to the
hospital, he drove the car right into the path of 19
year old Gavrilo Princip, one of the six original assassins. The shooter took
advantage of this and shot both the duke and the
dutchess, killing them both. Yup, that’s right, a wrong
turn may have started one of the deadliest wars of all time. I’m not sure if the driver survived, but he might not wanna
put that on his resume. It’s a little embarrassing. Number two is the Fall of Constantinople. From 1261 to 1453, the
city of Constantinople stood as the capital city of
the Roman Byzantine empire. Named after Emperor Constantine the Great, the city was the biggest
and richest city in Europe for many years. Well, that was prior to the mother of all errors that brought
about its downfall. From April 6th, 1453 until May 29th, 1453, the Ottoman empire, under
the command of 21 year old, Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror
held a siege of the capital, but due to the high walls
and secured entrances, the Turks had little chance
of taking over the city. The Byzantines within the
city were fewer in numbers but at least they were
safe behind the walls. Or, at least they would have been, had they not forgotten to
close one of the main gates. John, did you close the gate? I’m on lunch, I’ll do it later. The Turks ended up
discovering the open gate, and the armies flooded the
city, preparing to take it over. And take it over they did,
they raised their flag proudly and took control of Constantinople
while the Byzantines were left to reflect on their error. See kids, always close
the door behind you. Number three is the
German Submarine U-1206. When the first submarine
was built, many people asked the important question,
how do I go poo poos? Well, in 1945, builders
of the German Sub U-1206 thought that they had found the answer, a perfect toilet flushing system,
using high pressure valves to allow a flush even
when deep under the water. The only problem with it is
that it was so complicated, that supervision was needed
when operating the mechanism. Sir, I went poop, I’m ready for flushies. But, being a proud man,
Captain Carl Adolf Shlit refused the supervision
and flushed the toilet after doing his business. That’s when disaster struck,
and the toilet backfired, and Atlantic sea water
started quickly rushing into the submarine. As the water hit the batteries, which for some reason were
located right under the toilet a large amount of
chlorine gas was released. That’s when they had problems. At that point, Shlit couldn’t do anything but order the sub to the surface, which left them 10 miles
away from the British coast. They were then spotted
immediately by an English plane and the sub was bombed, and all surviving crew
members were captured. Well, that’s one destructive poop. Number four is the Bay of Pigs Invasion. In 1961, President John F. Kennedy and the Central Intelligence
Agency set up a secret military operation to invade Cuba, and bring down their infamous
Prime Minister Fidel Castro. Forming brigade 2506 a
paramilitary group made up of Cuban exhiles and
others that were against the Cuban leader were
trained to become the force that would change everything. On April 17th, 1961,
the mission was launched from Guatemala and Nicaragua, but in just three short days, all of the brigade 2506
was defeated at the hands of Castro’s Cuban
Revolutionary Armed Forces. America’s mistake? The units of Cubans that they sent in were completely unprepared
for the mission, and their plan fell
apart almost immediately. Yo man, like I got a gun,
but what are we doing? It was this flub that later
lead to the Cuban Missile Crisis just the following year. If you’re going to pull a Trojan horse, make sure your group
is ready for the fight. This was like gathering a
group of six month old puppies and telling them to jump on
that large Doberman over there that’s guarding all the treats, oopsies. Number five is General Wallace. Anybody can make a mistake,
but it takes a special someone to lose a battlefield of 25,000 men. That special someone
was General Lew Wallace, an American lawyer and
major general for the Union in the American Civil War
between 1861 and 1865. During the Battle of Shiloh
on April sixth, 1862, he was ordered by General
Grant to bring his men to the battleground as
support for the right flank, but his knowledge of geography
wasn’t exactly great. Without a map, he lead over 58 hundred men as they marched for hours
in the wrong direction. The Confederates advanced so far that by the time that Wallace’s
army reached the battlefield, they had moved through Union territory. This was a prime opportunity
to flank the enemy and launch a surprise
attack on them from behind, but controversially, as
they approached the rear of the Confederates, who were
already firing at Grant’s men, Wallace ordered his men to turn back and go to the location that they were initially ordered to go to by Grant. Okay everybody, we’re
gonna play a big game of let’s turn back around
where we came from. Let’s get some exercise. Many hours later, they finally
arrived at Grant’s position, only to find that they’d been defeated with thousands of lives
lost and a pissed off Grant. Number six is the Island of Kiska. On June sixth, 1942, Japanese
forces invaded Kiska, an American territory island
off the coast of Alaska. Though it was more of a nuisance to supply and maintain
than it was really worth, the moral impact the invasion had on the American people was enormous, and naturally the U.S.
needed to take it back. Bombing beaches, destroying
garrisons, and using 35,000 men, the army destroyed everything
that they could find, and in the end, successfully
took over the island, suffering only 122 causalities. But something was wrong
because once successful, they realized none of the
corpses that they found belonged to the Japanese. In fact, what they didn’t
know was that the Japanese had actually abandoned the
island two weeks prior. So you’re probably thinking, but wait a minute, the army
suffered over 100 causalities, and there was no enemy fighting back? Well aside from friendly
fire killing 24 soldiers and a stray mine, which destroyed a ship, 47 soldiers apparently just
disappeared into the jungle. That’s right, they successfully
defeated themselves. Choose your battles, friends. Choose your battles. Number seven is the Battle of Solway Moss. This event proves that
numbers truly don’t matter if no one’s in charge. On November 24th, 1542,
after James V, King of Scots, refused to separate from
the Roman Catholic Church, his uncle King Henry VIII
from England sent about 3,000 men to pillage and
destroy the land of Solway Moss, near the River Esk. The Scottish obviously
intended to fight back, using nearly 18,000
troops to stage a defense, and clearly outnumbering
the British six to one. However, the unofficial
Scottish commander, Robert Maxwell, was sick. So sick in fact that he
couldn’t give orders, stepping away from everything without even appointing
someone else to take his place. I don’t know how much
you know about armies, but that’s never a good thing. When the British finally
arrived, the Scots stood there, confused as they didn’t have
a single order to act on. They’re coming with guns. They’re coming with guns! What do we do? Some of the soldiers
literally just ran away, while others watched without charging or defending themselves at all. Only a few fought but
of course to no avail. In the end, the small
British army captured 12 hundred prisoners out
of the 18,000 troop army. Number eight is Fort Michilimackinac. All’s fair in sports and war. In 1761, when the British took
over Fort Michilimackinac, which is present day Michigan, they found themselves
next to the Ojibwa tribe. For months, they live peacefully, watching as members of the tribe started playing a game called Begadwe, which was a precursor to the sport that we know today as lacrosse. Now they played this game
near the entrance to the fort, but what the British soldiers did not know was that the Ojibwa people despised them. At first, the games were
watched from behind the walls, until the soldiers started
feeling more comfortable with the Ojibwa people and began
enjoying the games outside, next to the matches area. They would even place
bets against the savages. Then in 1763, a ball accidentally flew over the fort’s walls. The soldiers left the gates
open, allowing the teams, although made up of warriors, through. Once inside the walls, the
Ojibwa suddenly attacked. Almost instantly, they
seized control of the fort, killing almost all of the soldiers, and holding the fort for an entire year. Damn kids, see once again,
always close the door behind you! Mama telling you what’s best baby. Number nine is the USS William D. Porter. When you consider all of the accidents, mistakes that this ship
and its crew endured, it’s a miracle that it
survived as long as it did. In 1943, while leaving port, the USS William D. Porter’s crew, forgot to raise the anchor. It wound up scraping the
sides of a sister ship, causing a whole lot of damage. Then only 24 hours later, a depth charge casually
rolled off the deck, exploding near the Iowa, a ship that President
Roosevelt happened to be on. Woo, good thing they made it
through those mistakes, Matt. Yeah, I’m not done. Then while firing fake
torpedoes for tests, a real one was actually launched
directly at the same ship. Now luckily the Iowa was
warned in time and evaded it, sparing the president once again. Of course, this ship eventually helped cause its own downfall
when, on June 10th, 1945, it shot down a Japanese kamikaze plane. The porter managed to
evade the falling plane, only to have it explode under them. The force of the blast
actually lifted the ship out of the water momentarily, and after 12 minutes, it sank. And unbelievably, out of all
of that, no lives were lost. Don’t put all of the
dumb people on one ship. They have bombs. They gonna do stupid stuff. And number ten is Operation Barbarossa. Adolf Hitler was a greedy man, and if you’re looking for proof, look no further than when he
tried to invade Russia in 1941. Though Germany and Russia
had signed a political, economic non-aggressive pact, in August of 1939, just two years prior, German high commander and
Hitler himself decided, yeah let’s invade Russia anyway. They launched a force of
over 4 million soldiers, the largest military invasion force in the history of warfare. However, no matter how
many men your army has, you need to know your terrain and the conditions that
you’ll be marching under. Yeah, the problem was, Hitler
didn’t do his research, and when the winter of 1941
hit, his forces hit an ice wall. Not only did snow and
ice slow the troops down, but their weapons and equipment
froze and became unusable. Russians however were accustomed
to the harsh temperatures and fought back, pushing
much of the German army away. Interestingly enough, Napoleon Bonaparte made the exact same mistake over a century earlier
with his army in 1812. In mother Russia, land invade you. So those were the 10 biggest
military screw-ups in history. But I wanna know from you, was there another blunder
a military or army has made that deserves to be on this list? Leave your response below, because I’ll be reading through them, and I’m going to pin the
best comment to the top. Don’t forget I got some
great news for you, babies. Starting Monday, January 30th, I’m beginning a new upload
schedule of daily uploads, from Monday to Friday at exactly three PM, Eastern Standard Time. Yes, that means that every weekday, at exactly three PM Eastern Standard Time, you can expect a new video from me. I hope you guys are as excited as I am, and I will see you in just a couple days with the new schedule. Bye!

Reader Comments

  1. What about that time Germany tried to get Mexico to invade the United States only for the message to be intercepted by the British?

  2. Now can someone explain to me what happened on No number 6th it sounds to me like they where fight each other and if the what Happened then (OMG)HAHAHA BUT SAD uss William D porter should be a funny movie like funny funny like Will Smith in Aladdin

  3. Constantinople likely would have fallen anyway due to the recently invented artillery cannons that were bombarding its walls

  4. It's actually pronounced mack in aw not mack in ack, but ok. Also Hitler attempting to blitzkrieg through the Ardens for a second time, but being defeated at the battle of the bulge and being pushed back all the way to Berlin in WWII

  5. WW2 could have been prevented if an English soldier had decided to kill Hitler instead of leaving him out of remorse

  6. "John, did you close the gate?"
    "I'm on lunch, I'll do it later."

    "It's like telling puppies to jump onto that big Daubermann."

    "They're coming with guns! They're coming with guns, what do we do?"

    "See kids, ALWAYS close the door behind you!"

    Hilarious video! Keep it up, Matthew! 😀

  7. See, this is why we need more women leaders 😂 (Please don't click on my face. I'm a germaphobe.)

  8. How about when the US declared war on Spain because the USS Maine was sunk and the US thought it was Spain that suck it but it was actually because the ammunition on the ship exploded.

  9. Wow. The guy who forgot to close the main gate is like that one groupmate who forgot to do what he's assigned in the project so he ends screwing it for the whole group.

  10. I heard that USSR was going to attack sooner or later. They was waiting to Europe was weaken to than just to invade so Hitler attack first. I think he would done it sooner but, he had to help Italy. Italy mostly had WW1 gear and tanks etc. He didn't pick his allies well enough.

  11. Invading Russia in the the winter and without defeating the British on your west leading to a war on two fronts 🙄 Hitler will you ever learn

  12. One that was missed happened in 1863, at the height of the Civil War, when the Confederates fought the Union at the battle of Gettysburg. Pickett's charge, which consisted of between 12,000-15,000 Confederates, charged across an open field, straight into a well fortified Union position that was dead-center of the whole Union line! The Confederates were hit by Enfillade fire, cannon fire, and, when they were closer to the Union lines, Rifle fire that was extremely accurate. Needless to say, the Confederates were soundly beaten back, and, of the Confederates that were involved in that disastrous charge, they lost over half of their men. It may actually have been much worse than that! All of this occurred because of one person:Gen. Robert E. Lee. He had thought his Army was invincible. The Union proved him wrong!!!

  13. Spanning the entire history of warfare armies have been making mistakes. Almost always it's a communication break down. However the really big mistakes are usually made by 1 maybe 2 people. Like the gate being left open, or the guy that flushed a toilet and poisoned and ultimately sank a submarine. A good one to add on the Germans behalf is the fact that the Allied invasion on D-day would have been almost impossible if the Panzer division had been ordered to the beaches. There had been time to do it but one man made a mistake. The man that had been responsible for keeping Hitler informed, had been scared to wake him from a nap to tell him that the information on the landing sites for the invasion was wrong. Hitler could have sent the order to the panzers in time to meet the Allied forces. But because this one man didn't want to be shot for waking him up he didn't hear about it until it was too late.

  14. the field commander of the German army at Normandy, decided to visit his wife for his 50th birthday, assuming the allies would not invade during a channel storm. Oops, that day was June 6th, 1944.

  15. And in the bay of pigs the American air support came 3 hours late so the ground force had to hold out

  16. Operation babrossa: real story

    Hitler wanted to win the war with only France and Britain in the war he got rid of France so his plan was to bomb British cities and kill British people until they surrender than they would secure iron ports and take control in Norway Than they would invade Russia and win the war but Hitler thought he would win before the Russian winter so he didn’t give his 9 million men winter clothing or supplies

  17. What about the charge of the light brigade and the Use William Porter was actually full of new recruits at the time it hadmost those issues.

  18. During the Arab Israeli war Egyptians did not mark out where they buried land mines and to this day there are areas of Egypt that are prohibited from tourists because of the danger.

  19. How about the time an American government agent took a thumb drive they found on the ground in the parking lot and plugged it into a government computer only for it to be a worm virus.

  20. Matthew: Michillamackinac: Mich (as in Michigan) eh lah mack in awe Yeah. It's a mouthful. Also bagataway: buh gat- uh way. My family lives about 10 miles south of the Mackinac Bridge and have re-enacted the battle you discussed on many a Memorial Day weekend.

  21. for number 10 u forgot to mention that he could have avoided the winter if his first group
    hadnt decided to rest to wait for the second group that was on horse back

  22. Matthew you completely left out Special Order 191. During the American Civil War General Lee issued top secret special orders for the invasion of the North that may have ended the war with a confederate victory. But some confederate officer accidentally dropped his copy of the orders and they were found by a union private that allowed the north to intercept the plans and stop the invasion

  23. A collision at sea can ruin your whole day. I wonder at the seamanship skills of the current group that seems to conduct extensive manufacturing to get in front of tankers and freighters.

    That and their just realizing that GPS is not trustworthy against a semi-skilled enemy and returned celestial navigation to the agenda.
    I wonder if they can still use moboards and signal flags?

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