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Forum LockedMost embarassing defeat in history?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Justinian Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Most embarassing defeat in history?
    Posted: 20-Dec-2007 at 05:28
I was browsing the web and came across this remarkable exploit of habsburg arms.
 
 
The information typed after Result is one of the funniest things I've read.
 
First; how accurate is the wikipedia article?  It starting because of alchohol.
 
Second; can anyone list a comparable failure of an army in the field in any time period?
"War is a cowardly escape from the problems of peace."--Thomas Mann

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sun Tzu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Dec-2007 at 13:11
another embarassing battle could be the siege of Rhodes, the small order of knights made an Ottoman army (at the Ottoman empires zenith) appear lame and pathetic, it inspired the European nations to aid the knights when they were attacked at Malta. Then they banded together and destroyed the Ottoman navy at Lepanto. The battle of Diu was also pretty embarassing for the Ottomans when the Portugese gave em a good broadside.

Edited by Sun Tzu - 20-Dec-2007 at 13:13
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lmprs Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Dec-2007 at 13:33
No doubt that those Gypsies were working for an Ottoman secret service agency.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Aster Thrax Eupator Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Dec-2007 at 13:52

I should think that the Battle of Marathon in 490 BC would have been quite embarassing for Darius - an army of 20' 000 to 60'000 is defeated by a little more than 6 - 9'000 Athenians and about 1'000 plateans. According to Herodotus, only 11 Plateans were killed, 192 Athenians and from the Persian army 6'400 Archenemid troops and 11 Archenemid ships captured. Obviously these figures would have been exaggerated by Herodotus, but whatever way you look at it, there was a small Athenian/Platean army versus a VERY LARGE Archenemid force.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sparten Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Dec-2007 at 14:06
^
Which was not even trying to conquer Athens, considering they had achieved their objectives, and Miletus had seen the error of its ways.
The Germans also take vacations in Paris; especially during the periods they call "blitzkrieg".
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Koichi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Dec-2007 at 15:51
For I don't consider battles like Rhodes or Marathon especially embarrassing because while one force is small, it was militarily competent.  For an event to be truly embarrassing, it has to be brought about by inexcusable stupidity of one party.

Imjin War (1592), Japanese invasion of Korea.  On the opening day of the war, two Korean naval commanders ought to be hung for the detriment they caused their country.  Pak Hong, upon witnessing the Japanese land in Pusan, scuttled his entire fleet, about 100 ships, without a shot fired.  A neighboring commander, Won Kyun, mistaking some fishing boats for Japanese ships, also scuttled his fleet of about 100 ships.  His subordinates stopped him, by which time he had 4 ships left.

Those who are familiar with this particular war would know that the Korean navy was their strongest asset against the Japanese invasion.  The average Korean ship was infinitely superior in combat capabilities to her Japanese counterpart, which, at this stage. was little more than a transport.  Due to the actions of these two men, 2/3 of the navy, over 200 ships, were destroyed without a shot fired.  That left the Koreans with less than 100 ships but fortunately for them, a particularly competent admiral, Yi Sun-shin, would use them to decisively affect the war...

 

Edited by Koichi - 20-Dec-2007 at 15:53
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Dec-2007 at 15:54

Bay of Pigs?

Pretty embarrasing LOL
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jacobtowne Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Dec-2007 at 16:03
The Battle of Savo Island, which took place early in the Guadalcanal Campaign in 1942, was the most humiliating defeat in the history of the U.S. Navy.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Illirac Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Dec-2007 at 17:03
When I read the Battle of Karansebes(wikipedia) I could not take breath of laughing 
For too long I've been parched of thirst and unable to quench it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Paul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Dec-2007 at 17:30
Poor Austrians, only battle I know to compare with Karánsebes is Ulm
 
 


Edited by Paul - 20-Dec-2007 at 17:31
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Paul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Dec-2007 at 18:00
Another I nearly forgot. Ruapekapeka pa in the Mori Wars.
 
The British were beseiging the Maori fort which was immune to artillery fire. Only a costly storming by infantry would take it. However on Sunday morning a British scout noticed the defences were abandoned. the army quickly mustered and marched in unnaposed, to find the Maori defenders in church. They had assumed there would be no need to defend the place on a sunday morning because the British Army would be in church too.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Dec-2007 at 18:43
Singapore, thousands of poor aussies and brits arrived fully armed just in  time to surrender them to the Japs without a single shot.
 
Also, the first battle of Ramlah (montgisard). Saladin had 25000 men against the 7000 crusaders, rather charging the crusaders, the crusaders made the charge, after the first onslaught, only 5000 men were left with Saladin,the rest fled with little casualties, and they refused to fight threatening to withraw which Saladin did and he retreated to the desert. Only 300 men from Saladin's army died yet this was extremely embarassing.
 
Al-Jassas


Edited by Al Jassas - 20-Dec-2007 at 18:56
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Temujin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Dec-2007 at 20:11
i would say the wiki links for both Karansebes and Ulm are pretty much crap.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dogger_Bank_incident

as if Tsushima wasn't embarassing enough....
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote xristar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Dec-2007 at 21:34
Ah, it's painful for me to say, but Greece's army was also once embarrasingly defeated by the ottomans.
During the first balkan war, in autumn 1912, a greek division, separated from the main body of the greek army which was marching eastwards towards Thessaloniki, was marching northwards to capture Monastir (Bitola in modern FYROM).
The division had barely any contact with the turkish forces, which had retreated to the east, and thus were thin in this area.
In one night, a daring turkish machine-gun company attacked and caught by surprise a greek engineer unit of the division, which fled in panic. The battallion, not knowing the strength of the enemy and what exactly happened ordered a tactical retreat to different positions. As the soldiers didn't know what exactly had happened, started to break formation, and retreat in small groups, passing through other battallions. Sodliers of the other battallions started to flee with them, not knowing whta had happened.
Well, long story short, until the morning almost all the division was in full retreat, with most soldiers fleeing to the south in small groups.
Finally, the division was restored,as in the bridge of Amyndeo (a town there), military police was put as guard, rallying any retreating soldiers. On that bridge many paniced greek soldiers were shot dead by the military police.
The delay by this embarrasing incident was enough so that the serbian army captured Monastir/Bitola first.

edit: effectively, 120 soldiers of one MG company defeated an entire infantry division of 12,000 soldiers.


Edited by xristar - 20-Dec-2007 at 21:36

Defeat allows no explanation
Victory needs none.
It insults the dead when you treat life carelessly.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kamikaze 738 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-Dec-2007 at 00:01
Lol @ the Battle of Karansebes Tongue No wonder the Austrian Empire was so difficult to manage!

Edited by Kamikaze 738 - 21-Dec-2007 at 00:02
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-Dec-2007 at 00:13

What about Vietnam?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote deadkenny Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-Dec-2007 at 03:38
Well, not quite on the same 'level' as the 'Battle for the Booze', there are a number of examples of attackers rather badly underestimating their intended target and getting their heads handed to them:

Spanish Armada - start off intending to 'crush' tiny upstart England and end up losing pretty much their entire fleet, a disaster that the Spanish Empire never really recovered from.

Italian 'Invasion' of Greece - ill prepared Italian forces in Albania set out to 'conquer' Greece and end up desperately hanging on in Albania when faced by a counterattack by the plucky Greeks.

Italian 'Invasion' of Egypt - The Italians invade Egypt in the face of a 'token' British defense.  They advance a short distance, stop and sit and when the much smaller British force counterattacks the Italians not only lose their entire 'invasion' force but lose half of Libya to boot!

Winter War (Soviet Invasion of Finland) - Battle of Raate Road in particular, a Red Army division of 25,000 men advances to the aid of another trapped Red Army division and is itself practically totally destroyed by a Finnish force of only 6,000 men. 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Temujin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-Dec-2007 at 19:57
yeah OK but for the last one, the Soviets won that one eventually, otherwise you could just as well mention Barbarossa too.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote deadkenny Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-Dec-2007 at 21:51
Originally posted by Temujin Temujin wrote:

yeah OK but for the last one, the Soviets won that one eventually, otherwise you could just as well mention Barbarossa too.


In terms of the 'Winter War' overall that's true.  However, one side can still be 'embarrassed' at a particular battle, even though they may ultimately win the war.  That is why I suggested a specific battle at the beginning of the Winter War.  You could certainly propose 'Barbarossa' if you believe it is appropriate.  The course of the campaign certainly went disastrously for the Soviets early on.  However, what partially mitigates that is the fact that the Germans achieved a huge measure of surprize, which 'undid' much of the Soviet strategy early on (i.e. attacking themselves).  That, plus although the Soviets did outnumber the Germans, the disparity was not as great as it was with the Soviets vs. the Finns.  Not only were the Finns heavily outnumbered in terms of manpower, but the picture was even worse if one considers artillery, aircraft, tanks, anti-aircraft and anti-tank guns etc.  That was not the case for the Germans, who were themselves quite well equipped if somewhat outnumbered.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Frederick Roger Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Dec-2007 at 12:03
Halfway between English-Portuguese tactical victory and French-Castillan blunder -> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Aljubarrota
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