Take a look at the below list of Top 10 Infamous Blunders of World History. World history is filled with fascinating tidbits and interesting historical footnotes of decisions badly made and dunderheaded blunders. Even more fascinating than, say, Edison’s conviction that movies would never movie beyond the nickelodeon are those enormously awful decisions that led to disastrous consequences on a global scale. When it comes to the top 10 infamous blunders of world history, the sad truth is that leaders of all nations following ideologies of all stripes have created a historical timeline of ill-conceived notions that could stretch from here to Jupiter and back again. Trying to pick the top 10 is an exercise in pure subjectivity, but then again there are some boners that just objectively protrude through the passage of time.
List of Top 10 Infamous Blunders of World History
10. The Battle of Agincourt
Henry V is, if you get your history from Shakespeare, the greatest British monarch up to the Renaissance. The Battle of Agincourt is the highlight of the play that bears his name. And why not? Talk about your historical blunders? Charles d’Albret led the French resistance against British imperialism into their country and made two pretty disastrous mistakes. First, he decided to trust in the short-range power of the crossbow rather than relying on the long range of the longbow. Second, he decided to march his soldiers across a quagmire of boggy rain mud with those crossbows, thus setting the French up as sitting ducks for the rain of arrows falling from the sky shot from a distance way too far away for those crossbows to hit.
9. The Tower of Pisa
You hear it so much that you tend to forget that it wasn’t always called the Leaning Tower of Pisa. But it wasn’t. This is a structure that took nearly two centuries to build. And not because they got it wrong the first time and had to rebuild it from the ground up. The blunder here was one that actually turned out well for centuries. But the day is coming when the blunder becomes tragic rather than photogenic. What makes this a top ten blunder is not so much the building, but the allowing of this tragedy in the making to stand for no other reason than to make grift money from tourists.
8. The Assassination of Caesar
Like the fifth biggest blunder in world history, the assassination of Caesar seemed like a good idea at the time. But good ideas can sometimes go wrong. The world can never know what would have become of Rome had Caesar not been killed, but it is quite clear what became of it in the wake of his premature death. And that timeline was almost certainly not preferable to what might have. Does that make Caesar a great guy taken down too soon? Of course not. It merely reveals that who took the future into their hands pale by comparison.
7. The Invasion of Iraq and Toppling of Saddam Hussein
Actually, referring to the invasion of Iraq under the direct command of Pres. George W. Bush as a blunder is underestimating the sheer venality of the decision. The decision to invade Iraq and toppled Saddam Hussein was purposely calculated years before the potential to do it came along and that decision was sold by the President of the United States on a tower of lies that he knew were lies. The world today is now forced to live in the Blunder Years which produced ISIS and the Islamic State and gained nothing and the architect of that blunder is a war criminal who gets to sell crappy painting for big money.
6. Destroying the Library of Alexandria
How huge a blunder was the decision by some unknown person or persons to burn down the Library of Alexandria? So big that we will never really know for sure. As far as blunders go, this is the big one relative to the loss of precious and priceless information. Take the decision by those people stupid enough to burn their Beatles albums when John Lennon said they were bigger than Jesus and multiply it by a number so large it cannot even be calculated. What was lost when the Library of Alexandria went up in flames? Like the number of licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop, the world may never know. Check that: the world will never know. And therein lies the greatest tragedy of this blunder.
5. The Treaty of Versailles
Ah yes, the Treaty of Versailles. The treaty that essentially planted the seeds of Nazi Socialism in Germany that allowed what seemed to be otherwise relatively sane individuals to go dipping their entire body in the crazy pond filled with Hitler’s urine. The Germans should have known better, naturally, but then again so should those guys drafting the peace treaty that brought what could come to be known as World War I to an end. Anybody who ever humiliated someone else on your basic walking down the beach and kicking sand in someone’s face level knows what the average person who gets sand kicked in their face desires more than anything else: revenge. So we have a blunder made by those who should have known better. This is one of the Top 10 Infamous Blunders of World History.
4. Invading Russia (Napoleon and Hitler)
Both Napoleon and Hitler made two incredibly misguided blunders. Trying to get into Russia as part of your plan for world domination should by now be clearly labeled in the “Do Not Do” section. It is somewhat easier to forgive to Napoleon for making this blunder since his knowledge of world history was severely limited as to the danger posed by trying to invade Russia. Hitler was just a monumental idiot, however. For many, many, many reasons, of course, but at least partially for trying to do what Napoleon could not. Making things even worse is the fact that Napoleon was about a million times more gifted as a military strategist than any Nazi could ever dream of being…and he still couldn’t pull it off.
3. Constitutionally Protecting Slavery
America is still paying the price for the greatest failing of its Founding Fathers. Allowing slavery to exist even in only parts of the Union is, of course, more than a mere blunder. It was stupid mistake purposely enacted by men who by all rights had to have known better. Except, of course, they didn’t. And America will never, ever, never—ever—be as great as it likes to pretend to be simply because of this blunder in judgment.
2. Crucifying Jesus Christ
One might well ask how could crucifying Jesus Christ be a less huge blunder in world history than the Crusades. After all, if you don’t have the crucifixion of Jesus, the Crusades are pretty much unnecessary. True enough, but crucifying Jesus worked out surprisingly well for his religion. Not so well for a smaller segment of the population around the time. And, yes, as far as Christian burning heretics and Jews goes, the decision to kill Christ might deserve to be at number one. The Crusades, though. That was a blundering of a ridiculous proposition. At least, one can understanding the motivation behind killing off a dangerous threat like that posed by Jesus to the status quo.
1. The Crusades
Whoever thought it would be a great idea to traverse across the expanse of Europe and crucify an entire religion the way that the leader of the religion driving those people across the expanse of Europe…should really be the picture in the dictionary that illustrates stupidity. The historical fallout from the Christian persecution of Muslims continues rolling out to this day and the really sad part is that most modern Christians are more than willing to place every single bit of blame on Islam. It takes two to engage in the bloodiest tango among enemies engaged in a battle of belief that consistently defies quantification. Blunder? Hardly seems a strong enough word for a series of incredibly misguided decisions that the world is still paying for to this day.
These are the Top 10 Infamous Blunders of World History. What makes a blunder different from a mistake? And where does one draw the line between a mistake a clearly intent to do harm? This list of one person’s subjective recounting of the top 10 infamous blunders in world history reveals that the line blurring these distinctions are probably impossible to ever outline in any stark way that makes them obvious.