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Most humiliating defeats in History

Discussion in 'Military History' started by Totenkopf, Dec 11, 2008.

  1. Spartanroller

    Spartanroller Ace

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    Follow on from R Evans post - In particular in that war the Naval battle of Tsu Shima - After managing to send two large fleets all round the world relatively unscathed despite an almost complete lack of coaling and repair stations en route, no international support and a very close call with the British fishing fleet, the Russians managed to throw away every bit of naval strength they had in less than 2 days.

    The Russians lost all 11 battleships, 4 out of 8 cruisers with 3 more interned by the Americans, 6 out of 9 destroyers sunk, 1 interned, and almost all their auxiliary ships captured. total recorded 4300+ killed, more than 6000 captured

    The Japanese lost 3 torpedo boats and just over 100 killed.

    To me that is one of the most humiliating defeats ever, despite the obvious advantages the Japanese had geographically.
     
  2. Mark4

    Mark4 Ace

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    Classic out of well over 400,000 French imperial troops that went in only 10,000 came out alive or do I need to mention the 100 years war? Or how about the English civil war? oooooo or mybe the Norman invasion of England?
     
  3. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    Mark-
    I think you missed a bit out! :D
     
  4. Mark4

    Mark4 Ace

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    Joan de Acr? how ever you spell her name....
     
  5. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    Ah, right.
    Joan of Arc, or Jeanne d'Arc in French
     
  6. gtblackwell

    gtblackwell Well-Known Member Patron  

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    Though I am an American I am a huge Anglophile, including all of the UK but the sinking of the Belgrano does not seem to fit. An obsolete US heavy cruiser, admittedly with 2 destroyers escorting was really no match for a nuclear sub firing a wire guided modern torpedo. I agree with Goose Green. Someone please enlighten me , I read somewhere the Brits used cluster bombs to put Argentine artillery out of commission, why did they not do the same on dug in Argentine troops on the mountaintop?.

    On our end I would say the First Battle of Bull Run. No one expected the Confederates to remotely win and Washington society rode out to watch the "Rebels" get a "lickin" The defeat lead to The Union mobilizing on a serious basis.
     
  7. Joseph Plum Martin

    Joseph Plum Martin recruit

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    Two that come to mind:

    The Battle of Yorktown - The British surrendered about 8,000 troops to a combined American and French force. The defeat forced Great Britain to abandon any hopes for victory in the American colonies because they had to focus their efforts on defending the rest of the empire from their European competitors.

    The Battle of Midway - Just six months after the humiliation and shock of Pearl Harbor, the United States Navy dealt a decisive blow to the Japanese Navy. 4 Japanese carriers were sunk and most of the Japanese pilots who had participated in the attack on Pearl were killed. While the Americans lost ships, planes, and men at Midway, they were losses the Americans could sustain. After Midway, the Japanese were forced to adopt a much more defensive posture in the Pacific.
     
  8. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    Great choices, Joseph.:cool:
     
  9. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    I some ways the first invasion of Wake could be consdered even more humiliating. Had the Marines had a bit more robust comms the second would likely have been even more so.
    I still consider the Battle of Tippermuir to have few equals in that regard though. Especially since Montrose asked the Covenenters if they wanted to postpone the battle until the next day as it was the Sabath and Lord Elcho replied something to the effect of, the Lord's day for the Lord's work. See:
    Battle of Tippermuir - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Memoirs of the most renowned James ... - Google Books
    page 75
     
  10. Victor Gomez

    Victor Gomez Ace

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    Although he is often maligned by historians, Governor Armijo of Santa Fe must be credited with our eventual entry into statehood with only suffering the loss of El Paso and that portion of our territory to another state, he did this by his stand against the expansionist threat from the east knowing that most did not want to join the Texas Republic so our best bet for joining the union was standing intact. Few people now recall the act with accuracy. It has to be a local and humiliating defeat for that day in our history. To this day they only say "Remember the Alamo!" leaving out the humiliation of the Texas Santa Fe Expedition. I always thought they should say "Remember the Alamo and the Texas Santa Fe Expedition!" but that did not become the battle cry......it must have been too humiliating, especially in that they couldn't find their own state's landmarks to make their way up to Santa Fe in the first place. The amount of money invested in this venture was truly amazing for a Republic that had no money at the time. These troops did not have a good knowledge of their own territory for navigation. Texan Santa Fe Expedition -- 1841
    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_hb6532/is_3_67/ai_n28855315/
     
  11. Afroboy

    Afroboy recruit

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    I must ad one battle that I haven´t seen here is Perl Harbor. It was a kick inn the nuts for US.
     
  12. GE 999

    GE 999 Member

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    I still find Isandlwana to be at the top of the list - but you need to have both pieces of the puzzle for it to be the most humiliating. A battle seasoned army of nearly 1500 was literally erased from the field of battle. While it had good officers there, the one best suited to take command didn't our of curtosy (one fatal mistake) leaving command to an inexperienced officer, but not entrenching the army but itself in a horrible defensive position with only 2 pieces of artillery.

    Now when you couple that the forces as Isandlwana suffered nearly 100% fatalities and at Rorke's drift a force of 200 men led by what the British commanders at the time felt to be substandard officers (thus them being sent to Rorke's drift and not remaining with the invasion force) managed to fight off an attack which pressed them on all 4 sides (and from above on the cliffs) by a force of several thousand Zulu's while sustaining only a handful of casualties ime really makes the handling of Isandlwana look that much more embarrasing.
     
  13. Victor Gomez

    Victor Gomez Ace

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    I am glad you decided to re-run this thread as when I added # 230 posting I don't think anyone much read the post .....and I was trying to stir some healthy rivalry for some discussion and so so failed to do so. I think anyone must admit this was a big one when it comes to failed campaigns.
     
  14. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    It was a pretty spectacular own goal!
     
  15. GE 999

    GE 999 Member

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    With there being so many earlier entries it's almost impossible to come up with something brand new unless you dig through your library to find something obscure or otherwise ill or incorrectly documented. If you look at Buell's book on the Civil war (the Warrior Generals Combat Leadership in the Civil War) it paints a majorly different picture of the Civil War and what most of us learned while we were in high school/college on the matter (sans History majors). As I've nearly finished the book I can't believe how stupid the leadership was in the Civil War, and despite several entire divisions (in terms of numbers) of men dying in some of the battles we never learned from our own mistakes and kept throwing more meat into the grinder. It's like all the Generals forgot how to be soldiers, and completely ignore some particulary valuable experience they learned prior to the war (such as Lee's frequent use of engineers to map out areas so he could make a proper battle plan-something he never did during the Civil War) which just made the thing drag on far longer than it should have. I could name half a dozen disasters from this book alone!

    Imo to truly re-start this thread (which I believe is a good one) this one needs to be locked and a new one restarted. Even though it'll mean much of the same content in here will get duplicated it will create active interest and discussion. People see this one and are just intimidated by the # of pages and the thought of reading through all of them to be current with the thread.
     
  16. Eirk Ritari

    Eirk Ritari Member

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    Battle of Tsushima for the Russians
    Castlebar 1798 for the English
    Gallipoli for Britain and the Commonwealth
     
  17. Boerevryheid

    Boerevryheid Member

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    I think this one ranks under the top ten since it happened so long ago -

     
  18. scrounger

    scrounger Member

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    HI; I don't know if anyone mentioned this but what about the Royal Navy victory at The battle of Trafalgar. Admiral Nelson gained immortality and London gets a monument to the victory and a landmark square.
     
  19. efestos

    efestos Member

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    Trafalgar was a decisive victory, not an humilliating defeat: a very professional fleet, with a brilliant commander defeated a fleet did not receive their full pay for years and etc. .. the strange thing is they left Cadiz, Villeneuve's decision, one of the worst admirals ever seen.
    Humiliating, was the defeat of Nelson at Tenerife in 1797, when a couple of villagers beat him on the small island (smaller than Puerto Rico) and nearly killed him.
     
  20. Sloniksp

    Sloniksp Ставка

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    Nelson lost an arm in that offensive did he not?
     

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