A couple of centuries after Breaveheart, the English and Scottish were still pretty much hating each other for everything and war was declared over the two nations for any reason at all. In this particular instance, King Henry the VIII of England wasn't pleased with his nephew, James V, king of Scotland, because he didn't turn up for a meeting with his old uncle. Henry sent a few thousand men to go pillaging, destroying and generally fucking up James's land. That's family for you.
Eventually the Scots decided enough was enough and sent a vastly superior force of around 18,000 troops to show them to the door. Things looked optimistic for the Scottish when they turned up outnumbering the English six to one in what would be called The Battle of Solway Moss.
Who Fucked Up?
When the Scottish turned up to the fight, they cracked their knuckles, tossed some cabers and waited eagerly for orders from their General. After a few minutes of looking around and pointing at each other, they suddenly realized there wasn't a commander present. No one was in charge.
So.. do we attack, or...?
The Scottish commander had been (unofficially anyway) Robert Maxwell. But he got sick and had to leave the army. He did this without taking care of the minor task of appointing someone to replace him.
When the British arrived, some of the Scottish fled the battle, some fought, some just stood their scratching their heads wondering why nobody was giving them the order to charge even though the British were right there, killing them. What, is this some kind of strategy? Are we trying to give them a false sense of confidence?
Finally the 3,000 English just walked up and captured the ones who were still around, eventually walking away with 1,200 prisoners. See, this is why we never got that Braveheart sequel.
When a Japanese task force of 500 marines swiftly invaded the U.S. occupied island of Kiska, the Americans decided to take it back with 35,000 men, having done the math and determined that bringing 70 times more troops than the enemy is the precise amount to say "fuck off."
On August 17, 1943, The U.S. Army stormed the beach of Kiska with a force of 95 ships, 168 aircraft and thousands of Captain Americas. They bombed the beaches with planes, destroyed the garrisons with heavy artillery and then the soldiers charged in, shooting everything that somehow still stood.
The allies took the island and suffered 122 casualties.
When the dust settled and the Americans stopped to reload, pat themselves on the back, count the bodies and have the compulsory talk about their girls waiting for them back home, they suddenly realized that they couldn't find any enemy corpses. Either that Japanese task force was comprised entirely of Predators or they had been bamboozled.
Charge! Keep firing at everything ever!
Who Fucked Up?
The U.S. intelligence officers win the prize. After sending a plane and taking photos over Kiska, it looked a whole lot like it had been abandoned. And it had been--the Japanese had left the island two weeks before. Still, the decision was made to send in the troops and bring that nothing to justice rather than delaying the operation and checking to see that the enemy were actually fucking there. Good job, gentlemen.
It all could have been an amusing mistake, but only if you forget about the 122 dead. How do you lose over a hundred men in a battle with no enemy? Well, the losses included 24 from friendly fire, a stray mine destroying a ship and 47 men vanishing in the dense jungle. Though that last one actually lends credence to the Predator theory...
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For more military insanity, check out 7 WTF Military Weapons You Won't Believe They Actually Built and The 10 Most Bizarre Military Experiments.
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