If, say, North and South Korea were to go to war again, you'd pretty much expect the fighting to stay there. If you were hanging around Disney World in Orlando and suddenly a couple of North and South Korean platoons showed up and started shooting at each other, you'd assume you were the victim of some elaborate flash mob prank. Yet that sort of thing has happened all through history, like the time ...
5The German Navy Attacked Cape Cod
Quick: What exactly does the U.S. Coast Guard do? They save sinking boats and shit, right? Maybe stop smugglers, that sort of thing? All of it must seem like a pretty sweet deal if you're doing that instead of, say, fighting a world war. That's why the Coast Guard off the small town of Orleans, Massachusetts, probably thought they had a pretty sweet gig during World War I -- no filthy trenches or death-defying naval attacks for them. All they had to do for the war effort was guard a bunch of lobster traps and enjoy the whale watching. Which made it all the more pants-wetting when, out of the blue, an Imperial German submarine suddenly rose from the abyss in attack mode.
In freaking Cape Cod.
This itty bitty little sideways elf shoe looking place.
It was July 21, 1918, and the German sub U-156 suddenly found itself in possession of far too many torpedoes and far too few targets. The U-boat's captain, Richard Feldt, spotted Orleans, with its several unassuming tugboats and barges docked in the harbor. Most people would've shaken their head sadly and gone off to blow their excess torpedoes on icebergs or whatever. Feldt, on the other hand, thought, "I must now shoot all of this," high-fived his second in command, and proceeded to attack the quaint little town in a move right out of a Stephen King novel.
Bemused bathers ashore stared in slack-jawed surprise as the U-boat began its attack, blasting at boats and spraying the town with bullets from mounted machine guns. The Coast Guard, annoyed by the pesky sounds of warfare in their peaceful station, popped their heads out to investigate -- only to find their little town quickly turning into a war zone. They hastily sent out a few shoddy aircraft, which completely failed to damage the U-boat with their bombs.
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"OK, that's close enough to finished -- just send it out."
Still, they lucked out: The Germans were apparently completely unprepared for an attack from an enemy nation whose soil they were actively bombing. They retreated in the face of the Coast Guard's desperate flailing, leaving the town in panic and disarray.