It would be naive to say that the military is not wrong. But they probably dreamed not of such fame.
"Build fortifications backwards!" This order belongs to General Gideon Pillow. It was uttered during the Mexican-American War in 1846. Pillow became a general through his friendship with then-President James Polk. Together, they once practiced law. Such a non-military specialty seemed to imply an increased likelihood of awkward military action. Pillow's most famous mistake occurred when he was with troops in the Mexican village of Camargo. There the general ordered the trenches to be erected. However, these structures were built extremely poorly, because the defense was carried out in a completely opposite direction. So the troops became defenseless against the enemy. The incident was quite a blow to his career, it seemed that Pillow would quietly retire. Nevertheless, the general decided to take upon himself all the glory of the winner of that war, although in fact it belonged to General Scott. Pillow was even arrested for spreading false and treacherous rumors. But the failed general reappeared on the battlefield during the Civil War. Fortunately, he fought for the southerners. Pillow also distinguished himself here, having lost Donelson Fortress in 1862. And during the Battle of the Stone River in 1863, their own subordinates saw how the brave general, instead of leading his troops into battle, was hiding behind a tree.
"Machine guns? No thanks!" During the Great War with the Sioux in 1876, the Battle of Little Big Horn stands out. After all, then the 7th Cavalry Regiment of the Americans under the command of the brave Colonel George Custer was completely defeated by the Indians. All the soldiers and their commander were killed. The Americans were in the minority, almost nine times fewer than the Indians. The military's only advantage was the element of surprise when attacking a Sioux camp. Another advantage could be the presence of three machine guns in the regiment. After all, the Gattling guns could fire several hundred rounds per minute. However, it is known that Caster personally rejected this light and reliable weapon. Perhaps the machine guns would not have brought victory automatically, but it is absolutely certain that they would only increase the effect of the American attack. And so the parts of Caster were shattered and broken. Those events went down in the history of America, the country honors its heroes who fought to the last. Films have been made about that battle, books have been written. Only now the outcome of the battle could have been completely different if not for Caster's self-confidence.
"Don't cross the river!" The Battle of Antietam in 1862 is often highlighted during the American Civil War. After all, it was she who served as the reason for the subsequent signing of the document on the emancipation of slaves by Abraham Lincoln. However, during the battle, one very important event occurred. 12 thousand soldiers of General Ambrose Burnside were opposed by only 400 southerners. They were separated by a stream with a stone bridge. The general was ordered to remain in place. He looked for other fords, but did not find them in 3 hours. As a result, it was decided to go across the bridge. However, in a narrow space, the southerners were able to defend themselves well. They repulsed thirty assaults and detained the northerners for another three hours. During this time, the help was also pulled up. As a result, the battle did not become decisive, and the Civil War could have ended two years earlier. The terrible bloodshed was the worst one-day event in the country's history. The most surprising thing was that the stream in that place was rather shallow. One local native later said that the water there was only waist-deep.
"There is no other way but to fight." The First World War was going on in 1916. One of its brightest pages was the Battle of the Somme. The British troops were commanded by Marshal Douglas Haig. For a week, the Allies bombarded the well-fortified positions of the Germans. And on July 1, the order was given to attack. Most of the soldiers who spoke were newcomers. They were commanded to march through the treacherously calm no-man's-land landscape in orderly formation. However, the machine-gun positions of the Germans were hardly touched by the shelling. As a result, the British became an excellent target. On that day, the British army lost about 60 thousand people. In total, during the battle, they lost 10 times more. Then the officers, whose uniforms differed from the soldiers, received special damage. The tactics of a frontal attack on a well-fortified defensive line failed. But the Allies already had two years of experience in such battles. Soldiers were buried in the evening right on the battlefield, so that it turned into a continuous cemetery. Haig himself for his actions is still parodied in the British publications, receiving the nickname Black Viper.
"The infantry come forward after the horsemen!" In 54 BC. the Romans invaded the Parthian kingdom. They were commanded by Mark Crassus. This was a famous military leader. He defeated the army of Spartacus slaves, became the richest man in Rome. But Crassus longed for more glory, hoping to gain it through spectacular victories on the battlefield. For the invasion of the Parthian kingdom, the Roman gathered an army of 40 thousand soldiers. Most of them, however, were foot soldiers who were weary of heavy shields, armor, and weapons. And there were only 10 thousand enemies. But these were trained horse riders who shot from a bow, piercing the armor of the infantry. Nevertheless Crassus ordered to pursue the enemy. The Parthians constantly retreated, but occasionally making daring and unexpected forays. The Roman cavalry numbered only two thousand people. In addition, they carried heavy spears and could not really resist the elusive enemy. During the decisive battle at Carrhae, the Romans suffered a heavy defeat. It became one of the greatest in the history of Ancient civilization. The Parthians used a false retreat and lured out the Roman cavalry. The riders were surrounded and completely defeated. And then came the turn of the defenseless infantry. As a result, half of 43 thousand soldiers were killed, the rest fled and were captured. Crassus himself was brutally executed. His mistake on the battlefield turned into death - molten gold was poured into the consul's throat.
"Tie ships together!" In 208 BC. there was a civil war in China. One of the sides was commanded by the legendary general Cao Cao. This time, the general succumbed to the provocateur's trick, and not himself generated a stupid idea. At that time, a rebellion broke out in South China, and the general was sent with an army of 220 thousand to suppress the riot. At first Cao Cao was successful. But then his opponents moved to ships. The army was forced to switch from a successful land war to a naval campaign, without having sufficient experience and knowledge. A traitor was sent to Cao Cao, who told the general that by tying all the ships together in a chain, it would be possible to avoid the inevitable seasickness. However, this was a big mistake. After all, the fire on the flagship quickly spread to all the others, destroying the mighty fleet. The heavy defeat forced Cao Cao to give up fighting.
"Retreat from the height!" The hero of this story was General Joseph Hooker during the American Civil War in 1863. This happened the day before the Battle of Chancellorville. The army of the northerners numbered 134 thousand people, the southerners were only 60 thousand. They were practically surrounded by units of 75 thousand soldiers. In addition, the northerners possessed heights and could effectively control the battlefield, easily destroying the enemy. Nevertheless, General Hooker lost his composure, ordering his soldiers to retreat from the heights. As a result, the southerners were able to seize the initiative, placing their guns on the hills left by the enemy. Hooker himself was lightly wounded and gave the order to retreat. In that battle, the northerners, despite their superiority, suffered a shameful defeat, which lies entirely on the conscience of their commander. Hooker got his share of the glory in that war. He was an excellent corps-level commander, but he was unable to think strategically and lead armies.
"Stop! We're out of range!" During the Anglo-American War of 1812-1814, the Battle of New Orleans took place. Surprisingly, by the time the war was actually over, the Americans had defeated the British. On December 24, 1814, the parties signed a peace treaty. But information about this reached New Orleans only two months later. The battle itself consisted of the British trying to attack the American positions. The British suffered disproportionately large losses. The most revealing story happened with the 93rd Scottish Regiment. He was going to storm the enemy's fortifications, but the commander was killed. The lieutenant did not know what to do and preferred to stop his soldiers instead of retreating. The regiment came under deadly American artillery fire. It is worth noting the courage of the Scots, they stood firm and motionless, like a brick wall. And other units were broken and fled in panic. Some Americans even cried at the shooting of defenseless and motionless soldiers. In the end, an order to retreat was received. In that battle, three quarters of the regiment were destroyed, and the Americans treated the brave wounded in their hospitals.
"Into the crater!" General Ambrose Burnside made a name for himself in another battle in the American Civil War in 1864. The second famous stupid order was given by a general during the Battle of Crater. The war was already over. At that time, the main forces of the Southerners and Northerners dug in trenches near Richmond, Virginia. The fortifications took ten months to build, and neither side could gain an advantage. As a result, ingenious engineers came up with an interesting solution. They decided to build a long tunnel to the positions of the southerners, load dynamite there and blow it up. This was done perfectly, a large gap appeared in the enemy's positions. Instead of attacking enemy positions on the ground, Burnside ordered his soldiers to descend into the crater and go underground. However, the walls of the crater turned out to be too high, the northerners simply could not climb up. During the wandering of the soldiers underground, the southerners were able to pull up reinforcements. They began to shoot downward, effectively shooting the northerners. Instead of a command to retreat, Burnside sent help into the crater. The commander of the northerners, General Ulysses Grant, stated that this decision to descend into the crater was the best way to help the enemy. Burnside was finally stripped of his rank and dismissed. Probably at that moment the American army breathed a sigh of relief.
"Time to sleep!". During the Mexican-Texas War of 1836, Texas was not yet part of the United States. On April 19, a Mexican army of several thousand soldiers led by General Santa Anna was cut off from the main forces in the village of San Jacinto. The Texans destroyed the bridge behind enemy lines. Despite this dire situation, Santa Ana ordered the usual lunchtime siesta. This allowed the Texans, although there were fewer of them, to surround the enemy. The carefree Mexican general didn't even bother to set up sentries. The Texans attack lasted only 18 minutes. During this time, the enemy was completely defeated. The Mexicans lost 630 people killed, another 730 were captured. The attackers themselves lost only 39 people. Santa Anna fled, disguised as an ordinary soldier. But he was caught taking advantage of the fact that the general is wearing silk underwear. The general was forced to sign a treaty humiliating for his country, withdrawing troops from Texas. But the traditional siesta took place.