“What if?” This question has always plagued mankind. From ‘What if I slept a little more’ to ‘what if I was born in Ambani household’, it has always filled our minds with joy and fueled countless sessions of daydreams in schools.
Personally, I still wonder about very serious questions of life like, ‘what if Terminator was not killed in that pit of lava’ or ‘what if Sachin didn’t screw up and made a century in 2003 world cup finals?’.
But have you ever wondered who were the people who completely actually and totally fucked it up so big that the future generations are still dealing with the implications? Let us take you on a journey.
Biggest Screw Ups In The History of Mankind
Let’s explore the three most talked screw-ups in the history of mankind.
1. Mao Zedong decided to be an Agriculture expert
China has given the world its fair share of fucked up people. There was this one emperor named Zhengde. Legend says that his Harem was so full of women that many of them died because there was not enough food for all of them.
Now, while the world blames him, I think most of us would still want what he wanted back then, minus the dead chick’s part. Then there was another emperor who was known as the “one-eyed emperor”. He was, as the name suggests, blind and would kill anybody who stared at his dead eye.
But none of them fucked up on the scale of Chairman Mao. Kids, make a mental note, if you ever be the most powerful dictator of a nation, make sure you choose a kickass title for yourself. Don’t settle for something as wussy as ‘Chairman’.
So Mao, ordered all the birds to be killed. Why? Because they were ruining the corn crop. “Fuck the birds man! They eat our corn!” So his faithful subjects obeyed and killed as many birds as they could. They just failed to consider one small thing – Parasites.
Lack of birds lead to parasite attacks on the crops and they were all destroyed. ALL OF THEM. Famine ensued and the Chinese shared the same fate as the birds. That was not all. One more of Chairman Mao’s brilliant ideas was to increase the production of Rice.
He decided to plant the rice crops twice as close to each other. Honestly, we don’t see anything wrong with this. What other sure-shot way comes to your mind to increase production with limited resources? But plants decided to follow that stupid bitch called science and they all died.
Chinese geared up to welcome another massive famine. This is the same man who, in pursuit of modernity, destroyed a depressing amount of Chinese historical and cultural artifacts, books, and sculptures.
Also, Mao ordered people to turn their farms into steel factories. Pretty much everything Mao did relating to food was a disaster. According to a conservative estimate, about 30 Million Chinese died because of his agricultural policies alone.
2. Operation Barbarossa
A little pretext. When Fuhrer (that’s what 20th Century’s most maniacal dictator was lovingly called) could kick entire Europe’s ass left, right, and center on his own, which he later proved, somebody floated this brilliant idea of being friends with Spanish dictator Fransisco Franco and an Italian dude named Mussolini.
This can be considered Hitler’s first mistake. Although Franco didn’t participate in the war and didn’t help Germany, it still did more good to Hitler than Mussolini’s entire friggin Italian army. Consider this – Mussolini, in order to prove that he is crazy enough to be in the same room as Hitler, went on and attacked Greece.
The campaign commenced on October 28, 1940, but things did not go well. The Greeks immediately counterattacked, forcing the 530,000 Italian troops back. In March 1941, a subsequent Italian counterattack likewise failed.
Hitler was ashamed for his ally and German forces marched in and defeated Greece. But this cost Wehrmacht precious time.
In comes Operation Barbarossa which was the name of Hitler’s ambitious plan to annex Russia. This was Hitler’s second and probably the biggest blunder in the war. Russia and Germany were not friends but weren’t fighting either. In August 1939, Germany and the Soviet Union signed a non-aggression pact in Moscow known as the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact.
But then Hitler decided to go emo and proclaim how promises are meant to be broken. There were only three problems. 1. Russians are some of the toughest, meanest, weirdest, baddest, mofos on the planet. 2. Wehrmacht was some five weeks late because it was occupied in Greece giving lessons on mass killings to Italians. umm.. Thank you very much Mussolini! 3. Winter was coming.
You see, Hitler’s plan was to conquer Russia in just a few months before the onset of harsh Russian winters. A man has to be either bat shit Joker style crazy or as powerful as the entire Marvel comic universe to even think of conquering a country as big as Russia and that too in a few months!
And unfortunately, Hitler was both. Only a force of nature could stop him and finally, Mother Nature decided to come to the party. It was the coldest recorded year in Russian history and Wehrmacht was under-equipped to fight in such harsh circumstances.
Then there was Stalin. He had only one plan, send so many Russians to die that eventually, Germans get bored with killing and go back. The man literally equipped 2 soldiers with one gun and 4 bullets. And a bottle of vodka of course.
Duh! Approximately 3 million soviets lost their lives just because of starvation. The USA had decided to jump into the war and Hitler’s troops were divided and the rest is history. Approximately 75% of Hitler’s forces were occupied on the Eastern front.
26 Million Russians were killed, more than the entire WW II combined. Operation Barbarossa’s failure led to Hitler’s demands for further operations inside Russia, all of which eventually failed, such as the Siege of Leningrad (Operation Nordlicht) of the ‘Enemy at the Gates’ fame, Case Blue, and Operation Citadel, among other battles on occupied Soviet territory.
Hitler saw Russia as the gateway to Asia. If it was not for his bad timing, mother nature, and the Russians, we would have left English and started speaking German a long time ago. Trading one of the conquerer’s language with others. Life goes on. Chill scenes bro!
On second thought, none of this shit would have happened if Hitler was not denied admission to the art school. The dude just wanted to be a painter for Christ’s sake and the world would have been saved! Delhi University, are you listening?
3. A Persian king killed one and shaved the heads of two ambassadors
According to our sources, Genghis Khan or Changez Khan was a peaceful warrior who wanted to unify Mongolia, fight against oppressive Chinese, and chill with his 500 or so beautiful wives. We doubt the peaceful part but the rest of them are pretty accurate.
So what happened is that Changez sent his trading caravan to Khwarezmia. That’s what Iran or Persia was used to be called back in the badass days of the 13th century. The king of Persia has a governor named Inalchuq. Inalchuq captured those 500 and killed them.
Ghenghis, being a forgiving man thought of it as a misunderstanding and sent the ruler of Khwarezmia, Ala-ad Din Muhammad, a few gifts along with a message.
“I am master of the lands of the rising sun while you rule those of the setting sun. Let us conclude a firm treaty of friendship and peace.”
If that is not peaceful, we don’t know what is. This message was delivered by two Mongols and a Muslim envoy which also fortifies Changez’s secular credentials. But what did the Persians do? They beheaded the Muslim guy and shaved the heads of the other two and sent a message to Changez. This would infuriate any man with balls. And the world was just about to see the size of his balls.
One of the biggest and most ruthless conquests in Human history was planned. You see, before this Changez Khan’s entire campaign was more or less bloodless where he wanted to unify all the nomadic tribes. But this one was different. He took it as personal interest and the proverbial shit hit his personal ceiling fan. Changez decided to raise an army of ‘300’ style Spartan soldiers.
Only they were 250,000 in number. That army also consisted of some of the best commanders of Central Asia, his sons, and more importantly, himself. What the Persians didn’t know was that Mongols also had a formidable intelligence network.
For instance, Subutai and Batu Khan spent a year scouting central Europe, before destroying the armies of Hungary and Poland in two separate battles, two days apart!
Cities like Samarkand, Bukhara, and Urgench fell in a matter of days. Samarkand was one of the more fortified cities and created a little bit of a problem for Genghis. So once he won Samarkand, he ordered everybody to come out in an open field outside the city gates and CHOPPED THEIR FRIGGIN HEADS OFF!
Pyramids of severed heads were raised as the symbol of Mongol victory. In the city of Bukhara, Changez Khan had the people assemble in the main mosque of the town, said an epic quote where he was the flail of God, sent to punish them for their sins before ordering their execution and killed them all.
Ghenghis reserved his bloody best for Urgench which was the birthplace of Ala-ad-din Mohammad. The Persian scholar Juvayni states that 50,000 Mongol soldiers were given the task of executing twenty-four Urgench citizens each, which would mean that 1.2 million people were killed.
The sacking of Urgench is considered one of the bloodiest massacres in human history. And while he said “F U Persians”, in his final gesture he demolished all the dams around the city that held back the River Amu Darya, completely wiping the city off the face of the earth.
So what was the fate of Inalchuq, the governor who captured Changez Khan’s trading caravan? Apparently, he was a badass too. When trapped, he climbed on top of a citadel and started throwing stones at the Mongol armies. He was captured and molten silver was poured into his eyes and ears.
Obviously, he died. 8 million Khwarezmian civilians and 1 million soldiers were ruthlessly murdered and decapitated. Why? All because Khwarezmians killed one Mongol and shaved the head of two others.
If you have reached this part of the article, I am sure you would want to read more about such incidents. Worry not. Part II of this Article is already underworking. Basically, we know most of you are under the habit of reading fluff listicles like “5 reasons why you will die a virgin” and we want to get you out of the habit slowly but surely. However, if you want to suggest a few more historical fuck ups to be covered, please mention them in the comments section.