25 Worst Military Decisions Ever Made

Overconfidence, carelessness, and momentary mental breakdowns can have pretty bad consequences in every day life. Imagine for a moment though what sort of catastrophes they can lead to on the battlefield. With millions of lives on the line one little mistake can literally change the world. From Word War II to Thermopylae these are the 25 worst military decisions ever made and how they affected the course of history.

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Operation Barbarossa – World War II (1939-1945)

Operation Barbarossa

In all of history there have been few tactical decisions so costly as Hitler’s move to split his army and begin an invasion of the Soviet Union. Not only did it leave to Germany’s eventual defeat but it led to some of the bloodiest and most violent fighting of the war.


The Vietnam War – 1955 to 1976

The Vietnam War

In this sensational war between North Vietnam; who was backed up by its communist allies, and South Vietnam; supported by the United States and the anti-communist allies, the US and its allies ended up backing out due to multiple political, social, and military issues plaquing the war from the start. By the time the last American soldier left Vietnamese soil millions of lives had been lost due to poor decision making and resource management.


The Bay of Pigs (1961)

The Bay of Pigs

Used throughout Latin America as an example of the failure of American imperialism, the Bay of Pigs invasion involved roughly 1400 paramilitary troops backed by the CIA landing in Cuba and attempting an overthrow of Fidel Castro’s government. The invasion failed and most of the troops were interrogated before being shipped off to the United States.


The Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan (1979)

The Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan

After millions of injuries and casualties; the “Soviet Union’s Vietnam War” or the “Big Russian Suck” which lasted for 10 years finally came to a close. This decade long bloodbath was caused by the Soviets supporting the Afghan communist government to defeat the Mujahideen; an Islamic group composed of tribal and urban insurgency groups. Because the United States backed up of the latter, the war endured for so long without any progress in freeing the Afghan government from the insurgents. The massive losses caused the Soviets to finally agree to withdraw and Afghanistan went back to it’s original state.


The Alamo (February 1836)

The Alamo

When Mexican General Santa Anna was on his way through Texas to squash a rebellion he decided to make a stop at the Alamo and teach it a lesson. Although he won that battle, his unnecessary detour end up costing him the war as Texas troops had time to assemble. Several days later Santa Anna suffered defeat and the Republic of Texas was born.

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