Perfection is an illusion. No person exists who has not made a mistake. While it’s only human to err, some blunders completely changed the course of history. Some of them might have been intentional and others pure accidents, but they made it to the most important chapters in history.
1. Germany lost World War I because of a rumour
In the first few weeks of the World War I, news about a million Cossack warriors rushing to attack the Western Front spread like wildfire. What is termed as the ‘Russian Rumour’ turned out be a series of misunderstandings on Germany’s part. At one point, when soldiers, with their weird clothing and funny accents, said they were from Ross-shire, a German porter heard it as ‘Russia’ and spread the word that they had come to attack. The news provoked Germany to quickly change their strategy to stop the Allies from winning the war.
2. The sale of Alaska
150 years ago, Russia decided to sell the vast territory of Alaska to the United States on March 30, 1867, and the two countries signed a treaty to sell the land for a sum of $7.2 million for 1,518,800 square kilometres of land. Years after the bargain, Russians realised that it was a gigantic blunder, and that they had lost access to natural resources worth billions of dollars.
3. A key could have saved the Titanic from sinking
Officers had no access to binoculars on the bridge or in the crow’s nest – and 1,517 people perished when the ship hit an iceberg on April 15, 1912. Things may have been different if a pair of binoculars that belonged to second officer David Blair had been on board. He had transferred from the ship just before its maiden voyage and had forgotten to hand it to his replacement.
4. The biggest wildfire in CaliforniaA hunter lit a signal match flare, that triggered the biggest fire in California’s history. Over 300,000 acres of forest were destroyed, 2,322 homes lost and 14 people killed. The tragic incident cost a whopping $1.2 billion!
5. Piper bravo oil rig disaster
The Piper Alpha disaster that killed 167 workers on 6 July 1988 off the coast of Aberdeen is the world’s deadliest ever oil rig accident. A worker forgot to screw a safety valve back on the ship which led to a gas leak leading to a huge explosion.