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10 Events in History that Seem Illogical but are True

Events in History that seem Illogical

Millions of historical events have contributed to creating the world we know today. Our school textbooks provide information on some of the grandest historical events but leave out others. Some events sound so illogical that it appears like someone just made them up. So, we decided to bring to you 10 events in history that seem illogical but are true!

1. Matthias Gallas was a military commander who in 1637 ordered his army to march into a wasteland with no food. Most of his soldiers starved to death. He repeated the same mistake in 1638 taking his army to the same wasteland.

Matthias Gallas
Matthias Gallas, Austrian commander of the imperial forces. Second Image for representational purposes only. Image Credit: Wikipedia, Paul Townsend via Flickr

Matthias Gallas is known in history as the “army wrecker” or “destroyer of armies.” He had led disastrous campaigns year after year and had destroyed numerous armies. In 1629, Gallas led an army to Mantua. On their way, the army was attacked by the bubonic plague. All problems aside, the army was able to capture the city rather heroically. Once the battle was over, Gallas realized that he was out of money to pay his army. He then requested the Austrian emperor for money but received a negative response. Finally, they had to surrender to the French.

In 1635, Gallas and his troops seized Zweibrücken. They captured the city for three months. Eventually, they ran out of food and the army starved to death. The ultimate blunder by Gallas was in the years 1637 and 1638. In this battle, Gallas commanded against Banér, a Swedish General. Gallas and his troops attacked the same wasteland twice, ran out of food, and the majority of the army starved to death. It’s hard to believe that an experienced general would make the same mistake twice. Gallas made a complete failure of the battle, lost his command, and was subjected to ridicule.

A popular belief among historians is that Gallas’ alcoholism played a major role in his incompetence. Although he did so well in numerous battles, his lack of ability to have a long-term plan ended up destroying his army several times. (1, 2)

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2. There were two Mongol invasions of Japan that were stopped both times by typhoons, the tropical storms. 

Mongols Invasion
Mongols Invasion (Japanese: Mooko shuurai), by Kikuchi Yoosai, 1847/ The Mongols. Image Credit: Kikuchi Yoosai via Wikipedia, Wikipedia

A storm aiding in defeating the enemy army? And twice? This might sound a little bizarre, but the explanation behind the same makes it less bizarre.

When the Mongols invaded for the first time, they were able to successfully conquer Tsushima and Iki Islands in Japan. When they moved on to Hakata Bay, the armies of samurai clans offered extreme resistance to the Mongol army and forced them to withdraw. The Mongols were hit by a typhoon during their withdrawal. The majority of the ships sank and numerous soldiers drowned.

The Mongols returned again seven years later. By this time, the Japanese had constructed tall walls to protect themselves from future assaults. The Mongols faced difficulty in landing due to the walls and they had to stay afloat for months. Their supplies were depleting and they were still looking for landing space. Being exposed on the waters, they were hit again by a great typhoon known as “kamikaze.” More than 70,000 of the Mongol army was captured and they never tried to attack Japan again. (source)

3. Lichtenstein’s army once invaded Italy with 80 men and returned with no casualties and 81 men.

Lichtenstein’s army once invaded Italy with 80 men and returned with 81. Image Credit: New York Public Library

Liechtenstein is one of the few countries in the world without a military. But during the Middle Ages, the country saw a lot of attacks. Turks attacked the country twice in 1529 and 1683. The nation gained independence in 1806.

Even though the country gained independence, it was not completely free until 1813. The country was first occupied by France, then Russia, and followed by France again. The country’s last military assignment was in 1886 during the Austro-Prussian War. Although the army refused to fight fellow-Germans, they had to send 80% of their army of 100 men to defend the Tyrol against a possible invasion by Italy. The 80 men sent there did not see any action and returned with no casualties. But a surprising thing happened. 80 men went to fight but returned with 81! It is believed that either an Austrian or an Italian soldier decided to join the Lichtenstein army and went home with them! This doesn’t happen much, does it? (source)

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