10 Historical Events that You Can’t Believe Actually Took Place

by Binupriya Tomy3 years ago

6 The fleeing of King Louis XVII

Napoleon made the King of France flee by escaping from the island on which he was imprisoned. He snuck into Paris, and when he was caught, he managed to persuade soldiers, who were his former followers, to make the King flee. 

The fleeing of King Louis XVIII
King Louis XVIII (on the left), Napoleon Bonaparte (in the middle), Napoleon exiled Elba (on the right). Image credit:- Shutterstock, digitalcollections.nypl.org

Napoleon escaped from Elba in February 1815. He was separated from his wife and son after being banished to this remote Island. He landed two days later on the French mainland and decided to head north. A regiment was sent to intercept him.

He approached them alone and stood within gunshot range and asked them to shoot their Emperor if they wished to. The soldiers used to be under him, so they immediately changed sides and started marching with him to Paris. The army grew as the march proceeded.

During these historical events, the unpopular Louis XVII had to flee because of the growing Napoleon followers. He had very little political support despite ruling over the whole of France. (1, 2)


7 The Dogger Bank Incident in 1904

When Russian fleets were sailing through the Baltic Sea, they mistook a group of British fishing trawlers to be Japanese torpedo boats and fired at them. Several lives were lost, including the Russians, who accidentally fired on some of their own ships. The British were outraged by the incident and entered the war in support of Japan.

The Russians had fictitious reports that Japanese torpedo boats were around the area and to be on high alert. It occurred on the night of 21 October 1904, when a Baltic fleet of the Russian Navy mistook British commercial fishing boats for their enemy and fired on them.

In the chaos, even some Russian boats fired on each other. In the incident, two British fishermen were killed, six injured, and five boats damaged. 

These historical events sparked serious diplomatic issues between the British and Russia. A voluntary compensation of 66,000 euros was paid to the fisherman and a memorial was erected. The British almost entered the war in support of Japan, and the government of France intervened to stop the British from declaring war. (1, 2)


8 The Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand (catalyst for WWI). 

Conspirators of the assassination threw bombs at Ferdinand’s car while he was touring the city with his wife but missed and injured others. An hour later, instead of securing himself, he visited the hospital to see the injured when his driver made a wrong turn and stopped in front of a deli. One of the conspirators came out of the deli and shot him and his wife leading to WWI.

The Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand
Archduke Franz Ferdinand (on the left), arrest of the assassin of Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand. Image credit:- Shutterstock

Many argue that WWI was inevitable, but it all started with the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. Ferdinand was the heir of the Austro-Hungarian Emperor. He attended a series of military services in Bosnia-Herzegovina even though he was against its annexation due to political situations.

A bunch of students in Bosnia planned his assassination while he was visiting with his wife. Several bombs were thrown at the Archduke during his city motorcade but missed. 

Rather than fleeing the area, he insisted on visiting the wounded officers from the bombing incident. On the way, he and his wife were shot by a Serbian Army reject who was 19 years old then. This led to Austria-Hungary turning to Germany to help them fight against Serbia.

These historical events led to the rapid descent into the beginning of WWI as there was so much tension between European countries. Nine million soldiers and many civilians died in the war that lasted from 1914-1918. (1, 2)


9 Hannibal marched elephants over the Alps to attack Italy.

This crossing was one of the major historical events during the Second Punic War. Hannibal led a trek of a thousand miles from Catalonia to the Alps with tens of thousands of foot soldiers, cavalrymen, mules, mules, and elephants. There are only a few records of the event, and it is considered one of the greatest feats in military history.

Hannibal marched elephants over the Alps
Hannibal marched elephants over the Alps. Image credit:- socialstudiesforkids.com via historythings.com

At the start of the Second Punic War in 291 BCE, Romans and Spain were deadly rivals. The Carthaginian Army general pulled off the impossible when he marched his troops, including African war elephants, across the Alps to strike at the Romans.

The Romans, for the longest time, believed that the Alps served as a barrier for an attack on their homeland, but Hannibal with this historical event proved them wrong. 

Hannibal was named one of the greatest military strategists of the ancient world for crossing the Alps even though there were several setbacks. He fought his way into Italy and severely damaged the country.

The Punic Wars took place for dominance over the Mediterranean Region. Scientists have still not figured out the exact path they took as it looks dangerous and impossible. Hannibal managed to get thousands of men, mules, horses, and 37 elephants across and ready to fight the Romans. (1, 2)


10 Phantom Social Workers

The Phantom Social Workers, also known as the Bogus Social Workers, arose in the United States and the United Kingdom during the early 1990s. They were people claiming to be social workers but were trying to abduct children. The investigation into this phenomenon was one of the largest in the UK with 23 different departments of police forces.

Phantom Social Workers
Phantom Social Workers. Image credit:- bbc.co.uk

The reports regarding visitors who pose as social workers who visit children saying it is an inspection of the child in their household started concerning the parents and the UK media in the early 1990s.

The nature of their examinations was strange and fed to the concerns of children being sexually molested. Yorkshire Police launched a major investigation called “Operation Childcare” where police gathered around 250 reports which involved these self-appointed child abuse investigators.

The operation yielded no arrests and was eventually disbanded in 1994 as this massive and expensive operation was not giving any results. (1, 2)

Also Read:
10 Historical Facts You’ll Have Trouble Believing Are True

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