From arrogant emperors who fail miserably to seemingly successful rebellions that have gone wrong, there are many twists and turns in the history of mankind. This list lists only 10 of the largest and most bizarre twists in human history.
10 An Imposter German Ship Meets Its Real British Counterpart
During World War I, the Germans disguised one of their ships, the SMS Cap Trafalgar, as the British liner RMS Carmania. However, an unfortunate bout of irony meant that the first ship they encountered near the island of Trinidad off the coast of Brazil (note: not Trinidad), was the real RMS Carmania, whose captain Noel Grant immediately recognized their attempt to outwit British ships and launched an early morning surprise attack that eventually led to the sinking of the SMS Cap Trafalgar. Nice attempt, German.
9 An Enraged Emperor Turns An Island Into A Peninsula
At the height of the war between the rich (of Rome and Persia), Alexander the Great decided that he wanted to worship in a temple on the island of Tyre. The leaders of the island refused because they wanted to remain neutral in the war against Persia, and to allow the emperor to worship there would send the message to the Persians that Tyre is on the side of their enemy. They asked the emperor to pray instead in a temple in Old Tyre, which was on the mainland.
Alexander, angered by this display of disrespect, saw this as a declaration of war, occupied Old Tyre and spent six months building a bridge to the island, using tree trunks and stones from the ruins of Old Tyre. When he reached Tyre, he crucified most the inhabitants of the town and sold the remainder into slavery.
The tire is still a peninsula today, and technically it is now part of the mainland.
Never say no to a world-conquering Emperor.
8 A Rude Welcome Costs An Empire
During the rule of the Mongolian Empire, Genghis Khan sent a large commercial caravan to Khwarezmia, an empire in the Middle East, hoping to form an alliance. However, the local governor did not welcome these travelers, arresting them and sentenced them to death.
Genghis responded by sending some of his ambassadors to ask the Shah for the release of his men and to declare his intention to form an alliance. Instead of hearing what they had to say, the Shah beheaded one of the ambassadors and sent the others back with a bald-shaven head, which was a great insult to the Khan. Genghis Khan began to plan his revenge. He invaded the kingdom by force, and the Shah was forced to flee to an island off the Caspian coast to die there.
Two years later, there was no Khwarezmian Empire.
7 A Paranoid King Who’s Immune To Poison
Mithridates VI ruled the kingdom of Pontus around 100 BC. He was extremely paranoid that someone would try to kill him with poison, and so he took small doses of poison every day to build up his tolerance. When he tried to kill himself after being captured by the Romans (the more honorable way than to be sold as a Roman slave), he was unfortunately unable to do so because he was immune. Perhaps he should have channeled his paranoia into building a better army instead.
6 Twice The Bad Luck For Kublai Khan
Kublai Khan was the 5th Khagan of the Mongolian Empire. It was 1274, and Kublai Khan had left China for conquest, so he decided that he would conquer Japan. His first fleet of attacks was repelled by the Japanese samurai, and so they began their return to China to recover and plan a stronger follow-up attack. To their misfortune, however, the fleet was sunk by a typhoon on its way back to China.
It was 1281 and Kublai Khan was back, and he still had an eye on Japan. He launched the second-largest naval invasion the world would ever see (the largest: D-Day), and when they arrived on the coasts of Japan, they discovered that the Japanese had sealed off their beaches with sea walls. The fleet moved around the Japanese coast, searching for a landing site and continuing to search until the day the fleet was destroyed by a second typhoon.
The name of these two typhoons? Kamikaze; “God-Wind”.
5 The Emperor Who Wasn’t Bluffing
When Julius Caesar was captured by pirates who did not know who he was, they demanded 20 talents of silver for his freedom. Caesar was offended by this small sum, laughed, and told them to ask for at least 50, which they also received. Caesar seemed to enjoy their company as he waited for his men to bring the silver demanded by the pirates, to take part in their games, and to behave almost as if he were one of them. He often joked that he would arrest and crucify them after they let him go, which they all found very funny and laughed at – until they were arrested and crucified after they let him go.
4 A Diplomat Slip-Up At The Berlin Wall
On the night the Berlin Wall fell, an East German diplomat named Gunter Schabowski had just returned from a tiring trip to Poland and was due to read out an announcement on the change in travel rules for a live press conference. Since he had just returned from Poland, he had not yet been fully informed of the new rules. One of these rules was that East Berliners could apply for a visa for short trips to the West and wait until a few days after the announcement to apply for and accept the visa.
The announcement was hasty and unclear and began with things like “Liberalization of Travel Rules… blah blah blah… can now travel to the West… blah blah blah”. Schabowski had not read his speech before he went live on air, so he read this information for the first time. A journalist asked when these new rules would come into force, and since he wanted to be prepared, Schabowski replied: “Uh… immediately, now.”
This spread quickly, prompting people to gather at the wall and ask for their release. There had been important protests before, but nothing as big as this one. Coincidentally, a border guard on the wall was worried because he had recently been tested for cancer and waited for his results. So he did not care enough about his work to stop the crowds, and opened the first gate, which led to the liberation of the people of East Berlin.
3 Darius The Wizard Slayer
Darius the Great had a very interesting ascent to the throne of Persia when he was caught in the act of standing over his dead predecessor with a knife. Of course, the magicians who discovered him began to call for the guards, as Darius had apparently just murdered the emperor. However, Darius claimed that he did not kill the emperor because the man he had just killed was a magician with changing figures. He claimed that this was not the real emperor, but a forklift who had removed the emperor and took the throne for himself.
The magicians consulted and decided that Darius was telling the truth, because why would anyone lie about such a thing?
They unanimously decided to elevate Darius the magic slayer to the throne of Persia. He became one of the best rulers of the Achaemenid dynasty and was famous for his genius. this might are because everyone else was stupid enough to believe design-changing wizards…
2 D’Eon’s Double Cross
Chevalier d’Eon was a French diplomat and spy in England and Russia. When d’Eon retired, it was revealed to the public that they had been a woman all the time. They were then forced to wear feminine clothing because of the social expectations of women. They then wrote some books and supported the American Revolution. But now comes the highlight. When d’Eon died, the woman who dressed the body for the funeral discovered that d’Eon was biologically male and had been a man posing as a woman and posing as a man.
1 The British Revolution – Or Not
When the English people rebelled against King Charles I, they succeeded, had him beheaded, and put a new leader, Oliver Cromwell, in power. However, when Cromwell was given the position of ruler, power rose to his head, and he became perhaps even worse, just like the kings who had come before him. He was more controlled, committed genocide in Ireland, forbade Christmas parties and all the fun, and declared his son his heir. What was intended as a new beginning for the country was turned into a brutal dictatorship? And so the people of England rebelled again, were successful, and shortly afterward Cromwell died of malaria. The original legacy of Charles I, Charles II, was made king and restored the monarchy. Although he was already dead, Cromwell himself was beheaded for the beheading of Charles I, and his head was displayed on a pike (and is pictured above). Charles II became one of the most popular monarchs in British history.
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