The top ten worst decisions in history

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Byzantine fanatic, Nov 21, 2018.

  1. CalBear Your Ursus arctos californicus Moderator Moderator Donor

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    Ya know, if folks who realize what they just typed was going to insult folks would just not post it instead of adding an parenthesis explanation that actually indicates they knew they were wrong to use the term in the first place, the Mods would have about 2/3 less BS to deal with.

    NEVER do this again.
     
  2. Byzantine fanatic Scholar of the West and East

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    Why was this a bad decision? It worked out pretty well for the Vandals for about a century.
     
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  3. Hegemon of words and thoughts

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    Okay, here’s my revised list. In this one, I’m trying to limit hindsight as much as possible.

    1. Slavery without restrictions or basic rights for slaves. If you’re going to exploit the crap out of people, don’t do it in the most painful and deadly ways imaginable. Really.

    2. Scramble for Africa. Lukewarm benefits (sometimes net drains) in exchange for... death, disorder, ethnic strife, and the worst border drawing I’ve ever seen? I mean, I could do better than that.

    3. Atahualpa putting himself into a position to get captured, then failing at ransoming himself. At a critical time in the Inca empire, getting yourself captured, becoming a puppet, and giving away literal tons of precious metals for naught is not something you should be doing.

    4. Lenin letting Stalin into power. It’s hard to get worse than Stalin. Then I’m also going to include all of Stalin’s brutal, wasteful, ineffectual, paranoid policies.

    5. The allied treatment of Germany post WWI, and the general policy of appeasement. A lot of Hitler’s decisions weren’t the greatest either...

    6. The Great Leap Forward. Also the five year plans that could apparently fit into four years. If the world had mods, they would’ve banned Mao and Stalin for being such idiotic, harebrained, paranoid, destructive nincompoops.

    7. The last Sui Emperor invading Goguryeo. Thanks @profxyz.

    8. Timur being a wrecking ball.

    9. Japan’s kamikaze Strategy (and fighting the us in the first place). I mean, game strategy can be hard to understand sometimes, but most people naturally avoid lose lose situations...

    10. Constantine tightly linking Christianity to the State apparatus.


    Honorable mentions:

    Nuclear bombs. Are you MAD?

    Nader Shah going a bit whack.

    Decisions leading up to the Byzantine-Sassanid war of 602-28. I’m not gonna blame Maurice, but almost everyone before and after him was being dumb. First, his predecessor throwing money into the water, forcing Maurice to be parsimonious. Then, Phocas revolting, beginning the war in the first place. Heraclius revolting collapsed the situation further, and Khosrau’s refusal to accept any peace deal dragged the war longer. Any semblance of order and peace wouldn’t be restored in the region until well after the beginning of the Caliphate. Even then, that ended up fragmenting, turning two superpowers with relative unity and stability into a huge mess.

    Destroying the Ottomans, then using the area for your own interests and not resolving the many internal tensions. Sigh. Every part of the former Ottoman Empire struggles with some huge issue or another after its dissolution (and some parts to this day).

    Same for the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Being more careful with its dissolution would be helpful.

    The Decolonization process. It could’ve been done so much better. I kinda already touched on that in the “Scramble for Africa” part of things, but just to emphasize. This, more than anything, might have relatively easily prevented the conflicts, genocides, instability, and exploitation that much of Africa suffered (and still suffers)

    Khwarezm not being more careful with the mongols. If you play with fire, you’ll get burnt. If you play with mongols, you’ll get killed. Even the caliph gets a special death by horse trampling.

    Justinian and the gothic war.

    Buchanan being an ineffectual president who contributed to the Civil War being as long and bloody as it was.

    Using race as a justification for slavery (and later for colonization and nationalism). This is the sort of behavior that’s get you kicked if the real world had mods.

    Sexism/genderism. So half the people will be treated inferior to the other because of private parts, or gender orientation? Really? Especially after women became vital in the workplace, kicking them out and being sexist to them was just dumb. Plain dumb.
     
  4. WhoaHeavy Just constant screaming

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    Never quite got this one. As terrifying as nuclear annihilation is, there has been no direct war between superpowers nor a third world war in the seventy years since the creation of the nuclear bomb. MAD might play to the lowest parts of the human psyche, but damn if it doesn't work.
     
  5. Fabius Maximus Unus qui nobis cunctando restituit rem

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    ...So far. Unfortunately, all it takes is one conflict any everything gets ruined.
     
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  6. Hegemon of words and thoughts

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    To paraphrase Einstein:

    I don’t know what WWIII will be fought with, but WWIV will be fought with sticks and stones.

    In other words, what @Fabius Maximus said.
     
  7. alexmilman Well-Known Member

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    Apr 24, 2018
    Story about the siberian divisions is a popular legend which has little traction with a reality by 3 fundamental reasons:
    1st, there were no considerable pre-war contingents permanently stationed in Siberia or even the Soviet Far East,
    2nd, so-called "Siberian divisions" had been mostly raised in the Central Asia (where, unlike Siberia, was a considerable population) ,
    3rd, the process of raising these troops and sending them to the front started almost immediately after Hitler's attack (presumably, intelligence regarding Japan's position became available months after the war started). For example, formation of the most famous "Siberian division", Panfilov Guards division (initially the 316th Rifle Division), started on 12 July 1941 in Alma Ata, the capital of the Kazakh SSR, division arrived to the front (on Leningrad direction) in the August of 1941 and was transferred to the defense of Moscow in the early October.

    Of course, it can be argued that IF Japan decided to attack the SU some of the newly raised contingents would be sent to protect the Soviet Far East. OTOH, Japanese attack on the US would make possibility of a massive offensive against the Soviet Far East highly questionable due to the limited resources, especially fuel, which was mostly consumed by the Japanese Navy. An additional factor was an absence of any sense of such an action on Japanese side: the SU was a valuable supplier of materials including oil and military action would most probably disrupt the process.
     
  8. GauchoBadger Gang Weeder (in a society)

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    With a lot of hindsight, i'd say that Louis VII's decision to divorce Eleanor of Aquitaine in 1152 AD was a bad, bad idea for him.
    If Louis had remained with Eleanor and produced a son, France would not have lost Aquitaine, and would have not gone through as much feudal anarchy as it went through for the time the Angevins were relevant. Hell, France could have retained its Pyrenees border, possibly meaning more resources to spare for Spain and the Reconquista.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2018
  9. Jimbo808 Well-Known Member

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    Jul 11, 2015
    USA should've chosen German.
     
  10. Byzantine fanatic Scholar of the West and East

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    Warum? Was willst du? Ein zweites Deutsches reich in Amerika?

    (Apologies to any German speakers for my atrocious attempt to speak German). ;)
     
  11. Jimbo808 Well-Known Member

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    IveI no idea what you're saying, I speak English ;-)
     
  12. Byzantine fanatic Scholar of the West and East

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    Google translate exists :p

    I basically asked "why"?
     
  13. Jimbo808 Well-Known Member

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    Yeah I know. I'm thinking oi the Usa picked German then perhaps economically it would be more socialised with less social divisions. Maybe.
     
  14. Jimbo808 Well-Known Member

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  15. Athelstane Anglo-Saxon Troublemaker

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    All too plausible, though.

    The Army officer corps - especially in China - was packed with such fanatics. And once the situation spiraled out of control...
     
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  16. Fabius Maximus Unus qui nobis cunctando restituit rem

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    I doubt it. Germany and the US have different levels of socialism and social divisions because of their different histories, geographical situations, and demographic make-ups, not because one speaks English and the other speaks German.
     
  17. markus meecham Marxism-Leninism-Bricksquad thought Kicked Banned

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    I think people in the future might end up considering the widespread adoption of fossil fuel powered engines as a big mistake.

    There would be only two classes, people who use der/die/das correctly and a (very, very large) underclass of people who don't.
     
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  18. funnyhat Well-Known Member

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    May 27, 2013
    And the proposal was never about replacing English as the national language of the US, but just adding German translations of laws.
     
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  19. Sardar Well-Known Member

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    May 4, 2018
    Has nobody mentioned Indian partition? Over a million dead and millions more displaced, and horrible atrocities committed by both sides. And not to mention the resources wasted on the indo-pak wars. It’s in my top 10 for sure.
     
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  20. GDIS Pathe Well-Known Member

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    Feb 5, 2016
    The borders in Africa where generally drawn following physical boundaries if they were present and lines in the desert if they weren't, as a matter of fact, the Europeans wanted to actually administrate the various colonies its likely that no you couldn't do better than that because the myth of arbitrary African borders that follow arbitrary lines is just that a myth if you want actual arbitrary lines to look at the US states west of Missouri
     
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