20 Historic Events Even the Movies Won't Touch
20 Historic Events Even the Movies Won’t Touch

20 Historic Events Even the Movies Won’t Touch

Khalid Elhassan - July 28, 2019

20 Historic Events Even the Movies Won’t Touch
American soldiers attacking German positions in WWI. Business Insider

1. American Doughboys Suffered Thousands of Needless Casualties During the Last Hours of WWI

American military commanders’ aggressiveness is usually admirable, but that was not the case on the last day of WWI. The Armistice bringing the conflict to an end was signed at 5AM on November 11th, 1918, to take effect six hours later, at 11AM. However, American commanders, especially general John J. Pershing, who headed the American Expeditionary Force, were unhappy with the Armistice and its conditions. Pershing in particular thought that the terms were too soft, and he believed that the Germans should be severely defeated militarily, in order to “teach them a lesson“. So in the last few hours of the war, American commanders continued to launch their men against German trenches.

The result was thousands of needless casualties, both American and German, but mostly American, since they were the ones attacking heavily fortified positions. The US 89th Division, for example, was ordered to attack the German held town of Stenay on the morning of November 11th, and successfully took it – the last town forcibly captured on the Western Front. However, that achievement came at the cost of more than 300 American casualties. The American V Corps alone suffered over eleven hundred casualties in the war’s final hours, including over three hundred killed. All in all, over 3500 Americans became casualties on the war’s last day.


Where Did We Find This Stuff? Some Sources and Further Reading

ABC News – The Pet Rock Captured a Moment, and Made its Creator a Millionaire

All That is Interesting – Is Death From Laughter Real?

Ancient History Encyclopedia – Pyrrhus

Association For Diplomatic Studies & Training – The 1969 ‘Soccer War’ Between Honduras and El Salvador

Catholic Encyclopedia – Pope Sergius III

Cracked – 5 Historical Facts That Were Way Too Stupid For the Movies

Daily Mail, January 5th, 2012 – The Curious Case of the Cock Lane Ghost

Daily Star, December 6th, 2016 – Did ‘Junkie’ Adolf Hitler’s Secret Cocaine and Meth Addiction LOSE Nazi Germany WW2?

Edelman, Robert, and Wilson, Wayne – The Oxford Handbook of Sports History (2017)

Encyclopedia Britannica – Milo of Croton

History Net – World War I: Wasted Lives on Armistice Day

Lukas, Richard C. – Did the Children Cry? Hitler’s War Against Jewish and Polish Children, 1939-1945 (2001)

McCartney, Clarence Edward, and Dorrance, Gordon – The Bonapartes in America (2010)

New York Times, January 24th, 1995 – Nijinsky‘s Notebooks Are Published, Unexpurgated

Oxford Classical Dictionary – Philitas of Cos

MentalFloss – Armies Hopped Up on Drugs

Smithsonian Magazine, November 1st, 2011 – Sabotage in New York Harbor

Telegraph, The, August 29th, 2007 – Key That Could Have Saved the Titanic

Wikipedia – Cassius Chaerea

Wikipedia – Liu Pengli