2. History’s Worst Translation Mistake Led to Disaster for Hundreds of Thousands
Given Japan’s reduced but still great power in 1945, America and her allies correctly treated Japan as a formidable foe who was inflicting significant harm every day, and would continue to do so indefinitely if not stopped. So the Allies were not mistaken in dealing with Japan as a menace that needed putting down ASAP.
However, a simple mistake in translation might have determined when and how America went about putting Japan down, and led to the decision to atomically bomb Hiroshima and Nagasaki. As such, it might have been the most momentous translation mistake in history. The result was a disaster for hundreds of thousands of innocent Japanese.