11. The rise and fall of Alexander the Great. Never lost a battle in his life, conquered the whole known world, and only stopped because his soldiers were tired.
12. The Great Stink of London in 1858.
One summer the heat dried up the River Thames (where all the human waste went) and an unbearable smell pervaded throughout the entire city. All Parliament representatives were eventually coerced out of their homes outside of London to convene and solve the issue. Much to the citizens’ glee, Parliament was held in their building on the bank of the River Thames, resulting in one of the fastest Parliament decisions ever made to reform the London sewer system.
13. Return of Napoleon.
An army was sent to intercept him, and they ended up fighting for him. If it were shown in a movie most people would have considered it cheesy and unrealistic.
14. The assassination of Rasputin reads like a cartoon.
15. The town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber in Germany: One of the countries oldest and most preserved cities.
Essentially during the 30 years war, the catholic army wanted to destroy the town because they resisted the church. Count Von Tilly (sounds like a Monty Python name) was going to destroy the town, but as a gesture of peace the town offered him a Mass (3.25 L) of local wine. He declared that if anyone in the town could drink the Mass of wine in one go, he would spare the town and move on. Then someone just walked up and did it. So the army left.
Much much later during world war 2, when the USA was performing air raids, someone in the White House knew of this town and pleaded that we do not destroy it. So it has been saved from 2 wars all because one guy chugged a bunch of wine.
16. During WWII the Polish army conscripted a bear. Wikipedia
17. The entire Taiping Rebellion.
A war started by a Chinese peasant who dreamed (and believed) he was Jesus’ younger brother. Although poor, the first thing he did was have a giant demon slaying sword forged. Took over a city. Asked the British why they wouldn’t pay him tribute as the new head of their faith. Engaged in total war with the Qing. Applied pseudo-communist policies like abolishing private property. Separated women and men from ever interacting and sent the women to the front lines.
Over 20 million people died, with some estimates as high as 40 million. It was the fourth deadliest conflict in human history. IT KILLED MORE PEOPLE THAN WWI. Only WWII, Transition of the Ming, and Quing conquest of the Ming were deadlier.
19. A Finnish soldier, who managed to escape capture after losing his squad in a methed-up hallucination. Being the doctor of the group he was carrying the meth pills for the whole squad, and in order to survive and escape his pursuers, he took the whole pillbox, 30 pills, when the allowed dosage for a grown man was ONE. He survived in the Soviet wilderness for two weeks eating only pine buds and one time a Siberian jay that he caught and ate raw. When he was rescued he was 45kg and had a resting heart rate of 200bpm.
20. Serial killer Carl Panzram broke into the home of former president William H. Taft and stole jewelry, bonds, and a gun. With the money, he got from the first two he bought a yacht in which he used the gun to kill a bunch of sailors.
21. The story of the great Boston Molasses Flood sounds like it would be right at home in the scene in a bad Adam Sandler flick.
22. The fire in Dublin Ireland on June 18, 1875. A fire broke out and spread to a malt house and the heat broke open every alcohol barrel and flooded the streets with it. The people of Dublin decides to drink the burning alcohol that is spreading in the streets, filled with litter and debris and was literally on fire. 13 people died not from the fire or smoke but from alcohol poisoning they got from drinking the street whiskey.
23. The second Punic war has all the makings of a great story. It has a blood oath, an underdog story, bravery, an OP main character, tragedy and a final showdown between the 2 main characters. The fact that it all (or most of it) happened blows my mind. There could be a GOT like series about the 3 wars.
24. During the First World War, navies from different countries hired artists to paint crazy patterns on their ships in order to throw off the aim of enemy U-boats. Source
25. Vesna Vulović fell from a height of 10160 meters and lived. She holds the world record for surviving the highest fall without a parachute.