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"Most Insane Underdog Stories in the History of Battle" Topic

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708 hits since 2 Sep 2017
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP02 Sep 2017 12:37 p.m. PST

"As much as we'd like to believe what Braveheart and Return of the Jedi have told us, real-world battles are rarely won by the ragtag team of underdogs. Tanks beat horses, guns beat spears.

Yet, as we've found again and again here at Cracked, often history turns out to be more awesome than fiction…"
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Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP02 Sep 2017 1:39 p.m. PST

Well, even after more than 50 years of excavation, we still know so little about the Viking in North America but the numbers were never truly in favor of the Europeans. It was never really a campaign of conquest.

The local tribes obviously had the home court advantage, so prolonging major conflict worked in their favor, while the Norsemen were getting more and more isolated and forgotten by their kin back East. When a weather shift and Inuit hostilities conspired to end the colonies in west Greenland, the remaining colonies/settlements must have realized that their days were numbered.

But if any of the Vinland settlers stayed behind, they must have forged some positive relationships with the locals at some point, and must have adapted to non-Viking foods and tool-making, if they wanted to survive in one form or another after their abandonment. So material evidence might actually be there, but it's just not be getting identified as Viking.

Also, "going native"* has always happened to individuals and may have caught on among the Leftovers. So there's no telling if their DNA runs in the veins of some of the local Native Americans today. If the objective of the settlers was to ensure the survival of their offspring, some of them may have succeeded. We may never know.

* Conquistador Gonzalo Guerrero was a good example of that. Whether from Stockholm Syndrome after being captured, tortured and enslaved by the Maya, or out of genuine sympathy and love of the culture, he fought alongside the Maya against his fellow Spaniards. There's no record of him trying to bridge the two sides as a mediator or spokesperson, but I don't think it would have worked if he tried. His monuments are everywhere in Yucatán, though some of the locals sometimes feel the urge to vandalize them out of ignorance. Here's the one in Merida:


goragrad02 Sep 2017 2:04 p.m. PST

A little more accuracy and less hyperbole would help with those pieces.

Toaster02 Sep 2017 3:18 p.m. PST

Also the article left out the sequel to Iswandala, Rorkes Drift if anything even more one sided.


Puster Supporting Member of TMP02 Sep 2017 4:29 p.m. PST

Hemmingstedt, 1500.
A band of peasant milita beats the Danish King (acting as Imperial count), who leads a host of well armed Danish and Holstein knights, feudal levies and the most badass Landsknecht company of its time, the Grote (or Black) Garde – in total more then twice the number of the peasants.

Perfect usage of terrain and exceptional fighting spirit in routing the leading Landsknechts units won the day – and freedom for another 50 years.


Shagnasty Supporting Member of TMP03 Sep 2017 6:58 a.m. PST

Dick Dowling and 47 Texans vs 1000s of US Navy and Army at the Battle of Sabine Pass in the ACW.

Ottoathome Inactive Member03 Sep 2017 10:15 a.m. PST

Mene Tekel Parsin

Great War Ace Inactive Member03 Sep 2017 2:08 p.m. PST

Silly, foul-mouthed hyperbole.

No 300 Spartans?

The crusades provide repeated one-sided battles, starting outside of Antioch in 1098, where c. 700 Franks charged and routed off at least 4K Muslims.

All three battles of Ramleh, and the battle of Jaffa (1101 through 1105), were against ridiculous odds, the first one being the worst with less than a thousand crusader foot and less than 300 cavalry versus thousands and thousands of Egyptian Fatimids. The crusaders came off conqueror.

Before that, even getting to his kingdom required Baldwin the First to fight the Turks of Homs and Damascus at the coastal pass of Nahr El Kalb with only 700 infantry and 200 cavalry. "Knights" needs qualifying, since he put his best armored in the rear as he retreated to the narrowest place. That means that many/most of his cavalry were lacking a full complement of armor. Anyway, turning and charging, this rearguard routed the Turks. Pretty cool way to punch through and go get crowned.

Codsticker07 Sep 2017 8:11 p.m. PST

Mel had the bridge cut from the scene, claiming it was too "Jew-y."
OMG lololol….

Personal logo Bowman Supporting Member of TMP21 Sep 2017 8:03 a.m. PST

A little more accuracy and less hyperbole would help with those pieces.

Ya, the pathetic need to sound hip and current.

oldjarhead1 Inactive Member21 Sep 2017 8:28 a.m. PST

The statement that the "British Empire" was only accustomed to neat orderly battles, in and of itself makes the article pointless

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