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"Lucky shots that changed the world" Topic

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871 hits since 31 Oct 2017
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Korvessa31 Oct 2017 3:38 p.m. PST

Got to thinking about lucky shots the other day and how much of world history can be changed by a bullet moving just another inch or two.
Now obviously some we'll never know because they were killed and can't possibly know what might have been. But I thought of three single bullets that brought about great changes:
1) The shot that wounded Charles XII
2) The shot that wounded Joe Johnston (and put Bobby Lee in charge)
3) The shot that killed Stonewall.

Out all of those, I kind of think that Charles' wounding was most significant. I think without it, Poltava might have been fought a few days earlier – before redoubts were built – the Swedes wouldn't have had the command & control problems they did and things would have been much different.

Great War Ace Inactive Member31 Oct 2017 4:07 p.m. PST

Why limit it to bullets?

Harold at Hastings. Hardrada at Stamford Bridge.

Go waaay back, and take out king Josiah by Egyptian arrow. Now, that was some serious removal, since arguably he was the reformation in bodily form of the Jewish kingdom; the last of the Davidic kings (his two sons amounted to nothing). I'm thinking that the revisionists had an impossible task, trying to keep their people on board. Their religious faith had to have been shattered, their morale broken. Not long after that, Jerusalem became a mere client state to the Babylonians. (Btw, Ahab died by arrow, so it is assumed by some that the 2 Chronicles description of Josiah's death is based on that earlier bolt from the sky to slay a monarch. But if Hardrada and Harold both die from random arrow shot in 1066, it is easier to believe that two widely separated kings could die the same way.)

McWong7331 Oct 2017 4:09 p.m. PST

Franz Ferdinand?

thosmoss31 Oct 2017 4:16 p.m. PST

How about the gun that came up blank / misfired when the trigger was pulled, pointing at Joshua Chamberlain on Little Round Top.

14Bore31 Oct 2017 4:23 p.m. PST

The shot that took out Stonewall Jackson

charles popp31 Oct 2017 4:34 p.m. PST

5 bombs at Midway

Personal logo Flashman14 Supporting Member of TMP31 Oct 2017 4:36 p.m. PST

Luke on Death Star I. Apparently it was a shot in a million from this untrained agrarian youth.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP31 Oct 2017 4:46 p.m. PST

Prague, 1848. The Austrian commander had agreed to a cease-fire when some moron, evidently firing in the air in celebration, managed to kill the commander's wife. He reversed course and crushed the uprising, which gave the Habsburgs troops to suppress the uprisings in Vienna, Italy and ultimately Hungary.

The whole course of European and world history might be different if the Czechs had figured out that rounds fired into the air come down somewhere.

Hmm. And don't forget the shot that took out Longstreet in the middle of his attack in the Wilderness in 1864.

Personal logo Nashville Supporting Member of TMP31 Oct 2017 4:51 p.m. PST

Annie Oakley shot a cigarette out of the Kaisers mouth, had she hit him, she could have prevented WWI

In 1933, a deranged, unemployed brick layer named Giuseppe Zangara shouts Too many people are starving! and fires a gun at America's president-elect, Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Roosevelt had just delivered a speech in Miami's Bayfront Park from the back seat of his open touring car when Zangara opened fire with six rounds. Five people were hit. The president escaped injury but the mayor of Chicago, Anton Cermak, who was also in attendance, received a mortal stomach wound in the attack.

boy wundyr x Inactive Member31 Oct 2017 5:06 p.m. PST

The shot that hit Adolphus Gustavus' horse?

Timbo W31 Oct 2017 5:31 p.m. PST

The chap that missed Hitler in WWI

Personal logo sillypoint Supporting Member of TMP31 Oct 2017 6:04 p.m. PST

That shot…
That Croation, that archduke…
How many attempted assaainations with a pistol, that missed in around the same period.

McWong 👍🏼

Blutarski31 Oct 2017 6:27 p.m. PST

The death of Turgut Reis ("Dragut") at the Siege of Malta by splinters from the nearby strike of a cannon shot.


DisasterWargamer Supporting Member of TMP31 Oct 2017 7:59 p.m. PST

Perhaps the Bismark and the Hood

KSmyth31 Oct 2017 9:24 p.m. PST

Robert Ross, British commander killed by American riflement at North Point near Baltimore in 1814. Ross was a talented commander, led British forces at Bladensburg and burned Washington. Likely would have led British forces at New Orleans, probably with more energy and talent than Pakenham.

jdginaz31 Oct 2017 11:47 p.m. PST

How about all the shots that just missed George Washington.

nevinsrip Sponsoring Member of TMP31 Oct 2017 11:55 p.m. PST

The shot that killed Simon Fraser at Saratoga. Fraser was rallying his troops, when Morgan ordered his riflemen to shoot him. Fraser was killed and the Americans won the battle.
If Fraser lived, who knows what the outcome of Saratoga would have been. Without the victory at Saratoga, there would not have been intervention by the French and perhaps no United States.
Legend says that it was Tim Murphy who fired the shot, but no one knows for sure.

mildbill01 Nov 2017 5:04 a.m. PST

I like the story that a guest at Davouts' house was commenting on his good fortune and Davout offered all his wealth if the guest would allow him to shoot at him 30 times in the backyard if the guest survived. No takers.

Huscarle01 Nov 2017 10:19 a.m. PST

The crossbow bolt that felled Richard the Lionheart.
The shots that downed Montcalm and Wolfe.

Rallynow Supporting Member of TMP01 Nov 2017 11:27 a.m. PST

How was the shot which killed Stonewall Jackson lucky? Shot by your own troops? I would call that very unlucky.

jdginaz01 Nov 2017 3:21 p.m. PST

It was lucky for the Union though.

Rallynow Supporting Member of TMP01 Nov 2017 3:54 p.m. PST

Very lucky for them.

altfritz02 Nov 2017 6:18 a.m. PST

I thought it was the gangrene that killed Jackson, not the bullet. ;-)

Tomsurbiton Inactive Member02 Nov 2017 10:39 a.m. PST

My understanding was that pneumonia killed him.

charles popp03 Nov 2017 3:23 p.m. PST

How about the one that hit Reynolds on day one of Gettysburg?

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