Most humiliating military defeat in history.

Jul 2016
9,317
USA
#31
The act of making Romans walk under the yoke would be repeated by Jugurtha after the Battle of the Suthal.
Many times actually. Only a few years after Suthul, Cassius Longinus' loss against Helvetti confederation at Burdigala ended with survivors walking under the yoke. And I'm pretty sure at Numantia before Scipio Africanus the Younger took over, the Romans under Mancinus walked under it then too.
 

betgo

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
6,104
#32
I'm going from memory. I've read several books on the Northwest Indian War, the best being President Washington's Indian War by Wiley Sword. But I now live fulltime in a motorcoach, travelling the country and I've no access to my books, some of which are in storage but most were sold. I'm a Kindle user now.
I have seen nothing indicating anyone ran before being ordered to retreat. Running would seem dangerous in enemy territory.

The US was worse in some ways than European powers in appointing commanders based on connections etc. The governor of the Northwest Territory, which is now 5 states, commanded the forces. The US forces didn't have good intelligence or post enough sentries or whatever. The Indians surprised them while they were eating breakfast and took out the artillery at the beginning. 4/5 of the officers were killed. There were large numbers of wounded left on the field. Most of the casualties were in the battle itself, but many were after the order to retreat was given and in making way through hostile territory back to Cincinnati.
 
#33
Many times actually. Only a few years after Suthul, Cassius Longinus' loss against Helvetti confederation at Burdigala ended with survivors walking under the yoke. And I'm pretty sure at Numantia before Scipio Africanus the Younger took over, the Romans under Mancinus walked under it then too.
Oh yes, I forgot about the instance at Numantia.
 

MAGolding

Ad Honorem
Aug 2015
2,806
Chalfont, Pennsylvania
#34
The battle of the Wabash in the Northwest Indian War, 1791. Also known as St. Clair's Defeat. A confederacy of Great Lakes and Ohio Country Indians utterly whipped and practically destroyed most of the United States Army. The worst whipping the United States took from Indians and probably from anyone.
It must have been worse than the battle of little Bighorn.
Far worse. Over 600 American soldiers killed, about 260 were killed with Custer. And at the Wabash there were probably more soldiers than Indians if you count the militia, many of whom hightailed it, leaving the regulars to stand, fight and die.
According to Wikipedia, at St. Clairs' Defeat there were 632 soldiers lost, 264 soldiers wounded, 24 civilian workers killed, 13 workers wounded. Only 24 out of 920 officers and men were unharmed. Richard Butler, major general of US levies, was the highest ranking US officer ever killed by Indians. St. Clair's Defeat - Wikipedia

At the Little Bighorn Custer had about 700 officers and men of the 7th US Cavalry, civilians, and Crow and Arikara Indian scouts. Custer divided his forces into four detachments. Custer's detachment of about 212 men was totally destroyed. The total losses reported were 268 killed, 55 wounded, 6 later dying of their wounds. Battle of the Little Bighorn - Wikipedia

Do you have any source for the militia running? There was an order to retreat eventually, which basically meant to run. Many of the casualties were during and after the retreat. The soldiers had to make there way 100+ miles to US controlled territory. There were 97% casualty rates, killed or wounded. I don't think any prisoners were taken. So it seems unlikely that many ran before ordered to.
Actually St. Clair's survivors reached the recently constructed Fort Jefferson the next day. From there they retreated to Fort Washington on the future site of Cincinnati. St. Clair's Defeat - Wikipedia

I would say that the contenders for the ''worst whooping ever'' are also Queenston Heights, Kasserine Pass,Chancellorsville and maybe Bladensburg...
I have seen nothing indicating anyone ran before being ordered to retreat. Running would seem dangerous in enemy territory.

The US was worse in some ways than European powers in appointing commanders based on connections etc. The governor of the Northwest Territory, which is now 5 states, commanded the forces. The US forces didn't have good intelligence or post enough sentries or whatever. The Indians surprised them while they were eating breakfast and took out the artillery at the beginning. 4/5 of the officers were killed. There were large numbers of wounded left on the field. Most of the casualties were in the battle itself, but many were after the order to retreat was given and in making way through hostile territory back to Cincinnati.
Arthur St. Clair was governor of the Northwest Territory 1788-1800 and governor of Ohio territory from 1800-1802. He had considerable military experience in the French & Indian war and the Revolutionary War. St. Clair was a brigadier geenral from 1776 to 177 and a major general from 1777 to the end of the war, and Washington had a high opinion of his abilities. He didn't command as Governor, but as major general and commanding general in the US army from 1791-1792.

There was no Cincinnati in 1791. Fort Washington was on the future site of Cincinnati. I read that the hostiles stopped chased the fleeing soldiers after just a few miles. St. Clair's Defeat - Wikipedia

There were about 200 to 250 camp followers, wives, children, laundresses, and prostitutes, with St. Clair's army and almost all of them were killed. So that makes the number of civilians women and children who accompanied St. Clair's army and were killed approximately equal to the number of soldiers who were killed in Custer's fight at the Little Bighorn.
 
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#35
Rome's defeat at Edessa in AD 260 was pretty embarrassing. The emperor Valerian was captured by the Persian King of Kings Shapur I. That being said, Shapur was clearly a very successful military leader, so there perhaps isn't too much shame in losing. The story that Valerian's body was used by Shapur to mount his horse and was later flayed are both probably instances of fiction concocted by hostile Christian authors such as Lactantius. Regardless, it was a pretty nasty defeat!

Shapur Valerian.jpg
 

betgo

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
6,104
#36
Actually, Bladensburg was a more humiliating US defeat than the Wabash. There weren't that many casualties at Bladensburg. However, the militia ran, which forced regulars to run, as well as the senior officers and President Madison and members of his cabinet. The British burnt Washington later that same day.
 
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Dec 2018
89
Cheyenne
#37
Far worse. Over 600 American soldiers killed, about 260 were killed with Custer. And at the Wabash there were probably more soldiers than Indians if you count the militia, many of whom hightailed it, leaving the regulars to stand, fight and die.
Aye. And while plains indians would scalp you alive, Northwest indians would burn you alive
 

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