Most humiliating military defeat in history.

Mar 2019
23
Amsterdam
#61
One of the most recent defeats that I would say that are the most embarrassing would be the winter war. One Russian commander even boasted that the war would take all of two weeks. The Fins, however, had a different idea. The Soviet Union had approximately 700,000 men, the Fins had 350,000 men. The Fins used logs and crowbars to stop tanks. They came up with the Molotov cocktail, a bottle filled with flammable liquid using anything that would burn as a fuse and thrown at the target. The Fins used snow-camouflage to make their ski soldiers nearly invisibility in the snow. This allowed them to use guerrilla attacks against the Soviets. By 1940, the Soviets had enough and were ready to pull out. The Fins gave up 11% of their territory and 30% of their economic assets to the Soviet Union, but kept their country and their self-rule.

Some of the key reasons for the loss of Russians is that because of the Stalin's purge, most of the Red Army were left without highest ranking commanders. Of course some of a more embarrassing losses can be found in the memories of History that we no longer remember.
 

Maki

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
2,860
Republika Srpska
#62
Can the Winter War be considered a defeat for the Soviets? Sure, their plan to replace the Finnish government with their own puppet regime failed but they still eventually beat the Finns in the field and received the lands they wanted.
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
18,741
SoCal
#63
Can the Winter War be considered a defeat for the Soviets? Sure, their plan to replace the Finnish government with their own puppet regime failed but they still eventually beat the Finns in the field and received the lands they wanted.
What were the Soviet war aims at the start of this war?
 

Maki

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
2,860
Republika Srpska
#64
What were the Soviet war aims at the start of this war?
They wanted to secure their flanks, especially Leningrad, in the case of a possible German attack. The Soviets feared that Finland would join the Germans and that would lead Leningrad rather vulnerable. So, they wanted border corrections. However, it does seem that they also wanted to install a pro-Soviet government so they formed the so-called Finnish Democratic Republic (commonly known as the Terijoki government).
 
Jan 2015
3,286
Front Lines of the Pig War
#67
1940-41. Some parity in naval and air battles, but absolute helplessness of French, British, Polish and Soviet ground forces against Wehrmacht.
For the defence of Norway, France and Greece, while there some British forces involved, they were less than 15% of the total, and the British weren't in overall command. The defeats in Greece & France in particular, were largely the result of flawed defensive strategy on the part of the host country.

Of the first 3 major land battles that the Axis fought against a predominantly Commonwealth force (Assault on Tobruk, Battle of Crete and Operation Crusader), two were Axis defeats, and the third (Crete) was a costly victory that decimated Germany's airborne forces.
 
Likes: Futurist
Sep 2011
5,417
#68
What were the Soviet war aims at the start of this war?
Officially border revisions. Once the Soviet troops had moved into Finland, and the Finns destroyed a goodly chunk, they also picked up copies of the Soviet operation orders for various units, making it clear that the objective was the full occupation of Finland. Which, as said, was why the Finnish Soviet puppet government was installed at Terijoki.

Stalin did apparently think the Finnish "Reds" would rally to the Soviet cause, and that way eventually, at least partly, vindicate the move.
 
Mar 2013
3,587
#69
I don't know how I didn't remember this: Karansebes. The Austrian army accidentally attacked and defeated itself in a friendly fire incident while preparing for campaigning against the Ottomans. When the Ottomans actually arrived they didn't meet too much resistance.
Had not come across this before- I wonder what the Ottomans thought when they arrived to find remains of a battle they had not participated in?
 
Sep 2016
1,127
Georgia
#70
In the 100 Years War, apart from Azincourt, I would also say that Poitiers was a deeply humiliating defeat for the numerically superior French. They even had their king captured. Crecy and Sluys were also humiliating battles, though at least the King didn't get captured then.
If you are going to mention Sluys, then you should also mention English humiliating defeat at La-Rochelle in 1372. English fleet was humiliated and destroyed.

By 1375 French also were able to recapture most of the territories, that were acquired by English kings in previous years. Bertrand du Guesclin defeated English army at Pontvallain in 1370 as well.

Plus let's not forget English defeats at Orleans, Patay, Gerberoy, Formigny and Castillon.
 
Likes: Futurist

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