Top 10 historical details that we ignore (but not for long)

History is punctuated by great events that we learn obediently on the school benches. But alongside the big events, there are also small events, those that we forgot to remember or even completely forgot to teach us. The kind of unusual historical anecdotes that we thought we didn’t care about when in fact we don’t care that much.

1. In the sinking of the Titanic 1517 people died and 706 people survived…

…But among the survivors what they forget to tell us is that three dogs survived. And not just any: a Pekingese and two Pomeranians. It’s a safe bet that they did not come from the third class.

Top 10 historical details that we ignore (but not for long)

2. The battle of Waterloo caused 23,700 deaths, including 5,260 from Wellington’s armies…

…And the bones of dead British soldiers were dug up from the battlefields, then crushed and used as fertilizer by farmers in Yorkshire. The practice still lasted two decades before we finally told them that it was a bit of a way to make butter on the crushed bones of their compatriot ancestors.

3. Dusko Popov, the man who inspired the character of James Bond, knew about the attack on Pearl Harbor four months before everyone else…

…And he warned FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover in vain, but Hoover didn’t believe it. Or at least didn’t want to believe it because he was a little too wary of this Serb who was still a double agent.

4. During the battle of Agincourt, many British soldiers fought bare-backed…

…Henry V’s army having been stricken with dysentery, it was easier for the soldiers to fight without trousers in order to be able to “let go” in the open air while fighting vigorously.

5. One of the rare photos of the landing at Omaha Beach was taken by Robert Capa…

…The latter was not at all aware of the risks involved in covering this event. He survived by a miracle. The stupid thing is that he had taken 106 photos and 98 of them were destroyed during development due to an error made by the laboratory.

6. The “Watergate” affair was revealed by a simple piece of tape…

…It takes place in June in 1972. While 5 former FBI and CIA agents are typing the inlay at the Democratic Party headquarters in the Watergate building, a guard toasts their presence by noting the presence of a piece of adhesive tape in the famous “room 723”.

7. Mary Todd Lincoln couldn’t stay with her husband President Lincoln as he breathed his last…

… And that’s because she was kicked out by Edward Stanton, Secretary of War, who thought she was a little too squeamish. Nice.

8. When Bin Laden was executed, it was necessary to identify his body and for that, it had to be measured…

…Except the soldiers in the SEAL unit didn’t have a tape measure. Suddenly, one of the soldiers supposed to be about the same size as bin Laden had to lie down next to the body to authenticate him by size.

9. We tend to believe that Joan of Arc was burned alive because she was considered a witch…

… But it’s mainly because she wore men’s clothes. Now, for the judges, male clothes worn by a woman, it was clearly condemned by the Bible. Poor Jeannette might say that it was the voices in her head that motivated this outfit, the verdict was final.

10. In response to the attack on Pearl Harbor, there was talk of… explosive bats

A dental surgeon close to Mrs. Roosevelt indeed had this absurd idea which he was able to defend at the White House and which consisted in arming bats with mini-bombs. The scientific committee approves as well as the president. Two million dollars are invested to support the project which will be finally canceled because the bats would not have been ready in time. Too bad.

Top 10 historical details that we ignore (but not for long)

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