Austrian Army Loses 10,000 Men by Attacking Itself
The Austrian Army claims one of the most embarrassing moments in military history.
For the incredible story, we will have to travel all the way back to the night of 21–22 September 1788. An army of approximately 100,000 was preparing to defend the town of Caransebeș in modern-day Romania.
It all started with the uninspired decision to split the army in two, for improved chances of spotting the advancing Ottoman forces. It continued with most of the troops quenching their thirst with schnapps sold by local gypsies.
Soon enough, drunken soldiers began fighting over the remaining stash. It’s hard to say who fired the first shot, but chaos and confusion soon engulfed the entire Austrian camp.
Commanders attempted in vain to stop the escalating friendly fire. “Halt! Halt!” was mistaken for “Allah! Allah!” and things got even bloodier.
10,000 Austrians died that fateful night. The Ottomans did come, but only two days later. It’s pointless to say they had no troubles in thrashing the troops that survived the carnage.
It’s hard to find a modern-day equivalent for the hilarious battle of Caransebeș. It would be like the Austrian football team scoring five own goals in a single match.
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