History’s Most Ludicrous Moments


Source Material: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Flag-map_of_Switzerland.svg and https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Longneck_bottle_neutral.jpg

The past is filled with people and events that are far stranger, and funnier, than anything we can come up with. Here is a compilation of what I think are some of the best throughout history. Enjoy!

The Battle of Karansebes

In 1788, the Austro-Hungarian Empire was at war with the Ottoman Empire, and a major Austrian force was garrisoned at the small town of Karansebes in modern Romania. Late at night, a group of hussars (Austrian cavalry) went scouting for Ottoman troops – instead of finding any Ottomans, they found a group of Gypsies offering to sell them Alcohol. Naturally, they accepted. As they were getting steadily more drunk, a contingent of the Austrian infantry arrived and began to demand some of the drinks for themselves. In response, the hussars deployed for battle. Shots were exchanged, and a drunk confrontation exploded into full-scale warfare between Austrians and Austrians. As the night wore on, the Austrians began to push back the Austrians, resulting in the Austrians fleeing in a decisive rout. The noise woke up sleeping Austrians at the main camp, all of whom assumed they were being attacked by Ottomans and panicked. The forest turned into a massive free for all that left hundreds dead, with Austrian Emperor Joseph II finally ordering a general retreat against the nonexistent Ottoman force. When the real Ottomans finally arrived days later, they found a deserted town and occupied it with no casualties.

Gaddafi v. Switzerland

Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi is well known for having been a little off the rails. He lived in a tent on foreign trips, called both the Israelis and the Palestinians “idiots” at an Arab summit, and once stated at a conference in Rome that it was not Jesus, but “someone who looked like him,” who was crucified. In terms of absurdity, though, all of this pales in comparison to his dispute with Switzerland.

It all started in 2008, when the Swiss police arrested Gaddafi’s son and daughter in law for abuse against hotel staff. They were released after just two days, but those two days were enough for Gaddafi to go ballistic. He forcibly closed Swiss companies in Libya, withdrew money from Swiss banks, and arrested a couple of unfortunate Swiss citizens who happened to be in Libya at the time. But that wasn’t enough for him; at the next G8 summit, Gaddafi proposed to a shocked room of world leaders to remove Switzerland from existence by partitioning it between Italy, Germany, and France. When the UN didn’t follow through on this thoughtful proposal, Gaddafi’s son made a public statement that if he had nukes, he would vaporize Switzerland. The situation got so bad that Switzerland’s President issued a formal apology to Libya, which angered the Swiss people and did nothing to ease Gaddafi’s anger. It took Gaddafi’s death at the hands of rebels in 2011 for diplomatic relations between the two nations to finally normalize.

Djordje Martinovic

 Djordje Martinovic was a Serbian farmer living in Yugoslav Kosovo in the 1980s. For reasons best known to himself, Martinovic decided one day to stick a beer bottle up his rear end, wide side first. Needless to say, this was a pretty terrible idea. Martinovic quickly realized that fact when the bottle suddenly broke, embedding glass fragments in his body and causing painful internal injuries. Likely knowing that he would be the laughingstock of the entire nation if he told the truth about what happened, he decided to blame the Albanians instead and tell hospital staff that he was attacked while working in his field. In ethnically divided Kosovo, this didn’t blow over well, and the Yugoslav government eventually formed two commissions to investigate the incident (yes, two separate government commissions to investigate whether a guy shoved a beer bottle up his backside). In the end, it was generally agreed that Martinovic’s wounds were self-inflicted, and nobody was prosecuted. But the ethnic tension heightened by the incident remained, and contributed to the breakup of Yugoslavia years later.