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10 Terrible Decisions of the 20th and 21st Century

JimJIm . . . Comments

We all make bad decisions. Fortunately our decisions don’t usually cause continent-wide destruction. Here are the most catastrophic decisions of the twentieth century. I think you’ll find a few surprises.


Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki


Though Harry Truman was under extreme pressure to end the war and reduce American casualties I think his decision to drop two atomic bombs on August 6th and August 9th, 1945 was in error. The Japanese were already defeated. According to Army Air Force General Henry H. (Hap) Arnold, “It always appeared to us, atomic bomb or no atomic bomb, the Japanese were already on the verge of collapse.” President Eisenhower declared in an interview with Newsweek: “…the Japanese were ready to surrender and it wasn’t necessary to hit them with that awful thing.”


Elite within the Democratic Party


Bad move. In the late 1960s and early 1970s the so very lofty upper-class took control of the Democratic Party. Since then the Democrats rarely win elections, no matter how stupidly the Republicans behave. Tragically some thought this new elitist Democratic Party would be pro-peace. In fact the Democrats are more war-like than ever, only now the wars are even more pointless. (Example: our invasions of small Muslim nations.) What happened to Democrats that stand up for working people?


Vietnam War

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General MacArthur said that any defense secretary who advises the president to fight a land war is Asia should “have his head examined.” Unfortunately this is just the advice Defense Secretary Robert McNamara gave to President Johnson, and troop levels rocketed upward in the mid-1960s. The war suited the enemy. No domestic opposition was permitted in Vietnam so the government didn’t have to worry about public opinion. Vietnam possessed a large population that could hide from American firepower in the dense jungle. In contrast, the United States media often criticized the war effort. Americans don’t like high casualties, especially not in an interminable war half way around the world.


Iraq War

Iraq Cost Onpage

The 9/11 Commission chaired by Republican Tom Kean concluded that Saddam Hussein did not aid Al-Qaeda’s 9/11 attack. The Iraq Survey Group concluded that Saddam Hussein did not possess weapons of mass destruction after 1991. So why did so many people die in the 2003 launched Iraq War? Why the huge expense?


Foundation of Israel


After World War II, many Jews fled to Palestine and established the new nation of Israel, thus antagonizing a huge new set of people – the Muslim community which now numbers about 1/5 of the world’s population. Hitherto Muslims had been particularly anti-Jewish, but after the Zionists massacred villages and forced the original population to flee, Muslims turned against the Jews. It would have been far preferable for Jews to migrate to any of the English-speaking nations.


Japanese Attack on Pearl Harbor


The December 7th, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor was madness. What’s startling is that Admiral Yamamoto, who planned the attack, knew very well Japan could not possibly win a protracted war against the United States. The U.S. possessed a far larger population and greatly superior industrial strength. Though his staff celebrated on December 8th, Yamamoto was sunk in depression.


Mao Left in Power


If only the decision had been made to remove Chairman Mao from power! The long-suffering Chinese people would have been spared the Great Leap Forward (actually Backward), the Great Famine of 1958-1962, and the Cultural Revolution. Just one of Mao’s bright ideas during the Great Leap Forward: his plan to exterminate sparrows. He thought the sparrows consumed primarily grain, where in fact they consume a lot of insects. With the sparrows gone the locust population exploded, causing immense ecological damage.


British Guaranty to Poland


Winston Churchill never should have issued a guaranty to Poland in 1939, which led to war when Germany invaded Poland. As esteemed American diplomat and historian George Kennan wrote: “the British guaranty to Poland … was neither necessary nor wise.” The British and French didn’t have the power to save Poland from Germany. Churchill’s foolish guaranty only benefited Stalin, who was happy to see Germany, France, and Britain destroying one another. Stalin had killed millions of his own people in his vast system of prison camps and the engineered famine of 1932-1933 (the Holodomor). Churchill I think should be singled out as the single worst decision-maker of the century. As First Lord of the Admiralty he energetically banged the drums for war as Britain pondered whether to enter World War I. Churchill also deserves a great deal of blame for the disastrous Gallipoli campaign. Churchill as Chancellor of the Exchequer oversaw the catastrophic return of Britain to the gold standard, which helped bring about the Great Depression.


The Treaty of Versailles


Prime Minister Clemenceau perhaps deserves the most blame for the vindictive Versailles Treaty (signed 1919) though some of his compatriots thought him too generous. Despite promises made to the Central Powers, territory was parceled out by the victors regardless of the wishes of the inhabitants. Germany was saddled with huge reparations payments, impossible to pay. Economist John Maynard Keynes wrote of this decision: “I believe that the campaign for securing out of Germany the general costs of the war was one of the most serious acts of political unwisdom for which our statesmen have ever been responsible.” The Central Powers were unfairly forced to accept sole responsibility for the war. Keynes concluded that the Versailles treaty was a “Carthaginian peace.” Versailles vengeance sowed the seeds for World War II.


British Involvement in World War I


In 1914 Prime Minister Asquith and Foreign Secretary Sir Edward Grey decide to involve Britain in World War I, although it was France and Russia – not Germany – that threatened the British Empire. British policy called for an alliance against the most formidable continental power, but long-term was Germany alone so overwhelmingly superior to both France and Russia? If Britain had not send troops the war would have ended within a year. Europe would have been spared one of its greatest nightmares – the millions that died from machine gun, cannon, disease, poison gas, and starvation. The rise of the Bolsheviks in Russia, with all its attendant misery, and the atrocities of World War II would also have been avoided. Instead of the Great War we would have had the relatively minor War of 1914, and Europe would never have descended into the depths of despair and decadence from which they still haven’t entirely recovered.

  • Ozzy

    The interesting lists are back. Very thought provoking.

    • I’ve been reading the posts over the last 15 minutes, yes, this list has gotten some traction already! The good lists are the ones that drive people nuts, for whatever reason. But I’m curious to see if anyone has any suggestions for additions or replacements. I can’t think of any off the top of my head. Except, perhaps, if this list is to be re-done in a generation, will that list include Nixon opening up trade relations between the U.S. and China? Only time will tell! LOL!

      • Les2point0

        Sometimes making a shitty list drives people nuts. This is one of them times.

        • nickodani

          Agreed…there’s a fine line between being interesting enough to provoke discussion and provoking discussion through terse, if not irrational statements.

          • Tom L

            Rare that a list makes me quite this angry – popcorn history founded on fundamentally flawed logic and information with no appreciation of the context in which these events happened, relying purely on hindsight. To make matters worse GUARANTEE has been misspelled. Muppet.

          • Flippant

            Well, no it hasn’t, Tom. Although by large obsolete, “guaranty” is still (today) used in the financial sector when speaking in terms of legalities. ;)

          • Tom L

            It is in use but purely in reference to debt or the perfomance of another’s obligations. Guarantee would suit the context far better as it has a broader definition as a formal promise or assurance that certain conditions will be fulfilled. I highly doubt the chap who wrote this tripe would have picked up on these nuances and most likely dropped a ‘y’ instead of ‘ee’. Please don’t give JimJim any sense of satisfaction at getting anything correct in this awful list.

          • Flippant

            Three things if I may, Tom. :)

            Firstly, in regards to you speaking of the definition of “guaranty”…

            It is in use but purely in reference to debt or the perfomance of another’s obligations.

            I’d have to look it up, but doesn’t that perfectly describe Churchill’s guaranty of Poland in 1939? Plus we’re not even talking of it’s use today, it’s 1939 and it’s context then.

            Secondly, regardless of what you or I think is more fitting, JimJim is quoting written text from the source. Again I would have to look it up, but if George Keenan himself wrote “guaranty” in his assessment then it’s absolutely correct to use the same word in quotation marks. Nor is it incorrect to keep using the same word, for continuance, throughout the entry here.

            Thirdly, I know that you said “please” and all, but when I first read this list there wasn’t really anything positive I could find to say. You know, something positive and encouraging for the author to say thanks for his time.. lol I just saw a mess that I knew was trouble. So, Tom, please do let me give Jim a li’l satisfaction here.. it’s one of the few wins he’s gonna get. ;)

          • Moros

            The writer is just trying to piss off patriotic Americans/Brits.

            All of these are based on opinion and most of the decisions made had better outcomes than the alternatives, regardless of how bad those outcomes were.

          • antonlavey

            the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki saved millions of lives. The massive loss expected from the battles in japan should they not expect the attack (which they had the plans down to a T) would have been huge. 500,000 purple hearts were made by the US alone for the first 3 days of the battle that would have taken the bombings place. purple hearts handed out were still from that order in the 2000s.

      • Edvadooo

        Perhaps if it was re-written by a Democrat?

        • Good question. An even better one is why no Democrats have yet done so. I suspect that most of the entries would have one or more of the following words: Reagan, Bush, fascist, Nazis, etc.

        • bbo

          I’m a Democrat and agree with much of the list

          • Cfolsom1

            And actually I do believe Iraq was bushs deal. (he is a republican by the way)

    • This is the worst list ever, for reasons already stated.

      1. The dropping of the Bomb might not quite have seemed that unreasonable following the casualties in the battle of Okinawa. Even if the Japanese were ready for surrender, they STILL didn’t after Hiroshima, prompting another Bomb on Nagasaki. The US/Japanese war of the Pacific was the worst conflict America had seen arguably, and no-one wanted any more US deaths.

      2. No real opinion (Im not American, though my Dad is) but elites and egos fester in all political parties. Luckily we don’t debate Guns, God or Gays this side of the pond.

      3. Get the bloody context JimJim! The cold war was in full flow and the US wanted to be seen to stand up to communism. They failed to save Vietnam, but the spread of communism was and has been checked.

      4. WMDs. I spent four weeks dressed in NBC gear every time a missile was detected and a mortar bomb landed near us, and I then spent the next three months looking for them. Saddam worked very hard to make us believe he had them, and we as suckers believed him.

      5. Which English speaking Nations JimJim? The US could not find space for a single Jewish refugee in its tiny country. The UK were interning them in Cyprus. Where in your history should they have gone?

      6. Agreed, daft decision. I doubt though that it would have been taken if they really understood the response, culminating in point 1.

      7. Remove Mao by whom? Is not changing governments by force the cause of most of your poor decisions in this list?

      8. Churshill was not Prime Minister in 1939. When he was, he had the backbone to decide to fight the Nazis when many were ready to surrender (France) collaberate (Russia) or could not even be bothered (US). Far from being the bumbling fool you make him out to be, he probably saved the world from Nazism.

      9. Again JimJim, context: If I had been French Id have probably wanted Germany to pay for the destruction to my country. The only problem I can see with the treaty was that it was not enforced, something Churchill warned about.

      10. This is counter-factual fantasy of “if only”. It is impossible to predict what “might” have happened, but the revolution would still have occured in Russia and it is faciful to be ablle to predict what the outcome would have been.

      Even a casual glance at Wikipedia could have saved this awful list.

      • The R

        I second this motion.

        • scrooge


          • Kevin

            Third and Fourth!

      • lawn

        Holy cow, so much ignorance and idealism in one place!

        • lawn

          Sorry. poorly worded. I refer to the original list, not your accurate analysis of it, bombdr.

          • lawn

            The starred word is a_n_a_l_y_s_i_s. What a totally stupid profanity checker.

      • fliplover

        I couldn’t have said it better myself.

        Japan thought we were bluffing after the first bomb, they thought we only had one. As for being ready to surrender, Japanese elementary schools (ELEMENTARY!) were training students to strap on bombs and roll under American tanks if the homeland invasion happened.

        Saddam Hussein admitted in an interview before his execution that he miscalculated about the will of America to invade. He WANTED everyone to think he had WMD’s because he was more afraid of Iran attacking.

        To the author of this list, please do at least elementary research before foisting your opinions on the rest of the world!

        • Egon

          Please, keep your naiveness for you. WMD? What WMD? You invaded afghanistan then Iraq and are now ready for Iran for the same reason: MONEY. Weapons need wars and all weapon makers of USA want your nation to stay forever in war. And you obey. That’s all. Pretending there are reasons different from greed is ridicolous.

          • Magnus Jernkrok

            Considering that the war in Afghanistan had nothing to do with WMDs, that US weapon makers would get money anyway (the US doesn’t produce weapons on a “on need basis”), and that the wars have been horribly expensive, that claim of yours is absolutely ridiculous.

            Before you mention oil: The US nor any US companies got any of the big oil contracts in Iraq.

            War in Afghanistan was about: Crushing the safe haven of Al Qaeda and finding bin Laden.
            War in Iraq was about: Security in Middle East. Saddam was a maniac who had used WMDs on his own population, actively hindered UNSCOM and IAEA in surveilling his potential for WMDs, financed terrorism, had invaded neighbor countries, had tried to acquire nuclear weapons, and was in clear violation of the Gulf war armistice.

          • Cfolsom1

            Yes. OPEC is not controlled by american companies. And that is true that the united states would’ve spent the money on weapons either way. And I forgot that Iran is such a nice place to live where you can get on listverse and publicly disgrace your country without being persecuted. Sounds like Iraq and Afghanistan. But you don’t give a f*%k about anyone else right? And you probably think 9/11 was hoax also created by corporations to make money

      • QD

        Bombdr nailed it. This is probably the most misinformed or moronic list I’ve read here yet.

      • rocknopera

        You’re right. Top 10 terrible listverse lists.

        • yogo

          MrAlexrussian on July 19, 2011 Nothing can beat this one /watch?v=wYztIGF5ToICheck it out is best one about easy to use and its free, golabl classifieds uk, usa, canada, france, germany, spain and

      • beerclark

        bombdr: Nice response! I’d like to simply add to Item #3 (you list as #8) about ‘Promising’ protection for Poland. British backing of Poland was sound because it may have slowed Hitler down if he took them seriously. He didn’t believe they would really fight for Poland, especially if he took it quick enough. But besides that, is JimJIm basically saying that everyone should sit by while Germany takes another country that it can exterminate Jews, Poles, & Slavs?? Pointing out that Stalin killed so many is irrelevant to this item because the choice to back Poland in no way affected those lost lives.

        Sadly I even agree with some items in the list but it is so poorly written, even those don’t stand up very well. This is VERY similar to the old poster “Ryam Thomas”…. a lot of opinion but very few facts.

      • ZiggyOnMars

        Remove Mao to Peng Dehuai, Liu Shaoqi , or even Deng Xiaoping.
        They were all better choice and crazy than Mao.
        Peng Dehuai the military general was one of the great men who complaint Mao, due to his misleading in Korean war caused Mao’s beloved son aka the prince of the empire killed by US airforce (actually this young man was tracked by a bomber because he was cooking eggs in a cave that the steam revealed his location). Peng’s family and himself became victims of Mao’s political persecution.

        Mao let Lio Shaoqi ruled the government for a tiny short period as part of the “democracy movement” which was a pain in Mao’s ass, the whole nation was benefited from Lio’s “less Stalinist” rule, such as re promoted traditional Chinese culture, western friendly diplomacy, re-focus on economy. So needless to say, Mao jealous his power and bring him down from the throne and killed him with his red guards.
        Deng Xiaoping is a Chinese version of Khrushchev, he hid from Mao, he begged for Mao’s mercy, never complaint Mao even he was in prison, he knew more about how to live with a monster than all the victims. After Mao killed almost every high class politician or generals in the military and he knew he was dying at that age. Deng promised not to take revenge and protect Mao’s legacy, so Mao gave his power to him. That was the beginning of Capitalism in China and lead China become an normal state.
        But policy in China is ruled by jungle king, many great men killed by Mao.

    • greensmurf

      You’ve opened Pandora’s box….what if…what if…what if……but agree or disagree there are far more terrible decisions then this…..and by your premise I would say The Final Solution decision/The decision to expand the British empire/The decision to limit research into the atomic bomb (drop it on Berlin in 42/43……the list goes on………and on…..

      • Nocturnesthesia

        Agree with you big time… This list focuses more on condemning the retaliation than condemning the original act. Raises some valid points, but I think a subject like this is too massive to do justice in list form.

    • Tom

      What a crap list. You must be a Nazi if you think the Jews returning to their homeland was a mistake. Nice list Hitler. Glad to see minor events like the Holocaust, the Soviet purges and the decimation of Cambodia were ranked outside the top 10.

      • me


      • PoutineInMaVeins

        The jews invaded and subsequently stole the Palestinians’ country…

        Nothing changes this truth.

        What if the Iranians were to do to America what the jews did to Palestine? Tell me, how would that sit with you?

        Please have some perspective.

        • Leo

          yes, the Israelis did invade the Palestinian regions and some neighboring areas. However you must have forgotten how horribly the Jews are treated in the region surrounded by anti semite Islamic neighbors. Yes, Israel massacred people, but consider the brutal situation they’re in before you condemn them and beatify their neighbors.

          • Canuovea

            Well, yes, the Zionists did what you describe, Leo. The Israelis are, however, there now.

            If everyone could drop this stupid obsession with land they haven’t held in a generation, accept some kind of two state solution it would all be good. That isn’t going to happen, though.

            As for Israeli brutality… it is born out of paranoia that is not entirely unfounded. And it does not reflect the beliefs of the entire population. But there is no denying that it happened/happens.

            Personally? I’ve come to blame the British for a good chunk of this mess.

          • Marius

            How horribly Jews are treated? After a racist, theocratic group of immigrant nationalist came in and stole their land and created an oppressive military state?

            Oh MY. Hating a nation AFTER the fact. I guess that TOTALLY justifies the creation of Israel.

            Whoops, except for the fact that the native Jewish population lived peacefully alongside their native Muslim brothers for centuries. And the fact that nations like Iran and these “Muslim aggressors” don’t oppress Jews and in fact have Jews, that are themselves against Israel, as ministers in their governments.

        • Ross

          first Jews where there until the Romans Exiled them Palestinians came in after all of this. secondly after centuries of Racism and persecution form european catholics then the Nazi’s holocaust that took the lives of over 6 million Jewish people. after all of this they wished for a land to themselves. your telling them to show some perspective but you dont show any yourself. yes the Jews pushed the Palestinians. also how does that make it right for Palestinians to shoot rockets over the border and kill innocent people. the truth is that none of this was right. but if i was a Jew then i would have done the same damn thing

          • UNKOWN

            but what if you were an Arab?!!! what would you do then? sit down and watch the Israelis taking your land and killing your family, trust me if you saw the horrors we saw, and lost as many loved ones as we did, you would be launching rockets at Israel too

  • dizit

    This list is terrible. Why post a history list if you have no grasp of history?


    • Les2point0

      agreed. I stopped reading at six because you’re completely ignorant of the situation. Very very ignorant.

      • Double Agreed

        • Bob

          stupid people

          • greensmurf

            back up your ‘decision’ to call people stupid….this ain’t the school yard….

      • Sbtier

        i couldn’t decide if the author was so ill-informed or if this list is one big trolling effort.

        • it must be trolling. there’s no other excuse for a list this awful, this ignorant. jfrater: you’re a moron.

        • Jojo

          Non vi e8 alcun beneficiario della rrguea, ma gli ebreiAtold rrguea, ma le perdite finanziarie e fisicheAd esempio, la rrguea in Iraq ha prodotto enormi perdite e ha lasciato migliaia di mortiNo alla rrguea, sec alla paceGrazie Yasser

      • NIJ

        les is right, no grasp of context, listverse has produced some pretty boring lists recently so Jimjim has wrote a list solely with the purpose to piss people off

    • Ni99a

      At least the writer followed my formula to write a list and look at the amount of commentators.

      No music and any country’s civil war stories. Nobody cares about them.

      ONLY contemporary history.


    • greensmurf


    • MollyDrops

      Agreed. When one puts forward a theory – Say based on Just War Theory – There has to be substantial backing for such opinions. Can you imagine if this list was submitted as part of a degree?!!! My God they would be laughed out through the door! But quite frankly this list has been purposefully written to upset and antagonise people.

    • S

      I agree completely. While I could agree with one or two entries on the list, the justification for the others was poor. Great idea for a list, poorly executed.

  • mr b. schissen

    didn’t chamberlain promised poland to go to war if they were attacked? churchill became prime minister in 1940, already 9 months in in ww2.

    • Adams

      You’re correct; the writer of this list didn’t do his homework.

    • S

      You’re completely correct. It was Chamberlain who gave the guarantee.

      • flynnbobsled

        Umbrella Boy did do one thing right…

  • Another terrible decision was to publish this list! One person’s personal view and then their choice explained in a few sentences is not a compelling argument. If the bombing of Japan during WWII brought the war to an earlier ending (even by a couple of months), then it was a good thing. How many Allied lives did that decision save? A good list will look at both sides of the story.

    • Jon

      it’s been reviewed by countless people, that the american’s had full knowledge that Japan didn’t have the resources to continue their war effort when the decision to drop the bombs were made. Hence they tried to offer them the chance to surrender, but a mis-wording in the translation of the surrender terms, (asking the emperor admit defeat, rather than Japan) caused them to refuse.

      • Fata

        I’m under the impression that the bombs were dropped to diminish Soviet aggression in Europe. Stalin sought to continue west after conquering germany. The bomb made him think twice.

        • f*** you america

          its my knowledge the emperor knew he could win and was trying to surrender but the americans wanted to see how the bombs worked on people

          • ‘F American’ is an Fing Idiot

            Then you are an idiot.

        • PoutineInMaVeins

          Actually the most logical (LOL) reason I have read for the bombs being dropped was to scare the Japs into surrendering before the Soviets had a chance to interject in the Pacific theatre…

          This way, the US would avoid having to deal with the Soviets during post-war reparation talks and put them in a position to dictate affairs in the region.

          Dispicable either way. What did those civillians ever do? War-mongering is an illness…unfortunately America is infected and has been for a very long time.

          • Leo

            Japan is a very militaristic nation. Surrender is shameful, most historians agree to this. Suppose if we did not drop the bombs and instead chose to fight the other route, American troops would have faced fierce resistance, causing casualties on both sides. That’s not even consider the massive suicidal wave that would occur once America successfully take over Japan. The dropping was a coup de grace.

          • PoutineInMaVeins


            This is a ridiculous argument. Civillian deaths and military deaths are very different. I am anti-war altogether but if someone has to die, let it be the soldier who signed up for the duty rather than unarmed innocient men, women and children.

          • segues

            Poutine… ” Civillian deaths and military deaths are very different.”

            Dead is dead.

            “…let it be the soldier who signed up for the duty…”

            If not for those who volunteer for military duty you would be left with some less than attractive choices; being left unguarded against those who wish you harm or, being forced into conscription via a draft.

    • me

      murdering thousands of civilians for save military lives is a war crime by definition, get that through your thick nut.

      “One person’s personal view and then their choice explained in a few sentences is not a compelling argument.”…follow your own advice and sod off.

      • Japanese forces were bombing the Australian mainland, killing civilians. The Japanese army was also in New Guinea at that time and poised to make a run for an invasion of Australia. Most people in Australia were thankful at the time for the US dropping the bomb and bringing that aspect of the war to a close. So unless it was your uncles fighting (and dying) whilst in battle with the Japanese army while defending the possibility of invasion of your country, don’t get personal about it. Sod off? Nah, think I’ll raise a beer to the people who defended a way of life.

  • Sleepy

    Good choice of topic ruined with superficial and naive entries. It just lists horrible things that happened and said “oh they were terrible, so those decisions shouldn’t have been made” without consideration for the historical context, the social, political, economic reasons for making that decision.

    • MollyDrops


      • Deep thinker

        Hmmm yes.

  • trex

    Well, there is some good in this list. “What we fail to learn from history is to learn from history.” But overall this list is horrible; though I may agree with some things here the author failed to consider the concerns in the making of some of these decisions such as economical, political, moral, and even (for #6) Biblical aspects.

  • Anony

    Waste of a list and time, not worth the read. JimJim you should hang your head down in shame.

    • JimJim has got the froth roiling! Hang his head in shame? I;m thinking Listverse List of the Year Award! LOL!

      • Anony

        haha, good one dude.

  • ~*Jany*~

    Great list! Its interesting and most likely gonna draw a lot of controversy! Yes yes its his opinion and personal view people ,but the great think about listverse is that you can express yourselves! Good job!

    • Tom L

      No, a great list would have greated controversy with compelling and accurate information not biased opinion

      • It’s “his” list, so of course it’s “opinion”. ALL OF THESE LISTS ARE “OPINION”!

        • Boss

          You’re fu cking retarded.

        • Chuk

          Very few of the lists here are opinion. Most are facts, and the ones that are opinion usually consider both sides of an argument. I am, of course, talking only about the best lists here.

          • That’s YOUR opinion. See how this works? LOL!

          • segues

            Actually, karavitis, most of the lists *ARE* factual. Go to the Archives and check ’em out.

      • I have never put together a list and therefore I’m unfamiliar with the list submission process but how does a list this poorly written get published? jimjim, you should hang your head in shame…

  • Mochattez

    This is one of the most biased and potentially racist list ever. If there was a list of the most stupid list on this site, this would be number one. Suggesting that the Iraqi War is worse than Vietnam is ridiculous. But even more outrageous is for the author to suggest that the Jews just go to English-speaking countries! This author has no clue about history.

    • The author of this list is suggesting no such thing. The events leading to the creation of the State of Israel are a matter of historical record. Before 1948, Arabs and Jews lived side by side in Palestine. Immigrant Zionists decided to forcibly uproot and displace non-Jews, a policy and frame of mind that exists to the present day. All these decades, and the Palestinians are still living in squalor and as second-class citizens in a land that their forefathers farmed and lived on for generations. The author has a point, and is merely using hyperbole when he says that the Jews would have been better off moving to any of the English-speaking countries.

      • David D

        English-speaking countries? Most displaced Jews were from Germany and western Europe. You think they spoke english?

        • Arsnl

          Think you mean eastern Europe.

      • History1

        The Zionists forced the palestinians out? So it wasn’t the surrounding muslim nations telling the palestinians that they should leave, let them destroy Israel, and then they can return? Learn something about history you anti-semetic moron.

        • Again with the ad hominem attacks. Tsk tsk! I see that funding public schools via property tax levies is indeed a complete waste of money!

        • syrio

          The same thing happened during ww2 when germans told jews to go to concentration camps so they wouldn’t be killed by allied bombing. Unluckily for them diseases spread in camps so 3 mil of them died there. This is the same level of history knowledge that you have shown. Would you leave your home, i guess you are from US, if someone told you that you should go, and if you weren’t forced by “peaceful” immigrants who came there because their religious extremist leaders told them that god promised them your house, your land and everything you own

        • Hmmm

          The surrounding Muslims kicked the predominately Muslim Palestinians out to do what, exactly? Give it to Zionists?

        • dalinean

          The Israeli Terrorists were trained in guerilla techniques by Orde Windgate, A strict bibble literalist, sometime in the late thirties. The Zionist terror campaign against the Palestinian land owners is am matter of historical fact.

          Many British soldiers were killed by these terrorists and many more Palestinians were massacred sometime in the mid ‘forties.

          I do not wish to get embroiled in partizan politics, just get the facts right.

  • StuMiller’sGust

    BUSH V. GORE!!!

    The most disastrous US Supreme Court decision in history. If you factor in the SC judges Bush was able to appoint, it’s a fiasco that gets exponentially worse with each passing year. It is a decision that literally destroyed the world as we know it.

    • Dumbest post ever. Seriously. I’m guessing you’re a…. Democrat? Yes? Am I right?

      • ness2k

        He’s not smart enough.

      • Mark

        I think that the author was actually more ignorant in facts. That is usually a Republican/Neo-conservative speciality.

  • StuMiller’sGust

    “It would have been far preferable for Jews to migrate to any of the English-speaking nations.”

    Or how about forcing the Germans to migrate to the Soviet Bloc?

    • This post demonstrates a complete lack of knowledge of the history of not only pre-and post war Europe, but also to the events leading to the creation of the State of Israel. Jews and Arabs lived in peace in Palestine until Zionists decided to disenfranchise the native Arab population. Britain is to blame for this, as their gerrymandering of the Middle East ignored the political realities of the groups that lived there.

      As for forcing the Germans to migrate to the Soviet Bloc, again, are you angling for another Dumberst – Post – Ever award? Think before you post, son.

      • Les2point0

        jews never lived in peace with the Arabs. They were just treated less terribly by Arabs than by European Christians. You’re not as smart as you think you are, dumbass.

        • kristof

          but it was Palestinian land champ

          • Ticonderoga

            Long before that it was Jewish land.

            And long before the US it was Native American land.

            And long before..

        • You’re right, I’m a whole helluva lot smarter.

      • Deep thinker

        I am wondering why you used the word gerrymandering, son. The British were carving the middle east into favorable voting districts?

  • Missy

    Who would’ve thought that the human race was so dumb in making decisions.

    Mao and the sparrows was bad enough but the founding of the State of Israel takes the cake. In regards to Pearl Harbour, who really wanted the attack to take place, the Japanese or the Americans? Stupidity comes in all shapes and sizes.

    • Lazzy

      Eww..forgot about the elevator pitch. I hate those. Especially in the nibigneng when you are not quite sure where the wind is going to take to you and your new blog. :)Best of luck with those pub opps! They sound great.

  • In re Item # 3, I refer you to Adam Tooze’s book “Wages of Destruction”. About 900 pages of research into the fact that Germany would never have been able to win WW II, given that it never had access to enough raw materials to do so. Regardless, it’s a fact that Hitler not only admired the Brits, but thought that they and Germany could become allies. Once Hitler invaded France in May 1940, he offered Britain peace if Britain would acknowledge that Germany had dominion over continental Europe. Britain’s refusal in the face of over whelming odds (remember, at that time, America hadn’t been officially dragged into WW II) led to a protracted war, the loss of Britain’s overseas possessions, and a depressed economy that didn’t really recover until Thatcher assumed power.

    • David D

      Do you serious beleive Hitler would have stopped at mainland Europe? Yes, poor old Britain stood up to him alone and yes it broke us as a country. And what little thanks we got, especially from France.

      • Arsnl

        Oh shush. Yeah, you sure stood up to him, especially at Dunkirk.
        Let’s all thank those russians that died by the millions that we aren’t speaking german now. Unlike WWI, Germany had the power to break France and UK.

        @john: you would have lost your colonies no matter what. Do you really think you could have kept power of India? Man that’s foolish.
        And decolonisation is quite a great thing.

        • coocoocuchoo

          If there was no 2nd World war, Britain would have kept the colonies for decades longer, obviously by now they would be decolonised as the world has changed, but the fact remains that Britain sacraficed everything, along with other allied countries, to HELP rid the world of Hitler and the axis powers. And it wasnt done so we could all hate on eachother 60 years later, it defies belief that we are like this, including me I admit. We need to rememeber, I mean REALLY remember what that war was about.

        • Skot

          If by Russians you must realize that the Red Army was composed of only about 50%- 55% Russians most of which were in the upper echelons of the military. The millions who died were all the Ukrainians, Azerbaijanis, Lithuanians, Latvians, Estonians, Belorussians, Moldavian (among others) who were “urged onward” by their “Glorious Leader” aka the horrible monster known as Stalin. Russia had only Russia’s interest in mind and was more than happy to feed their limitless numbers into the teeth of the war machine so they could claim as much land as possible. As far as thanking the Red Army, yeah let’s thank them for all of the atrocities and for the 2 million rapes they committed.

          • Arsnl

            You are splitting hairs and opening Pandora’s box. But if you check wikipedia (yeah im citing wiki, have a problem with that?) you’ll see that about 6.7 million russian soldiers died compared to 1.3 mil ukranians and 0.65 mil belorussians. So yeah, I’ll thank mostly the russians. Do you mind?

            “horrible monster known as Stalin. Russia had only Russia’s …blah blah rant rant”. Did i mention Stalin or the Red army? Do i actually like Stalin or the Red Army? No. Hey i like being self righteous like the next guy but i said what i said and i acknowledged those who died for their country (and not those who died while spreading terror cuz im sorry but most of the dead people were too busy being dead, and had no time to start raping Berlin).
            If you are so aghast of what the Red Army did, why don’t you blame the western countries for just giving up on eastern europe (and especially poland). People who expected the americans to come, but that only got a healthy dose of stalinism that yum yum tastes so good.

            This is a way too complex convo to continue is any reasonable way and im tired of correcting the internet.

          • Maria


            What about relatively? Did more Russians die relatively?

      • If you read Adam Tooze’s “Wages of Destruction”, you will learn that the Soviet Union, far from being a poor backwards country, possessed massive industrial might located in the Urals, far into Mother Russia, out of reach of German bombers. No way that Hitler could have defeated them, even one-to-one. Hitler’s best chance was the Blitzkreig in July 1941, when Stalin freaked out and locked himself in his bedroom for a week. After that, though, the writing was on the wall. The Soviets threw wave after wave of disposable manpower, along with whatever their factories in the Urals could produce, at the Germans. And it’s ironic because Hitler ramped up his militarization because of the same being done by the French and British, who were doing it because Hitler was arming, who was doing it because of the after-effects of the Treaty of Versailles and the onerous reparation for WW I. And so on.

        • Deep thinker

          I am wondering where anybody in the last thread of comments got their facts and info? It is all based in truthiness and shaky opinion or do any of you actually know what you’re talking about?

  • lish80

    number one on this list should be actually reading it!

    • somename


  • Ni99a

    At least no hipster music or movie list.

    • Flippant

      Lol Ni99a, this would have to be the most unprovacative post I’ve seen from you to date. I (sincerely) hope that you haven’t altogether lost your peurile, troll-ish, amusing ways. :D

      • Ni99a

        Wow? I am famous!! Can you gimme links of my comments or quote me to remember the good ol’ days?

        • Flippant

          Lol settle down there, champ. I’m talking all of three weeks worth that I saw. No need to get hero-head just yet. *laffn* ;)

  • StuMiller’sGust

    “He thought the sparrows consumed primarily grain, where in fact they consume a lot of insects. With the sparrows gone the locust population exploded, causing immense ecological damage.”

    This sort of illustrates why many of the author’s assertions are so misguided. It’s a blessing from God that humans can’t go back in time and alter history.

    • Swede

      @ StuMiller’sGust
      How does Mao’s campaign against the sparrows, which campaign caused locusts do destroy crops on a massive scale, illustrate “why many of the author’s assertions are so misguided”? The author tells you the facts of the sparrow incident correctly. You don’t believe it? Then you must think BBC News is lying about it for some reason:
      Check the facts next time, will you.

  • Christian

    I don’t comment on lists much, and I’m terribly drunk, but I know this list is awful, biased trifle.

    • Marc

      I’m terribly sober but I must agree, such a superficial perspective on historical events. Unfortunately, this site has gone down hill and I believe my time spent here is coming to an end. All good things…

    • Then you’re not drunk enough, mate! LOL!

      • Deep thinker

        lol omg ttly pmtpbahoftr

  • Name

    This guy has not a clue about a lot of things on here.

    10. I learned in school that a land invasion of Japan was expected to cost us 1 million american lives, we would have to invade eventually or else they would just recover and attack again

    9. The irony in saying “how stupidly” the republicans act is displayed by the way our country is currently being run, and how obama had a supermajority in congress his first two years and they FISCALLY SCREWED US

    8. The vietnam war was run by politicians not by generals, the politics were too heavily involved, and that was why it failed.

    7. found the processes necessary to make WMD’s

    6. this one i slightly agree with, but don’t really care about

    5. war was inevitable between japan and the US around the time of pearl harbor, not to mention they had already been committing war crimes in china during the second sino-japanese war, ever read about the Rape of Nanking? also they tried to declare war on the US hours before they attacked but the message had been delayed so the attack was a complete surprise. they thought by striking first they could disarm our navy which was the source of our strength

    4.ecological damage was the least mao did

    3. isn’t it fiscally responsible for a country to assist their allies in times of war? remember by the time england started fighting france was already in shambles and Vichy France’s puppet regime was set up by the third reich

    2. i’d agree with that one

    1. i find it completely unfair to say that the british were responsible for the rise of the bolsheviks and all that other malarky wtf man

    • nickodani


      But you can’t throw out these sorts of thoughts because they’re more developed than JimJim’, and that’s against the rules!

      I really can’t stress how much I want to agree with you on #4…such a strange thing to get wrapped up around sparrows/locusts when there were sooooo much riper fruit to pick from that tree. It’s like saying Hussein was a bad dictator because he messed up Iraq’s irrigation systems…yyyyeah, that’s true, but c’mon, we can do better than that.

    • Anti American republicans

      Obama did not have a supermajority his first two years. He had a supermajority for about 7 months total because Ted Kennedy’s death and the late swearing in of Al Franken. Not to mention, the vast majority of deficit issues are a direct result of carryover from Bush spending, not new spending. So, you’re completely misinformed on that entire subject but good for you for being able to repeat far-right wing talking points while maintaining a straight face.

      And WND is not a credible source for anything.

  • loapaja

    I think this could have been a very clever list, but very biased.

    Many facts were ignored just to make this list far more “snippet” like.


    • Grammer Nazi

      I figured out what the message was! It is that you have no idea where to put a comma in a sentence.

      • no it is that it makes me dead mad that the west looks westward and only westward mad enough for me to defy your effing laws on grammar because this list is downright stupid thats all now you go back to sucking hock okay?

  • StuMiller’sGust

    “As for forcing the Germans to migrate to the Soviet Bloc, again, are you angling for another Dumberst – Post – Ever award? Think before you post, son. ”

    Really my Nazi friend? Dumber than your suggesting Britain would have been better off surrendering to Germany? And the United States’ mistake wasn’t enering the war, it was allowing Nazi illuminati to infiltrate the CIA and exert influence on American foreign policy.

    God won’t settle this on the internet, this piece of turf is yours, but justice will prevail and the evil doers will be cast down.

    • You’ve proven my point, You get a little “buthurt” because someone has an opinion that differs from yours, and out come the ad hominem “Nazi” attacks. Take a bow, you’re officially the Dumbest – Poster – On – Listverse!

      • Sgt. York

        No….that’s actually you.

        • Wrong, Sarge. Now drop down and give me TEN! BOO-YAA!!

          • Deep thinker

            Are you my mommy?

    • Name

      slow down with that illuminati stuff sir, they’re watching you now

  • Clara

    Listverse is better than this. This can’t even promote any thought-provoking, intelligent discussions and arguments. Try sending it to any history professors around the world and be ashamed at the responses you’ll receive.

    • Les2point0

      Thank you

    • somename

      My sentiments exactly.

    • sethadam1

      Well said. I’m embarrassed for listverse for this.

      Nonetheless, impressive that he manages to insult all Democrats and all Jews in one compact list!

      • Deep thinker

        Hmm yes…

  • somename

    The title of the list looked very interesting an promising, but I was extremely disappointed with the authors complete lack of historical knowledge. He mostly just knew about one fact but not about the situation leading up to the decisions made. I’m confused can anyone just post their opinion on the site and be published?

    • nickodani

      It’s hard because ListVerse has produced so many great lists (JFrater’s name is almost a surefire hit), but then there are so many that slip through the cracks that are really just ill-informed ramblings.

      And the thing is, I’m all for reading about things I may not necessarily agree with, as long as it’s argued well. This was not one of those instances.

      • Ni99a

        James is too busy with his stupid korean cuisine which he can afford from the money generated from this site.

        • Flippant

          Lol =)

  • Ben

    Written with the naivety and ignorance of a schoolboy. Total crap.

    • Ni99a

      Agreed. And that [email protected] of a b1tch writer did not even state that it is his OPINION ONLY in his introduction.

      So we are all forced to assume that this list is true.

      Hey author, if you reading this go back to the pig sty you belong to. No pigs allowed to write list for human to read.

  • StuMiller’sGust

    “You’ve proven my point, You get a little “buthurt” because someone has an opinion that differs from yours, and out come the ad hominem “Nazi” attacks.”

    Calling you a Nazi isn’t an ad hominem attack. Your position regarding Britain’s decision to not surrender to Nazi Germany is a pro-Nazi opinion. Your assertion that Jewish survivors of the holocaust shouldn’t have been allowed to create a homeland in Palestine or Germany is a pro-Nazi opinion. Why are you ashamed to cop to your beliefs?

    • No, you are an idiot, and you did use an ad hominem attack. Calling people “Nazis” is the standard response for idiot Zionists whose agenda is to discredit any opinion that does not fall in line with the Zionist agenda. Take a bow, you’ve shown everyone YET AGAIN how much of a tool you are. Good job!

    • In addition, I asserted nothing of the sort. As for creating a “homeland” in Palestine, there already were Jews living in Palestine before 1948. Many owned businesses, for example, many of the orange orchards in Palestine were Jewish-owned.

      Please, do try to keep up.

      • Deep thinker

        I love how you organize your response with your rebuttal, then a paragraph break, and then a HAVE SOME moment where you totally dish some cold hard disses, raining like fire upon the corpse of your enemy through the thunder and rain against the backdrop of a guttural battle cry from your minions.


  • heer

    No list is perfect. And this one really has few points which were really bad decisions. Even i agree with points 6,7 and 8 which were illogical as well as destructive.

  • Flippant

    LoL! This is one of those lists where Comments are gonna be MUCH better than the list itself. Let the good times roll. :D

    • :thumbup:

      • Deep thinker

        *arm spasm*
        *awkward twitch*
        *descent into madness*

  • Harry

    No lists are perfect. And this one really has few bad decisions that even i count as fiasco like 6, 7 and 8. They were illogical and destructive.

    • scottiak

      amen to that…just read the list and the comments ARE so much better. just finished a degree in history and politics and had i included anything like this list, i would have been laughed out of uni. the comments on the other hand would have got a much better reception.

  • Harry

    Pardon me, i accidentally commented twice once with my nickname and then with my real name…!!! My internet connection is awful..!!

    • Flippant

      Lol I wondered why you were surrounding my post like that, Heer/Harry. *retracts claws* I see now that you weren’t trying to cordon me off and back me into a corner.. phew! =)

      • Harry

        sorry! didnt mean to :)

        • Flippant

          Lol no worries, Harry. It’s cosy! You can be my protector for the day, guarding my post from front and rear. ;)

  • StuMiller’sGust

    “slow down with that illuminati stuff sir, they’re watching you now”

    I know they are. That’s the whole purpose of the internet. It’s only by the grace of God that I’ll shall escape their clutches, after I’ve served my purpose here on Earth.

    • Deep thinker

      And you. I love your comment layout: a ridiculous quote from your opponent followed by a SLAM BOOM rebuttal where his schoolboy derriere is booted from the premises like a poser beatboxer at a poetry slam.


  • Todesbringer

    Dear JimJIm, I realy think you should read some more HISTORY. Why? Well it sound to me you are pro german(or nazi). Check again Nr. 6 in your list, I think the Israelis did settled in a British controled area (, they definitely thought they would be safe here, not Canada, Australia, New Zealand or South Africa etc.

    Nr. 3 should have been changed, Churchill came to power in June 1940, after Chamberlain, he is the one to blame, you know the Chech question and the Appeasement policy. Plus Gallipoli began well, but the decisions of the commanders on the spot deserve the majority of the blame (check your internet).

    Nr. 2 Yes it was a great mistake for the Allies to ask Germany the full blame (Austro-Hungary was the real perpetrator, but it had disbanded), but the Allies were vindictive. And, really, they did not do too much damage to Germany (please check Wiki for this or other books, I could go on a day or so with the explanations).

    Nr. 1 (FINALLY) They had to do it. A powerful German Empire on the main land would have been impossible to defeat. They had a very strong navy (stronger than France, America or Russia), Germany was expanding in arms, industry, colonies, influence etc. I was a necessary evil and Britain could not foreseen the next 4 years of Industrial/Total war.

    PFIUUUUU it was hard to write.

    • bob

      WHAT?? the Versailles treaty was the biggest piece of junk ever written, ‘it wasnt that bad’, yea how about you ask great-grandparents if wasnt too bad, they lived through it, not much damage to Germany?? dude you are an idiot, they bankrupted there country, yea thats not too bad. and what was the reason britain joined the war?? so they could rule europe instead of germany, yea thats a real good reason champ :). and number 6, the jews didnt feel safe?? and..?? people all around the world dont feel safe all the time, doesnt mean they get there own country, wow buddy you are one of a kind :)

      • Todesbringer

        please read Historical assessments at

        You will be amazed I was right.

        • bob

          you missed the point. i speak to people that actually LIVED through the Versailles treaty they tell me everything i need to know, yea i worked out in high school that wikipedia isnt the final verdict on history :). Even in grade 10 high school, in australia, they taught us that the Versailles treaty was a travesty in history AND this is from the victors of WW1, i have never met a person that thought the Treaty of Versailles helped human civilization, sorry dude :)

          • Kiwi

            Oh! Oh my god I didn’t realise that you actually talked to people that live through the treaty of Versailles! Well that changes everything, because as we all know anecdotal, unproven testimony from 90 year olds is the best kind of evidence! Oh, and being taught that in grade ten high school in australia…so? What difference does that make? The guy you’re responding to has actually provided a citation (granted, from Wikipedia, but even that has cites at the bottom) to back up his claim. You have provided nothing but snark and retarded smileys. Guess who’s more convincing?

          • scottiak

            the only thing i’ll agree with bob on is that the treaty worked out horribly, but the treaty itself wasn’t wrong. germany suffered true, but europe suffered also and it was the great depression which created the terrible conditions i believe you (bob) are referring to. the treaty came apart because much of it had been based on a very much involved american cooperation but woodrow wilson’s plan was never ratified by congress and as we know america preferred isolationist policies at this time. the treaty thus became untenable without american support and to be quite honest while i don’t condone the actions of the french and british i can’t blame them for wanting revenge after the bloodiest war they had ever experienced to to that date, a lesson we learned for after ww2 .

          • Canuovea

            I love the ToV.

            It is what happens when you compromise in stupid ways.

            Clemenceau wanted to turn Germany into farmland.
            George wanted a strongish Germany to resist the Commies and a trading partner, but they also wanted to punish them.
            Wilson wanted happy happy sunshine land.

            Instead the Treaty ended up pissing off the Germans, but not debilitating them. Consider this: German industry was never damaged in WW1. Never. The war crossed over into Germany briefly, maybe twice. So the Allies decide, “hey, lets yell at them, blame them for stuff that isn’t entirely their fault, and demand ridiculous amounts of money. Oh, and dictate internal policy.”

            Yeah, Germany wasn’t happy. I think that if the allies had gone more along Wilson’s lines WW2 would have been avoided. IF they had gone more along Clemenceau’s lines and basically dismantled Germany things would have been no WW2 either.

      • Deep thinker

        Who are you rebutting?

  • Mutually Assured Destruction

    Even though Listverse has gone down in terms of article quality over the past 6 months or so, I genuinely didn’t think that it would fall so far from grace as to publish such an awful, awful list. I feel I have to comment, but at the same time am speechless! The “author” is an uneducated fool, with no actual grasp on historical background or the triggers that led to these events. The list sounds like it has either been written by a 12 year old who fell asleep in the majority of his history classes or by some drunken buffoon who after extensive intoxicated chats with his equally idiotic mates, decided that he was the master of knowledge and must share his thoughts with the world. Epic fail by the author and Listverse alike.

    • Deep thinker

      Well played, sir.

  • undaunted warrior 1

    Not the best Ive seen on here, and some of the posts could have been replaced by more interisting and serious history facts, my opinion only.

  • jerusalem

    I have always loved Listverse, but saying that the foundation of Israel was a ‘terrible decision’ is causing me to delete this webpage off my computer and never again come back. I can’t even explain how wrong you are, but you are obviously too ignorant to care anyway.

    • Kristof

      assume your a jew??

    • Flippant

      Awww c’mon now, J.. that’s a bit harsh. You realise that it’s not “Listverse” itself saying this, right? It’s a contributor.. and the opinions expressed aren’t necessarily those of “Listverse.”

      To leave a site that you’ve “always loved” because of one contributor’s voice seems a bit silly to me. :)

      • Bob

        if he’s a 12 year old like he sounds he is, let him leave!

        • Flippant

          Yeah, I hear you, Bob. I’m not much of a fan of people (young or old) cracking the sulks and tripping over their bottom lip as they head for the door either. But he/she would do better to learn that offence is never given, it is always taken. You can refuse delivery, you don’t have to take offence. And that it doesn’t help anything to run away.

          • Arsnl

            Your theory of offence is as complicated as the french postal service.

          • Flippant

            Lol Arsni, but not nearly as complicated as the French flag! ;)



          • Arsnl

            Mocking the country I live in, is most certainly a terrible decision of the 21st century. I imagine you are well aware to the fact that nobody is immune to stereotyping. My revenge will be ruthless.

          • Flippant

            Lol but oh dear, Arsni *child-like voice, pointing finger* YOU started it. WHAT? Is it only you who can tease the French, especially when you brought them up? You yourself left your country open. ;)

            We had (have, I dunno?) a somewhat prolific comedian here called Steady Eddy. He was disabled and spastic (I mean “spastic” in the sense that he had spasticity of his limbs.. he certainly wasn’t brain damaged). Anyways, he’s the only person I’ve seen get away with “retard” jokes.. and he was hella funny.. just because he “was one” and he could.

            Lol is that what you’re trying to pull on me, Arsni? You’re French so you can make jokes (about the postal service) but I can’t (about the flag)? That’s unfortunate. I shall wait for your stones, that you ruthlessly throw from the beach, to hit me. :D

          • bob

            no offence :), i just hate outright stupidity, its annoying

          • Flippant

            It’s cool, Bob. I know. ;)

          • Arsnl

            @flip: and i thought australians lack tact. Boy was i proven wrong :d

          • Flippant

            Lol Arsni, we’re sweet, yeah? ;) Tactless? Who said? You little penis’d European. *wink wink nudge nudge* :D

          • Maggot

            You little penis’d European.

            LMAO @ Arsnl. You haven’t been around for weeks, and the DAY you show up, you get emasculated by lil ol’ newbie flip. Good times…

          • Arsnl


            Hey man, yes been busy, exams lately. And i’ll have to contact you if our last talk is still valid. Just got to find JF’s email.

            How have you been? Writing any cool music lists?

            And yes, newbie flip is quite feisty. I thought i should let him have some fun. :-) . For now…

            @Flip: After a while, a person gets used to his/her shortcomings (pun not intended) and just embraces life as is. What can I say, I have embiggened.

          • Flippant

            I thought i should let him have some fun

            Lol uhhhhhh… I’m a girl. Lol Arsni, your “short-comings” are your deal. I’ll poke you in the ribs either way.. and point and laff. ;) :p

          • Deep thinker

            (: (; :D

            Smileys are funn

    • me

      please don’t come back

  • So very very poor. Just, awful. Not to mention disrespectful to any number of people.

  • Kristof

    wow real obvious to see the Jews not liking this post, they never like anything, they are a greedy people. Arabs were living peacefully in Palestinian for ages, just because you make up a religion doesnt entitle you to land otherwise why dont the freemasons have a country, the people with brown hair as well while were at it :)

    Great List!

    • scottiak

      either a troll, racist or just a very annoying person made this post. not a surprise to find him liking the list. tell you what kristof, tell me which religions aren’t made up and i’ll tell you why they don’t get their own countries. as for the remark about brown hair getting their own land, i could possibly get behind that.
      S**t list

    • Deep thinker

      Heil Kristof!

  • Bob

    i mean seriously these are all historical facts, people complaining obviously just means they are on one side or another, stupid bigoted people, keep these lists coming because its good to finally have some honesty without worrying about peoples feelings, they sound like school kids, we know the American government is run by Jews but the rest of the world isnt! :)

    • Phil

      The American government is run by Jews? I thought Obama was a muslim. :S

      • bob

        haha, come on man, Obama isnt in power, the people with the money are, the banks, rothchilds, rockerfellers, theyve been charge for 100+ years

    • sethadam1

      False. “It would have been preferable” is the mark of an opinion.

      This list is terrible.

  • fraterhater

    I can understand how many people would disagree with #6 I personally don’t have much of a stance on it but think about it, take a group of people that have historically been persecuted and hated then give them land which was occupied by people which arguably hate them the most out of anyone with the exception of maybe the nazis.

    Schit is going to hit the fan!

    • bob

      you do realise that you can pick any religion or culture and find that it has been persecuted at some time or another, my point is there are people in Palestine who have title deeds from 1880 and yea the Jews came and in and took there land, why?? i mean if i made up a religion tomorrow and said that my people had been persecuted for years and our homeland is America are they going to give us America?? nope, so why the jews??

      • Peter

        The archaeological record has 3000 years of evidence supporting that Jews have had a strong presence in the area. This would predate any claim that other people from the region would have. Most ancient tribes of people, such as the extinct Philistines, do not have an unbroken line to the past that the Israelis possess. Case in point, the Egyptians of today are racially different from the Egyptians in ancient times, seeing as a majority of contemporary Egyptians are primarily of Arab decent. Israelis are descended from the ancient Israelites. Also history supports the idea of an Israeli state, seeing as the Roman Empire conquered the land and then exiled most of the Jews in 70 and 135 A.D. Turks took control of the area 700 years ago and had it until the conclusion of World War One. The final thing I’d like to point out is that not that many Arabs lived in the area prior the the 20th century, as it was described by Mark Twain in 1867 as being “a desolate country whose soil is rich enough but is given wholly to weeds. A silent, mournful expanse. We never saw a human being on the whole route.”
        Also, the Palestinian Royal Commission reported that “many villages are deserted by their inhabitants.” It was composed in 1913.

  • Dan I

    Casualty estimates for JAPANESE civilians in the event of a conventional invasion exceeded those caused by the Atomic Bomb. The other option was to blockade and starve the islands into surrennder medieval siege style.

    The bombs were actually, given the attitude of the Japanese military government at the time, probably the least damaging alternative. Try doing some research that is something other than Monday morning quarterbacking by people NOT involved in the actual planning and decision process.

    • Jack

      Japan actually tried to surrender before the bombs were dropped.

      The bombings were more of a warning to the Soviet Union.

      • Ernest

        They didn’t surrender after the first bomb because they thought the US was out of atomic bombs. They only surrendered after a Russian invasion and a second bomb.

        • Canuovea

          I heard that the Japanese were going to surrender, maybe, but were unsure. The Americans took the delay as defiance and dropped the second one.

  • bob

    all in all JimJim probably the best and most accurate list ive read, dont listen to the haters, they must just be western jewish communists :)

  • Arsnl

    Hello everybod,
    Glad to see LV can still start a flamewar like in the good ol’ days. Lets all calm down, lest our keyboards start mounting an offensive against their rulers. I can almost hear the cries of a thousand keys as *truth* is being spread to the universe by angry commenters.

    tl;dr: hold your whist.
    Merry mardi gras gents, may your beads bring you visual and titillating pleasure.

    • inconspicuousdetective

      no offense, but you tried too hard right there.

      • Deep thinker

        I took offense to your offense and offer this defense.


  • A really enthralling list. :) Keep up the good works!!!

  • mark

    What an absolute load of crap.

    • elvis

      jus like your mum

      • Deep thinker

        Yo mama’s research methodology is SO flawed.

  • Kal

    Number one is a huge speculation as to preventing other wars from happening. The collapse of Wall Street could still have happened, and imagine the consequence if the atomic bomb had been created long before the war had started

    • Kal

      also the idea of going to war to help defend being called a terrible decision, is stupid. it is only with hindsight we can see it was a wrong move, however at the time it was the right thing to do, they didn’t know the war would drag on, its not like they were asking for it or planned for it.
      It cannot be a terrible decision because with hindsight we can see what occurred after it.

  • Lenny

    Incredibly offensive list to a number of people, including us British.

    Who are you to make these assumptions? Some esteemed historian? I highly doubt it based on the content of this list.

    • scottiak

      amen to that brit-bro

  • Barry

    This is the worst list since that time abortion was on a list about genocide.

    Unless it was actually written by a child? In which case I can forgive the author but not the site.

    • Arsnl

      Ah yes. The infamous Shannon list. It came to my mind while i fast read this list. I guess birds of a feather flock together but i doubt JF will remove this one so that one will remain somewhat special.

      • Barry

        I’m not quite as angry at this as I was at that one.

      • The “Shannon” list?? Please explain.

        • Deep thinker


  • Armin Tamzarian

    This list sucks. The writer obviously doesn’t get history. JFrater, if this is an attempt to get more pageviews, it’s pathetic.

    Referring to no. 6, interestingly, there were serious plans to start a Jewish homeland in Northwest Australia or in Suriname, which at the time was a Dutch colony. The first failed because Australia at long last was hesitant to let such a large group of foreigners enter the country at once, the second one was pretty much ready to be implemented when Israel declared independence.

    Saying that Chuchill perpetrated the Great Depression by returning England to the gold standard is a grave misrepresentation of facts, and leaves out crucial factors.

    • Arsnl

      Maybe the plans fell through because the jewish didn’t want to wear wooden clogs.

      • Armin Tamzarian

        Their loss. Wooden clogs rule.

      • Flippant

        Lol I blame the Dutch.. I always blame the Dutch! We were almost colonised by the Dutch, as they arrived in the 1600s in a part of Western Australia where the desert meets the ocean. They got off their ships and said, “This is ridiculous, we can’t grow marijuana crops here.” If only they looked around a bit. Cook would never had had his chomp of history. :D

        • Armin Tamzarian

          It’s clear why the Dutch left. Australia is 90% desert, and the other 10% is infested by the most poisonous animals known to man.

          All of the clogs, windmills, pros.titutes and weed in the world won’t do a thing against the constant terror of living in Australia.

          • Flippant

            Lmfao! YES! Australia is an abomination death-trap. :D

          • Arsnl

            Hey Armin did you shop an immigrant lately?

            It’s weird that you didn’t get along: you dutch think you’re better than immigrants, and australians thnk they’re better than the indigenous population. You could made a new type of culture that thinks they’re better than everybody like some type of uber french. Only much much more hateful.

          • Armin Tamzarian

            More hateful than the French? No way! It’s not possible!

            Anyhow, you’re wrong about the Dutch. Only about half of us are Nazi fascists who think we’re better than immigrants, and only 1/6 will admit it and vote PVV. The other half thinks western culture is something to be ashamed of, and tries to give the country to the Muslims. They keep each other in balance like that, and it works out quite well.

          • Flippant

            Lol *hugs* ;)

          • Flippant

            French and Dutch is cute. ;)

          • Canuovea

            Armin, Arsnl, and Flippant.

            You all have my congratulations. Very well done.

    • bob

      but what right do the jews have?? thats what 95% of the world want to know. you cant just make up a religious, have a cry, and then get your own land, thats just dumb, especially when the land being given away was already owned by someone, id be pretty pissed too

      • Armin Tamzarian

        What right did the Muslims have? That’s what 95% of the world wants to know. You can’t just ride up into another country, annihilate the original populace, and say it’s yours.

        • gav

          Sure you can. That’s what happened in the USA. ANd it will continue to happen as long as others want what others got. Jews got Israel air and square by bullying their way in there. Hey- that prophesy of israel becoming a nation needed to be fulilled and that was the best time to make it happen.

          I imagine we’ll see more bullying and hostile takeovers in the years to come. Just look at Los Angeles.

          • Armin Tamzarian

            Exactemundo. Almost every country ever was founded on stolen land. So it’s stupid for people to complain about Israel. Especially the Arabs, who, apart from Saudi-Arabia to some extent, stole all their land too.

          • Canuovea


            I demand that the Romans get the Middle East Back!

            Never mind the Greeks, or the rest of Italy. We need to get the Romans to resettle the place!

    • me

      “if this is an attempt to get more pageviews, it’s pathetic”…got you to read it sucker.

  • Ben

    This sites really goin down the crapper. Was this list written by a 12-year-old?

    • bob

      nah your mum

      • Deep thinker

        Dude nice!

  • tintreas

    I don’t think you actually understand any of the things you’ve written about. Your logic seems to be based on the idea that these decisions were made without anyone thinking of the consequences, whereas often the ‘bad’ outcome was what was being sought.

    Particularly with regards to Pearl Harbour and Poland.

  • Will Trame

    I like lists like this one. It is akin to sticking one’s foot in a hornet’s nest and giving said area a good swift kick. Very controversial, yes, but it does encourage critical thinking as well as generating some potent barbs in the comments.

    Another addition would be the failure to remove Saddam Hussein from power back in 1991 at the conclusion of the first Gulf War. Had this been done, then perhaps the Iraq War would have been avoided. I’ll go to my grave believing that Iraq was a colossal mistake and blunder. The Bush administration must have felt this would be a cheap quick war and were hell bent on such from the day GWB set foot in office. 9/11 slowed them down a bit. I wasn’t really surprised when the volatile situation blew up in their collective faces.

    Also I agree with the 2000 election. Had Al Gore won…as the popular vote went…then maybe it would be an altogether different world today. But who can tell? It’s always easy to second guess. Time will ultimately be the great leveller.

    • gav

      We’re not allowed to have cheap, quick wars anymore. We have to have a prolonged presence, strive to not destroy the lives of civilians or their homes and generally spend too much in time, money and lives trying to “win their hearts and minds”
      We (the USA) haven’t really FOUGHT a war since WW2

  • OmegaMan

    (10) Japan was on the verge of defeat, agreed, but there were two “reasons” why USA used the atomic bombs. Firstly, it was estimated that around 15,00,000 soldiers on both sides would die in an attack similar to Normandy landings on Japan mainland. And against that Truman and his “experts” wrongly estimated that only about 20,000 Japanese would die due to atom bombs. Second and the most important reason to use atom bombs on Japan was because Stalin was very keen to attack Japan himself and convert it to a communist state. Before that could happen, USA wanted to end the war, you see, Cold War had already started even before the famous Berlin Air Lift. So as far as USA was concerned, it was not a bad decision. It was terrible only for the victims of the bombings.

    (9) Don’t rant about your own political views in a list. That’s what comment sections are for.

    (8) Again Cold War.

    (7) Well Saddam was made powerful by USA to fight Khomeini and then quiet predictably he turned the barrels against the USA. And then again, three words, OIL.

    (6) Dude you have serious talent if you can solve this issue in mere 6 lines.

    (5) Actually, Japan wanted to rule the east, and that would have been impossible without defeating the USA. Now, Pearl Harbor was a serious achievement by Japan. Do you know what would have made a fatal blow to US’s navy in Pearl Harbor? All 6 aircraft carriers were absent from Pearl Harbor on December 7th. It would have crippled the US navy for years to come if they would have been present there at the time of the attack (which Japan was counting on). So, it was not such a bad decision, just bad luck.

    (4) Dude, only Mao? What about Hitler, Stalin, Idi Amin, etc. etc.? This is a seriously stupid point you are making.

    (3) It is international politics you know. Nations always sign treaties for mutual benefit or to thwart an invasion by warning the enemy in subtle ways for severe repercussions (which in this case didn’t happen). You can say Hitler’s decision to attack USSR was a bad decision if you are looking for bad decisions of WW2.

    (2) I agree that it was the desperation caused by the Versailles treaty in Germany which brought Hitler into power, which might not have been the case if the situation in the country would have been normal.

    (1) Huh?!

    • Arsnl

      #9 really doesnt make sense. Intellectuals are generally leftist (professors, doctors, writers, scientists etc) and, they being intellectuals, have a high standard of living. I dont think the democratic party was or is meant to be a workers’ party.

      Desperation in Germany was due to hyperinflation which had various causes. And the treaty wasnt the only one. (it only counted for 1/3 of germany’s deficit during that period.
      Also the whole of Europe was suffering from the rise of extreme right wing organisations- germany, italy, spain so it’s over simplification to say Versailles caused WWII or Hitler’s rise.

      I personally think that breaking up a country (like it happened after WWII) is more humiliating than setting up reparations. But then again Divide et impera, i guess.

      • OmegaMan

        Arsnl, at least you couldn’t totally disagree with the Versailles treaty argument of mine from what I understood from your post. Versailles treaty fueled everything including hyperinflation. Out of an average 36 dollars paid by Germany, 33 dollars were borrowed, which further choked its economy.

        Hitler came to power because he promised the Germans to throw the Versailles treaty out of the window, reclaim the annexed lands from various countries, stop paying “reparations” and to restore the glory of the Fatherland. Of course it sounded well at the time.

        So I agree that Versailles treaty was not the only reason why he came to power, but it was one of the major ones.

        • Arsnl

          I’ll just say that hindsight is an amazing thing, isn’t? And your arguments don’t explain the rise of fascism in Europe.

          • OmegaMan

            “Hitler came to power because he promised the Germans to throw the Versailles treaty out of the window, reclaim the annexed lands from various countries, stop paying “reparations” and to restore the glory of the Fatherland. Of course it sounded well at the time.”

            This is reason enough.

    • bob

      mate people have found solutions for the middle east problem 100 times over, get with the times man, its just your jewish mated who keep knocking it back, they found a solution, all the people that had a title deed for land in Palestine before the racist Jews and Yanks kicked the muslim out, should be allowed to have there land back, i live in Australia and if you have a title deed thats your house or your land, goddamn simple!!, but of course the Jewish religion must not be as advanced that is why they keep not attempting any solution to the problem. If the Jews cant accept the fact that there were ACTUALLY people living where you live know then we have no hope, Judaism is a religion, not a government, not a country, its a faith, all they need is one synagogue !!

      • Nona

        Guess the Aboriginals in Ozz don’t count with titles and all do they? Just come out of the closet and admit your anti-semetism already. Your posts are dripping with it.

  • Nathan

    Horrible…just awful list

  • LSUTigersLauren

    This list sucked! I thought listverse could teach me things i wouldnt normally know but this is like teenage angst.

  • Vincent

    The first list I’ve opted not to read at all (beyond the titles). I prefer facts-based lists over opinion/conjecture, which are only seeds for heated rebuke rather than thoughtful discussion.

  • WafflesWafers

    This list’s title was interesting, but its contents weren’t that much. There should be more sentences for each entry, so that it has more personal arguments which would defend each entry.

  • Jett

    Future “Most Controversial” list in 3…2…1….

    • Deep thinker


  • Milos

    Number 3 and 1 i don’t agree …
    What should they do about Poland just leave it to be raped by Nazis ?
    I agree it was not possible to help Poland at the time but they at least took some steps on a long way to stop Nazi Germany. In my opinion they should attack Germany in ’38 when they tried to occupy Czechoslovakia. But no sacrifice few Slavic countries to save your great British ass. What they should stay out of any war and just let Hitler do what he wants … Like British did till Polish corridor in ’39
    Number 1 .What are you saying Britain and later America should stay out of war Germany would role over France and Russia and Europe would be ruled by German and Austrian Empire. World wars would be avoided and everyone is happy well except people living under “Germanic” occupation.

  • John

    This list is JUST someone’s terrible opinions…

    Waste of time

  • James

    Ok, the list was well written, I’ll give it that, but it made some seriously silly points. Allow me to address some of them:

    10: It’s arguable that the Japanese were on the back foot at the time the bombs were dropped, but none of the allied nations had much information about Japan’s military strength. Since Germany had already surrendered, the decision was made to end the war as quickly as possible since all sides were still suffering. On top of that, the true effects of nuclear weapons weren’t fully understood at the time. It was more a case of overkill than a bad decision altogether.

    9: I know little to nothing about American politics but here in the UK pretty much every party is composed of the social elite in their leadership, I’m not sure why this matters or where the writer is going with that one.

    8: Again, I don’t know enough about American politics to really understand the reasons for the Vietnam war. What I do know is that it was intended to prevent the spread of communism in Asia, which to me seems like America sticking its nose in other nations dealings but as I said I really don’t know the ins and outs of it. However, looking at Vietnam and the USA at the time, who would you have bet on in a war? The reasons might have been unsound, but an Ameican victory seemed like a certainty.

    7: Have you been watching Team America or something???

    6: The Jews should have just moved to English speaking countries??? Really??? Just abandon their historical homeland? That makes about as much sense as suggesting that rather than returning home after ww2, the polish should have just left for a less war torn country.

    5: I actually agree with that one.

    4: it’s not like anyone really had a choice…

    3: So we should have just let Germany occupy them? You’re hugely oversimplifying the whole situation, Europe was involved in a huge system of alliances which led to… You know what, I could spend days explaining it, but I think you’d benefit more from going and reading about it yourself.

    2: Again, you seem to be missing the fundamental point of the treaty. It wasn’t supposed to be fair, it was intended to ensure Germany were no longer capable of fielding such an army against their neighbours as well as recouping the massive costs of the war. I ask you, who, if not Germany, should have footed that bill?

    1: I think you’re alone in that one… Just… Wow… Face, meet palm.

    • Arsnl

      “Ok, the list was well written”

      By well written, do you mean to say you liked the fonts used? The kerning was super?

      • Deep thinker

        I admired the punctuation and the use of the Latin alphabet, personally.

    • bob

      wow last one. you realise there are approx. 300 different cultures / people that have claim to a ‘homeland’. who cares what the Jews claim, 95% of the population isnt Jewish so what about the rest of the world?? so if i come to your house and claim it for ‘religious’ reasons you’ll just move out??

    • Flippant


      Ok, the list was well written

      No it wasn’t. Furthermore the Editor didn’t even try to save it. Eg. If Britain had not send troops the war would have ended within a year. Eh, gimme a “sent” here.

      People submit stuff (crap). I don’t know who the editors or proofreaders are, whether Jamie takes the job on himself, but ish leaves alot to be desired. And it’s not always cool to take the p*ss out of the author.. ish got passed in the first place. Was just setting it up for a fail.

      • segues

        Flippant “… but ish leaves alot… ish got passed…”???????

        Please, what the heck does “ish” mean?

        I once had a boss named Ish, but I doubt you’re referring to him.

        • Flippant

          Ms. Segues, is it “ish” you don’t understand? Lady that’s crap.. that you know. Shhh. ;)

        • Flippant

          “ish” means sh then it. Ms. Segues. Answer to your question.

          • Flippant

            ish = shit

          • Arsnl

            Crikey, aren’t you a chatterbox.

          • Flippant

            How am I? Is the better question. ;)

          • segues

            got it

          • Arsnl

            @flip: You’re quite a foul mouth and a terrible speller: it’s ArsnL and not Arsni :-) but you chose well: LV

        • Flippant

          *gurgle* ;)

        • Arsnl

          Hey segues,
          How are you? Hope everything’s alright.

          • segues

            Everything’s fine. I haven’t felt the need to comment much of late, the lists haven’t exactly been, barring a few, all that worthy of expanding energy on
            I was *first* comment on this list, though. It was so bad I couldn’t resist.

          • segues

            Hey! I wasn’t first to comment.
            How ’bout that?

          • Arsnl

            Hey great to hear that :-)

    • Deep thinker

      I don’t think you are giving the preeminent minds in physics their due. If they did not know what would happen when they dropped the bomb or to what degree the damage would reach, they would not have dropped it. The Japanese would have fought to the death for another 100 years. The bombs were a quick way of wrapping up the Pacific War.

  • Archabald Creep

    All wrong.

  • Yo. YO!

    Who’s the hippie that wrote this.

  • Henry

    Pooooor list. Uninformed. Americans no nothing about history. They have no history. #longlivethequeen

    • Dan

      To right mate.

      • FlameHorse

        It’s “know,” not “no.”

        It’s “too,” not “to.” And you should put a comma after “right.” Americans have an above-average grasp of your English language, apparently. #longliveGeorgeWashington

        • DanF

          FH – Thankfully, he isn’t representative of most of our population.

  • George

    One of the most accurate lists i have read. Keep it going.

  • John

    This has to be a troll job. Almost all of these are incredibly stupid.

  • Peter

    This list is rubbish. Biased rambling sprinkled with a few historical facts does not make for a good list. Lists like this really do more harm than good to the reputation of this site. Opinions are fine but clearly label them as such, do not try and pass them off as facts. Most of these points are just uneducated opinions with nothing to back them up. Sorry to be so harsh but this is one of the worst lists I have read.

  • gman

    I struggled through the list, just to see how terrible it would get with number one. I will agree that the bombing of Pearl Harbor was a bad idea on the Japanese’s part, for the same reason you don’t go pick a fight with the enormous guy in the corner who isn’t bothering anyone.

    This list would make the author seem less like a fool had it been titled, “10 Potentially Unwise Decisions of the blah blah blah”

  • nicesocks

    I stopped reading reading after the first entry. the Japanese weren’t going to surrender. we told them to. we told them what we had and what it would do. we told them to leave. if they had any plans of doing it they would have after we dropped the first one. the last Japanese holdout didn’t surrender until 1975. these people did not mess around. try learning about operation downfall, the plan b to dropping the bomb. a ground war would have cost an estimated 1 million American lives and up to 10 million Japanese.

  • Lazlo

    Proves the Hindsight adage

    Wimpy lib nattering.

    Here’s my List:

    1 NOT rooting out the communists in the forties.

    2 Not taking out Russia at the end of WWII

    3 Not keeping the Panama Canal

    4 Not closing the Mexican Border

    5 Not taking out Hussein after Desert Storm

    6 Not Backing the Shah of Iran

    7 Not kicking the UN off the Planet the day it was formed

    8 Roe V Wade

    9 The OJ Verdict

    10 Not using a water cannon on the Occupy Wall Street Crowds.

    • I disagree. Using a water cannon would waste water. Just use a cannon.

    • Zagging

      Super list Lazlo – with just as much explanation and reasoning as JimJim. All you are missing are the pictures.

    • John Smith

      Your kind of thinking is a cancer on society.

  • nicesocks

    I stopped reading reading after the first entry. the Japanese weren’t going to surrender. we told them to. we told them what we had and what it would do. we told them to leave. if they had any plans of doing it they would have after we dropped the first one. the last Japanese holdout didn’t surrender until 1975. these people did not mess around. try learning about operation downfall, the plan b to dropping the bomb. a ground war would have cost an estimated one million American lives and up to ten million Japanese.

  • hoshe

    I wonder how come all peoples of the world deserve to have a national entity of their own, except for the Jews.
    What would you say if I told you that founding the United States of America was a “terrible decision” because it affected the Indians for the bad? What about Mexico, Canada, the entire South American states and many more? Are they all “terrible mistakes”?

    Only that the Jews weren’t occupying a foreign country – Israel is their land of birth, and the UN acknowledged that on 1947. (Regardless of that, the Palestinians deserve a state of their own, too, and that’s a consensus).

    Besides, Israel is a prosperous nation thanks to its people (both Jews and Arabs), that share Western values such as entrepreneurship, freedom of speech /science / belief, individualism etc. If Israel was a “mistake” it wouldn’t have been added to the OECD on 2009.

  • kakanien

    About number nine, it is possible that the U.S. Democratic Party is elitist and that it is a disaster for the party. I do not know. But as an outsider I can say that the U.S. Republican Party’s commitment to fundamentalist theocrats, is a disaster for America’s reputation worldwide.

    • Hint: Republicans aren’t committed to fundamentalist theocrats.

      • mom424

        No, they are fundamentalist theocrats. Or at least far too many of them.

      • Planet Earth

        Democrats & Republicans


        Anyone that’s thinks otherwise is a complete fool .

    • Dr. Jingo

      I’m a rabidly right-wing atheist. I don’t feel out of place in the Republican Party at all.

  • So let me get this right… ending WW2, freeing Iraq from a brutal dictator, founding a free nation in the Middle East, and participating in and ending World War 1 were all “terrible decisions”?

    Terrible, biased list.

    • mom424

      I’m with you on this one…well except the freeing Iraq thing. Iraq is much less free now than ever. Brutal secular dictator > warring Muslim fundamentalists, every time.

    • mom424

      This never happened prior to the invasion…

  • Anonymous

    You do know that Winston Churchill didn’t become Prime Minister until May 1940, after the war had already started? You have heard the famous audio quote of Neville Chamberlain declaring war against Germany because they didn’t withdraw their forces from Poland? You knew that was Neville Chamberlain speaking, right?

    You know these things right? Please tell me you know these things!

    • lololol

      lmao Get ’em!

  • skeeter

    This list seems based in fact, but in fact is all opinion.

  • forklift jones

    I was ready for one of these twats to call you anti-semitic for number 6. I am glad you added that one.

    Listverse comments are heading towards huffpo/aol quality. 5% actually add to the list, 5% write random crap, and the other 90% bitch about grammar and how stupid the post is.

  • Dan

    For part 3, Churchill did make mistakes but to label him the worst decision maker in the 20th century is frankly absurd.
    I see perhaps a fundamental error, as u said Britain and France went to war to defend Poland. After the Wehrmacht invaded Europe and knocked France out of the war. Due to this the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact which ensured neutrality between Germany and Russia was broken by Germany to ensure a war on 2 fronts which they believed they could win.
    I see it as absurd due to your simple view that with the initial European war, Hitler was happy to allow Communist Russia to exist. By your view it would have been simply a method of the most powerful country on Earth at the time to systematically fight a war on a single front then turn against Russia. By your view the world would probably be under the third Reich at the moment simply due to the idea of the Victory of the second world war was not the emergence of America into the war. It was simply Operation Barbarossa. If u want the most terrible decision perhaps ever you have to look to this operation as it was effectively the catalyst for Russia to enter the war, open a two front war against Germany and eventually allow the emergence of America and Japan into the war which resulted in an axis defeat.
    And as for your criticism of Churchill, remember he faced a decision no leader has perhaps faced in History, a choice between accepting Hess` alleged bargaining to retain the British empire whilst the Globe falls to fascism or stand alone against the most powerful nation on Earth. This redeems his failures and despite being responsible for millions of deaths, he nevertheless was a major reason for the defeat of the national socialist party.
    Sorry for length of comment, at university at the moment and wrote a thesis on Churchills involvement in the second world war.

  • Barry

    Sorry, but is your arguement then that the United States should be given back the the Native Americans?

  • howardfrankfort

    In have never read a list even remotely like this one here before.

  • BlessIsrael

    Iarael’s founding was absolutely the BEST decision of the 20th century, hands down. The people DESERVE THEIR OWN LAND!

  • mom424

    A little knowledge is a dangerous thing – this list typifies that fact.

    Lost me at the first entry; we’ve had this discussion here before. The bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was the only answer at the time. The only answer that did not involve a long and costly engagement in the Pacific. Sure we still would have won – but at what cost? It is only fair that the aggressor pay the heavier price. It’s sad but true.

    The author has made some good points – The Iraq War was a tragedy all the way ’round, as was the Versailles Treaty – a less facile grasping of the facts and maybe we’d have seen that.

  • David

    honesty, doesn’t anybody screen these things? If I get another post that’s this ignorant, I’m unsubscribing. This guy should be barred from wasting time (and killing brain cells) with future posts.

  • Dan Huxley

    Dreadful list.

    Use of ‘we’ to describe americans (we’re not all American mate).
    Ridiculous comments on Churchill.
    Totally anti British.
    No grasp of history and it’s concequences.
    And to top it all, bad spelling.

  • Igor Komarov

    JFrater..The Re-Establishment of Israel was not simply done out of sympathy, and mass European Immigration post WWII. Jewish presence along with Zionist ambitions have existed LONG before a ‘Palestinian People’, along with Judaism and the Temple Mount and Foundation Stone (held captive by the Dome of the Rock) pre-dating Islam and the Arab Nationality. To say that the Jews are somehow perpetuating a HISTORICAL injustice is ridiculous, the Arab conquest of the region by the Caliphates circa 600’s A.D. along with banishment of Jews from the Arabian Peninsula is the real injustice. The fact the for the first time in it’s History that Judea and Samaria is referred to as the ‘West Bank’ (West Bank of the Jordan River) is ludicrous. This is the heart of Israel where Abraham sowed his covenant with G-D, where his sons purchased land. Sad thing is that no one takes into account any of these historical aspects when criticizing the ‘bad’ choice to ‘AWARD the European Jews who were almost eradicated by the Nazis’..this is SIMPLY WRONG AND INACCURATE. There were mass migrations of Mizrahim Jews and Sephardim Jews from all across the Arab World who maintained a presence in Jerusalem and the Levant. The so called Palestinians who are indistinguishable from the Arab neighbors are suddenly a ‘since time immemorial deep rooted presence’ in Israel??? They are a highly-politicized group of Arabs who have been used as pawns to de-legitimize Israel. Your post is nor-thought provoking, nor accurate, nor in the least sensitive to anything remotely logical to human history. Those of you who wish to discuss further any historical account, please e-mail me.

  • Randall

    I was so taken aback by the awfulness of this list that it first I didn’t know where to begin in enumerating the myriad of ways in which it is awful. Then I realized I had neither the time nor inclination to address each item individually, and decided it was time instead to direct a message to Jamie and more loosely to the Listverse audience.

    First of all, there’s no denying the fact that this list is both poorly written and ill-conceived. There may have been worse examples of the former on here before, but rarely worse examples of the latter. And while I can’t speak for others, I can say that it’s this sort of list that is partly responsible for driving me away from Listverse, and this is probably true of many other “old timers” (since when I *do* visit here, I see very few of them commenting). Yes, the “business model” of a website where the general public can write their own lists on nearly any subject–and have them published virtually without editorial interference–has clearly worked for Jamie for some time. But the flaw is showing, and has been for a while.

    The internet is rife with poorly-conceived lists of all kinds, of course. One could argue that it does little harm when it’s just some journalist’s ill-informed ideas of what makes good music or good books, or what the best coffee is or the tastiest Greek-style yogurt. The only danger to a site like Listverse is that it would obviously become boring if it relied on such lists. Of course it doesn’t and never has. It also features well-researched lists on all kinds of subjects that call for a knowledge of history, hard science, or what have you. Even recently it’s continued to publish such lists. But the flaw in Listverse is, and always has been, that it makes no distinction between well-researched, well-conceived lists of that nature and poorly-researched, ill-conceived lists. And this is due to the lack of any real editorial management of what gets written.

    So we get lists like this one (and they pop up more frequently than many realize) where the writer of the list clearly has no idea whatsoever of what he’s talking about. The harm in that? Well, one could argue that it’s only a minor drop in an enormous bucket of the nonsense and drek that gets put out there on the net—-but the question is—why add to all that? Listverse has some smart people hanging around it still, and a smart person at its head. So why allow this sort of thing?

    And no, let’s not fall back on a lazy argument that this is what the commentary is for—for the public to then weigh in and correct or counter the bad list via the comment section. Following on that argument, you might as well publish anything, even outright fabrications or bigoted diatribes, and argue that it’s up to the public to “correct” or “counter” it. Naturally Listverse would never take this tack. But then why let things like this list pass?

    As I knew I would, I grew tired of countering and correcting bad or stupid ideas that would occasionally crop up here–and in the end, half of that was just my opinion against another’s opinion, and so it was even less worth my time, not to mention others’ time. I don’t doubt that many other old contributors grew tired of it too. Sure, some others may have stepped in to replace us, but it seems to me that the flaw is laid bare—Listverse needs editorial control. It can, of course, exist without it, and has done so since its inception. (and of course I’m talking about the kind of control that goes beyond someone simply correcting grammatical mistakes). But it got more and more frustrating, to me personally, to see over time how little discrimination was shown over the quality of lists published. Most of the time it didn’t matter… if someone writes a crap list about the Top Ten Shoe Styles in the Movies of Mel Gibson, it’s just harmless fluff and tomorrow there might be a better list.

    But maybe it’s because I hold History dear to me that I find much more offensive the kind of list that this one is—which is simply one person’s very uninformed views on pivotal events. Again, does it really matter? Maybe not. But why reduce Listverse to being no better than the comments section of a Fox News or CNN online story? Why not shoot higher?

    As for the list itself—as I said, rather than address each individual item, I’ll just say this—no properly trained historian, or even an amateur historian—would make the mistakes made repeatedly by the writer of this list–the chief of which can be summed up thusly: that most events in history have two sides or are at least possessed of more complexity than allows for a simplistic “taking of sides.” On the other hand some issues/events, while having two or more facets to them, have the deck of fact, consequence, and legacy so stacked as to render history’s judgement on them more or less settled. But in this list I see neither stance acknowledged. Instead, it’s like reading the prattle of someone who gives perfect life to the cliche that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

    • mom424


    • bigski

      well said…

    • bucslim

      Isn’t he just dreamy!

      • Randall

        Where the *&^# have YOU been?

        • bucslim

          Oh, just getting into adventures, you know. Laugh in the face of certain death, at least as much certain death as one can get into sitting on my couch.

          I pop in here occasionally, but haven’t said much. I see you’re still showing them how it’s done. A genuine thumbs up on the above commentary to days of yore.

          Not sure that I like not being able to type out cocksucking motherfucking two balled bitch fist up the backside with a double twist. But I don’t run this site.

          • bucslim

            The double negative and cocksucking made it through . . .

        • bucslim

          OK, so I come back and now one of my comments in in moderation. Which makes the other comment make sense. . . .

          Anyway, in case that gets rejected, I’m fine, I pop in here occasionally, and I see you’re still showing them how it’s done.

          How have you been?

          • Randall

            I’m okay, had some surgery, all better. Fully a woman now.

            BUT seriously…. (I did have some surgery) all is well. I look in here now and then but don’t have the time or inclination to fight the nonsense as much as I once did… plus it seemed like most everyone we knew had moved on.

            Anyway, still on the (day) job… hope the same for you (or better).

            On Facebook? You should look me up.

        • bucslim

          Since there was no reply thingy below your last comment, I’ll simply say I’ll do my best to look you up on FB, or I’ll just come in here on occasion and show everyone how much smarter I am than you are.

          Just like I used to do . . . LMAO!!!

          • Randall

            I’m friends with Seque on FB, if that helps. Should be able to locate me that way–if not, let me know via this thread and we’ll figure something out.

            Cute delusion, about showing me up on here. Hope you’re taking pills for that. But you know, you won’t see me often in here… as I said, I don’t show up much anymore.

          • segues

            bucky, anytime you want to get a message to Randall, just let me know. Happy to help.

        • bucslim

          No dice on the FB search . . . I seemed to have forgotten the University where you were employed, I used to know that. I’m not really plugged into the LV FB groups anymore either . . . . I’d post my e-mail here if I wasn’t terrified of the tsunami mudslide of hot, attractive, and s e x u a l l y active young women who would vie for my attention . . . because there’s a shortage of fat, bald, middle aged men out there.

          So I’ll simply set this up as a Cold War meeting between agents.

          Agent 1: (lights a cigarette) I love the geese in the fall.

          Agent 2: The mail is hot where people get their messages.

          Agent 1: . . .? I LOVE the geese in the FALL?!?!

          Agent 2: (now suspicious, but still suave) THE mail IS hot . . ?

          Agent 1: . . . . (pause but suddenly realizes the truth and gasps)

          Agent 2 shoots Agent 1, who was obviously a communist double agent.

          Agent 1 was portrayed by Edward Fox, Agent 2 was portrayed by Patrick McGoohan. Co-Starring Jim Brown as Agent 3 and introducing Jack Lord as the Beaver. This scene was written by Robert Ludlum, produced by Albert Broccoli and directed by Guy Hamilton.

          So, just put a red x on the upper corner of the mailbox, put a geranium in the window, the microfilm dot is on Lincoln’s eye . . .

          • Randall

            Done. And by the way, while you were out… I &*^%#@ Vesper Lynd.

            FB: Randall. Ivy League University. Part of the name is a staple. Get it? I know what you mean about email. I won’t post mine here either. But if you still have trouble, Seques can help. She’s an FB friend. Let me know.

          • segues

            say, buc, if you can’t find me on FB, and I think you may not be able to because I’m fairly sure it’s under my real name, Jamie can give you my e.mail addy. That’s okay by me.

          • Randall

            OH yeah, that’s right… Jamie should have my email too. Though he might not be speaking to me after this.

    • Arsnl

      I think you’re too critical. Just looking at the first page you’ll see some really great material: prison fires and sea survivors, chimps and cicero list which are quite amazing lists i must say. I wasn’t here for about a month and while browsing through what i’ve missed, i’ve seen some really spectacular lists that are now among my all time favs: the death one and the unheeded warnings ones.

      This list just slipped through the cracks like some lists in the past did: let’s remember the train wreck that the abortion list was: terrible research it had (it said some 100 million native americans were killed) and very inflammatory too.

      About the regulars: people come and go, and more so over the internet, and saying that the fact that some regulars left is a sign of decline in content is just a fallacy for me .

      But sometimes, a fast read through the list before posting it would be nice.

      • Randall

        I think you’re too forgiving. I’ve observed and participated in Listverse since the beginning; as I result, I feel I can back up my assertion that there is an inherent flaw at work here, which is lack of editorial supervision. Has there been an actual decline in the quality of lists, lately? That’s more subjective. Yes, I’ve noted some excellent examples of list-making, and some very recent. But this doesn’t negate my overall view, which is that Listverse needs more of a guiding hand. At present, nearly anyone can post nearly anything. What Jamie refuses to publish I don’t know; but I know this is far from the first time that I’ve seen a list which should never have made it onto this site. And again, I’m not talking about lists that are simply fluff, or something of that nature. I’m talking about lists the premise of which, and/or the execution of which, are offensively wrong, or wildly flawed in a factual nature.

  • shamb

    Wtf jimjim… Seriously

  • bucslim

    My own list of terrible decisions from the 20th and 21st century:

    10. 8 buns, 10 Hotdogs

    9. Van Hagar

    8. This Coke tastes terrible, let’s ‘update’ it.

    7. Grandpa having erections lasting 4 hours or more

    6. Safety, schmafety, there’s oil at the bottom of the ocean!

    5. Of course no one will find out we didn’t have sex in the Oval Office, silly girl!

    4. Who’ll ever read this birth certificate?

    3. The current crop of Republican Presidential Candidates.

    2. Is that chad hanging or . . .

    1. Everything’s in order, your Ralph’s Preferred Customer card is proof enough you’ll repay your home loan. Here’s $500k!

    • bigski

      flo from progressive insurance commercials….

    • Randall

      Listverse needs a “Like” button.

    • Arsnl

      #3 is just because nobody wants to go head to head against Obama cuz most presidents get a second term (in the 20th century atleast; you people voted for Nixon and Bush twice for crying out loud) and who ever loses a presidential election hardly gets a second chance. So all the normal republicans will wait for 2016.

      #5 are you saying oral is a bad idea? and that clearly was an amazing idea. They had fun and it was a source of great humor and entertainment. Hey even your comment is an example that #5 was a great idea. I generally think ridiculous ideas, are great ideas because all the humanity can make fun of the consequences: the double down chicken sandwich, nascar, pet rocks. Comedy awesomeness i say.

  • Terence Nunis

    One of the best lists.

  • bucslim

    Hmmmm. . . .

    e r e c t i o n is a bad word? s e x is banned too? Seems like my comment got more editorial attention than this list that was written in crayon.


    Guess I shouldn’t have come back to post afterall

    • segues

      I had H a n a l e i censored ;) That one took me a moment to figure out why.

  • Vincent

    Millions of leaflets were dropped over Japan by the US warning them of the bomb, even going as far as to list potential targeted cities. If the Japanese were about to surrender, why didn’t they do so with that warning? Sure, they probably thought the US was bluffing, plus, there was no imagining how huge the bomb would be. So the first bomb is dropped… why didn’t the Japanese surrender then? It had to have made quite the convincing argument, yet they refused. So, bomb 2. If it took two atom bombs to convince Japan to surrender, it only stands to reason that they had no intention of surrendering. It wasn’t in their makeup. It was still a major embarrassment to have surrendered when they did. Good thing, though, because right at that time, the US only had the two bombs, nothing more. Everyone, from the layman to the highest military minds, have equal ability to assume after the fact. There’s only one course in history, and this was the course. There’s no changing it.

    BTW, have the Japanese ever apologized for atrocities they committed during the war? Largely, no. That apology is required long before anyone offers up one for the Bombs. That, of course, is my opinion.

  • joe

    some of these pieces are written with a lot of bias

  • major harris

    i believe it was bush senior in gulf war one and somalia. bush junior who invaded iraq and afghanistan. reagan invaded grenada. he also had iran contra and 200 marines blown in up lebanon just before he invaded grenada. (can some one say wag the dog?)

    j.f.k did “start” (took over for the french) vietnam and johnson seriously escalated it. nixon really continued it for political reasons, (look up kissinger for that one.)

    clinton, with nato, was in bosnia.

    eisenhower was in korea and the dominican republic.

    so, the slander that only democrats start wars is false. i have given many examples of both parties doing so.

    the tsars were already having serious problems before the great war. they would probably would have fallen soon anyway.rasputin is an example. his influence on the tsarina due to nicholas’ hemophilia lost them a lot of popularity. the horrible economic problems for the lower classes were boiling up. the war just made it happen quicker. the war also cost the hohenzollern’s , the hapsburgs, and the ottoman’s their thrones as well.

    the nuclear bombings will always be up to debate. remember, the japanese surrendered only after the second bomb. FIVE days after the first. and we said we will bomb you again after the first one.

  • ragtime

    Grrrrr. I hope to be educated on this site. This one actually made me dumber.

  • Kat

    It’s a good thing this list isn’t a collection of uneducated opinions accompanied by horrible spelling and dramatically errors… oh wait…

  • Adam

    Hiroo Onoda is a good example of how the Japanese were prepared to surrender… I’m being facetious

  • _Scott

    About bombing Japan with Nukes..
    Seems to me if the Japanese were ready to surrender, it would
    not have take two of these weapons. Students of history do recall there was about a 3 day lapse between Hiroshima and Nagasaki. If their intent was to surrender, why not during this period?

  • Dan

    so the founding of Israel was a terrible decision but the systematic slaughter of 6 million jews wasn’t? who the hell wrote this awful piece of sh*t

  • Iraqi Christian

    Damn you American for destroying Iraq now look at Iraq iraqi kill eachother because of religion at least under saddam us Christian and Muslim were fine Iraq was secular we had great lives and we didn’t care about our religion because we were Iraqi and saddam eliminated extremism

    God/Allah, Iraq, saddam.

    From a proud iraqi christian.

  • Rojas

    Foundation of Israel???…U R My Hero…in this live and next one. Of course it was a terrible decision esteel the land of the Palestinian people.

  • Peter Suciu

    This list is clearly by a pacifist with clear 20/20 hindsight. From the first example about the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki some points are missing, notably that one factor that compelled the Japanese to surrender was the declaration of war by the Soviet Union. It was not truly clear in early August if the Japanese would surrender – and actually number 10 should really have been the demand for “unconditional surrender” as it put the Japanese in a terrible position.

    In fact, the truth is that the Japanese did not surrender “unconditionally” as they had one condition – that the Emperor would not be charged with war crimes. The Emperor became only a figurehead after the war, but if it had not been for the “unconditional surrender” the Japanese might have come to the peace table.

    Number 8 – The Vietnam War should really be “HOW THE WAR WAS FOUGHT” as the terrible decision, not the war itself. The United States had treaty obligations and again, from the view of a pacifist all wars are bad.

    Number 7 – This debate will wage for centuries but the war was not entirely wrong. Saddam Hussein is as much to blame as anyone, and it was clear that Hussein was attempting to some extent to rebuild his arsenal.

    Number 6 – The foundation of Israel is just one part of a larger decision in the Middle East, including the breakup of the Ottoman Empire after World War I, the founding of modern Arab nations. Prior to 1918 there was no such thing as Jordan – the nation is only named after the river. There were no Palestinian peoples, as the region (not the people) was Palestine – a name given to it by the Romans! The Middle East is a mess but the Israelis are the only ones who have turned the desert into a garden.

    The writer also seems to forget that the Jews started migrating to Palestine at the end of the 19th century. So read up on some history before calling the foundation of Israel a terrible decision.

    Number 5 – The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor was a terrible decision in the sense that it was an unwinnable war, but it was also their best/only chance to actually win. They needed a quick victory and they hoped for peace.

    Number 3 – So Poland should have been sacrificed to the Nazis? Poland could have been the battlefield between the Nazis and Soviets? Clearly the writer of this awful list isn’t Polish.

    Number 2 – Yes, I would agree that the Treaty of Versailles was a terrible decision.

    Number 1 – Well, the writer doesn’t understand 19th century British politics. The threat to the British was from the German navy, and that’s why the British entered into the entente cordiale with France, and subsequently Russia. The truth is that Britain should have remained neutral instead and it would have been a short war. But the rise of Communism, etc. might have occurred anyway. Too much of the rest of the point the author makes is speculation.

    But what is missing from the list are the following:

    Germany invades the Soviet Union in 1941. Until that point Germany was winning and should have truly defeated the British before taking on another enemy.

    Hitler should have not have declared war on the United States. After Pearl Harbor the United States was at war with Japan and Germany declared war on the United States. But Hitler needed not do so, or could have told the Japanese he would do so if Japan declared war on the Soviet Union. As it was that act likely cost Hitler the war.

    Soviet boycotted the United Nations Security Council, which allowed the Security Council to publish Resolution 83, recommending member states provide military assistance to the Republic of Korea. Without this the UN could not have helped South Korea (Republic of Korea) in the Korean War.

  • I am awestruck.. how did this get approved by listverse. It is easily the most non-intellectual and poorly founded article I’ve read on this site. I find myself disagreeing with ALL the points, and find their inability to even form coherent arguements borderline offensive lol. This is a disgrace for listverse and has hurt its credibility as a site. “Why didn’t the Jews go to English speaking nations?” is a question an 11 year old might ask, but not a respectable columist. Immigration was denied… I wont waste time arguing the other blatently ridiculous arguements.. just know at least next time if you want to argue for B.S things even as a joke provide B.S solutions as well. There are countless other terrible decisions which would have made a better read.

  • The japanese were going to surrender? Is that why EVERY purple heart issued since WWII is left over from the 1,000,000 we made in anticipation of invading Japan?

  • Badey

    WW1 was fought over the control of an oil pipeline from Iraq.

  • Andrew

    Wow. What a sack-less apologist. It’s people like this lister that will hand the world over to tyrants.

  • James

    Read the Guns of August by Barbara Tuchman and maybe you won’t look like such a jackass in regards to the Great War.

  • this list only takes interest in mistakes done by mostly america. man, usa is one country that never learns. its not a superpower nation its a super ignorant nation.

    • Michael McConnell

      That’s because we spend to much time on the internet.

  • Michael McConnell

    What about Stalin? Pol Pot? Hitler? The bombing of Dresden (the war with Germany was almost over and Dresden had no military value which killed as many as Hiroshima). Islamic terrorism. The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. The communist induced famines in the USSR. Clearly this list needs a serious upgrade.

  • RaB In NOLA

    Regarding #7: How stupid do we need to be to ask the questions at the end of that section? We went to war to make people rich. To hell with the people that died and to hell with those that will have to make good on the debt. Halliburton made bank for Cheney. It is time we accept that and enforce some consequences.

  • weegmc

    Wow, talk about revisionist history. Many have argued the Hiroshima bomb saved tens of thousands of American lives. Whats the ‘decision’ with Israel? Zionists were already setting up shop prior to WWII. Totally oversimplify WWI and the British position on Poland, as if its assumed England is not dragged into a war with Germany anyway. Whats with the Democrat thing? those assertions are just not right. Since Kennedy Four Dem Presidents have been elected. Guess how many Republicans? And the current Pres was elected in part because of his anti war position. And what ‘small nations’ have we invaded under a Democratic president? thought provoking? How about thought less.

    • DanF

      true, a US invasion of Poland would have been much worse. Plus they had to test the A-bomb

      • DanF

        I meant Japan

  • jerusalem

    I have always loved Listverse and have been a faithful reader for quite a while. But stating that the foundation of Israel was a, ‘terrible decision,’ is causing me to delete this webpage and never again come back. I can’t even explain how despairing it is that people like you are in the world and spreading your ignorant opinions.

  • naz

    this list is made by a north korean guy. damn u.

  • DanF

    I don’t understand the last entry. What are you saying would have happened if Britain hadn’t joined the Triple Entente?

    • Arsnl

      It would have been a double Entente?

      • DanF

        lol, yeah i guess. Long time no see

  • Letonshia

    What about the Rwanda Massacre? Eh, cause they black you don’t want to put them on the list? What about George Bush not helping with Katrina, what cause of black people?

    Eff dis shit

  • I dont understand the Part about the Democrats, the times have changed and clearly this person has a personal biased about democrats.

  • Ian

    This list reeks of a lack of understanding of history and politics in general

  • ShoresLady

    The important thing about every list is that each and every one is inferior in its own way. In this list that seems more obvious than in others. I am compelled to note that the Jews migrated to form Isreal as they did specifically because God did not indicate that the Promised Land waited in Denmark, Portugal, or Belgium. It’s right there.

  • Casce

    Captain Hindsight and the Bias league strike again

  • Anton

    Looks like an antisemite made this list. The founding of Israel was a great decision. Granted, the Arabs have as much right to be here as the Jews, but then again, the Jews don’t attack a country one day after it was founded. The Jews needed a country, and they got it, fare and square, don’t like it? Suck it.

  • Tim

    Wait, wait… when did the aforementioned small Muslim countries get invaded by the US under Democratic rule? also, which countries were they? I know there were probably a good handful of times the US attempted to invade muslim populated countries, but of course, I can only think of the Iraq wars from the 2000’s and the early 90’s. Both of which were OK’d by Republicans from the same family. Educate meeeee!

  • ConstableDubs

    Not paying attention to General Patton’s suggestion to re-arm the German military and go after the Soviets while everyone was united and everyone’s armies were in mainland Europe. It would have saved the world a lot of drama and proxy wars in the future.

    Plus the Russians were already spread thin, it was summer, so there was a while until a Russian winter set in, and Stalin could have been deposed.

  • Laurens

    Why do all these people hate this list?!
    Yes, it may be history and you can’t change it, but people in history may have made bad decisions.
    As for all, this is a look back list.

  • rodeograndma

    This is a very poorly written and unsubstantiated list. Its disappointing that this passes as a “historical” list rather than an individual’s biased and irrational opinions.

  • eric

    worst list I have ever seen- should be thrown in the circular file cabinet with the rest of the garbage

  • James

    Spent the whole time Britain bashing
    No actually knowledge and a very ignorant list
    Hopefully better tomorrow

  • zac

    Bad List.

  • Zach

    I’m unimpressed,this looks like a list that Time magazine would make

  • Wily

    This list has to be an intentional attempt to create attention.

    If so, such a practice could derail the brand.

  • Thomas Clarke

    10. Failure of the United Nations and Allies in 1946 to intervene in China in support of the People instead of the KMT.

    9. Failure of the United Nations and Allies in 1946 to intervene in India in support of the Muslim and Hindi peoples.

    8. Failure of the League of Nations to intervene in China in 1931.

    7. Failure of the League of Nations to intervene in Somalia in 1934.

    6. Failure of the United States to intervene against the French in Mexico in 1861 and to support Mexico’s banking structure.

    5. Failure of the United Kingdom to intervene in the American Civil War and broker a truce.

    4. Failure of the United Kingdom to intervene in the Congo and to take actions agains the Belgians.

    3. Failure of the United Kingdom to take the lead in dismembering its Empire beginning with the elimination of the monarchy in 1910 with the death of Edward 7.

    2. Failure of the League of Nations to prosecute Turkey for genocide.

    1. Faiure of the League of Nations to prosecute the Soviet Union of Genocide.

    • Dr. Jingo

      In 1861, the US was in a bloody civil war. How could we have helped Mexico?

    • mike

      The League of Nations had virtually no power so your list is irrelevant.

    • badjokebob

      I was unaware of the existence of an armed wing of the UN or the (defunct) League of Nations.

  • Susie

    Uh, just so you are aware, George W. Bush, invader of Iraq and Afghanistan, was a REPUBLICAN, not a democrat.

  • Armadillotron

    Jews are not a people.. There a religious group. This “The jewish People,” is a myth. And the idea, that people think that they belong in someone elses country because 2,000 years ago, the Romans kicked them out is crazy. And the war with libya should be here. After years of fighting Al Qaeda, it now turns out that the people obama armed to fight his old buddy Gaddafi were members of al Qaeda.. And why don`t people call Obama a “war-criminal,” the way they do Dubya? (and I can`t stand that clown) Think of it. An Arab dictator has been in power for decades. He`s friends with other dictators. He used to sponsor terrorists. Osama Bin Laden hated him. He was our friend, but later became our enemy. Their “Ally,” Britain follow meekly as usual. He builds monuments and statues of himself. He had Weapons of Mass Destruction, but in a blunder gave them up and it led to his country being invaded. He`s later found in an embarrassing place and is lynched. Is this Iraq or Libya? Yes, I know it`s a trickie.

    • Strix

      Actually, when people say “jews” they could mean 2 different things, though both are interelated. You see, judaism, unlike most other religions was isolated to one ethnic group, the “jews”, or the inhibitants of judah. Whil judaism has spread out recently, most jews are decendants of the original jews

      • Canuovea

        That is correct. In fact, several of the Zionists were secularists who wanted nothing to do with religion.

        Judaism is a religion. Jewish can be a reference to the religion, but it is also an ethnic group.

        The Nazis didn’t care about your religion, they cared about your genetics, your phenotype. Gad Beck’s mother was a convert to Judaism, but the Nazis weren’t interested in her. He, on the other hand, had Jewish blood, so they were interested in him.

  • Dr. Jingo

    I’m pretty sure that the guy who wrote this list thought that history was some sort of cheese.

  • Dr. Jingo

    For #6 the writer suggests a move of Jews to European nations.

    You mean the European nations that damn near exterminated the Jew just 3 years before the formation of Israel?

  • decaf84

    the atomic bombs were absolutely necessary. if we hadn’t dropped the bombs, the plan was to invade tokyo and force a surrender. the estimated casualties for that invasion were over 1,000,000. you could argue that the dropping of the second bomb was unnecessary, but the first was absolutely needed

  • Dr. Jingo

    Listverse, you’ve really disappointed me a lot of times now.

    Start writing good lists again, or I delete your bookmark.

  • Bob

    This is going to be very very very controversial. Purely because it is just opinion… Opinionated lists are never good, interesting or accurate.

    There is alot you will be corrected on, I would just like to make one:
    You said: “Since then the Democrats rarely win elections”. Since 1961 there have been 6 republican Presidents and 5 Democratic ones. That’s pretty even if you ask me?

    Please Jamie, lists that are just opinion are not good.

  • max

    you forgot the mentioning of the creation of India and Pakistan…

  • manikin

    the purple hearts America gives today are the ones we made to give to the casualties of the invasion of japan if it had happened as planned. mistake? atomic science would have still come up without America dropping the bomb only difference is more deaths

  • I am afraid you completely lost me at number nine. The Democrats rarely win elections? If we look back at the last ten Presidential elections, the score would be 6 to 4 in favor of the elephant party. And given the current state of the Republican candidates, after this year it is likely to be a tie.

  • etaoin shrdlu


    Shows what happens when the zoo accidently leaves the monkey house computers on all night.

  • Majaev

    Me deciding to marry my first wife should have been a bonus item.

  • matthew

    Captain Hindsight

  • mike

    This is the most historically incorrect list I’ve ever read. God damn dude, learn your European history again.

  • Allie

    Disagree with the Israel one. I freaking love the Jews!

  • Brett

    #9 Democrats are more warlike than ever? Example: Our invasions of small Muslim nations? Ummmm….which nations would those be Afganistan? Iraq? Invasion ordered by the democrat and loyal long time member of the democratic party, President George W. Bush? The democrat?………….makes sense. Sure why not, I’ll agree with your article. Not like that other President the one who orders invasions of small muslim nations the REPUBLICAN President Barak Obama, now where’s the whiskey?

  • stanley

    Was this a serious list? Or was it just trolling?

  • Kevin Schmittgens

    I used to think that the dropping of the atomic bomb on Nagasaki was unnecessary. But having read about the hardliners in the Japanese government and military who even considered assassinating the Emperor in order to stay in the war, I am not so sure. Hindsight is always 20/20, but upon further review, the atomic bomb may have saved millions of lives by ending the war without a full-fledged assault on Japan. By all accounts, it would have been costly.

  • Anderwold

    What a horrible list. Next time, do your research.

  • Tomorrow is Today

    What a naive post.

  • Winkelried

    *sigh* In the view of our Time those were bad decisions yes,and thats all he says on this list.

    Besides,to drop an Atomic-Bomb on unarmed civilians is a bad,barbaric and stupid decision.

    And to attack countrys far away in the World because they have a differnet form of Goverment or are possibly terrorists (who maybe killed about 3000 Americans,which is a galactic fart,remember the A-Bomb or Vietnam?) was then,and is now a terrible decision.

    Does the USA even know that the whole rest of the World is laughing about their ignorance and stupidity?Nothing in this world,not even a hypotetical God gives anyone the right to invade an other country,unless they are attacking you and you do just your defense.Thanks to the Universe that my County has an defence-Army only.

    • Maggot

      Does the USA even know that the whole rest of the World is laughing about their ignorance and stupidity?

      You forgot “arrogance”. Now STFU, I’m trying to watch an episode of Gilligan’s Island on my phone.

    • Sgt. York

      “Does the USA even know that the whole rest of the World is laughing about their ignorance and stupidity?”

      Does the rest of the world like to pretend how superior while the U.S. is compelled to RUN the planet because of the pervading stupidity in the rest of the world…? Or is it just you?

  • Bob Hart

    Not all trolls post in the comment section. Some post lists! This is the most “trollish” list I have ever seen on this site!

  • Elliot

    I’ve never been inspired to stop reading an article mid-way through on this website- until this one. Very superficial, very biased, very poor quality of writing. It’s a shame.

  • ok i normally love listverse, but large parts of this list are down right offencive. 1-british involvement in ww1…how dare anyone call that a terrible decision…’If Britain had not send troops the war would have ended within a year’…wheres the proof? i do economic history at the LSE and theres no evidence for this in my years of study.

    further, i dont see how the allies would have won ww2 without britain.

    finally, the isreal point is simply anti-semetic

    this should be taken down from the sight.

  • John

    I’m done with Listverse. The lists have been consistently shit for a long time now and I usually now just check in every week or so, rather than the second each list came out like I used to. Jimjim you are a fucking idiot.

  • Strix

    I find this list to be totally biased. Most of the decisions mentioned, while having negative effects, also may have saves us from grater tragedies. The fact is, most numbers mention only a few of the causes and consequences of the actual events. For example:

    1. You can’t really blame Great Britain for the war. In truth, every country involved was partially in blame. However, if the United Kingdom had not joined the Triple entente, Germany would have most likely won. After all, the central powers had all already joined the war. In fact, even with the U.K involved, the Central Powers almost won.
    3. I find the criticisms of Churchill to be totally biased. If the guaranty to Poland hadn’t happened, the Axis powers and the USSR would have kept conquering central Europe. A war would have broken out later: when Germany felt that it was strong enough to invade France and the UK. In the end, WWII was inevitable. The sad part was that the UK only interfered in Poland, instead of Austria of Czechoslovakia. In addition, while Churchill did make many mistakes in his career (like the gold standard) it was thanks to him that WWII wasn’t a massacre. The Gallipoli campaign, of which I am quite read, was not his fault. While he DID push for an invation to happen, his plans for it where heavily changed, making the operation a failure. Truth is, if his plans had been followed, Gallipoli would have been a success and the Ottoman empire would have been taken out of the war earlier. In the end it failed and Churchill was used as a scapegoat.
    4. He was a DICTATOR. He had the power. It is like criticizing all of the Russians for Stalin. He oppressed the populace. A populace which, I should add, has never had a truly democratic government.
    6. Not a horrible idea, just badly executed. Palestine was a British mandate. Unfortunately, the new government, instead of finding a peaceful coexistence with the Muslims, just started another war.
    10. While I personally agree with the conclusion, your basis is wrong. At the time, the Japanese were known to never surrender. They themselves advertised this. An invasion of japan was estimated to have caused over a million casualties. While it is true that the Japanese were about ready to surrender, at the time that was unknown. I especially criticize the second bombing, though both were unnecessary. In addition, I think part of the blame of the Japanese not surrendering goes to the U.S. Their vehemency in unconditional surrender wasn’t just wrong, it was illogical. The U.S is probably the only nation to frequently demand unconditional surrender. This tipe of surrender means that you have absolutely no power. In fact, if the U.S wanted to annex Japan, they could have done so at that point

    In the end, I liked the idea for the article. However it was totally biased for the sake of political correctness.Also, we must remember one thing. Hindsight is always 20/20.

    Sorry for length, just had to say all of it

  • Stephen

    Not to insult you any further, but you really do not know history. Your number Three is incorrect because Winston Churchill did not issue a guaranty to Poland. If you knew History a little better you would have known that it was Neville Chamberlain who issued the guaranty to Poland and that Winston Churchill did not enter office until 1940.

  • Jack

    Seriously the Republicans aren’t exactly poor chaps so to speak. Just because I’m a dick like that I’ll beat a dead dog and say Mitt Romney’s pretty damn rich.

  • Planet Earth

    You only have to look at History to see how it repeats itself .

    You’re EX president George W Bush grandfather Prescott Bush help Nazi Germany with Gasoline so they could continue KILLING AMERICANS talk about PATRIOTISM . How long did did American company sold GAS to I.G Farben , oh right most American are too stupid to know this answer .

    THE U.S .A right now is FUNDING THE IRAN NUCLEAR program .
    Create the problem then offer a solution .
    If you really want to Educate yourself look at the History of Corporation .

    If you are blinded by propaganda you are a fool and will help the U.S kill millions of KIDS in Iran .

  • tonyb

    This list was a terrible decision in its own right…with that said:

    1. Germany invading Soviet Union > US involvement in Korea, Vietnam,Iraq and Afghanistan combined. Reading this list made me, as I’m sure it made others, wonder how much better my life would be if only America and Britain had possessed the military acumen displayed by HItler.

    2. Debate the wisdom of founding Israel all you want…but why, Listmaker, did Jews need to immigrate to “English-Speaking countries”?

    3. No Pearl Harbor…No Hiroshima and Nagasaki!

    4. Yes, isn’t it a shame that in the “late 1960s and early 1970s” that the “elites” wrested the Democratic party from the hands of such working-class, down-home folk like Franklin Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, and John Kennedy? A tragedy right there with The Smiths breaking up.

  • Flamenco Jones

    Quick question for you my friend, How did Churchill placing the UK back on the gold standard bring about the great depression?

  • MTVtheshow

    dont make another list you big dumb poop

  • Planet Earth

    Here you go to all the stupid people of the world watch this .

  • Dale M. Rollinson

    I’m a first-time commentor, but long-time reader. I am disappointed in the moderation that has allowed this list to appear here. I appreciate Listverse for its academic assessment of historical events rather than personal opinion. There are very few facts in each section provided by the author to back his judgement, and such controversial topics would be best evaluated in separate ‘lists’ and objectively.

  • chr66is

    Wow!!! Anti-military, anti-Republican, AND anti-Semitic. China really seems to be suffering as they are essentially the new superpower. And you don’t have to worry about a president that cares about the working people–we now have one that panders most to the nonworking people.

  • Daniel

    this article is so ideologically one-sided. Elites in the Democratic Party was the best that you could do when there’s a couple hundred years worth of history to choose from?

  • Pauly

    This is, without doubt, the worst Listverse article ever written.


  • Sgt. York

    Wow, idiotic propaganda list with no grasp of history or, well, intelligence. And look! Bonus points for anti-semitism!

    List author is an idiot.

  • trfan01

    While I found this article very interesting, I have to strongly disagree with #9. The problem with the elites isn’t with the Democrats, it’s the Republicans. If this article had been written 35 years ago, I’d say yeah, you had a point, but it’s the Republicans who’ve been screwing things up for us in the United States. They’re the ones who want to cut all the programs that help the poor and unfortunate, they’re the ones who want to give the tax breaks to the rich, they’re the ones who want to abolish the unions. I don’t need Fox News or MSNBC to tell me that, I can see that just reading in the Sunday paper how my state Reps voted.

  • peter8172

    How about the Americans and our complete destruction and bombing of Dresden, Germany. Why was that and what did it prove ?? I found it to be unnecessary.

  • done reading listverse now


  • cril

    This list is poorly researched. First off during the foundation of Israel they never murdered or even kicked anyone out. The people the settlers fought against were not muslims but actually the british and even today arabs, jews, and christians live side by side there. Also there are 56 muslim nations in the middle east and only 1 jewish nation, which is one of americas greatest allies in defense and agricultural technologies.

  • vanowensbody

    I only want to comment on #10. Over the last 20 years or so I have been hearing more and more of this revisionist history about the need to drop the atomic bombs to end the war with Japan and finish WWII.

    Easy for anyone now to sit in judgement. Put aside for a minute that Japan attacked us. Put aside the war crimes Japan committed against the people they conquered and Allied soldiers. Put aside the Japanese germ warfare program. Put aside the fact that if Japan had the bomb and a means to deliver it they would have used it. Put aside the Kamakazi attacks, the torture of prisoners of war, the Bataan Death March, the Rape of Nanking……put aside all of that history that those who wanted the US not to use the bomb now seem to conveniently forget. The US spent billions of dollars and years to make the bombs, what were the choices? Realistic choices, not wishful thinking choices.

    1. Truman does not use either bomb and just warns Japan we now have them.
    2. Truman authorizes a demonstration of a bomb blast before Japanese diplomats.
    3. Truman uses the bombs.

    As many have said – if truman used options 1 and or 2 the Japanese military could have ignored the warnings from their diplomats, failed to believe the warnings, or if they did believe the threat posed by A bombs was real,moved our POW’s into major cities as a deterrent. Or we go to set off the bomb as a demonstration and it is a dud.

    And how could Truman ever explain to the American people that the atomic bomb, which we had spent so much time and effort and capital developing, was never used, and as a result tens of thousands of American soldiers died invading the Japanese homeland. How could ANY President explain that? They couldn’t. . No sane person, having lived through four years of bloody warfare, and seen the tens of thousands of US soldiers killed island hoping across the Pacific, could have failed to use such a weapon if he had it in his hands and knew he could shorten and end the war by using it.

    War is horror. Fire bombing Tokyo is horror. Dropping A Bombs on two cities is horror. But so is prolonging the war by NOT fire bombing and NOT dropping A bombs.

    Go ask the people who are still alive who lived through WWII. Ask them whether truman should have dropped the bomb. I’ll go along with their opinion.

  • Simon

    I think the listing the foundation of Israel as a terrible decision is very offensive. People are entitled to their own land, they shouldn’t have to migrate to a completely different culture and spread themselves out, thus weakening their ties. One of the most important things for an ethnicity to have is an area to call their own. Just because conflict arose doesn’t make it a bad decision.

  • Harry

    if jews having Israel is fine cz its their historical land…then Native Americans can claim all of America i guess…People saying list is crap or biased are pretty naive..i said before no list is perfect and this one really had few very bad decisions if not all…!!!

  • Hamm

    JFrater…..why the silence? I love a good flame fest now and then, but this list is pretty sorry. No evidence or context is given at any point. I really hope this is one of the list that you did not vet and some moderator pushed this through. As an avid fan of this site, I expect better. And I don’t feel bad saying that. The content has always been and always should be great, but this is a stain on Imagine a first time reader checking this out. I doubt they would come back.

  • legolas

    10 biggest screw-ups by modern super powers

  • Brianj1949

    I think if JimJim is going to make a list of this kind he should first acquire a basic knowledge of some of the historical fact. First, it was not Winston Churchill but the prime minister at the time, Neville Chamberlain, who made the guarantee to Poland. Also, British participation in World War I was based on the very real fear of the German High Seas fleet, which had been built specifically with Britain in mind. Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Even after the cities were bombed and the USSR entered the war there was little or no support for a surrender…until Hirohito demanded one. I could go on, but just these corrections are enough to impeach this list.

  • Pat

    you need to be drug tested for that list . England never had a treaty with France,but obligated to defend Belgium,s neutrally ,try reading the guns of august

  • V

    Altho with some of these I agree, the top 3 shows author to be an outrageous cretin.
    Hitler would have marched on France and Britain regardless of Poland. Even the author admits the need for vengeance at no. 2, which is retarded in itself. And I see no point in no. 1 since Britain actually won that war and gained substantial territory and even more power as a result. Forget that there actually was an alliance involved and it wasn’t really a matter of choice to go against Russia and France instead. Author looks at WWI and II like these would be pokemon conflicts or some shit.

  • Alex Miller

    I rarely post, and this may be the first time I’ve posted to complain. Sure the list is designed to provoke, but this is ludicrous. Who would remove Mao from power? It wasn’t Churchill who issued the “guaranty” in 1939, it was Chamberlain. See the link for my source.

    The Jewish population of Palestine in 1939, which was controlled by the British, was 450,000 so it had the largest assembly of Jewish peoples in the world when the state of Israel was created. It grew rapidly. Plus, you know, they kind of earned their own country after have being wiped off an entire continent through that whole Final Solution to the Jewish Question thing.

    This is, by far, the most poorly researched article I have read on this site. There are glaring factual errors that could have been avoided with simple Google searches. I won’t get into the grammatical issues since I have a hard enough time myself butchering the English language. Seriously though, Listverse can do much better than this tripe.

    • Harry

      You mean they earned their country by evicting Muslims?
      Even majority of us are biased when it comes to Muslims but formation of Israel was utterly illogical..and no, holocaust doesnt earn you a country..!!

  • Jon

    This is the kind of shit that keeps me off listverse. Wtf happened? This site used to be something I would recommend to friends. Fuck you jfrater.

  • Iain palmer

    The UK shouldn’t have fought the Nazis…wow.

    • MollyDrops

      Unbelievable isn’t it.

  • Captin-laffin

    Hahahahahahahahaha. Ah, Hahahahahahahahaha. Good list!

  • luqster

    History books are written by the winners. Thus it is not wise to trust all that the school or history books said. I live in a certain country in south-east Asia, and most of the ‘facts’ that I learned in school are just plain lies. Most of them glorify the traitors of the country as heroes, and again it is still being taught in school all over the country. Most of the points cannot be dismissed as false, as truth depends on each person’s own opinion.

    Sorry for the bad english…

  • Ed

    I have a Masters Degree in Just War Theory – This list is just horrendous. Highly unresearched and ignorant.

    • kiki

      Quite. Poor list.

  • Reader

    I don’t think dropping atomic bombs on Japan is a wrong decision. If the Japanese imperial army is ready to surrender, why it takes 2 atomic bombs? Not one?

    • p1t1o

      This is a common question and one easily answered if you read into the detailed reports from various witnesses.

      The short answer is, it took quite a surprisingly long time for the powers that be to find out what had happened.

      This was due to a vast proportion of ALL infrastructure being destroyed or severely disrupted, communication, transport, roads, everything. And every survivor for miles was either in a state of shock, helping, or simply did not know what had happened. For a significant time, all that the Japanese high command knew was that there had been some sort of “incident” at Hiroshima and communications were down.

      Imagine being in the middle of a city, except most of the people around you are dead or dying, most of the buildings knocked over. How do you tell the next town over you are in trouble? No phones. No mobiles. No internet. No electricity. No water. No food. What is your first priority?

      Why did America bother dropping the second bomb? Because even they did not know the extent of the destruction caused by the first one, the second one was always going to be dropped in case the first one did not “perform” well enough.

      The US did in fact give the Japanese a chance to surrender – this is evident as their plan was to rain more and more bombs in a rolling bombardment as their troops marched in – remember how fond of surrender the Japanese were in the final months of the war? Not very is putting it mildly, this is what the Allies were expecting.

      In the end, they did surrender, to their credit. But I do not believe that it was a gratuitous use of the weapons, or at the very least, they did not drop the second one for fun.

  • ADHD

    hehe i bet the comments were all fired up with this one… the Israel comment will make the fur fly..,.

    i disagree we had to help Poland… the mistake should be how the allies fucked them over after the war

  • nick

    is it me or did they HAVE TO BOMB peral harbor because they were doign expansions in Asia and they HAD NO CHOICE to bomb America to make them weaker. Because if they didn’t then the expansions that they were trying to do, and what they were trying to accomplish in asia at the time, would have been IMPOSSIBLE or TOO HARD with how strong America would have been against them if they had their entire Navy and air fleet not bombed in pearl harbor. THEY HAD to attack America and weaken them to be able to continue doing their expansion of what they were doing in Asia… is it just me or am I right here? Anyone? DIdn’t they have no choice cuase they knew we would interveen? and knowing that, if we were weaker they couldn’t do what they were trying to?

    AND they the ABOMBS they didnt even surrend after the FIRST BOMB. BESIDES that, they are raised and trained to believe in to DIE FOR THEIR EMPEROR. They will fight to their death, no matter what the odds, no matter if it means certain death, no matter if it means the death of almost everyone, as long as it fors their emperor and country, they will fight to the death and give their lives honorably, for their country EVERY TIME. They would never surrender in the face of an enemy, they would rather kill themselves than surrender or turn on their country. WE NEEDED TO ABOMB THEM TWICE OR THEY WOULD NEVER HAVE SURRENDERED FOR THOSE REASONS! if we didnt drop the bombs, they never would have surrendered, meaning a MUCH longer WW2, meaning MUCH more drafts and MUCH more US and allied troops dying… and that would be soooo many because it would be on their own soil eventually. Vietnam, was on their own soil and look at that

  • Iraqi Christian

    Damn American you destroyed my homeland Iraq and killed the our hero saddam now look at iraq full of exteemism which saddam eliminated

  • Thom Payne

    It is handy to know that any list by JimJIm can be safely ignored for lack of content. It’s so amusing when stupid people try to affect knowledge about things they don’t have the slightest clue about.

    For those that don’t know, JimJIm was the historical fact checker for Michelle Bachmann and Sarah Palin. ;)

  • Killbilly Deluxe

    Wait! You forgot to include my decision to go out with that crazy chick just because she had big boobs.

    Seriously man, you seem to be pushing some personal agenda and one of the great things about Listverse is the articles tend to allow for some education and some thought provocation.

    This just seems to be a run at things YOU think were bad decisions. And sadly you’re poorly informed and biased. Which makes this list pretty weak.

  • Olga


  • Name

    I cannot believe that ‘British Involvement’ was even a decision. Read your history books, kids; because this guy certainly didn’t. This is the single most ridiculous and ignorant things to think that if Britain (had they the choice or were not already involved) did not participate in WWI that WWII and the Russian rise of the Bolsheviks would have been quelled – absolutely ridiculous.

  • JDog

    I think JimJIm and Ryan Thomas are the same person.

  • Asx

    Wow, so many mad Americans/American sympathizers! What’s the matter, too proud to admit mistakes?

    • Michael McConnell

      What’s your nations mistakes? Where is this nation that does nothing wrong now or in the past? At least we invented everything worth while for the last 100 years…including the internet.

      • p1t1o

        Except jet engines (Whittle), MP3 player (Kane Kramer), Carbon fibre (BAE), television (John Logie-Baird), the Harrier JumpJet (Hawker Siddley), the discovery of DNA, its structure, DNA fingerprinting and sequencing, everything attributed to Nikola Tesla (a Serbian), Tanks, viagra, depth charges, thrust vectoring, helmet mounted sights, light-bending metamaterials (cloaking device), SABRE air-breathing engines (the next thing to get us into space), LEGO, the text message (Vodafone), ATMs and PIN numbers (James Goodfellow), the computer (Babbage) oh and lets not forget….the internet (Tim Berners-Lee).

        I’m sorry, that was too easy :) but come on, you deserved it!

        You were right about no nation being innocent though.

  • Italia

    I feel that if I commen seriously or at lengtht, I’ll just be feeding the troll that wrote this awful list! I am neither British nor American nor Jewish and yet I am offended by all this ignorance of history!

  • No mention of the Roosevelt’s New Deal?

    • Deep thinker

      Yeah what a terrible decision. Give me 2o ways in which it was.

  • muslimagain

    this one is a list from a muslim…. i know for sure… the way it was written and the subjects of his idiotic list … hahahaha…

    please muslim people, ( not all ) , put some brains in your skulls… thank you!

  • JEDA45

    Oh, goodness.

    I’m really hoping that this list is a troll (i.e., deliberately in error to provoke discussion)

    Major flaws:
    1. Japanese culture viewed surrender as a worse fate than death. Without the bombings, many Japanese were willing to fight to the death – both sides may have lost huge numbers of people in the invasion of Japan.
    Furthermore, imagine the consequences if nobody had seen the true implications of a nuclear attack until a war between two nuclear powers. The USA and the USSR may have seen nukes as merely powerful bombs, and the Korean War, or some other equivalent war, may have led to both sides using nukes and a full-on nuclear war.

    2. The Democrats used to be the military, elite party. It wasn’t really until the late 1990s, with the Neocons (Supposed Conservatives whose policies were more in line with the Liberals), that the Republicans came to be what they’re seen as now.

    3. Pearl Harbor did not go as planned. Much of the American fleet was out on training maneuvers that day. If the Japanese had attacked on a different day, they may have crippled the United States long enough to keep them out of the war a while longer. Remember, FDR had been trying to rouse public opinion in favor of a war, even without Pearl Harbor, it would have happened eventually.

    4. The Treaty of Versailles was a problem because it was a compromise. Wilson wanted to forgive Germany, Clemenceau wanted to disable them. What happened instead was a Germany which kept enough power, but was hurt enough to get mad. If Wilson had won, Germany may have become quick friends with the US, and the Nazis may never have come to power. If Clemenceau had won, Germany would never have had the power to become a threat. But, instead, we simply weakened them enough to piss them off.

    5. Germany’s worst fear was a two-front war. Britain choosing to fight back kept Germany too busy to focus all their power on Russia, thereby giving them the two-front war they so feared. Even though Germany attacked Russia first, it was only a matter of time before one attacked the other, and Hitler probably wanted to avoid going on the defensive. The Battle of Britain, the only major battle on the Western Front Germany did not win before D-Day, was necessary to prevent the complete victory of Germany.

  • smbrickner

    An obvious Liberal using opinion to try and rile up conservatives. Alot of opinion, very little fact.
    You sir are the weakest link. Good Bye.

  • Stephanie

    This was such an egregious list that I just had to do some further research. Most interesting information I encountered: Anti-Zionist does not always equal anti-Semitic. Even with bad lists, I end up learning something.

  • Obvious

    This list is without a doubt one of the worst that I have seen on this site.

  • weehunk

    It’s Monday morning quarterbacking. That’s why people like to write alternative history fiction. A lot of it depends on how you interpret the article. It’s just speculation. I have heard a lot of reasons why people think the atomic bombs were not necessary. We take it on faith from our school teachers that it was necessary in order to save lives. Many people believe the bombs were developed specifically to deal with the Japanese as a revenge for Pearl Harbor. So in this case it may be more interesting to speculate on whether it was inevitable that they would be dropped on Japan.

  • ross

    whoever wrote this list is fudging retard

  • John Doe

    Must say.. really american-centred.. But anyways have a few problems with this list:

    1. Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki – Truman was “as weak as a kitten”, as my old History teacher said, in terms of Foreign Policy. He had to live up to FDR’s reputation of being a a great President, and he had to to face up to the fact that he was alone in making the decision as no NSA, or CIA had been formed. They were all under Truman

    2. Vietnam War – Though yes it was a terrible decision to attack Vietnam because of the terrain, incumbent Prsident Johnson had no choice. JFK’s outlook on being a cold war warrior lead America further into South East Asia. As not to look weak in face of the enemy (USSR and China) Johnson was forced to do it. It wasn’t really a decision.

  • Felatio

    Terrible decision #11, making this exceptionally painful “what if” list. What a POS, the author fails at life.

  • Jimjim_sux

    This really is, by far, the worst list I have ever read here! Historically, the only thing JimJim got correct was the names. Please count this as my proverbial boot to the back of Jimjim’s head. I rather think Jimjim may actually be a middle school history teacher..Is there a prescribed ratio to these lists? fact:opinion:nonsense?
    this list rates 1:19:80. Was the proof-reader off the day this feces slipped through the cracks?

  • Annonymous

    Interesting indeed. Howerver there is a major error.

    The State of Israel declared independence on May 14, 1948, after almost two millennia of Jewish dispersal and persecution around the Mediterranean

    This is a quote from WikiPedia to which is verifyable history. The Jews were persecuted for 2000 years, upto and including the events of the 6 day war. to say they massacred muslums is a gross simplification.

  • mysteriousstranger14


    • mysteriousstranger14

      It seems that most events that are recalled in history are either bad ideas or direct responses to them. For instance the dropping of the atomic bomb was a response to Japanese Imperialism. British Intervention and appeasement was a response to Nazi aggression. Bad ideas are those that force rational people into behaving irrationally. The placement of “Elites in the Democratic Party” within proximity to Hiroshima seems drastic. First of all, Democrats have enjoyed substantial influence and electability since the Kennedy administration. LBJ, Carter, Clinton and Obama have had just as much, if not more of an influence on modern America than Nixon, Reagan and the Bush dynasty. The idea that Democrats are “elitist” is an idea that is perpetuated by the Republican party, which replaced the Southern populist Democrats in the 60s. Despite this image, the Republicans have long abandoned concern for the little guy- ie sending them to war, limiting their ability to benefit from unions, lobbying for private schools while neglecting public ones, obstructing healthcare reform and catering to rich taxpayers. How is a less “elite” agenda?

  • tom

    Dont believe people are actually defending the dropping of the two atomic bombs. Definitely a terrible decision as it resulted in the death of so many people. And those who said it saves american lives? Who are we to place the lives of americans above the lives of others

    • Deep thinker

      Anybody with one eye could see that it saved american lives. Instead of dying in Japan, they were coming home. Also, if you want to play what ifs, what if the war dragged on for another 10 years in the pacific? Do you honestly think the Japanese would have surrendered if it had not been for the bombs? Answers.

  • Tronco01

    I disagree with your post about the State of Israel. They lived there and returned! In any case, you should have listed the diasporah as a historical mistake by the romans on 70 A.D. because of the subsequent two millenia of suffering it caused to the jewish people. I understand this list was for the 20th century only, so you should have added the 2nd Wolrd War as a whole instead.

    • Planet Earth

      News flash to all the stupid Jews out there you’re homeland is not Israel it ‘s PLANET EARTH you dumb humans (AKA Monkeys with guns )

      • Tronco01

        Wrong, wrong and wrong: 1) learn history 2) I’m not a jew, but I know history 3)this is not a good way to criticize. It shows you are here to insult other readers and not adding anything of value to the general discussion.

        • Planet Earth

          If you know so much about history you should know who FINANCE the creation of Israel ?

          That piece of land is worth nothing if the Human race destroys planet Earth .
          Can have WAR or WMD without the help of corrupted bankers .

          A Alien race looking at Earth from a far must be thinking what a bunch of DUMB MONKEY with guns .

  • George

    Actually, the rise of the Bolsheviks would still have happened. Tsar Nicholas II was highly unpopular and by then had already faced one serious challenge to his power. WWI just sped up the revolution.

  • Stradit

    I used to be an avid fan of listverse, read every article and commented frequently. But, interest dwindled and listverse fell to the back of my mind.
    Now that I am reading my first listverse article in months, I have to say quality has plummeted, if this is the average.
    The list is completely subjective, the author barely makes a effort to actually be unbiased.
    It’s obvious that s/he has only a basic understanding on these events and has either cherry picked events to fit their views or just hasn’t been told the truth.
    It’s sad that something so poorly researched and written has made it onto the site.

  • Derek J

    I really think the atomic bombings should be taken off the list. Japan would have killed all of the US POW’s if we would have invaded Japanese territory. Not to mention the many casualties we would have suffered from combat. I truly think Truman made the best decision that day and saved millions of lies.

  • F-OffLittleFox

    as a jew, i am going to stop reading this website. this was horrible. you really do not know your jewish history.

  • polishkingski

    to the author of this list….YOU SIR , ARE AN IDIOT!

  • Alyas Grey

    Good lord, this list is an incredible trainwreck.

    First of all, I find it incredibly insulting that the creation of Israel is considered a worse decision to you than the freaking Holocaust.

    Russia entering WW1 was a much worse decision than everything on the list, it allowed Vladimir Lenin and eventually Josef Stalin to take over resulting in the death of millions. And it led to the existence of countries like Communist Afghanistan and North Korea where millions more have died for no good reason.

    The German invasion of the USSR is a total no-brainer. They would have eventually forced the UK to negotiate peace, or would have eventually crossed the channel. Remember, they didn’t need to own the seas… they just needed to control part of the channel for a couple of days.

    The German decision to fight trench warfare with a blitz at Verdun led to the bloodiest single battle in modern warfare, and perhaps ever… and led directly to the downfall of the German Empire and indirectly to the emergence of Nazi Germany. After the failure at Verdun, Germany could no longer sit at any peace conference as equals with the Allies.

    Belgium’s decision to take total control of the Congo in 1906 is a pretty good one too. That darn near resulted in a genocide.

    The whole “the democrats can’t win an election” thing is absurd too, they’ve had 4 presidents to 3 Republican ones out of the last 7… and controlled both houses and a majority of governorships the majority of the time. Yeah, it’s not as dominant as the New Deal Coalition was… but a lot of voters that worshiped FDR only lived into the 1970s.

  • Brandon

    I’m going to be honest and say that this list is wildly opinionated and even false at times. I’m disappointed that this website (which I usually agree with) would allow such falsehoods to be posted on here.

  • eduard liddy

    The foundation of Israel a worst mistake? I suppose if you’re a racist, it would be. What’s the next list, the 10 Ten Racial Slurs for Jews?

  • John

    Your ignorance is astounding… TERRIBLE list.

  • Anna

    I very rarely comment here but after reading this I had to stay something. This list is awful! It reads as if the author has done no research whatsoever and its just all fricking opinion.
    “The British and French didn’t have the power to save Poland from Germany”

    You do remember who won the war?

  • Nico

    Point on 1:

    The author seems to have overlooked the naval arms race that had been going on between Britain and Germany in the decade before the outbreak of hostilities. Germany were actively and openly challenging British Naval superiority. France was no threat in real terms. The Entente Cordial had been signed at the turn of the century, and acted as formal treaty of friendship and cooperation falling just short of being an alliance. That France had a long standing alliance with Russia meant the the three powers were referred to as the Triple Entente. Germany actually had every reason to be fearful of the Franco-Russian alliance.

    Some things should be noted: Germany did not want a war and did everything possible to avoid it. Russia had recently revamped her army and military top brass were eager to test it out. The war mongering was done largely by Austria-Hungary, whose ultimatum to then declaration of war on Serbia made war with Russia (and possibly France if Russia was attacked first) almost inevitable as Russia had a treaty of protection with Serbia. German diplomats did their best to try to temper Austro-Hungarian provocation, but to no avail. Germany were put in an impossible position where their only continental ally was bound for war with Russia.

    Regarding British involvement: Edward Grey actually headed up a mission to stop hostilities from erupting. Britain, as I mentioned earlier, were NOT allied to France or Russia. There was a non-binding agreement in place with France, none with Russia.
    I agree that the decision for Britain to enter the war was foolish, but one has to remember that this was largely informed by two things. One was the prevailing geo-political theory of the time: balance of power. A continental war would upset the balance and give one faction an ‘unfair’ advantage over Britain. By joining the war, Briatin could acquire that advantage. The second was public opinion. The British public were yearning for Britain to flex her military muscles.

    To say that without Britain sending troops, the war would have been a short one, is highly debatable. The Russians were immobile and, even though their army had undergone a makeover, much of it was still outdated. Moreover, their infrastructure meant that moving troops from place to place was difficult. France and Germany were the really powerful land armies (Britain’s standing army was tiny as they relied on Naval power), and even with British help there was a stalemate on the western front. The real issue here is the involvement of Italy, who joined in 1915 on the side of the Allies, coerced by British promises. They committed millions of troops to the cause and lost over 600,000, yet are almost written out of history in this instance. No Britain in the war would have meant either no Italy or Italy joining with the central powers (which had seemed more likely in 1914). No British involvement may or may not have resulted in the Ottomans staying out of it – they had issues of equal measure with Russia and Austria-Hungary. No Britain would also have meant no American involvement from 1917.

    Britain or no Britain, the war would have been long, bloody and destructive. Quite what the consequences might have been are open to speculation, but the capitulation of at least one major European power was highly likely, and any suggestion of the war being over in months is unfounded and tenuous.

    Personally, I agree that Britain should have stayed out of the war. They were fighting for nothing and were under no threat from anybody. In fact, staying out of it would probably have benefited them. In the whole situation the only faction who really had anything to fight for were the Serbs. The whole war was a testament to the stupidity and bloody-mindedness of the human race, but Britain’s involvement probably averted very little.

  • p1t1o

    I was concerned when I read the first entry that the author was going to have the gall to call into question some of the most momentous decisions ever made and rubbish them from afar as an “armchair general”.

    I was pleased however, to read the words: “I think that….etc” thus labelling the ensuing words as a personal opinion and not a damning of all parties involved.

    If only the author could have continued this detachement down the list.

    Many of the above decisions were made under extreme circumstances where even the “best” decision would still have had a tragic impact on many peoples lives.

    Do not mistake a hard decision for a bad one.

    It is also all very well to say that someone in the past knew this or that. But how well did they know it? How confident were they of its veracity? Who did they tell? How many people had opposite information? Its all very well Eisenhower saying that the bomb needn’t be dropped, then why was it? Who gave the order? What were their motives? Was it dropped due to incorrect information? If so then it may have been the best decision given the conditions at the time. Was it dropped as an act of wanton malice? This would be a bad decision, but probably the least likely version.

    People say that hindsight is always 20/20, I beg to differ, people these days spend very little time worrying about the quality of their information and too much on the quantity.

    Having said all that, a very thought provoking list, and as long as people can respect each other’s right to own an opinion without claiming any unwarranted authority, many good debates to be had. Wishful thinking I know.

  • fugit

    I must admit, this is a rather poor list. The lister appears to focus upon events that took place after the initial event, then discounts the initial event completely. Also, it is evident that the lister appears to be quite impartial, especially with the Brit bashing. This list is wrong for the following reasons:

    10. With hindsight it is always possible to argue that the japanese were on their last legs and couldnt continue the war. However, at the material time a vast majority of the Japanese Army were stationed in China and other countries in Mainland Asia. They were far from a spent force. Not only that, since Saipan the Japanese fought with incredible tenacity, resulting in huge loss of life. Not only for the US, but also the Japanese and civilian population. The US therefore felt that an invasion of the Home Islands could result in circa 2 million US casualties, which is by far a greater loss than the 200 thousand suffered by the bombs. We must also remember that the bombs were dropped to stop further bloodshed and end the war. Far from a bad decision, as the aim was acheived. The war ended and further loss avoided. One can debate whether the bomb was necessary or evil, but one cannot debate that it certainly acheived its aim and spared many more innocent lives being lost.

    9. I really cnnot comment to be fair. However all political parties have an elite list. In fairness to even run for office one needs some serious money.

    8. Vietnam was a mistake, this is true, but whose mistake? Surely the French are primarily to blame for coming back to Indochina after the end of the war and impsoing their version of justice etc on the Vietnamese, which in turn led to the rise in the Viet Minh, under Ho Chi Minh. This then turned sour when the Vietnamese south Govnt decided to discriminate againt buddhists and forgo the agreed elections. There was always going to be conflict there. The US sending troops there was a mistake, I agree, but to say this is one of the worst decisions is incorrect.

    7. The Iraq War, which I assume is the 2nd war in 2001 rather than 1991. I personally do not agree with this war, but to list it is one of the worst mistakes is silly. It was an irrelvant war, yes. It was an unnecessary war, yes. It was founded on misinformation and possibly lies, yes. But a mistake? Ask the Iraqi people if the removal of Saddam was a mistake.

    6. The creation of Israel, with all the issues that followed, could be seen as a mistake, but not one of the worst. Surely the recognition of Israel is worse? I fully admit that placing European Jews in what was Palestine was wrong and led to a great injustice to the Palestinians, but where else could they go? If we start considering where else, we would be no better than the Nazi’s, who wanted them to go to Madagscar. Again however, the mistake is not the creation of Israel, but the initial act of genocide against the jews of Europe that eventually led to this situation.

    5. This is only a mistake because the japanese evenually lost the war. Lets not forget that at the time the japanese planned to destroy the US carriers, which were meant to be at Pearl. Luck would have it that they were not. Had the attack gone as planned and the carriers been sunk, then the US would not have been in a position to launch back at the Japanese. This is only a mistake with hindsight, much like Hitler’s invasion of Russia. This too is now seen as a huge blunder, but at the time everyone believed Germany woudl defeat the Russians in around 6 months. Hardly a mistake.

    4. Who made this mistake exactly? Political leaders of varying evilness remain in power, but I doubt Moa is worse than Stalin or Hitler? Yes a lot of Chinese lost their lives under Moa, but a greater number of lives were lost under Stalin, Hitler and Hirohito.

    3. What a silly proposition. Are we really to believe that by Britain pledging to support Poland was a poor mistake? Lets consider the alternative, Europe under the Nazi jackboot. As for the other ‘mistakes’ of Churchill, one can not deny that from 1939 until 1943 Britain under Churchill stood alone agaisnt the Nazi’s and thankfully because of this one of the worlds worst ever dictatorships was eventually defeated. Hardly a silly mistake. As for the rest, well to hold Churchill accountable for all the woes of the 1900’s to 1940’s is rather strange. The depression wasnt caused by Britain, it was the wall street crash. If one is to debate such things, then one must act objectively and not twist history to ones own agenda.

    2. Versallies was a mistake, yes, but not something that one can consider a major one, possibly an injustice. One must consider that following World War 1, the victors wished to punish Germany, as is normal. This was the outcome. This is no different to what happen after World War 2, when the terms were even harsher.

    1. This is kust plain silly. Britian entering World War 1 was something that allies do to support each other. One cannot jump from Britain entering WW1 to everythign would be rosey in the world, hitler, stalin etc woudl not exist. Of course they would exist and history’s course would not have altered that much.

    If I were to debate the worst mistakes, then mine woudl be along the following lines:

    10. Allowing Hirohita to remain in power after WW2, without any balme associated to him. The Japanese had gone to war in the name of Hirohito and as head of state all responsibility rests there. To remain blameless is a travesty.

    9. Vatican cover up and protection of pederasts in the priesthood. This is one of the worst mistakes in history, whereby the very top of the catholic church protects and supports those who commit some of the most heinous of crimes, child abuse.

    8. Berlin Wall and by default the Israel wall. Creating such barriers to segeragate and alienate only causes further tension and loss of life.

    7. Segragation laws in the US. Whilst not strictly a 20th century mistake, the continuation of segragation of races in the south is a mistake, especially considering the events in the 1960’s, such as the civil rights movement and vietnam, whereby US citizens went to Asia to fight for rights that they didnt have back home. Truly a big mistake.

    6. The partition of India. following the breakup of the British Empire, the indians failed to capitalise on their victory over Britain, by standing together, by spliting along ethnic lines and partitioning the country into India and East & West Pakistan. Not only did this led to massive loss of life at the time, but the continuing rift between the countries exist to this day, although East Pakistan is now Bangladesh.

    5. Atomic testing is a massive mistake. Not only has it displaced thousands from their homelands, especially in the pacific, but also caused untold harm to the enviroment and to those who partook in the tests. There is even debate as to whether John Wayne died because of the testing in Nevada. There is also the french sinking of the rainbow warrior and lets not forget that testing led to bigger, more destructive bombs being built leading to the cold war and strained tensions.

    4. Banking in the 21st century has led to a massive crisis, world wide. offering loans to thise who have no way to pay etc has led to the credit crunch which in turn has led to the potential end of capitalism, is slowly killing the Euro and has bankrupt entire countries.

    3. Nuclear power. Whislt we may have eased the strain on fossil fuels, we have created a monster. Look at 2 mile island, chernobyl, fukishima and windscale for those examples. The spent fuel takes hundreds, if not thousands of years to decomission and be safe and the waste is almost impossible to get rid of, unless you pour it into the sea. The damage to the environment is huge and the potential for melt downs and other such nasty things certainly does exist. Plus it leds to bigger bombs and the current tension with Iran, North Korea etc. Finally, those with such power seek to alientate those without, making for injustice, inequality and resentment.

    2. The rise of Stalin,(although this is equal to number 1). Even Lenin knew Stalin was a dangerous and potentially evil man, who he tried to get expelled. By allowing Staling to consolidate his power was a mistake. By not removing Stalin after the Germany invasion, when he was at his most vurnerable, could be seen as a mistake, but by this time millions had already suffered and his removal could have led to Hitlers further rise. Stalin however could have been removed from power shortly after he succeded Lenin, saving the suffering of millions.

    1. The rise of Hitler. Hitler never hid his policies or his aims from the German nation and therefore by allowing him to come to power must go down as the biggest mistake of the 20th century. From his appointment in 1933 Hitler caused the untold suffering of millions of people, worldwide. His appointment led to the holocaust, ww2, genocide of others (not just jews) and spawned a new breed of racism.

    Honourable mention: The rise of Mussolini, the true father of facism. Hitler modelled himself on Mussolini and so the rise to power of Mussolini must be seen as a mistake. It is debatable whether without Mussolini Hitler’s policies would be different, they woudlnt be to be objective, but Mussolini brought nationalism and facism together to make it chic. This in turn led to fierce dictorships, such as Hitler, Stalin, Imperial Japan and all the rest ever since all in the name of nationalism

    Honourable mention: The CIA and covert ops. Had the CIA not got involved in the dirty tactics of running drugs, trying to hurt the russians during the invasion of Afghanistan, then the likes of Bin Laden and other disaffected young Muslims would not be hurting some many innocent people in the perverse name of a peaceful religion.

    • fugit

      ps: I know full well that there are some spelling mistakes (try posting via a Blackberry) and that 2 mile Island shoudl actually be 3 mile island! THought I get that in before anyone points out the errors that I am aware of!!

      • fugit

        I forgot to ask the question earlier as to why send all the Jews to English speaking countries? From what I know about the history of the holocaust and European jews during the 1940’s is that almost all of them did not speak english. Almost all of the central and eastern european jews spoke hebrew, whereas those from western europe spoke their own countries tongue, be it German, French, Dutch etc. As the only part of Britain to be occupied by the Germans in ww2 was the Channel Isands and records indicate that there were approximately 12 registered jews in the Channel Islands, which we can assume spoke english. This equates to 0.00012% of the jews who were murdered during the holocaust (approx 6 million). In this regard, it is somewhat strange to suggest that persons should be moved to an ‘english speaking country’ when 99.99% speak a langauge other than english. If anything, israel should have been created out of the ashes of nazi Germany surely?

  • Frustreated Joe

    A good example of the thought process from the left. Lets see in a nutshell…
    All war is evil, the United States is generally the bad guy and aggressor in all conflicts, the system is stacked against the “average working man”, …..did I miss anything.

    I always enjoy a good read of a posting by someone whose mind is already made up and conveniently ignores any and all facts that might contradict their own personal view of global unfairness. Needles to say, Obama can count on this guys vote.

  • Cobalt

    Most terrible decision is creating an education system that leaves anyone with access to Wikipedia with the feeling that they know kore than any world leader of the past two hundred years.

  • Bones

    Ignorant list.

  • Anonymous

    Are you fucking serious?? Hiroshima/Nagasaki 10, Pearl Harbor?

  • Y2

    This list forgot to mention the Morrissey breakup.

  • p1t1o

    A lot of these are not “decisions” that can be easily classified as “good” or “bad” but they are momentous turning points in history.

    Was it a good or bad idea for Hitler’s Mum’s to give birth to him?

    And even if we lived in some strange world where we could definitively place blame at the feet of Hitler’s Mum, we couldn’t go back to kill Hitler to reverse the “decision” and prevent WWII because we have no idea what would have happened instead, could easily be replaced with something much worse.

  • Dr. Jingo

    The most terrible decision of the 20th Century was FDR and Eisenhower trusting the Soviets and thinking that they would be our Best Friends Forever.

    It lead to the subjugation of billions of people to Communism, and millions of lives lost on both sides in the Cold War.

    If Churchill and Patton would have had their way and been allowed to push the Soivets out of Eastern Europe, neutering their industrial capacity with airstrikes, and stopping Communist aggression from taking hold in China, millions of lives would have been spared and billions of people would be better off.

    Can you imagine how advanced we’d be if we(the peoples of the free world) didn’t have to waste 50 years fighting Communism, when we could have gotten it over with in 5?

    • or we could have became communists england mainly im sick of our monarchy system

  • Dogbolter

    “So why did so many people die in the 2003 launched Iraq War? Why the huge expense?”

    That’s easy. Because the American economy will only function in a war footing. Your country spends more on war, violence and misery than health, welfare and education together. No war, no money generated. And you call our country – one that provides welfare, education, housing and health cover for the people who really need it (the poor) – backwards and retarded. I know where I would rather live.

    • actually the war with iraq really started in the late 80s when russia were leaving afgan.

  • Alexander

    First off, I’m not jew. but the list lost all credibility at number 6. I hate it when people don’t do research before publishing a list. It just turns out to be a propaganda article.

  • how dare you put britain defence of poland on there. and the americans can talk about not having power you forgot america stoping missiles into cuba and cold war. and america had more power then the vietnamese rebels(the rebels were given wepons by the soviets but no military support) and yet stil usa lost pfft and u put britain defence of poland no thats a piece of history in which to be proud of not terrible

  • Iraq war. Hands down

  • We can argue all we want about misinformation and weather the Iraq war was just, but the real error of the Iraq war was not figuring out how to pay for the war once it started. When the second Bush took office, he had a fiscal surplus, and then lowered taxes to pass some of that money onto the public. But once the war started, something needed to be done to pay for the war. No war in history has been waged without raising funds. Although there is plenty of blame to go around, the inability of the government to pay for the war has much to do with the current financial debt in the United States.

  • hillyard

    This list for the most part makes no sense what so ever.

  • If there were a list of top ten stupidest lists, this list would be in the top 3. I guaranty you that…

  • Churchill as “the single worst decision-maker of the century”? Are you out of your mind? He had his backside against the wall against Nazi Germany, which he fended off ON HIS OWN since America was too busy trying to decide whether a country taking over Europe, and killing off Jews, gays & handicapped people was affecting their national interests.

    British involvement in World War 1? This is a joke list.

  • WLE


  • jjearkwein

    if GB didnt include themselves to the war(presuming US will also back out), i can see Germany conquering every last piece of land on earth … and in the aftermath maybe even turning against the japs and italy to become the sole supreme power…

  • thisisajokeright?

    This is a Bad List. Who let this one through? It’s racist, ignorant, and may severely misinform people. I wanted to stop reading at #10, as the second sentence tipped me off that this would be a poorly researched list, but I kept reading until the end just to make sure it wasn’t all a joke. I’m still not 100% sure this is serious.

    If this was the first list I read on listverse, I would never come back.

  • Dionysus

    Foundation of Israel? That was their country and they were driven from it! Muslims? Fuck the muslims! I repeat, Fuck the muslims! Anything they don’t like they have the right to kill. They are the only ones allowed to discriminate, instigate to hatred and killing and attack anything they don’t like. 1/5 of world population and they hav under 5 nobel prize winners. Jews represent 0.02% of world population and have over 120 nobel prizes.

    You say the foundation of Israel is a mistake because the muslims hate it? They hate everything that is not serving their schizophrenic god

    • Canuovea

      To be fair, the Jewish population hadn’t been there as a large population for about 1800 years.

      Oh, and it wasn’t just Muslims who were opposed to Zionist settlement of Palestine. The Christians there weren’t too keen on it either.

      Fact of the matter was that you couldn’t respect the Arab population’s rights and give Palestine to the Zionists at the same time. It was contradictory and the British just confused everyone with their declarations. What we ended up with was something similar to the colonization of the Americas, except in a shorter time frame and more modern. And both sides tended to kill each other indiscriminately even before 1948. In fact, the Zionists started an insurgency against the British immediately following WW2. Both sides were violent, both sides fought to defend/take what they saw as their home. The Zionists were just better at it, more numerous by the end, and far better organized.

  • Ash

    I sense trouble with numbers six and three.

  • peter8172

    John Lennon getting married to Yoko Ono. What would a man of genius and intelligence of Lennon be doing with the woman who (as rumor has it) was one of the reasons that the Beatles broke up. I simply LOATHE that woman, or in my book, that thing.

    • jacaris

      The Beatles were in the process of permanently disbanding anyway. Yoko’s presence did nothing to cause the breakup. She may be a bit odd, but she is fully human, loved (loves) John, and has done a lot of good in the world. True, she’s no singer, but she has other talents.

  • Masankox

    This list sucks, first of all Churchill never made the Poland Guarantee, he wasn’t even prime minister at the time, Neville Chamberlain was, and he tried ever so hard to avoid another war (to the point that it shamed the country because of the Munich Conference). If anything France had the responsibility of seeing that Germany never grew into the military machine it did.

  • rami

    Why is Bieber not on this list?

  • upurmuckluck

    I’m down with #2. It was a stupid decision and was one of the reasons for Hitler’s rise to power.

    Also the more I read about Churchill, the more I find him to be a douche. Just putting it out there

    • peter8172

      @ upurmuckluck. Speaking of Winston Churchill, do some research and see what he did (or should I say “stab in the back”) to the French Navy during World War II and also the amount of alcohol he drank. After reading up on it, you will think that Churchill was far more than a Douche

      • Rachael

        If you read up on Winston Churchill using a decent reputable source you will find that he was in fact a great man who did great things for his country. He had absolutely nothing to do with the war starting and was put in power by the King of England he year after WWII broke out because he was the only person the King trusted to lead his country to victory (and he did so very well). As for the French, there is a reason they are known as cheese eating surrender monkeys, try reading up on that!

  • Daniel

    This list is literally so stupid, so biased, so badly informed and badly written that I am never visiting this site again. The fact that this got published, read by someone in the admin section and literally got publicized for all to see is tantamount to approving of the Nazi regime. This is sick, even though it is presented in a subtle manner. As an amateur historian and a student of International Relations I find this list not only gravely insulting, but pathetic as well. He also forgot to write that the holocaust was not real, that it is unfortunate that the Central Powers did not win the First World War and that it truly is a pity that Communism did not spread throughout the world. You, are a complete idiot, a bigoted, primitive idiot.

  • G-O

    To be honest NATO’s bombing of Serbia/Yugoslaiva should of made this list and even in the top 3.

  • Colin

    speaking as an historian, this list is laughably ignorant of the events and contexts in which they happened. literally not worth reading.

  • geoff

    this list is horrible and written by a complete fool. how did this pass go?

    • jacaris

      he drew the right card?

  • Canuovea

    10) The Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki may not have been entirely necessary, but made perfect sense. They did end the war faster, and that is how things work. After all, the firebombing of Tokyo killed more people than either atomic bomb did immediately. We freak out about that now, but it was war time. People do shit like that in War.

    9) Elite? How do you define that, exactly? As for Wars… The Democrats did go into Vietnam, but it isn’t as if the Republicans pulled out. Now, what other wars have the Democrats started since that?

    8) Vietnam was special variety stupid from most perspectives, but it made sense to some people.

    7) Iraq is a good point. I’m also sure it made sense to someone, but not for the interest of the US.

    6) The Zionist situation was a tad bit more complicated than that. They had been promised Palestine during WW1 as an attempt to get the Zionist lobby in the US on Britain’s side. And they had been coming back there for some time already. It might not have been a great decision for the Arabs, but you bet the Zionists were quite happy about it.

    5) Pearl Harbour would have been a great idea if it had been more successful. As it was, most of the US Pacific fleet was still quite intact. Particularly the carriers. The original plan hoped to cripple the US navy for 2-3 years while Japan built up in preparation for a nastier war. It was also a plan made partially necessary by American sanctions on Japan, particularly involving oil… or something like that.

    4) Mao in power? And who was supposed to remove him? The incredibly popular Mao? And he was removed from power, sorta, after the Great Fall Backwards. Went into isolation and left Li Shaoqi to fix the mess… and then he came back and set off the Cultural Revolution. So, no, not so simple.

    3) I agree about the Poland Guarantee… But I’m not so sure it was Churchill who issued it.

    “On 3 September 1939 Neville Chamberlain declared war on Germany following the German invasion of Poland. Contrary to a widespread misconception, the British prime minister who actually took Britain into World War 2 was not Churchill. His greatest contribution was continuing the war against Germany when the outlook for Britain was bleak.”

    Read more:

    As for Gallipoli… well, yes and no. It might have been successful if they hadn’t cheapened out on it and if the commander during the landing had been a lot less cautious and had tried to seize the heights before the future Ataturk got them.

    So… Neville Chamberlain may deserve the “worst decision maker” award a bit more than Churchill…

    2) Yes, I’ll kinda give it to you for that. Versailles was pretty much a screw up, in several ways. Could have been worse though. And some good came of it.

    1) Are you bloody serious? The Bolsheviks rose in Russia without Britain’s help. It was the fact that Germany was causing so much trouble for Russia that caused such unhappy sentiments. In fact, the Germans let Lenin back into Russia in hopes that he would get the Russians out of the war. That could be seen as a bad decision, I suppose…

    Second, how were France and Russia less of a threat to Britain than a rapidly developing, rapidly industrializing, and massive powerhouse that was Imperial Germany? Especially with an idiot like Kaiser Wilhelm the Second on the throne? Britain made a decent choice in helping stop Germany right there. Otherwise Germany would have continued to grow in power until it dominated Europe completely.

    And it isn’t as if Britain not being in WW1 would have ensured that France and Russia rolled over easily. The war would probably still have gone on and there would still have been massive death. Perhaps not as immediately bad as the Great War, but still bad.

    Finally, the Great War was the last gasp of the old balance of power system. It broke because of Bismark’s alliance system and the fact that one European power was simply too powerful. Germany was that power.

  • Jo

    Churchill didn’t sign anything like that, he wasn’t even in power in 1939. Neville Chamberlain signed the appeasement document which allowed Hitler to continue his takeover of the Sudetenland area of Czechoslovakia on the provision that Germany would make no attempts to invade Poland. Churchill was directly against appeasement because he deeply distrusted Hitler, and so did Chamberlain, who only went through with the appeasement because the British people wanted it, believing that it would bring peace. When it didn’t, Neville Chamberlain became deeply unpopular and Churchill became Prime Minister in May 1940.

  • Srevvo

    This list is terrible and an insult to past leaders such as Churchill that stood up to tyrants when no-one else would. I actually can’t believe you posted this trash willingly

  • I don’t know where to begin.

    A horrible list. Even it it was meant to be provocative. If someone truly thinks this way, he is evil. There is no way around it.

    You have slurred some decent people.

    You included the decision to invade Pearl Harbor as a way of trying to cover your bias.

    Hitler and Mao made horrible decisions that weren’t even mentioned! And you mentioned Mao only in reference to a decision that wasn’t.

  • pbeardsley

    This is appalling. Ignorant, partisan, and barely literate (‘guaranty’). Can it be removed?

  • M


  • jibbers

    you blamed churchill for switching back to the gold standard, then you blamed the switch to the gold standard for the great depression. Where are you getting your info from?

  • jman

    Good list

  • Jade1944

    A very poorly thought out list. It contains numerous historical errors; so many that it would take me several pages to list them all, and ignores ever many significant historical events such as the actions that led to World War I or Hitler’s decision to invade Russia in 1941.

  • Rickster

    This list is revisionist double-think. It’s crap.

  • alex

    You sir are an idiot, and should be ashamed in yourself for writing a list with your lack of rational thought opinion. Pure ignorance.

  • Shaun

    Highly controversial views, and I’ve got to say I disagree with quite a few of them, although others I agree with, whole-heartedly! All in all, this article has made me a mixture of angry, and fascinated.

  • Strive2learn

    Methinks the person who decryed the use of nukes in Japan has a personal bias against nuclear weapons — remember, in 1945 they thought they had just a huge BOMB but had little idea of the effects of radiation. And there was no real way to estimate the number of American casualties if we invaded Japan; some estimates ranged as high as 250,000. And if Japan recalled the 2 million troops from China, no telling how high the casualties could have gone. It’s far too easy to second guess such decisions after 65+ years. Howz about you ask a WWII vet if it was a mistake?

  • This article is dumb and has a ton of misinformation

  • Marc

    I’m sorry, I read the first and had to stop. Bombing Japan was the only thing that made sense at the time. If they were ready to surrender they would have. We saw how they fought to defend every inch of every island we invaded so why would their homeland be any different? Sad for Japan but best choice for US

  • JD

    The thing I admire most about listverse is that the lists are not politically motivated. Oh wait, my bad, that just changed.

  • aviram

    Sometime people forget their own history and their own “what if’s” and start saying stuff like “founding the state of Israel was a mistake”. You are saying that the Jews came and took the land of the poor Arabs who lived here, and that they should choose a different country then Israel. First small reminder, half of Asia is Arab countries, how many Jewish countries up until 1948? That’s right – NONE! every one is saying and screaming that the Jews are evil from birth, if I’m not mistaken, there is a guy that billion follow and calling him “son of god”, I think he was…hmmm…that’s right – A JEW!!! Was he also bad and evil from birth? second small reminder – everyone is pointing at that tiny country called Israel as a big and evil super power nation who came to the land and just killed everyone and took the place, here’s some facts – the first offer to the Arabs at the U.N was to divide the country in to 2 halves, Jews said YES, Arabs said NO. Second fact, on the day of declaration, the Arabs declared war, and not just one nation but a few, with trained soldiers and they fought survivors from the holocaust (and still the Jews won). And last but not least, you say Jews stole the land, all right, think about this: Americans and Native Americans, Spain and Central American culture, china and Tibet, England and the Aboriginal (and half of the world). Should I go on? So next time you’re writing things like: Foundation of Israel was one of the 10 Terrible Decisions of the 20th and 21st Century, stops, think, think again and then drop the pen because you are an IDIOT!

  • petet2112

    Rosie O’ Donnell singing the National Anthem before the start of that San Diego Padres game in what year, I can’t remember and really don’t care. She disgraced the American Flag and America as a proud country with that little 3 minute antic and grabbing her crotch at the end. The crotch grabbing, what, did she get some advice from Michael “Wacko Jacko” Jackson. By the way, if you can find it. Look up the list of the drugs Michael Jackson was taking before he croaked. It would have killed an 80 ton Blue Whale.

  • Rachael

    What a load of bollocks. This fella needs to get his facts right before spouting such crap. This guy is pretty much saying that Great Britain should have just stood back and let Hitler murder every Jew in the World, all I can think is that it’s a bloody good job the rest of America doesn’t think like this idiot or they might not have helped win the war. As for our involvement in WWI, if Great Britain hadn’t kept the promise of helping other countries when they needed it I can imagine this idiot would be saying much worse about Great Britain now.

  • Rachael

    How the hell did this piece of rubbish get published, the idiot that wrote this hasn’t the first clue about history. He should be sacked straight away. Blaming Churchill for starting WWII! What an idiot. Five minutes on the internet and he would have found Churchill wasn’t even in power then. The author of this article has only succeeded in making himself look like an idiot.

  • petet2112

    Hi Rachael. Yes, I do find Sir Winston Churchill as a great man and his efforts during World War II, It is my older brother who thinks of Churchill in the manner in which I have spoken and I apologize. If I we’re to pick the greatest speech orator in history, he would get my vote. I actually listen to at times his “We’ll Fight On The Beaches” Speech on June 4, 1940. I have to laugh at your definition of The French People comment of them being “cheese eating surrender monkeys”. The reason is that my ancestry comes from France. I was in the US Military (NAVY) and went to Scotland twice and honestly, I loved it and everyone there were so nice and cordial and chatting with Americans and vice-versa. But I knew in the back of my mind that if I told anybody there that I was of French descent, I would be turned away or probably have a pint of Newcastle thrown in my face. My last name is Boucher, look that name up in a French Phone book. Its like the name Smith to English speaking countries. If you want a real funny lesson about the centuries old feelings between the French and the English. Read up on the famous war battle “The Battle Of The Agincourt of 1415”. Believe it or not, that is where the origin of giving someone the middle finger or in a gesture to “F-off” term was created. Read up on it unless you may know about it. I alughed my head off when I read it. I actually downloaded it on my computer. Take Care………………

    • Rachael

      I’m sorry you feel you would be treated so badly in Great Britain but I can assure you that you would most certainly not get turned away or a drink in your face for being of French descent, we Brits just don’t hold grudges that long.

  • petet2112

    Rachael, No, No, I never said that I was treated badly in Great Britain. Glasgow, Scotland was fantastic (the Navy ship we we’re on was anchored at a small village in Scotland called Helensborough, about a 45 minute train ride to Glasgow) and everyone there was ever so polite to us Americans (US NAVY). In fact my American friend that I was with went into a pub there that happened to be a pub intended for older people. We we’re there maybe 3 hours and not once did we pay for a drink even though that my friend and I insisted on buying a few rounds for these very kindly people. I even gave one my New York Yankees Baseball cap as my way of saying thank you and he loved it. I would love to go back there. All I was saying was that me of being of French descent, I kept to myself. In fact I spent 2 weeks in Paris back in 1988 as a civilian (not military) and if your American and don’t attempt to try to speak French, they get pissed off which I found offensive. I speak enough to get by, but I was with my father who was a French Professor at both high school and college level for 35 years and speaks French Fluently, so I had no problem. But I remember an incident where my Dad and I ate at a nice restaurant and an American couple two tables down from us did not speak any French and used a French/English dictionary. The French waiter was pissed and impatient and showed it with his body language. Had it been me, I would have grabbed him by his shirt collar, cornered him and yelled, “Donnez-moi un Pression, MAINTENANT !” (“Give me, a Draught Beer, RIGHT NOW !”) and certainly no tip from me to him, but unfortunately by law in France, they automatically add 15% of the total bill as an addition which turns out to be the waiter tip. I always tip, but if one doesn’t tip which is kind of rude, it shouldn’t be a law like in France.

  • A$im

    number 6 and 8 are ture good list

  • J Thales

    The act of publishing this list should be included at No 1!

  • Jack

    The a-bombs were needed, Japan still had armies, and the civilians would have rather fought to the death than surrender. It was nowhere near defeated.

  • MNDiacos

    “Democrats are more war-like than ever, only now the wars are even more pointless. (Example: our invasions of small Muslim nations.)”-I think you can thank George Bus and the republicans for that one my friend.

  • Jews weren’t allowed into any of the english speaking countries.

  • The Jews weren’t allowed into any of the english peaking countries.

  • 12345

    Awful. Awful.

  • Zach

    You are so wrong, The holocaust isn’t even on there! and Churchill didn’t give Poland a Guarantee, it was Neville Chamberlain. This is very poorly written and hard to agree with

  • ProudJew

    Lol Israel is a mistake?? what muslim piece of shit wrote this list..?
    And what the fact that you mate like cockroaches suppose to scare us? lol
    Go cry to your mama

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