Commonplace Fun Facts has documented a war fought over a pig, a war against emus, and another that was fought over spilled soup. None of this can quite compare to one of […]
When Spilled Soup Ended the Horror of War
Robert E. Lee famously observed, “It is well that war is so terrible, otherwise we should grow too fond of it.” The horrors of any war ultimately become so unbearable that one […]
The Army That Grows While Deployed
For such a tiny country, Liechtenstein has a very colorful history — particularly as it relates to matters of the military. It is one of only 15 countries in the world without […]
What Happens If They Have a War, But Everyone Forgets About It?
Hostilities broke out in 1651 between the Netherlands and the Isle of Scilly. While the details are a bit sketchy, it appears that Dutch Admiral Maarten Harpertszoon Tromp arrived at Scilly to […]
Cry Havoc and Let Slip the Emus of War
In 1932 the emu population of Australia was getting out of control. With more than 20,000 of the massive birds running loose, they were destroying crops and making a general nuisance of […]
The Bacon Brigade
In 266 BCE, the Greek city of Megara fended off the Macedonian conqueror Antigonus II Gonatas using flaming pigs doused in resin. Antigonus’s battle elephants fled in terror from the bacon brigade. […]
Don’t Kill the Messenger — Especially if He Comes from Genghis Khan
Haven’t heard of the Khwarezmian Empire? You can thank the unbelievably bad decisions of its leader, Shad Ala Ad-Din Muhammad II (1169-1220).
One Little Letter Makes All the Difference
Japanese speakers frequently have difficulty differentiating between the English letters “L” and “R”. This was particularly evident in 1950 when supporters of General Douglas MacArthur (then serving as military governor of Japan […]
The Bird Man of the Confederacy
Confederate General Richard Ewell believed himself to be a bird, eating grains of wheat and sunflower seeds for meals. There were persistent stories from soldiers on guard duty claiming that the General […]
Unpleasant Reminders of War
About 5,500 unexploded bombs left over from World War II are uncovered each year in Germany. source
The United States has never lost a war in which mules were used.