Stupid Wars

Stupid Wars

A Handbook of Botched Putsches, Failed Coups, Inane Invasions, and Ridiculous Revolutions

Book - 2008
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Baker & Taylor
A lighthearted collection of military blunders includes synopses of such campaigns as the United States' invasion of Russia, the ill-fated Falklands War, and Hitler's beer-hall putsch, and pays tribute to the poor judgment that contributed to the failures.


When winners write history, they sometimes "forget" to include their own embarrassing misjudgments. Fortunately, this take-no-prisoners edition of history isn't going to let the winners (or the losers) forget the mistakes of the past. Be prepared to laugh out loud—and gasp in horror—at the most painfully idiotic strategies, alliances, and decisions the world has ever known. These stupid wars have been launched by democracies as well as monarchies and dictatorships, in recent decades just as often as in less "enlightened" times. The ridiculous and reckless conflicts chronicled in Stupid Wars include the misdirected Fourth Crusade, the half-baked invasion of Russia by the U.S., the U.K.'s baffling Falklands War, Hitler's ill-fated Beer Hall Putsch, several incredibly foolish South American conflicts, the Bay of Pigs fiasco, and many more. Whether you're a future dictator, war-mongering politician, royal mistress, or history lover, these blow-by-stupid-blow accounts will teach you the valuable lessons you need to stay off the list, including:

  • Don't declare war on all your neighbors at the same time.
  • Working radios, accurate maps, and weather-appropriate uniforms are big plusses.
  • Large amounts of bird poop and very small islands are probably not worth dying for.
  • Never invade Russia.
  • Seriously. It's a really bad idea.

Book News
Written in a somewhat jocular style, this book describes a variety of "stupid wars" from European and American history, by which the authors seem to mean ill-planned, incompetently handled, or just plain ill-advised conflicts. The book's 16 chapters discuss Valens and the fall of the Roman Empire, the Fourth Crusade in 1198, the Whiskey Rebellion in 1794, the War of the Triple Alliance in 1865, the War of the Pacific in 1879, the US invasion of Russia in 1918, Hitler's Beer Hall Putsch in 1923, the Chaco War in 1932, the Winter War between Russia and Finland in 1939, Romanian involvement in World War II in 1941, the generals coup against Hitler in 1944, the Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979, the Falkland Islands War in 1982, the US invasion of Grenada in 1983, and the Soviet coup against Mikhail Gorbachev 1991. Annotation ©2008 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

& Taylor

A lighthearted collection of some of history's most haphazard military blunders includes synopses of such campaigns as the U.S.'s invasion of Russia, the U.K.'s ill-fated Falklands War, and Hitler's beer-hall putsch, in a volume that also pays tribute to the poor judgment that contributed to profiled failures. Original. 30,000 first printing.

Publisher: New York : HarperCollins, c2008
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780061258473
Characteristics: xvi, 320 p. ; 21 cm
Additional Contributors: Prince, Michael 1964-


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