History Main / ShockingDefeatLegacy

22nd Jun '17 12:00:41 AM LtFedora
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** The Battle of Trafalgar became this for the Combined Navies in the Napoleonic Wars - the French and Spanish lost almost seven times as men as the British, and the majority of their active ships-of-the-line. Not only would they never challenge the British at sea again, it gave the British the ability to strike at will at French and Spanish trade, contributing directly to the collapse of both empires by slowly throttling their treasuries. Indeed, when Napoleon was presented with an embroidery of an Eagle strangling a Lion, he said that it should be the other way round. During the battle itself, the explosion of the ''Achille'' was what signaled the end of the engagement and convinced the Franco-Spanish fleet to ru n.

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** The Battle of Trafalgar became this for the Combined Navies in the Napoleonic Wars - the French and Spanish lost almost seven times as men as the British, and the majority of their active ships-of-the-line. Not only would they never challenge the British at sea again, it gave the British the ability to strike at will at French and Spanish trade, contributing directly to the collapse of both empires by slowly throttling their treasuries. Indeed, when Napoleon was presented with an embroidery of an Eagle strangling a Lion, he said that it should be the other way round. During the battle itself, the explosion of the ''Achille'' was what signaled the end of the engagement and convinced the Franco-Spanish fleet to ru n.run.
11th Jun '17 1:24:17 PM nombretomado
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* TheWorldCup has at least three finals, 1950 (Brazil loses to Uruguay at home; 5 titles later, it's still a sore point), 1954 (DarkHorseVictory of Germany over the heavily-favored Hungary) and 1974 (DarkHorseVictory of Germany over the heavily-favored Netherlands... though not as unexpected as the previous one).

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* TheWorldCup UsefulNotes/TheWorldCup has at least three finals, 1950 (Brazil loses to Uruguay at home; 5 titles later, it's still a sore point), 1954 (DarkHorseVictory of Germany over the heavily-favored Hungary) and 1974 (DarkHorseVictory of Germany over the heavily-favored Netherlands... though not as unexpected as the previous one).
10th Jun '17 11:20:05 AM Jhonny
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* 1.FC Nürnberg was one of the finest teams in German soccer and could at least at times hold its own on the European stage for most of the time between 1920 and 1968. They amassed 9 national titles in a time when noone could even get close to that number (FC Bayern would not get to that number until the 1980s). Then came the season after the ninth championship - they were relegated ''as reigning champions''. Incidentally FC Bayern also won its second ever championship (after a 1932 fluke). Sure, Nuremberg was both by the paper form of its roster and by some measurables the best ever team to be relegated, but it took them ten years to come back to the first division and they haven't recovered since. And when it finally seemed they could catch a break by winning the DFB-Cup in 2007 they ''naturally'' got relegated the following year. There is only one German soccer team club that has managed to get relegated as ''either'' reigning champion ''or'' reigning cup winner. Nuremberg is that team.
10th Jun '17 11:12:10 AM Jhonny
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* Speaking of UsefulNotes/{{Cleveland}}, their teams have plenty of this, helped by the fact that most of their notable defeats can be summed up with a single phrase (The Shot, The Fumble, The Drive, Red Right 88, The Slip). Two were even off-field: The Move, where the Browns were moved overnight to Baltimore (to add insult to injury, the renamed Baltimore Ravens would win their first Super Bowl just 5 years later, a victory that Browns fans still believe should rightfully have been thiers); and The Decision, where [=LeBron=] announced his departure.

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* Speaking of UsefulNotes/{{Cleveland}}, their teams have plenty of this, helped by the fact that most of their notable defeats can be summed up with a single phrase (The Shot, The Fumble, The Drive, Red Right 88, The Slip). Two were even off-field: The Move, where the Browns were moved overnight to Baltimore (to add insult to injury, the renamed Baltimore Ravens would win their first Super Bowl just 5 years later, a victory that Browns fans still believe should rightfully have been thiers); theirs); and The Decision, where [=LeBron=] announced his departure.
4th Jun '17 1:23:22 PM LtFedora
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As an example: TheFederation is fighting an intergalactic war against ScaryDogmaticAliens, but there's [[TemptingFate one place in the galaxy that has no chance in hell]] of ever falling at the hands of the enemy: A [[PlanetSpaceship planet-sized starship]] that's armed with [[WaveMotionGun weapons of]] [[EarthShatteringKaboom mass destruction]], fortified by thousands of [[KillSat automated]] [[AttackDrone defenses]], an armada of [[TheBattlestar the most powerful]] [[LightningBruiser warships ever built]], guarded by countless [[SpaceFighter space fighters]], [[HumongousMecha mechanized infantry]], and [[SuperSoldier genetically bred]] [[SpaceMarine elite warriors]].

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As an example: TheFederation is fighting an intergalactic war against ScaryDogmaticAliens, but there's [[TemptingFate one place in the galaxy that has no chance in hell]] of ever falling at the hands of the enemy: A [[PlanetSpaceship planet-sized starship]] that's armed with [[WaveMotionGun weapons of]] [[EarthShatteringKaboom mass destruction]], fortified by thousands of [[KillSat automated]] [[AttackDrone defenses]], an armada of [[TheBattlestar the most powerful]] [[LightningBruiser warships ever built]], guarded by countless [[SpaceFighter space fighters]], [[HumongousMecha mechanized infantry]], and [[SuperSoldier genetically bred]] [[SpaceMarine elite warriors]].
warriors]], all commanded by [[FourStarBadass the most brilliant military genius in the galaxy]].
27th May '17 12:24:04 PM nombretomado
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* [[TheVietnamWar Vietnam]] was the greatest military quagmire in United States history.

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* [[TheVietnamWar [[UsefulNotes/TheVietnamWar Vietnam]] was the greatest military quagmire in United States history.
24th Apr '17 1:39:48 AM JulianLapostat
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** The Romans [[SkewedPriorities were especially upset that the Persians captured their Eagle standards]] and UsefulNotes/JuliusCaesar planned to invade there to get it back, but he got assassinated. Mark Antony decided to launch the invasion later and he also got defeated, worse than Crassus (albeit not in the same numbers), and UsefulNotes/{{Augustus}} used Antony's defeat to a peace treaty with the Parthians, which was such a huge deal for him that he built statues to commemorate it. He also minted coins showing a Persian soldier kneeling submissively which needless to say didn't happen but obviously was important for the Romans to believe.

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** The Romans [[SkewedPriorities were especially upset that the Persians captured their Eagle standards]] and UsefulNotes/JuliusCaesar planned to invade there to get it back, but he got assassinated. Mark Antony decided to launch the invasion later and he also got defeated, worse than Crassus (albeit not in the same numbers), and UsefulNotes/{{Augustus}} used Antony's defeat to forge a peace treaty with the Parthians, Parthians and managed to get the Eagles back to Rome, which boosted his popularity. It was such a huge deal for him that he built statues to commemorate it. He also minted coins showing a Persian soldier kneeling submissively which needless to say didn't happen but obviously was important for the Romans to believe.
24th Apr '17 12:55:34 AM JulianLapostat
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* [[UsefulNotes/NapoleonBonaparte Waterloo]] - So famous it's practically a synonym for defeat.




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* The UsefulNotes/FrancoPrussianWar is what named the concept of revanchism. The Prussians victory, their capture of Head-of-State Napoleon III and them using the Palais de Versailles for the founding of UsefulNotes/ImperialGermany alongside the taking of territories of Alsace and Lorraine created kvetching like you can't believe. School-children were taught geography about missing territories and how when they [[MexicoCalledTheyWantTexasBack grow up they are going to get it back]]. It also led to the Paris Commune which was brutally suppressed and more or less ended monarchism in France with even conservatives agreeing to be a Republic. It was the permanent end of France in favor of Germany as Continental Europe's great power.




* In a sense, the Doolittle Raid counts as well. After Pearl, the Japanese appeared invincible, seizing island after island and colony after colony. By April 1942, they had all but swept the Allies from the Pacific. Then, sixteen B-25s were transported by carrier a few hundred miles from Japan and dropped light bombs on Japanese cities. Almost no infrastructure damage was inflicted, but it scared the crap out of the Japanese. This drove Admiral Yamamoto to fight much more aggressively, causing him to attack Midway in order to secure it and thus the Japanese defense perimeter would be complete. Then, at Midway, all four of Yamamoto's carriers were sunk...

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\n* ** In a sense, the Doolittle Raid counts as well. After Pearl, the Japanese appeared invincible, seizing island after island and colony after colony. By April 1942, they had all but swept the Allies from the Pacific. Then, sixteen B-25s were transported by carrier a few hundred miles from Japan and dropped light bombs on Japanese cities. Almost no infrastructure damage was inflicted, but it scared the crap out of the Japanese. This drove Admiral Yamamoto to fight much more aggressively, causing him to attack Midway in order to secure it and thus the Japanese defense perimeter would be complete. Then, at Midway, all four of Yamamoto's carriers were sunk...
24th Apr '17 12:43:19 AM JulianLapostat
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[[ThisCannotBe Said planet falls anyway]], [[OhCrap sending a chilling wave down the spines of the Federation]]. Sometimes it could be a [[DecisiveBattle turning point in the war]], but not always: any faction could suffer a defeat like this and not necessarily be defeated. Perhaps this defeat was due to a [[FailedASpotCheck surprise attack]]. Could have been a PyrrhicVictory for the attackers. Sometimes it's described as a NoodleIncident in some stories. What ever the reason, it's still an incredible loss, and [[NeverLiveItDown no one will ever forget it]].

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[[ThisCannotBe Said planet falls anyway]], [[OhCrap sending a chilling wave down the spines of the Federation]]. Sometimes it could be a [[DecisiveBattle turning point in the war]], but not always: any faction could suffer a defeat like this and not necessarily be defeated. Perhaps this defeat was due to a [[FailedASpotCheck surprise attack]]. Could have been a PyrrhicVictory for the attackers. Sometimes it's described as a NoodleIncident in some stories. What ever the reason, it's still an incredible loss, and [[NeverLiveItDown no one will ever forget it]].
it]]. The defeat likewise can have terrible dramatic consequences because it sets a mentality for [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Revanchism revanchism]] and trigger a factional fight among groups about who is responsible for the defeat and who do we scapegoat to make sure it doesn't happen again.



** The first and most humiliating one was the Battle of Carrhae, where triumvir Marcus Licinus Crassus (the guy who crushed Spartacus) invaded the Parthian Empire. He had a solidly equipped army and greatly outnumbered the Parthians, yet the latter's cavalry and horse-archers (what the Byzantine Romans would call kataphracts) were too much and Crassus while a good general with some moments was not a genius, and he really needed to be one. The Parthians brutally crushed the Romans despite being outnumbered, Crassus was murdered and depending on which account you believe, molten gold was poured into his mouth or he was beheaded and his head was used as a prop for a Persian production of Creator/{{Euripides}}'s ''Theatre/TheBacchae'' (Crassus would be the head of King Pentheus). The Romans [[SkewedPriorities were especially upset that the Persians captured their Eagle standards]] and UsefulNotes/JuliusCaesar planned to invade there to get it back, but he got assassinated. UsefulNotes/{{Augustus}} negotiated a peace treaty to get the Eagles back and his regime cast coins to commemorate the Eagles return to Rome, with a side of the coin showing a Persian soldier kneeling submissively which needless to say didn't happen but obviously was important for the Romans to believe.

to:

** The first and most humiliating one was the Battle of Carrhae, where triumvir Marcus Licinus Crassus (the guy who crushed Spartacus) invaded the Parthian Empire. He had a solidly equipped army and greatly outnumbered the Parthians, yet the latter's cavalry and horse-archers (what the Byzantine Romans would call kataphracts) were too much and Crassus while a good general with some moments was not a genius, and he really needed to be one. The Parthians brutally crushed the Romans despite being outnumbered, Crassus was murdered and depending on which account you believe, molten gold was poured into his mouth or he was beheaded and his head was used as a prop for a Persian production of Creator/{{Euripides}}'s ''Theatre/TheBacchae'' ''Theatre/{{Bacchae}}'' (Crassus would be was apparently the head of King Pentheus). Pentheus in what we can assume was a rather intensely realistic production).
**
The Romans [[SkewedPriorities were especially upset that the Persians captured their Eagle standards]] and UsefulNotes/JuliusCaesar planned to invade there to get it back, but he got assassinated. Mark Antony decided to launch the invasion later and he also got defeated, worse than Crassus (albeit not in the same numbers), and UsefulNotes/{{Augustus}} negotiated used Antony's defeat to a peace treaty to get with the Eagles back and his regime cast coins Parthians, which was such a huge deal for him that he built statues to commemorate the Eagles return to Rome, with a side of the coin it. He also minted coins showing a Persian soldier kneeling submissively which needless to say didn't happen but obviously was important for the Romans to believe.



* The UsefulNotes/ByzantineEmpire periodically came BackFromTheBrink after major defeats and setbacks, until of course they stopped doing that in the 1450s. One especially famous one was the Battle of Manzikert in 1071, when the Seljuk Turks routed the much larger Roman army and captured Emperor Romanos IV Diogenes. While modern scholars don't consider it a "turning point" anymore, the disaster at Manzikert led to the loss of most of Anatolia (some parts of which irrevocably) and plunging the Empire into a series of civil wars. Until the end of the Empire in 1453 Manzikert was widely known as "that day" and considered one of the most shameful days of the Eastern Roman Empire.



* Another real life example would be the Battle of Hastings, as England would've ended up an entirely different country without it.
** Hastings is a perfectly [[JustifiedTrope justified]] example, in that the King of England got an arrow to the head and his troops [[TooDumbToLive kept falling for fake retreats]]. Since few people really cared who was king at the time, William the [[strike:Bastard]] Conqueror pretty much won by default.

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* Another real life example would be For the English at least in later eras (when they started prattling about the "Norman Yoke" an utterly made-up concept) the Battle of Hastings, Hastings came to be seen as England would've ended up an entirely different country without it.
**
this. Hastings is a perfectly [[JustifiedTrope justified]] example, in that the King of England got an arrow to the head and his troops [[TooDumbToLive kept falling for fake retreats]]. Since few people really cared who was king at the time, William the [[strike:Bastard]] Conqueror pretty much won by default.default.
* The Battle of Bouvines was another major defeat. The French King Philip II Augustus defeated a coalition of England, HRE and Flanders and UsefulNotes/KingJohnOfEngland's defeat was used by the Barons as a motivation for forcing him to sign the Magna Carta.



* The Mongols have done this a lot to others: they conquered China, decimated Persia, ravaged Russia, and nearly conquered Europe. But they also get the receiving end of this like in Vietnam.
* Though the Turks didn't conquer Constantinople itself until 1453, a Turkish victory at Manzikert in 1071 was a significant blow to the Roman Empire, which continually lost territory in Anatolia to the Turks after that. This allowed the first few sieges on Constantinople, as well as the establishment of Turkish cities and military forces. By 1453, the "empire" barely stretched past the city itself (although the plague and Venetian Crusaders did damage to the city as well.)

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* The Mongols have done this a lot to others: they conquered China, decimated Persia, ravaged Russia, and nearly conquered Europe. But For Russians especially, the Mongol attack on UsefulNotes/KievanRus is cited as one of the major reasons for why Russians are backward compared to Europe. Other historians see this as classic Russian self-pity significantly exaggerating the impact and destruction (which was quite huge) out of all proportion to better justify xenophobia.
* The UsefulNotes/ByzantineEmpire periodically came BackFromTheBrink after major defeats and setbacks, until of course
they also get stopped doing that in the receiving end of this like in Vietnam.
* Though
1450s. One especially famous one was the Battle of Manzikert in 1071, when the Seljuk Turks didn't conquer Constantinople itself until 1453, routed the much larger Roman army and captured Emperor Romanos IV Diogenes. While modern scholars don't consider it a Turkish victory "turning point" anymore, the disaster at Manzikert in 1071 was a significant blow led to the Roman Empire, which continually lost territory in loss of most of Anatolia to (some parts of which irrevocably) and plunging the Turks after that. This allowed Empire into a series of civil wars. Until the first few sieges on Constantinople, as well as end of the establishment of Turkish cities Empire in 1453 Manzikert was widely known as "that day" and military forces. By 1453, considered one of the "empire" barely stretched past most shameful days of the city itself (although Eastern Roman Empire. The other is the plague Fourth Crusade but that isn't considered a defeat so much as appalling and disgusting treachery and sneak attacks on the part of the Latins and Venetian Crusaders did damage to the city as well.)
(albeit inspired by their own anti-Latin and anti-Venetian policies).



* The Loire Campaign in the Hundred Years War. Before it, everyone knew that English conquest of France was just a question of time, and the imminent conquest of Orléans would speed up things. Then the French, their courage restored by JoanOfArc, lifted the siege, launched the campaign and inflicted the English a series of defeats, the final of which, the Battle of Patay, being a CurbStompBattle that ''crippled the English army for the rest of the war''.
* The Battle of Lepanto and the Siege of Vienna of 1682 for the Ottoman Empire: the near complete destruction of their fleet and the loss of all their experienced crews at Lepanto signaled the end of the Ottoman supremacy over the Mediterranean (the fleet was quickly rebuilt in terms of ships, but the crews weren't even half as competent as their predecessors, and the Ottoman fleet never recovered), and the defeat at Vienna marked the end of the Ottoman expansion in Europe and the start of their slow but inarrestable decay.

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* The Loire Campaign in the Hundred Years War.UsefulNotes/TheHundredYearsWar. Before it, everyone knew that English conquest of France was just a question of time, and the imminent conquest of Orléans would speed up things. Then the French, their courage restored by JoanOfArc, lifted the siege, launched the campaign and inflicted the English a series of defeats, the final of which, the Battle of Patay, being a CurbStompBattle that ''crippled the English army for the rest of the war''.
war''. Indeed, a major bone for contention in the UsefulNotes/WarsOfTheRoses and well in the early years of UsefulNotes/TheHouseOfTudor was "Who lost France?" and when are they going to get their Angevin territories back. It wasn't until UsefulNotes/TheFrenchRevolution, where the English decided they hated democracy more than the French King that they realized they should stop asserting their claim on the latter's crown, that they got out of TheRemnant of that revanchism.
* The Battle of Lepanto and the Siege of Vienna of 1682 for the Ottoman Empire: the near complete destruction of their fleet and the loss of all their experienced crews at Lepanto signaled the end of the Ottoman supremacy over the Mediterranean (the fleet was quickly rebuilt in terms of ships, but the crews weren't even half as competent as their predecessors, and the Ottoman fleet never recovered), and the defeat at Vienna marked the end of the Ottoman expansion in Europe and the start of their slow but inarrestable decay.Europe.




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* The Deluge is this for the UsefulNotes/PolishLithuanianCommonwealth. The Swedish Kingdoms unleashed a level of destruction there comparable to the UsefulNotes/ThirtyYearsWar, and completely destroyed 188 cities and towns, 81 castles, and 136 churches in Poland, and leading to the loss of 1/3rds of its population, the utter destruction of Warsaw and the permanent loss of several Polish cultural artworks. Moreoever, it was the end of Poland's status as the superpower of Eastern Europe, giving way to Sweden briefly. And a hundred years later, the Kingdom would be erased from the map.



* The Battle of Quiberon during the Seven Years War effectively bankrupted the French government by causing a credit crunch (because financiers realized that the British could strike French trade at will). They ''still'' hadn't paid the debts off by the time of the Revolution, nearly fifty years later.

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* The defeat and death of UsefulNotes/CarolusRex in UsefulNotes/TheGreatNorthernWar was this for Sweden and others who keep lamenting ForWantOfANail had he not died. This was also the end of Sweden as a great power in Central-Eastern Europe, while it marked the rise of UsefulNotes/{{Russia}} under UsefulNotes/PeterTheGreat as the hegemon of Eastern Europe (a position it enjoys to this day).
* The Battle of Quiberon Bay during the Seven Years War UsefulNotes/SevenYearsWar effectively bankrupted the French government by causing a credit crunch (because financiers realized that the British could strike French trade at will). They ''still'' hadn't paid the debts off by the time of the Revolution, nearly fifty years later.
* For the Scottish and the Jacobites, the Battle of Culloden was this. It was the biggest and largest Jacobite Rebellion with the largest ghost of a chance and the defeat led to a brutal campaign by the English in the Highlands.
* The Mughal Empire never recovered from Nader Shah's invasion of India in the 1730s-1740s. It culminated in the sack of Delhi which led to the Persians stealing the Peacock Throne of the Emperor and the famous Koh-I-Noor diamond (which would pass to the Afghanis than the Sikh Empire of Raja Ranjitsingh and then the English who keep it even today to much gritting of teeth). Other defeats, like the Maratha Confederacy's loss at the Third Battle of Panipat, the 1757 Battle of Plassey which the East India Company won and defeated the Nawab of Bengal endure as marks of bitterness among Indians about the failure of local rulers to effectively mount a challenge against the English.



* During UsefulNotes/TheNapoleonicWars:



** Although as with many battles, what gave Waterloo such a "knock-out blow" mystique was not the battle itself but the subsequent pursuit. Thus in 1815, unlike 1812/13 and 1813/14, Napoleon's army was not given time to regroup and replenish.
** Subverted with the Battle of Bailén - the Spanish destroyed three French divisions. Unfortunately, it was so shocking...that Napoleon turned up to sort the mess out in person, and promptly sent Spain into retreat.
*** Double subverted, because although Napoleon sent the Spanish into retreat, it was the first clear defeat of a major French army since he came to power, which (along with the defense of Saragossa) encouraged his enemies to continue their fight. Thus not only did the French army find itself stuck in a bloody war on the Iberian Peninsula for the next six years, but Austria started another war in the following year (1809), leading to the first defeat of an Army led by Napoleon in person at Aspern.
* The Battle of Jena-Auerstädt. The Prussian army had been considered the finest in Europe ever since the wars of Frederick the Great, its soldiers inculcated with 'corpse discipline'-should they be shot and killed, their corpse should continue to march, load, and fire regardless. While Napoleon pounced with his main force on a Prussian detachment at Jena, the Iron Marshal Davout threw back the Prussian main army with a single corps. The Prussian army had been shattered in a matter of hours, and the pursuit destroyed it and the Prussian state with it. In the wake of this defeat, Prussia was forced to accept the loss of half its population and restrictions on its military. The defeat was so extreme, the Prussians basically rebuilt their society to recover and defeat the French. In the military, the corporal punishment necessary for 'corpse discipline' was abolished, and the concept of a citizen army was embraced. The Prussians adopted the first modern general staff, allowing non-aristocrats to become professional staff officers. They even went so far as to abolish serfdom to make a society that could defeat Napoleon.
* The Battle of Trafalgar became this for the Combined Navies in the Napoleonic Wars - the French and Spanish lost almost seven times as men as the British, and the majority of their active ships-of-the-line. Not only would they never challenge the British at sea again, it gave the British the ability to strike at will at French and Spanish trade, contributing directly to the collapse of both empires by slowly throttling their treasuries. Indeed, when Napoleon was presented with an embroidery of an Eagle strangling a Lion, he said that it should be the other way round. During the battle itself, the explosion of the ''Achille'' was what signaled the end of the engagement and convinced the Franco-Spanish fleet to run.
* The entire First Opium War was this to China. China's capitulation and the total lack of ''any'' CurbStompCushion in sight humbled the Chinese and marked the begining of a era of being forced to negotiate from a position of weakness, and ending one of China's nigh-complete superiority over her smaller neighboring nations, one of which would even join the Western Powers in imposing their will on China. They even came up with the term [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unequal_treaty Unequal Treaty]] to describe the treaties that resulted from these losses.
* The Battle of the Alamo, which was a major defeat for the Republic of Texas.
** Subverted and completely reversed in that the Alamo actually [[{{DefensiveFeintTrap}} fulfilled its objectives.]] While a tactical defeat, it was a resounding strategic victory that not only severely bled out the Mexican Army and allowed the Texan Army to organize into a fighting force, but also provided substantial [[{{RememberTheAlamo}} morale boost.]]
** The men of the Alamo had actually been ordered by Sam Houston to leave--Bowie's men originally came to destroy the fort, but the defenders chose to stay. Perhaps a better example from that war is the Battle of San Jacinto, where the relatively ragtag and much smaller Texan army hid out in the swamplands near what is now Houston, and defeated Santa Anna's men in a completely unexpected attack.

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** Although as with many battles, what gave Waterloo such a "knock-out blow" mystique was not the battle itself but the subsequent pursuit. Thus in 1815, unlike 1812/13 and 1813/14, Napoleon's army was not given time to regroup and replenish.
** Subverted with the Battle of Bailén - the Spanish destroyed three French divisions. Unfortunately, it was so shocking...that Napoleon turned up to sort the mess out in person, and promptly sent Spain into retreat.
*** Double subverted, because although Napoleon sent the Spanish into retreat, it was the first clear defeat of a major French army since he came to power, which (along with the defense of Saragossa) encouraged his enemies to continue their fight. Thus not only did the French army find itself stuck in a bloody war on the Iberian Peninsula for the next six years, but Austria started another war in the following year (1809), leading to the first defeat of an Army led by Napoleon in person at Aspern.
*
The Battle of Jena-Auerstädt. The Prussian army had been considered the finest in Europe ever since the wars of Frederick the Great, UsefulNotes/FrederickTheGreat, its soldiers inculcated with 'corpse discipline'-should they be shot and killed, their corpse should continue to march, load, and fire regardless. While Napoleon pounced with his main force on a Prussian detachment at Jena, the Iron Marshal Davout threw back the Prussian main army with a single corps. The Prussian army had been shattered in a matter of hours, and the pursuit destroyed it and the Prussian state with it. In the wake of this defeat, Prussia was forced to accept the loss of half its population and restrictions on its military. The defeat was so extreme, the Prussians basically rebuilt their society to recover and defeat the French. In the military, the corporal punishment necessary for 'corpse discipline' was abolished, and the concept of a citizen army was embraced. The Prussians adopted the first modern general staff, allowing non-aristocrats to become professional staff officers. They even went so far as to abolish serfdom to make a society that could defeat Napoleon.
* ** The Battle of Trafalgar became this for the Combined Navies in the Napoleonic Wars - the French and Spanish lost almost seven times as men as the British, and the majority of their active ships-of-the-line. Not only would they never challenge the British at sea again, it gave the British the ability to strike at will at French and Spanish trade, contributing directly to the collapse of both empires by slowly throttling their treasuries. Indeed, when Napoleon was presented with an embroidery of an Eagle strangling a Lion, he said that it should be the other way round. During the battle itself, the explosion of the ''Achille'' was what signaled the end of the engagement and convinced the Franco-Spanish fleet to run.
ru n.
** The Battle of Bailén - the Spanish destroyed three French divisions. Unfortunately, it was so shocking...that Napoleon turned up to sort the mess out in person, and promptly sent Spain into retreat. Even then, although Napoleon sent the Spanish into retreat, it was the first clear defeat of a major French army since he came to power, which (along with the defense of Saragossa) encouraged his enemies to continue their fight. Thus not only did the French army find itself stuck in a bloody war on the Iberian Peninsula for the next six years, but Austria started another war in the following year (1809), leading to the first defeat of an Army led by Napoleon in person at Aspern.
** Napoleon's invasion of Russia followed by the Battle of Leipzig led L'Empereur to AbdicateTheThrone, which thanks to Bourbon incompetence led to The Hundred Days, which ended with Waterloo. As with many battles, what gave Waterloo such a "knock-out blow" mystique was not the battle itself but the subsequent pursuit. Thus in 1815, unlike 1812/13 and 1813/14, Napoleon's army was not given time to regroup and replenish. Waterloo led to France being occupied by the Congress Powers for five years (the longest until World War II) and it would be the end of the Anglo-French Rivalry, decisively in favor of the English.
* The entire First Opium War was this to China. UsefulNotes/{{China}}. China's capitulation and the total lack of ''any'' CurbStompCushion in sight humbled the Chinese and marked the begining beginning of a era of being forced to negotiate from a position of weakness, and ending one of China's nigh-complete superiority belief that it was the Middle Kingdom without a peer, with total hegemony over her smaller neighboring nations, one of which would even join the Western Powers in imposing their will on China.other nations. They even came up with the term [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unequal_treaty Unequal Treaty]] to describe the treaties that resulted from these losses.
losses. Even in contemporary China, it's still invoked with anger as is the Six-Nation Army's sack and looting of China in the Boxer Rebellion and the defeat to Japan in the First Sino Japanese War.
* The Battle of the Alamo, which was a major defeat for the Republic of Texas.
**
Texas. Subverted and completely reversed in that the Alamo actually [[{{DefensiveFeintTrap}} fulfilled its objectives.]] While a tactical defeat, it was a resounding strategic victory that not only severely bled out the Mexican Army and allowed the Texan Army to organize into a fighting force, but also provided substantial [[{{RememberTheAlamo}} morale boost.]]
**
]] The men of the Alamo had actually been ordered by Sam Houston to leave--Bowie's men originally came to destroy the fort, but the defenders chose to stay. Perhaps a better example from that war is the Battle of San Jacinto, where the relatively ragtag and much smaller Texan army hid out in the swamplands near what is now Houston, and defeated Santa Anna's men in a completely unexpected attack.




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* For Tsarist Russia, the UsefulNotes/CrimeanWar was this. It proved how backward Russia was from England and France and while that war was famed for incompetence on all sides and created many reforms in the armies of Western Europe, in Russia, it finally convinced the autocratic Empire to *gasp* abolish serfdom and tentatively go on the path to liberal reforms.



* In the prelude to the US involvement in Southeast Asia, the French attempted to reclaim control of their colonies in the area after WorldWarTwo ended. Unfortunately their [[CurbStompBattle shockingly fast defeat]] against Germany early in the war shattered the illusion that the French military was invincible, and emboldened Ho Chi Minh's resolve to kick them out of Vietnam as well. Though the French managed to remain in control for a few years, their defeat at the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Dien_Bien_Phu Battle of Dien Bien Phu]] marked the end of French control of the region.

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* In the prelude to the US involvement in Southeast Asia, the French attempted to reclaim control of their colonies in the area after WorldWarTwo ended. Unfortunately their [[CurbStompBattle shockingly fast defeat]] against Germany early in the war shattered the illusion that the French military was invincible, and emboldened Ho Chi Minh's resolve to kick them out of Vietnam as well. Though the French managed to remain in control for a few years, their defeat at the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Dien_Bien_Phu Battle of Dien Bien Phu]] marked the end of French control of the region. For the French military, it was such a major blow after UsefulNotes/WorldWarII, that they overcompensated in the Algerian crisis and resorted to extra-brutal measures to prove they, a major European great power, won't suffer defeat from weak nations again.
23rd Apr '17 10:48:21 PM JulianLapostat
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* [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_the_Allia The Battle of the Allia]] for AncientRome. The Gaulish chieftain Brennus defeated the Roman army and sacked Rome itself. The Romans were determined never to allow this to happen again, and strengthened the city's defences, reorganised the army and, [[SinsOfOurFathers for generations afterwards]], marked the anniversary of the defeat by [[DisproportionateRetribution sacrificing the city's guard dogs as punishment]] [[YouHaveFailedMe for their failure to alert the Romans to a night attack on the Capitoline Hill]]. The sacred geese that ''did'' alert the Romans were carried through the city on gilded cushions in the same ceremony.
** Same thing would happen 800 years later in year 410, when the Visigoths under Alaric I sacked Rome. The Roman Empire remained as an independent nation and would live to 1456, but it was clear to everyone after the sack that Rome was at that point just a shadow of its former glory self, and the only reason why the Huns were not able to finish the job was because of Flavius Aetius (one of many people historians term "the last true Roman")' tactical genius and his [[EnemyMine alliance with the Visigoths]].
** Also for the Romans, the Battle of Teutoburg Forest on September 9, 9 AD. Three Roman legions were returning to camp when they were attacked by Arminius, a Germanic chieftain who had grown up in Rome. All three legions were wiped out, and eventually the Roman Empire withdrew from Germania. Emperor Augustus, when told of the disaster, reportedly banged his head against the wall, shouting "Varus! Give me back my legions!"
*** More recent research, e. g. the finding of the remains of a post 9 A. D. battlefield in the middle of Germania where the Romans conclusively defeated their Germanic foes, indicates that Rome continued to make successful incursions into Germania much longer than was hitherto believed and that the eventual withdrawal from there was not immediately preconditioned on the battle of the Teutoburg Forest.
** Another great Roman disaster was the Battle of Manzikert in 1071, when the Seljuk Turks routed the much larger Roman army and captured Emperor Romanos IV Diogenes. While modern scholars don't consider it a "turning point" anymore, the disaster at Manzikert led to the loss of most of Anatolia (some parts of which irrevocably) and plunging the Empire into a series of civil wars. Until the end of the Empire in 1453 Manzikert was widely known as "that day" and considered one of the most shameful days of the Roman Empire.
* Amazingly averted by the Roman Republic in the First and Second Punic Wars. In the first, the Romans lost two entire fleets in heavy storms, losing 280 ships and 100,000 men in 255 B.C. and a slightly smaller number in 253, yet they kept building new fleets and wrested naval supremacy from Carthage. In the Second Punic War, Hannibal and his army inflicted three terrible defeats on the Romans, but Rome continued to wage war until ultimate victory. When Hannibal sent the news of his greatest victory at Cannae (216 B.C.) to the Carthaginian senate, the senator Hanno asked: "Did the Romans ask for peace? Did one of the cities of Latium or one of Rome's colonies rise against the Romans?" When Hannibal's emissaries answered "no" to both questions, Hanno said: "Then the course of the war has not changed."
** One of the main reasons why the Romans were losing at sea was because Carthaginians had heavier ships in the form of quinquiremes. [[GrandTheftPrototype Then the Romans found a shipwrecked quinquireme and reverse-engineered it.]]

to:

* From UsefulNotes/TheRomanRepublic and UsefulNotes/TheRomanEmpire:
**
[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_the_Allia The Battle of the Allia]] for AncientRome. The Gaulish chieftain Brennus defeated the Roman army and sacked Rome itself. The Romans were determined never to allow this to happen again, and strengthened the city's defences, reorganised the army and, [[SinsOfOurFathers for generations afterwards]], marked the anniversary of the defeat by [[DisproportionateRetribution sacrificing the city's guard dogs as punishment]] [[YouHaveFailedMe for their failure to alert the Romans to a night attack on the Capitoline Hill]]. The sacred geese that ''did'' alert the Romans were carried through the city on gilded cushions in the same ceremony.
** Same thing
ceremony. As it happens, Rome would happen not be sacked again until 800 years later in year 410, when later, the Visigoths under first time in 410 CE by Alaric I sacked Rome. The Roman Empire remained as an independent nation and would live to 1456, I, then a second time in 455 CE, but it was clear to everyone after the sack that Rome was at that point just a shadow of its former glory self, and time Rome had not been the only reason why capital of even the Huns were not able to finish the job was because of Flavius Aetius (one of many people historians term "the last true Roman")' tactical genius and his [[EnemyMine alliance with the Visigoths]].
** Also for the Romans, the Battle of Teutoburg Forest on September 9, 9 AD. Three Roman legions were returning to camp when they were attacked by Arminius, a Germanic chieftain who had grown up in Rome. All three legions were wiped out, and eventually the Roman
Western Empire withdrew from Germania. Emperor Augustus, when told of the disaster, reportedly banged his head against the wall, shouting "Varus! Give me back my legions!"
*** More recent research, e. g. the finding of the remains of
for more than a post 9 A. D. battlefield in the middle of Germania where the Romans conclusively defeated their Germanic foes, indicates 100 years (it was Ravenna, and before that Rome continued to make successful incursions into Germania much longer than it was hitherto believed and that the eventual withdrawal from there was not immediately preconditioned on the battle of the Teutoburg Forest.
Mediolanum).
** Another great Roman disaster was the Battle of Manzikert in 1071, when the Seljuk Turks routed the much larger Roman army and captured Emperor Romanos IV Diogenes. While modern scholars don't consider it a "turning point" anymore, the disaster at Manzikert led to the loss of most of Anatolia (some parts of which irrevocably) and plunging the Empire into a series of civil wars. Until the end of the Empire in 1453 Manzikert was widely known as "that day" and considered one of the most shameful days of the Roman Empire.
* Amazingly averted by the Roman Republic in the First and Second Punic Wars.
The UsefulNotes/PunicWars nearly came close. In the first, the Romans lost two entire fleets in heavy storms, losing 280 ships and 100,000 men in 255 B.C. and a slightly smaller number in 253, yet they kept building new fleets and wrested naval supremacy from Carthage. In the Second Punic War, Hannibal and his army inflicted three terrible defeats on the Romans, but Rome continued to wage war until ultimate victory. When Hannibal sent Still the news reaction to the loss of his greatest victory at Cannae (216 B.C.) to the Carthaginian senate, the senator Hanno asked: "Did was desperate enough that Livy mentions that the Romans ask indulged in HumanSacrifice to the Gods: Two Gauls and two Greeks in male-female couples were buried alive in a stone chamber (normally used to bury alive as punishment Vestal Virgins who broke their vows of celibacy). So it was psychologically a huge blow, and it took a while for peace? Did one the Romans to come BackFromTheBrink.
** In the early imperial era, the most famous was the Battle of Teutoburg Forest on September 9, 9 AD. Three Roman legions were returning to camp when they were attacked by Arminius, a Germanic chieftain who had grown up in Rome. All three legions were wiped out, and eventually the Roman Empire withdrew from Germania. Emperor Augustus, when told
of the cities of Latium or one of Rome's colonies rise disaster, as per Suetonius, banged his head against the Romans?" When Hannibal's emissaries answered "no" wall, shouting "Varus! Give me back my legions!" went days without shaving in a HeroicBSOD and years after was known to both questions, Hanno said: "Then mutter as a non-sequitir the course of same line, despite the war has not changed."
** One of
fact that Varus had died in battle (mercifully since he didn't [[YouHaveFailedMe have to face Augustus]] in person). This defeat is often cited, especially in Romantic German nationalism as the main reasons real reason why the Romans were losing at sea was because Carthaginians had heavier ships in never went further into Germania. Of course, the form of quinquiremes. [[GrandTheftPrototype Then Germans did make excursions and expand there under Marcus Aurelius (a fact which ThePhilosopherKing comemorates in a column showing him personally slaughter Germans) and there are some archaeological findings that suggest the Romans found did try again but that defeat did endure in Rome's psyche.[[note]]More recent research, e. g. the finding of the remains of a shipwrecked quinquireme post 9 A. D. battlefield in the middle of Germania where the Romans conclusively defeated their Germanic foes, indicates that Rome continued to make successful incursions into Germania much longer than was hitherto believed and reverse-engineered it.]]that the eventual withdrawal from there was, perhaps not directly preconditioned on the battle of the Teutoburg Forest.[[/note]]
* The real humiliating defeats for Rome came against the Persian Empires. Rome and the Parthians and later the Sassanians had a ForeverWar that lasted 683 years, the longest protracted conflict between two powers, and that [[GiantSpaceFleaFromNowhere ended when the Arabs came out of nowhere]] and took out the Sassanians.
** The first and most humiliating one was the Battle of Carrhae, where triumvir Marcus Licinus Crassus (the guy who crushed Spartacus) invaded the Parthian Empire. He had a solidly equipped army and greatly outnumbered the Parthians, yet the latter's cavalry and horse-archers (what the Byzantine Romans would call kataphracts) were too much and Crassus while a good general with some moments was not a genius, and he really needed to be one. The Parthians brutally crushed the Romans despite being outnumbered, Crassus was murdered and depending on which account you believe, molten gold was poured into his mouth or he was beheaded and his head was used as a prop for a Persian production of Creator/{{Euripides}}'s ''Theatre/TheBacchae'' (Crassus would be the head of King Pentheus). The Romans [[SkewedPriorities were especially upset that the Persians captured their Eagle standards]] and UsefulNotes/JuliusCaesar planned to invade there to get it back, but he got assassinated. UsefulNotes/{{Augustus}} negotiated a peace treaty to get the Eagles back and his regime cast coins to commemorate the Eagles return to Rome, with a side of the coin showing a Persian soldier kneeling submissively which needless to say didn't happen but obviously was important for the Romans to believe.
** Then there was the famous incident where Emperor Valerian lost to them in the Battle of Edessa and ended up becoming [[EpicFail the first Emperor to be captured alive and imprisoned by an enemy power]]. Valerian spent the remainder of his life in captivity and according to Roman legend was either made to serve as a footstool to King Shapur of Persia and/or given the Crassus-esque molten gold treatment. The Persians denied that they killed him however. Another one was the Emperor Julian the Apostate who led another invasion into Persian land, supposedly to imitate UsefulNotes/AlexanderTheGreat. Julian had some successes early on and laid siege on the capital of Ctesiphon before being killed by a Persian spear (of if you believe ConspiracyTheory, fragged by one of his own Christian soldiers because they didn't like his pagan-revival policies). In either case, the death of the Emperor and Head of State with his arm in enemy territory was a major embarrassment, and his successor Jovian more or less negotiated a sweetheart deal for the Persians to get himself and the army safe-passage, which made him so widely hated in Rome that his own uncle was lynched the day it was announced.
* The UsefulNotes/ByzantineEmpire periodically came BackFromTheBrink after major defeats and setbacks, until of course they stopped doing that in the 1450s. One especially famous one was the Battle of Manzikert in 1071, when the Seljuk Turks routed the much larger Roman army and captured Emperor Romanos IV Diogenes. While modern scholars don't consider it a "turning point" anymore, the disaster at Manzikert led to the loss of most of Anatolia (some parts of which irrevocably) and plunging the Empire into a series of civil wars. Until the end of the Empire in 1453 Manzikert was widely known as "that day" and considered one of the most shameful days of the Eastern Roman Empire.
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.ShockingDefeatLegacy