What was the most ridiculous battle in wars that ever happened?

The date was September 17, 1788 and the Battle of Karánsebes had just begun in what is now present-day Romania. At that time, Austria – allied with the Tsar – and Turkey were in conflict over the Danube River. The Austrian army, the star of all this confusion, was made up of Poles, Czechs, Germans, French, Serbs, Croats and, finally, the Austrians themselves. Communicating in that army was as challenging as understanding the movie Donnie Darko.

Moments before disaster strikes

The conflict had been going on for five months, but not a single Austrian soldier had encountered a single enemy and, despite that, everyone was already exhausted. Not to mention that a huge contingent of men was slaughtered by malaria. However, the latest news said that the Ottoman enemies were on the way.

It all started when Austrian cavalry, on a night patrol across the river, spotted a band of gypsies selling rum. Faced with the opportunity to relax on the eve of yet another battle, some officers bought the drink. After a while, a group of infantry found the drinking and wanted to participate. But, of course, the officers weren’t going to share the rum with some “shaved feet.” The discussion was getting more and more heated.

The watershed: shot fired in a “bar fight”

The discussion turned into a serious fight, with the right to beating and a shot fired (exactly shot, beating and bomb – this last one was about to happen). From there, it was just downhill. Someone heard the crash and, getting it all wrong, began to announce that the Turks had arrived. It was literally the cry of defeat.

The Gypsies and infantry withdrew towards the camp. In the midst of all that confusion, the Austrian army believed that it was under Turkish attack and received its own allies at gunpoint. Some rookie soldiers, terrified of the situation, were running away. German officers tried to stop the act, shouting “Halt!” (“Stop!”). Newbies, being laymen in German, ended up mistaking it for “Allah!” – they took it as a reference to Islamic Turks screaming for their God.

Results of a stupid tragedy

The chaos ended, and the desperate soldiers began to exchange fire in a scenario much worse than a Battlefield match .. Soon after that, an Austrian commander, faced with the supposed Turkish onslaught, ordered an artillery attack – yes, against his own army!

The damage was enormous: more than ten thousand men ended up dead or wounded. Two days later, the Turks arrive and are faced with the scene of an army that has brought about its own defeat. No doubt they were very happy to take the city of Karánsebes without any difficulty.

If we think about it, the conflict ended in a draw: in the end, the Austrians didn’t even have the opportunity to face combat and were defeated by the Turkish army. Perhaps, from this point of view, the results were not so negative.

Although many confirm the existence of this ridiculous conflict in Karánsebes, its veracity is extremely questioned. The main reason is the time taken to compile and disseminate the records of this iconic episode. The first writing on the subject was done only 40 years later, published in an Austrian military magazine. Some claim that all this delay was equivalent to the size of the shame and even motivated by it.

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