The Most Unfair Battles in History

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John Lyly’s proverb “All’s fair in love and war” hasn’t resonated so much since he wrote it in his 1578 novel Euphues for no reason. A commander would be in a pretty difficult situation if they had to explain that they let an enemy inflict losses on them out of some abstruse sense of fairplay. Still, for many people, there’s some innate inclination to side with the underdog, so the smaller, less well-equipped army sometimes gets sympathy just for standing up to long odds.

Unlike previous TopTenz lists, this one will not merely be stories of armies triumphing over seemingly insuperable adversity. Sometimes the little army will pull it off in the end. Sometimes they will be defeated by overwhelming force. At least that makes the cases a little less predictable. Another factor is that it won’t merely be a matter of there being more troops on one side than the other: There are such matters as terrain, equipment, or morale as complicating matters.


This is an encore of one of our previous lists, as presented by our YouTube host Simon Whistler. Read the full list!


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