Oops – Great Military Blunders of History

ImageIn 2002, two dozen British marines on a training exercise stormed a beach they mistakenly thought to be in Gibraltar. As it turned out, they came ashore on a beach resort in La Linea, Spain instead. The marines only realized their mistake after the locals and two policemen informed them they were in the wrong place.

The British later attributed the incident to bad weather and apologized for their error, a gesture which Spanish officials graciously accepted. In a parting shot, the locals wryly pointed out that Gibraltar shouldn’t be hard to miss since it had a 4,260-meter (1,400 ft) tall rock for a landmark.

To be fair to the British, they weren’t the only ones who mistakenly invaded a country. The famously defense-minded country of Switzerland also accidentally invaded its tiny neighbour Liechtenstein – not just once but three times. They even had to compensateLiechtenstein once when Swiss soldiers caused a forest fire.