Top 10 Times Weather Changed the Course of History — TopTenzNet
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Top 10 Times Weather Changed the Course of History — TopTenzNet

September 13, 2019


Top 10 Times Weather Changed the Course of
History 10. The Kamikazes The divine winds we’re talking about here
aren’t the suicide pilots of WWII, but the powerful monsoons that shook Japan’s coast
in the 13th century. Genghis Khan’s grandson, Kublai Khan, had taken the throne of the Mongol
Empire, defeated southern China and united the country under the newly formed Yuan Dynasty.
He then set his sights on the islands of Japan. After several unanswered attempts to persuade
the Japanese Emperor to surrender, Kublai amassed a large force and attacked. In 1274
he began his offensive with 40,000 men and 900 ships. Leaving the Korean peninsula, they
arrived at the southern tip of the island of Kyushu and came face to face with 10,000
samurai. The Japanese bushido style of combat was utterly unsuited to fighting the Mongols,
but a powerful typhoon struck the coast and destroyed the attackers’ fleet and most
of the army. Seven years later, Kublai Khan brought together
an even larger force of 140,000 soldiers and 4400 vessels to take the islands once and
for all. Mother Nature intervened again,wrecking all but a couple of hundred ships in a furious
storm. The survivors were little match for the better prepared Japanese. 9. The Battle for Long Island During the American Revolutionary War, General
George Washington was leading 19,000 troops in the defense of New York City in the summer
of 1776. After the British left Boston in March, they arrived at Staten Island and made
their headquarters there in July. Over the following weeks their numbers bolstered to
up to 40,000. Not sure where they would attack first, Washington
left half his forces in lower Manhattan and moved the rest to Brooklyn and Guam Heights
on Long Island. On the 22nd of August, the British landed in Gravesend Bay. Thanks to
loyalist informants, the attackers discovered an unprotected path through the Guam Heights
that would take them right into the heart of the American forces. On the 27th, the British
charged the defenders, who quickly realized their dire situation and began their retreat
to Brooklyn. Under the cover of darkness and with the help
of some locals, the Americans managed to slip away unnoticed to Manhattan via the East River.
The British, stationed only a few hundred yards away, were totally unaware because of
a dense fog which settled on the bay in the early hours of that morning. Eyewitness accounts
mention George Washington being among the last to retreat. If it wasn’t for that mist,
chances are that General Washington would have been captured and the war would have
taken a very different turn. 8. The Mayan Decline The Mayan civilization was one of the most
prominent Mesoamerican cultures. Existing as early as 1800 BC, they reached their peak
around 800 AD. During this time they built over 40 cities and mastered mathematics, astronomy
and calendar keeping. They also practiced agriculture, but in a slash-and-burn style
that cultivated mostly corn, beans and squash. After around 900 AD, little evidence of other
advancements exist and most of their cities were abandoned. Historians are still unsure
what happened, with some blaming civil unrest or warfare. More recent evidence points to
long periods of drought brought on by heavy deforestation — since most of the Yucatan
peninsula relied heavily on rain for its water supply, a drought can spell disaster and bring
even the mighty Maya to their knees. 7. Failed Attempts to Invade Russia We think by now the Russians are accustomed
to the idea that pretty much no one can invade their country. With the exception of the Mongols,
who successfully conquered Russia in the beginning of the 13th century, no other force was able
to do so thanks to the extremely harsh winters the region experiences almost every year. The first to try was King Charles XII of Sweden
in the winter of 1708-9 during “the Great Northern War.” He led a sizable force from
Saxony to conquer Moscow, but was stopped in his tracks because of the losses sustained
during one of the coldest winters in modern European history. The same thing happened to Napoleon in 1812.
Of his 600,000 men only about 100,000 managed to return to France, while the rest died of
starvation or exposure to the elements. This defeat, inflicted in part by the Russians
and in part by Mother Nature herself, changed the course of history. Adolf Hitler apparently forgot the lessons
taught by the aforementioned leaders, since he made the same mistake. In the winter of
1941, German forces trying to conquer Moscow and Stalingrad were all but wiped out by the
bitter cold and constant attacks from the Soviets. This marked the beginning of the
end for the Third Reich. 6. Donora Smog Disaster In the late days of October 1948, disaster
struck the town of Donora, Pennsylvania. A weather phenomenon known as “air inversion”
hit the town due to a flux of cold air coming from the west. Located within a valley and
surrounded by peaks towering some 400 feet, Donora offered the perfect conditions for
an inversion. The phenomenon on its own isn’t dangerous.
It blocks warm air close to the ground, while cold air flows above and a thick mist is generated.
But mixing this trapped warm air with pollutants from a zinc smelting plant, steel mills, a
sulphuric acid plant, coal burning steam locomotives and river boats is dangerous. 20 people died
and another 6000 became ill because the pollutants couldn’t escape into the upper atmosphere.
The Donorans were unknowingly breathing in large amounts of sulfur dioxide, soluble sulphants
and fluorides. The events led to a settlement of $250,000
for the victims’ families and the steel mill closing nine years later. The companies
that owned the plants never assumed responsibility for the disaster, claiming it was “an act
of God.” Nevertheless, it sparked a nationwide response, leading to the enactment of the
Clean Air Act and the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency. 5. Cold Weather and Witch Hunts All throughout the Middle Ages, people were
torturing and burning women at the stake in the belief that they were witches. Women and
girls were accused when something out of the ordinary happened in a village, and accusations
of witchcraft were also a good way to address personal disputes and rivalries. Another possible motive involves the weather.
Witch hunts took place in part between the 15th and 18th centuries, during which the
sun was covered with multiple sun spots that created a time of colder weather known as
a “little ice age.” Young girls accused of controlling the weather provided the perfect
scapegoats for crop failures. This could be a coincidence, but the pattern repeated itself
during the Salem witch hunts, when another cold spell lasted from 1680 to 1730. Some
diaries and sermons dating from that period offer further evidence that the weather was
the main cause for the prosecutions. And it’s repeating itself again in Tanzania, when women
are killed for witchcraft after too much or too little rain. 4. The Hindenburg While it’s been long believed that the Hindenburg
disaster was the cause of technical malfunction caused by an engine spark which ignited the
highly flammable and possibly leaking hydrogen inside the zeppelin, some recent evidence
may have proven otherwise. Leaving Germany, the Hindenburg began a three day journey towards
New Jersey. After reaching its destination on May 6, 1937, the airship suddenly caught
fire and plunged to the ground just when it was beginning landing operations. After just
a couple of minutes and 36 casualties, the era of the blimp was over. Other possible theories involve a lightning
strike and even a saboteur’s bomb trying to destabilize the Nazi regime, but recent
findings suggest that a storm the Hindenburg flew past on its way to the States is to blame.
When it came across this storm, the airship was charged with static electricity. When
it started to land it was grounded, which produced a spark that ignited the excess hydrogen
built up in the back of the ship. 3. The Evacuation of Dunkirk During the early stages of World War II, when
Axis forces were winning battle after battle on all fronts, a force of about 330,000 Allied
soldiers found themselves trapped on the beaches of the English Channel near the town of Dunkirk.
Bearing down on them were German forces looking to finish off the stranded French and British
troops. To make the situation even bleaker, an effective
rescue was next to impossible since the German Air Force was far bigger than the Royal Air
Force, meaning rescue ships would have simply been blown out of the water. Then, as Nazi
tanks were only 20 miles away, what Winston Churchill called a “miracle of deliverance”
appeared as if from nowhere. A freak storm cloud and heavy rain kept the German planes
grounded, while to aid the Allies further Mother Nature brought along heavy mist and
some of the calmest waters the English Channel had ever seen. From May 26 to June 4, 1940, Operation Dynamo
saw everyone from the military to locals with boats capable of traversing the Channel evacuate
soldiers. As the last men were ferried to safety the weather cleared, leaving the Germans
alone on the beach and the Allies alive to fight another day. 2. The Challenger Space Shuttle Accident 73 seconds into her flight, the Challenger
came apart on the morning of January 28, 1986. The initial launch date was set for the 22nd,
but bad weather and technical difficulties pushed the date to the 28th. What at first
baffled engineers and technicians working on the mission became clear when they saw
the video recordings. As the shuttle was taking off, hot gas was
leaking due to a faulty O-ring made of rubber that was designed to keep a joint in the booster
rocket sealed. The ring failed because of the low temperatures Florida was experiencing
that morning. A recommendation was written to not launch in temperatures below 53 F,
but the suggestion was ignored. January 28, 1986 is still the record holder for the lowest
temperature in the area, with 26 degrees compared to an average of 50. 1. The French Revolution The French Revolution was largely an economic
and food related uprising. France, already burdened by the aid they offered the Americans
in the Revolutionary War, was experiencing a series of droughts and other weather that
lowered food production significantly. The previously mentioned little ice age had
more severe effects during the second half of the century, and together with an eight
month volcanic eruption in Iceland in 1783 and some major temperature fluctuations brought
on by a major El Nino event made crop yields plummet. This led to increased prices in food
that French citizens couldn’t afford. A series of hailstorms that destroyed crops
in 1788 made the situation even worse for the hungry populace, and the Revolution soon
followed.

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  1. There's more than a hint of irony at seeing this vid today considering what's been happening in my hometown of San Marcos, Texas: Mass flash flooding and some of the heaviest rains we've seen in 5 years, leaving 1 dead, scores homeless, several road bridges destroyed or damaged, and the whole area in mild chaos.

    On a more directly pertinent note to this list, here's a possible 11. The Galveston Hurricane of 1900. In the late 19th Century, Galveston, Texas was the third busiest seaport in the US thanks to its location in the Gulf of Mexico. It was also a thriving business and pleasure town, with hundreds of people flocking by rail to the city's many hotels and piers to enjoy the warm, calm waters of the Gulf. However, the hurricane of September 8, 1900 essentially wiped the city off the map, leaving between 6,000 and 12,000 casualties and $20 million in damage. Following the hurricane, the city council decided to build a concrete seawall along the Gulf Coast of the island and to raise the height of the entire island by as much as 17 feet. Much of the sand used for this raising process came from the land south of Houston, a move that ultimately doomed Galveston's return to its past glory when the excavation was continued and ultimately formed the Houston Ship Channel.

  2. surprised you didn't mention about the storm that happens before Normandy landings meaning most infantry and commander had to leave and the day later d-day happened

  3. I would say number 1 should have been the nuke on Nagasaki in world war 2.
    The original target for the bomb was Kokura, but due to heavy clouds it was dropped on the secondary target: Nagasaki.

  4. This was a good top 10. You could have also mentioned the destruction of the Spanish Armada by the storms in the English channel in 1588.

  5. currently laughing at the banner ad that came up over the video.  It reads "Severe weather.  Will it affect you?"

  6. Pretty interesting timing, with the storms that had hit Texas and Oklahoma causing major flooding.

    Though it is an interesting video.

  7. I thought the Ice Age, with the resulting trek of humans around the globe would have been in there.

  8. The Miracle of Dunkirk isn't only about weather issues: it's also the french soldiers holding back an outnumbering enemy that made this possible

  9. The Hindenburg disaster actually did not end the "era of the blimp", because a blimp and a zepplin are rather different. A zepplin has an internal skeletal structure, while the blimp is held in shape by pressure. Although after the loss of the Hindenburg zepplins fell out of favor, almost all airships today are blimps, so their era is far from over.

  10. 4.

    I guess they did…

    (•_•)
    (•_•) = ■-■
    ( •_•)>■-■
    (⌐■_■)

    Nazi that coming.

    ————————-

    I'll see myself out now…

  11. You forgot the stormy weather in June 1944 The Germans knew that an allied invasion was imminent but due to bad weather the German commanders knew that an invasion would be impossible and the weather was forecast to be bad for several days so they left for a little break. On June 6 the weather cleared slightly but, as the German commanders saw it it was still to bad to make an invasion possible. The Allies didn't see it the same way and when they arrived they had an easier time because key commanders were still on vacation.

  12. What about the Spanish Armada? The Spanish fleet was met with slow winds which slowed down their heavy warships, thus enabling the lighter English fleet to catch them. Furthermore, after the actual defeat of the Spanish fleet at the Battle of Gravelines was follo.wed by terrible storms which sank dozens of Spanish vessels and forced the remainders to either surrender to the English or try to sail around Scotland. Had the Spanish invasion of England succeeded, Catholicism would have been restored as the official religion of the England, England would have probably been made a realm of the Habsburg domain and events like the English Civil War and Puritanism may have never affected the British Isles.

  13. Another great example of a country you don't want to invade in the winter is Finland because they get a lot of snow for a long time and a few things to keep in mind when discussing Dunkirk is one of the reasons that evacuation worked is because the Germans had a halt order for about 3 days and when the British left they left behind all of their gear and that was enough gear to arm 8-10 divisions which left the British really low on equipment.

  14. Most of those were war, but I've never heard of the Hindenburg static theory, though as soon as it came up I realized it before you said it. Considering the materials the paint was made out of, it would be really easy for that to charge so well.

  15. Right now in our own times weather is affecting the World. Between Global Warming and Radicals/Government's starting Wars we have over 3.9 million people displaced or seeking refuge as of now and I only see it growing. Look at Australia and Italy, one country is keeping refugees on barges in the ocean and the other is being inundated everyday with people trying to sail across from Northern Africa, recently due to bad weather a boat overturned and many refugees died and yet the next day boats were still headed to Italy full of North African refugees. Weather always affects the World but these were great examples of how it changed history. My favorite of course is the mist on the English Channel allowing our soldiers and the French allies get back, it allowed us to hold our ground long enough against the Nazi's until America got involved, that was the mist that saved Europe. Great Video, Cheers Mate!

  16. Witch hunts were a phenomenon of the early modern era, not of the middle ages. We shouldn't rely on Hollywood for our history lessons.

  17. What about the atomic bombing of Nagasaki? The primary target was Kokura, but due to heavy clouds the pilot couldn't identify the target so was told to bomb the secondary target: Nagasaki.

  18. The vast majority of people accused of being witches and executed were MEN!!! My Gods do you ever research these topics before making a top10 list?

  19. Get your facts right, Simon! The Hindenburg was NOT a blimp, which is a large balloon filled with lighter than air gas, usually helium. The Hindenburg was a rigid airship, using interior bags of hydrogen to lift it. Qualitative difference!

  20. How could you possibly leave ot the Crossing of The Rhine, 31 December 406, when the Rhine froze (an unusual event) allowing the Germanic tribes to cross, leading to the immediate withdrawal of the Legions in Britain, and the downfall of the Roman Empire? Arguably more important than anything in your list!

  21. The Mongols were smart, because they invaded Russia in plenty of time before winter began! Charles IX, Napoleon and Hitler, well, weren't so smart!

  22. 3:30 so wrong, read about Dimitriads where the Commonwealth took control over Muscovy for 2 years, before it's king fcked it all up.

  23. From an album that had a limited mail-order only release, "The Coldest Winter in Memory," by Al Stewart

    Come all you earthly princes, wheresoever you may be

    From the Sun King in the court of France to the Czar in Muscovy

    Take heed of Charles of Sweden, the Lion of the North,

    On the cracked earth of summer with his army he goes forth

  24. Witches hunt wasn't performed during middle ages, that was actually done much later in 16-17 century mostly, and mostly in protestant countries (after reformation) cases when it happen in catholic countries were uncommon

  25. 1 more to add: the war of 1812 (though this one was "over quick" compared to your list…) The British troops Ransacked and burned large portions of Washington DC. Tornadoes came and wiped out British troops and rains put out most of the fires. The British troops had never seen anything like it and fled. https://historicaldigression.com/2012/03/26/a-tornado-saves-washington-during-the-war-of-1812/

  26. If number one didn't happen I wouldn't exist because my dads side moved to Great Britain( now Canada) because we self exiled since we we're nobility also madona and h h Holmes wouldn't exist either because we descend from the same ansestor, just different branches.

  27. Great video, but Yucatan is pronounced YOUcatan and Mayan is pronounced MYan. Just for future reference, keep up the great work!

  28. For a "Top Ten" list this is pretty strange! Did you ever hear of the Battle of Vienna in 1683? Or about the "Year without a Summer"?

  29. So glad Mongolian invasions were on here. Not alot people know about it. One correction though, samurai fought each other in the way of bushido. Only samurai, so the mass armies lead by samurai didnt know the code or go by it. Also samurai did well against the Mongolian invasion as they were also excellent mounted combat speacilist and bowmen much like the mongolian. They did well enough to keep a vast majority of mogols from beaching and coming to the fray. Which lead to the mongols death at sea. 🙂 love love love this page.

  30. What about the Spanish Armada? The only reason it failed was the weather. Drake and other 'privateer's were more interested in looting ships than actually stopping the spanish.

  31. In regards to the Challenger disaster, I was one of many who was watching it on t.v. Many children today (and even those who came only a few years later) don’t know what you’re talking about if you make a reference to the disaster. May all those who died Rest In Peace.

  32. Ehh, I think Canada or one of the Scandinavian countries could hold up against Russia if they were to invade Russia for whatever reason.

  33. The Hindenburg was a dirigible, which has a support structure, where blimps are essentially big balloons.
    Palmerton was another Pennsylvania town that suffered a zinc plant caused ecological disaster. The plant was shut down decades ago, but the hillsides still look like desert hills, lacking the dense forest that once covered them.

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