When a storm blows in
Sometimes we forget how much power nature has over the life that we live today. Throughout history, raging monsoons, arctic temperatures, and even fog have altered the course of important events. The results of natural conditions changing the course of history as we know it are so shocking that they may even sound fake.
“God blew and they were scattered”
In 1588, King Phillip II of Spain sent his Spanish Armada to invade England. The goal was to return the nation from a Protestant land back to a Catholic one. Things were going fine, until the Armada made it to Calais, where each boat dropped its anchor and waited to join forces with the Spanish army. But while the fleet was anchored, the English attacked, sending eight burning ships into the crowded harbour. Mother Nature attacked too. High winds and waves from an Atlantic storm, plus the fire ships, left the Spanish Armada with no choice but to return to Spain. It was too late for most of the Armada, though. Less than half of the 130-ship fleet returned home, and 20,000 troops perished. England’s Queen Elizabeth attributed the fateful storm to divine intervention, inscribing commemorative medals with the phrase “God blew and they were scattered.”
Napoleon’s invasion of Russia
Napoleon Bonaparte could get a bit cocky at times. So when he decided to invade Russia in 1812, against the advice of several fellow officers, it wasn’t a huge surprise that the invasion was a failure. His biggest challenge? Many historians say it was the weather. Napoleon’s 600,000 men and more than 200,000 horses were no match for Russia’s -20 to -4 degree winters. Many horses died, and without them, the army was unable to transport its weapons and supplies. Starvation and disease set in, and when defeat became inevitable, Napoleon abandoned the army and returned home on a sleigh to prevent a coup.