Which Is The Worst Decision In History Ever Made By A Person?



How about the greatest single decision that could have ended up as the worst single decision in history ever made by a person?

Vasily Arkhipov. The man who was solely responsible for preventing nuclear war in 1962. The three officers on board the diesel-powered and nuclear armed B-59 sub had to agree unanimously to launch the nuclear torpedo. Conditions due to the Kennedy administration’s blockade began to take a toll upon the crew members. Diesel subs can get incredibly hot over extended periods of time, the batteries failed and the air conditioning stopped, and the lack of fresh air from increased carbon dioxide levels means delirious crew members. Eventually two officers, Captain Savitsky, and the political officer Ivan Semonovich Maslennikov got sick of waiting due to thinking WWIII had already begun and decided to go through with the launch. But Arkhipov was second in command and his position as flotilla commander meant they also needed his approval to launch it. If he wasn’t a flotilla commander it wouldn’t have been needed gain his approval even as second in command. Vasily disagreed and all three actually got into a physical confrontation, fighting over command of the torpedo. Eventually they agreed with Vasily and had brought the sub to surface. Needless to say, they faced criticism and were disgraceful to their superiors who would have rather saw them go down with their ship than be captured by the enemy.

According to Wikipedia: ”Each captain was required to present a report of events during the mission to the Soviet defense minister, Andrei Grechko. Grechko was infuriated with the crew’s failure to follow the strict orders of secrecy after finding out they had been discovered by the Americans. One officer even noted Grechko’s reaction, stating “upon learning that it was the diesel submarines that went to Cuba, removed his glasses and hit them against the table in fury, breaking them into small pieces and abruptly leaving the room after that.”

It’s safe to say that there’s an almost unanimous amount of agreement over the importance of Arkhipov’s decision. Everyone from Chomsky, to McNamara have agreed that this was the defining moment of whether or not we would prevail as a species. This was it. The test. The launch of the torpedo would have meant the nuclear destruction of the blockade above, and thus the invasion of Cuba and the launching of the NATO nukes in Turkey and other European countries. Meaning the missiles in Cuba which were operational at this point, would have decimated all the major cities on the Eastern seaboard, and the major cities in the Midwest.

Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr., an advisor for the John F. Kennedy administration and a historian, has stated, “This was not only the most dangerous moment of the Cold War. It was the most dangerous moment in human history.”



Hmm, here are a few candidates:

Hitler/Napoleon (for attacking Russia)

Dyatlov for various things he decided at Chernobyl (but there are so many Versions of that it’s hard to say who was most responsible)

Whoever ordered Pearl Harbor (for ordering the attack)

Licencing Thalidomide for use against morning sickness (killed about 40% of the unborn babies and had horrendous effects on many of the rest)

Using Hydrogen to fly the Hindenburg


worst decisionIm_jk_but_seriously

Eight years ago when that guy bought two large pizzas for 10,000 bitcoin.



Brutus decided to join Cassius in murdering the dictatorial tyrant, Caesar. The reason? They suspected his intent to become a king.

Which then started a chain of events leading to his adopted son Caesar becoming a military dictator without equal, having all the powers of a king without being called one.

When this Caesar Augustus dies, his name and title is passed on for the next four hundred years almost like you would a crown. Monarchies then returned all over Europe, in the style of Augustus Caesar.

And so, the decision of Brutus to join the conspiracy in effect changed all of Western civilization for the next 1900 years to adopt the very political style he wanted to avoid.

It would not be until the 1770s when America and later France would begin revolting and experimenting with Democracies and Republics.


worst decisionWeirdAstronaut

Sultan Murad IV sending the first flying man in history (Hezarfen Ahmed Çelebi flying three kilometers over the Bospurus in 1638) , into exile instead of putting all efforts into aviation.


Whoever signed the bill passing prohibition



Alcibiades was considered a traitor in Athens for leading his men to death. A traitor in Sparta because he got the queen to cheat on the king with him and a traitor in Persia after including them in a war.


worst decisionDan-aufsE-IOO

William Howard Taft running for US president:

Prior to ww1, the US elections took place with Woodrow Wilson winning with a 36% (give or take) majority, how could this happen? Taft. The election was split 3 ways, Wilson for the democrats, and Taft and Teddy Roosevelt for the Republicans, they split the vote and Wilson Won. Had Taft not split the vote Roosevelt would have won and serve a third presidential term. As president, Roosevelt would have almost definitely pushed the US one WW1 much earlier than Wilson did, possibly shortening the war by up to a year. The main impact of this would have been on Russia, while it wouldn’t have saved the Tsar, it would have put down Lenin and prevented the rise of Communism, as it would have denied Lenin the public backing he needed, given that the current govt. didn’t look quite so incompetent. With no Lenin, no Stalin, no mass genocides, speaking of genocides, the fear of communist take-over largely fuelled support for the Nazi party and without them, Hitler would have lived and died a fringe extremist with very few people even noticing him.

TLDR; Taft ran for president, split the vote, denied Roosevelt a third term, which lead to a prolonged WW1, the Russian Communist take over, WW2, Cold War, etc.



The Soviet government not informing their nuclear power plants of the defect which caused Chernobyl to melt down and almost destroy all of eastern Europe.


worst decisionAdouMusou

Kaiser Wilhelm II firing Otto von Bismarck. Bismarck had a plan. He always has a plan. But not when an incompetent Kaiser boots him out of his means of putting his plans into action. Bismarck had everything set up perfectly, but Wilhelm II decided to f*ck up everything he had set up, and got into WWI for it.