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Digital Subscriptions > History Revealed > August 2017 > Top 10: Biggest Mistakes

Top 10: Biggest Mistakes

A simple error of judgement can cost money, time and reputations – and sometimes even lives…

HORSES FOR COURSES

SCOTT REJECTS DOGS AND CAUSES ANTARCTIC ANNIHILATION

Explorer Robert Falcon Scott was determined to be first to the South Pole. He made it on 17 January 1912 – but 33 days after Roald Amundsen – and none of his team made it back alive. Scott’s most devastating mistake was to pick ponies over dogs, believing they would be best for transporting supplies and as a fresh source of meat. Unfortunately, many of the ponies died of exhaustion or sank in the deep snow. Some drifted off on an ice flow where they were circled by killer whales, spooking them until they toppled into the water. Amundsen and his sledge dogs won the race.

Captain Scott’s Manchurian ponies struggled in the deep snow
ALAMY X1, GETTY X8, LIBRARY OF CONGRESS X1
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Discover the daring escapes and rescue missions of the Dunkirk evacuation, find out how the Victorians revolutionised British summers with the creation of the seaside holiday, and meet the exotic dancer-turned-World War I spy, Mata Hari.
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