These five military failures happened for various reasons, such as poor coordination, overconfidence, underestimation of the enemy, inadequate tactics, and poor equipment.
- Saratoga: Uncoordinated British forces and underused naval power led to defeat, garnering French and Spanish support for Americans.
- Isandlwana: Poor decisions and overconfidence in British superiority showed Zulu troops could win despite less technology.
- The Denmark Straits: The Royal Navy prematurely engaged the German Bismarck and Prinz Eugen with outdated and incomplete vessels.
- Singapore: Racist underestimation of the Japanese and poor leadership led to defeat despite outnumbering the Japanese 3-1.
- Gazala: Inadequate tactics and lack of infantry support caused the loss of Tobruk, which had withstood a 241-day siege the prior year.