World´s bloodiest battle ever?

Armed conflicts in the history of humanity from the ancient times to the 20th Century.
lwd
Senior Member
Posts: 3810
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 2:15 am
Location: Southfield, USA

Post by lwd » Tue Jul 24, 2007 11:00 pm

His book didn't get very good reviews on the thread at:
http://www.1jma.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=330

User avatar
Karl Heidenreich
Senior Member
Posts: 4808
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2006 3:19 pm
Location: San José, Costa Rica
Contact:

Post by Karl Heidenreich » Wed Jul 25, 2007 12:22 am

Hi lwd:

Well, everyones has his opinion. I don´t agree with many things in that thread but it´s a lot about another book which I haven´t read. Anyway a quote :

1. Mosier tends to leap to his own conclusions and expects you to leap along with him. This is so in his BLITZKRIEG MYTH as well as the roughly 2/3s of the GREAT WAR MYTH that I have finished. Unfortunately he is not unique in doing so. The student of history must always remain vigilant. This does not mean that there are not some elements of interest to be found in his works.

2. I believe that his assessment of the heavy artillery of the different WWI armies is correct. I also believe that his belief in the superiority of high trajectory fires is also correct.

3. I believe that all armies had to revamp their tactics and suffered horrendous losses while doing so. Mosier is correct when he credits the Germans for doing so more rapidly than the allies.

4. Mosier is also correct in crediting the Germans with more decentralized and consequently more flexible operations.

5. I'm anxious to get to Mosier's rationale for the US's winning of the war. They DID win the war. Despite a lack of military efficiency, the US did win the war because all the other powers were so exhausted that they couldn't not win the war.

6. Mosier does tend to play a bit fast and loose w the casualty figures. Everyone does.
or this one:
Regarding comments about US winning. All the other powers had fought to the point of exhaustion. All the US did was come in with fresh troops, huge numbers of fresh troops and massive economic superiority. They only had to be there. They suffered tremendous casualties because of their ignorance of trench warfare and lack of training, but they tipped the scale by sheer weight of numbers.

An additional comment regarding various numbers: "Statistics are like a bikini...what they reveal is interesting, but what they conceal is vital."
Kind regards...
An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.
Sir Winston Churchill

lwd
Senior Member
Posts: 3810
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 2:15 am
Location: Southfield, USA

Post by lwd » Wed Jul 25, 2007 1:44 am

One of the reasons I linked was that there was a lot of discussion and some good points made. I think there was a fair amount of rebuttal. Some of it comes down to semantics. I'm not sure that I would say that, at least compared to the European powers, the US supplied either huge numbers or took tremendous losses. We just weren't in it long enough for that to apply. The US economic potential was pretty much untapped also. The US entry represented more potential than fact but combined with the deteriorating conditions in Germany it was at least one of the things that pushed Germany over the edge. I personally wouldn't call that winning.

I will admit that I haven't read either of his books mentioned but those who were less than impressed with them have a pretty good record on that board anyway.

Bgile
Senior Member
Posts: 3658
Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2005 7:33 pm
Location: Portland, OR, USA

Post by Bgile » Wed Jul 25, 2007 10:12 am

Thanks for the link. I didn't know about that site.

User avatar
Karl Heidenreich
Senior Member
Posts: 4808
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2006 3:19 pm
Location: San José, Costa Rica
Contact:

Post by Karl Heidenreich » Thu Jul 26, 2007 2:58 pm

Hi lwd:

A very good forum the one you gave us the link. Thanks a lot!

Kind regards...
An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.
Sir Winston Churchill

User avatar
Karl Heidenreich
Senior Member
Posts: 4808
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2006 3:19 pm
Location: San José, Costa Rica
Contact:

Post by Karl Heidenreich » Mon Sep 10, 2007 4:04 pm

Quite interesting, just if someone heard about this thread and wrote a book.
This week´s issue of Newsweek releases an article about a book written by Andrew Nagorski called: The Greatest Battle.
It´s about the battle of Moscow between the Germans and the Russians. Nagorski states that in this single battle were engaged 7 million men, the double of the number of soldiers involved at Stalingrad a year later. The casualties were 2,5 million, of which 1,9 million were Russian soldiers.
I haven´t read the book (I´m just ordering it) but if this is correct then, the Battle of Moscow, is the bloodier battle ever.
An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.
Sir Winston Churchill

User avatar
RF
Senior Member
Posts: 7513
Joined: Wed Sep 20, 2006 1:15 pm
Location: Wolverhampton, ENGLAND

Re: World´s bloodiest battle ever?

Post by RF » Mon Oct 12, 2009 2:00 pm

The key hereis the timescale for the length of this battle, as the German positions were pushed back in the Siberian counterattack but still remained close to Moscow until 1943.

You could include the battle for Lenningrad as a candidate for the''bloodiest battle'' as it raged ubtil the spring of 1944.
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.

User avatar
Karl Heidenreich
Senior Member
Posts: 4808
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2006 3:19 pm
Location: San José, Costa Rica
Contact:

Re: World´s bloodiest battle ever?

Post by Karl Heidenreich » Mon Oct 12, 2009 7:07 pm

But was it the bloodiest?

I believe that the single bloodiest day in History is Cannae were 70,000 romans died that day. We all know that Antietam is the bloodiest single day in American (USA and Latin American) history. And Gettysburg is the bloodiest battle in American history, too.

I do believe the Somme first day could be the Second bloodiest day in History.
An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.
Sir Winston Churchill

lwd
Senior Member
Posts: 3810
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 2:15 am
Location: Southfield, USA

Re: World´s bloodiest battle ever?

Post by lwd » Tue Oct 13, 2009 1:56 pm

During the Mongol conquests there were several cities whose whole population was "put to the sword" after the city fell. Would these count?

User avatar
Karl Heidenreich
Senior Member
Posts: 4808
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2006 3:19 pm
Location: San José, Costa Rica
Contact:

Re: World´s bloodiest battle ever?

Post by Karl Heidenreich » Tue Oct 13, 2009 1:58 pm

During the Mongol conquests there were several cities whose whole population was "put to the sword" after the city fell. Would these count?
Could be. I think that by "battle" we have to understand to sides in combat. Not sure if the genocide of a population could be defined as that. Maybe only if it´s destruction was done during the combat or siege itself.
An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.
Sir Winston Churchill

Byron Angel

Re:

Post by Byron Angel » Tue Oct 13, 2009 7:30 pm

lwd wrote:One of the reasons I linked was that there was a lot of discussion and some good points made. I think there was a fair amount of rebuttal. Some of it comes down to semantics. I'm not sure that I would say that, at least compared to the European powers, the US supplied either huge numbers or took tremendous losses. We just weren't in it long enough for that to apply. The US economic potential was pretty much untapped also. The US entry represented more potential than fact but combined with the deteriorating conditions in Germany it was at least one of the things that pushed Germany over the edge. I personally wouldn't call that winning.

I will admit that I haven't read either of his books mentioned but those who were less than impressed with them have a pretty good record on that board anyway.

..... The AEF had succeeded in fielding a fresh army of 2.6 million men in Europe by mid-1918. Its attack through the Meuse-Argonne region went through some of the most heavily fortified positions of the German West Front defensive line - positions held by the Germans since 1914/1915. French forces were involved as well, but the principal weight of the thrust was delivered by the Americans. They took immense casualties, partly a function of greenness and partly a function of the strength of the German defences, but they succeeded in rapidly breaking the German front and severing the vital rail line that provided lateral communications along the front for the Germans. The loss of this lateral communication axis was one of the principal reasons for the wholesale withdrawal of the German army.

As for Mosier. I have read both books. His first book on WW1 is IMO a valuable piece of work, calling into legitimate question much of the official history of the war. Mosier is tri-lingual (English, German, French), bothered to consult the original archival data on casualties, walked the actual battlegrounds, compared the actual battle maps to the official maps, and visited the cemeteries to count the graves.

His second book was IMO rather weak tea by comparison and far less convincing - much like a Hollywood sequel.


Byron

User avatar
Karl Heidenreich
Senior Member
Posts: 4808
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2006 3:19 pm
Location: San José, Costa Rica
Contact:

Re: World´s bloodiest battle ever?

Post by Karl Heidenreich » Tue Oct 13, 2009 9:57 pm

I buyed Mosier´s book by chance, really. Since I read it I have began questioning a lot of the so called "official history". His research in the casualties is very deep and gives you an understanding on how much propaganda has played on the overall account of WWI. For example Verdun was not the "bleeding of the German Army" that we were told but very much the other way around as is the myth of the Marne in the words of the same "miracle maker" Gallieni.

Really good book,
An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.
Sir Winston Churchill

alecsandros
Senior Member
Posts: 4000
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 2:33 pm
Location: Bucharest, Romania

Re: World´s bloodiest battle ever?

Post by alecsandros » Tue Oct 20, 2009 7:29 pm

Given Asia's imense resources and population, I guess the bloodiest battle must have taken place somewhere around here.
My candidates are:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Changping (260BC - 700.000 dead)

Battle of Talikota http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Talikota (1565 AD, over 200.000 dead. The link on Wikipedia is just for orientation purposes. The scale of the battle is almost certain to have been much, much bigger - see Kulke, Rothermund "A history of India", pg200)

User avatar
RF
Senior Member
Posts: 7513
Joined: Wed Sep 20, 2006 1:15 pm
Location: Wolverhampton, ENGLAND

Re: World´s bloodiest battle ever?

Post by RF » Fri Oct 23, 2009 7:46 am

Another aspect of the actual death count from WW1 Karl is that not only are the original estimates of dead when revised is almost always downward, but the fact that the influenza pandemic of 1918 and 1919 is almost airbrushed out of history. Very few people of my generation are aware that it even happened, that far more people died in that pandemic than in WW1. Yet it is WW1 alone that is remembered.
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.

Bgile
Senior Member
Posts: 3658
Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2005 7:33 pm
Location: Portland, OR, USA

Re: World´s bloodiest battle ever?

Post by Bgile » Fri Oct 23, 2009 3:09 pm

RF wrote:Another aspect of the actual death count from WW1 Karl is that not only are the original estimates of dead when revised is almost always downward, but the fact that the influenza pandemic of 1918 and 1919 is almost airbrushed out of history. Very few people of my generation are aware that it even happened, that far more people died in that pandemic than in WW1. Yet it is WW1 alone that is remembered.
True, but of course the pandemic didn't just attack young men. I believe France lost something like 40% of all men between a certain age ... don't recall the specifics but it was something you'd notice walking down the street after the war.

Post Reply