World´s bloodiest battle ever?

Armed conflicts in the history of humanity from the ancient times to the 20th Century.
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RF
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Re: World´s bloodiest battle ever?

Post by RF » Fri Oct 23, 2009 5:50 pm

The majority of the victims were in what we now call third world countries, including India an d China.

But after the cessation of fighting the USA, Britain and France were hit hard, and particulary eastern Europe. I think in those areas where fighting had taken place the destruction and famine played a major part in making the pandemic as bad as it was.
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Re:

Post by neil hilton » Wed May 19, 2010 2:04 pm

Karl Heidenreich wrote:RF,

there is a problem with your argument: you say that Germany was consumed by November 1918. Of course she was: the allies with the US help stopped the summer offensive and then the US triggered their own offensive. There was a new power in the battlefield, a US Army with more than a million fighting men under Pershing in a narrow front sector that was throwing away all it´s weight against a tired German Army.
But that would not be the scenario if the USA would not have intervened: by November the war would have been over for at least two months.
The RN won ww1 with the blockade of Germany, which like Britain could not feed herself at that time. By late 1918 the population of Germany were starving and thus demanded their government to quit.
The US involvement obviously had a great impact on the battlefield but by that time it was over strategically because of the food shortage in Germany they couldn't win. There simply wasn't enough food available to feed Germany through the winter, even if they had won on the western front.
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Re: World´s bloodiest battle ever?

Post by neil hilton » Wed May 19, 2010 2:20 pm

My first inclination as to the bloodiest battle in history would be Cannae. The 80000 dead reported by Tacitus at Watling Street has to be taken with agrain of salt but Cannae is well known as a battle of annihilation, the number of dead is pretty accurate IMO.
At second thought I came to the opinion (like alecsandros) that asias huge historical population would probably turn up some monster battles, even though I don't know much about ancient Chinese and Indian military history.
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Re: World´s bloodiest battle ever?

Post by RF » Wed May 19, 2010 6:39 pm

neil hilton wrote: The 80000 dead reported by Tacitus at Watling Street has to be taken with agrain of salt
I'm not too sure on that one.
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Re: World´s bloodiest battle ever?

Post by tommy303 » Thu May 20, 2010 4:49 pm

The 80,000 figure for the losses to the Britons at Walting Street may be fairly accurate if the figure includes the women and children, while the Roman losses may have been understated in so far as losses to the auxiliaries may not have been reported. Nevertheless, the victory seems to have been as one sided as stated, whatever the real figures. The Romans were left in possession of the field and fully capable of prosecuting the war on the offensive following the battle.

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Re: World´s bloodiest battle ever?

Post by lwd » Thu May 20, 2010 5:11 pm

Both the Romans and the Greeks tended to overestimate or over report the numbers of their opponets often by an order of magnituted or more.

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Re: World´s bloodiest battle ever?

Post by RF » Fri May 21, 2010 3:59 pm

This may be the case in this battle, but given the circumstances as decribed I don't think the death toll to the indigenous English tribes would be that overstated.

One problem is that the battlefield site has not been precisely determined, so cann ot be subject to archealogical investigation.
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Re: World´s bloodiest battle ever?

Post by Karl Heidenreich » Sat Jun 05, 2010 6:53 pm

The Battle of Moscow is still the bloodiest battle ever. Verdun and Stalingrad came second to it.
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Re: World´s bloodiest battle ever?

Post by lwd » Sat Jun 05, 2010 7:18 pm

Does Leningrad count as a battle? Certainly given the length of time casualties had to be pretty high there.

In saying the battle of Moscow had higher casualties than Stalingrad how are you counting casualties and what are you including? If POW's are counted I would expect Stalingrad to be higher.

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Re: World´s bloodiest battle ever?

Post by Karl Heidenreich » Sat Jun 05, 2010 7:46 pm

Lee:
Does Leningrad count as a battle? Certainly given the length of time casualties had to be pretty high there.

In saying the battle of Moscow had higher casualties than Stalingrad how are you counting casualties and what are you including? If POW's are counted I would expect Stalingrad to be higher.
Leningrad had a hight rate of casualties and the final figure was high but not as Stalingrad or Moscow. In a very fast check, not to my books regretably but to wiki we had this:

1. Battle of Moscow: 400,000 German casualites vs 1,280,000 soviet ones.

2. Battle of Stalingrad: 841,000 German casualites vs. 1,129,000 soviet ones.

3. Battle of Leningrad: unknown German casualites vs. 1,017,000 soviet ones.

The adding of casualties of Germans AND Soviets tally higher, to the 2,000K figures than Leningrad. Also we need to see that Leningrad is almost a Campaign that lasted several years whilst the others were battles in a confined span of time.

According to Glantz the 5,5 million Red Army lost 2,2 million by October 1st, 1941 and another 1.6 million by December 31st. Pretty scary casualties.
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Re: World´s bloodiest battle ever?

Post by RF » Mon Jun 07, 2010 7:28 am

Karl, the number of German casualties for Stalingrad seems high in the context of the whole German deployment, I presume the figure comprises a substantial number of non-German axis forces including Romanians. Hungarians and Croatians etc
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Re: World´s bloodiest battle ever?

Post by Karl Heidenreich » Mon Jun 07, 2010 11:56 am

RF:

Yes, the number includes all axis forces, not only German.
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Re: World´s bloodiest battle ever?

Post by RF » Tue Jun 08, 2010 7:15 am

There is a significance in analysing the Axis casualties because of the political as well as military fallout from the Stalingrad battle. The losses suffered by the Romanians - more than half their army - started the moves that led to Antonescu being removed from power and Romania changing sides, similary the Italian losses overall undermined Mussolini's position.
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Re: World´s bloodiest battle ever?

Post by Karl Heidenreich » Wed Jun 09, 2010 3:22 pm

As you may have noticed I have been following up, lately, the story of the one, if not the greatest, military commander of all times: Genghis Khan. In doing so I "discover" that the bloodiest battle ever was not Cannae, nor Somme, nor Stalingrad. It is the Battle of Badger's Mouth which took place when Genghis moved against the Chin Empire in 1211. In the main action, Genghis 90,000 army slaughtered 510,000 men from the Chin's armies. Of course Genghis did not took any prisioners so many of those 510,000 that died were guys that just surrendered. But, well, 510,000 is a big number, even for the standards of the main WWII front which was in the East. I cannot imagine any country today taking such casualties, maybe just China, again, or maybe highly motivated russians or some islamic jihhad.
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Re: World´s bloodiest battle ever?

Post by RF » Wed Jun 09, 2010 4:52 pm

510,000 is a big number, but there again the Japanese are reckoned to have killed, directly and indirectly, some fifteen million Chinese between 1937 and 1945.
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