World´s bloodiest battle ever?

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

Postby alecsandros » Tue Jun 15, 2010 2:54 pm

Ok man, I didn't know you wanted to put it that way...
On the other hand, I didn't want to say the summer 1944 battles were compensation for Stalingrad. Just that late in the war the fighting spirit endured and teh Romanian army (in bad shape and suffering horribly from lack of equipment and modern weapons) still fought the bolsheviks...

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Re: World´s bloodiest battle ever?

Postby RF » Tue Jun 15, 2010 5:45 pm

I don't question the morale or fighting spirit of the Romanian Army. As you say it was not equipped for the type of warfare it was committed to, and as a measure of that the Romanians did not offer any armed resistance to the Soviet annexation of Bessarabia in 1940. Romania's forces numerically made it the fourth Axis Power after the three main Tripartite Pact powers, but had neither tanks nor anti-tank guns, indeed resembled more the 1939 Polish Army than the Heer.

Romania's involvement in Barbarossa was hostage to the Germans winning it. It was a gamble, with no Plan B if Hitler blew it, which he did. Unlike Spain, who could withdraw the Blue Division who were ''unofficial'' Romania was trapped with no way out.
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Re: World´s bloodiest battle ever?

Postby alecsandros » Tue Jun 15, 2010 6:00 pm

I completely agree...

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RF
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Re: World´s bloodiest battle ever?

Postby RF » Thu Jun 17, 2010 8:27 am

alecsandros, one thought has occured to me. In saying Romania was trapped with no way out, there was one vague possible escape for the Romanians in early December 1941 - the British ultimatum to Romania to get out of the war with Russia or Britain declares war. If the Romanians had complied they had a chance of escape, but the risk would be that the Germans would simply have occupied the whole country to safeguard their oil supplies....and the Hungarians would have annexed the whole of Transylvania, additional to what they got under the 1940 Vienna award.
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Re: World´s bloodiest battle ever?

Postby alecsandros » Thu Jun 17, 2010 1:18 pm

Hello RF,
My knowledge in interbellic period of Romania is not at all so profound as to explain Romania's decisions.
My opinion, for what it's worth, is that there was a real jew problem around here, the youth was drawn to the far-right of the political spectre, and there was resentment against Britain lasting from the Treaty of Verdun and the destruction of the oil fields of 1916.

Poland's experience of Sep 1939 further showed that the western powers were not keen to take on the nazy army.
Thus, war was a necessary step, probably further strngthened by Britain's manipulative stance.

I guess a war with Russia in 1940 would have been much better for Romania, overall. Before labeling me as "insane", here me out:
- Russia's army at the time, though large, was poorly trained and equiped, and lacked good officers.
- Romania's army could wage war along a number of rivers, easily defendable.
- If the worst would have happened, and Russia's army would have captured Bassarabia, at least the fight would have permitted the 3 million Romanian inhabitants 1-2 weeks to refuggee themselves over the river Prut, and into present day Romania.
By not doing so, The inhabitants only had 2 days to flee. 500.000-1.000.000 were deported. Tens of thousands were tortured and killed in Bassarabia by jews, when the high officials and military retreated hastily over the Prut.

Unfortunately, this is hardly known in the west. I'm sure it comes as a surprise to you, but we have a number of primary documents which prove this.
- Finaly, if RUssia would have used the battle for Bassarabia as a pretext for invading ROmania in 1940, the German army would have attacked in force, in order to safeguard the precious oil fields.
With the German war machine as it was in the summer of 1940, the red army would have been devastated and forced to retreat in disaray.

In effect, Barbarossa would have come 1 year earlier... No US in the war to ship tanks, planes, steel, trucks and food. No Lend-Lease act. No intel on Japanese stand off in the east. And no losses and no delays in the Balkans for the Germans...

As I said, my opinions,
Cheers,
Alex

P.S.: It's surprising to me how much you know about Romania's modern history. How come?

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RF
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Re: World´s bloodiest battle ever?

Postby RF » Thu Jun 17, 2010 5:55 pm

I'm not so sure about the options in the summer of 1940.

Romania was, inter-war, in the French system of alliances with eastern Europe, designed to contain any re-emergence of the old WW1 enemies as military aggresive powers - Germany, Hungary, Bulgaria and Turkey. That alliance unravelled in 1938. The then four countries - Czechoslovakia, Poland, Yugoslavia and Romania, acting together could have stopped Hitler in conjunction with the French. But Czechoslovakia, the strongest east European country militarily, was betrayed at Munich. To assuage public opinion they (Britain and France) guaranteed the independence of Hitler's next anticipated victim, Romania (because of its oil) and reluctantly extended their April 1939 guarantee to Poland. They tried, without any enthusiasm, to rope the USSR into an anti-Hitler alliance - only for Stalin to do a deal with Hitler.

The problem in September 1939 was that the Polish campaign was effectively over in three weeks. The British and French had expected the Poles to hold out for four months, and were not motivated to take the military initiative quickly. After that point Romania was beyond any help from Britain, it was dependent for its survival on Germany.
If Romania had a resonably modern army in 1940, equipped with tanks, anti-tank guns plus good tank commanders and a leadership familiar with Guderian's battle tactics, they could have given the Soviets a bigger embarassment than the Finns did in the 1939 winter war. Germany would certainly have been drawn into it, Romania itself would be the battlefield, but there would be no victory overall in 1940, because there would be insufficient time for the Wehrmacht to take Moscow and the Ukraine before the onset of winter. The most likely result would be stalemate and ultimate defeat by 1945.
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Re: World´s bloodiest battle ever?

Postby alecsandros » Thu Jun 17, 2010 6:48 pm

The Balkan-alliance was no match for the Wehrmacht.
Plus, as I said, the country was filled with far-right supporters.

France and Britain haven't responded in any forcefull way to Poland's collapse. A normal attitude would have been to launch the offensive as soon as possible - maybe winter 1940 ?
But the truth is they hardly cared about the east, and secretly hoped for peace in the west...

So, how come you learned so much about my country?

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Re: World´s bloodiest battle ever?

Postby RF » Fri Jun 18, 2010 7:44 am

alecsandros wrote:The Balkan-alliance was no match for the Wehrmacht.


Not quite - in 1938 Germany was not ready for total war and the Czech Army could have given Hitler a real run for his money.
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RF
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Re: World´s bloodiest battle ever?

Postby RF » Fri Jun 18, 2010 7:53 am

alecsandros wrote:

France and Britain haven't responded in any forcefull way to Poland's collapse. A normal attitude would have been to launch the offensive as soon as possible - maybe winter 1940 ?
But the truth is they hardly cared about the east, and secretly hoped for peace in the west...


The French scheme of mobilisation in 1939 allowed for an offensive to be launched from the Maginot Line into western Germany from Day 17.

Now Day 17 - the 17th September 1939 - was the day the Soviets invaded eastern Poland, effectively ending sustainable regular military resistence in Poland. So the French didn't bother.
Instead we had the episode of the phoney offensive in the Phoney War.

Had the French attacked in strength in September 1939 they could have smashed through the half built Siegfried Line far more easily than the Americans did in 1944/45, and literally finish the war by the end of October. It would have saved us from the bloodiest war that did follow.
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RF
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Re: World´s bloodiest battle ever?

Postby RF » Fri Jun 18, 2010 7:55 am

alecsandros wrote:So, how come you learned so much about my country?


Having studied history, politics and political economy extensively over the last thirty years I have built up a fairly extensive knowledge of a lot of countries - including Romania, and as Marcelo has commemted, on Argentina and South America in general.
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Re: World´s bloodiest battle ever?

Postby alecsandros » Fri Jun 18, 2010 8:12 am

RF wrote:
Had the French attacked in strength in September 1939 they could have smashed through the half built Siegfried Line far more easily than the Americans did in 1944/45, and literally finish the war by the end of October. It would have saved us from the bloodiest war that did follow.

Very, very true...

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Re: World´s bloodiest battle ever?

Postby aurora » Thu Dec 13, 2012 8:17 pm

STALINGRAD
Soviets: According to British military historian Anthony Bevoir, 1.1 million Soviet soldiers died in the Battle of Stalingrad — and that does not include the at least 100,000 (and possibly three times as many civilian) inhabitants massacred by waves of indiscriminate Luftwaffe air attacks.

Germans: The majority of German Sixth Army — some 300,000 men — at the time one of the most renowned forces on earth, perished at Stalingrad.
Source(s):
http://www.militaryhistoryonline.com/wwi
Quo Fata Vocant-Whither the Fates call

Jim

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Re: World´s bloodiest battle ever?

Postby delcyros » Wed Jun 26, 2013 8:10 pm

With regard to the single bloodiest day, Cannea comes second to Arausio.

Battle of Arousio, 6th of oct.105BC

Romans:
10 (according to oLegions (basically the complete Roman Republics military force of the day, commanded in two armies), according to Livy 80,000 legionars and to Rufus 70,000 legionars.
an unspecified size of auxilary troops and camp followers (Mommsen -relying on Valerias Antias account makes a case for 40,000).
commanded by
Consul Quintus Servilius Caepio
Consul Gnaeus Mallius Maximus

Cimbri and Teutonics:
ca. 200,000 commanded by two kings.
King Teutobod
King Boiorix

According to Livy, both complete armies perished this day, beeing trapped between Cimbri/Teutons and the river and fully annhilated. Very few survivors made it back to Rome. Capio and Maximus, beeing among them, after loosing their sons at Arausio, were both banished. The total number of losses of the two tribes is reported with roughly 15,000 but the precise number cannot be considered reliable.
Still, 70,000 or 80,000 roman legionars, and close to 40,000 auxilary + camp followers in addition to an unspecified number of Kimbri and Teutons makes for more than ~110,000 to 135,000 dying on a single day.


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