Bloodiest battle ever?

#1
I would have thought it would be something like Stalingrad or Kursk, but according to GMF the Third Battle of Nanking gets the morbid prize. One has to take into account that this is a battle in the traditional sense as it took place over a few days and not months or weeks like the more famous battles of WWI/WWII.

Third Battle of Nanking - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


You don't really hear much about the Taiping Rebellion Taiping Rebellion - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia and according to wiki over 100,000 were killed in a 3 day period.

Was the Third Battle of Nanking really the bloodiest battle in the world?

DC
 
#3
I doubt it, a good kill ratio for the English but overall Medieval armies were only about 10k strong on average. What I mean to ask is what battle had the most casualties in all of history, regardless of victors or vanquished.

DC
 
#5
Cannae has might be the one.

80,000 - 90,000 Romans killed in a single day.
There is a reason why generals have attempted to create a "second cannae" for more than two thousand years.
 
#6
Yes I'm fascinated by Kohima and Imphal, the biggest land based defeat by the Japanese and it was at the hands of the British Indian Army. They should really teach this sort of thing at school, it would go down well with all the multi-cultural stuff. People forget that India and Britain have an illustrious joint history.

DC
 
#7
Yes I'm fascinated by Kohima and Imphal, the biggest land based defeat by the Japanese and it was at the hands of the British Indian Army. They should really teach this sort of thing at school, it would go down well with all the multi-cultural stuff. People forget that India and Britain have an illustrious joint history.

EoR
Indeed, no ordinary men and all that. Slim and the 14th Army should receive much more recognition and feature much more in rememberence and education.
 
#10
Agreed about Lake Trasimene, although I could not remember its name while posting originally.
Two battles here admittedly, but a two day score of 95,000 to 110,000 (with thousands more captured too). Hannibal must be the yardstick for this "competition", he certainly seems to have killed more enemy on a single day than any other commander in history.
 

AlienFTM

MIA
Book Reviewer
#12
Wasn't there a Civil war battle that reduced the population of Great Britain by a measurable percentage over the course of a day or two? Somewhere near Pontefract rings a bell.
 
#13
When it comes to 'bloodiest' Cannae and the like must have the advantage over modern battles.

Ninety thousand Romans killed at arms length with edged weapons, the mind boggles, what a vision from hell that must have been.
 
#15
I'll second Lake Trasimene and Cannae.

My War Studies lecturer contended that Austerlitz should be up there - he did a very interesting calculation to show that the numbers lost on that day were a very high percentage of the Austrian population, and that the country took years to recover from it.
 
#16
Wasn't there a Civil war battle that reduced the population of Great Britain by a measurable percentage over the course of a day or two? Somewhere near Pontefract rings a bell.
This has to be taken into account when describing the "bloodiest " battle, whilst losing 100,000 people in a day or two makes it bloodiest in terms of casualties. Losing 20,000 or 30,000 from a population of a couple of million, is much more catastophic to the poulation at large.
 
B

bokkatankie

Guest
#17
Whilst I agree with Austerlitz (around 40,000), Waterloo has to be a modern contender also, around 46,000 killed on both sides in about 12 hours in about 3 miles square.

But Wagram, with around 60,000 killed on both sides has to be the one.

Problem with the Roman wars is that figures are very hard to verify.
 
#18
Wasn't there a Civil war battle that reduced the population of Great Britain by a measurable percentage over the course of a day or two? Somewhere near Pontefract rings a bell.
Might you be thinking of Towton near York, Wars of the Roses 29 March 1461, 50000 participants 28000 left on the field, however many more chased down and killed over the ensuing day.

some say bloodiest battle on British soil not a contender for worlds by any means though
 

AlienFTM

MIA
Book Reviewer
#19
Might you be thinking of Towton near York, Wars of the Roses 29 March 1461, 50000 participants 28000 left on the field, however many more chased down and killed over the ensuing day.

some say bloodiest battle on British soil not a contender for worlds by any means though
Yeah, something like. Cheers.
 

jim24

LE
Book Reviewer
#20
Might you be thinking of Towton near York, Wars of the Roses 29 March 1461, 50000 participants 28000 left on the field, however many more chased down and killed over the ensuing day.

some say bloodiest battle on British soil not a contender for worlds by any means though
And they are still finding the graves, the last only found in 1997
 

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