The 10 Deadliest Battles in World History

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

War is never pretty, but there can be levels even to the cruelty and ugliness of war, with some almost inconceivably horrendous. Such levels can be measured by one macabre metric: the number of deaths in a battle. 

To determine the 10 deadliest battles in world history, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed Deadliest Battles In Human History from World Atlas. (These are the wars in which the most Americans died.)

Though today’s technologically advanced weapons are capable of inflicting more casualties than any time in history, they are also more targeted thus able to reduce casualties. In fact, none of history’s 10 deadliest battles have taken place since the end of World War II. (Here are the countries that control the world’s nuclear weapons.)

Deaths from these 10 battles total 14.2 million, including nearly 8 million lost from 1941 to 1945. These deaths include soldiers and civilians either caught in the crossfire of combat or compelled to fight for their survival. These estimates do not include people who died from famine or disease in the aftermath of these battles, but rather are the estimated number of deaths caused during the time period of each battle or series of battles.

In eight of the 10 deadliest military battles in history, Germany was the aggressor during the World Wars, while one took place in China and another in the 13th century. Half of these battles involved Russians punching back at German attackers. One of these battles lasted more than two years, while another lasted just 13 days.

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