Bloodiest day in military history of every nation

Frank81

Ad Honorem
Feb 2010
5,071
Canary Islands-Spain
#1
In regard to the Battle of Antietam, this is what the Wiki tells:

The Union had 12,401 casualties with 2,108 dead. Confederate casualties were 10,318 with 1,546 dead. This represented 25% of the Federal force and 31% of the Confederate.[3] More Americans died in battle on September 17, 1862, than on any other day in the nation's military history.
Is it possible for the US to have suffered other, bloodier single days of battle?

What about other nations?
 

mark87

Ad Honorem
Jan 2014
2,059
Santiago de Chile
#2
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meuse-Argonne_Offensive#cite_note-Ferrell.2C_Robert_H_2012-2

I found that end bit interesting, the battle produced 26,000 KIA over the period of sept-nov 11th 1918.

As a contrast both for the meuse-argonne offensive and antietam we have single day battle of hamel in ww1: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Hamel
It ''only'' produced 1,400 killed or wounded but that is not only americans but includes other allies such as britain, australia etc.

And finally something that gets closer to what you are looking for: The battle of Saint-Mihiel: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Saint-Mihiel
7,000 KIA /MIA in three days.
 
Last edited:
May 2011
13,980
Navan, Ireland
#3
For 'England' (and perhaps Britain) I'd have to put forward Towton -- as a percentage of the population and its blood letting (slaughter of prisoners by fellow countrymen).



Teweksbury just afterward wasn't much better.
 

Shtajerc

Ad Honorem
Jul 2014
6,743
Lower Styria, Slovenia
#4
Not sure about the single blodiest day, but battles like Doberdob and Škabrijel on the Isonzo front in ww1 must rate among the bloodiest, cosidering battalions of cca 1200 men were left with less than 100 when relieved without giving up their ground.
 
Nov 2013
27
Sweden
#6
Haven't there already been a thread about this?

http://historum.com/war-military-history/69892-bloodiest-battles-history-each-nation.html

Anyway, Kircholm 1605 resulted in 7,600-8,000 Swedish casualties of a total force of 10,900 men, that's at least 70% casualties, most of them killed and wounded. Poltava 1709 saw 8,000 Swedish dead and wounded of a total fighting force of around 17,000 men. That's at least 45% dead and wounded, with the almost 2,800 captured it would be as much as 60-65% casualties.

There were some bloody battles for the Russians as well in the Great Northern War, Narva being the obvious one. But also Fraustadt 1706 where 6,000 Russians died of a total Russian force of 6,300. That's more than 95%. And also Kletsk 1706 where possibly 4,000 Russians perished of a force of 4,700. That's 85% which is also a lot.
 
Last edited:
Mar 2015
1,436
Yorkshire
#7
For 'England' (and perhaps Britain) I'd have to put forward Towton -- as a percentage of the population and its blood letting (slaughter of prisoners by fellow countrymen).



Teweksbury just afterward wasn't much better.
Maybe Boudicca's defeat at Watling Street was higher - 80,000 according to Tacitus was an exaggeration but it was certainly very high.

Highest absolute total for Britain was first day of the Somme, 1916 of 58,000 casualties, killed amounted to 20,000 (450,000 casualties for total Somme Offensive).
 

mark87

Ad Honorem
Jan 2014
2,059
Santiago de Chile
#9
For Chile (this is just a preliminary look i've given to the topic as military history in Chile at least in my academic upbringing isn't very popular) the closest I can identify as bloodiest day in chilean military history is the battle of tarapaca of the war of the pacific on November 27 1879, the chilean army lost the battle (but would end up winning the war) against the peruvian-bolivian confederation. The total tally is 516 dead on that day not including 176 wounded and 66 taken prisoner. I'm fairly confident this is our bloodiest day in history.
For more information here, the spanish wiki differs in the numbers from the english version so I chose the smaller figure.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Tarapacá

There's at least one other battle that is definite contender but I can't find a casualty figure that is only dead so for now i'll keep it out of the discussion (Battle of Tacna).
 
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Mangekyou

Ad Honorem
Jan 2010
7,946
UK
#10
For 'England' (and perhaps Britain) I'd have to put forward Towton -- as a percentage of the population and its blood letting (slaughter of prisoners by fellow countrymen).



Teweksbury just afterward wasn't much better.
Yeah, I second this. I think Towton is still the bloodiest day on English/British soil.
 

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