Most epic battle/war/conflict in history

Jul 2010
6,851
Not sure what it is
#21
i say the eastern front of WW2, i don't think there is any other conflict in history that can compare with it in both scale and savagery. it was both a total war and absolute war as the full economies and people of both countries were committed to the war and both sought the complete destruction of the other. from operation Barbarossa in june 41 which unleashed 3.5 million men into the soviet union to the winter battle outside moscow as frozen and exhausted german soldier fought for their very lives as the russian winter offensive pushed them back from the city. all through its four years of conflict there was hardly a quite moment in it or any mercy shown to the other side as both sides showed a complete disregard for the rules of war and basic human conduct.

for the most epic battle i shall say the Kursk offensive in july 43, operation Zitadelle. the whole battle was a massive epic clash as the german panzers smashed there way through the soviet defences, in the sky a terrible fight was fought for domination of it by the air forces while on the ground the panzer divisions fought a brutal fight to overcome the soviet defenders who most of the time fought to the last man and last bullet. at last then the epic clash at prokhorovka as an enormous fight took place between both sides armour, one german described it as 'hand to hand tank combat'.

WWII Eastern Front

Over 5 million deaths on the Axis Forces (out of which 824,000 died in Soviet captivity);[83] Soviet military deaths were over 9 million (out of which 3.6 million died in German captivity[84]), and estimated civilian deaths range from about 14 to 17 million.

Second Sino-Japanese War

The official PRC statistics for China's civilian and military casualties in the Second Sino-Japanese War from 1937–1945 are 20 million dead and 15 million wounded. The figures for total military casualties, killed and wounded are: Nationalist 3.2 million; Communist 500,000.

The official account of the war published in Taiwan reported the Nationalist Chinese Army lost 3,238,000 men ( 1,797,000 WIA; 1,320,000 KIA and 120,000 MIA.) and 5,787,352 civilians casualties. The Nationalists fought in 22 major engagements, most of which involved more than 100,000 troops on both sides, 1,171 minor engagements most of which involved more than 50,000 troops on both sides, and 38,931 skirmishes.[101]

An academic study published in the United States estimates military casualties: 1.5 million killed in battle, 750,000 missing in action, 1.5 million deaths due to disease and 3 million wounded; civilian casualties: due to military activity, killed 1,073,496 and 237,319 wounded; 335,934 killed and 426,249 wounded in Japanese air attacks [102]

Great Leap Forward (Cold War)

The official toll of excess deaths recorded in China for the years of the Great Leap Forward is 14 million, but as of 1987, scholars had estimated the number of victims to be between 20 and 43 million.[32]

In light of evidence provided in their book, R.J. Rummel believes that the mass dyings associated with Great Leap Forward now constitute "[ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democide"]democide[/ame]" and revised his democide total for the People's Republic of China from 35 million to 77 million.[37]
 
Aug 2010
6,740
Ireland
#23
WWII Eastern Front

Over 5 million deaths on the Axis Forces (out of which 824,000 died in Soviet captivity);[83] Soviet military deaths were over 9 million (out of which 3.6 million died in German captivity[84]), and estimated civilian deaths range from about 14 to 17 million.

Second Sino-Japanese War

The official PRC statistics for China's civilian and military casualties in the Second Sino-Japanese War from 1937–1945 are 20 million dead and 15 million wounded. The figures for total military casualties, killed and wounded are: Nationalist 3.2 million; Communist 500,000.

The official account of the war published in Taiwan reported the Nationalist Chinese Army lost 3,238,000 men ( 1,797,000 WIA; 1,320,000 KIA and 120,000 MIA.) and 5,787,352 civilians casualties. The Nationalists fought in 22 major engagements, most of which involved more than 100,000 troops on both sides, 1,171 minor engagements most of which involved more than 50,000 troops on both sides, and 38,931 skirmishes.[101]

An academic study published in the United States estimates military casualties: 1.5 million killed in battle, 750,000 missing in action, 1.5 million deaths due to disease and 3 million wounded; civilian casualties: due to military activity, killed 1,073,496 and 237,319 wounded; 335,934 killed and 426,249 wounded in Japanese air attacks [102]

Great Leap Forward (Cold War)

The official toll of excess deaths recorded in China for the years of the Great Leap Forward is 14 million, but as of 1987, scholars had estimated the number of victims to be between 20 and 43 million.[32]

In light of evidence provided in their book, R.J. Rummel believes that the mass dyings associated with Great Leap Forward now constitute "democide" and revised his democide total for the People's Republic of China from 35 million to 77 million.[37]
interesting figures, chinese losses in the japanese war are most definitely heigh yet i wasn't aware that an exact number of losses can be said and 15 million is the largely accepted number, yet the same can be said of soviet losses in their war as people have given estimates at between 20 and 40 million, i accept that it was around 27 million but that's just an estimate and we will probably never know the real numbers

i must confess total ignorance of the great leap forward, does that include both the chinese civil war and Mao's subjugation of people after it?
 
Apr 2010
1,406
#24
The American Civil War.
And what's so epic about that relatively small conflict in human history? At the same time of the Civil War that saw small skirmishes of tens of thousands of soldiers and took the life of about half a million people in China there was a civil war that had a few million soldiers fighting and killed 20 million people in the end. Compared the us civil war is like a tavern brawl.

I would say the second world war, the Taipign Rebellion in China, the First World war, the mongol conquest, the thirty years war and the Napoleonic wars.
 
Aug 2011
420
Texas
#28
And what's so epic about that relatively small conflict in human history? At the same time of the Civil War that saw small skirmishes of tens of thousands of soldiers and took the life of about half a million people in China there was a civil war that had a few million soldiers fighting and killed 20 million people in the end. Compared the us civil war is like a tavern brawl.
It's not the number of people killed in the American Civil War, it's the percentage of the population killed.

Twenty five percent of all military aged men in the South were killed. Another twenty five percent of all military aged men in the South were maimed.

No country anywhere on the planet would see this percentage of casualties until certain areas, and only a relatively few, experienced such huge percentages during WWII. Heck, the world as a whole, only lost like what, two percent of it's population during WWII? And that was the most epic overall war humanity has ever seen.

In fact, no group of Americans has ever suffered more as the result of war than Southerners during the Civil War. As the Pulitzer Prize-winning Civil War historian James McPherson has noted, one quarter of the white men of military age in the South died in the war. “Altogether nearly four percent of the Southern people, black and white, civilians and soldiers, died as a consequence of the war. This percentage exceeded the toll of any country in World War I and was outstripped only by the region between the Rhine and Volga in World War II.”
 
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Likes: dukeofjive
Apr 2010
1,406
#29
It's not the number of people killed in the American Civil War, it's the percentage of the population killed.

Twenty five percent of all military aged men in the South were killed. Another twenty five percent of all military aged men in the South were maimed.

No country anywhere on the planet would see this percentage of casualties until certain areas, and only a relatively few, experienced such huge percentages during WWII. Heck, the world as a whole, only lost like what, two percent of it's population during WWII? And that was the most epic overall war humanity has ever seen.

According to Wikipedia during WW2 Poland lost 16,1% of its population. Lithuania lost 14,33% , USSR 13,8 , Latvia 11% etc. Those are much higher percentages (and overall numbers) than those lost by the south - 4% by your own quotation. That is the total number, including civilians. If we exclude them and only look at the percentage of fighting men that died it is 8% for the entire US - 6% in the North and 18% in the south. Even the southern numbers however are much smaller than those in ww2 Germany, where 30,4% of the fighting men died. In the USSR it's 25,1%. In WW1 Serbia for example had total deaths numbering 16% of the entire population of the country (not just the fighting men). That clearly shows the US civil war does not rank on top of any classification of casualties - neither as a percentage, nor as numbers. It is just another war with high percentage of dead, like so many other wars in history. There are conflicts where whole nations were destroyed such as during the mongol conquests (the fall of Volga Bulgaria) or where as many as 30% of the entire population killed (Thirty Years war). With huge conflicts such as the [ame=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/An_Lushan_Rebellion]An Lushan Rebellion - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ame] , Thirty Years war, the two World Wars, the Russian Revolution, the Taiping Rebellion or mongol and Timur conquests it is ridiculous to even mention the American Civil War.
 
Aug 2011
420
Texas
#30
According to Wikipedia during WW2 Poland lost 16,1% of its population. Lithuania lost 14,33% , USSR 13,8 , Latvia 11% etc. Those are much higher percentages (and overall numbers) than those lost by the south - 4% by your own quotation.
That's why I mentioned that countries would not see that much destruction until WWII.

That is the total number, including civilians. If we exclude them and only look at the percentage of fighting men that died it is 8% for the entire US - 6% in the North and 18% in the south. Even the southern numbers however are much smaller than those in ww2 Germany, where 30,4% of the fighting men died. In the USSR it's 25,1%. In WW1 Serbia for example had total deaths numbering 16% of the entire population of the country (not just the fighting men). That clearly shows the US civil war does not rank on top of any classification of casualties - neither as a percentage, nor as numbers.
Talk to McPherson. He is the one I quoted.

Regardless, wars starting first with the ACW started becoming increasingly bloody because their tactics were not sufficient for the new technology that was used.

This begain with the ACW, and then, of course WWI with the horrible tactics they used with charges and machine guns.

At the end of the ACW the South had 4% of it's population dead, 40% of it's livestock destroyed, and 2/3rds of it's wealth evaporated. It redefined the entire nature of a country that would become the most powerful country on the planet in less than a century and a half.

I think all of these things alone make it worthy of an "epic" war.

It is just another war with high percentage of dead, like so many other wars in history. There are conflicts where whole nations were destroyed such as during the mongol conquests (the fall of Volga Bulgaria) or where as many as 30% of the entire population killed (Thirty Years war). With huge conflicts such as the An Lushan Rebellion - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia , Thirty Years war, the two World Wars, the Russian Revolution, the Taiping Rebellion or mongol and Timur conquests it is ridiculous to even mention the American Civil War.
Maybe to you. Can you please explain why the American Civil War is the most reenacted War around the planet? Obviously reenactors around the world disagree with you. I met a group of American Civil War reenactors from Italy and I asked them if any of their members had ancestors that fought in the ACW. None of them did. I was baffled by it as well.
 

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