The most devastating war in known history...

Dec 2019
83
Moscow
I suggest we measure the devastation as % of the loss of population to prewar size of population rather than the number of casualties. Because it is obvious that the number of casualties increases as earth becomes more populous by human kind.

So I am gonna place my bet on Paraguayan War fought between the Triple Alliance (Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay) and Paraguay in the mid of 19th century. As the result of the war the population of Paraguay fell 7 times!

Does anybody know of a war that would inflict a higher loss in population of a particular state?
 
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MG1962a

Ad Honorem
Mar 2019
2,526
Kansas
I suggest we measure the devastation as % of the loss of population to prewar size of population rather than the number of casualties. Because it is obvious that the number of casualties increases as earth becomes more populous by human kind.

So I am gonna place my bet on Paraguayan War fought between the Triple Alliance (Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay) and Paraguay in the mid of 19th century. As the result of the war the population of Paraguay fell 7 times!

Does anybody know of a war that would inflict a higher loss in population of a particular state?
As soon as I saw the title of this thread, I came here to vote for the exact war you mentioned
 

At Each Kilometer

Ad Honorem
Sep 2012
4,232
Bulgaria
Yeah. I read about this odd war. An triple alliance against a single country. It looks like Paraguay had been doomed from the very beginning / my country was in same situation during the Balkan War Two. Surrounded, lions led by donkeys all that. A foreign empire that ruled this land half a century before this conflict. The result i guess is nostalgia for the nation's past glory, isolationism and minor dislike towards country's neighbours that persisted through time.
 
Dec 2019
83
Moscow
It looks rather unusual that only half of the territory of Paraguay was conquered and divided between the winners, esp. when one recalls the destiny of Polish kingdom..
 

martin76

Ad Honorem
Dec 2014
7,045
Spain
Paraguayan war for sure.... but.. when you have lower population figures .. per cent chances of losses is greater if you are doing a total war.. as Paraguayan did... for example...and for sure.. Mongols killed almost 100% population for example in Choresm..so hard to say...
 

AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
27,731
Italy, Lago Maggiore
Paraguayan war for sure.... but.. when you have lower population figures .. per cent chances of losses is greater if you are doing a total war.. as Paraguayan did... for example...and for sure.. Mongols killed almost 100% population for example in Choresm..so hard to say...
And Mongols hadn't XIX century firearms.

Anyway yes, generally when a little entity fights against a wide military force, the percentage of losses usually is well high.
 
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Maki

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
4,089
Republika Srpska
I find it hard to believe that the Mongols killed 100% of the people of Khwarezm.
 

At Each Kilometer

Ad Honorem
Sep 2012
4,232
Bulgaria
Most devastating conflict in human lives, adjusted for the population of the state or even for the world population of VIIIth century is the rebellion of An Lushan against Tang dynasty in Northern China, 755-763 AD without any doubt. We have the numbers of the censuses before and after the rebellion, more than 30 million ppl died from 52 mil to 19 mil. The world population at the time was around 200 million.
 
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Dec 2019
83
Moscow
Most devastating conflict in human lives, adjusted for the population of the state or even for the world population of VIIIth century is the rebellion of An Lushan against Tang dynasty in Northern China, 755-763 AD without any doubt. We have the numbers of the censuses before and after the rebellion, more than 30 million ppl died from 52 mil to 19 mil. The world population at the time was around 200 million.
First of all, 30 mil dead out of 52 mil of prewar ppl means the drop of 60%, which is still less than in Paraguayan war. Secondly, if someone tells me that China could have had a more devastating war than anyone else in the world, I won't believe it because Chinese demographic superiority in this world seems unshakable, no matter what time we consider. It would not be possible for Chinese to catch up and excel that far, should they have less population than any other country for at least one moment of history. I mean, Chinese are likely to have had the most devastating war in terms of the absolute number of casualties, but not in relative terms as % of prewar population..
 
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