What were the bloodiest battles in history?

Sep 2015
1
York
Hi all, i'm new to the forum so hope people don't mind me opening a new thread.

I make Youtube video's based around mysteries, history and creepy stuff from around the world.

For my latest video I have been looking at the bloodiest battles in history.

Obviously this is going to be very subjective but my top 5 are based on not only casualties/deaths but also brutality.

I'b be really grateful if you would check out my video and let me know what you think: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a7btfBhkYOs

Do you agree or disagree with my top 5?
 

Vintersorg

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
5,938
Belgium
I'd have to think about it some more, but Stalingrad is the one that pops into my head almost immediately.

the battle of Antietam and the battle of the Somme might also be taken into consideration I think.

Of course, these are only recent examples. The further you go back the more difficult it is to ascertain how bloody they really were.
 
Aug 2015
402
michigan
Depends on your criteria. The Battle of Murfreesboro in the ACW was particularly bloody, with approximately 1/3 of participants becoming casualties. In fact it was the worst battle by percentage of the entire war.
 

johnincornwall

Ad Honorem
Nov 2010
7,991
Cornwall
Definitely depends on the era.

As Kevinmeath suggested Towton, for example, was extremely bloody for it's day. But cant really be compared to the Somme in any way.

I guess you could go by percentage of overall participants so Borodino and Waterloo would feature highly.

In Spain - which is my history bit - Las Navas (1212) was particularly attritional for the age. It was an all day combat between 2 sizeable forces in an area of battlefield where - like Borodino - there was no flanking possible and it was all head to head. In this age the field battles were nearly all decided relatively quickly either way, with the heavy cavalry and heavy armour involved.

But I wouldn't compare it to Stalingrad!
 

martin76

Ad Honorem
Dec 2014
6,930
Spain
Depends on your criteria. The Battle of Murfreesboro in the ACW was particularly bloody, with approximately 1/3 of participants becoming casualties. In fact it was the worst battle by percentage of the entire war.
I thought it was Antietam.

I would say the battles in WW1 and WW2: Stalingrad, Moscow, Somme, Verdun, Leningrad, Flanders, Brussilov etc etc etc.. What do we understand for a battle? Brussilov is an offensive as Verdun, Somme, Stalingrad, Moscow etc etc

I thought the blodiest battle in British History was Kaiserlacht in 1918. According with the book History of the Great War based on Official Documents, Medical Services. Casualties and Medical Statistics, on page 168, the British Army casualties in France and Flandes in 1918, were 2.060.254 (204.621 death, included 14.420 DOI).. so I imagine most casualties should occur during Kaiserlacht.
 

Scaeva

Ad Honorem
Oct 2012
5,630
I thought it was Antietam.
While other battles in the ACW surpassed Antietam in total casualties or the percentage of combatants killed and wounded, Antietam was the single bloodiest day in American history, with about 22,000 casualties.

Gettysburg had around 50,000 casualties and was the bloodiest battle of the war, but it was fought over three days compared to Antietam's one.
 

Lawnmowerman

Ad Honorem
Mar 2010
9,842
The Japanese soldiers guarding the embassy district in the Boxer Rebellion had a casualty rate of 120% (or something like this). Meaning that everyone got wounded at some point or other then sent back into battle only to be wounded again.
 
Aug 2015
402
michigan
While other battles in the ACW surpassed Antietam in total casualties or the percentage of combatants killed and wounded, Antietam was the single bloodiest day in American history, with about 22,000 casualties.

Gettysburg had around 50,000 casualties and was the bloodiest battle of the war, but it was fought over three days compared to Antietam's one.
Depends, like I said before, on your criteria. As percentage of troops involved, Murfreesboro was the bloodiest by far. As total casualties for a one day battle Antietam was, and as total casualties over the course of a single battle (more than one day) , Gettysburg.