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Forum LockedThe most terrible battle?

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    Posted: 09-Jan-2008 at 03:49
I would go with Verdun.

1) For the ferocity
2) The duration
3) The terrain
4) Psychological train, the fact that relief after relief of men, literally months of dead piled up and still no progress.

There are many battles I am glad I was not part of... Verdun heads the list though (Flanders and the Somme taking 2nd and third....)


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Spartakus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Jan-2008 at 10:22
All battles are terrible, one way or another.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote xristar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Jan-2008 at 11:34
Stalingrad urban battles on the russian side, in the early months.
I read once, that on average each russian soldier survived 18 hours after entering the battle (crossing to the west side of the Volga).
Later, the few russians that survived the slaughterhouse of Stalingrad, apart from becoming guard troops, were also cynically acclaimed as to have finished the "Stalingrad academy of urban warfare".


Edited by xristar - 09-Jan-2008 at 16:16

Defeat allows no explanation
Victory needs none.
It insults the dead when you treat life carelessly.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sparten Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Jan-2008 at 12:35
Siachin Glacier Pakistan-India; 24-25,000 feet heights, -50-60 C. Hell.
The Germans also take vacations in Paris; especially during the periods they call "blitzkrieg".
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote xristar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Jan-2008 at 13:52
When did this occur? (I will look it up in wikipedia, - it seems interesting)

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sparten Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Jan-2008 at 16:01
as we speak.
wiki is not a good source, too many flame wars.
here is a good one (pakistani)
 


Edited by Sparten - 09-Jan-2008 at 16:06
The Germans also take vacations in Paris; especially during the periods they call "blitzkrieg".
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Paul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Jan-2008 at 16:06
Towton was pretty awful... No cavaly, no archery, just a brutal hand to hand across a narrow front in icy weather.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Temujin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Jan-2008 at 19:48
Originally posted by ChrisBoonzaier ChrisBoonzaier wrote:

I would go with Verdun.

1) For the ferocity
2) The duration
3) The terrain
4) Psychological train, the fact that relief after relief of men, literally months of dead piled up and still no progress.

There are many battles I am glad I was not part of... Verdun heads the list though (Flanders and the Somme taking 2nd and third....)




which battle of Flanders?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Brian J Checco Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Jan-2008 at 21:10
The siege of Sevastopol, during the Crimean war... Wiki (I know, I know...) lists the forces as being 55,000 Anglo-French troops, 35,000 Russian troops; and the casualties at an estimated 50,000 for the Anglo-French, 20,000 for the Russians. The Anglo-French forces won, with a casualty rate of almost 90%. It was an early example of trench warfare. The British and French troops bombarded the city with 120 guns from the land, while the Allied Fleet also bombarded the port city. The Russians returned fire with 360 cannon from the city for the duration of the Siege, which lasted from September 1854 to September 1855 (one full year). That winter was particularly harsh, and disease incapacitated many of the Allies. Sniper fire, in murderous amounts from both sides, claimed many, including the Russian commander, Admiral Nahkimov (huh-huh-huh-headshot).
There you have it; trench warfare, massive artillery barrages, disease, snipers, winter, year-long duration, excessively high casualty rates... plus, no antiseptic, no anesthesia, no antibiotics... gets my vote for the most terrible battle (from the perspective of a soldier) of all time.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Temujin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Jan-2008 at 21:51
Originally posted by Brian J Checco Brian J Checco wrote:

The siege of Sevastopol, during the Crimean war... Wiki (I know, I know...) lists the forces as being 55,000 Anglo-French troops, 35,000 Russian troops; and the casualties at an estimated 50,000 for the Anglo-French, 20,000 for the Russians. The Anglo-French forces won, with a casualty rate of almost 90%. It was an early example of trench warfare. The British and French troops bombarded the city with 120 guns from the land, while the Allied Fleet also bombarded the port city. The Russians returned fire with 360 cannon from the city for the duration of the Siege, which lasted from September 1854 to September 1855 (one full year). That winter was particularly harsh, and disease incapacitated many of the Allies. Sniper fire, in murderous amounts from both sides, claimed many, including the Russian commander, Admiral Nahkimov (huh-huh-huh-headshot).
There you have it; trench warfare, massive artillery barrages, disease, snipers, winter, year-long duration, excessively high casualty rates... plus, no antiseptic, no anesthesia, no antibiotics... gets my vote for the most terrible battle (from the perspective of a soldier) of all time.


i really hate those ww1 comparisons with teh Crimean War. the point is, all this (trenches etc) already were commonplace in all the sieges since the 17th century at least but came more and more out of favour until the Nap wars, therefore everyone thinks the Crimean War was already a preview for ww1 while it was, basically, a return to much earlier practices.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Brian J Checco Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Jan-2008 at 03:12
True, but I seem to recall nowhere that I said "this battle was like WWI." The fact of the matter was that Sevastopol was one of the first major battles involving trenches and breech-loading rifles, which, as we know, makes for an extremely high casualty rate.
Anyway, WWI is the war in which trench warfare was the defining feature, and the one most popularly associated with it. Lighten up, bud.

And, on top of that, while trench warfare was used earlier, in it's very nature it was highly different to Crimean or WWI trench warfare. Muzzle-loading muskets and early artillery weren't nearly as lethal as the technology employed in later wars.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sikander Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Jan-2008 at 17:26
Unfortunately I also have to go for Verdum and Somme. Stalingrad would come third. They lived in sheer terror for months...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CatalŠn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Jan-2008 at 17:43
How about being a Roman, encircled at Cannae?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Temujin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Jan-2008 at 18:46
Originally posted by Brian J Checco Brian J Checco wrote:

True, but I seem to recall nowhere that I said "this battle was like WWI." The fact of the matter was that Sevastopol was one of the first major battles involving trenches and breech-loading rifles, which, as we know, makes for an extremely high casualty rate.
Anyway, WWI is the war in which trench warfare was the defining feature, and the one most popularly associated with it. Lighten up, bud.

And, on top of that, while trench warfare was used earlier, in it's very nature it was highly different to Crimean or WWI trench warfare. Muzzle-loading muskets and early artillery weren't nearly as lethal as the technology employed in later wars.


but the Crimean "trench warfare" was a siege trench like in previous centuries, not a trench in ww1 as a field fortification. weapons in the Crimean war were still not as deadly as in ww1, they were closer to the Nap Wars than ww1. in the 17th century they also already deployed snipers with rifled muskets that would try to shoot defenders on the ramparts. also even 17th century mortars could shoot a whole town into burnign ashes, its not that in those centuries there was no devastation or high casualty rates. Magdeburg was razed to the ground and 90% of the population killed in the process. there is really nothing special or outstanding about the Crimean War.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Temujin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Jan-2008 at 18:47
Originally posted by Sikander Sikander wrote:

Unfortunately I also have to go for Verdum and Somme. Stalingrad would come third. They lived in sheer terror for months...


what about Leningrad then?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CatalŠn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-Jan-2008 at 14:38
Interestingly, although I've been studying the Second World War for years now, I could never really imagine what the citizens of Leningrad were going through.   Two years ago, my uncle (a Spaniard) married a Russian woman, who's parents had gone through Leningrad.  Their stories really revealed a personal aspect to the siege of Leningrad, and really helped to give a much more vibrant idea of what they went through.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote deadkenny Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-Jan-2008 at 15:02

Not to take anything away from those who suffered through the Seige of Leningrad, but there wasn't as much fighting in the city itself as there was in Stalingrad.  Leningrad was a large city that was kept supplied by a very tenuous 'lifeline'.  Most of the supplies necessarily went to the military, leaving the civilians on 'starvation' level rations.  However, other than the occasional artillery shell the fighting never penetrated into the city itself.  In Stalingrad the Germans captured most of the city after 'slogging' their way through it street by street and block by block.  In terms of 'battle' (as opposed to suffering or bombardment of civilians) I would rank Stalingrad higher. 

If I were to choose in general, I would probably go along with Verdun.  I might mention the Battle of the Atlantic, although I view that as more of a prolonged 'campaign' than a 'battle' in the traditional sense of that term.  In terms of 'intensity', if not scale, I would suggest Iwo Jima, where the Japanese force was ultimately killed almost to the man (99% fatalities) and the US suffered heavy losses themselves (actually greater losses than the entire Japanese force, although not all deaths).

 



Edited by deadkenny - 13-Jan-2008 at 15:03
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Challenger2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-Jan-2008 at 22:47
Yelnia Salient in 1941. German officers who had fought at Verdun considered Yelnia was worse.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Samara Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Jan-2008 at 09:59
Borodino

50 000 mens death in one battle. A terrible engagment, the most bloody battle of the 19th.

I am agree too with Crimean Wars.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Scaevola Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Jan-2008 at 09:17
Originally posted by CatalŠn CatalŠn wrote:

How about being a Roman, encircled at Cannae?
 
I was thinking Cannae too. What a slaughter.
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