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Forum LockedThe most terrible battle?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sparten Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Jan-2008 at 09:50

Nanking 1864. Awful. Borodino 1812, Third Panipat 1761, the British retreat from Kabul, 1842.

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 Illirac Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Jan-2008 at 14:38
Stalingrad(ww2), Verdun(ww1) and Hattin(crusades) perhaps
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jonathan4290 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-Mar-2008 at 02:57
Originally posted by Temujin Temujin wrote:

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.
 
I agree that the seiges of the Crimean War aren't the best examples of trench warfare but perhaps the other battles such as Balaclava provide a better one? Either war, the era of trench warfare could still probably be traced all the way back to Waterloo with the way firepower and defence won the day and even the American Civil War as firepower became more decisive. The era of trench warfare only peaked in World War I and then was quickly replaced by maneuver warfare.
 
As for most terrible battle my vote goes to Passchendale; it was trench warfare except with flooding. Out of 250,000 Allied casualties, 40,000 were never even found Confused
 
If we want to go by pure blood, it's definitely Leningrad, it recieved first prize on this list: http://users.erols.com/mwhite28/battles.htm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Darius of Parsa Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Mar-2008 at 04:14
The Battle of Pelusium was less a battle than a man slaughter for the Egyptians.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Workhorse 61 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-May-2008 at 02:45

I am going to have to go with Iwo Jima because 1) I have a personal bias (I am a Marine after all) and 2)certain facts and figures that go along with it.  For an island only 21K square, there were about 47,000 casualties (killed, wounded, missing, captured) in an operation that lasted just over one month.  Additionally 27 Medals Of Honor were awarded for actions during the battle.  14 of these were posthumously.  23 were awarded to Marines, and the other 4 were awarded to sailors.  The 23 Medals awarded to Marines constitute 30% of the Medals of Honor awarded to Marines for the entire duration of the Second World War. 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sparten Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-May-2008 at 06:50
Iwo Jima is a reason why the Pacific had either higher or lower morale (depending on how you look at it) than the ETO. Fighting for uninhabited attols rather than cities.
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 Workhorse 61 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-May-2008 at 23:47
I agree.  The other factor is even though you are moving forward through the island chains, there is no relative distance to compare where you are from where you landed.  Such as, in the ETO you could measure the distance from your position to the Normandy beachead and have a physical idea of how much ground you covered that gave tangible proof of progress. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote brunodam Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-May-2008 at 02:25
Originally posted by Scaevola Scaevola wrote:

Originally posted by CatalᮝHow about being a Roman, encircled at Cannae?</td></tr></table> 
<DIV></DIV>
<DIV> </DIV>
<DIV>I was thinking Cannae too. What a slaughter.</DIV>[/QUOTE CatalᮝHow about being a Roman, encircled at Cannae?
 
I was thinking Cannae too. What a slaughter.
[/QUOTE wrote:

 
Yes, Cannae. But the problem is what we mean for "terrible"? Are we talking of number of casualties or of percentage of deaths or intensity o
 
Yes, Cannae. But the problem is what we mean for "terrible"? Are we talking of number of casualties or of percentage of deaths or intensity of fighting or massacre of survivors or whatelse? Cannae was a slaughter, but the same can be said of Verdun and Stalingrad and Iwo Jima and Attila's Camp Catalaunici and the battle of Manzikerth (between Turks and Bizantine) and the battle of Adrianopolis (between Gots and Romans) and so on......... I believe it is not possible to give a precise answer. For example, in the battle of Otranto the Turks killed all the city's population (even the few women and children who had survived the siege and surrendered) and suffered heavy casualties, but the siege of Leningrad was bigger in number of deaths (and was "terrible" even because of the many cases of "cannibalism").
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote C.C.Benjamin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Jun-2008 at 19:17
Originally posted by Scaevola Scaevola wrote:

Originally posted by Catal�n Catal�n wrote:

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


Absolutely.  I bet Hannibal slept like a baby after that day's work, and probably walked around with a boner for the next week.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tancred Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Jun-2008 at 16:25
Battle of the Field Of Blood 1119
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dodgeballer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Jun-2008 at 07:45
I must say that for that stalingrad was by far the most terrible due to first casualties secound russian terrian in winter is very very harsh for either side.some battles may have had a higher casualty rating but the climate and terrain of winter russia on top of the casualties makes this battle a little more horrific then others
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Benedictus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-Sep-2008 at 15:12
Verdun was undoubtedly one of the worst due to
1) Troop position in trenches (I have visited)
2) Starvation
3) Savagery of fighting when encountered (bayonets, unpredictability of attack)
4) Mustard Gas (horrible death)

I can't imagine the sheer terror of having to rise out of the trenches knowing that once you did, a maelstrom of shells from a Gatling gun would surround you and your comrades (no pun intended).

But all in all, I would say that the Battle of Antietam was the worst in modern history. This is why.
1) The raw power of the musket doesn't just make a hole, it rips large portions of the body as it passes through,; ergo massive trauma, huge risk of infection/loss of limb/death.
2) Sheer number of the troops involved (100,00's+) caused it to last several days.
3) Because it was spread over a number of days, sheer exhaustion sets in and causes one to lose sanity due to the savagery of warfare and increases chances of recklessness (charging when unlead by commander)
4) Called one of the bloodiest if not the bloodiest battle in American History.

http://www.historynet.com/george-smalley-reporting-from-battle-of-antietam.htm

This details a first-hand account of a reporter who attended the battle and stood with Brigadier General, Joseph Hooker as the fighting raged.

I don't assume to say that it was the worst in history; I think it could be any where disease and starvation are key elements. (what would be the motivation to fight and die savagely if no semi-decent conditions occur?). What about being beseiged by a Roman army for years?

Let me know your thoughts about Antietam. :)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Red4tribe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Oct-2008 at 14:05
I have to say Stalingrad. The battle lasted several months, utterly destroyed a city, house to house fighting, and in the end, hundereds of thousands dead.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sammysnake Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Feb-2009 at 15:55
I'd second Verdun for pure lunacy and sustained artillery fire against anyone and anything that moved.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jallaludin Akbar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Feb-2009 at 18:06
Verdun is really said to be the deadliest battle in human history

Other deadly battles are:
The Battle of Kabul and Gandamak
Battle of Somme
Stalingrad
Battle of Cannae
Siachen Glacier

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vorian Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Feb-2009 at 19:07
The battle of Carrhae must have been terrible for the Roman soldiers as well.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Aster Thrax Eupator Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Feb-2009 at 21:30
62 BC - Catalina's forces versus Ciceros' in Northern Gaul - according to Sallust, pretty much a massacre on both sides - all bodies found dead at their posts. In any case, it must have been pretty darn bloody.
 
1879 AD - Rookes' drift - a small number of troopers left over from Isandlwana hide in a mission house and are besieged by a troop of Zulu warriors who were late for the main battle (Isandlwana) and are eager for a victory.
 
June 7th, 1896 - The battle of Ferkeh against the Mahdist forces. Kitchener's army was equipped with bolt action rifles, repeating rifles, grenades, maxim guns, cannon etc and the Mahdists with muskets, pistols and hand-to-hand combat weapons. What do you think happened?


Edited by Aster Thrax Eupator - 01-Feb-2009 at 21:37
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote macayana Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Mar-2009 at 03:49
My thoughts about Antietam :)

1) I did not know that the battle lasted several days.  From what I've read, the day after the battle was relatively quiet, with both armies staying put in their positions.  Had McClellan attacked, then Lee would probably have been crushed.

2) It may have been the bloodiest one-day battle in the Civil War, but in terms of total number of casualties, it was exceeded by Gettysburg (which was fought over three days), and even by Chancellorsville (which was fought over two days).

3) In any event, the @25,000 casualties suffered by both sides at Antietam are dwarfed by the @75,000 casualties suffered by both sides at Borodino.

Antietam was a terrible battle, yes.  But there were others (such as Verdun) which, imho, were worse.

Nice thread :)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Galahadlrrp Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-May-2009 at 05:22
--A wee quibble. Borodino wasn't the bloodiest battle of the 19th Century. That "honor" belongs to The Battle of Nations/Leipzig, in 1813. Casualty estimates range from around 90000 to nearly 120000.
--Though its total numbers aren't way up there along with the likes of Verdun and Cannae, The Battle of Cold Harbor on 3 June 1864 was pretty nasty. The Union forces lost about 7500 men and the Confederates lost about 1500--in about a quarter of an hour. That doesn't seem too bad if you're accustomed to what machine guns and rapid fire field guns can do.....but they were using muzzleloaders.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Knights Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-May-2009 at 07:17
Galahadlrrp -

I cannot think of the 19th century's bloodiest battle, but I have one option. 3rd Nanking in the Taiping Rebellion took place in 1864, with over 200,000 killed, let alone casualties.

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