The Top 10 Deadliest Battles in Military History

When we look back in time at military battles, we discover that the deadliest battles in history had enormous amounts of death and destruction. In these battles we find that, in the majority, the United States had no involvement.

When you search various sources on the internet, you will find some writers saying that certain battles during the United States Civil War had a place in this, but they did not research the figures very closely at all. While there were some large casualty numbers in the Civil War, they are not even close to the number of deaths in the top 10 deadliest battles in military history.

In today’s post, starting from #10, I am going to share an accurate list of the top 10 deadliest battles in military history. Let’s take a look.

10: Second Guangxi Campaign

It was a part of the 2nd Sino – Japanese War. While many people know that Japan attacked the U.S. during World War II, numerous individuals don’t realize that the Japanese also invaded China. They had taken control of the Southern Chinese province of Guangxi.

From April to August of 1945, the Chinese committed to a counter offense to retake the province, and since the United States had dropped atomic bombs of Nagasaki and Hiroshima, Japan, they were successful in taking it back.

It is estimated that the death count was approximately 1,000,000.


9: Battle of Moscow

This took place between October of 1941 and January of 1942. Adolf Hitler and his German forces tried unsuccessfully to take Moscow from the Russians. While there are many debates as to the death counts on both sides, it is evident that there were well over 1,000,000 killed in the results of the Nazi forces going against the Russians.


8: Siege of Leningrad

The Germans, along with Italian and Finnish forces attacked the Russian city of Leningrad. It was a long and devastating siege lasting from September of 1941 until early 1944. Death estimates are anywhere from 1,000,000 up to 4,000,000.

Many civilians either evacuated or died.


7: Battle of the Somme

This battle took place during World War I. It lasted from early July to mid November 1916. It was between German forces against French and English forces to control the Somme river in France. Estimates come in that death tolls were around 1,200,000 in this blood bath during World War I.


6: Battle of Stalingrad

Taking place from August of 1942 until February of 1943, the Germans and their allies attempted to capture the Russian city of Stalingrad. The Russians were resilient and held the city despite heavy losses. They saw opportunity in weakened German flanks to make some great battle techniques that many military leaders still study and learn from.

Losses by death were around 1,300,000.


5: Battle of Berlin

This was also Russians against Germans from mid April to early May of 1945. It was a turn of revenge for what the Germans had done in Russia. The death count was high as Russian forces overwhelmed the Germans and Adolf Hitler committed suicide. The Russians took control of East Berlin. Death estimates come in at around 1,300,000.


4: Operation Ichi-Go

This was a part of the 2nd Sino – Japanese War during World War II. It lasted from April to December of 1944. The Chinese were trying to keep areas they controlled, but the Japanese were much too powerful. Many Chinese citizens died as a result. Death estimates come in at around 1,300,000.


3: Operation Barbarossa

This was the term the Germans used on their invasion of the Soviet Union from June to December of 1941. Hitler was quite deceptive, as they had signed a non-aggression pact with the Russians not long before this. As detailed in his plans, Hitler had always knew he would invade Russia. Both civilian and military death counts were extremely high in this operation. Estimates are around 1,450,000 deaths.


2: Battle of the Dnieper

The Dnieper River was a prime piece of real estate and the Germans had claimed part of it. The Russians knew they had to reclaim it and the Battle occurred from August to December of 1943. The death counts were extremely high, but the Soviets were victorious. Estimates are of more than 1,500,000 killed.


1: Brusilov Offensive

The deadliest battle in military history lasted from June to September of 1916. It was World War I and the Russians were fighting against Austria/Hungary, the German empire and the Ottoman empire. General Aleksei Brusilov used military tactics that are still studied today. It was a definitive Russian victory with death tolls reaching nearly 2,000,000.


Final Thoughts

As we plainly see, the highest death rates seem to always have Russian and German involvement. Only one of these had any American military involvement. During Operation Ichi-Go, we did have some Army Air Force personnel involved.

What are your thoughts on the 10 deadliest battles? Do you agree with my findings? Just leave your comments below. Thank you.

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