Top 10 most bloody wars in human history

Top 10 most bloody wars in human history

Today I will tell you about the 10 most bloody wars in my opinion.

  • Napoleonic Wars (1803-1815)
  • The Civil War in Russia (1917-1923)
  • The Dungan Revolt (1862)
  • Rise of An Lushan (8th century AD)
  • The First World War (1914-1918)
  • The Wars of Tamerlane (14th century)
  • The Taiping Revolution (1850-1864)
  • The Manchu Conquest of China
  • Wars of the Mongol Empire (13-15 centuries)
  • The Second World War (1939-1945)

10. Napoleonic Wars (1803-1815)

The wars that Napoleon Bonaparte waged with various European countries from 1803 until 1815 are usually called: Napoleonic Wars. The gifted commander began to redistribute the political map of Europe even before he made the Coup of 18 Brumaire and became the First Consul.

The Hanoverian campaign, the war of the Third Coalition or the Russo-Austro-French War of 1805, the war of the Fourth Coalition, or the Russo-Prussian-French War of 1806-1807, which ended with the famous Treaties of Tilsit, the war of the Fifth Coalition, or the Austro-French War of 1809, the Patriotic war of 1812 and the war of the Sixth Coalition of European Powers against Napoleon, and finally the campaign of the Hundred Days, which ended in the defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo, claimed the lives of at least 3.5 million people. Many historians double this figure.

Napoleonic Wars

Napoleonic Wars.

9. The Civil War in Russia (1917-1923)

In the civil war that followed the 1917 revolution in Russia, more people died than in all Napoleonic wars: at least 5.5 million people, and, according to more ambitious estimates, all 9 million. And although these losses amounted to less than half a percent of the world’s population, for Russia the war between the Reds and the Whites had the most serious consequences. No wonder Anton Ivanovich Denikin canceled all awards in his army – what awards in the fratricidal war?

And, by the way, the Civil War did not end in 1920 with the Crimean evacuation and the fall of the White Crimea as many believe. In fact, the Bolsheviks managed to suppress the last hotbeds of resistance in Primorye only in June 1923, and the struggle with the Basmachi in Central Asia dragged on until the forties. 

The Civil War in Russia

The Civil War in Russia.

8. The Dungan Revolt (1862)

In 1862, the so-called Dungan Revolt against the Qing Empire began in northwest China. Chinese and non-Chinese Muslim national minorities – Dungans, Uyghurs, Salars – rebelled, as the Great Soviet Encyclopedia writes, against the national oppression of Sino-Manchu feudal lords and the Qing dynasty. English-speaking historians do not quite agree with this and see the origins of the uprising in racial and class antagonism and in the economy, but not in religious strife and rebellion against the ruling dynasty. Be that as it may, but began in May 1862 in Weinan County, Shaanxi Province, the uprising spread to Gansu and Xinjiang provinces. There was no single headquarters for the uprising, and according to various estimates, from 8 to 12 million people suffered in this war. As a result, the uprising was brutally crushed, and the Russian Empire sheltered the surviving rebels. Their descendants still live in Kyrgyzstan, southern Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.

Dungan Revolt

Dungan Revolt.

7. Rise of An Lushan (8th century AD)

The era of the Tang dynasty is traditionally considered in China to be the period of the country’s highest power, when China was far ahead of the modern countries of the world. And the civil war at that time was a match for the country – a grandiose one. In world historiography, it is called the An Lushan rebellion. Due to the affection of Emperor Xuanzong and his beloved concubine, Yang Guifei, the Turk (or Sogdian) in the Chinese service An Lushan concentrated huge power of the army in his hands – under his command were 3 out of 10 border provinces of the Tang empire.

In 755, An Lushan rebelled and the next year proclaimed himself emperor of the new Yan Dynasty. And although already in 757 the sleeping leader of the uprising was stabbed by his trusted eunuch, it was only possible to pacify the rebellion by February 763. The number of victims is staggering: by the smallest account, 13 million people died. And if you believe the pessimists and assume that the Chinese population declined at that time by 36 million people, you have to admit that the rebellion of An Lushan reduced the then world population by more than 15 percent. In this case, if we consider the number of victims, it was the largest armed conflict in the entire history of mankind until the Second World War.

An Lushan

An Lushan.

6. The First World War (1914-1918)

The hero of Francis Scott Fitzgerald’s novel, “The Great Gatsby”, called it the “late migration of the Teutonic tribes.” This was called the war against war, the Great War, the European War. The name it stayed with in history was invented by Colonel Charles Repington, a military columnist for The Times: World War I.

The starting shot of a world meat grinder was a shot in Sarajevo on June 28, 1914. From this day until the truce on November 11, 1918, 15 million were killed by the most conservative estimates. If you come across the number of 65 million – do not be alarmed: it also included all those who died from the Spanish flu – the most massive flu pandemic in the history of mankind. In addition to the mass of victims, the result of World War I was the elimination of four empires: the Russian, Ottoman, German and Austro-Hungarian.

The First World War

The First World War.

5. The Wars of Tamerlane (14th century)

Remember the painting “The Apotheosis of War” by Vasily Vereshchagin? So, initially it was called “The Triumph of Tamerlane”, and all because the great eastern commander and conqueror loved to build pyramids from human skulls. I must say that there was no shortage of material: for 45 years of aggressive campaigns, the lame Timur – in Persian Timur-e-Lyang, and historically best known as Amir Timur or Tamerlane – killed no less than 3.5 percent of the world’s population in the second half of the XIV century. Minimum 15 million people were killed, or even all 20.

Wherever he just went: Iran, Transcaucasia, India, the Golden Horde, the Ottoman Empire – the interests of the iron lame stretched widely. Why iron? Because the name Timur, or rather Temur is translated from the Turkic languages ​​as “iron”. Towards the end of Tamerlane’s reign, his empire extended from Transcaucasia to the Punjab. Emir Timur did not have time to conquer China, although he tried – death interrupted his campaign.


Tamerlane was a Turco-Mongol conqueror who founded the Timurid Empire in and around modern-day Afghanistan, Iran and Central Asia, becoming the first ruler of the Timurid dynasty.

Read: Battle of Stalingrad. Movie

4. The Taiping Revolution (1850-1864)

China is in fourth place again, which is not surprising: the country is densely populated. And again, the times of the Qing empire, that is, turbulent: the opium wars, the Dungan rebellion, the Ichtuan movement, the Xinhai revolution … And the bloody Taiping uprising, which claimed the lives of 20 million people. Indiscreet increase this figure up to 100 million, that is, up to 8% of the world’s population. The uprising that began in 1850 was basically a peasant war – disenfranchised Chinese peasants rose up against the Manchu Qing dynasty. The goals were very good: to overthrow the Manchus, drive out the foreign colonialists and create a kingdom of freedom and equality – the Taiping kingdom of heaven, where the word Taiping itself means “Great Peace”.

The uprising was led by Hong Xiuquan, who decided that he was the younger brother of Jesus Christ. But in a Christian way, that is, mercifully, it did not work out, although the Taiping kingdom in South China was created, and its population reached 30 million. “Hairy bandits”, so nicknamed for rejecting the braids imposed on the Chinese by the Manchus, occupied large cities, foreign states got involved in the war, uprisings began in other parts of the empire … The uprising was crushed only in 1864, and only with the support of the British and the French.

The Taiping Revolution

The Taiping Revolution.

3. The Manchu Conquest of China

You will laugh, but … Again the Qing Dynasty, this time the era of the conquest of power in China, 1616-1662. 25 million victims, or almost five percent of the world’s inhabitants, are the cost of creating an empire, founded in 1616 by the Manchu clan Aisin Gero on the territory of Manchuria, that is, present-day northeastern China. In less than three decades, all of China, part of Mongolia, and a large chunk of Central Asia came under its rule. The Chinese Ming Empire weakened and fell under the blows of the Great Clean State – Da Qing-go.

Conquered by blood it hold on for a long time: the Qing empire was destroyed by the Xinhai revolution of 1911-1912, and the six-year-old Emperor Pu Yi abdicated. However, he will still be destined to lead the country – the puppet state of Manzhou, created by the Japanese invaders in the territory of Manchuria and lasting until 1945.

The Manchu Conquest of China

The Manchu Conquest of China.

2. Wars of the Mongol Empire (13-15 centuries)

Historians call the Mongol Empire a state that developed in the 13th century as a result of the conquests of Genghis Khan and his successors. Its territory was the largest in world history and stretched from the Danube River to the Sea of ​​Japan and from Novgorod to Southeast Asia. The area of ​​the empire is still amazing – approximately 24 million square kilometers. The number of people who fell during its formation, existence and collapse will also impress: according to the most optimistic estimates, it is not less than 30 million. Pessimists account for all 60 million.

True, we are talking about a significant historical period – from the first years of the XIII century, when Temuchin united the warring nomadic tribes into a single Mongolian state and received the title of Genghis Khan, and until standing on the Ugra in 1480, when the Muscovite state under Grand Prince Ivan III was completely freed from Mongol-Tatar yoke. During this time, between 7.5 and 17 percent of the world’s population perished.

Tatar-Mongol yoke

Tatar-Mongol yoke.

1. The Second World War (1939-1945)

The most terrible records are kept by the Second World War. It was the most bloody one – the total number of its victims is cautiously estimated for 40 million, and inadvertently for all 72. It was the most destructive one: the total damage of all the warring countries exceeded the material losses from all previous wars taken together and is considered equal to one and a half, or even two trillion dollars. This war was “the most global” war – 62 states out of 73 that existed at that time on the planet, or 80% of the world’s population, participated in it. The war was on earth, in heaven and at sea – hostilities were fought on three continents and in the waters of four oceans. This was the only conflict so far in which nuclear weapons were used.

The Second World War

The Second World War.



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