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  • Bloodiest day in history?

    We all know what the bloodiest day in US history, as well as facts about a few other countries and their bloodiest days...

    My question is, what was the bloodiest day world wide?

    I guess we could divide this into two questions, one for battlefield casualties and another for total casualties (civ + military).

  • #2
    Don't have any figures to hand but I guess the first day of the Somme would be up there as one of the worst...
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    • #3
      Hmmmmm

      Was Antietam the single bloodest day in American history?

      More men were killed or wounded at Antietam on September 17, 1862, than on any other single day of the Civil War. Federal losses were 12,410, Confederate losses 10,700.

      I would have thought that either:

      March 9-10th, 1945 Firebombing of Tokyo (100k? casualties)

      Or

      The Bombing of Hiroshima (130k? casualties)

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      • #4
        Hiroshima comes to mind. 135,000 dead and injured.
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        • #5
          Yea, Hiroshima & Nagasaki would rank at the top I think, even if just for the number of people that died instantly .
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          • #6
            Other than Hiroshima I think it was the first day of the Battle of the Somme. If memory serves me correct it was 50,000 casualties.
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            • #7
              Total Casualties Over Time

              Tokyo certainly suffered more casualties than Hiroshima and Nagasaki over time. However, I think the question was on a single day. The March 9-10 bombing puts Tokyo ahead of Nagasaki.

              The Somme definately ranks up there amoung modern battles:

              Haig used 750,000 men (27 divisions) against the German front-line (16 divisions). However, the bombardment failed to destroy either the barbed-wire or the concrete bunkers protecting the German soldiers. This meant that the Germans were able to exploit their good defensive positions on higher ground when the British and French troops attacked at 7.30 on the morning of the 1st July. The BEF suffered 58,000 casualties (a third of them killed), therefore making it the worse day in the history of the British Army.

              How about Borodino on 7 September 1812?

              Russians retreated during the night having suffered 44,000 casualties. The French had 33,000 men killed and wounded but were only days off capturing the enemy capital. Of course, of the French soldiers that survived Borodino, no more than 5,000 ever left Russia alive.

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              • #8
                Re: Total Casualties Over Time

                Originally posted by Gepard
                Tokyo certainly suffered more casualties than Hiroshima and Nagasaki over time. However, I think the question was on a single day. The March 9-10 bombing puts Tokyo ahead of Nagasaki.

                The Somme definately ranks up there amoung modern battles:

                Haig used 750,000 men (27 divisions) against the German front-line (16 divisions). However, the bombardment failed to destroy either the barbed-wire or the concrete bunkers protecting the German soldiers. This meant that the Germans were able to exploit their good defensive positions on higher ground when the British and French troops attacked at 7.30 on the morning of the 1st July. The BEF suffered 58,000 casualties (a third of them killed), therefore making it the worse day in the history of the British Army.

                How about Borodino on 7 September 1812?

                Russians retreated during the night having suffered 44,000 casualties. The French had 33,000 men killed and wounded but were only days off capturing the enemy capital. Of course, of the French soldiers that survived Borodino, no more than 5,000 ever left Russia alive.
                i agree---Borodino! (hiroshima might have it beat, though.)
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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Keef
                  Other than Hiroshima I think it was the first day of the Battle of the Somme. If memory serves me correct it was 50,000 casualties.
                  On 2 Aug, 216 BC,at Cannae, the Carthaginian Army under Hannibal Barca slaughtered up to 70 000 Romans while losing approx. 6 000 of their own men.
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                  • #10
                    I Didn't Do Ancient Battles

                    I didn't go into ancient history battles because so many of the numbers are suspect.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Re: Total Casualties Over Time

                      Originally posted by Fenrir
                      i agree---Borodino! (hiroshima might have it beat, though.)
                      I remember reading the book "War" by Gwynne Dyer in which he tried to convey the slaughter at Borodino. The only way he could think to convey the carnage was to ask the reader to imagine an armada of 747's, each full of people, crashing once a minute from sun up to sun down. That was Borodino.

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                      • #12
                        Well it very hard to determine total loss of life, particularly as we move back into previous centuries. While the bloodletting of our own Civil War was considerable, and certainly WWI at Verdun and the Somme, I think perhaps the passage of Tamerlane through what is now India, Pakistan, Afganistan and Iran, may very well hold the deadliest days in the history of the world.

                        If my memory serves me, he slaughtered entire cities, men, women, and children, and stacked their skulls in the central squares. From all the Chroniclers it appears he depopulated the entire region and destroyed substantial cultural centers. He used terror on a scale that even modern man has failed to approach, although Hitler, Stalin and Mao, can claim some rightful comparison.

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                        • #13
                          I think Tigersqn got it right, maybe, for one day in all of world history. Hannibal at Cannae with about 70 to 80,000 Romans dead and Hannibal maybe 6,000.

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                          • #14
                            By bloodiest day, do y'all mean just dead or does that include wounded as well. Because I believe the Tokyo fire bombings actually surpassed Hiroshima and Nagasaki for total casualties, with all the immediate burn victims and all. Of course, radiation later went far past that, but those weren't immediate casualties. But Borodino does seem like the worst in terms of purely military casualties.
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                            • #15
                              Dresden was another ugly one,Dont recall the numbers off the top of my head.
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