Largest Armed Conflicts
War. War never changes. A lot of politics, warfare, famine and deaths. We welcome you to our list of top 5 largest conflicts in history of man.
The modern world is still living with the consequences of World War 2, the most titanic conflict in history. 70 years ago on September 1st 1939, Germany invaded Poland without warning sparking the start of World War Two. By the evening of September 3rd, Britain and France were at war with Germany and within a week, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and South Africa had also joined the war. The world had been plunged into its second world war in 25 years. Six long and bloody years of total war, fought over many thousand of square kilometres followed. From the Hedgerows of Normandy to the streets of Stalingrad, the icy mountains of Norway to the sweltering deserts of Libya, the insect infested jungles of Burma to the coral reefed islands of the pacific. On land, sea and in the air, Poles fought Germans, Italians fought Americans and Japanese fought Australians in a conflict which was finally settled with the use of nuclear weapons. World War 2 involved every major world power in a war for global domination and at its end, more than 60 million people had lost their lives and most of Europe and large parts of Asia lay in ruins. Estimated death toll: 40.000.000 – 72.000.000.
2. An Lushan Rebellion
Rebellion beginning in 755 in China led by An Lushan (703 – 757), a general of non-Chinese origin. An Lushan rose through the ranks of the Tang-dynasty army in the 740s, becoming a military governor and a favourite of the emperor, Xuanzong. In 755 he turned his troops on the eastern capital city, Luoyang, and after taking it he proclaimed himself emperor. Six months later his forces took Chang’an, the western capital. He was murdered in 757, and the rebellion was put down in 763. The Tang government was much weakened, however, and the second half of the Tang dynasty and the subsequent Five Dynasties period were troubled by chronic warlordism. Estimated death toll: 33.000.000-36.000.000
3. Mongol Conquests
Genghis Khan. In the late 1100’s, Temujin, a Mongol chieftain who later became known as Genghis Khan, rose to power as khan. He began to unify and organize the scattered Mongol and other nomadic tribes into a superior fighting force. Genghis Khan was shrewd, ruthless, ambitious, and a strict disciplinarian. After he became the undisputed master of Mongolia, and “lord of all the peoples dwelling in felt tents,” he set out on a spectacular career of conquest. In many parts of the world, in particular, the Arab Middle East, Europe, and the Americas, the Mongols have become synonymous with murder, massacre, and marauding mayhem. Their advent is portrayed as a bloody “bolt from the blue” that left little but destruction, death, and horrified grief in its wake. A medieval Russian chronicle from Novgorod vividly describes their impact on the region: “No one exactly knows who they are, nor whence they came out, nor what their language is, nor of what race they are, nor what their faith is . . . God alone knows”. Estimated death toll: 30.000.000-60.000.000
4. Taiping Rebellion
The Taiping Rebellion was a widespread civil war in southern China from 1850 to 1864, led by heterodox Christian convert Hong Xiuquan, who having received visions, maintained that he was the younger brother of Jesus Christ against the ruling Manchu-led Qing Dynasty. About 20 million people died, mainly civilians, in one of the deadliest military conflicts in history. Estimated death toll: 20.000.000-30.000.000
The spark that set off WWI was assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, in Sarajevo on 28 June 1914. Assassin was Gavrilo Princip, associated with the movement “Mlada Bosna” (Young Bosnia). Austria-Hungary’s reaction to the death of their heir was to issueOn 28 July, the conflict opened with the Austro-Hungarian invasion of Serbia, followed by the German invasion of Belgium, Luxembourg and France; and a Russian attack against Germany. After the German march on Paris was brought to a halt, the Western Front settled into a static battle of attrition with a trench line that changed little until 1917. In the East, the Russian army successfully fought against the Austro-Hungarian forces but was forced back by the German army. Additional fronts opened after the Ottoman Empire joined the war in 1914, Italy and Bulgaria in 1915 and Romania in 1916. The Russian Empire collapsed in 1917, and Russia left the war after the October Revolution later that year. After a 1918 German offensive along the western front, United States forces entered the trenches and the Allies drove back the German armies in a series of successful offensives. Germany agreed to a cease-fire on 11 November 1918, later known as Armistice Day. an ultimatum to Serbia which, in the extent of its demand that the assassins be brought to justice effectively nullified Serbia’s sovereignty. Estimated death toll: 15.000.000-65.000.000 (high estimates include Spanish flu).