Top 10 Bloodiest Wars Ever
5. Taiping Rebellion
China, 1851-1864, Death Toll: 25 millions, Civil War
The Taiping Rebellion is arguably the largest war on the 19th century This was a religion war fought by a faction that wanted to bring a form of Christianity to the mainly Buddhist and Confucius China. The rebellion was lead by Hong Xiuquan who ascribed to a form of Christianity that was not accepted by orthodox Christians. Xiuquan who controlled the Heavenly Kingdom of Great Peace, wanted to remove the traditional religions and substitute the form of Christianity he followed. His plan was to wage war against the Qing Dynasty that ruled China at the time. The Dynasty fought back enlisting the help of French and British forces. When the fifteen year long rebellion was over Xiuquan had been defeated and an estimated 20,000,000 lives had been lost.
4. Conquest of Ming Dynasty
China, 1616-1662, Death Toll: 25 millions, Conquest
The Ming Dynasty is recognized as one of the greatest and most stable in history. It was established in 1368 and lasted until 1644. In 1616 a Manchurian leader named Nurchaci began seizing control of the Manchurian tribes in China. In 1618, he demanded the Ming dynasty pay him tribute, an act of open defiance that started the war. The Ming Dynasty fought off the Manchurians for years. Those years of war left their mark on the Chinese peasants who began to rebel in 1640. They were starving and the Ming Dynasty offered no relief. In 1644, the rebel army captured Beijing and rather than face disgrace, the emperor hung himself. In the chaos that followed the short-lived Shun Dynasty was defeated by the Manchurians. For years, groups loyal to the Ming Dynasty existed, even while the Manchurian Dynasty was in power. These groups lasted until the creation of the Republic of China in 1912. During the various battles for control an estimated 25,000,000 people both military and civilian loss their lives.
3. An Shi Rebellion
China, 756-763, Death Toll: 35 millions, Rebellion
The An Shi Rebellion lasted for the reign of three Tang Dynasty emperors in China. It started in 755 and ended in 763. An Lushan a general favored by the emperor, was the primary figure in the revolt. He was accomplished not only in war but also in deception. He orchestrated the revolt and managed to avoid being implicated by deviously manipulating the emperor. It is estimated that the death toll during this time of rebellion was as high as 36 million. The rebellion took its toll on both the Tang Dynasty and the culture of China. Because the Dynasty lacked the power to control the rebels, the emperor became no more than a figurehead. This provided an opening for foreign groups to raid Tang territory. Slowly over the next century, the Tang Dynasty lost more power until it was only a name with no real authority.
2. Mongol Conquests
Asia, 1207-1472, Death Toll: 45 millions, Conquest
The Chinese Dynasties ruled large areas with an iron hand, but no empire compares with the Mongol. The Mongol Empire is said to have been the largest empire to ever exist, ruling over twenty percent of the earth. Its growing pains included the deaths of an estimated 45 million people who died in the name of conquest. Genghis Khan and his descendant Kublai Khan were both ruthless men who ordered the destruction of entire towns and the execution of the inhabitants; both men and women. It is believed that their warriors actually had a quota of people to kill. The number most often heard is 24 lives in any battle. Due to the size of the Mongol Empire, its wars with other powers of the day could be considered world wars. The Mongols were so ruthless and so feared that in one incidence 100,000 Chinese committed mass suicide to escape. The Mongol conquest created the largest empire the world has ever known and also the bloodiest.
1. World War II
Global, 1939-1945, Death Toll: at least 56 millions, Global war
World War I had been called the “war to end all wars”, but unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. What it did do was help to plant the seeds of discontent that grew into World War II. WW II lasted from 1939 to1945 and true to its name involved the majority of the nations of the world. The world was divided into two camps the Allies and the Axis. The war began in 1939 with Nazi Germany’s invasion of Poland. The Allies consisted of: the British Empire, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the United States of America, Albania, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Czechoslovakia, Ethiopia, France (before it was defeated and again after it was liberated), Greece, India, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, the Philippine Commonwealth, Poland, the Union of South Africa, and Yugoslavia. The Axis powers were: Germany, Italy, Japan, Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria. This war saw the mobilization of 100 million military personnel. It is also infamous for Germany’s attempt to destroy as many Jews as possible in the Holocaust. WW II was the first and only war where atomic weapons were used. The Nazis in the Holocaust systematically murdered an estimated six million European Jews. In Japan an estimated 200,000 died when the atomic bombs were dropped. The majority of the deaths were on the first day of the bombing but others died of long-term effects like cancer. In all both military and civilian deaths are believed to be 60 million. The war ended in 1945 with the Allies’ victory. World War II has gone down as the bloodiest war in history of mankind.