The history of war goes back thousands of years. Some of the earliest known wars were fought in Egypt and Sumer around 3000 B.C. Alexander the Great fought a series of battles around 330 B.C. While some of these wars probably took tens of thousands of lives, modern warfare, with larger armies and more advanced weapons, pushed death tolls much higher.
And although it ended more than 75 years ago, World War II killed the most people in history. Over the course of the war, it is estimated that 70 million people were killed, most of whom civilians. However, it is worth considering that there are “wars within” wars, and these are often the deadliest and most decisive. Among the best known of these is The Battle of Gettysburg was was fought from July 1 to July 3, 1863. It helped the Union turn the tide against the Confederacy.
How deadly a war, and battles within them, are often hinges on the evolution of weapons. What is called “modern war” began about the year 1800. It was characterized by the wide use of gunpowder and heavy weapons, which included, in particular, cannons. The earliest of these were the Napoleonic Wars (1803 to 1815). These had another characteristic. They were fought over large geographic areas that included multiple nations.
Navies were an early change in how wars were fought. A more recent, but major, change in warfare tactics was the use of aircraft as weapons. Planes were not widely used until World War I and eventually evolved to the point where they could level entire cities, which first happened in World War II.
To determine the deadliest battles in world history, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed Deadliest Battles In Human History from World Atlas
Notably, the most deadly battle in history took place fairly early in the period of modern warfare. The The Brusilov Offensive was fought in the middle of WWI, long before the wide use of extremely deadly military warplanes. Here are the details:
> World Atlas estimated casualties: 1.6 million
> Combatants: Russian Empire, Austria-Hungary, Germany, Ottoman Empire
> Location: Russian Empire
> Year(s): 1916
The Brusilov Offensive was a Russian victory against the Germans that involved heavy Russian casualties. Named after the Russian general who spearheaded the military victory, one of the most successful in World War I, the summertime offensive sparked the demise of the Habsburg Empire. Germany sent military reserves to support the Empire, which weakened them on the Western Front.
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