Special Report

The Deadliest Battles in American History

Fred Ramage / Getty Images

Since 1775’s American Revolution, more than 42 million Americans have served in the military during a time of war, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. 

Many of these troops paid the ultimate price – over 650,000 Americans have been killed in battle while serving their country. Many of these deaths occurred during especially bloody battles in conflicts all around the world.

To determine the deadliest battle in U.S. history, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the article The 18 Deadliest Battles in American Military History from History Collection. U.S. military engagements were ranked based on the number of troops killed in action.

Each of the deadliest battles in U.S. history took place on foreign soil. Though the Civil War featured fierce fighting, the war’s battles were generally a few days long, and the deadliest single day of fighting, at Antietam, claimed roughly 3,600 lives. Yet in foreign conflicts, such as the World Wars and Korea, battles often stretched for weeks and even months, with thousands of troops killed. These are the wars in which the most Americans died.

Most Americans will likely be familiar with many of these conflicts. Names like Iwo Jima, the Battle of the Bulge, and Guadalcanal are taught in school as essential moments in American and world history. Many of these battles, and the heroic figures who fought in them, have been immortalized in classic films. These are the greatest war movies ever.

Click here to see the deadliest battles in US history

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

18. The Battle of Saint-Mihiel
> Est. U.S. deaths: 4,500
> War: World War I
> Location: France
> When: September, 1918

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Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

17. The Chinese Offensive in Korea
> Est. U.S. deaths: 4,500+
> War: Korean War
> Location: Korea
> When: November – December, 1950

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

16. The Pusan Perimeter
> Est. U.S. deaths: 5,000
> War: Korean War
> Location: Korea
> When: August – September, 1950

Source: Keystone / Hulton Archive via Getty Images

15. The Battle of Anzio
> Est. U.S. deaths: 5,538
> War: World War II
> Location: Italy
> When: January – June, 1944

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Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

14. The Lorraine Campaign
> Est. U.S. deaths: 6,657
> War: World War II
> Location: France
> When: September – December 1944

Source: Hulton Archive / Archive Photos via Getty Images

13. Iwo Jima
> Est. U.S. deaths: 6,821
> War: World War II
> Location: Japan
> When: February – March, 1945

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Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

12. The Alsace Campaign
> Est. U.S. deaths: 7,000
> War: World War II
> Location: France
> When: November 1944 – February 1945

Source: U.S. Navy / Hulton Archive via Getty Images

11. Battle of Guadalcanal
> Est. U.S. deaths: 7,100
> War: World War II
> Location: Solomon Islands
> When: August 1942 – February 1943

Source: FPG / Archive Photos via Getty Images

10. Operation Dragoon
> Est. U.S. deaths: 7,301
> War: World War II
> Location: France
> When: August – September, 1944

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Source: FPG / Archive Photos via Getty Images

9. The Gothic Line
> Est. U.S. deaths: 8,486
> War: World War II
> Location: Italy
> When: September 1944 – April 1945

Source: U.S. Army / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

8. Battle of Luzon
> Est. U.S. deaths: 10,380
> War: World War II
> Location: The Philippines
> When: January – August, 1945

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Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

7. The Battle of the Huertgen Forest
> Est. U.S. deaths: 12,000+
> War: World War II
> Location: Germany
> When: September – December, 1944

Source: FPG / Archive Photos via Getty Images

6. The Battle of Okinawa
> Est. U.S. deaths: 12,500+
> War: World War II
> Location: Japan
> When: April – June, 1945

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

5. Central Europe Campaign
> Est. U.S. deaths: 15,000+
> War: World War II
> Location: Germany
> When: March – May, 1945

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Source: Fred Ramage / Hulton Archive via Getty Images

4. The Battle of Normandy
> Est. U.S. deaths: 16,293
> War: World War II
> Location: France
> When: June – July 1944

3. The Battle for France
> Est. U.S. deaths: 17,844
> War: World War II
> Location: France
> When: July – September, 1944

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Source: Fotosearch / Archive Photos via Getty Images

2. The Battle of the Bulge
> Est. U.S. deaths: 19,200+
> War: World War II
> Location: Belgium, Luxembourg
> When: December 1944 – January 1945

Source: FPG / Archive Photos via Getty Images

1. Meuse-Argonne Offensive
> Est. U.S. deaths: 26,277
> War: World War I
> Location: France
> When: September – November 1918

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