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Posted: 3/1/2001 3:09:46 PM EST
Which battle do you all think was the most catastrophic of all time?  I'm thinking something along the lines of Stalingrad... I mean that is one battle I personally Thank the Lord I didn't have to fight in.  I think over 2,000,000 men, women, children, cats and dogs died in that one!  It had urban warfare, steppe warfare, frozen warfare, and hot summer warfare too!  It had encirclement and starvation followed up with desperate last stands and massive human wave assaults.  House to house, hand to hand, up in your face combat on that scale is unimaginable.  A real mixed bag of misery!
Link Posted: 3/1/2001 3:22:59 PM EST
the most catastrophic battle started long before our time and has yet to end.
we are just in the beginning of it and most do not know it.
the lines of battle are blurred and the enemy unknown.
far greater will be the casualties of this war than any war man could impose upon his own kind.
Link Posted: 3/1/2001 3:47:27 PM EST
Catastophic in what way?  In terms of the sheer loss of life?  Military resources?  Or both?  Some battles have destoyed entire armies, some have inflicted great loss of life among non-combatants.  I will agree Stalingrad was catastrophic in terms of loss of life.
boxer WTF are you talking about?  I'm pretty sure were talking about military engagements here, or that's what I got out of it anyway.
Link Posted: 3/1/2001 3:59:54 PM EST
By catastrophic I guess I mean most severe in terms of intensity and desperation along with scale.  I dont know...what is the first battle that comes to ones mind when they think of the horror of war...

and yeah boxer... I was talking about military engagements... go back to bible school, and oh yeah, soddom and gamorah wasnt a battle...hehe
Those gay hedonists never had a chance!
Link Posted: 3/1/2001 4:10:22 PM EST
The first one that comes to mind in terms of being bloody, is the Battle of Culloden Moor, where the Jocobite army was finally defeated by the Butcher of Cumberland, but hey when you're fighting with big long knives it's bound to be bloody huh?
Link Posted: 3/1/2001 4:11:15 PM EST
Well if you want to talk about how the amount of peolpe who died in a war, well Scipio was talking about the bible well I say Noah. When God killed everyone who didn't believe that he was going to destroy the world with water. There were only 8 souls saved the bible says, Noah his wife thier three sons and thier wives.
I would think that is the most, I guess. War wise battle of the Bulge.
Link Posted: 3/1/2001 4:29:33 PM EST
Stalingrad is a good choice, but I would have to say the Somme is the worst. Imagine fighting in those same trenches for months at a time with Mustard Gas to worry about. Having to charge into certain death. I would gladly have served in Stalingrad over the Somme.
Link Posted: 3/1/2001 4:32:07 PM EST
I'd say that if you're a Democrat, it would be
Florida, 2000.  John
Link Posted: 3/1/2001 4:45:04 PM EST
I recently finished reading a book entitled "Flags of Our Fathers" written by James Bradley.  The book chronicles the lives of the 5 United States Marines and 1 US Navy Corpsman that raised the flag on Mount Suribachi during the invasion of Iwo Jima.  The book is written by the son of the US Navy Corpsman John Bradley.  

Even though the cost in lives was not as extensive as other conflicts in history, while reading this book I began to feel a profound respect for the amount of firepower the Japenese had packed on this 8 square mile island.  It took the Marines almost two months of difficult fighting to take this island.  Of the twenty-two transports of troops landed on the island, only eight ships were needed for the survivors.  

I would recommend this book to anyone interested in history and American Pride.  I must admit that I had to lay this book down more than once to wipe tears from my eyes.  I think the book gives a whole new perspective to the sacrifices made by the generations before us.  

Sorry to ramble on, but I feel pretty strongly that most people in today's society have lost respect, admiration, and knowledge of the immense sacrifices made so that we may enjoy the life we live today.  After reading about the intense national, community, and personal pride and sense of duty that was commonplace in those days, I often wonder, if the chips were down could America do it again?
Link Posted: 3/1/2001 4:46:02 PM EST
biggest,most horrific battle ever is yet to come it will destroy all nations Armies and will be fought in the valley of Medigo...........don't worry I read the end and we[believers in Christ] win!
Link Posted: 3/1/2001 4:55:43 PM EST

What are the paramiters.  Are we talking about the most deaths?  There were some WW1 battles that lasted weeks and 100,000's of thousands died.

The inverntion of the machine gun really took its toll.

Link Posted: 3/1/2001 4:59:17 PM EST
Ok, got one.

ss109 mentioned
Battle of the somme WWI:
In four months 1.1 million died in battle.

Link Posted: 3/1/2001 5:27:35 PM EST
Link Posted: 3/1/2001 5:46:42 PM EST
1S1K and all:

You have brought up some classic military history.  How about Admiral Lord Nelson's defeat of the Spanish Armada?  Napolean's Waterloo?  Battle(s) of Gettysburg?  Pearl Harbor, Midway or the Battle of Britain?  Khe Sahn?  The entire Gulf War?

Link Posted: 3/1/2001 7:39:43 PM EST
SRM, one very minor correction (assuming you're thinking of Trafalgar or Aboukir Bay) - Nelson defeated the French fleet, not Spanish.  The Spanish didn't have much of a fleet during Nelson's time.  You suggestion is a good one though!

Depending on how we define catastrophic, you could say that the Battle of Zama, 202 BC.  It involved nearly 80,000 troops and lead to the total destruction of Carthage.
Link Posted: 3/1/2001 8:00:22 PM EST
Looks like we gots some historian's here![:)]
Link Posted: 3/1/2001 8:29:13 PM EST
I would also say Stalingrad was the worst when it came to lives lost,material loss, and duration. Hitler should have allowed Field Marshal Friedrich Paulus to withdraw while there was something to save. Having to Romanians covering there left flank was also a bad idea.

My second choice would be the three battles of Ypres in World War One. That was a series of serious blood baths.

Link Posted: 3/1/2001 8:39:35 PM EST
You answered your own question. NOTHING compares with the Russian-German campaign. And I'm not even going to get started on the Noahs Ark stuff.
Link Posted: 3/1/2001 8:56:10 PM EST
You ain't seen a battle until you've seen my four daughters(Three are teens), fight over our only bathroom. They take no prisoners![rail]
Link Posted: 3/1/2001 8:58:09 PM EST
Don't forget Kursk. TOTALLY catastrophic for the German armored corp in the east.
Link Posted: 3/1/2001 9:22:36 PM EST
Not quite a historian here but I really think that the battle of Thermopylae would definitely be in the top ten.  Several thousand Spartan soldiers and supporters from the other Greek states against a few million Persians.  While wiped out to the last man I understand that the Spartans eliminated over a million Persians.

Link Posted: 3/1/2001 9:48:33 PM EST
I don't know if Thermopylae would really qualify as "catastrophic", since it was only intended to be a delaying action, anyway. Chida66, it was only 300 Spartans (Leonidas' personal guard) that was involved. There were over twice that many from Thespei (spelling most likely wrong), and they WERE killed to the last man, but 1 Spartan, Aristademos, survived. He was called "Aristademos the Coward" by the citizens of Sparta for not staying with his fellows, even though Leonidas had sent him back. I'm not sure of the details of the other states who sent troops, but there were several that did. While the Greeks did lay an ass-whoopin' on the Persians while they lasted, the battle lasted for less than a few days, and the casualties probably amounted to not much more than several thousand. Chida66, please do not take this as a flame! (I, too, thought of Thermopylae, but it really wasn't a "pivotal" battle, all it was intended to do was gain time for the rest of Greece to prepare)
Link Posted: 3/1/2001 10:25:40 PM EST
Duinkerke springs to mind, one of the first battles against the Germans. The british gravely underestimated their enemy and overestimated their own capabilities. And literally got driven back in to the sea.
Link Posted: 3/1/2001 10:50:36 PM EST
Yep. Dunkirk definitely ranks on up there.
Link Posted: 3/1/2001 11:06:39 PM EST
It's hard to name just one.  Since no one has mentioned it I thought I would throw Antietam in there.  It's definitely one of the worst as far as Americans are concerned.

Link Posted: 3/2/2001 7:19:57 AM EST
Russia-Germany WWII

I know it's not just one battle, but the sheer numbers and the slaughter are staggering.

Link Posted: 3/2/2001 7:27:26 AM EST
Macys....July of 1989....me and my x ole lady fighting about her charge card habits....it was a mess.
Link Posted: 3/2/2001 7:33:57 AM EST
Not to flame, but I don't think the battle of Dunkirk was catastrophic at all from an allied point of view.  What was catastrophic, were the events that lead up to Dunkirk.  France stopping the Maginot line at the Border to the northern countries was an excercise into stupidity.  France did not concentrate their armor, but instead spread them out so thin they were ineffective.  Another excercise in stupidty.  The brits actually did a good job at Dunkirk by getting so many thousands of soldier back to the island.  Especially since by all rights, had the German Army had proper leadership, would have destroyed the entire British expiditionary forces at the beach.  Since this was the mass of Britains army, it could have been catastrophic but was not.

All in all the Brits did an excellent job at Dunkirk, and in the air over england in the year that followed.  The evacuation, and the Battle of Britain allowed the only practical base of operations to tackle mainland Europe.  Dunkirk, was really a good tactical retreat in my opinion as they were able to save so many men.

The most catastrophic battle in my opinion was for Iraq in the first 20 minutes of desert storm.  

Just one mans opinion
Link Posted: 3/2/2001 7:47:13 AM EST
Stalingrad was probably the most deadly battlefield ever, but that battle happened over a period of months.

For sheer concentrated slaughter and mayhem, the battle of Cannae in 216 B.C. might take the cake.  Between 50-60,000 Roman soldiers were surrounded and killed in a single day.  This certainly fits the description of "most catastrophic", since an army of 70-80,000 Romans was completely destroyed in one engagement.

Here's a cool page with graphics and an animation of the battle.  Its estimates of the dead are the lowest I can find (at 46,000), but it offers a lot of detail.



For a modern counterpart of the Battle of Cannae, let's not forget the massive encirclement battles that were fought in the first months of Hitler's invasion into the Soviet Union in 1941.  In some of these battles, as many as 300,000 Soviet troops were surrounded in a single engagements lasting two weeks.

The Battle of St. Petersburg was no picnic either.  Nor was the Battle of Berlin.
Link Posted: 3/2/2001 8:17:02 AM EST
  Thermopolylae was pivotal, but the true catastophic defeat of the Persians came at Salamis, during which Xerxes's fleet was crushed by the Athenians, which in turn led to Platea, the final land battle of the campaign.  This was only catastrophic from the Persian point of view, I suppose, but is probably the reason we all don't speak Farsi.  I believe that the Greek repelling of Xerxes represents the first time a true world-spanning imperial power was checked.  Few conflicts have had such polarization between sides.  This was truly East vs. West, Autocracy (in its infancy, granted) vs. Tyranny.  If catastrophe is measured as monumental change, the second Persian defeat by the Greeks of BC 481-479 certainly has to rate highly.

Link Posted: 3/2/2001 8:21:50 AM EST
Revolutionary WAR. Bayonets and close hand to hand combat and acually seeing blood spewing from friend and foe, it had to be very disturbing.
Link Posted: 3/2/2001 8:26:45 AM EST
I'd say Stalingrad was one of, if not the worst.

But for pure human suffering, the Campaign that was waged back and forth for Ukrain in WWII probably takes the cake for overall death, destruction, and misery for a "continuous" campaign.

Stalin was just as brutal with the Ukrainians as was Hitler (in one day ordered the mass execution of 35,000 captive partisans so that they would not be freed by Hitlers advancing army) (all though, don't say that in public, if you dare state that Stalin actually killed more than Hitler, you will be instantly called anti-semetic).  

In the 4 year period, 19,000,000 men women and children were put to death in Ukraine.
Link Posted: 3/2/2001 9:39:25 AM EST
Don't forget the battle of poon-tang. It's been waged since the dawn of man and last time I checked, most of us were loosing. Except for maybe McUzi.
Link Posted: 3/2/2001 10:13:22 AM EST
The Battle for the Planet of the Apes!

[img]http://www.prophecysite.com/bt12.jpg[/img] [img]http://www.prophecysite.com/bt20.jpg[/img]
Link Posted: 3/2/2001 10:18:10 AM EST
May, 1967- 881North, Quang Tri Province
The NVA had been ready and waiting. Dug deeply into the interconnected system of fighting bunkers with as much as six feet of packed earth and logs overhead, superbly camouflaged and aiming down lanes cut out of the underbrush, the enemy troops held their fire until the leading Marine units were only a few feet away. The intitial volley knocked down scores of young Marines and sent the stunned survivors scrambling for cover, enemy marksman
firing rifles with telescopic sights shot radio operators and machine gunners through the head.
The Americans fought back with their new M16 rifles which they had received earlier that month, but their new rifles began to break down.
As the Marine fire dropped off, signal whistles sounded on the hillside as NVA squad leaders maneuvered their soldiers out off the bunkers to flank and overrun isolated Marine positions.
NVA soldiers shouted out in English: "Put on your helmets, Marines! We're coming after you and you are going to die today!"
After the battle, dozens of American dead were found crouched over their rifles, killed as they tried to thread together the pieces of their cleaning rods so they could ram a jammed shellcasing out of their rifles and return to the fight.
A bitter Marine who had been wounded wrote to his family in New Jersey, "we left with 1400 men in our battlion and came back with half. Of the 250 men in my company, 107 survived. Practically every one of our dead was found with his rifle torn down next to him. Don't beleive what you read in the newspapers"
This was a catastrophic battle for those men.
Link Posted: 3/2/2001 8:46:31 PM EST
Yeah, Major, you're probably right. Not an accountant, but recall that Russia lost over 20 million (including civilians) in that little misunderstanding (after all they had a non-agression pact with Germany,so it must have been a misunderstanding}, and don't recall the number of German casualties. As for the "most catastrophic battle of all time" its the one you were in and your side lost. Good thing those guys didn't have nukes, or we probably wouldn't be around to debate the question.
Link Posted: 3/2/2001 8:56:31 PM EST
I stand corrected. I think Stalingrad was the worst. It has all the horror of the Somme, plus the cold. I think most of the ancient battle casualty rates should be discounted. Some of those alleged deaths would have de-populated Europe. [kill]
Link Posted: 3/3/2001 3:59:05 AM EST
most catastrophic for american servicemen, in ww2, were the b17 raids over europe......
Link Posted: 3/3/2001 4:10:52 AM EST
eleftaria...it is so wrong. if only we could have hindsight, or even trust a govt. that screwed over the guys on the line...i know that nothing said can change anything, and then come home to so much hatred!....so wrong...
Link Posted: 3/3/2001 4:48:18 AM EST
You guys are destroying your image that guys with a AR15 are dangerously dumb .

Interesting posts I think.

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