10 of History’s Deadliest Wars


War is hell. That’s an unavoidable part of the deal any
time multiple parties enter into an agreement to fight each other to the death. Some conflicts have seen more carnage than
others, and the length of them can vary greatly, but one potential outcome of war is a hefty
body count. And boy, there have been some doozies throughout
history. Some of these numbers can be so high, it’s
almost impossible to comprehend. Some of these skirmishes you’ve probably
heard about, while others probably aren’t taught during your standard history courses. One thing is for sure, and that’s the absolutely
staggering numbers of deaths. Here are the wars with the highest death tolls
in the history of the world. 10. The Second Congo War Several countries in Africa hosted battlefields
during World War II, and nothing since then on the continent saw the same amount of death
and destruction until 1998. That’s why the Second Congo War has been
referred to as “Africa’s World War.” The country of Zaire was invaded by neighboring
country Rwanda in 1996, causing Zaire president Mobutu to flee. The country was then dubbed the Democratic
Republic of Congo. But the “republic” was tenuous already. Several shifts of power took place, with other
African countries supporting Rwanda, while others took up arms for the DRC. Nine countries and 25 groups and militias
entered the fray in total. Beyond the fighting was an absolute slew of
famine and rape. Though a peace accord was signed in 2002,
the fighting in no way stopped. Natural resources, which are incredibly plentiful
in the areas affected by the war, are a constant source of power struggles and renewed conflicts. Over 5 million people have died as a direct
cause of the Second Congo War, and indeed it has been the deadliest conflict in the
world since the Second World War. 9. Thirty Years’ War Religion and warfare have historically been
close bedfellows. 17th century central Europe found that out
the hard way. When Emperor Ferdinand II was anointed the
leader of the Holy Roman Empire in 1619 and forced those living under his rule to practice
Roman Catholicism, protestors in Prague literally threw representatives of his out the window. A domino effect commenced. The Bohemian revolt was next. Protestant states in the north, backed by
Sweden, Denmark, and Norway, looked to break away from the Holy Roman Empire. They formed alliances with Germany. Ferdinand got help from Spain. The Ottoman Empire jumped in fought for the
Bohemians. Ferdinand was winning the war at first, until
Sweden’s leader, Gustavus Adolphus, pushed the Catholics back. Ferdinand rose again, when the French joined
in against them. It was a couple decades of stalemates and
short, meaningless armistices. It wasn’t until 1648 that a legitimate treaty
was signed, leading to a massive transformation of the European map, and the reduced influence
of religious organizations. It also stoked a different kind of fire in
the more pronounced distrust of different ethnicities and religious beliefs. All told, 8 million people perished during
the prolonged conflict. 8. Russian Civil War As Russia was participating in the maelstrom
that was the First World War, internally the country was in utter chaos. Two revolutions in February and October of
1917 led to Tsar Nicholas II being abdicated and a massive surge by the Bolsheviks, a faction
helmed by Vladimir Lenin. The sides were drawn: the Red Army (seeking
to install the Bolshevik leader Lenin) and the White Army (a collection of allies including
democratic socialists and capitalists). Even though Russian was fighting this war
in-house, other countries like France, the U.S., and England jumped in to support the
White Army. That support ended when WWI finished up the
next year. The next two years saw shifting balances between
Red and White, but in 1920, the Bolsheviks won a decisive victory in the south that saw
a major retreat of the White Army. The Bolsheviks’ desire to create a soviet
socialist republic was complete, but at the cost of over 9 million lives. 7. An Lushan Rebellion Dynasties in China are almost like the NFL
in that teams, in this case ruling factions, have a continuous, prolonged streak of greatness. The difference is that instead of the Patriots,
49ers, and Steelers having great decades, it’s Chinese emperors leading the country
for hundreds of years and causing untold amounts of bloodshed in the process. In 755 A.D., the Tang dynasty saw one of its
own military men lead a rebellion against the ruling government. The general, An Lushan, named himself emperor,
which actual sitting emperors really hate, and took over the capital city of Chang’an. His rival kingdom named itself the Yan Dynasty,
and continued for eight years before the Tangs finally shot down his rebellion. The military casualties, coupled with civilian
population devastation from the war and famine, led to a combined body count of at least 13
million people. 6. World War I Beginning in Europe, the First World War lasted
just four short years, from 1914 until 1918, but it was during a time of such industrialization
that the level of death and destruction was something that had not been dreamed possible
before. In Bosnia, Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated,
setting off a chain of events that drew in nearly every major country in the world. Germany was a major aggressor, and Allies
like England, France, Russia, and eventually the United States (after Germany began sinking
U.S. passenger ships) all took up arms against them. Russia would see an internal revolution in
their country (see entry #8), making them take a time-out midway through the war. The sea and air became battlefields like they
never had previously in human war. Machine guns and newer artillery enabled quick
and efficient killing. In the end, it was down to who could produce
more resources, and it was the Allies who won that race, leading to German surrender
in 1918, after 18 million people around the globe lost their lives. Close to 7 million of those were civilians. 5. Taiping Rebellion One in a long list of devastating wars that
occurred within China, the Taiping rebellion took place from 1850 until 1864. It was a revolt against the reigning Qing
dynasty (which we’ll talk more about shortly) by a cult-like group known as the God Worshipping
Society, who took issue with the economic conditions around them. The Taiping rebellion even led to the group
seizing the major city of Nanjing for over a decade. The leader of the rebellion, Hong Xiuquan,
began to expand the reach of his God Worshipping Society throughout China. In 1850, he began to see that his group was
properly armed and organized. They saw some victories as they defeated Qing
armies in several cities, and the siege of Nanjing would be their high water mark, but
once Europe joined the Qing forces, that was the beginning of the end. Hong was found dead in 1864, and the revolt
fizzled out, leaving in its wake at least 20 million dead. 4. Qing Dynasty Conquest The Ming dynasty in China ruled from 1368
until 1644, overseeing a time that included much of the Great Wall being built, the first
movable metal type printing, and the building of the famous Forbidden City. However, in 1618, rebellion against the Imperial
Chinese began in Manchuria, setting in motion events that would overthrow the entire Ming
dynasty. In 1636, a newly appointed leader of a new
Qing dynasty, Hong Taiji, crowned himself emperor of China The rebellion movement gained traction and
began to snowball towards the capital of Beijing, eventually taking it over in 1644. It still took another forty years of bloodshed
before the new Qing dynasty would establish themselves as the new regime in China, during
which time over 25 million people would lose their lives. The Qing would enjoy their reign of power
until 1912. 3. Second Sino-Japanese War A war that raged around the same time as World
War II, the Second Sino-Japanese War was fought between Japan and China from 1937 until 1945. Though a separate conflict initially, it was
eventually absorbed into the brouhaha of WWII, and some other countries involved in the world
war took sides with the two countries. The war stemmed from Japanese imperialistic
policies. When Japan bombed the U.S. base at Pearl Harbor
in 1941, the Americans came to China’s aid, which started to turn the tide of the Sino-Japanese
conflict. The war between the two often gets overlooked,
as the more famous battles of the Allies and Axis powers are more prevalent in the history
books. When the U.S. dropped the atomic bombs on
Japan in 1945, those effectively ended the Pacific theater of the war, which also ended
the Second Sino-Japanese War. Between 10 and 25 million civilians would
be killed in the conflict, the most of the entire Pacific side of WWII. 2. Spanish Conquest of the Americas The romantic notions of people from Europe
coming over and “discovering” the Americas leave out some pretty important bullet points:
it was more like pillaging, and there was widespread suffering, disease, and genocide. When Christopher Columbus sailed the ocean
blue in 1492, there were roughly 60 million people scattered across North and South America. White Europeans came with their diseases,
slavery, and overall murderous predilections, and reduced that to roughly 4 million. The math majors reading this will recognize
that’s about 90 percent of the indigenous people. Whole tribes were wiped off the face of the
planet, including the well-known treatment of the Native Americans of North America,
but also many lesser-known populations in the Carribean and South America. It’s believed the influx of Europeans killed
off so many people so quickly that the global temperature cooled for some time during the
1600s. So much farmland and forestry were left untended
by natives (who were now dead) that nature took over and gobbled up all the CO2 that
would normally keep the planet warm. 1. World War II It’s not called a World War just for laughs
– there was fighting on almost every continent in the world. The sides were mostly drawn up as the heroic
Allies versus the evil Axis powers, with over thirty countries around the globe embroiled
in the conflict. Russia, on the Allies side (mostly), took
the brunt of human losses in WWII, with over 20 million deaths. Those weren’t all from soldiers fighting,
either. Many were civilian losses from cities being
cut off, and from Russian leader Joseph Stalin being an all-around awful person. You would imagine that the Americans would
have taken quite a hit, but they lost a relatively-smaller number of around a half million. And we also must not forget the Holocaust,
which took place during the war, and which saw over 13 million persecuted souls murdered. All told, over 70 million died during WWII,
50 million of them civilians, and just over 3% of the world’s total population.

Comments 85

  • Shouldn't the Mongol conquests be up here? Or would those be counted as a series of wars?

  • You forgot the emu war.

    It killed a whole nation's pride.

  • Waiting for boogaloo comments

  • Never thought I'd be excited about deadly wars…top tenz strikes again. I won't say I enjoyed it, but I did found it interesting.

  • Did anyone even doubt what number 1 would be?

  • …well this was a cheerful way to start my morning…i'm gonna go cry now

  • no mongol wars of conquest?

  • The lusitania offten credited for the us going to war was far from the reason. Considering it sunk in 1915. Two years before the US enter.. the zimmerman telegram was the straw the broke the back

  • No Muslims?……..so Islam is the religion of peace…….

  • No sign of the war of the ring or the war of five kings? Hmmmmm

  • The 70+ million deaths during WW2 are considered to be a conservative estimate!

  • The Emu War and the Cola War.

  • I enjoyed it. Planet would already be uninhabitable if we didnt cull ourselves from time to time.

  • You forgot the deadliest war of all time, which is the war of the Galactic Confederacy, in which the ancient lord Xenu murdered hundreds of millions of his own people by dropping them into volcanoes, thus unleashing the dreaded Thetans upon emerging humanity.

    And yes, that is 100% factual! (According to L. Ron Hubbard!)
    🙂

  • Top Ten Abandoned Amusement Parks
    Top Ten Dilapidated Former Olympics-Held Locations

  • Thank you for not downplaying the genocide of North American Natives. A lot of innocent people were murdered just for being different.

  • war against obesity is world war 3

  • Every day we learn something new from you and Keep up with the content of all your channels you are the best.

    Create a new channel explains everything from the rules of Sports and how to play It starts in the year 2020 from the best host in YouTube Simon whistler .
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    If you want it comes true Let's click the LIKE👍🏻

  • History buff squad

  • Showed up on my recommend. First time I was early on a recommended video.

  • Stalin's black t-shirt: Bitches don't know about my Holodomor

  • Give me my facts

  • #2 is a freaking mess. The global temperature cooled because people died? Come on, y'all.

  • Islamic invasion of India will never come on these list cause people won't say it's true.

  • Would be intresting to do thecsame ranked by percentage of human habitation at the time..

  • War is the driving force o technological advancement, no matter how you look at it today it’s was that drives the push forward with technology

  • Do 10 Awkward Stories in the Koran.

  • To those who actually believe this subjective garbage along with the factual evidence of number 2: either conquer or be conquered. Darwinism at it's finest and evolution shows no mercy. Also, how could he forget Attila the Hun or even the Mongol conquests either?

  • Don't forget Poland, getting mass slaughter from both sides. Geoff Who learns.

  • So many people died in the earth cooled off a little. But other times when as many or more people died the Earth didn't cool off a little. Lots of BS I'll put it in the comments.

  • WWI ended with a ceasefire and no none actually won other than on paper. Germany was then treated as the loser and made to pay war reparations even though the war had not real winner.

  • I did actually enjoy that video. The more death and destruction the better, enjoyed it so much I almost had pause it to rub one out.

  • GUSTAVUS
    ADOLPHUS

    LIBERA ET IMPERA

  • to put the thirty years war in to perspective its helpful to realise that World war 1 killed about 1.6% of Europe's population by comparison without machine guns and industrialisation the 30 years war killed 1.4% of Europe's population

  • The deadliest in terms of population percentage has got to be by far the Mongol conquests, Ghengis khans hordes killed around 10 percent of the world population at the time. For example when the mongols invaded europe the kingdom of Hungary lost 40% of it's population in one year. In one single year the mongols killed at least 1 in every 5 people in the entire kingdom composed of millions of lives. And the mongol's invasion of europe was probably the least brutal of all their campaigns, the Siege of Baghdad in their middle eastern conquest saw over a million people murdered within only a few weeks. The bloodiest was probably in China where I believe the population of china dropped from 150 million to 50 million.

  • War
    War Never Changes.

  • World war 1 and 2

  • Genghis Khan was personally responsible for wiping out 10% of the world population during his era.

  • WWI has the highest death toll by far as it caused the Spanish Flu which killed 50-100 million world wide. This list is inconsistent as some of these wars only count combat deaths and others are primarily disease. The big numbers associated with the wars in China is mostly death by famine and dislocation.

  • Always thumbs down a video on war death count that mentions Jewish deaths, but leaves out Russian deaths. You could claim the Jewish were innocent, but it's clear most of the Russians didn't want any part in it either, they were largely just farmers dragged into it.

  • Defenestration

  • That statement about Russia being on the allies side mostly is the best one liner in history. Plus there is a lot of truth to it.

  • Spoiler alert: World War II is number one on the list.

  • #2 is a huge misrepresentation that plays into the noble savage fallacy. Those staggering numbers of deaths were overwhelmingly the result of disease, not genocide, and happened long before germ theory was on anyone's mind so you can't lay blame on the Europeans for that, and the natives were by no means passive victims. In fact, the only reason the Conquistadors succeeded was because they were able to recruit basically all of the non-Aztec tribes to join up and overthrow the brutal empire that was constantly raiding their homes for more human sacrifices.

  • I did enjoy the video

  • #2 is mostly due to disease, not war.

  • Had the Spanish conquest of the Americas as number 2, but this Brit overlooked the British conquest of India. As many as 35 million Indians were killed.

  • Wars keep the population down.

  • On the Americas part the native peoples did have slavery and genocide too. No empire's culture has clean hands.

  • I think that you put rules of war and stuff but war is war and no matter what stuff will happen

  • Happy Holidays! Lol!

  • #2 will be liked by your lefty friends but makes me doubt the rest of your work. 90% of the NA population died from total lack of immunity to diseases attributable to having no domestic animals … to trade diseases with (unlike Europe, Asia, Africa), North Americans had few if any farm animals. Greta Thunburg arriving in a Catamaran would also have killed 90% of the population. Relatively few died from out and out war and abuse. You might as well make the # 1 deadliest war the Black Death or the Spanish Flu. Politics always trumps the truth

  • no such thing as colonization. there is only immigration.

  • It depends on how many people were living in the americas when colombus arrived because let's say that there were 90m people, that would make it deadlier than ww2.

  • The 2nd sino jap war is the unofficial start of ww2

  • The Swedish “leader” Gustavus Adolphus… he was a king, not just a leader…

  • 5. Taiping Rebellion

    What I heard was 'The Typing Rebellion' and expected a rebellion by Secretaries around the World.

  • War eh? A warmongers favourite investment and they just need to keep those wars going for a high return.

  • Nailed it.

  • 20 century wars, civil wars, illnesses, ethnic cleansings, revolutions, religious prosecutions.
    Killed more people then all recorded centuries combined.

  • Colonialism is terrible and one of the worst things humanity has done.

  • This should be "in recorded history." We dont know if the early men warred.

  • War… War never changes.

  • 60 million that number is really low most real scholars have that number at 100 million but I guess you didn't want to out do WW2. The numbers are so staggering it makes Hitler blush just think of it without gas or machine guns ETC Columbus killed 5 million natives in a decade ! Over 20 million African people dead just on the ships trying to get to the so called new WORLD. The USA has a total native American percentage of 1.6% or about 5 million people most scholars thing there was about 60 to 100 million people here in other words the murder that went on here was staggering and the HATE is still VERY much alive.

  • @TopTenz please stop perpetuating the notion of "Russia" fighting the WWII in the context of a correct usage of the term "the USSR". This is a huge disservice to the memory of all the involved parties, especially when it comes to acknowledging the participation and the sacrifices of the other 14 republics' peoples

  • What I found interesting as someone that is American and holds a History Degree is that the American Civil War is not even on this list. I don't dispute this video what so ever, it really does show that war is brutal. Also it claims so many lives that even the American Civil War as devastating it was to human life does not show up on this top ten.

  • A poorly understood consequence of these vast slaughterhouse wars was the environmental catastrophe created by the corpses. While the problem is recognized, at least to some extent, modeling it is an unpopular academic research area. When a war produces millions of bodies in a relatively short time, the effects are considerable: unburied corpses produce nearly immediate disease breeding grounds, along with rapid rises in populations of scavengers both large and small, which become disease vectors beyond the battlefields. Also, both unburied and buried corpses create decomposition products that leech into the soil and eventually into ground waters, aquifers, streams, rivers, ponds, and lakes. Decomposition also produces methane that enters the air and soil. Finally, on a social level, the need for rapid disposal of vast numbers of bodies can change the treatment of the dead, sometimes forcing wholesale abandonment of centuries-long, ritualistic burial practices in favor of less observant disposal methods.

  • Um…the Three Kingdoms period? Fifty million military and civilian deaths? Does that not ring a bell? Granted, including the Three Kingdoms would give China three of the top ten spots, but come on man. Four or five of the ones on this list were under ten million deaths.

  • You should do a video of top 10 deadliest wars based on percentage of the world population at the time, instead of just total number of casualties

  • "I see you. I eat you." DRCongo President

  • It's estimated 50% not 90%. It wasn't a genocide, it was a one sided war

  • No Napoleonic Wars? Seven Years War?

  • So I did find this video interesting but I don't see why Germany is singled out as the major aggressor of ww1 on #6. Almost every single country involved in WW1 was an aggressor the only countries that weren't agressors were the neutral states that were attacked by either the centrals or the allies, but mostly that's the allies invading nations like Greece, and Iran.

  • Look up general Chenault. We were fighting (unofficially) Japan before Pearl.

  • Oh yes I did like it Simon!

  • Most of the Natives weren’t killed by direct action. They mostly died from measles and small pox spread by feral hogs the Spanish introduced.

  • Re: 9:40 – Why not? I freakin’ loved it! 😃

  • War is peace, sure, man
    A retreat for the damned
    A playground for the demented
    And havens for those who walk the world bereft of heart and soul

  • 'England' jumped into the Russian Civil War.

    England fighting in the first World War. No. That is just factually wrong.

  • How's your mother, cheeky money?

  • I think we should correct the belief that Europeans used genocide to clear South America. True they were Europeans…but they were Catholic Europeans acting on orders from Rome to find, loot, and steal gold under the pretext of converting the 'natives' to christianity.

  • Britain not England…

  • What was population of US in 1940? What was that % of the population? How many of the Russian deaths were because they such a huge population?

  • Please slow down! You speak too fast

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