Wars are the bane of human existence. When it comes to the worst things that have taken place in the history of mankind, wars will find a place among them. Wars are unnecessary loss of life because of the whims of certain individuals or countries. Everyone has heard of the World Wars. The two major world wars led to such a huge loss of life that humans could no longer be called to have humanity. Except for certain non-participant countries, almost the whole world was involved in the wars hence its name. Thankfully, nowadays, because of the United Nations, we do not have wars on the scale of the world wars. However, there are still wars taking place all over the world and they need to stop. Read on to find about the 10 deadliest wars in the world history and how many lives they claimed.
List of world’s deadliest wars:
World War IIDeaths: 50,000,000 -70,000,000
Year: 1939 to 1945
Lasting from 1939 to 1945, the Second World War was one of the biggest wars of all time. It reaped a total of 50-70 million casualties and almost the entire world was in the war. At the time of the war, since most of the countries were participating, there was no differentiation between civilian and military resources. A total of 100 million soldiers were mobilized during the entirety of the war. Millions of innocent civilians were killed during the war and the biggest killing was during the use of nuclear weapons. The second World War was the first and last time nuclear weapons were used in a combat situation.
The Taiping RebellionDeaths: 20,000,000 -100,000,000
Year: 1851 to 1864
Spanning a total of 13 years, the Taiping Rebellion took place from 1851-1864. It was one of the biggest civil wars within a country to date and was fought inside China. The war was fuelled by Christian convert Hong Xiuquan who argued that he was the younger brother of Christ and as such led a rebellion against the ruling empire. The fatalities were mostly civilians with an estimated death toll of 20 to a whopping 100 million Chinese people. This war is a classic example of personal vendetta affecting millions of innocent people.
World War IDeaths: 50,000,000 -65,000,000
Year: 1914 to 1918
This war was relatively short and lasted only four years from 1914 to 1918 and was centered in Europe . It also involved the superpowers of the world. This war saw many technological advancements in terms of weaponry and resulted in several million deaths. It has been estimated that a total of 50-65 million soldiers and citizens lost their lives in this horrific war.
The Mongol ConquestsDeaths: 30,000,000 -60,000,000
Year: 1207 to 1472
Location: Asia, Eastern Europe, Middle East (Eurasia)
Though this was not technically a war, it is still considered one for the numerous loss of lives it resulted in. The Mongol Empire at its peak covered almost 22% of the earth’s landmass and had a population of 100 million people. To put this into perspective, India with a population of over a billion people accounts for only 2% of the total landmass of Earth. The conquests lasted from 1207 to 1472 and claimed a total of 30 to 60 million people.
An Lushan RebellionDeaths: 13,000,000 -36,000,000
Year: 755 to 763
Taking place in China, the An Lushan Rebellion claimed a total of 13-36 million lives. The An Lushan Rebellion lasted for 8 years from the year 755 to 763. An ex-general from the Tang dynasty declared war on the Empire which led to this whole rebellion. This war affected the Chinese so much that their census system was broken and could not recover for a few years.
Qing Dynasty ConquestDeaths: App 25,000,000
Year: 1612 to 1662
If there’s one thing common on our list, it’s that Kings and Emperors of the olden ages were always looking for the next conquest. Similarly, the Qing dynasty looked to rule over the whole of China and destroyed the Ming dynasty. In the war that ensued, there was an estimated loss of life of 25 million people. The conquest began in 1612 till 1662 and the Qing dynasty itself flourished till 1912.
Conquests of Timur-E-LangDeaths: App 20,000,000
Year: 1369 to 1405
Location: Middle East, India, Central Asia, Russia
Another Emperor who was looking for conquests throughout his life was Timur. Timur’s conquests were very controversial because of the hypocritical nature of his wars. He wanted to restore the Mongol dynasty but ended up doing more damage. He was also a patron of the arts but destroyed several important pieces of art and culture. His conquests lasted from 1369 to 1405 and claimed a total of 20 million lives.
Dungan RevoltDeaths: 8,000,000 – 12,000,000
Year: 1862 to 1877
This revolt is infamous for the fact that it had no real purpose and was fought for the sake of fighting. When the Dungan people rebelled, it was thought that they were uprising against the Qing dynasty. However, there is no real evidence to that accord and the Dungan people migrated to Russia and Kazakhstan after the rebellion failed.
Russian Civil WarDeaths: App 9,000,000
Year: 1917 to 1921
The Russian Civil War was a multi-party war that occurred within the former Russian Empire after the Russian provisional government collapsed to the Soviets. The soviets subsequently gained control throughout Russia. This war led to 9 million deaths and lasted for 4 years.
Napoleonic WarsDeaths: App 7,000,000
Year: 1803 to 1815
Location: Europe, Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Ocean
This was a series of wars fought by Napoleon and his army on their warpath. Napoleon’s French Army would decimate every opposition they had and were responsible for the rise of the French. However, the Empire collapsed after the invasion of Russia in 1812. The defeat of the army resulted in the restoration of the Bourbon monarchy. These wars began in 1803 and lasted till 1815 and resulted in the death of 7 million people.