The bloodiest wars


Throughout its history, humanity has been at war. In attempts to radically change the world or seize vast territories, people are ready to kill millions of their own kind.

One Swiss researcher, Jean-Jacques Babel, came to the conclusion that in the entire history of mankind known to us, over the past 5500 years, we have lived in the world for only 292 years. Our story will be about the bloodiest wars in history.

Napoleonic Wars (1799-1815). Thanks to the genius of Napoleon, the history of France turned sharply. Until recently, the country, drained of blood by the revolution, barely fought off the attacks of the invaders. But suddenly the French army itself began to actively participate in the redistribution of the European political map. The wars that Napoleon waged from 1799 to 1815 were called Napoleonic. The commander cherished plans for large-scale conquests even before he became First Consul. And having received power, he set about realizing his dream. The Napoleonic Wars included the Hanover Campaign, the War of the Third Coalition with the participation of Russia, Austria and France in 1805, the War of the Fourth Coalition, where Austria was replaced by Prussia in 1806-1807. This period ended with the Peace of Tilsit. But in 1809 the Fifth Coalition war with Austria took place, in 1812 - the Patriotic War. After it, the war of the Sixth Coalition of European countries, which opposed Bonaparte, also took place. And the war that shook the continent with the period of the “Hundred Days” and Waterloo ended. A series of wars for the redistribution of influence in Europe cost the lives of 3.5 million people. However, some historians consider this figure to be twice as low.

Russian Civil War (1917-1923). The 1917 revolution in Russia turned into a devastating Civil War. Some fought for a new power and imaginary freedoms, others tried to return the previous regime, while others simply strove to seize their territory or gain sovereignty. Everything was mixed in this bloody mess - brother went to brother, father fought with his son. As a result, the Civil War in Russia claimed the lives of at least 5.5 million people, although there is even talk of 9 million. For the entire population of the planet, losses amounted to only about half a percent. It seems to be a little, but for our country, the confrontation between the Reds and Whites turned out to be grave. It is no coincidence that General Denikin canceled all awards in his army. How can you celebrate people who kill their fellow citizens? And the Civil War did not end in 1920 with the evacuation of the last White Guards from Crimea. The Bolsheviks suppressed the last centers of resistance in Primorye until 1923, and the Basmachi in Central Asia haunted the new government until the early 1940s.

Dungan Uprising (1862-1869). These events began in 1862 in Northwest China. The Qing empire was opposed by national minorities who were tired of the oppression of the Chinese and Manchu feudal lords. But English-speaking historians see the reasons for the uprising in religious contradictions at all, and in class and racial contradictions, due, moreover, to economic reasons. The Muslim Chinese had previously opposed the imperial regime, but in 1862 a favorable situation arose - the army was engaged in suppressing other uprisings. So in May 1862, a rebellion broke out in the provinces of Shanxi and Gansu. The insurgents did not have a unified management; the clergy tried to direct the movement in the right direction, declaring war on the wrong. Mosques became the center of the rebellion, warehouses and hospitals were deployed there. An explosion of religious fanaticism led to a bloody massacre. Over time, the authorities gathered a powerful army and brutally suppressed the uprising. In total, according to various estimates, from 8 to 12 million people died in that war. And the remaining Dungans fled so far that they reached the Russian Empire. Today, the descendants of the Chinese rebels still live in Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and southern Kazakhstan.

Ai Lushan rebellion (755-763). Historians believe that it was during the Tang Dynasty that China reached its maximum greatness, overtaking other world countries in development. And the civil war that broke out in this era became no less grandiose. Historians call those events the Ai Lushan uprising. Emperor Xuanzong, together with his beloved concubine Yang-Guifei, especially distinguished the Turk Ai Lushan who served them. The advisers singled him out, considering him harmless relative to other Chinese dignitaries. The mercenary concentrated in his hands a huge power and army, controlling 3 of the 10 border provinces of the empire. In 755, Ai Lushan raised a mutiny and marched on the capital, under the pretext of overthrowing the courtiers hated by his soldiers. Many imperial officials went over to the side of the army of nomads, who were promised immunity. Soon, Ai Lushan stopped hiding his true goals and declared himself emperor and founder of a new dynasty. During the crisis, the emperor abdicated the throne, and his heirs called for help from foreigners. In 757, the sleeping rebel leader was killed by his own eunuch, but the death of Ai Lushan was hidden for a long time. Finally, the rebellion was suppressed only in February 763. The number of victims turned out to be unthinkable for that time - no less than 13 million people. According to official data, the number of taxpayers has decreased by 36 million. In this case, it reduced the entire population of humanity by 15 percent. In this case, this conflict in general became the largest in history up to the Second World War.

World War I (1914-1918). In his novel The Great Gatsby, Scott Fitzgerald, through the lips of a character, called those events "the belated migration of the Teutonic tribes." As soon as they did not call the First World War: the great, European, war against the war. But it went down in history thanks to the name coined by the Times columnist Colonel Charles Repington, and even then after 1939. And the foundations of the global conflict began to be laid at the end of the 19th century. Germany began to lay claim to leading roles and acquired colonies. In the Middle East, the interests of all the leading countries clashed, striving to grab pieces of the crumbling Ottoman Empire. The multinational Austria-Hungary was also a hot pot. The signal for the start of the war was the shots in Sarajevo on June 28, 1914, when the Austrian Archduke Ferdinand was killed. The truce came only on November 11, 1918. During that war, as many as four empires disappeared: Germanic, Austro-Hungarian, Russian and Ottoman. But the worst thing is the number of victims. The soldiers alone killed about 10 million, another 12 million civilians lost their lives. In some sources, there is a figure of 65 million people. It also includes the victims of the most massive flu epidemic in history, the Spanish flu.

Conquests of Tamerlane (XIV century). Vereshchagin's painting "The Apotheosis of War" eloquently testifies to those events. Initially, it was called "Tamerlane's Triumph". The fact is that the great conqueror just loved to build pyramids from human skulls. This involved mass murder. The great conqueror was extremely cruel, suppressing any disobedience without mercy. Timur or Tamerlane for 45 years of his campaigns created an empire that rested on the blood of 15 or even 20 million people. At that time, 3.5 percent of the world's population became victims of Timur's aggressive policies. At the same time, the Great Lame did not have any directional vectors for conquest. He visited Iran and Transcaucasia, the Golden Horde and the Ottoman Empire. The name of the conqueror is translated from Turkic as "iron". Probably, his fortress and allowed him to create his history and a great empire. By the end of its life, the state of Tamerlane stretched from Transcaucasia to Punjab in India. The commander intended to conquer China, but died at the beginning of the campaign.

Taiping uprising (1850-1864). Once again, China is striking in the number of lives taken by the internal war. However, given the country's population, this should not be surprising. And this uprising took place again during the existence of the Qing Empire. The country was then torn apart by the opium wars, the Xinhai revolution, the ihetuan movement, the Dungan uprising and the taiping uprising were added to them. It turned out to be quite bloody. Its victims were, according to conservative estimates, about 20 million people. The most daring figures generally speak of one hundred million, or 8 percent of the total population of the Earth at that time. The uprising began in 1850, it was essentially a peasant war. Then the disenfranchised Chinese peasants rose to fight the Manchu Qing dynasty. Initially, the rebels set the most noble goals: to overthrow foreign rulers, drive out foreign colonizers and create a kingdom of equality and freedom, the Taiping heavenly kingdom. The word "taiping" itself is translated as "Great tranquility." And Hong Xiuquan led the uprising, who declared that he was neither more nor less, the younger brother of Jesus Christ himself. But it was not possible to live mercifully and resolve issues with kindness. The Taiping Kingdom with a population of 30 million really appeared in southern China. The rest of the Chinese called its inhabitants "hairy bandits" for refusing to wear the braids imposed on the inhabitants of the Manchus. After the Taipings began to occupy large cities, the authorities gave them a decisive rebuff, moreover, other countries intervened in the struggle for power, and uprisings broke out in other parts of China. The uprising was completely suppressed only in 1864, with the help of the French and British.

The capture of China by the Manchu dynasty (1616-1662). Once again, massive bloodshed in Chinese history is associated with the Qing dynasty. This time we will talk about the time of her coming to power in the country. In 1616, the foundation of the future empire appeared on the territory of Manchuria, created by the local clan Aisin Gioro. From the northeast of China, the new power extended its influence over the entire country, as well as Mongolia and part of Central Asia. The previous Ming empire fell under the blows of the Great Pure State, Da Qing-Guo. But large-scale conquests cost the lives of 25 million people, one in twenty inhabitants of the planet at that time. But the empire lasted for almost 300 years, being destroyed by the Xinhai Revolution of 1911-1912 and the abdication of the six-year-old emperor Pu I. Surprisingly, he managed to return to power, heading the puppet country of Manchukuo, created in Manchuria by the Japanese invaders and existed until 1945 ...

Wars of the Mongol Empire (XIII-XV century). The conquests of Genghis Khan and his successors created a state called by modern historians the Mongol Empire. The territory of this country was the largest in world history. The Mongols ruled lands from the Sea of ​​Japan to the Danube, from Novgorod to Southeast Asia. That country stretched over an impressive 24 million square kilometers, which even exceeded the area of ​​the Soviet Union. But such global conquests were impossible without a huge number of victims of soldiers and civilians. It is believed that the Mongol conquests cost humanity at least 30 million human lives. There are also conservative estimates of 60 million victims. Still, it should be said that this war has dragged on for a long time. The countdown can be taken from the beginning of the XIII century, when Khan Temuchin united the nomadic tribes that were warring hitherto and created a united state. He took the name of Genghis Khan. And the era ended in fact in 1480, standing on the Ugra. Then the Moscow state of Grand Duke Ivan III was completely freed from the Mongol-Tatar yoke. For two hundred years of great conquests, from 7.5 to 17 percent of all people living on the planet died from them.

World War II (1939-1945). This war became the record holder among all in the number of victims and in its destructiveness. According to the most conservative estimates, about 40 million people died, although according to some estimates, the losses amounted to 72 million people. The material damage cannot be compared with anything at all, it ranged from one and a half to two trillion dollars. And this war can really be considered World War. After all, 62 countries out of 73 that existed at that time participated in it in one form or another. In the Second World War, 80 percent of the world's population was involved. The hostilities were conducted not only on land and at sea, but already actively in the sky, on three continents and in the waters of four oceans. World War II was the only conflict in which nuclear weapons were used.


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