What was the worst war in history?



To me, hands down WWII. The massive executions of civilians to go with the massive deaths and horrid conditions in Russia are what made the difference to me. WWI was civilized military on military with civilians being killed but not purposely targeted like they were in WWII. WWI saw ~1.75% of the population killed while WWII saw ~3.5% killed. The total deaths on civilians in WWII by military (Crimes against humanity included) were around 30,000,000 while WWI had around 2,000,000 deaths in the same category.

The conditions of those two wars were the worst in human history in my opinion.


Interesting point. And if you add in Japan’s sneak attack, mistreatment of captured combatants and harsh governance of non-Japanese civilian populations, you have an argument.




And by almost any standard, the most atrocious (OP’s word) one. There was vtually no rational behind it.


The Vietnam war doesn’t even come close …


American Historian would say the Civil War,but leftitst professors and marxist profs will always point to the Vietnam war.

The only reason why I mentioned the Vietnam war because it was a war that was mishandled from the get go and thousands of our lads died in vain because of inept and idiotic personnel in charge.


That aptly describes most wars.


It began as a family squabble, and gradually sucked in more and more participants as first one side started losing … and then the other. The Prussians were trying to stay out until the cousin of the Prussian leader had his ass handed to him and cried for help from his allies.


The one you’re in and somebody is shoot’in at ya.


I said the War Between the States because it was Americans killing Americans…in some cases brother against brother.

Civil War death toll

Image: nydailynews.com

At least 618,000 Americans died in the Civil War, and some experts say the toll reached 700,000 . The number that is most often quoted is 620,000 . At any rate, these casualties exceed the nation’s loss in all its other wars, from the Revolution through Vietnam.




Philosophically speaking the worst war is always the unknown next one


Agreed - most wars are fought by troops who don’t understand why they are killing the other side.

But ALL wars have a reason and an objective.

WW1 was fought to prevent Germany getting oil from ME and to wrest control of Palestine from the Ottoman Empire.


And the one after that will be fought with bows and arrows.


That may be where it evolved, but that was NOT what started it. Germany wasn’t even in it at the beginning.


You got me there Sam - can you elaborate haven’t read that before.


From the aspect of casualties and brutality WWI.


Unfortunately the tech advanced but the tactics basically remained the same as we had in the American Civil War.

In one day the Brit’s lost 60,000 men by marching them into the German Machine Guns and Artillery.


My father was a seasoned jungle fighter; and he was dead against our presence in Vietnam. Not really because we were there; but because of the way it was handled. He told me, it could have been laid to rest in 3 or 4 months; but too may politicians refused to pull out all stops. My dad quoted Monty Python in describing the Vietaman conflict. He called it: “The hundred yard dash, for people with no sense of direction”.


Your dad was correct, IMO. Most of our wars have been worse on troops than Vietnam. What set Nam apart was the fact that it was the first time in our history that the media, the politicians who started it and kept it going and the citizenry turned against the troops who were there through no fault of their own. Friends of mine had rotten eggs, blood and shit thrown at them. A good friend and old biker who made many trips to rolling thunder with me was put in for the medal of honor and was actually awarded the navy cross. He had blood thrown on his winter uniform while he was on crutches on his way home from a hospital at Japan. He ended up losing a leg from his wounds. He died just recently. I returned in November “70” and was told by the discharging officer that I probably shouldn’t wear my uniform home. Pissed me off big time. Put my blackjack and 25 cal beretta in my carry on bag sorta hoping some scumbag hippy draft dodgers would screw with me. Fortunately my trip home was uneventful.