When it comes to killing a lot of people in a short span of time, us humans have mastered the art. Despite being the highest form of known life we love to kill others. As shameful as it is, we can’t deny the fact that it is true. Over the period of our existence we’ve had some horrific wars and battles where thousands of people have died in a single day. As you’ll go through this list of some of the bloodiest days in human history you’ll find that even in the macabre department of killing people, nature trumps all human efforts by far. Here are the top 10 days in history where countless human lives were lost meaninglessly.
10. Battle of Antietam:
On September 17, 1862, about 22,717 Americans died in the Battle of Antietam, also known as the Battle of Sharpsburg. This was the first major battle of the American Civil War that was fought on Union land. It is considered the bloodiest day in American history.
9. Battle of Stamford Bridge:
The Battle of Stamford Bridge took place on September 25, 1066 in England between the English and the invading Norwegian Vikings. The Vikings were caught by surprise on a very hot day which had forced them to leave their armor on the ships. The English annihilated the Vikings and out of a total of 300 ships on 24 returned.
8. Battle of Gettysburg:
The Battle of Gettysburg lasted for three days from July 1 to 3 in 1863 during the American Civil War. In total it is said to be the bloodiest battle of the Civil War and also the turning point of the war. The total casualties are estimated to be anywhere from 46,000 to 57,000 so you can imagine how many people must have died on any given day of the battle.
7. Battle of Cannae:
The Battle of Cannae took place in 216 BC between Carthage and Rome. This battle was the final one between the Hannibal led Carthaginians and the Romans after he had crossed the Alps. In total 50,000 Romans died fighting in this battle while the Carthaginians lost about 10,000 men bringing the total to 60,000.
6. Battle of Borodino:
The Battle of Borodino was fought on September 7, 1812 when French Grande Armee under Napoleon I attacked the Imperial Russian Army near the village of Borodino. This was the bloodiest single day battle during the French invasion of Russia. The total casualty count is hard to estimate due to various reasons but historians now believe it to be around 65,000 for both sides combined.
5. First Day of the Somme:
The battle of the Somme is one of the bloodiest battles to have ever fought that lasted for 4 months and resulted in more than a million casualties without any change in the overall war. This is probably the most indecisive bloodiest battle ever. Just on day one on July 1, 1916, about 68,000 men lost their lives with 60,000 of those on the British side.
4. Battle of Leipzig:
The Battle of Leipzig was fought from October 16 to 19 in 1813. It is also known as the Battle of Nations and is considered the closest thing to a World War before the first one. Russia, Prussia, Austria and Sweden fought against the French at Leipzig, Saxony. The total casualties are estimated to be from 80,000 to 110,000 but the real numbers are not known.
3. Operation Meetinghouse:
Operation Meetinghouse was the codename of an air raid of Tokyo on March 9-10 1945. It is said to be the deadliest air raid ever and caused a firestorm in Tokyo killing more than 100,000 people. More than 300 B-29 American bombers dropped incendiary bombs that burned a quarter of the city to the ground leaving a million people homeless.
2. Tsunami of 2004:
On 26, December 2004 an undersea megathrust earthquake caused a tsunami that rose to 30 meters or 100 ft high in some areas. It affected all the coastal areas of the Indian Ocean. A total of 227,898 people have been estimated to have lost their lives due to this natural disaster.
1. Shaanxi Earthquake:
The 23 January, 1556 earthquake in Shaanxi, China is the deadliest earthquake in recorded history. It is estimated that 830,000 people died because of this earthquake in a single day, making it the bloodiest day in the history. A total area of 840 square kilometer was destroyed and many people who lived in natural caves were buried alive when the caves collapsed.