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10 of the most terrible battles in history

Movies, books, paintings and other forms can portray the war with all the pomp and splendor that their creators want. The truth is, you'll get a more honest look at the nature of the war as you study these battles. War creates no nobility and courage for the majority of participants. It is a process by which empathy ends and is replaced by terrible behavior.

The battles in this list are terrible in many ways. Some dealt with particularly negligent – if not downright sadistic – commander decisions. Others showed soldiers as corrupt as Ed Gein. Some are appalling about how civilians, even children, have been treated, and some are appalled by the devastating effects they have on the larger world …

0. Battle in the Wilds

From May 5 to 7, 1864, the first battle took place between Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee, the most famous commanders of the American Civil War. The heavily defeated Confederates under Lee had to attack the Union soldiers in the dense forests of the wild to compensate for the numerical advantage of their enemy. It was the same place where Lee had won his most brilliant victory at the Battle of Chancellorsville the year before. The three-day battle would be one of the deadliest of the war, killing or wounding more than 20,000 soldiers who were so confused that they shot their own generals . Tactically, the result was a stalemate, but when Grant ordered the Union forces to continue with their opponents in the Confederate capital, Richmond anyway, this meant the final end of the Confederation. Nevertheless, it would leave a moment that provided even for these four years of carnage for his doggedness.

The forestry of the wilderness was particularly dry during the battle and in the confused battles many wounded remained where they fell. With sparks of muskets and rifles flying free, dozens of forest fires broke out. As a result, many soldiers were burned by approaching flames or suffocated by the fumes. The number of men who perished in this particularly terrible way is not well known, but is estimated at over hundreds .

. 9 Battle of Manilla

One of World War Two's best-known proverbs is General Douglas MacArthur, who promises "I will return!" When his troops were driven out of the Philippines in 1942 words were a death sentence. On February 6, 1945, MacArthur claimed his soldiers had released Manilla, but the truth was that it was still in the hands of the Japanese military. The Imperial Japanese soldiers would be guilty of many dizzying crimes against humanity during World War II, such as the experiments conducted in Unit 731 . However, the action taken by the Marines under Rear Admiral Sanji Iwabuchi in the Philippines against the scorched earth was a political embarrassment to a US Army that had already declared victory and was therefore largely hidden from the public.

The Japanese military not only destroyed many of Manilla's historic buildings. Not only were so many private houses set on fire that a firestorm arose. Priests and nuns were hanged in churches. Doctors were shot down in churches. There have even been reports of children being dumped and babies being bayoned before shelling was fired. In total, at least 100,000 civilians were killed when the Japanese fought in the four-week battle from building to building. Japanese soldiers justified their atrocities against civilians to themselves by calling everyone they killed hostile fighters. A Japanese soldier wrote in his diary: "Burn a thousand guerillas today."

Possibly the worst, for both sides it was all in vain. According to the LA Times MacArthur was repeatedly cautioned that the liberation of the Philippines was strategically meaningless, as American bombers were already in range to hit the Japanese mainland, the key to a fast end of the war. Many of these civilians suffered terrible deaths, so MacArthur was able to declare "I have returned" for the benefit of the press.

. 8 Battle of Mosul

In October 2016, the Iraqi coalition launched a massive campaign to liberate Mosul, the capital of Iraq, from the hands of the terrorist organization ISIS. The battle would be so exhausting that it lasted until July 2017. At the beginning of the operation, one million civilians were directly endangered by the battle.

There are varying reports of how many civilians have died in Mosul. The initial coalition reports contained only 362 for which they were responsible, but later reports increased that figure to approximately 3,200 of the 4,200 deaths among the civilian population. It was not surprising that the coalition killed so many more, because it had the air superior and many civilians were killed by collapsed debris. As efforts were made to reduce civilian casualties by targeting fire rather than directly attacking them, an air strike coordination group at WhatsApp mocked politics by renouncing its name by " killing of Danesh 24/7 [19659005] "in" frightening "changed Danesh 24/7. "

It is particularly terrible that the situation may have been exacerbated by the coalition forces. In the days before the battle, the Iraqi government feared that a large number of about one million civilians in Mosul could hinder the liberation and trigger a massive refugee crisis. Therefore, according to AP News, the Iraqi government has dropped many leaflets and instructed its members to call on the civilian population to stay within the city's firing range. Of course, ISIS was even worse when civilians were summarily executed to abandon their homes or push them into buildings that were likely to be coalition targets.

. 7 Battle of Cold Harbor

Less than a month after the Battle for the Wild, the Union forces under Grant were in another nightmarish situation. On June 3, 1864, Grant ordered a Confederate General attack, but Lee's army had time to retreat completely. In a sort of preview of the costly battles of World War I, the Southerners inflicted more than 7000 casualties on their enemy in less than half an hour, while losing a tiny fraction of their own. Thousands of wounded Union troops were left between their armies in no man's land.

It was too dangerous for the Union forces to fetch their wounded, so Grant tried to negotiate with Lee for a truce. Despite his later reputation as a friendly person, Lee would not order his soldiers to hold the fire until Grant agreed to a formal truce that would functionally reward the Confederates. For four days, Lee and Grant had the wounded Union soldiers suffer in the scorching sun and freeze through the nights until Grant finally admitted. By that time, many of the thousands of wounded had died of the exposure. Seldom have men endured so much pain and death for their purely selfish reasons on the part of their commanders.

. 6 Battle of Gaza

Operation Protective Edge was the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) name for an offensive to the Gaza Strip that began on July 8, 2014. When it was over, more than 200,000 Palestinians were expelled and 504 Palestinian children were killed, about a quarter of all Palestinian deaths. Israeli victims were 59 dead.

Later, allegations emerged that both the terrorist organization Hamas and the IDF had used Palestinian children as human shields . This involved having children at destinations to stop bombing, to let children see containers that are suspected of hiding booby traps, and children to go out in front of troops. Whatever the truth of the situation, it certainly would not have been the first time that Palestinian children were used by the IDF as human shields. In 2009, two Israeli soldiers were found guilty. In 2013, according to the United Nations there were 14 reported uses of this technique by the IDF.

. 5 Battle of Centralia

While we have seen that the American Civil War in the Eastern Theater was often terribly brutal, the Western Theater was a wilder sort of evil. Especially in the relatively sparsely populated state of Missouri, many gangs of butchers lived in uniform. No side had a monopoly on malicious murderers. The Northerners had Jayhawks with such figures as Charles Jennison. The southerners had Bushwhackers, including William "Bloody Bill" Anderson (see picture above), the partisan who had left the largest blood trail in his wake in Missouri. His reign of terror culminated in the massacre of Centralia.

On September 27, 1864, a group of 150 Union troops arrived in Centralia, Missouri, to capture him. Anderson's much larger force invaded and surrounded her. Among the fates that the Union prisoners encountered, they were scalped and beheaded. The heads were placed on opposing fence posts and moved as if they were conducting talks . Other heads were kicked around. A prisoner was effectively nourished with part of himself. Although many Civil War fans know nothing about this event, they probably know the name of one of the Confederates who participated in it: the future outlaw Jesse James.

. 4 Battle of Targoviste

In 1461 Wallachia was a state in present-day Romania bordering on the Ottoman Empire. His leader refused to pay tribute to the Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II, and then killed the Ottoman ambassadors and stormed their land. When the Ottomans invaded with a predominantly superior army, the Wallachians established 17 June 1462 as the Ottomans were outside the capital Targoviste, methods of scorched earth. That night, the Wallachian leader launched a daring raid against the Ottomans, but he did not reach the Sultan and was driven out with nothing but some prisoners because of his difficulties.

Unfortunately for the Ottoman prisoners, the name of the Wallachian leader Vladislav Tepes was withheld. He is better known as Vlad the Impaler and as inspiration for Bram Stoker's Dracula (which is actually an inaccurate reputation ). When the Ottomans invaded Targoviste the next day, the city was deserted except for a single gruesome image on the town square: a practical spiked forest with spiked people, basically every victim the Wallachians had gotten their hands on. Before such a sight Mehmed II gave up and returned home . Mehmed II took another 14 years to avenge himself when Vlad was killed in an uprising in Wallachia, which the Sultan had supported.

. 3 Siege of Suiyang

Hunger is inevitable during a marginally effective siege, and the stories of cannibalism during the siege are not too surprising. However, there is a unique feature of this siege, which occurred in 757 AD to prevent an invasion of southern China during the An-Shi Rebellion . After finding his way from the tree bark to the rats through the city, General Zhang Xun of the Tang Dynasty ordered his 10,000-strong army to resort to cannibalism.

Zhang Xun did not liberate his own social circle from its grisly order. He had his own concubine killed to support his soldiers a little longer for the siege, which was to last over 10 long months. Coincidentally, the city fell only a few days before the arrival of a Tang relief army, but the retention of its enemies for so long was still a massive contribution to the success of the Tang Dynasty.

. 2 Siege of Caffa

Caffa was one of the richest cities and busiest ports in the Crimean peninsula. When the city decided in 1343 to host some Genoese Christians who had just killed native Mongolian Muslims who demanded to punish the murderers with harsh punishments, they were in a much stronger position to withstand a siege than the Mongols expected that. The Mongols suffered heavy losses and lost much of their siege equipment before being repulsed. When the Mongols returned to a second attempt in 1345, their leader Jani Beg was ready to avenge himself on cruel acts according to Mongolian standards.

When the second attack on Caffa began, the Mongol Empire had been suffering from a plague for several years, and Jani Beg ordered that their enemies also know that feeling. The bodies of the Mongols killed by the plague were thrown into the city. It did not devastate the city immediately, and in fact Caffa lasted another two years, and the war ended with negotiations instead of a traditional Mongolian dismissal and a mass murder. However, the city had already become one of the most devastating pathogens in European history, and its merchants brought the Black Death to almost all parts of Europe, with many communities losing between one-third and one-half of the population between . All these deaths, only by the firing of some catapults.

. 1 Sack Baghdad

The Mongols were so destructive that they alone destroyed between 1211 and 1223 dozens of Chinese cities and killed more than 18 million Chinese citizens. Several times they are said to have killed more than a million people when they plundered a city. But even after these grim standards, the fate of Baghdad stood out on February 13, 1258.

The 150,000 Mongols, their thousand Chinese siege engineers, and 20,000 Christian-Armenian soldiers took 12 days to conquer Baghdad. Their pace was so high that they paused to build bricks in the city for their siege weapons and moats to better control the fleeing refugees. When the caliph sent Al-Mustasim two ambassadors, the Mongolian commander-in-chief Hulagu had them killed. When the Caliph tried again and sent a group of 3,000 diplomats, nobles and soldiers to surrender, the Mongols agreed to their terms, collecting their weapons and murdering them before moving on to the city.

With civilians fleeing from surrounding communities to Baghdad, the number of people who fell victim to the Mongolian swords was truly unprecedented. It was estimated that approximately two million people were killed in less than a week. The only community that was spared from this was a sect of Christians, because Hulagu's mother had belonged to this sect. Hulagu had the caliph executed by locking him up with some of his wealth in a cell and starving the man. In addition, the House of Wisdom and all the scholars, scientists and historians who served it were destroyed, which is roughly equivalent to the famous destruction of the Library of Alexandria. It has left various communities of Islam in such disorder that they never recovered.

Dustin Koski is also the author of A Tale of Magic Gon Wrong .

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