Talk:List of battles by casualties

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How to insert new data into a sortable table[edit]

Sorting makes the lists more useful, but more marginally more difficult to add new data. It's not difficult once you understand that sorting numerically isn't possible because of BC in some of the years and commas in the casualty figures. All we are doing here is converting those numbers into an alphabetic format that the table can sort.

  • Sorting for casualties, zero padding is necessary if we are going to use comma separators because the sorting code doesn't recognize numbers with commas.
    • CCCC represents the casualty number
    • Use:<span style="display:none">{{formatnum:{{padleft:CCCC|7|0}}}} </span>CCCC
    • Example: <span style="display:none">{{formatnum:{{padleft:300000|7|0}}}} </span>300,000 produces an invisible 0,300,000 (for sorting) and displays 300,000
    • In case of a range, like 5,000-10,000, only first number goes inside the span tag.
    • If you are going to use a tilde '~', put it after the close of the span tag. Like this: </span>~100,000
  • To make years sortable we have to insert invisible characters before the actual values.
    • To do this, we use <span style="display:none">anything here is invisible</span>
    • YYYY represents the year
    • For years BC:
      • Use: <span style="display:none">!{{#expr: 9999 - YYYY}} </span>YYYY BC
      • Example: 846 BC becomes <span style="display:none">!{{#expr: 9999 - 846}} </span>846 BC
      • Note the space just before the </span>. It is necessary!
    • For years AD:
      • We pad left N number of zeros to make the year 4 digits
      • Use: <span style="display:none">#N</span>YYYY
      • Example: 3 becomes <span style="display:none">#000</span>3
      • Example: 34 becomes <span style="display:none">#00</span>34
      • Example: 345 becomes <span style="display:none">#0</span>345
      • Example: 1456 becomes <span style="display:none">#</span>1456
      • Note there is no space before and after the </span>. Also necessary!

It looks more complex than it really is, trust me ;)Prometheusg 12:51, 23 February 2007 (UTC)

Can we please get rid of this number formatting whereby 70,000 is represented as 0,070,000? It is annoying. Thatstheway 17:06, 24 February 2007 (UTC)
Okay I changed it, but the syntax for adding new data is a little more complex. I've added a <span> tag around the formatnum to make it invisible but still sortable. See the above rules for more info. That's the only problem with making this list sortable. It's more complex and has a learning curve. Prometheusg 22:49, 24 February 2007 (UTC)
Hmm. I do like this, but I'm afraid it will dissuade new editors from adding info to the tables. I wonder if this is the sort of thing best done when the article is complete and stable. CaliforniaKid 22:44, 25 February 2007 (UTC)
That's why I did it only to the Sieges list. It seemed to be the most stable. I refrained from converting the classic formations list for exactly this reason. It's getting edited daily and I didn't want to cause a lot of confusion. Prometheusg 15:16, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
  • Something is affecting the order of battles when you rank them by casualties. For example, the Battle of Antietam comes up second in the list. Not sure how to fix this, just wanted to point it out. (talk) 03:21, 10 June 2009 (UTC)

Discussion about the recent edits[edit]

The article is now semi-protected in order to stop the back and forth of reverting material.

The problem is that the material in the article was not verifiable. For months there has been a template calling for sources without much effect. I decided to delete all material that can't be verified in order to rebuilt the article on a solid basis. In doing so, I also reworded parts that weren't encyclopedic language. The material about battles, that was formerly in the article, can be reinserted if you provide a source. Big problem is that many sources provide different numbers. For this reason I also suggest to split the casualty numbers between primary sources and scientific secondary sources, because their estimates can greatly vary, especially so for classical battles.

I won't edit this article under the current semi-protection until a consensus is achieved.Wandalstouring (talk) 08:19, 15 July 2008 (UTC)

I have a book that covers the history of war for the last 150 years or so and has the casualties for many battles from the American Civil War and WWI. I hadn't used it before, since it lists casualties, not deaths, but since this list is now about casualties it has data for about 30 major operations and sieges. If noone minds, I'm going to add these battles, with a citation, over the next few weeks or so. Borg Sphere (talk) 17:18, 23 July 2008 (UTC)
Good idea, thanks a lot. It wasn't about casualties before because the editors did confuse sourced casualties with death toll. Wandalstouring (talk) 18:44, 23 July 2008 (UTC)
Oops, I started adding these in, but somehow moved the major operations table down to the bottom of the article, even though in the edit screen it's in the right place...I'm going to continue adding them, but if you or anyone else who knows more about code than I do and could fix it that'd be great...Sorry for putting the table in the wrong place, I have no idea why it's down there. Borg Sphere (talk) 20:18, 23 July 2008 (UTC)
OK, I've added all the battles I have accurate statistics for. Someone else will have to do sieges, and the WWII battles, as I only have figures for Operation Bagration and Operation Epsom, and Epsom had less than 10,000 casualties, so I'm not including it. Borg Sphere (talk) 15:18, 7 August 2008 (UTC)

I see absolutely no reason for conclusion about verifiability of material based on the absence of direct references. If you click on Battle of Wuhan or Warsaw Uprising, that were present in the article before July 15, you find a number of casualties and a proper references to valid sources. The situation is similar for most other items.
I don't understand why the article citing another reliable Wikipedia article is considered not verifiable. I think, by removing these items you just destroy a work of previous editors for absolutely formal reason.
Situation is ridiculous: the Battle of Berlin and the Battle of Moscow articles provide a number of casualties along with reliable sources. Both of them have a reference to the present article where they were listed among the bloodiest battles in history. However, they are absent it this article now.
I think the person who removed these and other items has to go to appropriate pages and insert the references from there as soon as possible, otherwise, he/she simply must revert his editing back. --Paul Siebert (talk) 21:17, 7 September 2008 (UTC)

If you'd like to take care of it, and copy over the source as well as the figure, please do. If you don't, I've put this article on the back burner so I can get some work done on other projects I'm doing, but I was planning to do just that as soon as I finish those. Joe (Talk) 00:39, 8 September 2008 (UTC)
Actually, my question is: can a Wikipedia article that cites reliable sources be considered a reliable source by itself? If yes, we don't have to provide sources explicitly in this concrete table. If no, the whole activity of Wikipedian community is senseless.--Paul Siebert (talk) 01:53, 8 September 2008 (UTC)
Please read wikipedia guidelines on reliable Sources. Wikipedia articles are not reliable sources. You have to use a reference to the material you are using in every article where you implement it and for this reason you have to check the source yourself. Wandalstouring (talk) 09:12, 9 September 2008 (UTC)
If this criticism goes on, I suggest a straw poll. whether more editors are of this opinion or support my changes. Wandalstouring (talk) 16:44, 9 September 2008 (UTC)
I don't think it to be necessary. Actually, the previous version contained really unsources items along with those that referred to the reliable articles containing valid sources. For instance Battle of Berlin was one of them. I think it is quite easy to check each of old items and to include only the items of the second type. --Paul Siebert (talk) 17:14, 9 September 2008 (UTC)
Of course, you can include any of the old material here if you provide a source. Wikipedia articles are not sources you can use. You have to use the sources the article uses or others. Wandalstouring (talk) 18:26, 9 September 2008 (UTC)

Very similar article[edit]

This article seems very similar to the list of battles and other violent events by death toll, although this includes all casualties, not just deaths. − Twas Now ( talkcontribse-mail ) 00:25, 19 July 2008 (UTC)


Battle of Stalingrad links to this page but theres no mention of it in the article at all. (talk) 01:39, 17 August 2008 (UTC)

I'm also perplexed by this. Why is there nothing in the "Sieges and urban combat" section? - Mtmelendez (Talk) 19:08, 19 August 2008 (UTC)
If you see Talk:List_of_battles_by_casualties#Discussion_about_the_recent_edits, you'll see that all unreferenced information was removed. I then added what information I had a source for, but since my source covered only one Second World War battle, most of those are not in the table. Please, feel free to add Stalingrad and any other sieges or other types of engagement that you have a source for. Borg Sphere (talk) 20:08, 19 August 2008 (UTC)

1800 as a cut off point[edit]

Almost all the battles listed pre 1800 have casualties that a little more than wild guesses. Listing them here gives a spurious impression of accuracy. That two of the battles are sourced to Herodotus tells us more about him than the battles he describes.Dejvid (talk) 19:57, 2 September 2008 (UTC)

"Many of these battles are ancient, and in many cases, the few historical records differ, sometimes wildly, on casualties." Joe (Talk) 00:51, 8 September 2008 (UTC)
I agree that it is no good idea to use primary sources. We could use guesses by modern scientific secondary sources to provide the reader with estimates. Wandalstouring (talk) 09:03, 9 September 2008 (UTC)

While I trust modern historians better than the ancient sources, they are of there nature informed guesses. Hence different historians will plump for different figures. Given there is no real way of deciding which is the best guess short of original research then it is impossible to properly rank such battles. Of course, it is not the case that on new years day 1800, records suddenly became trustworthy. However, it is a clear cut off point and excludes most of the battles where the number of dead is unreliable.Dejvid (talk) 12:35, 23 September 2008 (UTC)

The ancients had absolutely no means of securing numbers like 30,350 or 150,000 (the latter is a greatly overstated figure I've seen for the number of men involved in the Battle of the Catalaunian Fields, 451 AD - goes back to a 6th century soruce). It's just impossible to make a precise count in that range unless you have a position numeric system ->the concept of the figure zero. Which the ancients didn't have. The figures in Herodotus, Plutarch or Froissart are more about glorifying this or that king or hero./Strausszek (talk) 06:48, 7 November 2009 (UTC)
Would you support 1800 as the date to draw the line?Dejvid (talk) 14:27, 9 November 2009 (UTC)
Yes, it's a sound point. And it's also the point in time when the modern conscripted mass army came into being. Louis XIV or Henry VIII could never have raised a Napoleonic army. /Strausszek (talk) 03:47, 16 November 2009 (UTC)

Article protected[edit]

I have just protected this article for twenty-four hours. This is to enable editors to familiarise themselves with Wikpedia policy regarding reliable sources. In a nutshell, this says that all material likely to be challenged in an article must be directly referenced to a reliable source. For these purposes, Wikipedia articles are not themselves reliable sources and each new article touching on a subject must be referenced a fresh.

I hope that all disputes can be worked out here. If not, and if edit-warring continues, I will re-protect the article and/or block editors ignoring policy.

Thanks for your time, --ROGER DAVIES talk 19:39, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

To my opinion, there is some difference between the statement: "all material likely to be challenged in an article must be directly referenced to a reliable source", and: "all material must be directly referenced to a reliable source". The latter makes usage of any reference impossible, because, "Wikipedia article are not a reliable source". Therefore, if we assume the second version of the rule, any reference must be accompanied by external citation[1]. And, if the daughter article cites several sources on this account the link will look like this[2][3][4][5][6][7], because each source relates to the topic and each of them cannot be omited. I think, you agree that would be ridiculous.
In this concrete case I oppose to removal of the reference to the reliable article and addition of the reference to direct although less reliable source instead. In actuality, this concrete article contains no additional materials and no statements to be challenged, just a reference to appropriate daughter article. I would say, it is a handbook rather than an article. If the daughter article is good, the reader can obtain needed source literally in two clicks. If the article is questionable, that item should be removed and appropriate tag should be placed in the daughter article.
I would say, the late deleting decreased the article quality. --Paul Siebert (talk) 20:54, 12 September 2008 (UTC)
Among the many reasons why Wikipedia articles aren't appropriate sources for other articles is that they're subject to change. As a result, casualty figures may change over time as different sources are used or if vandalism escapes undetected. As a result, it's always better to reference a stable, professionally published source which has been error checked and isn't subject to the whims of 16 year olds with too much spare time. I see no reason why everything on this list shouldn't have a reference given that casualty numbers often vary between sources, making reliable sourcing particularly important. Nick Dowling (talk) 23:54, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

I call upon whom ever placed this page in protection to extend its protection at least another 24 hours. Certain vandals whom of witch shall not be named here , have destroyed months possibly even years worth of work based on false pretences. They acted in intrest of themselves , not wikipedia. The people of wikipedia do not deserve such treatment.Sincerly--Dt23 (talk) 20:09, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

This page tries to rank battles by casualty figures that are little more than guesses. Just because it is someone as notable as Livy who is making the guess doesn't make it less than a guess. Using such figures to rank battles implies that these figures are exact and reliable. They are not.
On top of that, accusations of vandalism hardly fits assuming good faith.Dejvid (talk) 02:05, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
We are currently in the process of trying to make sure that every entry is cited. While I agree that the ancient sources are dubious, at best, what we have is, in most cases, the best we can get. If you know of a more reliable number, please, add it as a range, and cite that number as well. For more information on the citation discussion, see Wikiproject Military History's Talk page.Joe (Talk) 02:30, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
On the actual page about the battle it is fine to quote the figures that ancient historians give - as long as more sober modern historians figures are given and it is made clear that all figures are unreliable. Once you start using these figures to rank battles you are at once asserting that these figures are not only reliable but exact. Cannae is high up on the current list but it chooses a figure that is even higher than the one given by Polybius. Polybius gives a far higher figure than Livy and Livy's figure had been criticized by at least one historian as way to high. Which figure we chose completely changes the rank order of Cannae. Is a rank order that is so dependent of whose figure we choose worth anything?
With the battle of the Somme the situation is quite different. The British had a well ordered administration which had the responsibility of sending a telegram to the next of kin - this is the level of administration we can rely on to produce reliable figures but it 2 millenniums in advance of what the Romans had.
And where Livy and Polybius got there figures for that Carthaginian losses is anyone's guess and may well be no more than the boasting of Roman veterans to Polybius.Dejvid (talk) 11:51, 14 September 2008 (UTC)


I suggest to merge it with List of battles and other violent events by death toll because the topic largely overlaps or to make more differenciated lists specific for say, battles, air raids, terrorist attacks, etc. Naturally all entries need sources like in this article. Wandalstouring (talk) 15:26, 14 September 2008 (UTC)

It seems to me that right now that article is as much of a mess as this one, with even fewer citations, most of the data not contained in sortable tables, and many very small numbers which are probably only included because of their notability, even though they actually had very few deaths, for example Kent State Shootings, which only had four deaths. Four doesn't seem worthy of inclusion in a list of most deadly events of all time. When adding battles to this list, I've tried to only add those with over about 10,000 casualties, because it seems that others don't qualify as particularly deadly when compared to many other battles out there. Joe (Talk) 15:33, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
Death is only one of the three main types of casualty. Choalbaton (talk) 23:21, 21 January 2009 (UTC)

Delete this article[edit]

This article has the same problems as most other articles where someone wants to make a PC statement about the evils of man.

This thing is almost 100% western. WHERE IS THE REST OF THE WORLD? Don't they count? Don't they have history and historians? At the very least the Chinese had BIG battles, and in 4,000 years LOTS of them. Somehow, I think the rest of the world deserves to be included any article purporting to be "comprehensive". (talk) 17:54, 22 October 2008 (UTC)

Provide sourced statements. Wandalstouring (talk) 14:40, 23 October 2008 (UTC)
You are more than welcome to add these per WP:SOFIXIT, including your references. Joe (Talk) 14:44, 23 October 2008 (UTC)

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't it usually the originator's responsibilities to fix the problem? Not the person who finds the mistake. In this case blatantly ignoring the history of 90% of the human race?Aaaronsmith (talk) 04:45, 27 October 2008 (UTC)

Blatantly lacking is a lot of information. Everybody is free to add sourced statements, however, there was a problem with unsourced claims that couldn't be checked. Since numbers are an issue of considerable debate all unsourced material was removed. The old material neither covered the history of 90% of the human race, so if you want to argue for it, read WP:Verifiability. Wandalstouring (talk) 11:06, 27 October 2008 (UTC)

Then it seems the least we can do in the interests of honesty is include a sentence warning the reader of the inherent bias. Feel free since you want to keep the article and I believe it is a disaster that should go.Aaaronsmith (talk) 21:26, 27 October 2008 (UTC)

I think, a reminder that only well documented numbers are presented in the article would be sufficient. This is not the article about the most famous battles, therefore a quantitative nature of this concrete articles applies intrinsic limitations. However, I see no problem to include a separate table for battles that are believed to be lethal, although the exact numbers are unknown. Of course, this should be a separate table.--Paul Siebert (talk) 21:47, 27 October 2008 (UTC)
As the person who added most of the battles currently in the list, I agree that many are missing. Perhaps a sentence in the lead would be appropriate, warning that the list is incomplete due to conflicting information about some battles, especially ancient ones, would be appropriate. However, deleting this article would be going way to far, even if it is not complete, it is a lot more complete than it was a few months ago, and has the potential to be extremely useful, accurate, and complete. Anyone is welcome to add any battles that are missing and they have an appropriate source for, but I would rather not restart the sourcing debate. Joe (Talk) 22:15, 27 October 2008 (UTC)
There is nothing PC about the concept of this article. Deaths in battle have fascinated (and impressed) people since thousands of years before PC was invented. Choalbaton (talk) 23:25, 21 January 2009 (UTC)

Inconsequent notation of years[edit]

Reading the table I find three ways to note which years a battle took place:

1. 1939-1940
2. 1940-41
3. 1942-3

I suggest we note the years on all rows in the same way; and I vote for the 1st alterative since it's the hardest to misinterpret. /Tense (talk) 19:48, 27 December 2008 (UTC)

I agree that they should be standardized, but I'd support the second one to stretch the table less. I doubt many battles have been fought over multiple centuries, and if they have, they aren't included here (yet, at least). If you look at Siege of Leningrad, or Winter War, those entries make that column abnormally wide for all the single year battles, which is the vast majority. Perhaps we can have the second one, and then if any battles over multiple centuries are added we can switch to the first for all of them? – Joe Nutter 20:43, 27 December 2008 (UTC)
I agree with you. I change my vote for the 2nd alternative. Only two rows of data are affected I believe, and I will change them now. /Tense (talk) 12:23, 3 January 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for changing that, it does make it look better. – Joe Nutter 14:46, 3 January 2009 (UTC)

Cutoff of minimum casualties[edit]

I'm preparing to add many more entries to the list, but before I do so I was considering what the appropriate minimum would be. Many famous battles, such as Battle of Midway, only had a few thousand casualties, and are therefore somewhat out of place in a list of bloodiest battles. For that matter, some American Revolutionary War battles had great strategic significance, but had under 1,000 casualties, like Battle of Cowpens. I've used 10,000 casualties as a cutoff in the past, does anyone else agree with this? – Joe Nutter 17:53, 4 February 2009 (UTC)

How 'bout the Battle of Hill Ten (Korea) - 2 casualties?Aaaronsmith (talk) 20:29, 3 May 2009 (UTC)

Battle of Seden[edit]

This article says that 200,000+ casualties happened, but the actual article for the battle itself says it was only about ~30,000... whats up with that? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:36, 20 May 2009 (UTC)

list sorting bug?[edit]

I sorted the list in the "Sieges and urban combat" section, descending by the Casualties column. The fifth item in the list is Battle of Algiers, with a casualty count of 313,000. The ninth item in the list is Warsaw Uprising, with a casualty count of 200,000+ killed. In between are three items all with the same name, Siege of Jerusalem, and with casualty counts of less than 200,000. Capedia (talk) 02:05, 1 August 2009 (UTC)

Ah. The bug was not in the sorting method, but rather in the page source, which contains numbers that are used for sorting but not displayed in the table. I corrected those numbers in the page source and now the sorting behavior is correct. Capedia (talk) 02:14, 1 August 2009 (UTC)


I think Falklands War must be taken out of this article. The figures here are grossly exagerated, since 14.000 is proably the number of troops movilized, while the death toll is about 1000 tops.

On the other hand, wars that were really bloody like Triple Alliance War, Pacific War and Chaco War are not even mentioned. Only in triple alliance war, all males from paraguay were slaughtered!! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:55, 10 August 2009 (UTC)

Just to note that this is a list of "casualties"; in war casualties include wounded and captured too.--EnigmaMcmxc (talk) 23:01, 20 September 2009 (UTC)
I agree. I think the Battle of Tuyuti (Triple Alliance War, about 18,000 casualties) and the Battle of Celaya (Mexican Revolution, about 10,000 killed) should be on this list. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:17, 24 February 2010 (UTC)

Incorrect Information[edit]

There is quite a few incorrect/dubious entries in the major operation section that i think should be looked at/readdressed

For example:

  • Second Battle of El Alamein, the casualty information states a range of 39,400[139]–82,500[141]. If we look at the article it self, accurate (i.e. from the British Army) allied casualty information is available; a leading historian on the subject states Axis casualties will never be 100% correct however captured and intercepted intel gives us a pretty good idea. A total, both Allied and Axis, of around 44,102 casualties by battles end. Even adding the additional men captured in the days following the conclusion of the battle the larger figure used is no where in sight.
  • Falaise Pocket. Multiple sources agree that the Germans suffered around 60,000 casualties and most of them being captured although a figure for those wounded and also escaped is not available; the figure in this article would suggest the allied force suffered 80,000 casualties.
  • Call me sceptical but the figure for the losses in Mayala and Singapore seem very dubious
  • Allied invasion of Italy contridcts this list
  • Battle of Crete contricts this list
  • The "Invasion of Normandy" figure is contrdicted by available research for the entire campaign i.e. Operation Overlord--EnigmaMcmxc (talk) 23:00, 20 September 2009 (UTC)
I think that a large part of the problem is that some figures include prisoners. The higher el Alamein figure is from this quote from the soure "Military Losses: Allied: 23,500 dead or wounded; Axis: 59,000 killed, wounded or captured (34,000 German, 25,000 Italian). For the Falaise one, I'm not sure exactly - I know that that author's figures did tend to be higher than others, but have no reason to distrust it. I can't check the Mayala one against the source, it isn't on Google and I don't have the book anymore. The Allied Invasion of Italy article is not sourced. The Crete article appears to be properly sourced, but although I can't recheck the source I used I have no reason to doubt it. I do have some concern, though, because that data is from 1953, and the source I used may be more up-to-date. The numbers in the Invasion of Normandy article are for 6 June 1944 only, but the source I used includes the initial operations for several days after the landings, thus giving a higher number. – Joe N 23:45, 20 September 2009 (UTC)
I can agree with you that some of the articles have not been sourced as much as we would like, which could lead to contridictions. I am, however, not convinced that the reason would be the age of the books. I believe the Australian Official History to be rather accurate in this respect and as for the El Alamein numbers, the British Official History is an often quoted document and the particular series it comes from is rather top notch when it comes to numbers. These sources are often quoted by modern researchers.
For the latter battle i do not understand how he could have came up with an additional 10,000 casualties for the allied force considering there is accurate information for them - Playfair and Barr both break this figure down to the one used in the article.
As for the Axis casualties i would have expected Barr, the historian quoted in the article, to have mentioned much more up to date and accurate information if it existed. His comment that losses will never be fully know is rather important, as is the intel report he quotes imo. Considering his figure for prisoners of war comes from those the Allies had rounded up by the battles end i think we can safey say that it is fairly accurate. His comment that additional numbers were captured during the pursuit i would suggest makes up for the number towards 80,000. However that figure seems a little absurd considering one author wrote, albeit during the war, that by December the Axis force had lost roughly 75,000 men.--EnigmaMcmxc (talk) 01:07, 21 September 2009 (UTC)

I would add the Battle of Malplaquet to the list of dubious casualty figures. This list claims 95,000 casualties at Malplaquet, but according to the article on the battle there were only 32,000. 95,000 casualties would mean that 60% of the participants in the battle became casualties, which strikes me as unlikely. Groundsquirrel13 (talk) 00:53, 20 December 2009 (UTC)

Battle of Algiers[edit]

There is no need to source the removal of the Battle of Algiers from this list. We have two articles about the so called "battle": Battle of Algiers (1957) and Algerian War- the Battle of Algiers was a urban guerrilla campaign by some 1400 Algerians against the French authorities in a city that at the time had around 300,000+ inhabitants- it compromised executions, bombings by the guerrillas and arrest campaigns by the French authorities - it is laughable and ridiculous to claim that all and every Algerian victim of the Algerian War) supposedly died/ was wounded in the battle of Algiers, when in fact city life went on as normal. The fame of the battle (if it should be called a battle at all) comes from the movie The Battle of Algiers (film). There are far more important battles and this one is neither a battle nor are the casualty figures in any way correct! --noclador (talk) 23:45, 30 October 2009 (UTC)

Neither article has sourced casualty information that I can find. Wikipedia articles are not adequate sources for other Wikipedia articles. Therefore, unless you can provide a valid, scholarly source saying that these figures are incorrect, I'm going to stand by the figures that I have a citation for. Also remember that these include wounded. – Joe N 23:52, 30 October 2009 (UTC)
313,000 casualties are the Algerian dead for the entire war - not the battle of Algiers alone; that is the problem. It is like saying the battle of Stalingrad cost 20 million Soviet citizen their life... which actually is sum of all dead from 1941-1945 from the Soviet Union. Also the Battle of Algiers was no Battle at all - it is like Kabul today: bombings and attacks every other day, but the city in general operates as normal. It can be included in the list - but in that case leave all casualty figures out: as the one give is bogus and accurate sourced ones are difficult to find (I tried - but everytime a search for Battle of Algiers brings me to the movie,...) --noclador (talk) 00:36, 31 October 2009 (UTC)
Remember, this is a list of casualties, not just dead. There may well have been 313,000 dead for the entire war, but if there were 312,000 wounded and only 1,000 dead in the battle there would still be 313,000 casualties for this list. – Joe N 03:46, 31 October 2009 (UTC)
This is a problem of the whole list - often no one knows how many casualties there were and relying on R G Grant's book as a reff for something so slippery is not okay. Yes, it does say casualties (though a lot of the figures for other battles are for dead) but are you saying that it is credible that the entire population of Algiers was wounded? Finally any figure for these kinds of operations is arbitrary in the sense that it is dependent on where you define the space and time limits within which the supposed battle took place.Dejvid (talk) 16:15, 31 October 2009 (UTC)
That is problematic, but since this encyclopedia is based on sources, wouldn't the best idea be to go with what a source says? If you have another source which gives different numbers, than those should be added in, by all means, but I think that a historian and author would be the best person to make the estimate. – Joe N 21:07, 31 October 2009 (UTC)
There are some things that do not lend themselves to an encyclopedic treatment. A list of battles ranked by casualties has the problem that for many battles the casualty figures depend on entirely arbitrary choices as to when and where the battle begins and ends, Earlier battles are more closely defined - two armies deployed on a specific field and nightfall marked the end. However earlier battles often have unreliable casualty figures that in the worst cases are guesses or even pure propaganda.Dejvid (talk) 11:49, 1 November 2009 (UTC)

Firebombing of Tokyo[edit]

The heaviest attacks ran from February to August 1945, but began as early as 1942. For the horrific February 1945 assault alone, 97,000 Japanese, mostly civilians, were killed and 125,000 were wounded with more than a million, almost incredibly, left homeless... I am quite surprised this is not on this list. Charvex (talk) 23:18, 13 November 2009 (UTC)

Bombing raids are not included in the list per the lead of the article. – Joe N 00:08, 14 November 2009 (UTC)
What is the title of the Wikipédia article that lists human casualties due to military « bombing raids » or other one-sided military assaults? Thanks. Charvex (talk) 07:47, 14 November 2009 (UTC)

Nivelle Offensive count[edit]

Something is very wrong with number of casualties stated for the Nivelle Offensive; far too low. At the absolute minimum, it should be the sum of the casualties of the Second Battle of the Aisne (Chemin des Dames) and the Battle of Arras (1917); 438,000 dead by the Wikipedia article counts alone. Did the source (354,000 killed) list Allied losses and not German losses, or something? Maybe a better source is needed. Charvex (talk) 23:52, 13 November 2009 (UTC)

If you have a reliable published source which gives a higher number, you are welcome to add that in as a range. – Joe N 00:10, 14 November 2009 (UTC)

Siege of Sevastopol during WWII[edit]

Why is this not on the siege list?? This is an embarrassment. There were horiffic losses here for both the Germans and Soviets. I am not sure on the exact number, but it would easily make the list. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:39, 28 December 2009 (UTC)

You're probably right, but sadly none of my sources specify the numbers. If you have one that does, please, by all means, add it. – Joe N 22:35, 28 December 2009 (UTC)

Battle of Kiev (1941)[edit]

Which section would this be under?

~250,000 dead or wounded. ~450,000 Soviets captured. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:53, 31 December 2009 (UTC)

I'd say major operations, since the majority wasn't actually in the city, unless your source specifies otherwise. – Joe N 14:53, 31 December 2009 (UTC)

Numbers relative to world population?[edit]

A question regarding the numbers -- sorting in absolute numbers has it's charm, but isn't there a difference between a battle with 100k causalities when it took place when the world population was about 1 billion compared to a time, when it was 4? What would happen if the absolute number was given as percentage or one-tenth of a percent of the estimated number of people (in the world? on that country? of the involved nations?) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:50, 2 February 2010 (UTC)

My perception is that it could be added as a column if we had the correct world population curve. --Jaan Pärn (talk) 08:40, 16 March 2010 (UTC)

Removed the Battle of Changping[edit]

Changping is not a single battle, but a military campaign that consisted of many battles. Now it can be restored if someone can find numbers for the casualties of a single battle. Overall, a campaign lasting two years can't be considered as a continuous battle. Intranetusa (talk) 02:17, 16 March 2010 (UTC)

Seeing that the "battle" had been added again I wrote a note as to make it clear that it was actually a campaign of three years. --Danmaz74 (talk) 07:49, 25 October 2010 (UTC)

I think that The Battle of Changping should be removed. Considering that the chinese census in 2 AD set the population in China (now much larger then during the warring states period) to 57,000,000 a losses such as 700,000 would amount to perhaps 5 % of the entire population of China. Furthermore it seems strange that the next (chronologically) major operation is the Six Days Campaign 1847 AD. --326Sirian (talk) 17:57, 14 April 2011 (UTC)

The Changping battle figure should be removed. Those figures are impossible, and people without the ancient history background to see those figures as impossible will get a false impression. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Hcjung10 (talkcontribs) 20:59, 25 March 2014 (UTC)

Leningrad casualties much too high ?[edit]

Four and a half million seems much to high considering the population of Leningrad at the time was 3 million. The source quoted doesn't add up to more than 2 million either :,+Zenith+Press&ei=duAJTOfbJqiGzQSp88WWAw&cd=1#v=onepage&q&f=false —Preceding unsigned comment added by Ansgarjohn (talkcontribs) 07:13, 5 June 2010 (UTC)

Sedan casualties much too high ![edit]

The casualties of the "Battle of Sedan" (1870) are supposed to be "200,900 including those captured and later killed". This is certainly wrong. The wikipedia-article on the battle indicates about 6000 casualties and abut 20000 wounded. Virtually the whole French army was taken prisoner. Of course, almost all of them survived. Please correct this figure. -- (talk) 21:11, 20 November 2010 (UTC)

If you know of a trustworthy source reflecting this, please let me know and I'll gladly change it. – Joe N 02:17, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
Oops, sorry, looking through the history, someone else changed it from "captured" to "captured and later killed" without saying why. I'm changing it back. – Joe N 02:18, 22 November 2010 (UTC)

Battles deleted[edit]

I'ne noticed several battles found here earlier has been deleted - example: Battle of Qaddasiyyah (over 30 000 casualties) - and somehow the deleted battles seems to coincide with various Muslim wars and conquests. Why?

I suspect because no *reliable* figure exist. If that wasn't the reason it should have been.Dejvid (talk) 13:21, 19 February 2011 (UTC)

Battle of Hattin[edit]

I'm curious why the Battle of Hattin is not listed in the set piece battle list. The Wiki page for the Battle of Hattin says that 17,000+ were killed. There are other conflicts with death tolls as low as 13,500. If no one has found a reliable source for that figure, I would be more than happy to find one. Hattin was a hugely significant battle. It sealed the fate of Crusader held Jerusalem and helped launch the Third Crusade. Its also the most famous single set piece of the Crusader era. I vote that it should be included.--Factchk (talk) 17:03, 25 April 2011 (UTC)

If you can find a source to back up those numbers, please, by all means, add it. I would assume that I didn't because it wasn't in any of the sources I used. – Joe N 22:22, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
No problem, I'm on top of it!--Factchk (talk) 17:34, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
Got it! 20,000, John Riley-Smith, The Crusades: A History, New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2005 page 109--Factchk (talk) 23:54, 3 May 2011 (UTC)

Default sorting[edit]

By default, shouldn't we sort both tables in order of descending casualties? That is what we advertise in the article title after all. I'm willing to put the effort in if people agree (though help would not be rejected!). –CWenger (^@) 23:03, 17 August 2011 (UTC)

Removal of Operation Searchlight[edit]

I came to this page to see if there had ever been a more costly battle than that of The Battle of The Somme. I saw that there was a battle listed, Searchlight, that had twice as many deaths - 3,000,000. Fully aware that in the west where I live the history of 'eastern' nations is taugh very sparingly I read the Wikipedia article on Operation Searchlight, amazed I had not heard of such an event. However upon reading the article is appears that the 3,000,000 were not killed in battle but were civilian casualties of genocide, hardly the same thing at all. So I've decided to remove it. If you disagree please read the Operation Searchlight page and state your reasons below :-) Cls14 (talk) 22:53, 27 December 2011 (UTC)

Massacre at Béziers[edit]

I think the sack of Béziers France in 1209, during the Albigensien Crusade, would qualify for this list. The Papal Delagate overseeing the action reported 20, 000 dead. (talk) 05:52, 22 February 2012 (UTC)

Third Battle of Nanking[edit]

Should the Third Battle of Nanking (1864) not be included in the Classic Formations section? The wiki page claims at least 200,000 casualties, just on the rebel side. I haven't added it as I assumed there must be a reason such a large battle was omitted. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:37, 11 July 2012 (UTC)

not sortable?[edit]

the first section says it's sortable, but it's not. how to fix? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:25, 7 January 2014 (UTC)

Table sorting out of order[edit]

I'm not sure how the sorting tech works with things like "approximately" and other non-numbers thrown in so I can't edit it myself, but: In the urban fighting section, when you sort by casualties, the Battle of Kiev shows up as the battle with the least casualties despite showing over 700,000. Bye now. (talk) 00:41, 26 January 2014 (UTC)

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