- Battle of Waterloo, Napoleonic Wars
- Battle of Sharpsburg, American Civil War
- Battle of Gettysburg, American Civil War
- Battle of the Somme, World War 1
- Battle of Verdun, World War 1
- Battle of Stalingrad, World War 2
- Battle of the Bulge, World War 2
- D-Day, World War 2
- Battle of Okinawa, World War 2
- Battle of the Chosin Reservoir, Korean War
Battle of Waterloo, Napoleonic Wars
Location: Waterloo, United Kingdom of the Netherlands (now Waterloo, Belgium)
June 18, 1815
UK, Prussia, Hanover, Netherlands, Nassau, Brunswick/France
Outcome: Coalition Victory
Coalition deaths: 24,000
French deaths: 41,000
When Napoleon came back to power in March 1815, a myriad of different countries formed the Seventh coalition against him. With his main force, Napoleon attacked most of the Prussian army which caused the Prussians to withdraw for one day. Napoleon sent some of his forces to pursue the Prussians but the force that Napoleon sent was unable to fight in the main battle. The French repeatedly attacked the British General Wellington throughout the day of June 18th but while he was attacking Wellington, the Prussians arrived and attacked his left. Napoleon tried one last time to attack the British but while he was, the Prussians broke through his right. The French were forced to retreat after that.
Battle Of Sharpsburg (Battle of Antietam) American Civil War
Location: Sharpsburg, Maryland
September 17, 1862
Confederate States of America/United States of America
Confederate deaths: 10,316
Union deaths: 12,410
This Battle was fought between General Robert E. Lee’s Confederates and George B. McClellan’s Unions. This was the first real engagement on union soil and was the bloodiest day in US history. This was part of the Maryland Campaign and the battle was fought near Sharpsburg, Maryland. General McClellan launched several attacks on the Confederates from behind Antietam creek. Joseph Hooker attacked Lee’s left and there were counterattacks and attacks near Miller’s Cornfield, Dunker Church, and the sunken road. General Burnside captured a bridge and advanced to Lee’s right. Amazingly, General A.P. Hill of the Confederacy surprise attacked Burnside which drove him back, ending the battle. Even though McClellan had more men he failed to bring overwhelming force to the Confederates. McClellan halted the invasion of Maryland and later Lee withdrew from Maryland. Because McClellan was always too cautious, Abraham Lincoln decided to take him out in November.
Battle of Gettysburg American Civil War
Location: Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
July 1 – July 3, 1863
Confederate States of America/ United States of America
Outcome: US Victory
Confederate deaths: 28,000
Union deaths: 23,049
This battle had the largest casualties of the war and is considered the turning point for the union. General Robert E. Lee of the Confederates tried several attacks on General George Meade of the Union near the town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. After a victory at Chancellorsville, Lee started a 2nd invasion of the North. On July 1, Lee marched his men to Gettysburg and started a conflict with Lincoln’s new Major General George Meade. At the Northwest of the town Lee attacked John Buford and sent the Union running through the streets of the town to just south below it. On the second day, Lee attacked their left and fought near, the Wheatfield, Devil’s Den, and the Peach Orchard. The Confederates also attacked Meade’s right and fought near Culp’s Hill and Cemetery Hill. Even though the Union suffered heavy casualties they held their lines. On the third day the Confederates under General George Pickett charged the main union line at Cemetery Hill and were repulsed and was a major loss. This is known as Pickett’s Charge. Lee retreaded back to Virginia and was a very bad loss for the Confederates. If Lee would’ve won the Confederates might have been victorious in the Civil War.
Battle of the Somme World War 1 (Western Front)
Location: Somme River, France
July 1 – November 18, 1916
British Empire, France/German Empire
Outcome: Minor Allied Victory
Allied deaths: 620,000
German deaths: 680,000
3 Million men fought in this battle and over 1 Million were killed making it one of the bloodiest battles in history. The French were to undertake the main battling and the British supported them from the North. On the first day the German had a major defeat to the French and the British. Although they won, the British suffered 57,000 casualties about as much as the whole battle of Gettysburg. During the end of the battle the Allies advanced 10 kilometers which was the farthest they had advanced into German Occupied Territory since the Battle of the Marne. The Allies failed to capture Peronne which the Germans kept until the winter. The Germans continued fighting until february 1917.
Battle of Verdun World War 1 (Western Front)
Location: Verdun-sur-Meuse, France
February 21 – December 18, 1916
Outcome: French Victory
French deaths: 400,000
German deaths: 355,000
This battle is the longest battle of the first World War lasting from February to December. The battle started when the Germans attacked the fortified region of Verdun and the right bank of the Meuse river. The Germans planned to capture the Meuse heights which was a great place to attack Verdun from. They also hoped that the French would try to recapture it so they would would take heavy losses while trying to take it. In the first few days, the Germans captured Fort Douaumont and advanced slowly inflicting many French Casualties. Philippe Petain, a French General Officer, Ordered no retreat and to counter-attack the Germans even though this exposed the soldiers to artillery barrages. French guns bombarded the
Germans on the east bank which caused many German casualties.
The Germans sent infantry to try to stop the bombardment but failed to reach their objective. In May the French finally took back Fort Douaumont. In the fall and Winter French Offensive gained back most of the occupied territory that the Germans took. This battle lasted 302 days making it the longest battles in history.
Battle of Stalingrad World War 2 (Eastern Front)
Location: Stalingrad, USSR (now Volgograd Russia)
August 23, 1942 – February 2, 1943
USSR/Nazi Germany, Romania, Italy, Hungary
Outcome: Soviet victory
Soviet deaths: 1,129,619
Axis deaths: 647,300
The Germans began to attack Stalingrad in August of 1942 using only 2 armies. The city was intensely bombed by the Luftwaffe, reducing it to rubble. The battle was fought mostly in the city and soldiers went from house to house. Both sides kept pouring reinforcements into the city. By November the Germans had pushed the Soviets back to the West bank of the Volga river which inflicted heavy casualties. On the 19th of November, the Red army launched attacks on the Romanian, Hungarian, and Italian forces. In the city, the Axis forces were overrun by the Red army and were surrounded. Stupidly, Adolf Hitler ordered them not to retreat. That caused them to be completely surrounded. There was more heavy fighting but because they were surrounded they had to surrender. The Axis forces surrendered on February 2, 1943, because they were low on food, ammunition, and soldiers.
Battle of the Bulge World War 2 (Western Front)
Location: Ardennes Forest in Belgium and Luxembourg
December 6, 1944 – January 25, 1945
US, UK, France, Canada, Belguim/Nazi Germany
Outcome: Allied Victory
Allied deaths: 90,000
The battle of the Bulge was the last German offensive of the Western Front of World War 2. The Germans had a victorious surprise attack because of allied overconfidence and poor weather. The Americans bore the most casualties during the Battle of the Bulge. This battle had the most casualties for the Americans during the war. During the battle, the German Luftwaffe had very many casualties. The Germans were behind schedule and this allowed the Allied to bring reinforcements. On December 24 of 1944 the weather was clear so the Allied air force could do their job better. The German offensive was broken on December 27 but still fought for another month. The Germans would never recover from this loss and was their last attempt for victory in World War 2.
D-Day (Battle of Normandy) World War 2 (Western Front)
Location: Normandy, France
June 6, 1944
US, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand/Nazi Germany
Outcome: Allied Victory
Allied deaths: 10,000
Axis deaths: 4,000
After the battles in Africa and the Mediteranian had been won, the Allies were going to invade france.
Omaha was the most heavily fortified beach and was being assaulted by Americans. Many of the landing crafts bumped into sandbars which caused the men to have to wade through the water on heavy fire and which most of them were gunned down. Casualties were 2,000 because machine guns were fired from cliffs below. By the late morning only 600 of the men had reached the higher ground. The Americans cleared the beach when most of the Germans ran out of ammunition. Omaha beach had the most casualties out of all the landings.
Gold Beach was assaulted by the British and was not that fortified compared to Omaha and Utah. The British cleared the beach and went over the seawall to clear the houses. Estimated casualties at Gold beach are 1,000.
Utah beach was the second beach that was cleared by the Americans. When the first assault was completed, tanks were sent to the beach. The battle went throughout the day as a skirmish and the main stronghold was disabled by noon. Allied casualties were only 197 at Utah beach.
Juno beach was the one and only beach to be cleared by the Canadians. The houses were cleared by the Canadians and the beach was cleared.
The clearing of the beach was done by the British. The beach was very hard and dangerous to clear due to mines and obstacles. A stronghold called Morris wasn’t taken until an hour of fighting. The beach was cleared in a few hours.
Battle of Okinawa World War 2 (Pacific front)
Location: Okinawa, Ryukyu islands, Japan
April 1 – June 22, 1945
US, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand/Empire of Japan
Outcome: Allied Victory
Allied deaths: 55,162
Axis deaths: 77,166
A nickname of the battle was the typhoon of steel because of fierce kamikaze attacks by the Japanese. The battle was the bloodiest of the pacific with 160,000 deaths on each side. In the naval battles surrounding the island, there was severe loss of ships and aircraft. After the battle, the island of Okinawa was used for a base for the planned invasion of Japan.
Battle of the Chosin Reservoir Korean War
Location: Wilderness in Changjin County, North Korea
November 27 – December 13, 1950
US, UK, South korea/People’s Republic of China, North Korea
Communist deaths: 60,000
UN deaths: 13,900
The battle started a month after China started to send soldiers to the war. On the 27th of November of 1950, the Chinese a surprise attack on the US. 17 more days of harsh fighting in the freezing cold weather followed. A few thousand US soldiers were surrounded by 120,000 Chinese soldiers. The UN forces were able to break out of the encirclement which inflicted many Chinese casualties. The US Eight army retreated from North Korea after the Battle of Ch’ongch’on.