List of wars by death toll

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This list of wars by death toll includes death toll estimates of all deaths that are either directly or indirectly caused by war. These numbers usually include both the deaths of military personnel which are the direct results of battle or other military wartime actions, as well as the wartime/war-related deaths of civilians, which are the results of war-induced epidemics, diseases, famines, atrocities, genocide, etc.

List of wars with greater than 20,000 deaths by death toll


War Death
range
Geometric
mean
Date Location Notes
World War II 15,843,000–85,000,000 36,696,798 1939–1945 Worldwide [1]
Mongol conquests 30,000,000–40,000,000 34,641,016 1206–1368 Eurasia [2][3][4] – Excludes the (up to) 200,000,000 deaths from the Black Death migration that arguably may have been associated with the Mongol expansion
Qing conquest of the Ming 25,000,000+ 25,000,000 1616–1662 China [5] – Also known as the Ming–Qing transition
Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire 24,300,000+ 24,300,000 1519–1632 Mexico [6] – Part of the European colonization of the Americas
Taiping Rebellion 5,000,000–100,000,000 22,360,680 1850–1864 China [7][8][9] – Also known as the Taiping Civil War
Second Sino-Japanese War 20,000,000–25,000,000 22,360,680 1937–1945 China [10] – Part of World War II
An Lushan Rebellion 13,000,000–36,000,000 21,633,308 755–763 China / Vietnam [11] – Also known as the An–Shi Rebellion
Germanic Wars 15,450,000+ 15,450,000 113–596 Europe Number given is lowest estimate of all deaths recorded in conflicts between Roman and Germanic peoples in this time period, due to a lack of recording of deaths actual number caused by these conflicts is likely much greater.
World War I 8,545,800-21,000,000 13,396,335 1914–1918 Worldwide [1] – Also known as the Great War
Conquests of Timur 8,000,000–20,000,000 12,649,111 1370–1405 Eurasia [12][13]
Dungan Revolt 8,000,000–12,000,000 9,797,959 1862–1877 China – Also known as the Tongzhi Hui Revolt
Chinese Civil War 8,000,000–11,692,000 9,671,401 1927–1949 China [14]
Spanish conquest of the Inca Empire 8,400,000+ 8,400,000 1533–1572 Peru [6] – Part of the European colonization of the Americas
Reconquista 7,000,000+ 7,000,000 711–1492 Iberian Peninsula [15]
Russian Civil War 5,000,000–9,000,000 6,708,204 1917–1922 Russia [16]
Thirty Years' War 3,000,000–11,500,000 5,873,670 1618–1648 Europe [17]
Ottoman wars in Europe 5,500,000+ 5,500,000 1821–1921 Eastern Europe Justin McCarthy claims that 5.5 million Ottoman Muslims were killed by various Christian oppressors in the last century of the Ottoman Empire.
Moorish Wars 5,000,000+ 5,000,000 534–548 North Africa
Napoleonic Wars 3,500,000–7,000,000 4,949,747 1803–1815 Worldwide See: Napoleonic Wars casualties
Mughal–Maratha Wars 4,600,000+ 4,600,000 1658-1707 India [18][19]
Yellow Turban Rebellion 3,000,000–7,000,000 4,582,576 184–205 China – Part of Three Kingdoms War
Second Congo War 2,500,000–5,400,000 3,674,235 1998–2003 Central Africa [20][21][22][23] – Also known as the Great War of Africa
French Wars of Religion 2,000,000–4,000,000 2,828,427 1562–1598 France [24] – Also known as the Huguenot Wars
Indian Rebellion of 1857 800,000–10,000,000 2,828,427 1857–1858 India [25] – Also known as the Sepoy Mutiny or the Indian First War of Independence
Hundred Years' War 2,300,000–3,300,000 2,794,995 1337–1453 Western Europe [26]
Vietnam War 800,000–3,800,000 1,743,560 1955–1975 Vietnam [27][28][29] – Also known as the Second Indochina War
Crusades 1,000,000–3,000,000 1,732,051 1095–1291 Europe / Middle East ("Holy Land") [30]
Mfecane 1,500,000–2,000,000 1,732,051 1815–1840 Southern Africa [31]
Nigerian Civil War 1,000,000-3,000,000 1,732,051 1967–1970 Nigeria – Also known as the Biafran War
War in Afghanistan 1,240,000–2,000,000 1,620,000 1978–present Afghanistan [32]
Punic Wars 1,250,000–1,850,000 1,520,691 264 BC–146 BC Western Europe / North Africa
Spanish conquest of Yucatán 1,460,000+ 1,460,000 1519–1595 North America [6] – Part of the European colonisation of the Americas
Second Sudanese Civil War 1,000,000–2,000,000 1,414,214 1983–2005 Sudan
Warring States Period 1,200,000–1,500,000 1,341,642 475 BC–221 BC China
Korean War 1,200,000+ 1,200,000 1950–1953 Korea [33]
Seven Years' War 868,000–1,400,000 1,102,361 1756–1763 Worldwide [34][35]
Soviet-Afghan War 600,000–2,000,000 1,095,445 1979–1989 Afghanistan [36][37][38] – Part of War in Afghanistan
Japanese invasions of Korea 1,000,000+ 1,000,000 1592–1598 Korea [39]
Mexican Revolution 500,000–2,000,000 1,000,000 1910–1920 Mexico [40]
Panthay Rebellion 890,000–1,000,000 943,398 1856–1873 China – Also known as the Du Wenxiu Rebellion
Wars of the Three Kingdoms 876,000+ 876,000 1639–1651 British Isles [41][42][43] – Also known as the British Civil Wars
Conquests of Mehmed II 'the Conqueror' 873,000+ 873,000 1451–1481 Eastern Europe [44] May be over or underestimated
Ethiopian Civil War 500,000–1,500,000 866,025 1974–1991 Ethiopia
Jewish–Roman Wars 350,000–2,000,000 836,660 66–136 Europe / Middle East
American Civil War 650,000–1,000,000 800,000 1861–1865 USA [45][46][47]
Second Punic War 770,000+ 770,000 218 BC–201 BC Western Europe / North Africa [48] – Part of the Punic Wars
Algerian War 350,000-1,500,000 724,569 1954–1962 Algeria [49] – Also known as the Algerian War of Independence
War of the Spanish Succession 400,000–1,251,000 707,389 1701–1714 Europe / Americas [1]
Spanish Civil War 500,000–1,000,000 707,107 1936–1939 Spain [50]
Qin's Wars of Unification 700,000+ 700,000 230 BC–221 BC China – Part of Warring States Period
Eighty Years' War 600,000–700,000 648,074 1568–1648 Worldwide [6] – Also known as the Dutch War of Independence
Gallic Wars 400,000–1,000,000 632,445 58 BC–50 BC France
First Jewish–Roman War 270,000–1,358,400 605,614 66–73 Middle East – Part of Jewish–Roman Wars
Spanish American Wars of Independence 600,000+ 600,000 1808–1833 Americas [51]
Paraguayan War 300,000–1,200,000 600,000 1864–1870 South America [52] – Also known as the War of the Triple Alliance
War on Terror 272,000–1,260,000 585,023 2001–present Worldwide [53][54][55][56] – Also known as the Global War on Terrorism
Iran-Iraq War 289,220–1,100,000 564,041 1980–1988 Middle East
French invasion of Russia 540,000+ 540,000 1812 Russia [1] – Part of the Napoleonic Wars
Cimbrian War 410,000–650,000 516,236 113 BC–101 BC Western Europe – Part of the Germanic Wars
English Civil War 356,000–735,000 511,527 1642–1651 England [57] – Part of the Wars of the Three Kingdoms
Angolan Civil War 504,158+ 504,158 1975–2002 Angola
First Sudanese Civil War 500,000+ 500,000 1955–1972 Sudan
Bar Kokhba Revolt 400,000–580,000 481,664 132–136 Middle East – Also known as the Third Jewish–Roman War – Part of Jewish–Roman Wars
Syrian Civil War 470,000+ 470,000 2011–present Syria See: Casualties of the Syrian civil war
Albigensian Crusade 200,000–1,000,000 447,214 1208–1229 France [58][59] – Also known as the Cathar Crusade – Part of the Crusades
First Congo War 250,000–800,000 447,214 1996–1997 Congo
Iraq War 176,913–1,120,000 445,132 2003–2011 Iraq [55][56][60] – Also known as the Second Gulf War – Part of the War on Terror See: Casualties of the Iraq War
Kitos War 440,000+ 440,000 115–117 Southern Europe / North Africa – Also known as the Second Jewish–Roman War – Part of Jewish–Roman Wars
First Indochina War 400,000+ 400,000 1946–1954 Southeast Asia – Also known as the Indochina War
Maratha expeditions in Bengal 400,000+ 400,000 1741–1751 India [61][62]
Probus's German War 400,000+ 400,000 277 Europe Emperor Probus informed the Senate that he had killed 400,000 Germans. From the Historia Augusta. – Part of the Germanic Wars
Continuation War 387,333+ 387,333 1941–1944 Northern Europe – Part of World War II
Somali Civil War 300,000–500,000 387,298 1986–present Somalia [63][64][65]
Crimean War 356,000–410,000 382,047 1853–1856 Crimean Peninsula
Cuban War of Independence 362,000+ 362,000 1895–1898 Cuba [50]
Great Northern War 350,000+ 350,000 1700–1721 Eastern Europe Sweden, the Swedish Baltic provinces, and Finland, together, with a population of only 2.5 million, lost some 350,000 dead during the war from all causes.[66]
Italian Wars 300,000–400,000 346,410 1494–1559 Southern Europe [6] – Also known as the Great Wars of Italy
Gothic War (269) 320,000+ 320,000 269 Europe Claudius II defeated the Goths, of whom 320,000 were slain. This number is from the Historia Augusta. – Part of the Germanic Wars
French conquest of Algeria 300,000+ 300,000 1829–1847 Algeria Including 15,000 French[67]
Burundian Civil War 300,000+ 300,000 1993–2005 Burundi [68]
Bangladesh Liberation War 26,000–3,000,000 279,285 1971 Bangladesh [69] – Also known as the Bangladesh War of Independence
Second Italo-Ethiopian War 278,350+ 278,350 1935–1936 Ethiopia According to Italian government statistics, the Italians suffered 1,148 KIA, 125 DOW, and 31 MIA.[70] According to the Ethiopian government, at least 275,000 Ethiopians died in the brief war.[70][71] – Also known as the Second Italo–Abyssinian War
War in Darfur 178,258–461,520 268,961 2003–present Sudan [72]
West Papua conflict 150,000-400,000 266,017 1963–present New Guinea
Ten Years' War 241,000+ 241,000 1868–1878 Cuba [50] – Also known as the Great War
Philippine–American War 234,000+ 234,000 1899–1912 Philippines [73] – Also known as the Philippine War
Venezuelan War of Independence 228,000+ 228,000 1810–1823 Venezuela – Part of Spanish American Wars of Independence
Ugandan Bush War 100,000–500,000 223,607 1981–1986 Uganda [74][75] – Also known as the Luwero War
Lord's Resistance Army insurgency 100,000–500,000 223,607 1987–present Central Africa [76][77]
Colombian conflict 220,000+ 220,000 1964–present Colombia [78]
Franco-Dutch War 220,000+ 220,000 1672–1678 Western Europe [1] – Also known as the Dutch War
Iraqi–Kurdish conflict 138,800–320,100 210,784 1918–2003 Iraq [79][80]
Franco-Spanish War (1635–59) 200,000+ 200,000 1635–1659 Western Europe [1][50]
Campaigns of Suleiman the Magnificent 200,000+ 200,000 1521–1566 Eastern Europe / Middle East / North Africa [1]
Carlist Wars 200,000+ 200,000 1820–1876 Spain [51]
La Violencia 192,700–194,700 195,036 1948–1958 Colombia
Third Punic War 150,000–250,000 193,649 149 BC–146 BC Tunisia – Part of the Punic Wars
Winter War 153,736–194,837 185,659 1939–1940 Finland – Part of World War II
First Punic War 185,000+ 185,000 264 BC–241 BC Southern Europe / North Africa – Part of the Punic Wars
Internal conflict in Myanmar 130,000–250,000 180,278 1948–present Myanmar [81]
Kalinga War 150,000–200,000 173,205 262 BC–261 BC India
Hunnic Invasions 165,000+ 165,000 395–453 Europe Number given is the sum of all deaths in battle recorded by Roman writers during this time period, does not take into account civilian deaths, the actual number may be much greater.
Greek Civil War 158,000+ 158,000 1946– 1949 Greece [82][83][84][85]
Wars of the Sixteen Kingdoms 150,000+ 150,000 304–439 Northern China Number given is the sum of all deaths in battle recorded in this time period in battles between armies of the Sixteen Kingdoms, does not take into account civilian deaths, the actual number may be much greater.
Wars of Alexander the Great 142,000+ 142,000 336 BC–323 BC Middle East / North Africa / Central Asia / India Number given is the sum of all deaths in battle during these wars recorded by Greek writers, does not take into account civilian deaths, the actual number may be much greater.
North Yemen Civil War 100,000–200,000 141,421 1962–1970 Yemen [86]
1991 Iraqi coup d'état attempt 85,000–235,000 141,333 1991 Iraq [87][88][89] – Also known as the Sha'aban Intifada
Balkan Wars 140,000+ 140,000 1912–1913 Balkan Peninsula [1]
Saint-Domingue expedition 135,000+ 135,000 1802–1803 Haiti [50]
Lebanese Civil War 120,000–150,000 134,164 1975–1990 Lebanon
Arab–Byzantine Wars 130,000+ 130,000 629–1050 Middle East / North Africa / Southern Europe Number given is the sum of all deaths in battle recorded by writers during this time period, does not take into account civilian deaths, the actual number may be much greater.
Sierra Leone Civil War 50,000-300,000 122,474 1991-2002 Sierra Leone
Thousand Days' War 120,000+ 120,000 1899–1902 Colombia [90]
Moro Conflict 120,000+ 120,000 1969–present Philippines [91]
Great Turkish War 120,000+ 120,000 1683–1699 Eastern Europe [1] – Also known as the War of the Holy League
Arab–Israeli conflict 116,074+ 116,074 1948–present Middle East [92]
Mexican Drug War 106,800+ 106,800 2006–present Mexico [93][94] – Also known as the Mexican War on Drugs
Aceh War 97,000–107,000 101,877 1873–1914 Indonesia [95] – Also known as the Infidel War
Bosnian War 97,214–104,732 100,903 1991–1995 Bosnia
Conquests of Cyrus the Great 100,000+ 100,000 549 BC– 530 BC Middle East Number given is the sum of all deaths in battle recorded by writers during this time period, does not take into account civilian deaths, the actual number may be much greater.
German Peasants' War 100,000+ 100,000 1524–1525 Germany [96] – Also known as the Great Peasants War
Kurdish rebellions in Turkey 100,000+ 100,000 1921–present Middle East
Congo Crisis 100,000+ 100,000 1960–1965 Congo [97]
Insurgency in Laos 100,000+ 100,000 1975–2007 Laos [98]
Kivu Conflict 100,000+ 100,000 2004–present Congo – Part of the Second Congo War
Kashmir Conflict 80,000–110,000 93,808 1947– present North India / Pakistan
Algerian Civil War 44,000–200,000 93,808 1991–2002 Algeria [99][100]
Angolan War of Independence 82,991–102,991 92,452 1961–1974 Angola
Roman Conquest of Britain 90,000+ 90,000 43–96 Great Britain Number given is the sum of all deaths in battle recorded by Roman writers during this time period, does not take into account civilian deaths, the actual number may be much greater.
Mahdist War 90,969+ 90,969 1881–1889 Northwest Africa – Also known as the Sudan Campaign
Goryeo–Khitan Wars 90,000+ 90,000 993–1019 Korea [101]
Rif War 90,000+ 90,000 1916–1927 Morocco
Sri Lankan Civil War 80,000–100,000 89,443 1983–2009 Sri Lanka [102]
Anglo-Spanish War (1585–1604) 88,285+ 88,285 1585–1604 Europe / Americas [50]
Indian annexation of Hyderabad 29,212–242,212 84,116 1948 India – Also known as Operation Polo
Iceni Revolt 80,000+ 80,000 60–61 England Year is uncertain – Part of Roman Conquest of Britain
Wars of Scottish Independence 60,000-150,000 77,459 1296–1357 Scotland / England
Iraqi Civil War (2014–present) 75,000+ 75,000 2014–present Iraq
Mozambican War of Independence 63,500–88,500 74,965 1964–1974 Mozambique [103]
Greco–Persian Wars 73,800+ 73,800 499 BC–449 BC Greece
Sino-Burmese War (1765–69) 70,000+ 70,000 1765–1769 Southeast Asia – Also known as the Qing invasions of Burma
Internal conflict in Peru 70,000+ 70,000 1980–present Peru [104]
French campaign in Egypt and Syria 65,000+ 65,000 1798–1801 Middle East / North Africa [1]
War in North-West Pakistan 45,852–78,946 60,158 2004–present Pakistan [60] – Also known as the War in Waziristan – Part of the War on Terror and War in Afghanistan (2001–present)
Ituri conflict 60,000+ 60,000 1999–2003 Congo [105] – Part of the Second Congo War
Soviet–Japanese War (1945) 33,420–95,768 56,574 1945 Manchuria – Part of World War II
War in Afghanistan (2001–present) 47,246–61,603 53,949 2001–present Afghanistan [60] – Part of the War on Terror and War in Afghanistan
Boko Haram insurgency 51,567+ 51,567 2009–present Nigeria 2,400,000 internally displaced
French intervention in Mexico 49,287+ 49,287 1862–1867 Mexico [50]
First Sino–Japanese War 48,311+ 48,311 1894–1895 East Asia
Kurdish–Turkish conflict 45,000+ 45,000 1978–present Middle East [106] – Part of the Kurdish rebellions in Turkey
Wars of the Roses 35,000–50,000 41,833 1455–1487 England / Wales [107][108]
American Revolutionary War 10,435–159,000 40,733 1775–1783 Worldwide [1][109] [110] [111] [112] – Also known as the American War of Independence
Gothic War (376–382) 40,000+ 40,000 376–382 Eastern Europe – Part of the Germanic Wars
Second Italo-Senussi War 40,000+ 40,000 1923–1932 Libya
Nagorno-Karabakh War 38,000+ 38,000 1988–1994 Caucasus region – Also known as the Artsakh Liberation War
CPP-NPA-NDF rebellion 30,000–43,000 35,917 1969–present Philippines [113]
Ethnic conflict in Nagaland 34,000+ 34,000 1954–present Northeast India [114]
Samnite Wars 33,500+ 33,500 343 BC–290 BC Italy Number given is the sum of all deaths in battle recorded by Roman writers during this time period, does not take into account civilian deaths, the actual number may be much greater.
Conquest of the Desert 30,000–35,000 32,404 1870s–1884 Patagonia
Gulf War 25,456–40,456 32,100 1990–1991 Iraq – Also known as the First Iraq War
Greco-Italian War 27,080+ 27,080 1940–1941 Southeast Europe – Part of World War II
Insurgency in Northeast India 25,000+ 25,000 1964–present Northeast India [81]
Houthi insurgency in Yemen 25,000+ 25,000 2004–present Yemen [115] – Also known as the Sa'dah War
Irish Rebellion of 1798 11,500–53,000 24,688 1798 Ireland
Dominican Restoration War 22,000+ 22,000 1863–1865 Dominican Republic One estimate placed total Spanish deaths from all causes at 18,000. The fatal losses among the Dominican insurgents were estimated at 4,000.[50]
Kurdish separatism in Iran 13,100–34,000 21,105 1918–present Iran [116]
Six-Day War 21,000+ 21,000 1967 Middle East [1]
War of the Quadruple Alliance 20,000+ 20,000 1718–1720 Europe / North America [50]
Ragamuffin War 20,000+ 20,000 1835–1845 Brazil [117]
Italo-Turkish War 20,000+ 20,000 1911–1912 Southern Europe / North Africa [1]

List of modern wars with fewer than 20,000 deaths by death toll

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