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April 29, 2015

Y is for Ypres Battle (And All Wars)


My theme for my 2015 A to Z Challenge came from my Disaster Crimes series. Disasters are a theme in each story, so it got me thinking about all the disasters that occur from natural disasters to manmade disasters.

Today’s disaster is...
YPRES BATTLE AND ALL WARS

During WW1 there were five Battles of Ypres.

On October 19th 1914, British troops entered Ypres unaware of the size of advancing German forces. Although the German troops were larger, most of the soldiers were young and not trained well. Some claims state they only had six weeks of training. 1,500 Germans were killed and 600 more were taken as prisoners. Despite that, neither side could control the area, so a fierce fight ensued. After that first battle, four more occurred. When America entered the war, the Germans were defeated and the fighting at Ypres ended on October 14th 1918, four years after the first battle.


Top Ten Biggest Wars in History:

10. American Civil War (1861 – 1865 )

A war centered on slavery fought between the North and South of America. More than 800,000 people were killed.

9. Soviet War in Afghanistan (1979 – 1989)

A decade-long war fought between the Soviet-led Afghan and the multi-national insurgent groups called the Mujahedeen. The death toll rose to over a million.

8. Vietnam War (1955 – 1975)

A war fought between North Vietnam (supported by the Soviet Union, China, and other communist allies) and South Vietnam (supported by the United States and other non-communist allies).

7. Thirty Years War (1618 – 1648)

This was one of the bloodiest wars centered on religion. It was also the longest conflict in European history.

6. Napoleonic Wars (1803 – 1815)

A war sparked by the French revolution. Over 6.5 million people died.

5. Russian Civil War (1917 – 1922)

A war fought between the Bolshevik Red Army and the anti-Bolshevik White Army. Seven million people died.

4. Conquests by the Empire of Japan (1894 – 1945)

During this time period the Empire of Japan caused over 20 million deaths.

3. World War 1 (1914 – 1918)

This is one of the bloodiest global wars in history that was centered in Europe. On one side was the Allies (the United Kingdom, France and Russia), and on the other side was the Central Powers (German and Austria-Hungary). Later, Italy, Japan and the United States joined the Allies and the Ottoman Empire and Bulgaria joined the Central Powers. The totally number of casualties was over 37 million.

2. Mongol Conquests (1206 – 1368)

The Mongols brought terror to Europe that resulted in more than 60 million killings.

1. World War 11 (1939 – 1945)

This war resulted in the Holocaust and the use of nuclear weapons. Over 70 million deaths marks this as the deadliest war in world history.




RIP to ALL the souls lost due to these wars and all the wars not listed here.

121 comments:

nashvillecats2 said...

Wars are really terrible. luckily I was born at the end of a war and did not experience the bombs and devestation it brings. Great post.
Yvonne.

Jo said...

Did you know the British soldiers who couldn't pronounce French words, called Ypres Wipers? I was born just a year before World War II started. The deaths you have quoted are appalling. I once saw a play in London called What a Lovely War which was about WWI and which was part show and part film. Each film was about battles and how many people were killed usually for the gain of a few yards by one side or the other.

Denise said...

Very nicely done and a grim reminder of mankind's history. Forget global warming, we will do ourselves in eventually.

@msdeniseh553
Life After Retirement - My Russian Adventure

Jennifer Hawes said...

I did love teaching about the Civil War. And, you know me, I am fascinated by all things WWII. I even have my grandfather's dog tags!!

Jeffrey Scott said...

So terrible when people can't get along and have to fight. It's too bad we can't give certain countries a 'time out' till they can play nicely with their neighbours.

Sarah Foster said...

Yikes! Those death tolls sure are devastating.

Nick Wilford said...

It's shocking when you read the bare statistics laid out like that. Sadly we don't seem to have learnt, or more accurately the people in power who are behind all these deaths.

Donna Smith said...

Yes, wars are catastrophic, but I would hate to think what would have happened if we hadn't gotten involved in them. I am grateful to each and every person who ever had to lay down their life for our remaining freedoms we have today.

Anonymous said...

Informative post about 'Wipers' and horror of war. Interested that the Napoleonic Wars ranked so high, but then they did involve most of Europe and Russia. In fact for Europeans there was a North American dimension as British troops were also involved at same time in the War of 1812 - my A to Z theme. Add another 15,000 dead excluding Canadians and Natives.

Chrys Fey said...

That's good. Being born during a war would've been hard.

Chrys Fey said...

I did not know that, but I can see why they would. I wouldn't call WWI lovely.

Chrys Fey said...

Thanks, Denise.

Chrys Fey said...

I think it's neat you have his dog tags. :)

Chrys Fey said...

I agree. That would be a nice remedy, wouldn't it? With a time-out corner and all.

Chrys Fey said...

Yes, they are.

Chrys Fey said...

And I'm not sure we or the people in power will ever learn. It would take a miracle...

Jeremy [Retro] said...

wow, wow... i didn't know much of this, thank you for the solid post of destruction... and mayhem!

Chrys Fey said...

The US did right by getting involved, but at a cost.

Chrys Fey said...

I'm sure all of those numbers could be higher because we probably don't know the real number of casualties. Can you imagine including the lives not lost in battle or a camp? But the people who died at home because of the war and bombings and starvation? (I just watched The Book Thief last night and the end really got to me.)

Chrys Fey said...

You're welcome, Jeremy.

A Tarkabarka Hölgy said...

Those are some staggering numbers...

@TarkabarkaHolgy from
Multicolored Diary - Epics from A to Z
MopDog - 26 Ways to Die in Medieval Hungary

Jo said...

British sense of humour Chrys,, they were being sarcastic

Chrys Fey said...

I see, but I can still see that because I had trouble pronouncing Ypres when I first came across it.

Chrys Fey said...

They sure are.

Tamara Narayan said...

Do wars qualify as a natural disaster because it's in man's nature to fight? If so, how sad. The numbers are mind-blowing.

Chrys Fey said...

Well, my theme is for all disasters natural and manmade, so either way wars qualify for my theme. :)

Stephanie Bird said...

What a great, informative post and touching tribute. Thanks Chrys.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Seventy million people. That's just hard to imagine.

Christine Rains said...

My goodness. Those numbers are frightening. And those are with weapons that are nothing compared to what we have today.

Annalisa Crawford said...

So many lives wasted.

They hold daily memorial services at Ypres. My hubby's been to a couple of them and says they are very moving.

Annalisa, writing A-Z vignettes, at Wake Up, Eat, Write, Sleep

Chrys Fey said...

You're welcome, Stephanie.

Chrys Fey said...

It is hard to imagine.

Chrys Fey said...

Exactly. That's why the prospect of war is even scarier now.

Chrys Fey said...

I didn't know that. That's nice that they do that.

Pat Hatt said...

Hopefully we never have another huge one, be nothing left of the planet

Chrys Fey said...

Hopefully not.

D.G. Hudson said...

The worst of the disasters, since they are caused by men and fuelled by greed on one side or the other. Greed for land, resources, power. The only female who might have caused a war that I can think of might have been Helen of Troy. . .and she was following her heart. The saddest ones are the civil wars where countrymen fight countrymen with different beliefs or religious wars. . .

diedre Knight said...

I doubt the world will ever be free of bullies and if we keep inventing deadlier weapons the world will be free of people. Wish we could just give them all a Snickers bar and call it good! :-)

Unknown said...

I'd never heard of this battle! Very interesting.

Anonymous said...

Meaning to see and read The Book Thief. As I said on my blog, those non-military deaths are "collateral damage as the politicians prefer to call it. All war is a disaster and it has never stopped. Doing a bit of research it seems that, the longest period of peace throughout recorded world history was 26 years. Terrifying." But then the super powers can claim there is peace, as long as they fight proxy wars.

S. L. Hennessy said...

There are so many wars, and they're all so sad. But I think the American Civil War and Vietnam get to me the most. They're just so tragic.

Good luck with the A to Z Challenge!
A to Z Co-Host S. L. Hennessy
http://pensuasion.blogspot.com/

cleemckenzie said...

War is one of the worst disasters in this world, and they just keep coming. Glad you posted about this one. It was interesting, albeit sad, to read the short bit of history.

T. Powell Coltrin said...

Thanks for the brush up on wars. Gee we fight a lot. When you have idiots who think they are bigger and better than another, there is bound to be a fight.

Oh and I forgot to say to you the other day, Congratulations on Ghost of Death!!!

Kern Windwraith said...

It's pretty shocking seeing the numbers laid out like that. We're a species capable of creating so much beauty with art, literature, music, and architecture, but we seem fundamentally incapable of tucking our hate and greed into our back pockets and learning how to negotiate rather than slaughter. And the war goes on..,

Jane said...

The real tragedy of the American Civil War was the conditions that led UP to it: The legalized kidnapping of blacks from their homes in the African content and the subsequent deportation of them to the New World, including the USA, and the subsequent treatment of blacks of slaves and as non-human entities. The Civil War itself was a necessary response to that, given the southern states' refusal to end slavery. This is the other side of war. I know that there are southerners who still wish they had "won" the war, and fly their flag, but to me the deaths of those who perished defending the Union and the rights of ALL to be free was not in vain.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I don't think I've ever seen those numbers broken down like that. It's horrible.

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

So sad that so many have lost their lives because man cannot get along with each other.

Birgit said...

Excellent post. I had heard about the 100 years war and the Crusades so i wonder how many perished in those horrible wars. My dad fought in WW2 and was part of the liberation of Holland. He was wounded in April just before the War ended. My mom is German-lived through the Hitler regime. She was taken out of her home when she was 12 because the authorities felt she was not getting the proper education. She did a hunger strike to get home. She saw her 1 yr old brother die and lost another brother who was 19. She survived the bombings of Hamburg and Dresden. She was part of the German resistance. She met Hitler. She was air-strifed and shot at. When the Russians moved in she experienced starvation and rape. She was taken by the Russians for slave camps and would have disappeared if she did not escape. She also escaped from East to West Germany in 1946. WW2 and any war brings hardship to all nations

Kathryn Thornton said...

Seeing all those death tolls together is overwhelmingly sad.

Jane said...

Thank you, Chrys, for this post.

I'd like to take issue with one thing you wrote: "(WWII) resulted in the Holocaust and the use of nuclear weapons."

The second world war did not result in the Holocaust.

German had, from the beginning, the intention of eradicating the Jewish race from all of Europe, and systematically set about achieving that, beginning with herding Jews and Gypsies (and gays) into DEATH CAMPS. They intended to create a world dominant Aryan race. Dachau, one of the first concentration camps, and one of Hitler's initial steps in implementing his "Final Solution," opened in 1933. In 1938 Nazis invaded Poland. By 1941, 1.5 million Jews had already been murdered in the death camps. The first death camp in Poland, Auschwitz, opened in 1941, after Himmler was summoned by Hitler to solve "the Jewish Question" for good. With the Allies focused on the German land grab and Germany (and its ally Italy) seizing nations of Europe and the African continent, various nations (GB, France, Poland, the Soviet Union) created various pacts to stop German and Italian aggression 1939-41 and attempts to literally dominate the world. Many countries tried to appease the Nazis, but it is clear from history that this is often a naive approach to aggression,as Hitler saw these as opportunities to continue marching on. Nazi death camps continued unabated over the years. Allies, including the US, and President Roosevelt for years ignored requests to bomb the train tracks that led to Auschwitz. Victory in Europe Day was not until 1945. The Holocaust ended with the Allies liberating Dachau and Auschwitz. In a sense I would agree that the Holocaust resulted from WWII - from the Allies' total absence of concern with the systematic murder and attempts to eliminate Jews, gypsies and gays.

Yes, the Asian front did result in the rapid development and use of nuclear weapons.

Rachel Pattinson said...

I have to confess, I didn't know about the death tolls in any of these wars, but it's a very sobering thought. I did History at A Level and we were taught about the 100 years war, WWI and WWII - I think I remember a teacher telling us that there's no way we can ever find out for sure how many died during Stalin's purges, because Russia is such a huge country and communications back then were dire. I really hate that thought. As I get older, I find that the subject of war affects me more and more.

Rachel Pattinson
Rachel's Ramblings - Full of writing, tea and cake

Chrys Fey said...

I agree on everything you said, D.G.

Chrys Fey said...

Snickers for everyone! ;)

Chrys Fey said...

I thought so too.

Chrys Fey said...

S.L., the World Wars get to me the most.

Chrys Fey said...

Jane, the Civil War was tragic for so many reasons.

Chrys Fey said...

I didn't know about this battle so I learned something new for this post.

Chrys Fey said...

We do fight a lot. We we never stop. It's sad.

Thank you, T.!

Chrys Fey said...

It is shocking. You know a lot of people died, but you don't know how many until you see the numbers.

Chrys Fey said...

Nothing more horrible than war and the deaths that come because of it.

Chrys Fey said...

Well said!

Chrys Fey said...

Your mom went through so much. She is a warrior! I am so happy she made it through all of that devastation and lived on.

Both sides of my family are German but I don't know their history or anything about my ancestors. That would be interesting to learn. I'm also part Russian on my mother's side.

Chrys Fey said...

It is. Nothing sadder...well, maybe killing animals is on a level field.

Mary Kirkland said...

War is awful. I hate thinking about all the lives st because of war.

Mary Kirkland said...

*lives lost

Chrys Fey said...

Thank you for the clarification and information on death camps, Jane.

Carrie-Anne said...

I've long had a morbid fascination with WWII and the Civil War, though I've never really been that interested in most other wars of history. In recent years, I've become more interested in WWI, particularly considering this is such a forgotten war, not so many books and movies made about it anymore. I also need to do more reading on the Russo–Japanese war when it's time to do research for the second of my planned Russian novel prequels.

Chrys Fey said...

I didn't know the death tolls either until I did the research. I agree that there's no way of knowing the exact numbers, especially when so many more died outside of camps and battlefields.

Chrys Fey said...

So do I, Mary.

Chrys Fey said...

World War II has also been one I've been fascinated with since I first heard about it.

Unknown said...

This was fascinating to see all of the wars ranked like that. (Also, your theme is very original). I, too, am interested in World War II. My grandfather was a forward scout and shell-shocked while fighting in France.

http://meganwhitsonlee.blogspot.com

Cortney Pearson said...

War is definitely a tough subject. It's heart-wrenching to see the death tolls.

Stephen Tremp said...

The 20th century was not a good one in terms of pain and suffering and destruction. Let's hope we've learned our lesson moving forward.

CA Heaven said...

All wars are terrible. Such a waste of lives and resources.

Cold As Heaven

Julie Flanders said...

It's impossible to even comprehend those numbers and all those lives lost.

Nilanjana Bose said...

Worst disaster of all because it is totally manmade and avoidable. The death toll listed like that is insane, makes one's head swim. And yet no lessons are drawn from the past and wars go on still. Depressing.

Liz A. said...

And they keep happening...

Chrys Fey said...

Your grandfather is a true hero, Megan.

Chrys Fey said...

It is. I didn't know the death tolls until I researched it.

Chrys Fey said...

I hope we have but fear we haven't.

Chrys Fey said...

I agree 100%!

Chrys Fey said...

It is unthinkable.

Chrys Fey said...

Well said, Nilanjana. War definitely is the worst disaster.

Chrys Fey said...

Unfortunately...

Elizabeth Mueller said...

Unfortunately, those numbers you provided are recorded--there's no telling how many were killed in secrecy. x(

Elizabeth Mueller
AtoZ 2015
My Little Pony

Chrys Fey said...

I know. Or died from other causes related to war like starvation or even air raids.

Dixie@dcrelief said...

"There will be no more war when men who prey upon each other, begin to pray for each other instead." Author unknown

J E Oneil said...

There are too many wars, too much fighting. It seems unending...

Sunni said...

I've never heard of the Ypres wars, but my grandfather was in WWI and my dad in WWII and lots of friends in the Vietnamese war.

I hate all wars but mankind will never learn and thus we will probably bring on the state of our own demise.

Sunni
http://sunni-survivinglife.blogspot.com/

Chrys Fey said...

Great quote! Thanks for sharing it, Dixie!

Chrys Fey said...

It does...and if things continue like the way they are, it won't end...

Chrys Fey said...

I think that's a big possibility, Sunni. Although I hope not.

Anonymous said...

I can deal with natural disasters. It's nature being amazing, but war is sad.

~Patricia Lynne aka Patricia Josephine~
Member of C. Lee's Muffin Commando Squad
Story Dam
Patricia Lynne, Indie Author

J.L. Campbell said...

Wow! We seem to specialize in ways to destroy each other.

Lidy said...

Really, can't we just get along? Is it that hard to agree to disagree? I know we all have our differences, race, religion, etc but we're all the same. We love, we feel pain and hurt, want to protect out love ones, just the same. So why let our differences and or ugly/tragic past and grudges keep us from coming together?

Jane said...

You're welcome, Chrys.

J.H. Moncrieff said...

Sad post. People kill each other for the most ridiculous reasons.

The death tolls really are staggering.

Denise Covey said...

If only women ruled the world things would be different, groan. We just finished 'glorifying' Anzac Day in Australia which was the Gallipoli campaign near the beginning of WW1. Oh, how I hate war! All those young people who never got to live a long life. Still, I honour them and have recently visited Ypres to pay my respects to the Commonwealth war dead. So, so sad. ;-( But it is one of the reasons it is good to be an Australian travelling in France, Belgium etc. They love us for fighting for them, even though we were crazy young!!

Chrys, I've enjoyed your thoughtful, well-researched posts for the A-Z so much. I couldn't always leave a comment but I've been flicking by. Thank you. :-)

betty said...

I think I read somewhere there was only a short period of time in history where there wasn't a war being fought somewhere. It is sad we resort to this to "solve" things. I remember seeing the Vietnam Memorial Wall in DC years ago for the first time and just being so sad so many lost their lives, so many youth that never had a chance to grow up.

betty

Sharon Himsl said...

The death toll boggles the mind. And they just keep happening!

Tasha Duncan-Drake said...

Are is so terrible, killing so many and making life a misery for even more. I wish we, as a race, could grow out of it.
Tasha
Tasha's Thinkings | Wittegen Press | FB3X (AC)

Unknown said...

Wow! This is terrible. What a loss. Didn't know there was a place called ypres though, how is that pronounced (i-pres, yipres)? Thanks for sharing.

Chrys Fey said...

War is sad!

Chrys Fey said...

Unfortunately, we do.

Chrys Fey said...

I wish we could. I really, really do. It makes me sad to see that we fight and hate each other just because we are different. That is what's supposed to be so great about being a human and being on earth...our differences.

Chrys Fey said...

They do and it's such a waste of life.

Chrys Fey said...

AMEN!

Why thank you, Denise! I'm glad you've been enjoying them and stopping by. :D

Chrys Fey said...

I imagine that's right. There was war even in Biblical times.

Chrys Fey said...

I know. That's what's so horrible about it.

Chrys Fey said...

I wish we could too. And learn to live with each other peacefully.

Chrys Fey said...

I'm actually not sure on the correct pronouncement, Keren. I've been using yiprez but that could be totally wrong. :\

Jane said...

Chrys, had conditions in the slave states not been what they were, had the slavers not refused to end the institution of slavery and their brutal inhumane treatment of those of the blacks forcefully abducted from Africa, there would have been no need for the Union to declare war against, essentially, itself. The war was painful, brought much loss of life and loss of property, but it also paved the way for a nation where every living person was considered a human being. (There's still a long way to go, but the Civil War was the first step.) Humanity has a great capacity for good and for evil. We are inspired by the Emancipation Proclamation today, written and delivered in the 3rd year of the bloody war, which essentially declared that the war was about securing freedom for blacks. Here hoping that out of the ashes of destruction, good will always ensue.

Thank you, Chrys, for this really great A-Z challenge!!

Ze end!

Birgit said...

Oh you should get the history down when you can. I was not able to get much on my dad's side and he died when I was 23 so get that history! You have the logic of a German and the passion of a Russian:) Russian history is great and so much to see there

Deniz Bevan said...

I read about WWI and WWII a lot. There are so many individual stories to discover. So much senseless waste in all war. And yet it's amazing how ordinary people can become heroes in the worst situations.

Chrys Fey said...

The individual stories are always amazing and heartbreaking to read.

sage said...

War can be a terrible thing!

Chrys Fey said...

It sure can be.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Chrys ... it does make what we're doing pale into insignificance - War is dreadful, so appalling and we keep on doing it ... with so many young lives lost ... as well as civilians - how on earth can we get humans to respect another human and all human beings to live together harmoniously - it has to be possible somehow ...

This has been a great series .. I must check out our answers to your survey ... and I wonder about the percentages of deaths to the population on earth at that given time ... the wars may well be in a different order.

Well done - really interesting theme .. clever one too .. cheers Hilary

Chrys Fey said...

That's a good questions, Hilary, and I'm not sure of the answer.

I was also curious about the population of the world when those tolls took place.

Thank you! :D

Empty Nest Insider said...

I wholeheartedly agree with Hilary. It is frightening how many lives have been lost in times of war, and yet, the fighting continues. Excellent post, Chrys!

Julie

Chrys Fey said...

It's terrible that the fighting continues. As if we forget about the impact war has on us all.