Bloodiest Wars in United States History

10 Bloodiest Wars in United States History (By Death Toll)

Wars shape what United States is today. The history of US is full of wars that unite the people and shape a nation. These 10 bloodiest wars in United States history will give you quick reminder about how many lives United States had lost to become Super Power.

The list’s statistics are based on several references and most of them are given within the article.

Don’t miss either: 10 Ancient Civilization in the World, according to ListoGraphic’s research.

Let’s not take more time and here are the 10 bloodiest wars in United States History by death poll.

10) Philippine-American War

The Philippine-American War
Source: projects.leadr.msu.edu

Total Deaths (US only): 4,234 (ref. In Our Image: America’s Empire in the Philippines by Stanley Karnow)

Duration: 1899 – 1902

Reason: Occupation over Philippines.

The war broke out when The Treaty of Paris (1898) transferred sovereignty of Philippines from Spain to United States. However, this transfer of sovereignty was not accepted by Filipino leaders and they declared war against United States. The conflict lasts for 3 years and officially ended on July 2, 1902 with a victory of the United States. Moreover, in 1935 Philippine got independence on US approval.

9) Iraq War

Iraq War
Source: centcom.mil

Total Deaths (US only): 4,424

Duration: 2003 – 2011

Reason: Fake claim of Bush Administration on Iraqis Weapon of Mass Destruction.

Iraq War – the war fought in the name of peace and democracy. The whole war of Iraq lied upon the assumptions and lies of Bush Administration. In 2003, President Bush launched Operation Iraqi Freedom against Saddam Hussein, dictator of Iraq, by claiming that Saddam’s regime has weapon of mass destruction (WMD). Soon after, the forces of US, British, and coalition countries, overwhelm Iraqi Army and overthrow Saddam. However, Bush Administration never showed any evidence of weapon of mass destruction, neither chemical nor biological. In real, there were not any WMDs. All this ended up when administration of Barak Obama finally withdrew from Iraq in 2011.

Did you know that: Iraqi War costs America $1.06 trillion. The War added more than $1 trillion to the US debt.

8) Mexican–American War

Mexican–American War
Source: history.com

Total Deaths (US only): 13,271

Duration: 1846 – 1848

Reason: America’s expansionist-minded administration and President James K. Polk’s “manifest destiny”.

As name goes, this war was fought by two neighbors: United Mexico States (Mexico) and United States. That times US president – James K. Polk – believed the United States had a “manifest destiny” to spread across the continent to the Pacific Ocean. The war started on border skirmish in Rio Grande, which started off series of conflicts. Mexico, only 3 decades ago, got its independence from Spain and political instability was common those days in Mexico. For such politically divided new-born country war was unbearable. Resultantly, Mexico lost 1/3 of its area and US gained nearly all of present-day California, Utah, Nevada, Arizona and New Mexico. For more information regarding Mexican-American War CLICK HERE.

Did you know that: Mexican War was first ever American’s war on foreign soil.

7) War of 1812

War of 1812 between US and Britain
Source: Flickr by Georgia National Guard

Total Deaths (US only): 20,000

Duration: 1812 – 1815

Reason: Blockade on international neutral trade by Britain.

During the British war with Napoleonic France, British chock off neutral trade to France. The United States contested these restrictions as illegal under international law. That times US president, James Madison under the pressure of “War Hawks”, signed first ever US Declaration of War against Britain in June 18, 1812. After fighting with Britain, Canada, and Native American tribes and loosing over 20,000 soldier, United States won.

Did you know that: During the War of 1812 British troops captured Washington DC and burnt White House.

6) American Revolutionary War

Painting: Surrender of Lord Cornwallis by John Trumbull

Total Deaths (US only): Patriot: 25,324 | Loyalist: 7,000

Duration: 1775 – 1783

Reason: Heavy taxation and massacres on America by Britain.

In 1492 Christopher Columbus discovered America. After few centuries Europeans began exploring and colonizing North America. In 18th century North America were colonized by Britain, Spain, and France. Soon after, Britain and France fought a war over North America’s dispute, which Britain won and America became British America. All chaos started when Britain impose taxes on 13 American colonies but Americans denied to pay any taxes without representation in Britain’s parliament.

In 1765, Britain sent over 4000 troops to threaten the people of America. Tensions rose high in 1770 when British troops opened fire on a mob of colonist and killed 5 men. In response, a group of colonial delegates arranged meeting in Philadelphia, which further became representation of United States. The war lasted for 8 years and with the great leadership of George Washington and others, U.S. got rid from British rule and became an independent state.

Note: Patriots were Americans fought against British and Loyalist were Americans fought for British.

5) Korean War

Firing during Korean War
Source: Wikipedia Commons

Total Deaths (US only): 36,000

Duration: 1950 – 1953

Reason: North Korea invades South Korea.

Korean Empire was a colonial empire of Japan from 1910 to 1945. After Japan surrendered in 1945, Red Army of Soviet Union marched Northern part of Korea. At the same time US drew line between North and South part of Korea – 38th Parallel. North under Soviet influence and South under America’s. However, North and South Korea were not accepting the border and cross border firing often flared up across the border.

In 1950, 75,000 soldier of North Korea People’s Army invaded into South Korea. Soon after America entered the war on South Korea’s behalf. The war last for 3 years and within the period 5 million soldier and civilians died. The most affected side was North Korea with 1.5 million civilians died due to America’s bombing and that’s the reason North Korea still hates America.

4) Vietnam War

American soldier during Vietnam War
Source: Flickr by manhhai

Total Deaths (US only): 58,000

Duration: 1955 – 1975

Reason: Cold War in Asia.

Vietnam War – also known as Second Indochina war – was a part of Cold War in Asia. The conflict occurred between North Vietnam and South Vietnam. North had support of Soviet Union, China, North Korea, and some other communist states. While South had support of American, Australia, South Korea, and some other anti-communist states. All this chaos started in 1946, when Vietnam was colonial empire of France. North Vietnam began independence fight with France for control of the country. After few years, France established the state of Vietnam in the Southern Half of the country.

United States involved in Vietnam War in 1954. Vietnam War is humiliation for United States because it is among few wars that America lost. After losing 120 billion dollars and 58,000 soldiers Unites States withdrew from Vietnam. Soon after, North Vietnam take over whole country and communism became ultimate fate of Vietnam. Till today Vietnam is a communist state.

3) World War I

United States Marine Corps during World War 1
Soldiers of United States Marine Corps | Source: Flickr by USMC Archives

Total Deaths (US only): 116,516 (ref. Encyclopedia 1914 – 1918)

Duration: 1914 – 1918

Reason: Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand.

Starting point of WWI is a debatable topic. However, the conflict began right after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary by Serbian-nationalist group Black Hand. This and some other events led Austria declare war against Serbia. Initially, Austria has support from Germany and Serbia has from Russia. Moreover, Russia allied with Britain and France whereas Germany allied with Italy, Austria-Hungary, and Ottoman Empire. In short, whole Europe came into the conflict right after Archduke incident.

But why do America has any concern with all this turmoil in Europe? Well, America doesn’t has initially but German attacks on unarmed trade ships from America and some other incidents made 2 million American soldiers to participate in World War I.

2) World War II

Female World War 2 pilots of USA
Female Pilots of USA during World War 2 | Source: defense,gov by Shannon Collins

Total Deaths (US only): 418,500

Duration: 1939 – 1941

Reason: Germany invades in Poland.

It’s all started in September 1, 1939, when Germany invaded Poland, which led United Kingdom and France to declare war against Germany. But it’s not the point where US came in, its Pearl Harbor attack which led United States’ entry into the World War 2. In December 7, 1941, Japan surprised America by attacking Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. On the following day, December 8, US declared war against Japan and several days after Italy and Germany declared war against US. All this came to an end after Japan surrender to US and Hitler and Mussolini got killed. Reluctantly, US won the war after bearing 418,000 causalities. WWII was most deadliest war in United States history on foreign soil.

You may also like: Most Strongest Militaries in the World (2018)

1) American Civil War

American bloodiest war - Civil War
Source: Wikimedia Creative Commons

Total Deaths (US only): 620,000

Duration: 1861 – 1865

Reason: Abolition of slavery.

This was the war between states of United States over abolition of slavery – a conflict in many ways create a nation. The Southern 11 states (Confederate States) of America formed an army against their own country’s Northern states. All turmoil started when Abraham Lincoln – 16th president of United States – banned slavery. Basically, Southern states highly relied on slaves for agriculture and cotton industry. Abolition of slavery would cause great economical down fall for the Southerners, which ultimately led war against their own country’s federal. Strategically, Northerners were more industrialized and had more resource – rail roads, arms, and men – than Southerners. This all ended when Confederate States Commander Robert E. Lee surrender in 1865. Devastating American Civil War took lives of million Americans and became the most deadliest war in United States history.

Now you turn: Comment below if you have any question or what to express your thoughts regarding this list of 10 Deadliest Wars in United States History.

Ali Attar

Ali Raza Attar is founder of ListoGraphic. Currently, he is a student in COMSATS Islamabad along with full-time webmaster. Passionate about content and online marketing. Ali started his blogging carrer back in 2011 and has been learning SEO since then. Ali lives in Paksitan, Islamabad, basically from Sindh.

Add comment