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Lord Chelmsford Said .Buller is ‘one of the finest soldiers of the century’, so modest and reticent –that it was difficult to say for what individual deed he had got the Victoria Cross as he had been doing acts worthy of it all along the line
 
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 Question about casualties in battles

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SRB1965

SRB1965

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Question about casualties in battles Empty
PostSubject: Question about casualties in battles   Question about casualties in battles EmptyFri Jan 26, 2018 4:49 am

Hi,

On the subject of Isandlwana - does anyone know of a major field battle, where the loosers suffered a casualty rate in excess of 80%

I say 80% (and its only a ball park figure) because quite a lot of NNMC and am unknown number of NNIC made it to safety.

Unfortunately armies of antiquity seemed very sketchy about numbers.

The Battle of Little Big horn, had a lesser rate because Reno's and Benteens troops were part of the same engagement. Thermopylae (the first) whilst the Spartiates and Thespians had a bit of a wigging, the Thebans escaped (or at least survived) as did the rest of the Greek army that were dismissed when the pass was compromised.

I would like to thank my son for this question, who woke me up at 02.00 to say he couldn't sleep.....thanks kid.....its amazing what you think about when trying to get back to sleep....at least the ODI is on TV but at 61/5 or 5/61 (if you're a colonial).....

Cheers

Sime
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John Young

John Young

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PostSubject: Re: Question about casualties in battles   Question about casualties in battles EmptyFri Jan 26, 2018 7:08 am

Sime,

The battles/actions where the defeated suffered a high casualty rate that readily spring to my mind are:
Cannae, 216 B.C.
The Alamo, 1836.
The Retreat from Kabul, 1842.
Battle of Camarón (Camerone), 1863.
The Wilson Patrol, Matabeleland, 1893.

I put my thinking cap on and try to think of some more.

JY
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ymob

ymob

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PostSubject: Re: Question about casualties in battles   Question about casualties in battles EmptyFri Jan 26, 2018 9:32 am

Adoua, 1st March 1896 (70% of losses for the Italians),
Cao Bang (Coc Xa), 1950,
Dien Bien Phu 1954.

There are some battles of the WWII (Stalingrad?) in particular against the Japonese.
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ymob

ymob

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PostSubject: Re: Question about casualties in battles   Question about casualties in battles EmptyFri Jan 26, 2018 9:53 am

Teutobourg (9 After JC)
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John Young

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PostSubject: Re: Question about casualties in battles   Question about casualties in battles EmptyFri Jan 26, 2018 10:40 am

Azincourt, St. Crispin’s Day, 1415.

Imjin River, 1950.

Frédéric,

You beat me to it with the Teutoburger Wald & Dien Bien Phu.

I discounted Adwa, as the ratio didn’t fit Simon’s criteria.

Regards,

JY
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ymob

ymob

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PostSubject: Re: Question about casualties in battles   Question about casualties in battles EmptyFri Jan 26, 2018 12:15 pm

Mr Young,
I am reading an account on the battle of Imjin River: impressive...
Bien à vous.
Frédéric
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ymob

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PostSubject: Re: Question about casualties in battles   Question about casualties in battles EmptyFri Jan 26, 2018 12:22 pm

El Obeid 1883,
Khartoum, January 1885
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SRB1965

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PostSubject: Re: Question about casualties in battles   Question about casualties in battles EmptyFri Jan 26, 2018 1:25 pm

Hi, I'm sorry didn't count the Alamo being as it was not field battle nor Camerone or Shangani or indeed Intombi because they were not major engagements.. ..heroic yes but not major unless you are in them.....did the French suffer 80% losses at Agincourt and the UN similar at Imjin? Sounds a bit high
...maybe the Glosters.....I should have made it clear that the Army should have lost and suffered 80,% casualties.....not just specific elements of the army but it was early in the morning. Gadamak was a good one though, never thought of that and Varus's walkabout.
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John Young

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PostSubject: Re: Question about casualties in battles   Question about casualties in battles EmptyFri Jan 26, 2018 7:25 pm

Sime,

What is your definition of a casualty? In my opinion a casualty can be killed, wounded or taken prisoner.

If you have discounted the Alamo, I will throw in the Battle of San Jacinto 21st April 1836, in that way I will Remember the Alamo & also Remember Goliad, the latter I would contend fits the bill.

As to the Imjin, in my original post which for some reason didn’t stick, I actually put the Battle of Gloster Hill, Imjin River, I was being lazy when I reposted as I was busy with other ZW matters.

JY
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SRB1965

SRB1965

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PostSubject: Re: Question about casualties in battles   Question about casualties in battles EmptyFri Jan 26, 2018 8:33 pm

Hi John,

Its just a bit of fun but the idea (which I did not make clear), was drawing parallels to Isandlwana, were the whole army had around 80% KIA (hence discounted sieges and smaller engagements).

At SJ I believe the Mexican suffered about 50% dead 600 odd out of 1300ish with the rest captured/wounded or disguised as corporals.

I have put the same question on different forum and they have come back with Cannae,  the Horns of Hattin amongst others - Towton being close at around 66% Lancastrians killed (but numbers involved are sketchy). I wondered about Carrahe but am not sure about the number of prisoners the Parthians took, I know there was some.

I feel the discrepancy to dead to living & escaped (at Isandlwana) is if not unique, at least very rare - almost what you would except in a siege....I spose the Zulu Beasts Head and their speed made it like that.

Please don't spend too much time on this.

Cheers

Sime
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John Young

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PostSubject: Re: Question about casualties in battles   Question about casualties in battles EmptyFri Jan 26, 2018 9:04 pm

Sime,

You can discount Carrhae, I already looked at that, having made a study of the battle after reading the excellent works of fiction of Simon Scarrow and Peter Darman. Thanks to Marco & Cato there were a number of survivors.

The Roman casualty figure are basically as follows: 20,000 killed; 10,000 captured & 10,000 escaped.

JY
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