Throughout the history of our planet, nations and whole countries have been at enmity. This led to the formation of conflicts, whose scale was truly global. The nature of life itself provokes the survival of the strongest and the fittest. But, unfortunately, the tsar of nature destroys not only everything around him, but also destroys his own kind.
All the major changes on the planet over the past few thousand years are connected with human activities. Perhaps, the desire to conflict with oneself has a genetic basis? Anyway, but it will be difficult to remember a time when the world would reign on the Earth.
Conflicts bring pain and suffering, but almost all of them are still localized in some geographical or professional area. In the end, such hassles result in the intervention of someone stronger or successful in reaching a compromise.
However, the most destructive conflicts include the largest number of peoples, countries and just people. Classic in history are the two World Wars that occurred in the last century. However, there have been many other truly global conflicts in history, about which it is time to remember.
Thirty Years’ War.
These events took place between 1618 and 1648 in Central Europe. For the continent, this was the first global military conflict in history, which affected virtually all countries, including even Russia. And a clash began with religious clashes in Germany between Catholics and Protestants, which grew into a struggle against the hegemony of the Habsburgs in Europe. Catholic Spain, the Holy Roman Empire, as well as the Czech Republic, Hungary and Croatia faced a strong opponent in the face of Sweden, England and Scotland, France, the Danish-Norwegian Union and the Netherlands. In Europe, there were quite a few disputable territories that fueled the conflict. The war ended with the signing of the Peace of Westphalia. He, in fact, finished with feudal and medieval Europe, setting new boundaries for the main parties. And from the point of view of military operations, the main damage was suffered by Germany. Only there were killed up to 5 million people, the Swedes destroyed virtually all of the metallurgy, a third of the cities. It is believed that Germany has recovered from demographic losses in only 100 years.
Second Congolese War.
In 1998-2002, the Great African War unfolded on the territory of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. This conflict has become the most destructive among the numerous wars on the Black Continent over the past half-century. The war initially arose between pro-government forces and militias against the president’s regime. The destructive nature of the conflict was associated with the participation of neighboring countries. In total, more than twenty armed groups, representing nine countries, participated in the war! Namibia, Chad, Zimbabwe and Angola supported the legitimate government, while Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi were rebels who sought to seize power. The conflict officially ended in 2002 after the signing of the peace agreement. However, this agreement looked fragile and temporary. Currently, a new war is raging in the Congo, despite the presence of peacekeepers in the country. And the global conflict in 1998-2002 claimed the lives of more than 5 million people, becoming the most deadly since the Second World War. At the same time, most of the victims fell from hunger and disease.
Under such a collective name, the military operations that Napoleon led from the time of his consulate in 1799 to the very abdication in 1815 are known. The main opposition was between France and Britain. As a result, fighting between them manifested itself in a series of sea battles in different parts of the globe, as well as a major land war in Europe. On the side of Napoleon, which was gradually taking over Europe, the allies-Spain, Italy, Holland, also spoke.The coalition of allies was constantly changing, in 1815 Napoleon fell before the forces of the seventh composition. The decline of Napoleon was associated with setbacks in the Pyrenees and a march to Russia. In 1813, the emperor yielded to Germany, and in 1814 France. The final episode of the conflict was the Battle of Waterloo, lost by Napoleon. In general, those wars took from 4 to 6 million people from both sides.
Civil war in Russia.
These events occurred on the territory of the former Russian Empire between 1917 and 1922. For several centuries the country was ruled by kings, but in the fall of 1917 the Bolsheviks, led by Lenin and Trotsky, seized power. After the storming of the Winter Palace, they suspended the Provisional Government. The country, still taking part in the First World War, immediately got involved in a new, this time internecine conflict. The People’s Red Army was also opposed by the pro-Cahr forces, who longed for the restoration of the former regime, and nationalists who solved their local tasks. In addition, the Entente decided to support the anti-Bolshevik forces, landed in Russia. War raged in the north – the British landed in Arkhangelsk, in the east – the captive Czechoslovak corps rioted, in the south – the Cossack uprisings and campaigns of the Volunteer Army, and almost all of the West left Germany under the terms of the Brest peace. For five years of fierce fighting, the Bolsheviks defeated the enemy’s scattered forces. Civil war split the country – after all, political views forced even relatives to fight against each other. Soviet Russia left the conflict in ruins. The rural production decreased by 40%, almost all the intelligentsia was destroyed, and the level of industry decreased by 5 times. In total during the Civil War, more than 10 million people died, another 2 million in haste left Russia.
The Taiping Rebellion.
Again, it’s about civil war. This time it broke out in China in 1850-1864. In the country, the Christian Hun Xiuquan formed the Taiping heavenly kingdom. This state existed in parallel with the Manchu empire of Qing. Revolutionaries occupied almost the entire southern China with a population of 30 million people. The Taipins began to carry out their sharp social transformations, including religious ones. This uprising led to a series of similar ones in other parts of the Qing Empire. The country was split into several regions that declared their independence. The Taiping has occupied such large cities as Wuhan and Nanjing, and the sympathetic troops have also been occupied by Shanghai. The insurgents even undertook campaigns to Beijing. However, all the indulgences that the Taiping gave the peasants were reduced to a “no” protracted war. By the end of the 1860’s it became clear that the Qing dynasty could not end the rebels. Then the Western countries, pursuing their own interests, joined the fight against the Taiping. Only thanks to the British and French the revolutionary movement was suppressed. This war has led to a huge number of victims – from 20 to 30 million people.
World War I.
The First World War marked the beginning of modern wars as we know them. This global conflict took place from 1914 to 1918. Preconditions to the beginning of the war were the contradictions between the greatest powers of Europe – Germany, Britain, Austria-Hungary, France and Russia. By 1914, two blocs had formed: the Entente (Great Britain, France and the Russian Empire) and the Triple Alliance (Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy). The reason for the outbreak of hostilities was the assassination of the Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo. In 1915 Italy entered the war on the side of the Entente, but the Turks and Bulgarians joined Germany. On the side of the Entente even countries such as China, Cuba, Brazil, and Japan took the floor. By the beginning of the war in the armies of the parties there were more than 16 million people. Tanks and airplanes appeared on the battlefields. The First World War ended with the signing of the Versailles Treaty on June 28, 1919.As a result of this conflict, four empires disappeared from the political map: the Russian Empire, the German Empire, Austria-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire. Germany was so weakened and territorially stripped down that it gave rise to revanchist sentiments that brought the Nazis to power. Participating countries lost more than 10 million killed soldiers, more than 20 million civilians were killed because of hunger and epidemics. Another 55 million people were wounded.
Today it seems that a new war is about to break out on the Korean peninsula. And the situation began to take shape in the beginning of the 1950s. After the end of World War II, Korea was divided into separate northern and southern territories. The former adhered to the communist course with the support of the USSR, while the latter were influenced by America. For several years the relations between the parties were very tense, while the northerners did not dare to invade their neighbors in order to unite the nation. At the same time, the communist Koreans were supported not only by the Soviet Union, but also by the PRC with the help of their volunteers. And on the South side, besides the United States, the United Kingdom and the UN peacekeeping forces also took the floor. After a year of active fighting, it became clear that the situation had reached a dead end. Each side had a million-strong army, and there could be no decisive advantage. Only in 1953 the ceasefire agreement was signed, the front line was fixed at the level of the 38th parallel. A peace treaty, which would formally end the war, was never signed. The conflict destroyed 80% of the entire infrastructure of Korea, several million people were killed. This war only aggravated the confrontation between the Soviet Union and the United States.
Under this name are known military campaigns in the XI-XV centuries. Medieval Christian kingdoms with religious motivation opposed the Muslim peoples who inhabited the sacred lands in the Middle East. First of all, the Europeans wanted to liberate Jerusalem, but then the crusades began to pursue political and religious goals in other lands. Young warriors from all over Europe fought against Muslims in the territory of modern Turkey, Palestine and Israel, defending their faith. This global movement was of great importance for the continent. First of all, there was a weakened Eastern empire, which eventually fell under the rule of the Turks. The crusaders themselves brought home a lot of oriental signs, traditions. The campaigns led to the rapprochement of both classes and nationalities. In Europe, germs of unity were born. It was the crusades that created the knight’s ideal. The most important consequence of the conflict is the penetration of Oriental culture into the West. There was also the development of navigation and trade. The number of people affected by the long-standing conflict between Europe and Asia can only be surmised, but this is undoubtedly millions of people.
In the XIII-XIV centuries, the conquests of the Mongols led to the creation of an unprecedented in size empire, which even had a genetic influence on certain ethnic groups. The Mongols captured a vast territory of nine and a half million square miles. The empire stretches from Hungary to the East China Sea. Expansion lasted more than one and a half centuries. Many territories were devastated, cities and cultural monuments were destroyed. The most famous figure among the Mongols was Genghis Khan. It is believed that it was he who united the eastern nomadic tribes, which made it possible to create such an impressive force. In the occupied territories emerged such states as the Golden Horde, the country of the Huluguids, the Yuan Empire. The number of human lives that expansion has taken from 30 to 60 million.
World War II.
Only a little over twenty years after the end of World War I, the next global conflict erupted. The Second World War became, without a doubt, the largest military event in the history of mankind.In the troops of the opponents, there were up to 100 million people, representing 61 states (out of 73 that existed at that time). The conflict lasted from 1939 to 1945. He began in Europe with the invasion of Germany’s troops on the territory of his neighbors (Czechoslovakia and Poland). It became clear that the German dictator Adolf Hitler was striving for world domination. The war of Nazi Germany was declared by Great Britain with its colonies, and also France. The Germans were able to capture virtually all of Central and Western Europe, but the attack on the Soviet Union was fatal for Hitler. And in 1941, after the attack on the US ally of Germany, Japan, America joined the war. The theater of conflict was three continents and four oceans. Eventually, the war ended in the defeat and surrender of Germany, Japan and their allies. And the US still had time to use the newest weapon – a nuclear bomb. It is estimated that the total number of military and civilian casualties on both sides is about 75 million people. As a result of the war, Western Europe lost its leading role in politics, and the world leaders became the United States and the USSR. The war showed that the colonial empires had already become irrelevant, which led to the emergence of new independent countries.