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Old 06-04-2016, 05:16 AM
Donnerwetter Donnerwetter is offline
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Highest number of military casualties in a single event (peacetime)?

What are examples of military incidents, accidents, maneuvers, exercises etc. that cost the lives of an unusually high number of soldiers (airmen, sailors, marines) or civilians during peacetime? “Peacetime” in this context may also refer to an incident during times of war, but removed from an actual theater of war (i. e. were the fighting takes place).

Since I assume that losses of ships and aircrafts will rank high on that list, let's differentiate:

a) naval
b) aviation
c) land
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  #2  
Old 06-04-2016, 05:25 AM
Sage Rat Sage Rat is online now
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Technically, they were on their way to start a war, but the term "kamikaze" (divine wind) originally refers to two attempts by the Mongols to conquer Japan. In both cases, the Mongol ships were sunken by massive typhoons, and Japan was spared.

The second fleet (according to the Wikipedia) had 140,000 men.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kamikaze_(typhoon)

Last edited by Sage Rat; 06-04-2016 at 05:27 AM.
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Old 06-04-2016, 05:57 AM
Mr. Kobayashi Mr. Kobayashi is offline
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After the Civil War the steamboat Sultana was estimated to have around 2,100 recently released Union prisoners of war on board when its boilers exploded on April 27 1865, killing around 1,800.

Last edited by Mr. Kobayashi; 06-04-2016 at 05:57 AM.
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Old 06-04-2016, 06:09 AM
Frank Frank is offline
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A munitions ship exploded in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1917, killing about 2000.
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Old 06-04-2016, 06:18 AM
Telperion Telperion is offline
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Er, I misread the question, please disregard.

Last edited by Telperion; 06-04-2016 at 06:22 AM.
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Old 06-04-2016, 07:17 PM
hibernicus hibernicus is offline
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I'm not sure whether the Salang tunnel explosion meets your criteria (of being outside a theatre of war). It was in any event an accident and not an act of war, and resulted in the deaths of thousands of Soviet soldiers.
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Old 06-04-2016, 07:49 PM
Frank Frank is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Telperion View Post
Er, I misread the question, please disregard.
I think it's obvious that I also misread the question, only not in time to edit.
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Old 06-04-2016, 11:06 PM
Little Nemo Little Nemo is offline
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I think the likely answer is going to be some incident of disease breaking out in an army. Diseases used to kill more soldiers than combat did.
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Old 06-04-2016, 11:10 PM
Colibri Colibri is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Nemo View Post
I think the likely answer is going to be some incident of disease breaking out in an army. Diseases used to kill more soldiers than combat did.
Probably true, but the OP asks for "military incidents, accidents, maneuvers, exercises" and I don't think disease fits those categories.
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Old 06-05-2016, 04:06 AM
Donnerwetter Donnerwetter is offline
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What I had mind were incidents like this one: 80 soldiers (mostly young recruits) and one civilian drowned on March 31st, 1925 during a Reichswehr exercise when a ferry boat capsized on the river Weser near Veltheim, Westphalia (in northwestern Germany).

There is a small monument and a plaque in honor of the victims:

http://static.panoramio.com/photos/o...l/20209612.jpg

From what I have been able to gather, this was the biggest loss of life during peacetime in German military history.
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Old 06-05-2016, 05:14 AM
GWF Hefel GWF Hefel is offline
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Arrow Air Flight 1285 was a chartered DC-8 returning the 3rd/502 Infantry battalion of the 101st Airborne to Ft Campbell in December 1985 from UN Sinai duty. It crashed on takeoff from Gander in Canada. 248 soldiers and 8 crew dead.

I was in the 2nd/502 at the time and had the unpleasant task of carrying the casket of the first soldier buried. It was an icy cemetery in West Virginia and his mother did not stop screaming.
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Old 06-05-2016, 08:24 AM
Jim's Son Jim's Son is offline
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There was a collision in 1887 between two British battleships HMS Victoria and HMS Camperdown where 358 sailors drowned.

http://ahoy.tk-jk.net/macslog/Stupid...ndthenAdm.html
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Old 06-05-2016, 09:50 AM
Jackmannii Jackmannii is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank View Post
I think it's obvious that I also misread the question, only not in time to edit.
Well, Halifax was pretty far from a theater of war, so your example met the OP's definition.

Likewise the Port Chicago disaster in 1944.
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Old 06-05-2016, 10:52 AM
Leo Bloom Leo Bloom is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GWF Hefel View Post
Arrow Air Flight 1285 was a chartered DC-8 returning the 3rd/502 Infantry battalion of the 101st Airborne to Ft Campbell in December 1985 from UN Sinai duty. It crashed on takeoff from Gander in Canada. 248 soldiers and 8 crew dead.

I was in the 2nd/502 at the time and had the unpleasant task of carrying the casket of the first soldier buried. It was an icy cemetery in West Virginia and his mother did not stop screaming.
Yes , of course. Thanks for reminding me (us) of that terrible day.

ETA: Thank you for your service.

Last edited by Leo Bloom; 06-05-2016 at 10:52 AM.
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Old 06-05-2016, 04:09 PM
guestchaz guestchaz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GWF Hefel View Post
Arrow Air Flight 1285 was a chartered DC-8 returning the 3rd/502 Infantry battalion of the 101st Airborne to Ft Campbell in December 1985 from UN Sinai duty. It crashed on takeoff from Gander in Canada. 248 soldiers and 8 crew dead.

I was in the 2nd/502 at the time and had the unpleasant task of carrying the casket of the first soldier buried. It was an icy cemetery in West Virginia and his mother did not stop screaming.
I was going to post the same incident, till I saw your post.
My brother was on that plane.
My deepest regards to you for doing one of the more emotionally draining duties in the military.
  #16  
Old 06-05-2016, 04:21 PM
Loach Loach is offline
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While it didn't have nearly the number of casualties of some of these incidents the Green Ramp Disaster was pretty horrific. At Pope Air Force Base a crashing F-16 covered waiting 82nd Airborne paratroopers in burning jet fuel and debris. 24 died and 80 injured. Many of the survivors were horribly burned.
  #17  
Old 06-05-2016, 04:35 PM
Atomic Alex Atomic Alex is offline
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I'm not sure if this fits the OP's criteria either, it was in war-time but during an exercise:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exercise_Tiger
  #18  
Old 06-06-2016, 12:17 PM
casdave casdave is offline
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Royal Navy has had its moments

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scilly...saster_of_1707

http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/hms-victory...saster-1513708
  #19  
Old 06-06-2016, 02:15 PM
Baron Greenback Baron Greenback is offline
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The https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quintinshill_rail_disaster killed more than 200 soldiers in the Scottish borders. The total number was never 100% confirmed because a) big fire, b) the regimental paperwork was on the troop train that burned.
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