Deadliest disasters in history

As the dead toll of the Coronavirus continues to rise all around the world, a question arrives. How many deaths can we expect to see when all of this is over?

Recently the US Government predicted a best case scenario of 200.000 American fatalities and a worst case of 2.000.000. Comparing this to the almost 3.000 deaths of 9/11 and 2.400 of Pearl Harbor, even compared to the 400.000 american fatalities during the Second World War this shapes up to be one of the deadliest disasters in American history.

Predicting the total global fatalities of this crisis is impossible as we are still in the early faces of the crisis and many experts also predict a global second wave of deaths.

However we can look at other deadly crisis throughout history and observe how they played out, and why they became so deadly.

Mongol conquest 1206-1368

At its height the Mongol Empire spanned from modern day Korea to Poland. Covering an incredible 36.000.000 Square kilometers or more than 16% of earth’s surface.

This incredible feat of conquest was completed in under 100 years, thanks to the innovate and deadly Mongol warfare tactics.

It goes without saying, that this conquest was not peaceful. However often castles and citadels would simply open their gates and pay tribute, the moment they spotted the Mongol hordes approaching.

This was the result of the reputation that the Mongols had built for themselves. Every Lord and King had heard the tales of the rape, slaughter and destruction the Mongols inflicted upon their enemies.

Genghis Khan is supposed to have said: “The greatest happiness is to vanquish your enemies, to chase them before you, to rob them of their wealth, to see those dear to them bathed in tears, to clasp to your bosom their wives and daughters”. This serves as a explanation in itself to why the Mongol conquests of Eurasia was so deadly.

Lowest death toll estimate: 30.000.000

Highest death toll estimate: 57.000.000

European conquest of the Americas

This deadly event in human history shares a terrible connection to the crisis we face today. That is because the vast majority of the natives in the Americas didn’t die from the direct European conquest in wars and battles. However they died from the diseases that the European conquers carried with them.

The European lifestyle of the middle ages had included a much closer contact with domesticated animals and the diseases that these animals carried. This gave the Europeans a immune system much more capable of combating germs and diseases.

This way of life stood in contrast to that of the native americans. So upon contact, large disease outbreaks of smallpox, typhus and influenza began spreading rapidly among the natives, with deadly effect. Some estimate that around 90% of the native american population died due to disease, in the years following the early contact with Europeans.

However due to the lack of credible sources at the time, it is difficult to estimate the exact effects of European diseases upon the natives. However the rapid Spanish conquest of the massive empires of the Aztecs and Incas, serves as evidence of the devastating effects of these diseases.

Lowest death toll estimate: 8.400.000

Highest death toll estimate: 138.000.000

Second World War

Wars have always been some of the deadliest events in human history. Since they often broad both deaths on the battlefield and among civilians. However the Second World War took this to extreme new heights.

The massive technological and administrative advancements of the early 20th century was used to murder on a industrial scale. The Japanese conquest of China, The Holocaust and Operation Barbarossa are all example of this colossal new deadliness of warfare.

The global scale of the conflict didn’t help either, from France to China the war ravaged, there was no escaping the bloodshed.

Some countries suffered more than others though. The Soviet Union is estimated to have lost around 30.000.000 its citizens during the war, and China around 25.000.000. However these were both countries with relatively large populations.

Poland on the other hand lost only somewhere around 6.000.000 people during the war, however this is estimated to be around 20% of the countries prewar population.

In just 6 years earth lost around 3% of its population due to this conflict, something never seen before throughout human history. A testament to the deadliness of the war.

Lowest death toll estimate: 60.000.000

Highest death toll estimate: 118.000.000

10 Historical Movies to Watch in Quarantine

Is there anything better than a good long and emerging historical movie with popcorn? Certantly not!

This is the perfect time to enjoy one of these masterpieces digging into our past.

From Ancient Rome to the Second World War, gripling stories are told on the silver screen

Here are a few of the very best ones you can watch or rewatch in your quarantine.

10. Lawrence of Arabia

This classic movie tells the tale of legendary british intelligence officer T.E Lawrence better known as “Lawrence of Arabia” and his epic quest to stage a Arabic revolt against the Turkish Ottoman Empire during The Great War.

Year: 1962

Length: 216 min

Imdb: 8,3

9. Hacksaw Ridge

This WW2 era flick tells the tale of young medical student Desmond T. Doss and his experience as a US soldier during the Pacific war. Doss refused to carry a gun, vowing instead to save his fellow wounded soldiers. During his stay at Iowa Jima he saved 75 lives.

Year: 2016

Length: 131 min

Imdb: 8.1

8. The Kings Speech

This Oscar winning flick tells the story of British wartime monarch George the 6th, and his unexpected rise to head of the British Empire. The movie follows the kings struggle to combat his stuttering and deliver a speech to the British people in the darkest days of the Second World War.

Year: 2010

Length: 119 min

Imdb: 8

7. Master And Commander

This movie tells the fictional story of a Royal Navy vessel during the Napoleonic Wars and its mission to hunt down a French warship. Though the story is made up the movie gives a great glimpse of the life aboard a warship of the era.

Year: 2003

Length: 138 min

Imdb: 7.4

6. Das Boot

This movie tells the other side of the Second World War, from the German perspective. The setting of the film is life in a German submarine deep under the sea and we get to experience the stress, terror and boredom this creates for the crew.

Year: 1981

Length: 149 min

Imdb: 8.3

5. Braveheart

This epic movie tells the story of Scottish national hero William Wallace. A knight who led a mass revolt against English overlordship in the early 14th century. A great medieval epic with torture, war and amazing speeches.

Year: 1995

Length: 178 min

Imdb: 8.3

4. Gladiator

Gladiator tells the tale of fictional Roman general Maximus Decimus Meridius and his fall to gladiator. The movie includes real historical Roman emperors like Marcus Aurelius and Commodus. Not a true story but a great ancient movie flick with amazing gladiator battles.

Year: 2000

Length: 155 min

Imdb: 8.5

3. Downfall

Downfall tells the story of the very last and desperate days of the Third Reich. We follow life in a destroyed and besieged Berlin as the Soviet army draws closer to the “Fuhrer bunker”. We also witness the Fuhrer’s last desperate and vain attempts to fight to the end.

Year: 2004

Length: 155 min

Imdb: 8,2

2. Troy

Troy is the movie adaption of the legendary epic by Greek author Homer. The story follows Hector, Agamemnon, Achilles and all the other great characters of the epic during the assault on the ancient city of Troy.

Year: 2004

Length: 163 min

Imdb: 7.2

1. 12 Years a Slave

This tragic Oscar winning movie tells the tale of northern free black man Solomon Northrup, who is kidnapped and sold into slavery while on a music tour in Washington. The film follows his 12 year fight to return to freedom.

Year: 2013

Length: 134 min

Imdb: 8,1

Her Majesty’s first speech

On 5th April 2020 from Windsor Castle Queen Elizabeth II addressed Her speech to the people of the UK, to the Commonwealth and to the whole world urging people to stay disciplined and resolve.

Apart from Her anual Christmas broadcasts She rearly addresses the nation. In fact She only did it four times troughout Her 68 year reign excluding Her Sunday night speech.  Her Majesty appeared on the screens in 1991 during the first Gulf war, in 1997 when Princess Diana died, in 2002 at the death of Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother and in 2012 marking Her 60th anniversary as sovereign.
But did you know that Her Majesty adressed Her first speech to the public when She was only 14?

In October, 1940 Britain was on the edge of defeat to the Germans. Prime minister Winston Churchill wanted the young princess to make Her own contribution to the war effort by giving Her first radio broadcast. He asked the King, George VI to let His daugther make Her speech. The PM’s goal was to send comfort to the children who had been evacuated overseas. But there was a hidden motive.
Britain was in the need of a powerful ally against Nazi Germany so Churchill wanted to lure the United States of America into war.

According to Ingrid Seward form the Majesty Magazine the young princess was very nervous and went through a long prepearing process prior to Her speech. She practiced breathing and practiced the script in front of the Royal Family several times.

It was broadcasted from one of the rooms in Windsor Castle, from that moment the Castle became the symbol of a safe home. Princess Elizabeth was joined by Her sister, Margaret. This was the first time that the public had heard the princess’ voice.
Princess Elizabeth: „ All of us children who are still at home think continouly of our friends and relations who have gone overseas. Who have travelled thousands of miles to find a war time home and a kindly welcome in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and the United States of America. […].
My sister is by my side and we are both going to say good night to you. Come on Margaret.”
Princess Margaret: „Good night children!”
Princess Elizabeth: „Good night and good luck to you all!”

It was an instant success and She was able to convince the American public whether they should join the war or not.

If you haven’t seen Her Majesty’s latest speech you can watch it here:

As She said, „We will meet again!”

7 History Shows to Watch in Quarantine

This is a trying time for most of us. The rapid spread of the Coronavirus has closed schools and workplaces, causing us to spend much of our time at home. Without the possibility of going out to enjoy yourself.

Therefore the question arrives, what should i do with all my new won time?

A good long series, is perhaps the answer.

With plenty of episodes and seasons these shows are guaranteed to keep you busy. While you at the same time can fully emerge yourself in a fascinating passed time.

7. The Tudors

English history is equally long and fascinating. The best part is perhaps its long list of kings. From William the Conqueror to Edward the 8th. England has truly had some remarkable rulers. Perhaps no one as remarkable as Henry the 8th.

This series tells the story of the english monarchs troubled personal life and reign. The divorces, the beheadings and the deaths. From Catherine of Aragon to Catherine Parr and everybody in between. With a great amount of historical detail, this show is a great way to experience the fascinating 16th century.

Imdb rating: 8.1

Year(s): 2007-2010

Season(s): 4

6. Peaky Blinders

Jumping 400 years up in english history, Peaky Blinders tells the story of a much different England. Set in Birmingham during the 1920s, the show emerges us in a smoke filled and industrialized city life, with everything that has to offer.

The Series follows Great War veteran Tommy Shelby and his family of criminals and their rise from local thugs to powerful players in interwar Britain. Tommy is a perfect antihero that you can’t stop rotting for, no matter how bad he gets. Perhaps because of that great 1920s fashion.

Imdb rating: 8.8

Year(s): 2013-

Season(s): 5

5. Rome

Jumping back a few years in history, the show Rome chronicles the final days of the Roman Republic and the beginning of the Roman Empire.

The series includes many of the late republics great historical characters like Julius Caesar, Mark Anthony and Octavian. While at the same time following two ordinary roman soldiers experience of these great events. Giving us a great mix of the top of roman society and the bottom, resulting in a incredibly fascinating and informing series.

Imdb rating: 8.7

Year(s): 2005-2007

Season(s): 2

4. Spartacus

Continuing in ancient times the show Spartacus, tells the story of the real life thracian gladiator Spartacus, who from 73 to 71 BC led a large slave revolt against the Roman Republic.

Even though this is not the first adaptation of the story of Spartacus the show does a fantastic job of showing us the bloody hardcore world of the romans republics underclass. While telling one of the greatest stories ever told.

Imdb rating: 8.5

Year(s): 2010-2013

Season(s): 3

3. The Crown

As stated english history is very long, and currently the monarch of England is the longest reigning throughout that long history. Having reigned an incredible 68 years! It is none other than Queen Elizabeth the Second.

The Crown chronicles the reign of Elizabeth from the early 1950s to the modern day. Telling the stories of the drama behind the gates of Buckingham Palace, while at the same time emerging us in post war britain’s national development. We experience Britain’s fall from a first grade imperial power to a secondary world power, from the seat of its ancient monarchical power.

Imdb rating: 8.7

Year(s): 2016-

Season(s): 3

2. Band of Brothers

Of course we have to have something about the Second World War on this list. That is no shame, with this amazing show though. Band of Brothers is a series about the U.S army´s Easy Company of the 101 Airborne Division.

The shows chronicles their mission during WW2 from Operation Overlord to V-J Day. From the companies landings in Normandy to the capture of Hitler’s impregnable “Eagles Nest”. Every episode is also based on interviews with real life members of the company giving the show a beautiful and scary realness, creating a historical authenticity that very few shows manages to capture.

Imdb rating: 9.5

Year(s): 2001

Season(s): 1

1. Vikings

Heading north to the cold fjords of Scandinavia. Perhaps no part of history is so mysterious and fascinating at the same time, as the viking era. In large part because we in reality know very little of this remarkable period in european history. But the few stories we know are fantastic.

The show Vikings tells the story of real life historical character Ragnar Lothbrok and his fictional rise from farmer to king. Sucking us into a violent world of war, raids and brawls.

Imdb rating: 8.6

Year(s): 2013-

Season(s): 6

What is your favorite history show?