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Nations With A Losing Record In War

Nations With A Losing Record In War

Nations with a losing record in war: A nation is on this list if they have lost three or more inter-state wars in a century OR they lost a half million troops and/or civilian casualties in a single losing inter-state war. NOTE: Inter-state refers refers to wars between two or more nations.

Nations which were ultimately on the winning side in the World Wars, such as Romania in the First World War, or France and Poland in the Second World War, are counted as losing. In each case, they were defeated in their military confrontations with Germany and occupied until liberated by their allies. Though they were ultimately on the winning side, they did temporarily lose their freedom as a result of military defeat and enemy occupation.

Note: Civil Wars are not counted in this list, but colonial conflicts do count. For example, if the French fought a civil war among themselves, that would not count for this list, but if they lost a war against a colony seeking independence, as they did against Vietnam and Algeria, that would count as a defeat.

Russia/Soviet Union Lost Wars:

Russo-Japanese War (1905)-Russia lost to Japan. This was very embarrassing to Russia, and their victory helped embolden the Japanese in their expansionist foreign policy.

First World War (1914-1918)–Even though Russia belonged to the Allies from the beginning of the war, after the Communist revolution, the new government made a separate peace with Germany and surrendered huge tracts of land to the enemy.

Afghanistan War (1979-1989)–The Soviet Union did not militarily defeat the Afghan guerrillas.

Cold War (1946-1991)-The Soviet Union lost the long Cold War and fell apart.

Chechnya War (1994-1996) Post-Soviet Russia gave up trying to subdue the rebellious Muslim region of Chechnya.

Ottoman Empire/Turkey Lost Wars:

Italo-Ottoman War (1911-1912)-Ottoman Turkey lost their Libyan colony to the invading Italians.

First Balkan War (1912)–Ottoman Turkey lost to a coalition of Balkan nations, having to give up most of their European territory to the winners.

First World War (1914-1918)-Ottoman Turkey was on the losing side in World War One as a member of the Central Powers.

Iraq Lost Wars:

First Arab-Israeli War (1948-1949) –See Arab-Israeli Wars

Six-Day War (1967)–See Arab-Israeli Wars

Yom Kippur or Ramadan War (1973)–See Arab-Israeli Wars

First Persian Gulf War (1980-1988)-Iraq invaded Iran, and after 8 bloody years, had to give up the land they had taken.

Second Persian Gulf War (1990-1991)-Iraq invaded Kuwait, and was defeated in a swift campaign by a coalition led by the United States.

Third Persian Gulf War/War in Iraq (2003-2011)-Iraq was invaded and occupied by the U.S. and the Iraqi leader, Saddam Hussein, was captured and executed.

Bulgaria Lost Wars:

Second Balkan War (1913)-Bulgaria was on the winning side in the 1st Balkan War, but got greedy and attacked her old allies. They defeated Bulgaria.

First World War (1914-1918)-Bulgariawas on the losing side in World War One as a member of the Central Powers.

Second World War (1941-1945)-Bulgaria was on the losing side of World War Two as a member of the Axis. Occupied by the Soviet Union afterwards.

Germany Lost Wars:

First World War(1914-1918)

Second World War (1939-1945)–Both wars resulted in millions of German deaths and the loss of huge tracts of German territory.

France Lost Wars:

Second World War (1939-1945)–France was utterly defeated by the Germans and remained an occupied country until freed by the U.S., Britain, Canada, and other allied nations.

First Indochina War (1946-1954)–See Wars of France

Suez/Sinai War (1956)–Even though France and her allies, Britain and Israel, enjoyed military success, political factors forced the allies to withdraw from Egypt. France and Britain did not achieve their war goals. See also Wars of France

Algerian War of Independence (1954-1962)–See Wars of France

Portugal Lost Wars:

Angolan War of Independence (1962-1975)-The long-time Portuguese colony of Angola gained independence.

Mozambican War of Independence (1962-1975)-The long-time Portuguese colony of Mozambique gained independence.

Guinea-Bissau War of Independence (1962-1975)–The long-time Portuguese colony of Guinea-Bissau gained independence.

Note–Portugal decided to grant independence to these rebellious colonies following an internal military coup in 1974.

Serbia /Yugoslavia Lost Wars:

First World War (1914-1918)–Even though Serbia belonged to the winning side, the nation suffered military defeat in 1914, and occupation by Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Bulgaria until 1918, when the Allies defeated the Central Powers.

Second World War (1941-1945)–Even though Yugoslavia belonged to the winning side, the nation suffered military defeat in 1941, and occupation by Germany, Italy, and Bulgaria until 1945, when the Allies defeated the Axis.

Kosovo War (1998-1999)–NATO forced Serbia to give up control of the province of Kosovo

United States of America Lost Wars: *Looking at just the more significant American wars in the 20th and 21st Centuries:

Pershing’s Punitive Expedition in Mexico (March, 1917-February, 1917)–After a deadly raid by the Mexican guerrilla leader Pancho Villa, on an American border town, the United States invades northern Mexico to hunt Villa down. After multiple battles with both Villa’s forces, and the regular Mexican Army (who also was hunting Villa as part of the Mexican Revolution/Civil War), the U.S. quit and returned home after almost a year in Mexico. Villa was NOT captured, and eventually retired to his hacienda, where he was later assassinated by his Mexican rivals. The U.S. did not achieve the goals of the Punitive Expedition.

American Intervention in the Russian Civil War (1918-1920)–In the last months of World War One, the U.S. and other Western Allies (plus Japan), intervened in the Russian Civil War against the new Bolshevik (Communist) government of Vladimir Lenin. The U.S. and other allies eventually withdrew, leaving a new Soviet government that did not forget who tried to wipe them out. The U.S. did not achieve the goals of this expeditionary force intervention.

The Vietnam War (1964-1975)–In what is often referred to as America’s first (major) lost war, the U.S. failed to protect the South Vietnamese government from the Communist Viet Cong insurgents and North Vietnam. American-allied governments in Cambodia and Laos also fell to local Communist forces.

The Afghanistan War (2001-2021)–Following the al-Qaida terrorist attacks on the United States in September, 2001, the U.S. launched the invasion of Afghanistan, where the radical Jihadist Taliban government was harboring Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaida network. While the U.S. eventually did gewt bin Laden, they were unable to defeat the Taliban. American forces withdrew from Afghanistan in August, 2021, marking an end to America’s longest foreigfn war, and America’s latest defeat.

See also: https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/wars-the-united-states-didn-t-win.html

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