This is coolbert:
From the public television historical broadcast "Ottomans Versus Christians" this amazing assertion is made.
More killed-in-action [KIA] during the Battle of Lepanto than in any other naval engagement, BEFORE OR AFTER.
Massed fleet of the Holy League versus the massed fleet of the Ottoman Empire. At least at sea a "highwater" mark for the Ottomans. After Lepanto the Ottoman naval forces no longer so predominantly superior within the Mediterranean.
Combined KIA about 30,000. Those losses incurred during a very intense and hard fought four hours of naval combat.
From the wiki entry regarding Lepanto, these casualty figures given:
7,500 dead [Christian] + 20,000 dead, wounded or captured [Ottoman].
Within the context of strictly combat deaths during a naval action we have from the historical record:
[thanks to the wiki in all instances]
About 2,500 killed [Octavian]. Over 5,000 killed [Marc Antony & Cleopatra].
2. Spanish Armada.
50–100 dead [English]. Over 600 dead [Spanish].
Tens of thousands dead from that combination of disease and storm BUT THAT NOT BATTLE DEATHS.
458 dead [English]. 2,218 dead [French]. 1,025 dead [Spanish].
Thousands drowning the aftermath of the battle during a storm but that NOT battle deaths!
6,094 killed [English]. 2,551 killed [German].
307 killed [American]. 3,057 killed [Japanese]
Losses stated merely in number of ships lost.
40 ships [Greek] 200–300 ships [Persians]
One Greek trireme the normal contingent of about 160 sailors [crew and rowers] plus 40 marines.
You do the calculations however with regard to Salamis unable to determine battle deaths, ships sunk not always indicative of a total loss of personnel!
7. Red Cliffs.
Chinese records totally lacking with regard to ships engaged or casualties. Major naval battle given the prolific use of manpower by the Chinese the number of KIA perhaps significant but again no record existing.
"More killed-in-action [KIA] during the Battle of Lepanto than in any other naval engagement, BEFORE OR AFTER."
And ALWAYS WILL BE! Massed fleets in battle with other massed fleets a thing of the past, an anachronism never to be seen again, no one can afford those massive contingents of warships.