Atrocities, acts of outrageous cruelty, are often committed during wars and armed conflicts.
The word atrocity describes both the act of cruelty as well as the sense of cruelty. If you go to visit a poorly run prison, you might be overwhelmed by the atrocity of the place when you see that no one is treated with respect, and torture is rampant. The word atrocity is also often used in the context of warfare and frequently as a plural. There were numerous atrocities on both sides, as the war raged on and the fighters’ capacity for cruelty seemed to increase.