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Military casualties in WW2

Posted August 28th, 2017 at 10:38 AM by Guaporense
Updated August 28th, 2017 at 01:57 PM by Guaporense

One interesting aspect about WW2 is the huge level of military losses suffered by the Allies.

Total military losses in Europe suffered in the war against Germany consisted of soldiers, killed, wounded and missing in battle plus the prisoners of war taken.

USSR ------------- 25,934,494
USA ----------------- 737,590
British Empire ------- 1,159,828
France ------------- 5,500,000
Poland ------------- 1,500,000
Netherlands --------- 400,000
Belgium ------------- 650,000
total ------------- 35,881,912

Where the figures for France, Netherlands, Poland and Belgium are the size of their armed forces in home territory before German invasion, since these armed forces ceased to exist after German invasion they are counted as casualties (specifically, POWs).

Soviet figures are lower than operational losses which were 29,629,205 because I am discounting soldiers reported as sick in the Soviet operational losses.

While total German casualties up to January 31 1945 were 7,846,981 soldiers killed, missing or wounded, or less than a quarter of total allied losses.


Casualties of the great powers against Japan were very light by comparison:

USSR ------------------ 36,156
USA ------------------- 386,328
British Empire ---------- 213,699
Netherlands ------------ 37,000
total ------------------ 673,153

Which were 2.39% of total casualties of these four powers suffered in Europe (which were 28,231,912 casualties).

Of course, the reasons for this were twofold: first Germany was economically/industrially much stronger than Japan, producing 350 million tons of coal and 31 million tons of steel in 1943 compared to about 55 million tons of coal and 6 million tons of steel for Japan, so that Germany could field much larger and better equipped armed forces (in 1943, the German armed forces had 11.3 million men compared to 2.8 million for Japan). Second, the European war was mostly found on the ground which generally produces more casualties than wars fought mostly on the ocean.

By the way, it's hard to get comparable data on Japanese casualties because their methodology of computing casualties was different than Western countries. So that it's hard to measure aggregate Japanese losses against these countries.
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