World War II - Casualties and losses of World War II (2022)

Killed, wounded, prisoners, or missing

The statistics on World War II casualties are inexact. Only for the United States and the British Commonwealth can official figures showing killed, wounded, prisoners or missing for the armed forces be cited with any degree of assurance. For most other nations, only estimates of varying reliability exist. Statistical accounting broke down in both Allied and Axis nations when whole armies were surrendered or dispersed. Guerrilla warfare, changes in international boundaries, and mass shifts in population vastly complicated postwar efforts to arrive at accurate figures even for the total dead from all causes.

Civilian deaths from land battles, aerial bombardment, political and racial executions, war-induced disease and famine, and the sinking of ships probably exceeded battle casualties. These civilian deaths are even more difficult to determine, yet they must be counted in any comparative evaluation of national losses. There are no reliable figures for the casualties of the Soviet Union and China, the two countries in which casualties were undoubtedly greatest. Mainly for this reason, estimates of total dead in World War II vary anywhere from 35,000,000 to 60,000,000—a statistical difference of no small import. Few have ventured even to try to calculate the total number of persons who were wounded or permanently disabled.

However inexact many of the figures, their main import is clear. The heaviest proportionate human losses occurred in eastern Europe where Poland lost perhaps 20 percent of its prewar population, Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union around 10 percent. German losses, of which the greater proportion occurred on the Eastern Front, were only slightly less severe. The nations of western Europe, however great their suffering from occupation, escaped with manpower losses that were hardly comparable with those of World War I. In East Asia, the victims of famine and pestilence in China are to be numbered in the millions, in addition to other millions of both soldiers and civilians who perished in battle and bombardment.

(Video) World War II casualties 1945 year #statistics #world

The table contains what appear to be the best available statistics on armed forces casualties of all types resulting from battle, of civilian deaths from war-related causes, and estimated total deaths in each of the major nations involved in World War II. Figures rounded to thousands (and this device has been employed in all cases for total deaths) are estimates of varying reliability while omissions in any category indicate that any estimate would be the wildest of conjectures. Estimated casualties of resistance movements have been included in military figures, other victims of Nazi persecution in the civilian ones. In the latter category fall about 5,700,000 Jews, more than half of them from Poland, who died in Nazi concentration and death camps.

World War II casualties
1Figures for deaths, insofar as possible, exclude those who died of natural causes or were suicides. 2As far as possible the figures in this column exclude those who died in captivity. 3Figures for all Commonwealth nations include those still missing in 1946, some of whom may be presumed dead. 4This figure comprises 60,595 killed in aerial bombardment, 30,248 in the merchant marine service, 624 in women's auxiliary services, and 1,206 in the Home Guard. 5The figures for China comprise casualties of the Chinese Nationalist forces during 1937–45, as reported in 1946, and do not include figures for local armies and communists. Estimates of 2,200,000 military dead and 22,000,000 civilian deaths appear in some compilations but are of doubtful accuracy. 6Czech military figures include only those who fought on the Allied side, not Sudeten Germans and others who served in the German army. 7Includes merchant marine personnel who served with Allies. 8French military casualties include those dead from all causes in the campaign of 1939–40, those of Free French, of rearmed French units that fought with Allies during 1942–45, and of French units that fought with Axis forces in Syria and North Africa during 1941–42 (1,200 dead). 9These figures released in 1946 are possibly too high. Merchant seamen are included with military dead. 10Military figures drawn from statement released by Polish government in 1946 and include casualties in the campaign of 1939, those of the underground, of Polish forces serving with British and Soviet armies, and those incurred in the Warsaw Uprising. Civilian casualty figures, which include 3,200,000 Jews, are based on this statement as modified by the calculations of population experts. 11Military figures include those of Army Ground and Air Forces and those of the Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard. There were an additional 115,187 deaths of U.S. servicemen from non-battle causes. Civilians listed in 1946 as dead or missing include 5,638 of the merchant marine service. 12Available estimates of Soviet casualties vary widely. A Soviet officer who served with the high command in Berlin and left the Soviet service in 1949 placed total military losses at 13,600,000—8,500,000 dead or missing in battle; 2,600,000 dead in prison camps; 2,500,000 died of wounds—and estimated civilian casualties at 7,000,000. These figures have been widely accepted in Germany, but most U.S. compilations, based on Soviet announcements, list 6,000,000 to 7,500,000 battle deaths. Calculations made on the basis of population distribution by age and sex in the 1959 U.S.S.R. census give some credence to the higher figures, for they seem to indicate losses of from 15,000,000 to 20,000,000 males of military age in World War II. The figures used here are a compromise estimate, not intended to obscure the fact that Soviet casualties are, in reality, unknown in the West. 13Estimates based on fragmentary data. 14Military estimates include men from outside Germany who served with the German armed forces and are based on the assumption that about 1,000,000 of the 1,250,000 men still listed as missing in Soviet territory in 1955 were dead. In addition, perhaps 250,000 military personnel died of natural causes, committed suicide, or were executed. Civilian figures are for Germany and Austria only, and they do not include an estimated 2,384,000 German deaths during 1944–46 resulting from Soviet invasion and forced transfers of population in the eastern provinces given to Poland after the war. 15Figures for dead include those listed as still missing in compilation made by the Italian government in 1952 (131,419 military personnel and 3,651 civilians), but not 49,144 military deaths from natural causes or suicide. Known dead from enemy action amounted to 110,823, making a total of 159,957 military deaths from all causes if the missing are not included. Of this number, 92,767 occurred before the 1943 Armistice, 67,190 afterward. 16Based on an estimate of 1,600,000 total military deaths on the assumption that about half of those listed as missing in Soviet territory in 1949 were dead. About 300,000 of these probably resulted from causes not related to battle.
military
country killed, died of wounds, or in prison1 wounded prisoners
or
missing2
civilian deaths due to war estimated total deaths
Allied Powers
Belgium 12,000 76,000 88,000
Brazil 943 4,222 1,000
British Commonwealth 373,372 475,047 251,7243 92,673 466,000
  • Australia
23,365 39,803 32,393 24,000
37,476 53,174 10,888 38,000
  • India
24,338 64,354 91,243
  • New Zealand
10,033 19,314 10,582 10,000
  • South Africa
6,840 14,363 16,430 7,000
  • United Kingdom
264,443 277,077 213,919 92,6734 357,000
  • Colonies
6,877 6,972 22,323 7,000
China5 1,310,224 1,752,951 115,248
Czechoslovakia6 10,000 215,000 225,000
Denmark 1,800 2,0007 4,000
France8 213,324 400,000 350,000 563,000
Greece9 88,300 325,000 413,000
Netherlands 7,900 2,860 200,000 208,000
Norway 3,000 7,000 10,000
Poland10 123,178 236,606 420,760 5,675,000 5,800,000
Philippines 27,000 91,000 118,000
United States11 292,131 671,801 139,709 6,000 298,000
U.S.S.R.12 11,000,000 7,000,000 18,000,000
Yugoslavia 305,000 425,000 1,200,000 1,505,000
Axis Powers
Bulgaria13 10,000 10,000 20,000
Finland 82,000 50,000 2,000 84,000
Germany14 3,500,000 5,000,000 3,400,000 780,000 4,200,000
Hungary13 200,000 170,000 290,000 490,000
Italy15 242,232 66,000 350,000 152,941 395,000
Japan 1,300,00016 4,000,000 810,000 672,000 1,972,000
Romania13 300,000 100,000 200,000 500,000
(Video) Number of deaths in the WW2 per country

FAQs

How many people died in the Second World War 2? ›

An estimated 40,000,000 to 50,000,000 people died during World War II.

Who lost the most casualties in ww2? ›

The Soviet Union is estimated to have suffered the highest number of WWII casualties.

How many soldiers did us lose in ww2? ›

291,557

How many Russians died in World War II? ›

World War II losses of the Soviet Union from all related causes were about 27,000,000 both civilian and military, although exact figures are disputed. A figure of 20 million was considered official during the Soviet era.

How many Germans were killed in WWII? ›

Civilian deaths, due to the flight and expulsion of Germans, Soviet war crimes and the forced labor of Germans in the Soviet Union are disputed and range from 500,000 to over 2.0 million.
...
Field Army (Feldheer) casualties September 1939 to November 1944.
CampaignDeadMissing
West until May 31, 194466,2663,218
8 more rows

Would Russia have won ww2 without the US? ›

Most Russians believe the Soviet military would have been able to win World War II without the efforts of the U.S. or its allies, a new poll finds. The Soviet Union suffered the most casualties in the conflict, and the issue is highly emotional for many Russians.

Which country suffered the most in World war 2? ›

In terms of total numbers, the Soviet Union bore an incredible brunt of casualties during WWII. An estimated 16,825,000 people died in the war, over 15% of its population. China also lost an astounding 20,000,000 people during the conflict. June 6 will mark the 70th anniversary of the D-Day Invasion of Normandy.

Why were German soldiers called Jerry's? ›

The name may simply be an alteration of the word German. Alternatively, Jerry may possibly be derived from the stahlhelm introduced in 1916, which was said by British soldiers to resemble a chamber pot or Jeroboam.

Which country was most affected by ww2? ›

With 3 million military deaths, the most affected country in our data was Germany.

Why did China lose so many in ww2? ›

Rather, two of the major factors in the high death toll during the war was Famine and Flooding, of which there were in fact several, and which absolutely eviscerated the civilian population during the conflict.

How many soldiers did Germany have in ww2? ›

During World War II, a total of about 13.6 million soldiers served in the German Army. Army personnel were made up of volunteers and conscripts. Only 17 months after Adolf Hitler announced the German rearmament program in 1935, the army reached its projected goal of 36 divisions.

How many soldiers did Russia have in ww2? ›

By war's end the Soviet armed forces numbered 11,365,000 officers and men. Demobilization, however, started toward the end of 1945, and in a few years the armed forces fell to fewer than 3,000,000 troops.

How many Chinese people died in ww2? ›

Chinese suffering during the war is not in dispute. Some 14 million Chinese died and up to 100 million became refugees during the eight years of the conflict with Japan from 1937 to 1945. Rana Mitter is a professor of Chinese history and politics at the University of Oxford.

How many Japanese soldiers died in ww2? ›

The Red Army claimed responsibility for the majority of Wehrmacht casualties during World War II. The People's Republic of China puts its war dead at 20 million, while the Japanese government puts its casualties due to the war at 3.1 million.

What percentage of the German population was killed in World war 2? ›

This new number of 5 million is generally supported by historians. David Glantz in his book "When Titans Clashed" puts the total German casualties (including wounded) at over 11 million (6 million wounded, 5 million dead). 11 million was 75% of the entire German Army and 46% of the German male population in 1939.

Who killed the most German soldiers in ww2? ›

Russians also point to the fact that Soviet forces killed more German soldiers than their Western counterparts, accounting for 76 percent of Germany's military dead.

How many German soldiers froze to death in Russia? ›

On 18 January 1942, the Germans were able to reconquer Feodosia. "They found that around 150 wounded German military personnel had been murdered.
...
Massacre of Feodosia.
Feodosia Massacre
Deaths150–160 German POWs
PerpetratorsRed Army
3 more rows

Who was the last German soldier killed in ww2? ›

Albert Mayer (soldier)
Albert Otto Walter Mayer
Died2 August 1914 (aged 22) Joncherey, France
BuriedGerman Military Cemetery, Alsace, France
AllegianceGerman Empire
Service/branchImperial German Army
6 more rows

Who supplied Russia in ww2? ›

Totaling $11.3 billion, or $180 billion in today's currency, the Lend-Lease Act of the United States supplied needed goods to the Soviet Union from 1941 to 1945 in support of what Stalin described to Roosevelt as the “enormous and difficult fight against the common enemy — bloodthirsty Hitlerism.”

Did Britain help Russia in ww2? ›

In particular, it shows that British Lend-Lease assistance to the Soviet Union in late 1941 and early 1942 played a far more significant part in the defense of Moscow and the revival of Soviet fortunes in late 1941 than has been acknowledged.

What happened to German soldiers after ww2? ›

In the years following World War II, large numbers of German civilians and captured soldiers were forced into labor by the Allied forces. The topic of using Germans as forced labor for reparations was first broached at the Tehran conference in 1943, where Soviet premier Joseph Stalin demanded 4,000,000 German workers.

Which country was not affected by ww2? ›

Countries That Claimed Neutrality Throughout the War

They included Sweden, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, Ireland, Turkey, Yemen, Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan as well as the microstates of Andorra, Monaco, Liechtenstein, San Marino and Vatican City.

Which country suffered the most civilian deaths in ww2? ›

Worldwide Casualties*

*Worldwide casualty estimates vary widely in several sources. The number of civilian deaths in China alone might well be more than 50,000,000.

How much of Poland was destroyed in ww2? ›

Due to the international pressure of the world powers, Poland was forced to hand-over 48% of its territory to the Soviet Union, equating to 178 000 km² of land.

What do the Germans call the English? ›

An equivalent of the word "Engländer", which is the German noun for "Englishman". The term was also used extensively during the period of British rule in India and is still used in the Indian subcontinent.

What did American soldiers call Germans? ›

Battery Flashes by 'Wagger' (CW Langley) 1916, reports the use of 'Germings' for Germans, while the diary of Lieutenant AB Scott uses 'Hun' in 1916, 'Boches' and 'Huns' until Spring 1918, but 'Germans' from Summer 1918. Among American soldiers the term 'Heinie', from Heinz (Heinrich), was common.

What's a Boche? ›

nounWord forms: plural Boche, Boches (bɑʃ, bɔʃ) derogatory. a German, esp. a German soldier in World War I. Also: boche.

What was the most destroyed city in World War 2? ›

Hiroshima lost more than 60,000 of its 90,000 buildings, all destroyed or severely damaged by one bomb. In comparison, Nagasaki – though blasted by a bigger bomb on 9 August 1945 (21,000 tonnes of TNT to Hiroshima's 15,000) – lost 19,400 of its 52,000 buildings.

Who has the best army in ww2? ›

The German Air Force, or Luftwaffe, was also the best force of its kind in 1939. It was a ground-cooperation force designed to support the Army, but its planes were superior to nearly all Allied types. In the rearmament period from 1935 to 1939 the production of German combat aircraft steadily mounted.

Who had the strongest military in ww2? ›

The United States emerged from World War II as the strongest nation in the history of the world. Never had one nation possessed such military and economic might. Its booming economy was essentially untouched by the violence, and it boasted an experienced military with a monopoly on atomic weapons.

What did Japan do to China in ww2? ›

Seventy years ago this December 13th, the Japanese Imperial Army began its seizure of Nanjing, the capital of the Republic of China. Japanese troops killed remnant Chinese soldiers in violation of the laws of war, murdered Chinese civilians, raped Chinese women, and destroyed or stole Chinese property on a scale that ...

How many Chinese were killed by Japanese in WWII? ›

According to Rummel, in China alone, from 1937 to 1945, approximately 3.9 million Chinese were killed, mostly civilians, as a direct result of the Japanese operations and a total of 10.2 million Chinese were killed in the course of the war. According to the British historian M. R. D.

What was China called before WWII? ›

Republic of China (1912–1949)
Republic of China 中華民國 Chunghwa Minkuo
Premier
• 1912Tang Shaoyi (first)
• 1949He Yingqin (last in Mainland China)
LegislatureNational Assembly
45 more rows

Who were the toughest soldiers in ww2? ›

The inescapable truth is that Hitler's Wehrmacht was the outstanding fighting force of World War II, one of the greatest in history.

What is Russia's military size? ›

While the official strength of the Russian Armed Forces is 1 million (1.013 million), the true number has been far lower for many years. In 2016, the figure was 770,000 service personnel in all branches, and at the beginning of 2022, it could be estimated as 740,000-780,000.

What did the Germans do to trick the Americans? ›

One particularly effective German trick was the use of English-speaking German commandos who infiltrated American lines and, using captured U.S. uniforms, trucks, and jeeps, impersonated U.S. military and sabotaged communications.

How many Ukraine planes has Russia lost? ›

Most of the manned aircraft Ukraine has lost–47 planes and helicopters that outside analysts can confirm–were shot down by Russian air-defenses. Most of Russia's 85 confirmed manned aircraft losses–not counting Tuesday's losses–also have been in the air.

How many tanks has Russia lost Ukraine? ›

Based on these estimates, Russia has lost nearly 1,300 tanks – an impressive 40% of its total operational tank fleet. This figure coincides with that provided by CNN in May, citing an unnamed senior U.S. defense official, which reported that Russia has lost “nearly 1,000 tanks” in Ukraine.

How many soldiers did China have in ww2? ›

On paper China had 3.8 million men under arms in 1941. They were organized into 246 "front-line" divisions, with another 70 divisions assigned to rear areas. Perhaps as many as forty Chinese divisions had been equipped with European-manufactured weapons and trained by foreign, particularly German and Soviet, advisers.

How many Japanese were executed for war crimes? ›

In addition to the central Tokyo trial, various tribunals sitting outside Japan judged some 5,000 Japanese guilty of war crimes, of whom more than 900 were executed.

How many US soldiers died in Vietnam? ›

The Vietnam Conflict Extract Data File of the Defense Casualty Analysis System (DCAS) Extract Files contains records of 58,220 U.S. military fatal casualties of the Vietnam War. These records were transferred into the custody of the National Archives and Records Administration in 2008.

How many died in Vietnam War? ›

In 1995 Vietnam released its official estimate of the number of people killed during the Vietnam War: as many as 2,000,000 civilians on both sides and some 1,100,000 North Vietnamese and Viet Cong fighters. The U.S. military has estimated that between 200,000 and 250,000 South Vietnamese soldiers died.

Who lost the most soldiers in ww2? ›

The Soviet Union lost around 27 million people during the war, including 8.7 million military and 19 million civilians. This represents the most military deaths of any nation by a large margin. Germany sustained 5.3 million military losses, mostly on the Eastern Front and during the final battles in Germany.

How many Americans died at Pearl Harbor? ›

The attack killed 2,403 U.S. personnel, including 68 civilians, and destroyed or damaged 19 U.S. Navy ships, including 8 battleships.

Did the US have more casualties in Europe or the Pacific? ›

More than 30 million soldiers and civilians were killed in the Pacific theater during the course of the war, compared with the 15 million to 20 million killed in Europe.

Would Russia have won ww2 without the US? ›

Most Russians believe the Soviet military would have been able to win World War II without the efforts of the U.S. or its allies, a new poll finds. The Soviet Union suffered the most casualties in the conflict, and the issue is highly emotional for many Russians.

Is Germany still paying reparations for ww2? ›

Germany started making reparations payments to Holocaust survivors back in the 1950s, and continues making payments today. Some 400,000 Jews who survived the Nazis were still alive in 2019. That year, Germany paid $564 million to the Claims Conference, which handles the payments.

Who killed the most humans in history? ›

But both Hitler and Stalin were outdone by Mao Zedong. From 1958 to 1962, his Great Leap Forward policy led to the deaths of up to 45 million people—easily making it the biggest episode of mass murder ever recorded.

Which war had the most deaths? ›

By far the most costly war in terms of human life was World War II (1939–45), in which the total number of fatalities, including battle deaths and civilians of all countries, is estimated to have been 56.4 million, assuming 26.6 million Soviet fatalities and 7.8 million Chinese civilians were killed.

How many people died in D Day? ›

German casualties on D-Day have been estimated at 4,000 to 9,000 men. Allied casualties were documented for at least 10,000, with 4,414 confirmed dead.

Which country lost the most lives in ww2? ›

Military deaths from all causes totaled 21–25 million, including deaths in captivity of about 5 million prisoners of war. More than half of the total number of casualties are accounted for by the dead of the Republic of China and of the Soviet Union.

Who is responsible for the most deaths in history? ›

But both Hitler and Stalin were outdone by Mao Zedong. From 1958 to 1962, his Great Leap Forward policy led to the deaths of up to 45 million people—easily making it the biggest episode of mass murder ever recorded.

What is the most brutal war in history? ›

1. World War II: Fought from 1939 to 1945, the Second World War is the deadliest conflict in history, with over 70 million fatalities.

What war killed the most American soldiers? ›

The American Civil War is the conflict with the largest number of American military fatalities in history. In fact, the Civil War's death toll is comparable to all other major wars combined, the deadliest of which were the World Wars, which have a combined death toll of more than 520,000 American fatalities.

What was the most brutal war in US history? ›

The Civil War was America's bloodiest conflict. The unprecedented violence of battles such as Shiloh, Antietam, Stones River, and Gettysburg shocked citizens and international observers alike. Nearly as many men died in captivity during the Civil War as were killed in the whole of the Vietnam War.

Were there any black soldiers at Normandy? ›

Roughly 2,000 African American troops are believed to have hit the shores of Normandy in various capacities on June 6, 1944. Serving in a U.S. military still-segregated by race, they encountered discrimination both in the service and when they came home. But on Normandy, they faced the same danger as everyone else.

What were the odds of surviving D-Day? ›

It's all about the odds. Using new studies, for the first time we can forensically analyse the chances of survival. As 2,000 paratroopers face 345,000 bullets, across an area of sky covering 9 squares miles, the chances of survival were 1 in 4. But 50% of the men survive.

How many German soldiers were there in D-Day? ›

More than 156,000 Allied ground troops stormed the beaches. In wave after wave of thousands of landing ships, more than 156,000 Allied infantrymen stormed the five beaches. Facing them were around 50,000 Germans troops.

Why were German soldiers called Jerry's? ›

The name may simply be an alteration of the word German. Alternatively, Jerry may possibly be derived from the stahlhelm introduced in 1916, which was said by British soldiers to resemble a chamber pot or Jeroboam.

How many Chinese died during WWII? ›

Chinese suffering during the war is not in dispute. Some 14 million Chinese died and up to 100 million became refugees during the eight years of the conflict with Japan from 1937 to 1945. Rana Mitter is a professor of Chinese history and politics at the University of Oxford.

How many US soldiers died in Vietnam? ›

The Vietnam Conflict Extract Data File of the Defense Casualty Analysis System (DCAS) Extract Files contains records of 58,220 U.S. military fatal casualties of the Vietnam War. These records were transferred into the custody of the National Archives and Records Administration in 2008.

What war killed the highest percentage of the world population? ›

World War II

The war pitted the Allies and the Axis power in the deadliest war in history, and was responsible for the deaths of over 70 million people. Known for its genocidal campaign against the Jewish people, the war was also responsible for the deaths of more than 50 million civilians.

What was the largest famine in history? ›

The 'Great Leap Forward'-famine in China from 1959-61 was the single largest famine in history in terms of absolute numbers of deaths.

What country is responsible for the most death? ›

Countries with the Most Death Sentences in 2019**
Country
China
Number632+
Egypt
Number435+
8 more rows

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