The World War II Multimedia Database

For the 72 Million

Combatants & Casualties of World War II

Casualties in World War II are notoriously difficult to calculate; while the Americans, British, Canadians and Germans gave their soldiers identification tags, The Soviets, Japanese, Italians and other combatants often did not. Add to that the huge numbers of irregular forces without any identification, or nom de guerre, and it's almost impossible to generate accurate numbers. Some historian will someday do a complete, funded study of casualties, but for now, here is an estimated number of casualties to give the reader some idea of the level of human destruction.

Since this page went live in 2000, some estimates have raised the number of dead from 35 million to 50 million. Current thought affords 72 million casualties worldwide, but not all sources agree with that conclusion.

Accurate casualty analysis of even the United States, which not only documented its army extensively and tracked all its soldiers, requires cross-referencing dozens of lists, including state casualty lists, unit casualty lists, and veterans graves registration lists. Some entities are undertaking that synthesis of American casualty lists now; they plan on charging for access.

FlagCountryFootnoteAffiliationMilitary Deaths 1Military Wounded or Missing 2Civilian Wounded or MissingCivilian Deaths Due to WarTotal Deaths
AustraliaAustraliaAllied member in the South Pacific23,36539,80332,393N/A95,561
BelgiumBelgiumAllied member in Northwest Europe; occupied by Germany 1940-194412,000N/AN/A76,00088,000
BrazilBrazilAllied member in South America9434,222N/AN/A5,165
United KingdomCommonwealth3UK Colonial Supoort373,372475,047251,72492,6731,192,816
Canadian Flag from World War II This was the flag of Canada during World War II.CanadaAllied member in North America37,47653,17410,888N/A101,538
Chinese Communist Flag in World War II Communist Chinese CasualtiesChina5Allied member in AsiaN/AN/AN/A4,000,0004,000,000
CzechoslovakiaCzechoslovakia6Allied member in Central Europe; occupied by Germany 1939-194510,000N/AN/A215,000225,000
DenmarkDenmark7Allied member in Central Europe; occupied by Germany 1940-19451,800N/AN/A2,0003,800
FranceFrance8Allied member 1939-1945; occupied by Germany 1940-1945213,324400,000N/A350,000963,324
GreeceGreece9Allied member in Southeast Europe; occupied by Germany 1941-194488,300N/AN/A325,000413,300
IndiaIndiaAllied member in South Asia, UK colony until 194724,33864,35491,243N/A179,935
Nationalist China Kuomintang Flag Nationalist (Kuomintang) Chinese CasualtiesChina5Allied member in Asia; partially occupied by Japan 1931-19451,310,2241,752,951115,2484,000,0007,178,423
NetherlandsNetherlandsAllied member in Northwest Europe; occupied by Germany 1940-19457,9002,860N/A200,000210,760
New ZealandNew-ZealandAllied member in the South Pacific10,03319,31410,582N/A39,929
NorwayNorwayAllied member in Northwest Europe; occupied by Germany 1940-19453,000N/AN/A7,00010,000
PhilippinesPhilippinesAllied member in the Central Pacific; occupied by Japan 1942-194527,000N/AN/A91,000118,000
PolandPoland10Allied member in Central Europe; occupied by Germany 1939-1945123,178236,606420,7605,675,0006,455,544
South AfricaSouth-AfricaAllied member in Africa6,84014,36316,430N/A37,633
Union of Soviet Socialist RepublicsUSSR12Allied member in Europe and Asia; parts occupied by Germany 1941-19447,000,000N/AN/A18,000,00025,000,000
United KingdomUK-ColoniesFormer UK Colonial Support6,8776,97222,323N/A36,172
United KingdomUnited-Kingdom4Allied member in Northwest Europe264,443277,077213,91992,673848,112
United States 48-Star Flag United States 48-Star FlagUSA11Allied member in North America292,131671,801139,7096,0001,109,641
YugoslaviaYugoslaviaAllied member in South Central Europe; occupied by Germany 1941-1944305,000425,000N/A1,200,0001,930,000
BulgariaBulgaria13Axis member 1941-1944; Allied member 194510,000N/AN/A10,00020,000
FinlandFinlandAxis member 1939-1945; Allied member 194582,00050,000N/A2,000134,000
Nazi Flag Germany14Axis member in North Central Europe3,500,0005,000,0003,400,000780,00012,680,000
HungaryHungary13Axis member in Central Europe200,000N/A170,000290,000660,000
ItalyItaly15Axis member in Southern Europe 1940-1943; Allied member 1943-1945; partially occupied by Germany 1943-1945242,32266,000350,000152,941811,263
JapanJapan16Axis member in East Asia13000004,000,000810,000672,0006,782,000
KoreaKoreaAxis member in East Asia; occupied by Japan 1905-1945500,000N/AN/AN/A500,000
RomaniaRomania13Axis member in South Central Europe300,000N/A100,000200,000600,000
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.
4Estimated Deaths 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.
7Civilian Deaths includes 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 Soviet 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.

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