How Did the Nazis Really Lose World War II?

How Did the Nazis Really Lose World War II?

Of the countless history books, TV documentaries and feature films made about World War II, many accept a similar narrative of the war in the West: Though Nazi Germany possessed a superior army, better equipment and by far the best weapons at the outset, the British somehow managed to hold on until the U.S. entered the war early in 1942. After that, with Germany seriously weakened by its brutal clash with the Soviet Union in the East, U.S. economic strength propelled the Allies to victory.

But according to James Holland, author of the three-volume history “The War in the West,” when it came to the operational level of World War II—the nuts and bolts of producing weapons, supplying troops and other logistics–the famous Nazi war “machine” was anything but efficient. It wasn’t even really a machine.

“Everyone always talks about the ‘Nazi war machine’ as though it’s entirely mechanized,” Holland told HISTORY. “Well it isn’t. Of the 135 divisions used in May 1940 for Blitzkrieg in the West, only 16 of those are mechanized. The other 119 are all using their own two feet, or they’re using horse and cart.”

In Holland’s view, the long-accepted wisdom of Germany’s military prowess relies too heavily on the experiences of individual Allied soldiers on the front lines, without taking into account the reality of the Wehrmacht’s logistical capabilities. While understanding strategy (including leadership and overall war aims) and tactics (the actual fighting on the front lines) of any conflict is essential, he believes the operational level is what holds the strategic and tactical levels together.

“If you’re an American soldier and you’re in Normandy in a foxhole, and you come up against a Tiger tank, all you care about is that it’s a huge tank with a massive great gun and if it fires a shell at you, you’re going to be obliterated.” Similarly, a Sherman tank facing off alone against one of the famously powerful German Tiger tanks would have no chance. “Looking at it operationally,” Holland explains, “a very different picture emerges. The Germans only built 1,347 Tiger tanks, whereas the Americans built 49,000 [Sherman tanks].”

And what about that Tiger tank? An icon of the Wehrmacht, the heavily armored monster featured a complex six-speed gearbox designed by Ferdinand Porsche. It was also prone to mechanical malfunction, difficult to sustain in combat and needed a lot of fuel, one of the many resources Germany sorely lacked.

Because Germany was so short on oil, steel and (most critically) food, Holland argues, the Nazis would have had to crush their enemies completely in the first phase of the war in order to have any chance of winning. Unable to defeat Britain in the West, Hitler had “absolutely no choice” but to invade the Soviet Union in the hopes of getting access to more resources. That invasion, of course, led to another enormously costly war for Germany on the Eastern Front, even as the United States joined Britain in the West.

Volume 1 of Holland’s planned trilogy was published in 2015. Volume 2, which focuses on the years 1941-1943, including the American entry into the conflict, debuts in the United Kingdom this week, and will be published in the United States in the fall.

Did Nazis really try to make zombies? The real history behind one of our weirdest WWII obsessions

By Noah Charney
Published August 22, 2015 6:00PM (EDT)


From the pages of "Hellboy" and the pixilated corridors of "Wolfenstein 3D," popular culture has wondered whether the Nazis, who had no shortage of well-documented kooky ideas, might have researched the possibility of reanimating the dead. Nazi zombies make for a grabber of a headline, but what real evidence is there that raising the dead was on the agenda for even the most outrageous among the Nazis?

We can begin with the conclusion, because that is really just the start. No reliable evidence has been found that the Nazis tried to raise the dead. But though even asking the question may sound preposterous, a world of people believe that such a program was in the works — and knowing what facts we do about Nazi research and beliefs, this concept is entirely plausible.

The idea that the Nazis looked into the possibility of raising the dead might sound like an outtake from an Indiana Jones movie. But this is only because those plots were inspired by real, but little-known, facts. The Nazis did, in fact, have teams of researchers hunting for supernatural treasures, religious relics and entrances to a magical land of telepathic faeries and giants (I wish I were making this up). Relatively few people are aware of a very real organization that was the inspiration for the Indiana Jones plots: the Nazi Ahnenerbe, or the Ancestral Heritage Research and Teaching Organization. (I wrote about the Ahnenerbe in my book "Stealing the Mystic Lamb: the True Story of the World’s Most Coveted Masterpiece.")

The Ahnenerbe (which literally means “Inheritance of the Forefathers”) was a research group into the paranormal, established by order of SS head Heinrich Himmler on 1 July 1935. It was expanded during the Second World War on direct orders from Adolf Hitler. Hitler’s interest in the occult, and the interest of many of the Nazi leaders (Himmler foremost among them) is well-documented. The Nazi Party actually began as an occult fraternity, before it morphed into a political party. Himmler’s SS, ostensibly Hitler’s bodyguard but in practice the leading special forces of the Nazi Army, was conceived of and designed based on occult beliefs. Wewelsburg, the castle headquarters of the SS, was the site of initiation rituals for SS “knights” that were modeled on Arthurian legend. The magical powers of runes were invoked, and the Ahnenerbe logo sports rune-style lettering. Psychics and astrologers were employed to attack the enemy and plan tactics based on the alignment of the stars. Nazis tried to create super-soldiers, using steroids and drug cocktails, in a twisted interpretation of Nietzsche’s übermensch.

What really got the Indiana Jones plots flowing were real Nazi expeditions launched through the Ahnenerbe. To Tibet, to search for traces of the original, uncorrupted Aryan race, and for a creature called the Yeti, what we would call the Abominable Snowman. To Ethiopia, in search of the Ark of the Covenant. To steal the Spear of Destiny from its display among the Crown Jewels of the Holy Roman Emperor at the Belvedere Palace in Vienna, the lance which Longinus used to pierce Christ’s side as Christ hung on the cross, and which would disappear from a locked vault in Nurnberg at the end of the war. To the Languedoc, to find the Holy Grail. Indiana Jones’ nemesis, the Nazi archaeologist Belloq, may have been inspired by Otto Rahn, a member of the Ahnenerbe who spent years in search of the Holy Grail and who penned several fascinating books on the Cathars, Templars and a cult built around Lucifer, who was a god of light appropriated by early Christians and equated with the Devil (Dan Brown, I hope you’re taking notes). It is certainly possible that Hitler believed that The Ghent Altarpiece contained a coded map to supernatural treasure, as some have posited. The Ahnenerbe was hard at work looking for a secret code in the Icelandic saga "The Eddas," which many Nazi officials thought would reveal the entrance to the magical land of Thule, a sort of Middle Earth full of telepathic giants and faeries, which they believed to be the very real place of origin of the Aryans. If they could find this entrance, then the Nazis might accelerate their Aryan breeding program, and recover the supernatural powers of flight, telepathy and telekinesis that they believed their ancestors in Thule possessed, and which was lost due to interbreeding with “lesser” races.

As kooky as all this may sound (and it sounds extremely kooky), such things were fervently believed by some powerful people in the Nazi Party — so much so that huge sums of money were invested into research, along with hundreds of workers and scientists. Michael Kater, a professor who publishes extensively on Nazi Germany and who penned a book on the Ahnenerbe, underscores that the occult obsession was limited primarily to a few individuals, albeit individuals with a great deal of power. “Apart from Himmler and the Ahnenerbe, there is not a shred of evidence that ‘intellectuals’ or culture brokers of the Third Reich would have been concerned with this question (of the dead, the zombies, or the occult, for that matter).” But because of the interest from Hitler and Himmler, above all — and, frankly, the weirdness of some of their beliefs and practices — popular culture has latched onto this almost two-dimensional mad villainy and assigned it to Nazis in general. Which brings us to zombies.

The pseudo-scientific institute of the Ahnenerbe, acting out Himmler’s fantasies and theories, both sought supernatural advantages for the Nazi war effort, but also had a propagandistic agenda, to seek “scientific” evidence to support Nazi beliefs, like Aryan racial superiority. These experiments on human subjects, many concentration camp inmates, provide a horrifying constellation of facts that can lead to the theory about Nazi experiments to reanimate the dead. This popular myth, embraced in video games and comic books, is actually a plausible conclusion when one considers a thicket of facts that weave around it. Let us examine the facts that are established, and see how they lead to the “Nazi zombies” theory — which, whether true or not, tells us interesting things about the way we think about the Nazis today.

On 28 April 1945, at a munitions factory depot called Bernterode, in the German region of Thuringia, 40,000 tons of ammunition were found. Inside the mine, investigating American officers noticed what looked like a brick wall, painted over to match the color of the mineshaft. The wall turned out to be 5 feet thick, the mortar between the bricks not yet fully hardened. Breaking through with pickaxes and hammers, the officers uncovered several vaults containing a wealth of Nazi regalia, including a long hall hung with Nazi banners and filled with uniforms, as well as hundreds of stolen artworks: tapestries, books, paintings, decorative arts, most of it looted from the nearby Hohenzollern Museum. In a separate chamber, they came upon a ghoulish spectacle: four monumental coffins, containing the skeletons of the 17 th century Prussian king, Frederick the Great, Field Marshall von Hindenburg, and his wife. The Nazis had seized human relics of deceased Teutonic warlords. The fourth coffin was empty, but bore an engraved plate with the name of its intended occupant: Adolf Hitler. The return of these corpses to their proper resting places was a military operation called “Operation Bodysnatch,” as termed by "Monuments Man" Captain Everett P. Lesley, Jr.

It was never clear what the Nazis planned to use these disinterred bodies for, but conspiracy theorists offered no shortage of suggestions. In 1950, a Life magazine writer speculated that “the corpses were to be concealed until some future movement when their reappearance could be timed by resurgent Nazis to fire another German generation to rise and conquer again.” This article’s specific wording, “rise and conquer again,” which was read by hundreds of thousands when it first came out, could be interpreted either metaphorically or literally — and this is perhaps where the idea that the Nazis hid the bodies in hopes of resurrecting their fallen warlords came to be. Add this to the gruesome experiments in which some Ahnenerbe researchers were engaged, and this “Nazi zombie” theory gets easier to understand.

Wolfram Sievers, director of Ahnenerbe and, in 1943, the Institute for Military Scientific Research Interrogation at Nuremberg, oversaw a particularly horrific program of medical testing on concentration camp inmates, some of which ran parallel to the concept of raising the dead.

There were three main categories of unethical medical experiments carried out by Nazi scientists, most of which were done under the supervision of Sievers and the Ahnenerbe (as well as, famously, by Josef Mengele at Auschwitz). Prisoners were used as some laboratories might experiment on animals.

The first category was survival testing. The idea was to determine the human survival thresholds for Nazi soldiers. One example was an experiment to determine the altitude at which air force crews could safely parachute. Prisoners were placed in low-pressure chambers to replicate the thin atmosphere of flight, and observed to see when organs began to fail. Sievers’ most infamous experiments at Dachau were to determine the temperature at which the human body would fail, in the case of hypothermia, and also how best to resuscitate a nearly-frozen human. A body temperature probe was inserted into the rectum of prisoners, who were then frozen in a variety of manners (for example, immersion in ice water or standing naked in the snow). It was established that consciousness was lost, followed quickly by death, when body temperature reached 25 C. Bodies of the nearly-frozen were then brought back up in temperature through a variety of similarly unpleasant manners, such as immersion in near-boiling water. Himmler himself suggested the most bizarre, but least cruel, method of reviving a hypothermic — by obliging him to have sex in a warm bed with multiple ladies. This was actually practiced (and seemed to work, at least better than the other methods). But the very idea that experiments were undertaken to kill or almost kill, humans through freezing, and then determine how best to resuscitate them, bring them back to life, is not a long leap to the reanimation of the clinically dead.

The second category of tests included those with pharmaceuticals and experimental surgeries, with inmates used like lab rats. Doctors tested immunizations against contagious diseases like malaria, typhus, hepatitis and tuberculosis, injecting prisoners and exposing them to diseases, then observing what happened. Procedural experiments, like those involving bone-grafting without anesthetic, which took place at the Ravensbrueck concentration camp, could also fall into this category. Antidotes were sought to chemical weapons like mustard gas and phosgene, with no regard for the well-being of those experimented upon. Keeping in mind the Nazi policy of using prisoners of “lesser” races for economic benefit (this is why concentration camp victims were often kept just alive enough to provide free labor, rather than universally being killed upon capture), this prisoner-as-guinea-pig approach fits into this perverse logic.

November 1944 saw an experiment with a cocktail drug called D-IX, at the Sachsenhausen concentration camp. D-IX included cocaine and a stimulant called pervitine. The Luftwaffe (Nazi air force) had been supplied with 29 million pervitine pills from April-December 1939 alone, with the pill codenamed “obm.” Its use left the soldiers addicted, but did succeed in extending attention spans, reducing the need for sleep and food and giving a dramatic increase in stamina. 18 prisoners were given D-IX pills and forced to march while wearing backpacks loaded with 20 kilos of material — after taking the pills, they were able to march, without rest, up to 90 kilometers a day. The goal was to determine the outer limit of stamina induced by the pills. The D-IX pill proper, launched March 16th, 1944, included in each pill 5 mg of cocaine, 3 mg of pervitine, 5 mg of eucodal (a morphine-based painkiller) and synthetic cocaine. It was tested in the field with the Forelle diversionary unit of submariners. The experimentation and use of the pills, both on prisoners and soldiers, was considered very successful, and a plan was put in place to supply pills to the whole Nazi army, but the Allied victory months later stopped this. These pills sought to create super soldiers, in a contorted interpretation of the Nietzschean übermensch.

The third category was racial, or ideological testing, famously overseen by Josef Mengele, who experimented on twins and gypsies, to see how different races responded to contagious diseases. Mass-sterilization experiments on Jews and gypsies provided a sort of photo-negative to one of Himmler’s pet projects, called Lebensborn. It was a breeding program in which racially-ideal Aryan men and women (tall, blond-haired, blue-eyed, strong Nordic bone structure) were obliged to breed, in order to produce more, and purer, Aryan children. This was part and parcel with the belief that the Aryans of the 20 th century were descended from an ancient race with superhuman powers — and that these powers had been gradually lost through interbreeding with “lower” races. If the “pollution” of these other races could be bred out, through generations of Aryans mixing only with other Aryans, then perhaps these powers could be regained? This, too, has an echo of resurrection to it. Resurrecting the lost purity of the original Aryans from Thule, and bringing back their superhuman powers, through breeding programs with pure-blooded Aryans.

With all this in mind, but with the acknowledgment that no extant document attests to such a “Nazi zombie” program, we come to what may be the more interesting question. We think of the Nazis as crazy, cartoonishly-evil super villains. And many were. The facts attest that they were capable of lunatic theories and illogic. They are confirmed to have believed things no less fanciful than reanimating the dead. But what does this tell us about how we consider them today?

There is two-part danger to our tendency to lump “the Nazis” into a collective, super-evil entity. By dismissing a complex, layered political party, which featured millions of people who, personally, ran a nuanced gamut from good to evil, under the banner of “the Nazis,” we tend to pass over the behavior of individuals within that umbrella term. Each person under the auspices of Nazi Germany was three-dimensional, even the comic book super-villains like Himmler and Sievers. People made decisions within the context of the political atmosphere, acting better or worse than was expected or commanded of them. There were nurses who took it upon themselves to euthanize unwanted wounded, not because they were ordered to do so, but because they felt it was “right.” There were Germans who refused to follow orders, or who helped victims escape. The cauldron of the Second World War provoked bestial behavior in individuals, not just in big-name villains, and prompted acts of good amidst the turmoil. To lump so many millions of three-dimensional humans together under the banner of Nazi Germany both excuses the evil behavior and dismisses the good. It also risks dismissing the slow-build of Nazi power with a flick of the wrist: as if it was born of a cartoonish madness that could not happen again (whereas North Korea or ISIS, for example, seem to be incubators of similar behavior).

Michael Kater concurs: “When you think of it, there is also a self-exculpatory element here. If you can blame Nazi zombies for all the evil, you can take blame away from the Nazi humans. Hegel never said that zombies were responsible for evil humans' actions.” The sort of man-monsters who could concoct the Holocaust could surely have tried to raise an army of undead, but this idea further pushes them away from the feeling that they were real people, and that their ideas and era could, if we are not careful, resurface.

Kater continues, “What interests me in all this is not why the Nazis were guided by secret forces hiding in Tibet or under the ground (of course they were not), but why people think they were. One can take what circumstantial evidence one has and tie all this to mass psychology and actual history, or such. I do not know how many times I have been asked about the Nazis and the occult during my career (ever since I published the Ahnenerbe book in 1974, and then some). If people cannot explain something in ordinary, human, terms, they come up with conspiracy theories. Creationists need religion.” The Nazis seem so evil to us, that we tend to make of them a cartoon construct, emphasizing the real (though less-widespread than is generally imagined) influence of supernatural beliefs. Kater draws a parallel to the theories that rise up in other horrifying historical events. “One such instance was after the assassination of John F. Kennedy. These are incidents so gross that something super-natural must be behind them. However, it is really true: history writes the best, or the most gruesome, novels makes the best films.”

At the end of the day, we can say without doubt that certain influential Nazis very much believed in the occult, and founded a research institute, the Ahnenerbe, to look into it. They engaged in experiments as bizarre and gruesome as trying to raise the dead, and they may well have toyed with that idea as well, although documentary evidence of it has not survived. But our mental construct of the Nazis, and the way popular culture assigns to them a two-dimensional, comic book type of evil, is as interesting, if not more so, than the question of whether they sought to raise a zombie army or animate their long-dead Teutonic warlords.

Noah Charney

Noah Charney is a Salon arts columnist and professor specializing in art crime, and author of "The Art of Forgery" (Phaidon).

A Fatal Mistake: Did Adolf Hitler Lose World War II At Dunkirk?

War movies tend to depict the battles a nation wins—not the ones it loses.

So with a blockbuster Hollywood movie on Dunkirk hitting the silver screen this July, one would think that Dunkirk was a British victory.

In fact, Dunkirk was the climactic moment of one of the greatest military disasters in history. From May 26 to June 4, 1940, an army of more than three hundred thousand British soldiers was chased off the mainland of Europe, reduced to an exhausted mob clinging to a flotilla of rescue boats while leaving almost all of their weapons and equipment behind.

The British Army was crippled for months. If the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force had failed, and the Germans had managed to conduct their own D-Day invasion of Britain, the outcome would have been certain.

So why do the British celebrate Dunkirk as a victory? Why is it called the Miracle of Dunkirk when another such miracle would have given Hitler the keys to London?

Consider the situation. In just six weeks during the spring of 1940, Britain and France had been crushed. When Hitler invaded France and the Benelux countries on May 10, 1940, the Allies were totally off balance. The cream of the Franco-British armies, including much of the ten-division-strong British Expeditionary Force (BEF), had been stationed in northern France. The plan was for them to advance into northern Belgium to stop a German advance, because that was the route the Germans took in 1914. Unfortunately, the German panzer spearhead divisions struck in the center of France, through the weakly defended Belgian and Luxembourg Ardennes forest. Quickly penetrating through the wooded hills, their tank columns turned north to cut off the Allied forces in Belgium from behind, while other German forces—backed by paratroopers—seized Holland and squeezed the Allies from the other direction.

Plagued by disorganization and lethargic leadership, the Allies tried to retreat from Belgium back to France. But it was too late. On May 19, the hard-driving panzer divisions had reached Abbeville, on the English Channel. The bulk of the Allied armies were trapped in a pocket along the French and Belgian coasts, with the Germans on three sides and the English Channel behind. Meanwhile, other German column raced for Paris and beyond, rendering any major French counterattack nothing more than a mapboard fantasy.

The British did what they always when their armies overseas get in trouble: start seeking the nearest port for an exit. With a typical (and in this case justified) lack of faith in their allies, they began planning to evacuate the BEF from the Channel ports. Though the French would partly blame their defeat on British treachery, the British were right. With the French armies outmaneuvered and disintegrating, France was doomed.

But so was the BEF—or so it looked. As the exhausted troops trudged to the coast, through roads choked with refugees and strafed by the Luftwaffe, the question was: could they reach the beaches and safety before the panzers did? There were four hundred thousand British and French troops to evacuate, through a moderate-sized port whose docks were being destroyed by bombs and shells. Even under the best of conditions, it would have taken more time than the Allies could rightfully expect for those troops to be lifted off the beaches.

Despite the general Allied collapse, the British and French troops defending the Dunkirk perimeter fought hard under constant air attack. Nonetheless, had Hitler’s tank generals such as Heinz Guderian had their way, the hard-driving panzers would have sliced like scalpels straight to Dunkirk. The beaches would have become a giant POW cage.

Then on May 24, Hitler and his high command hit the stop button. The panzer columns were halted in their tracks the plan now was for the Luftwaffe to pulverize the defenders until the slower-moving German infantry divisions caught up to finish the job.

Why did Hitler issue the halt order? No one knows for sure. Hitler had fought in that part of France in World War I, and he worried that the terrain was too muddy for tanks.

Luftwaffe commander Hermann Goering assured him that his bombers and fighters could do the job. There were concerns about logistics, or a potential French counterattack. Or maybe it was just that Hitler, that perennial gambler, was so dazzled by his own unexpected success at the dice table of war that he lost his nerve.

Whatever the reason, while the Germans dithered, the British moved with a speed that Britain would rarely display again for the rest of the war. Not just the Royal Navy was mobilized. From British ports sailed yachts, fishing boats, lifeboats and rowboats. Like the “ragtag fleet” in Battlestar Galactica, anything that could sail was pressed into service.

France has been ridiculed so often for its performance in 1940 that we forget how the stubbornness and bravery of the French rearguards around Dunkirk perimeter allowed the evacuation to succeed. Under air and artillery fire, the motley fleet evacuated 338,226 soldiers. As for Britain betraying its allies, 139,997 of those men were French soldiers, along with Belgians and Poles.

As they heaved themselves into the boats under a hail of bombs, the soldiers cursed the RAF for leaving them in the lurch. They couldn’t see above the tumult above the clouds where the RAF Hurricanes and Spitfires hurled themselves against the Luftwaffe. Weakened by losses during the French campaign, the RAF couldn’t stop the German air assault. But they at least could hamper it.

The evacuation was incomplete. Some forty thousand troops were captured by the Germans. The Scotsmen of the Fifty-First Highland Division, trapped deep inside France, were encircled and captured by the Seventh Panzer Division commanded by Erwin Rommel. The BEF did save most of its men, but almost all its equipment—from tanks and trucks to rifles—was left behind.

So why did the British treat Dunkirk as a victory? Partially it was out of necessity. The British public needed some good news now that their world had fallen apart. Yet despite Churchill’s rousing rhetoric about the battle, he knew that pseudo-victories would never defeat Hitler. “Wars are not won by evacuations,” he told the House of Commons.

The best answer is that the successful evacuation of the cream of the British Army gave Britain a lifeline to continue the war. In June 1940, neither America nor the Soviets were at war with the Axis. With France gone, Britain, and its Commonwealth partners such as Australia and Canada, stood alone. Had Britain capitulated to Hitler, or signed a compromise peace that left the Nazis in control of Europe, many Americans would have been dismayed—but not surprised.

A British writer whose father fought at Dunkirk wrote that the British public was under no illusions. “If there was a Dunkirk spirit, it was because people understood perfectly well the full significance of the defeat but, in a rather British way, saw no point in dwelling on it. We were now alone. We’d pull through in the end. But it might be a long, grim wait…”

Their patience and endurance were rewarded on May 8, 1945, when Nazi Germany surrendered.

Michael Peck is a contributing writer for the National Interest. He can be found on Twitter and Facebook.

His article first appeared in 2017. It is being republished due to reader interest.

How Hitler And Nazi Germany Lost World War II After This One Battle

Fact: the Soviet Union would probably have fought on despite the loss of its capital.

Here's What You Need To Remember: The Russo-German War was no ordinary conflict fought over territory or resources. For Nazi Germany, it was a war of extermination and subjugation that would have killed the Russian people or reduced them to slavery. For the Soviet Union, it was a war of survival

In October 1941, the Second World War teetered on a knife edge.

There was war in China and war in North Africa, and soon there would be war between America and Japan. But in the autumn of 1941, the only war that really seemed to matter was fought in a portion of central Russia.

Operation Barbarossa, the German invasion of the Soviet Union, had begun brilliantly on June 22, 1941. Encirclement after encirclement had inflicted almost 4 million casualties on the huge but disorganized Soviet armies. By early October, they had advanced to within 200 miles of Moscow. Now came Operation Typhoon, the offensive to seize the Soviet capital and—or so the Germans hoped—end the campaign.

Desperation breeds optimism, so indeed Germany needed to end the War in the East soon. The newsreels of vast columns of bewildered Soviet prisoners may have conveyed an image of German invincibility, but for the Wehrmacht, Russia was Death by a Thousand Cuts. Germany and its allies had committed more than 3 million men to Barbarossa: by October, they had suffered more than 500,000 casualties, or 15 percent of the invasion force. The panzers sweeping 500 miles deep into Russia left a trail of broken-down tanks. The Russian roads, few in number and poor in quality, had devoured perhaps 40 percent of the German truck fleet. That left railroads as the supply arteries on the Eastern Front, yet Russian railroad tracks were wider than German ones, stranding supply trains that couldn't move forward until repair crews modified the Russian rails. German logistics collapsed, leaving the troops short of food, ammunition and especially fuel for the panzers.

Not that the Soviets were in any better shape. Its officer corps decimated before the war, and its generals often incompetent but politically acceptable toadies, the Red Army had been caught by surprise and then relentlessly pounded by an opponent that conquered France in just six weeks. But at least the Soviets were falling back on their supply bases. The Red Army was also infused with an endless stream of fresh division after fresh division. The troops were poorly trained and led to be sure, but German intelligence, convinced that the Soviets should have collapsed by now, couldn't understand how the Red Army could take such a pounding and yet keep growing.

Operation Typhoon was like a boxing match between two battered and bloodied fighters barely on their feet. The Soviets could field more than a million soldiers and a thousand tanks at Moscow, dug into multiple defensive lines dug by women and children. The Germans managed to muster almost two million men, and more than a thousand tanks and five hundred aircraft. The plan was do more of what had already worked so well: conduct a series of pincer operations to surround and destroy the Soviet armies in front of Moscow, and then roll into the capital. The fast-moving panzers would be the arms of the pincers, encircling the enemy to keep them from escaping until the footslogging German infantry caught up with the armor and mopped up the pocket. When the Wehrmacht reached Moscow, the city would also be encircled and captured.

With proper supply and good weather, such a big German strike force could probably have conquered any country in the planet. Alas, neither condition would prove true. The initial phase of Typhoon went according to plan, with four Soviet armies and more than 500,000 Soviet soldiers killed or captured at Vyazma alone.

But then rain and melting snow fell in early October, bringing with them the infamous rasputitsa, the muddy season that turned the Russian landscape into such a quagmire that vehicles sank to their axles. They had to be hauled out by teams of sweating soldiers whose boots also disappeared into the glutinous morass. Not only couldn't the combat troops advance, but neither could the supply trucks. Meanwhile, Soviet counterattack after Soviet counterattack, even if repelled, left German forces battered and exhausted.

Also unpleasant were the Soviet T-34 tanks. More heavily armed and armored than their Teutonic counterparts, the Germans gasped in dismay as their anti-tanks weapons bounced off the T-34's thick hide. To make matters worse, the T-34 had wide tracks, which gave it better maneuverability in the mud.

But the Wehrmacht still retained the skill, leadership and professionalism that made it the best army in the world at the time. The advance continued, leading Stalin to order the evacuation of the Soviet government from Moscow to Kuibyshev. Despite Stalin choosing to remain in the capital, the move further weakened Soviet morale.

After the German armies paused for breath in early November, the weather turned colder, freezing the mud and giving Hitler's troops the solid footing they needed to advance. By the end of November, German reconnaissance units were just 12 miles from Moscow, so close they could see the towers of the city through their binoculars.

So close and yet so far. By the beginning of December, the thermometer had dropped to 45 degrees below zero Fahrenheit. It's not true that the Germans were unaware of the Russian winter. But with limited supply capacity, priority was given to fuel and ammunition. Besides, who needs winter clothing if Moscow was supposed to be captured before General Winter struck?

Instead, it was the Soviets who struck. Stalin had been reassured by information from Richard Sorge, a German living in Japan but working for Soviet intelligence, that the Japanese would turn south to fight the Americans and British instead of north against Siberia. He felt able to transfer 18 elite Siberian divisions, well-trained and well-equipped for operating in harsh winter conditions, by rail to Moscow.

When the counter offensive began on December 5, the Soviet armies punched through an enemy more scarecrow than human. German weapons were frozen, German soldiers were frozen, and sometimes the soldiers froze to the weapons. The survivors could only watch helplessly as the attackers, warmly clad in fur-lined jackets and boots, and camouflaged in white snowsuits, emerged like ghosts through the mist and snow.

Now came one of those decision points that occur in every major battle. Some of Hitler's generals wanted to retreat to a line far from Moscow. But Hitler feared that a retreat would disintegrate into a panic-stricken rout that would bring the Red Army to the gates of Germany. He ordered his troops to hold their positions to the last man, a hedgehog defense of strong points that would be defended even when surrounded. Though Hitler fired some generals who disagreed, many German commanders later praised the decision as preventing a collapse like that suffered by Napoleon's Grande Armee in 1812.

The Germans were pushed back to Rzhev, 150 miles from Moscow. But their lines were still intact, and though battered, their armies were still ready to fight. And now it was Stalin's turn for overconfidence. The Soviets had also suffered grievously during the counteroffensive: their troops were inexperienced, their supply lines were strained by snow and mud, and they also suffered from the cold. Nonetheless, with dreams of reaching Berlin in his eyes, Stalin ordered his exhausted forces to continue attacking. The result was heavy losses in futile attacks. By February, the Germans even counterattacked, destroying several Soviet divisions.

What had been accomplished? Both sides had gambled and failed. German dreams of capturing Moscow and ending the War in the East had evaporated. Stalin's dreams of a grand counteroffensive that would kick the Germans out of the Soviet Union also faltered. The slaughterhouse that was the Eastern Front would continue into 1942, and then into 1945.

However, it was Hitler's gamble that proved fatal. 1941 and 1942 would be the last years that the Germans had the luxury of waging a one-front war. After that, the Americans and British would open Second Fronts with amphibious landings in Europe and around-the-clock bombing over the Third Reich. If Hitler was to win, it had to be before the Anglo-Americans mustered their strength, and before the Soviets reorganized their armies and harnessed their vast industrial potential.

Ironically, the catastrophe that Germany barely avoided at Moscow only led to catastrophes later on. Hitler may have been right in ordering his armies not to retreat. To the ex-corporal, resentful and suspicious of the German officer corps, this was evidence that he possessed more genius and nerve than the professional soldiers. Therefore Hitler would only listen to himself and never accept the advice of his generals to retreat, which meant the German armies at Stalingrad and Normandy held their positions until they were destroyed.

Invasion of the Denmark and Norway

The Nazis ended the period of Phoney War with their invasion of Denmark and Norway on the 9 April 1940.

Control of Denmark and Norway was vital to Germany as it provided safe supply routes for Swedish iron ore. Prior to the war, Germany imported approximately half of its necessary iron ore from Sweden. As such, if access to this ore was limited or denied, it could have had crippling effects on German war efficiency.

Code named Operation Weserübung, the invasions began on the 9 April 1940.

In Denmark, troops crossed over the German-Norwegian border at 4.15am. Six hours of fighting took place before Denmark, fearful of the bombing tactic used by the German’s in Warsaw during the Invasion of Poland, surrendered.

Meanwhile, the Germans had attacked Norway early the same morning. In Norway, the Germans attacked from the sea, hoping to occupy and protect key coastal waterways where the vital iron ore was transported. This sea attack was supported by a small division of bomber planes called the Fiegerkorps.

Ships from the British and French Navy had sailed to Norway pre-empting a campaign against them in early April. Despite this, within 24 hours key towns such as Bergen and Narvik were occupied by the German troops.

The main German land campaign followed, moving north from Oslo with relative ease over the next two months. The last key strategic fort, the Hegra Fortress fell on the 5 May 1940, and the Norwegian Army surrendered on the 10 June 1940.

Through invading and occupying Denmark and Norway in just over two months, the Nazis had secured vital supply routes for iron ore that would supply the Nazis war effort for the majority of the war.


Compiling or estimating the numbers of deaths and wounded caused during wars and other violent conflicts is a controversial subject. Historians often put forward many different estimates of the numbers killed and wounded during World War II. [12] The authors of the Oxford Companion to World War II maintain that "casualty statistics are notoriously unreliable." [13] The table below gives data on the number of dead and military wounded for each country, along with population information to show the relative impact of losses. When scholarly sources differ on the number of deaths in a country, a range of war losses is given, in order to inform readers that the death toll is disputed. Since casualty statistics are sometimes disputed the footnotes to this article present the different estimates by official governmental sources as well as historians. Military figures include battle deaths (KIA) and personnel missing in action (MIA), as well as fatalities due to accidents, disease and deaths of prisoners of war in captivity. Civilian casualties include deaths caused by strategic bombing, Holocaust victims, German war crimes, Japanese war crimes, population transfers in the Soviet Union, Allied war crimes, and deaths due to war-related famine and disease.

The sources for the casualties of the individual nations do not use the same methods, and civilian deaths due to starvation and disease make up a large proportion of the civilian deaths in China and the Soviet Union. The losses listed here are actual deaths hypothetical losses due to a decline in births are not included with the total dead. The distinction between military and civilian casualties caused directly by warfare and collateral damage is not always clear-cut. For nations that suffered huge losses such as the Soviet Union, China, Poland, Germany, and Yugoslavia, sources can give only the total estimated population loss caused by the war and a rough estimate of the breakdown of deaths caused by military activity, crimes against humanity and war-related famine. The casualties listed here include 19 to 25 million war-related famine deaths in the USSR, China, Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines, and India that are often omitted from other compilations of World War II casualties. [14] [15]

The footnotes give a detailed breakdown of the casualties and their sources, including data on the number of wounded where reliable sources are available.

Total deaths by country

  • Figures are rounded to the nearest hundredth place.
  • Military casualties include deaths of regular military forces from combat as well as non-combat causes. Partisan and resistance fighter deaths are included with military losses. The deaths of prisoners of war in captivity and personnel missing in action are also included with military deaths. Whenever possible the details are given in the footnotes.
  • The armed forces of the various nations are treated as single entities, for example the deaths of Austrians, French and foreign nationals of German ancestry in eastern Europe in the Wehrmacht are included with German military losses. For example, Michael Strank is included with American not Czechoslovak war dead.
  • Civilian war dead are included with the nations where they resided. For example, German Jewish refugees in France who were deported to the death camps are included with French casualties in the published sources on the Holocaust.
  • The official casualty statistics published by the governments of the United States, France, and the UK do not give the details of the national origin, race and religion of the losses. include deaths caused by strategic bombing, Holocaust victims, German war crimes, Japanese war crimes, population transfers in the Soviet Union, Allied war crimes, and deaths due to war related famine and disease. The exact breakdown is not always provided in the sources cited.

Nazi Germany

  • German sources do not provide figures for Soviet citizens conscripted by Germany. Russian historian Grigoriy Krivosheyev puts the losses of the "Vlasovites, Balts and Muslims etc." in German service at 215,000 [164]

Soviet Union

The estimated breakdown for each Soviet republic of total war dead [10] ^AY4

Soviet Republic Population 1940
(within 1946–91 borders)
Military deaths Civilian deaths due to
military activity and
crimes against humanity
Civilian deaths due to war
related famine and disease
Total Deaths as % of
1940 population
Armenia 1,320,000 150,000 30,000 180,000 13.6%
Azerbaijan 3,270,000 210,000 90,000 300,000 9.1%
Belarus 9,050,000 620,000 1,360,000 310,000 2,290,000 25.3%
Estonia 1,050,000 30,000 50,000 80,000 7.6%
Georgia 3,610,000 190,000 110,000 300,000 8.3%
Kazakhstan 6,150,000 310,000 350,000 660,000 10.7%
Kyrgyzstan 1,530,000 70,000 50,000 120,000 7.8%
Latvia 1,890,000 30,000 190,000 40,000 260,000 13.7%
Lithuania 2,930,000 25,000 275,000 75,000 375,000 12.7%
Moldova 2,470,000 50,000 75,000 45,000 170,000 6.9%
Russia 110,100,000 6,750,000 4,100,000 3,100,000 13,950,000 12.7%
Tajikistan 1,530,000 50,000 70,000 120,000 7.8%
Turkmenistan 1,300,000 70,000 30,000 100,000 7.7%
Ukraine 41,340,000 1,650,000 3,700,000 1,500,000 6,850,000 16.3%
Uzbekistan 6,550,000 330,000 220,000 550,000 8.4%
Unidentified 165,000 130,000 295,000
Total USSR 194,090,000 10,600,000 10,000,000 6,000,000 26,600,000 13.7%

The source of the figures is Vadim Erlikman [ru] . [165] Erlikman, a Russian historian, notes that these figures are his estimates.

  • The population listed here of 194.090 million is taken from Soviet era sources. Recent studies published in Russia put the actual corrected population in 1940 at 192.598 million. [166][167]
  • According to Russian estimates the population in 1939 included 20.268 million in the territories annexed by the USSR from 1939 to 1940: the eastern regions of Poland 12.983 million Lithuania 2.440 million Latvia 1.951 million Estonia 1.122 million Romanian Bessarabia and Bukovina 3.7 million less transfers out of (392,000) ethnic Germans deported during the Nazi–Soviet population transfers the Anders Army (120,000) the First Polish Army (1944–45) (26,000) and Zakerzonia & the Belastok Region (1,392,000) which was returned to Poland in 1945. [166][168][169]
  • Russian sources estimate post war population transfers resulted in a net loss of (622,000). The additions were the annexation of the Carpatho-Ukraine 725,000 the Tuvan People's Republic 81,000 the remaining population on South Sakhalin 29,000 and in the Kaliningrad Oblast 5,000 and the deportation of Ukrainians from Poland to the USSR in 1944–47 518,000. The transfers out included the flight and expulsion of Poles from the USSR 1944–47 (1,529,000) and the post war emigration to the west (451,000) [166][169][168] According to Viktor Zemskov, 3/4 of the post war emigration to the west was of persons who were from the territories annexed in 1939–40 [170]
  • Estimates in the west for the population transfers differ. According to Sergei Maksudov, a Russian demographer living in the west, the population of the territories annexed by the USSR was 23 million less the net population transfers out of 3 million persons who emigrated from the USSR including 2,136,000 Poles who left the USSR 115,000 Polish soldiers of the Anders Army 392,000 Germans who left in the era of the Nazi-Soviet Pact and 400,000 Jews, Romanians, Germans Czech and Hungarians who emigrated after the war [171][3] The Polish government-in-exile put the population of the territories of Poland annexed by the Soviet Union at 13.199 million [172]
  • Polish sources put the number of refugees from the territories of Poland annexed by the Soviet Union living in post war Poland at about 2.2 million, about 700,000 more than those listed in the Soviet sources of Poles repatriated. The difference is due to the fact that Poles from the eastern regions who were deported to Germany during the war or had fled Volhynia and Eastern Galicia were not included in the figures of the organized transfers in 1944–47. [173]
  • Figures for Belarus, Ukraine and Lithuania include about two million civilian dead that are also listed in Polish sources in the total war dead of Poland. Polish historian Krystyna Kersten estimated losses of about two million in the Polish areas annexed by the Soviet Union. [174] The formal transfer of the territories of Poland annexed by the Soviet Union occurred with the Polish–Soviet border agreement of August 1945.
  • According to Erlikman, in addition to the war dead, there were 1,700,000 deaths due to Soviet repression (200,000 executed 4,500,000 sent to prisons and Gulag of whom 1,200,000 died 2,200,000 deported of whom 300,000 died). [165]

Holocaust deaths

Included in the figures of total war dead for each nation are victims of the Holocaust.

Jewish deaths

The Holocaust is the term generally used to describe the genocide of approximately six million European Jews during World War II. Martin Gilbert estimates 5.7 million (78%) of the 7.3 million Jews in German-occupied Europe were Holocaust victims. [175] Estimates of Holocaust deaths range between 4.9 and 5.9 million Jews. [176]

Statistical breakdown of Jewish dead:

  • In Nazi extermination camps: according to Polish Institute of National Remembrance (IPN) researchers, 2,830,000 Jews were murdered in the Nazi death camps (500,000 Belzec 150,000 Sobibor 850,000 Treblinka 150,000 Chełmno 1,100,000 Auschwitz 80,000 Majdanek). [177]Raul Hilberg puts the Jewish death toll in the death camps, including Romanian Transnistria, at 3.0 million. [178]
  • In the USSR by the Einsatzgruppen: Raul Hilberg puts the Jewish death toll in the area of the mobile killing groups at 1.4 million. [178]
  • Aggravated deaths in the Ghettos of Nazi-occupied Europe: Raul Hilberg puts the Jewish death toll in the Ghettos at 700,000. [178] estimated that, in early 2019, its Central Database of Shoah Victims' Names contained the names of 4.8 million Jewish Holocaust dead. [179][180]

The figures for the pre-war Jewish population and deaths in the table below are from The Columbia Guide to the Holocaust. [176] The low, high and average percentage figures for deaths of the pre-war population have been added.

  • The total population figures from 1933 listed here are taken from The Columbia Guide to the Holocaust. From 1933 to 1939 about 400,000 Jews fled Germany, Austria, and Czechoslovakia. Some of these refugees were in western Europe when Germany occupied these countries in 1940. In 1940 there were 30,000 Jewish refugees in the Netherlands, 12,000 in Belgium, 30,000 in France, 2,000 in Denmark, 5,000 in Italy, and 2,000 in Norway [183]
  • Hungarian Jewish losses of 569,000 presented here include the territories annexed in 1939–41. [184] The number of Holocaust dead in 1938 Hungarian borders were 220,000. [57] According to Martin Gilbert, the Jewish population inside Hungary's 1941 borders was 764,000 (445,000 in the 1938 borders and 319,000 in the annexed territories). Holocaust deaths from inside the 1938 borders was 200,000, not including 20,000 men conscripted as forced labor for the military. [185]
  • Netherlands figure listed in the table of 112,000 Jews taken from The Columbia Guide to the Holocaust includes those Jews who were resident in Holland in 1933. By 1940 the Jewish population had increased to 140,000 with the inclusion of 30,000 Jewish refugees. [183] In the Netherlands 8,000 Jews in mixed marriages were not subject to deportation. [186] However, an article in the Dutch periodical De Groene Amsterdammer maintains that some Jews in mixed marriages were deported before the practice was ended by Hitler. [187]
  • Hungarian Jewish Holocaust victims within the 1939 borders were 200,000. [188]
  • Romanian Jewish Holocaust victims totalled 469,000 within 1939 borders, which includes 300,000 in Bessarabia and Bukovina occupied by the U.S.S.R. in 1940. [188][189]
  • According to Martin Gilbert, Jewish Holocaust victims totaled 8,000 in Italy, and 562 in the Italian colony of Libya. [190]

Non-Jews persecuted and killed by Nazi and Nazi-affiliated forces

Some scholars maintain that the definition of the Holocaust should also include the other victims persecuted and killed by the Nazis. [191] [192]

  • Donald L. Niewyk, professor of history at Southern Methodist University, maintains that the Holocaust can be defined in four ways: first, that it was the genocide of the Jews alone second, that there were several parallel Holocausts, one for each of the several groups third, the Holocaust would include Roma and the handicapped along with the Jews fourth, it would include all racially motivated German crimes, such as the murder of Soviet prisoners of war, Polish and Soviet civilians, as well as political prisoners, religious dissenters, and homosexuals. Using this definition, the total number of Holocaust victims is between 11 million and 17 million people. [193]
  • According to the College of Education of the University of South Florida "Approximately 11 million people were killed because of Nazi genocidal policy". [194] estimated the death toll due to Nazi Democide at 20.9 million persons. [195] put the number of victims of the Nazis killed as a result of "deliberate policies of mass murder" only, such as executions, deliberate famine and in death camps, at 10.4 million persons including 5.4 million Jews. [196]
  • German scholar Hellmuth Auerbach puts the death toll in the Hitler era at 6 million Jews killed in the Holocaust and 7 million other victims of the Nazis. [197](de) puts the total number of victims of the Nazi era at between 12 and 14 million persons, including 5.6–5.7 million Jews. [198]
  • Roma Included in the figures of total war dead are the Roma victims of the Nazi persecution some scholars include the Roma deaths with the Holocaust. Most estimates of Roma (Gypsies) victims range from 130,000 to 500,000. [193][199]Ian Hancock, Director of the Program of Romani Studies and the Romani Archives and Documentation Center at the University of Texas at Austin, has argued in favour of a higher figure of between 500,000 and 1,500,000 Roma dead. [200] Hancock writes that, proportionately, the death toll equaled "and almost certainly exceed[ed], that of Jewish victims". [201] In a 2010 publication, Ian Hancock stated that he agrees with the view that the number of Romanis killed has been underestimated as a result of being grouped with others in Nazi records under headings such as "remainder to be liquidated", "hangers-on" and "partisans". [202]
  • In 2018, the United States Holocaust museum has the number of murdered during the time period of the holocaust at 17 million – 6 million Jews and 11 million others. [203]

The following figures are from The Columbia Guide to the Holocaust, the authors maintain that "statistics on Gypsy losses are especially unreliable and controversial. These figures (cited below) are based on necessarily rough estimates". [204]

Country Pre-war Roma population Low estimate victims High estimate victims
Austria 11,200 6,800 8,250
Belgium 600 350 500
Czech Republic [181] 13,000 5,000 6,500
Estonia 1,000 500 1,000
France 40,000 15,150 15,150
Germany 20,000 15,000 15,000
Greece ? 50 50
Hungary 100,000 1,000 28,000
Italy 25,000 1,000 1,000
Latvia 5,000 1,500 2,500
Lithuania 1,000 500 1,000
Luxembourg 200 100 200
Netherlands 500 215 500
Poland 50,000 8,000 35,000
Romania 300,000 19,000 36,000
Slovakia 80,000 400 10,000
Soviet Union (borders 1939) 200,000 30,000 35,000
Yugoslavia 100,000 26,000 90,000
Total 947,500 130,565 285,650

  • Handicapped persons: 200,000 to 250,000 handicapped persons were killed. [205] A 2003 report by the German Federal Archive put the total murdered during the Action T4 and Action 14f13 programs at 200,000. [206][207]
  • Prisoners of War: POW deaths in Nazi captivity totalled 3.1 million [208] including 2.6 to 3 million Soviet prisoners of war. [209]
  • Ethnic Poles: According to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum "It is estimated that the Germans killed at least 1.9 million non-Jewish Polish civilians during World War II." [210] They maintain that "Documentation remains fragmentary, but today scholars of independent Poland believe that 1.8 to 1.9 million Polish civilians (non-Jews) were victims of German Occupation policies and the war." [211] However the Polish government affiliated Institute of National Remembrance (IPN) in 2009 estimated 2,770,000 ethnic Polish deaths due to the German occupation [212] (see World War II casualties of Poland).
  • Russians, Ukrainians and Belarusians: According to Nazi ideology, Slavs were useless sub-humans. As such, their leaders, the Soviet elite, were to be killed and the remainder of the population enslaved, starved to death, or expelled further eastward. As a result, millions of civilians in the Soviet Union were deliberately killed, starved, or worked to death. [213] Contemporary Russian sources use the terms "genocide" and "premeditated extermination" when referring to civilian losses in the occupied USSR. Civilians killed in reprisals during the Soviet partisan war and wartime-related famine account for a major part of the huge toll. [214] The Cambridge History of Russia puts overall civilian deaths in the Nazi-occupied USSR at 13.7 million persons including 2 million Jews. There were an additional 2.6 million deaths in the interior regions of the Soviet Union. The authors maintain "scope for error in this number is very wide". At least 1 million perished in the wartime GULAG camps or in deportations. Other deaths occurred in the wartime evacuations and due to war related malnutrition and disease in the interior. The authors maintain that both Stalin and Hitler "were both responsible but in different ways for these deaths", and "In short the general picture of Soviet wartime losses suggests a jigsaw puzzle. The general outline is clear: people died in colossal numbers but in many different miserable and terrible circumstances. But individual pieces of the puzzle do not fit well some overlap and others are yet to be found". [215] Bohdan Wytwycky maintained that civilian losses of 3.0 million Ukrainians and 1.4 million Belarusians "were racially motivated". [216][217] According to Paul Robert Magocsi, between 1941 and 1945, approximately 3,000,000 Ukrainian and other non-Jewish victims were killed as part of Nazi extermination policies in the territory of modern Ukraine. [218]Dieter Pohl puts the total number of victims of the Nazi policies in the USSR at 500,000 civilians killed in the repression of partisans, 1.0 million victims of the Nazi Hunger Plan, c. 3.0 million Soviet POW and 1.0 million Jews (in pre-war borders). [219] Soviet author Georgiy A. Kumanev put the civilian death toll in the Nazi-occupied USSR at 8.2 million (4.0 million Ukrainians, 2.5 million Belarusians, and 1.7 million Russians). [220] A report published by the Russian Academy of Sciences in 1995 put the death toll due to the German occupation at 13.7 million civilians (including Jews): 7.4 million victims of Nazi genocide and reprisals 2.2 million persons deported to Germany for forced labor and 4.1 million famine and disease deaths in occupied territory. Sources published in the Soviet Union were cited to support these figures. [221]
  • Homosexuals: According to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum "Between 1933 and 1945 the police arrested an estimated 100,000 men as homosexuals. Most of the 50,000 men sentenced by the courts spent time in regular prisons, and between 5,000 and 15,000 were interned in concentration camps." They also noted that there are no known statistics for the number of homosexuals who died in the camps. [222]
  • Other victims of Nazi persecution: Between 1,000 and 2,000 Roman Catholic clergy, [223] about 1,000 Jehovah's Witnesses, [224] and an unknown number of Freemasons[225] perished in Nazi prisons and camps. "The fate of black people from 1933 to 1945 in Nazi Germany and in German-occupied territories ranged from isolation to persecution, sterilization, medical experimentation, incarceration, brutality, and murder." [226] During the Nazi era Communists, Socialists, Social Democrats, and trade union leaders were victims of Nazi persecution. [227]
  • Serbs: The numbers of Serbs murdered by the Ustaše is the subject of debate and estimates vary widely. Yad Vashem estimates over 500,000 murdered, 250,000 expelled and 200,000 forcibly converted to Catholicism. [228] The estimate of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is that the Ustaše murdered between 320,000 and 340,000 ethnic Serbs in the Independent State of Croatia between 1941 and 1945, with roughly 45,000 to 52,000 murdered at the Jasenovac concentration camp alone. [229] According to the Wiesenthal Center at least 90,000 Serbs, Jews, Gypsies and anti-fascist Croatians perished at the hands of the Ustashe at the camp at Jasenovac. [230] According to Yugoslav sources published in the Tito era the estimates of the number of Serb victims range from 200,000 to at least 600,000 persons. [231] See also World War II persecution of Serbs.

German war crimes

Nazi Germany ordered, organized and condoned a substantial number of war crimes in World War II. The most notable of these is the Holocaust in which millions of Jews, Poles, and Romani were systematically murdered or died from abuse and mistreatment. Millions also died as a result of other German actions.

While the Nazi Party's own SS forces (in particular the SS-Totenkopfverbände, Einsatzgruppen and Waffen-SS) of Nazi Germany was the organization most responsible for the genocidal killing of the Holocaust, the regular armed forces represented by the Wehrmacht committed war crimes of their own, particularly on the Eastern Front in the war against the Soviet Union.

Japanese war crimes

Included with total war dead are victims of Japanese war crimes.

    estimates the civilian victims of Japanese democide at 5,964,000. Detailed by country: China 3,695,000 Indochina 457,000 Korea 378,000 Indonesia 375,000 Malaya-Singapore 283,000 Philippines 119,000, Burma 60,000 and Pacific Islands 57,000. Rummel estimates POW deaths in Japanese custody at 539,000 Detailed by country: China 400,000 French Indochina 30,000 Philippines 27,300 Netherlands 25,000 France 14,000 Britain 13,000 British Colonies 11,000 U.S. 10,700 Australia 8,000. [15][234]
  • Werner Gruhl estimates the civilian deaths at 20,365,000. Detailed by country: China 12,392,000 Indochina 1,500,000 Korea 500,000 Dutch East Indies 3,000,000 Malaya and Singapore 100,000 Philippines 500,000 Burma 170,000 Forced laborers in Southeast Asia 70,000, 30,000 interned non-Asian civilians Timor 60,000 Thailand and Pacific Islands 60,000. [235][236] Gruhl estimates POW deaths in Japanese captivity at 331,584. Detailed by country: China 270,000 Netherlands 8,500 Britain 12,433 Canada 273 Philippines 20,000 Australia 7,412 New Zealand 31 and the United States 12,935. [235] Out of 60,000 Indian Army POWs taken at the Fall of Singapore, 11,000 died in captivity. [237] There were 14,657 deaths among the total 130,895 western civilians interned by the Japanese due to famine and disease. [238][239]

Oppression in the Soviet Union

The total war dead in the USSR includes about 1 million [240] victims of Stalin's regime. The number of deaths in the Gulag labor camps increased as a result of wartime overcrowding and food shortages. [241] The Stalin regime deported the entire populations of ethnic minorities considered to be potentially disloyal. [242] Since 1990 Russian scholars have been given access to the Soviet-era archives and have published data on the numbers of people executed and those who died in Gulag labor camps and prisons. [243] The Russian scholar Viktor Zemskov puts the death toll from 1941 to 1945 at about 1 million based on data from the Soviet archives. [240] The Soviet-era archive figures on the Gulag labor camps has been the subject of a vigorous academic debate outside Russia since their publication in 1991. J. Arch Getty and Stephen G. Wheatcroft maintain that Soviet-era figures more accurately detail the victims of the Gulag labor camp system in the Stalin era. [244] [245] Robert Conquest and Steven Rosefielde have disputed the accuracy of the data from the Soviet archives, maintaining that the demographic data and testimonials by survivors of the Gulag labor camps indicate a higher death toll. [246] [247] Rosefielde posits that the release of the Soviet Archive figures is disinformation generated by the modern KGB. [248] Rosefielde maintains that the data from the Soviet archives is incomplete for example, he pointed out that the figures do not include the 22,000 victims of the Katyn massacre. [249] Rosefielde's demographic analysis puts the number of excess deaths due to Soviet repression at 2,183,000 in 1939–40 and 5,458,000 from 1941 to 1945. [250] Michael Haynes and Rumy Husun accept the figures from the Soviet archives as being an accurate tally of Stalin's victims, they maintain that the demographic data depicts an underdeveloped Soviet economy and the losses in World War Two rather than indicating a higher death toll in the Gulag labor camps. [251]

In August 2009 the Polish Institute of National Remembrance (IPN) researchers estimated 150,000 Polish citizens were killed due to Soviet repression. Since the collapse of the USSR, Polish scholars have been able to do research in the Soviet archives on Polish losses during the Soviet occupation. [174] Andrzej Paczkowski puts the number of Polish deaths at 90,000–100,000 of the 1.0 million persons deported and 30,000 executed by the Soviets. [252] In 2005 Tadeusz Piotrowski estimated the death toll in Soviet hands at 350,000. [253]

The Estonian State Commission for the Examination of Repressive Policies Carried out During the Occupations put civilian deaths due to the Soviet occupation in 1940–1941 at 33,900 including (7,800 deaths) of arrested people, (6,000) deportee deaths, (5,000) evacuee deaths, (1,100) people gone missing and (14,000) conscripted for forced labor. After the reoccupation by the U.S.S.R., 5,000 Estonians died in Soviet prisons during 1944–45. [254]

The following is a summary of the data from the Soviet archives:
Reported deaths for the years 1939–1945 1,187,783, including: judicial executions 46,350 deaths in Gulag labor camps 718,804 deaths in labor colonies and prisons 422,629. [255]

Deported to special settlements: (figures are for deportations to Special Settlements only, not including those executed, sent to Gulag labor camps or conscripted into the Soviet Army. Nor do the figures include additional deportations after the war).
Deported from annexed territories 1940–41 380,000 to 390,000 persons, including: Poland 309–312,000 Lithuania 17,500 Latvia 17,000 Estonia 6,000 Moldova 22,842. [256] In August 1941, 243,106 Poles living in the Special Settlements were amnestied and released by the Soviets. [257]
Deported during the War 1941–1945 about 2.3 million persons of Soviet ethnic minorities including: Soviet Germans 1,209,000 Finns 9,000 Karachays 69,000 Kalmyks 92,000 Chechens and Ingush 479,000 Balkars 37,000 Crimean Tatars 191,014 Meskhetian Turks 91,000 Greeks, Bulgarians and Armenians from Crimea 42,000 Ukrainian OUN members 100,000 Poles 30,000. [258]
A total of 2,230,500 [259] persons were living in the settlements in October 1945 and 309,100 deaths were reported in special settlements for the years 1941–1948. [260]

Russian sources list Axis prisoner of war deaths of 580,589 in Soviet captivity based on data in the Soviet archives (Germany 381,067 Hungary 54,755 Romania 54,612 Italy 27,683 Finland 403, and Japan 62,069). [261] However some western scholars estimate the total at between 1.7 and 2.3 million. [262]

Military casualties by branch of service

Country Branch of service Number served Killed/missing Wounded Prisoners of war Captured Percent killed
Germany Army [263] 13,600,000 4,202,000 30.9
Germany Air Force (including infantry units) [263] 2,500,000 433,000 17.3
Germany Navy [263] 1,200,000 138,000 11.5
Germany Waffen SS [263] 900,000 314,000 34.9
Germany Volkssturm and other Paramilitary Forces [263] 231,000
Germany Total (incl. conscripted foreigners) 18,200,000 5,318,000 6,035,000 11,100,000 29.2
Japan [264] [265] Army (1937–1945) 6,300,000 1,326,076 85,600 30,000 24.2
Japan Navy (1941–1945) 2,100,000 414,879 8,900 10,000 19.8
Japan POW dead after surrender [266] [267] [268] 381,000
Japan Imperial Japan Total 8,400,000 2,121,955 94,500 40,000 25.3
Italy Army 3,040,000 246,432 8.1
Italy Navy 259,082 [269] 31,347 12.0
Italy Air Force 130,000 [270] 13,210 10.2
Italy Partisan forces 80,000 [271] to 250,000 [272] [273] 35,828 14 to 44
Italy RSI forces 520,000 [274] 13,021 to 35,000 2.5 to 6.7
Italy Total Italian Forces 3,430,000 [275] [276] 319,207 [277] to 341,000 320,000 1,300,000 [278] 9.3 to 9.9
Soviet Union (1939–40) All branches of service [279] 136,945 205,924
Soviet Union (1941–45) All branches of service [280] 34,476,700 8,668,400 14,685,593 4,050,000 25.1
Soviet Union Conscripted Reservists not yet in active service (see note below) [281] 500,000
Soviet Union Civilians in POW camps (see note below) [282] 1,000,000 1,750,000
Soviet Union Paramilitary and Soviet partisan units [283] 400,000
Soviet Union Total Soviet Forces 34,476,700 10,725,345 14,915,517 5,750,000 31.1
British Empire and Commonwealth [59] [284] [285] All branches of service 17,843,000 580,497 475,000 318,000 3.3
United States [286] Army [287] 11,260,000 318,274 565,861 124,079 [287] [288] 2.8
United States Air Force (included with Army) [287] (3,400,000) (88,119) (17,360) 2.5
United States Navy 4,183,446 62,614 37,778 3,848 [288] 1.5
United States Maritime Service 215,000 9,400 12,000 663 [289] 4.5
United States Marine Corps 669,100 24,511 68,207 2,274 [290] [288] 3.7
United States Coast Guard [291] 241,093 1,917 0.8
United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps [292] 2,600 8 [293] 0.3
United States Coast and Geodetic Survey Corps [294] 3
United States Total U.S. Armed Forces 16,353,639 407,316 671,846 130,201 [295] [296] 2.5
  1. The number killed in action was 2,303,320 died of wounds, disease or accidents 500,165 11,000 sentenced to death by court martial 2,007,571 missing in action or unaccounted for after the war 25,000 suicides 12,000 unknown [297] 459,475 confirmed POW deaths, of whom 77,000 were in the custody of the U.S., UK and France and 363,000 in Soviet custody. POW deaths includes 266,000 in the post-war period after June 1945, primarily in Soviet captivity. [298]
  2. Rüdiger Overmans writes "It seems entirely plausible, while not provable, that one half of the 1.5 million missing on the eastern front were killed in action, the other half (700,000) however in fact died in Soviet custody". [299]
  3. Soviet sources list the deaths of 474,967 of the 2,652,672 German Armed Forces POW taken in the war. [300]
  1. Estimated total Soviet military war dead in 1941–45 on the Eastern Front (World War II) including missing in action, POWs and Soviet partisans range from 8.6 to 10.6 million. [283] There were an additional 127,000 war dead in 1939–40 during the Winter War with Finland. [301]
  2. The official figures for military war dead and missing in 1941–45 are 8,668,400 comprising 6,329,600 combat related deaths, 555,500 non-combat deaths. [302] 500,000 missing in action and 1,103,300 POW dead and another 180,000 liberated POWs who most likely emigrated to other countries. [303][304] Figures include Navy losses of 154,771. [305] Non-combat deaths include 157,000 sentenced to death by court martial. [306]
  3. Casualties in 1939–40 include the following dead and missing: Battle of Khalkhin Gol in 1939 (8,931), Invasion of Poland of 1939 (1,139), Winter War with Finland (1939–40) (126,875). [279]
  4. The number of wounded includes 2,576,000 permanently disabled. [307]
  5. The official Russian figure for total POW held by the Germans is 4,059,000 the number of Soviet POW who survived the war was 2,016,000, including 180,000 who most likely emigrated to other countries, and an additional 939,700 POW and MIA who were redrafted as territory was liberated. This leaves 1,103,000 POW dead. However, western historians put the number of POW held by the Germans at 5.7 million and about 3 million as dead in captivity (in the official Russian figures 1.1 million are military POW and remaining balance of about 2 million are included with civilian war dead). [303][308]
  6. Conscripted reservists is an estimate of men called up, primarily in 1941, who were killed in battle or died as POWs before being listed on active strength. Soviet and Russian sources classify these losses as civilian deaths. [282]
  1. Number served: UK and Crown Colonies (5,896,000) India-(British colonial administration) (2,582,000), Australia (993,000) Canada (1,100,000) New Zealand (295,000) South Africa (250,000). [309]
  2. Total war related deaths reported by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission: UK and Crown Colonies (383,786) India-(British colonial administration) (87,032), Australia (40,464) Canada (45,383) New Zealand (11,929) South Africa (11,903). [310]
  3. Total military dead for the United Kingdom alone (according to preliminary 1945 figures): 264,443. Royal Navy (50,758) British Army (144,079) Royal Air Force (69,606). [284][311]
  4. Wounded: UK and Crown Colonies (284,049) India-(British colonial administration) (64,354), Australia (39,803) Canada (53,174) New Zealand (19,314) South Africa (14,363). [284][285][312] : UK and Crown Colonies (180,488) India-(British colonial administration) (79,481) Australia (26,358) South Africa (14,750) Canada (9,334) New Zealand (8,415). [284][285][312]
  5. The Debt of Honour Register from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission lists the 1.7m men and women of the Commonwealth forces who died during the two world wars. [313]
  1. Battle deaths (including POWs who died in captivity, does not include those who died of disease and accidents) [287] were 292,131: Army 234,874 (including Army Air Forces 52,173) Navy 36,950 Marine Corps 19,733 and Coast Guard 574 (185,924 deaths occurred in the European/Atlantic theater of operations and 106,207 deaths occurred in Asia/Pacific theater of operations). [287][314]
  2. During World War II, 14,059 American POWs died in enemy captivity throughout the war (12,935 held by Japan and 1,124 held by Germany). [315]
  3. During World War II, 1.2 million African Americans served in the U.S. Armed Forces and 708 were killed in action. 350,000 American women served in the Armed Forces during World War II and 16 were killed in action. [316] During World War II, 26,000 Japanese-Americans served in the Armed Forces and over 800 were killed in action. [317]

Commonwealth military casualties

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) Annual Report 2014–2015 [59] is the source of the military dead for the British Empire. The war dead totals listed in the report are based on the research by the CWGC to identify and commemorate Commonwealth war dead. The statistics tabulated by the CWGC are representative of the number of names commemorated for all servicemen/women of the Armed Forces of the Commonwealth and former UK Dependencies, whose death was attributable to their war service. Some auxiliary and civilian organizations are also accorded war grave status if death occurred under certain specified conditions. For the purposes of CWGC the dates of inclusion for Commonwealth War Dead are 3 September 1939 to 31 December 1947.

  • No reliable statistics on Albania's wartime losses exist, but the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration reported about 30,000 Albanian war dead. Albanian official statistics claim somewhat higher losses. [17]
  • Jewish Holocaust victims totalled 200, these Jews were Yugoslav citizens resident in Albania. Jews of Albanian origin survived the Holocaust. [188]
  • The Australian War Memorial[18] reports 39,648 military deaths. This figure includes all personnel who died from war-related causes during 1939–47.
  • According to official statistics Australian battle casualties included 27,073 killed, died of wounds or died as POW wounded or injured in action were 23,477, these figures exclude non-battle casualties, such as deaths in non operational areas and deaths due to natural causes. [318][319]
  • The Australian government does not regard merchant mariners as military personnel and the 349 Australians killed in action while crewing merchant ships around the world, [320] are included in the total civilian deaths. Other civilian fatalities were due to air raids and attacks on passenger ships.
  • The preliminary data for Australian losses included 23,365 killed, 6,030 missing, 39,803 wounded, and 26,363 POWs. [312]
  • Military war dead reported by Rüdiger Overmans of 261,000 are included with Germany. [297]
  • Austrian civilian casualties were 99,700 victims of Nazi persecution and 24,000 killed in Allied air raids. The Austrian government provides the following information on human losses during the rule of the Nazis. "For Austria the consequences of the Nazi regime and the Second World War were disastrous: During this period 2,700 Austrians had been executed and more than 16,000 citizens murdered in the concentration camps. Some 16,000 Austrians were killed in prison, while over 67,000 Austrian Jews were deported to death camps, only 2,000 of them lived to see the end of the war. In addition, 247,000 Austrians lost their lives serving in the army of the Third Reich or were reported missing, and 24,000 civilians were killed during bombing" raids. [145]
  • Belgian government sources reported 12,000 military war dead which included (8,800 killed, 500 missing in action, 200 executed, 800 resistance movement fighters and 1,800 POWs) and civilian losses of 73,000 which included (32,200 deaths due to military operations, 3,400 executed, 8,500 political deportees, 5,000 workers in Germany and 27,000 Jewish Holocaust victims). [321]
  • Losses of about 10,000 in the German Armed Forces are not included in these figures, they are included with German military casualties. [322]
  • The Brazilian Expeditionary Force war dead were 510, [323] Navy losses in the Battle of the Atlantic were 492. [22]
  • Civilian losses due to attacks on merchant shipping were 470 merchant mariners and 502 passengers. [22]
  • Total Bulgarian military war dead were 18,500 including 6,671 battle deaths [20]
  • There were 3,000 civilian deaths in Allied air raids including 1,400 in the bombing of Sofia [23]
  • A Russian historian in a handbook of human losses in the 20th century has provided the following assessment of Bulgarian casualties:Military deaths: 2,000 military Axis occupation forces in Yugoslavia and Greece 10,124 dead as allies of the USSR and 10,000 Anti-Fascist Partisan deaths. [324] Regarding partisan and civilian casualties Erlikman notes "According to the official data of the royal government 2,320 were killed and 199 executed. The communists claim that 20–35,000 persons died. In reality, deaths were 10,000, including an unknown number of civilians." [324]
  • Military casualties with the pro-Japanese Burma National Army were 400 killed in action, 1,500 other deaths, 715 missing, 2,000 wounded and 800 POW [24]
  • Civilian deaths during the Japanese occupation of Burma totalled 250,000 110,000 Burmese, plus 100,000 Indian and 40,000 Chinese civilians in Burma. [24] estimates 70,000 Asian laborers died cruelly during the construction of the Burma Railway. [325]
  • The Canadian War Museum puts military losses at 42,000 plus 1,600 Merchant Navy deaths. An additional 700 military dead from Newfoundland are included with the U.K. [25]
  • Library and Archives Canada puts military losses at 44,090 (24,525 Army, 17,397 Air Force, 2,168 Navy.) [326]
  • The preliminary data for Canadian losses included killed 37,476, missing 1,843, wounded 53,174 and POW 9,045. [312]

^I China Sources for total Chinese war dead are divergent and range from 10 to 20 million as detailed below.

    has noted "So great was the devastation and suffering in China that in the end it is necessary to speak of uncertain 'millions' of deaths. Certainly, it is reasonable to think in general terms of approximately 10 million Chinese war dead, a total surpassed only by the Soviet Union." Dower cited a United Nations report from 1947 that put Chinese war dead at 9 million. [40]
  • According to Rana Mitter "the death toll on China is still being calculated, but conservative estimates number the dead at 14 million" [327] Rana Mitter cited the estimate of Chinese casualties by Odd Arne Westad of 2 million combat deaths and 12 civilian deaths, Mitter also cited a Chinese study published in 2006 that put the death toll in the war at 8 to 10 million. [328]
  • An academic study of the Chinese population concluded that "a conservative estimate would put total human casualties directly caused by the war of 1937–1945 at between 15,000,000 and 20,000,000" [31] This study cited a Chinese Nationalist source that put total civilian casualties at 2,144,048 =(1,073,496 killed 237,319 wounded 71,050 captured by Japanese 335,934 killed in Japanese air raids 426,249 wounded in air raids), military casualties at 6,750,000 in 1937–1943 (1,500,000 killed 3,000,000 wounded 750,000 missing 1,500,000 deaths caused by sickness, etc. [329] In addition 960,000 collaborator forces and 446,736 Communist were killed or wounded [329]
  • The official Chinese government (communist) statistic for China's civilian and military casualties in the Second Sino-Japanese War in 1937–1945 is 20 million dead and 15 million wounded. [10]
  • Chinese scholar Bianxiu Yue has published a study of China's population losses in the Second Sino-Japanese War. He put total Chinese losses at 20.6 million dead and 14.2 million injured. [330]
  • Official Nationalist Chinese casualty figures were: killed 1,319,958 wounded 1,716,335 and missing 130,126, [331] An academic study of the Chinese population concluded that these figures are "unreasonably low" and "highly suspect" [332] 's estimate of total war dead in 1937–45 is 19,605,000. [29] Military dead: 3,400,000 (including 400,000 POW) Nationalist/Communist, and 432,000 collaborator forces. Civilian war deaths: 3,808,000 killed in fighting and 3,549,000 victims of Japanese war crimes (not including an additional 400,000 POWs). Other deaths: Repression by Chinese Nationalists 5,907,000 (3,081,000 military conscripts who died due to mistreatment and 2,826,000 civilian deaths caused by Nationalist government, including the 1938 Yellow River flood) political repression by Chinese Communists 250,000 and by Warlords 110,000. Additional deaths due to famine were 2,250,000.
  • Werner Gruhl estimates China's total war losses at 15,554,000, Civilians :12,392,000 including (8,191,000) due to the Japanese brutality and military dead 3,162,000. [30]

^K Czechoslovakia

  • According to the Czechoslovak State Statistical Office the population at 1/1/1939 (within post war 1945–1992 borders) was 14,612,000. [32] The population in 1939 included about 3.3 million ethnic Germans that were expelled after the war or were German military casualties during the war.
  • Russian demographer Boris Urlanis estimated Czechoslovak war dead of 340,000 persons, 46,000 military and 294,000 civilians. [34]
  • A Russian historian in a handbook of human losses in the 20th century has provided the following assessment of Czechoslovak casualties: [33]
    35,000 Military deaths: including: killed during 1938 occupation (171) Czechoslovak Forces with the Western Allies (3,220) Czechoslovak military units on Eastern front (4,570) Slovak Republic Axis forces (7,000) Czechs in German forces (5,000), partisan losses 10,000 and (5,000) POWs.
    320,000 Civilian deaths: (10,000) in bombing and shelling (22,000) executed (285,000 in camps including 270,000 Jews, 8,000 Roma) and (3,000) forced laborers in Germany. [33]
  • The Danish Ministry of Education has detailed Denmark's losses in the war of about 8,000 persons including 2,685 killed in Denmark in bombing raids, resistance fighters and those executed by the Germans and 3,000 who died outside Denmark including (2,000 merchant seamen, 63 serving with Allied forces, 600 in German camps, 400 workers in Germany). In addition 2,000 Danish volunteers were killed serving in the Germany military. [35]
  • The United Nations reported in 1947 that "about 30,000 Europeans and 300,000 Indonesian internees and forced laborers died during the occupation." They reported, "The total number who were killed by the Japanese, or who died from, hunger, disease and lack of medical attention is estimated at 3,000,000 for Java alone, 1,000,000 for the Outer Islands. Altogether 35,000 of the 240,000 Europeans died most of them were men of working age." [333] cited the 1947 UN report that estimated 4 million famine and forced labor dead during the Japanese Occupation of Indonesia. [40] estimated the civilian death toll due to the war and Japanese occupation at 3,000,000 Indonesians and 30,000 interned Europeans. [334]
  • A discussion of the famine in Java during 1944–45, leads Pierre van der Eng to conclude that 2.4 million Indonesians perished. [39]
  • Dutch Military losses in Asia were 2,500 killed in the 1942 Dutch East Indies campaign[335]
  • Data from the Netherlands Institute of War Documentation puts the number of Dutch POW captured by the Japanese at 37,000 of whom 8,500 died. [336]
  • The Japanese interned 105,530 Dutch civilians in the East Indies, of whom 13,567 died. [336]
  • Egyptian military casualties were 1,125 killed and 1,308 wounded. The British used the Egyptian army to guard lines of communication and to clear minefields. [337]
  • Estonia's human losses due to the Soviet and German occupation of Estonia from 1940 to 1945 were approximately 67,000 persons based on a study by Estonian State Commission on Examination of Policies of Repression. [43][254] dead and missing of 43,900 including (7,800) arrested persons who were murdered or perished in the Soviet Union (6,000) deported persons who perished in the Soviet Union (24,000) mobilized persons who perished in the Soviet Union and (1,100) persons who went missing) [254]
  • Losses during the 1941–1944 Occupation of Estonia by Nazi Germany were 23,040, including (7,800) executed by Nazis and (1,040) killed in prison camps. (200) people died in forced labor in Germany. (800) deaths in Soviet bombing raids against Estonian cities, (1,000) killed in Allied air raids on Germany and (1,000) perished at sea while attempting to flee the country in 1944–45. (10,000) Estonians were war dead in the Germany armed forces and (1,000) surrendered POW were executed by the Soviets. [338] Included in the above figures is the genocide of (243) Roma people and (929) Jews [339][254]
  • After the reoccupation by the USSR, 16,000 Estonians died in Soviet repressions during 1944–53. [340][254]
  • Total deaths from 1940 to 1953 due to the war and the Soviet occupation were approximately 83,000 persons (7.3% of the population). [43][254]
  • Total military and civilian dead in the East African Campaign were 100,000 including 15,000 native military with Italian forces. [44]
  • Small and Singer put the military losses at 5,000. [341]
  • The deaths of African soldiers conscripted by Italy are not included with the Italian war dead. The Italian Ministry of Defense estimated 10,000 deaths of native soldiers in East African Campaign[342]
  • These totals do not include losses in the Italian Second Italo-Abyssinian War and Italian occupation from 1935 to 1941. The official Ethiopian government report lists 760,000 deaths due to the war and Italian occupation from 1935 to 1941. [343] However, R.J. Rummel estimates 200,000 Ethiopians and Libyans were killed by the Italians from the 1920s–1941 "based on Discovery TV Cable Channel Program 'Timewatch'", which aired January 17, 1992. [344]
  • Military dead include killed and missing from the Winter War and Continuation War with the Soviet Union between 1939 and 1944, as well as action against German forces in the Lapland War 1944–45. Winter War (1939–40) losses were approximately 27,000 military deaths, Continuation War (1941–44) were 66,000, and 1,000 in Lapland War (1944–45). [46]
  • The Finnish National Archives website's database lists the names of the 94,676 Finnish war dead between 1939 and 1945. The database includes all servicemen and women who died during being listed in the Finnish army, navy or the air force. It also includes foreign volunteers who died during their service in Finland and Finnish SS-men who died while serving in the German army. The database contains civilians in case they have been buried at a military cemetery. That was sometimes done if the deceased was, for example, an ammunition worker, air raid victim or a civilian worker who for some other reason died because of the war. Some parishes continued burying in the Second World War military cemeteries up to the 1980s. [45]
  • Soviet sources list the deaths of 403 of the 2,377 Finnish POW taken in the War. [345]
  • 1,407 Finnish volunteers served in the Finnish Volunteer Battalion of the Waffen-SS and 256 were killed in action. [citation needed]
  • Civilian war dead were approximately 2,100, [46][47] due in part to the bombing of Helsinki in World War II.
  • French military war of 210,000 dead include 150,000 regular forces (1939–40 Battle of France 92,000 1940–45 on Western Front (World War II) 58,000) 20,000 French resistance fighters and 40,000 POWs in Germany. [346] Civilian losses of 390,000 include: 60,000 killed in allied (mainly American) bombardments, [347] 60,000 in land fighting, 30,000 murdered in executions, 60,000 political deportees, 40,000 workers in Germany, 100,000 victims of Nazi genocide (Jews & Roma) and 40,000 French nationals in the German Armed forces who were conscripted in Alsace-Lorraine,) [346]
  • The French Ministry of Defense puts French military war dead at 200,000. [348] They note that these losses include combatants from the French colonies as well as metropolitan France regular soldiers and members of the resistance. [349]
  • Vadim Erlikman, a Russian historian, estimates losses of Africans in the French Colonial Forces at about 22,000. [350]
  • 752 civilians were killed during the U.S. air attacks on French Tunisia in 1942–43. [351] estimates the deaths of 20,000 anti-Fascist Spanish refugees resident in France who were deported to Nazi camps, these deaths are included with French civilian casualties. [195]

^R French Indochina

    estimated 1.0 million deaths due to Vietnamese Famine of 1945 during Japanese occupation. [264] estimates the civilian death toll due to the war and Japanese occupation at 1,500,000. [334]
  • Vietnamese sources put the number of deaths during the 1944–45 famine in North Vietnam at between 1 and 2 million. [48]

^S Germany The following notes summarize German casualties, the details are presented in German casualties in World War II.

  • The 1939 Population for Germany within 1937 borders File:DR1937.1.png was 69.3 million persons [49]
  • Foreign nationals of German ancestry in the countries of East-Central Europe were subject to conscription by Nazi Germany during the war. According to a 1958 report by the West German Statistisches Bundesamt (Federal Statistical Office) the pre war ethnic German population in eastern Europe was 7,423,300 persons (249,500 Baltic states & Memel 380,000 Danzig 1,371,000 Poland (1939 Borders) [11] 3,477,000 Czechoslovakia 623,000 Hungary 536,800 Yugoslavia and 786,000 Romania). [352][353] These German estimates are disputed. A recent analysis by a Polish scholar found that "Generally speaking, the German estimates. are not only highly arbitrary, but also clearly tendentious in presentation of the German losses". He maintains that the German government figures from 1958 overstated the total number of the ethnic Germans living in Poland prior to war as well as the total civilian deaths due to the post war expulsions. [354]
  • (1949) The West German Statistisches Bundesamt (Federal Statistical Office)estimated total war dead of 5,483,000 (3,250,000)military (500,000) civilians killed in bombing raids and the land campaign (1,533,000) deaths in the expulsions from Poland and (200,000) victims of Nazi racial, religious or political persecution. These figures are for Germany in 1937 borders File:DR1937.1.png and do not include Austria or foreign nationals of German ancestry in eastern Europe. [355]
  • (1953) The German economist de:Bruno Gleitze from the German Institute for Economic Research estimated total war dead of 6,000,000 (3,100,000)military (600,000) civilians killed in bombing raids and the land campaign (800,000) deaths to expulsion from Poland (300,000) victims of Nazi racial, religious or political persecution, (1,200,000) increase in natural deaths due to the war. These figures are for Germany in 1937 borders File:DR1937.1.png and do not include Austria or foreign nationals of German ancestry in eastern Europe. [356]
  • (1956) The West German Statistisches Bundesamt (Federal Statistical Office)estimated total war dead of 5,650,000 = (3,760,000)military (430,000)civilians killed in bombing raids and the land campaign (1,260,000) deaths to expulsion from Poland and (200,000) victims of Nazi racial, religious or political persecution. These figures are for Germany in 1937 borders File:DR1937.1.png and do not include Austria or foreign nationals of German ancestry in eastern Europe. [154]
  • (1961) The West German government issued a statement listing a total of 7,032,800 war dead: (military dead 3,760,000 in prewar 1937 borders File:DR1937.1.png and 432,000 foreign nationals of German ancestry in eastern Europe) (430,000 civilians killed in bombing raids and the land campaign in prewar 1937 borders) (300,000 victims of Nazi racial, religious or political persecution including 170,000 Jews) (expulsion dead 1,224,900 in prewar 1937 borders and 885,900 foreign nationals of German ancestry in eastern Europe) These figures do not include Austria. [357] The Statistisches Jahrbuch für die Bundesrepublik Deutschland 1961, listed Austrian casualties as 250,000 military dead and 24,000 civilians killed in bombing raids [144]
  • (1984) A German demographic study estimated 6,900,000 deaths caused by the war in prewar 1937 borders File:DR1937.1.png. (3,800,000)military and (3,100,000) civilians. [49]
  • (1991) A German demographic study estimated 5,450,000 to 5,600,000 war dead (4,300,000 military dead 430,000 civilians killed in bombing raids and the land campaign and 882,000 deaths due to expulsions from Poland). These figures are for Germany in 1937 borders File:DR1937.1.png and do not include Austria or foreign nationals of German ancestry in eastern Europe [358]
  • (1998) A German demographic study estimated 5,500,000 to 6,900,000 war dead. These figures vary because of the shift of borders between 1937 and 1940. [359]
  • (2005) The German government issued a report listing total war dead of 7,375,800 (3,100,000 soldiers killed 1,200,000 soldiers missing 500,000 civilians killed in bombing raids 2,251,500 civilian victims of expulsions and deportations 24,300 Austrian civilians killed and 300,000 victims of Nazi racial, religious or political persecution. These figures include Austria and foreign nationals of German ancestry in eastern Europe.) [360]

German military casualties

  • (1945) The casualty figures compiled by the German High Command (OKW) as of January 31, 1945 put total military losses at 2,001,399 dead, 1,902,704 missing and POW held by Allies and 4,429,875 wounded. [361]
  • (1946) The Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. estimated German military dead at 3,250,000. [362]
  • (1947) The combined staff of the U.K., Canada and the U.S. prepared "A study of the employment of German manpower from 1933–1945". They estimated German casualties up until April 30, 1945 at 2,230,324 dead, 2,870,404 missing and POW held by Allies. [363][364]
  • (1960) The West German government issued figures of the war losses. Total military dead were put at 4,440,000 (3,760,000 in prewar 1937 borders File:DR1937.1.png, 430,000 foreign nationals of German ancestry in eastern Europe and 250,000 Austria). [144]
  • (1974) The Maschke Commission found that about 1.2 million German military personnel reported as missing more than likely died as POWs, including 1.1 million in the USSR. [365]
  • (1985) The Deutsche Dienststelle (WASt) has been responsible for providing information for the families of those military personnel who were killed or went missing in the war, they do not compile figures of the total war dead. By 1985 they had identified 3.1 million confirmed dead and 1.2 million missing and presumed dead. [364] The Deutsche Dienststelle (WASt) reported the same figures in 2005. [360]
  • (1993) The Russian historian Grigoriy Krivosheyev puts the losses of the "Vlasovites, Balts and Muslims etc." in German service at 215,000 [366] According to Krivosheev, 450,600 German POWs died in Soviet captivity (356,700 in camps and 93,900 in transit). [367]
  • (2000) Rüdiger Overmans, an associate of the German Armed Forces Military History Research Office, [368] provided a reassessment of German military war dead based on a statistical survey of German military personnel records at the Deutsche Dienststelle (WASt). The Overmans research project was financed by a private foundation and published with the endorsement of the German Armed Forces Military History Research Office of the Federal Ministry of Defense (Germany). The study found that the statistics compiled by German military during the war were incomplete and did not provide an accurate accounting of casualties. The research by Overmans concluded that German military dead and missing were 5,318,000 (4,456,000 in prewar 1937 borders File:DR1937.1.png and 539,000 foreign nationals of German ancestry in eastern Europe, 261,000 Austria and 63,000 foreign nationals from western European nations). The Overmans study did not include Soviet citizens in German service. [51] The details of the Overmans study are presented in German casualties in World War II. In a separate study, Overmans concluded that the actual death toll of German POWs was about 1.1 million men (including 1.0 million in the USSR). [369]
  1. ^S2 German civilian casualties are combined from (a) air raid dead, (b) racial, religious and political persecution and (c) casualties due to expulsion of the Germans from east-central Europe: (a) Official German and Austrian sources from the 1950s cite 434,000 air raid dead (410,000 in Germany, 24,000 in) Austria [370] The figure cited by Overy (2013) is 353,000 air raid dead. [371] (b) The number of victims of Nazi persecution in Germany and Austria (victims of the Nazi euthanasia program) is estimated at close to 400,000 (300,000 in Germany, 100,000 in Austria). [372][145] According to the German government the euthanasia accounted for an additional 200,000 victims. [373] (c) The number of victims of the flight and expulsion of Germans (1944–50) is contentious. Estimates in the 1960s cited a total of 2,111,000 deaths, [374][375] and the German government as of 2005 still maintained a number of "ca. 2 million". [376] Direct civilian deaths due to the expulsion of Germans is estimated at 600,000 by the German Federal Archive (1974) [377] and at 100,000 to 200,000 by Haar (2009). [378] The substantial difference of close to 1.5 million comprises people whose fate is uncertain in the reported German statistics. The German government maintains that these deaths are due to famine and disease during the flight and expulsion of Germans (1944–50) [379] This was disputed by historian Ingo Haar who maintains that the difference classified as missing is due to a decline in births, the assimilation of ethnic Germans in Eastern Europe after the war, the understatement of military casualties and murdered Jews. [378]

Civilian casualties in air raids

1- The summary report of September 30, 1945 put total casualties for the entire period of the war at 305,000 killed and 780,000 wounded. [380]
2- The section Effects of Strategic Bombing on the German War Economy of October 31, 1945 put the losses at 375,000 killed and 625,000 wounded. [380]
3- The section The Effect of Bombing on Health and Medical Care in Germany of January 1947 made a preliminary calculated estimate of air raid dead at 422,000. Regarding overall losses, they concluded that "It was further estimated that an additional number, approximately 25% of known deaths in 1944–45, were still unrecovered and unrecorded. With an addition of this estimate of 1944–45 unrecorded deaths, the final estimation gave in round numbers a half a million German civilians killed by Allied aerial attacks." [380]

  • (1956) A German government study put German air war dead at 635,000 500,000 killed by allied strategic bombing and 135,000 refugees killed during the evacuations from eastern Europe in 1945. These figures include 593,000 Germany in 1937 borders File:DR1937.1.png (410,000 civilians, 32,000 foreigners and POW and 23,000 military and Police killed in strategic bombing and 127,000 civilians and 1,000 military and Police refugees fleeing on the eastern front). There were an additional 42,000 dead in Austria and the annexed territories (26,000 civilians, 7,000 foreigners and POW and 1,000 military and Police were killed in strategic bombing and 7,000 refugees fleeing on the eastern front). [381][382][383]
  • Historian Richard Overy in 2014 published a study of the air war The Bombers and the Bombed: Allied Air War Over Europe 1940–1945 in which he disputed the official German figures of air war dead. He estimated total air raid deaths at 353,000. Overy maintains that the German estimates are based on incorrect speculations for losses during the last three months of the war when there was a gap in the record keeping system. He points out that the figures for air raid dead in the last three months of the war were estimated in the West German figures from 1956 at 300,000 people which he believes is not plausible. The official figures include an inflated total of 60,000 in the Bombing of Dresden and the inclusion of refugees fleeing westward. [148]

Civilians killed in 1945 military campaign

  • The West German government in made a rough estimate in 1956 of 20,000 civilians killed during the 1945 military campaign in current post war German borders, not including the former German territories in Poland. [144] However, there is a more recent estimate of 22,000 civilians killed during the fighting in Berlin only. [384]

Deaths due to Nazi political, racial and religious persecution

  • The West German government put the number of Germans killed by the Nazi political, racial and religious persecution at 300,000 (including 170,000 German Jews). [360][385]
  • A 2003 report by the German Federal Archive put the total murdered during the Action T4Euthanasia program at over 200,000 persons. [386]

Expulsion and flight of ethnic Germans The following notes summarize German expulsion casualties, the details are presented in the flight and expulsion of Germans (1944–1950), the forced labor of Germans in the Soviet Union' and the Demographic estimates of the flight and expulsion of Germans. The figures for these losses are currently disputed, estimates of the total deaths range from 500,000 to 2,000,000. The death toll attributable to the flight and expulsions was estimated at 2.2 million by the West German government in 1958. [387] German government reports which were released to the public in 1987 and 1989 have caused some historians in Germany to put the actual total at 500,000 to 600,000. [388] English language sources put the death toll at 2 to 3 million based on the West German government statistical analysis of the 1950s. [389] [390] [391] [392] [393] [394] [395] [396] [397] [398]

  • (1950) The West German government made a preliminary estimate of 3.0 million civilian deaths in the expulsions.(1.5 million in prewar 1937 Germany File:Oder-neisse.gif and 1.5 million foreign nationals of German ancestry in eastern Europe) [399]
  • (1954–1961) The Schieder commission made preliminary estimates the civilian death toll in the expulsions of about 2.3 million persons, broken out as follows: 2,000,000 Poland (in post-war borders) and the Kaliningrad Oblast of Russia 225,600 Czechoslovakia 69,000 Yugoslavia 40,000 Romania 6,000 Hungary. These preliminary figures were superseded with the publication of the 1958 West German demographic study. [400]
  • (1958) A West German government demographic study estimated 2,225,000 civilians died during the flight during the war, post war expulsions and the Forced labor of Germans in the Soviet Union, broken out as follows: Germany in 1937 borders File:Oder-neisse.gif 1,339,000 Poland in 1939 borders [12] 185,000 Danzig 83,000 Czechoslovakia 273,000 Yugoslavia 136,000 Romania 101,000 Hungary 57,000 Baltic States 51,000. [144][387]
  • (1965), The search service of the German churches and Red Cross was able to confirm 473,013 civilian deaths in eastern Europe due to the expulsions, broken out as follows: 367,392 Poland (in post war borders) 18,889 Sudetenland 64,779 Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and Yugoslavia 9,064 Baltic States and 12,889 Germans resettled in Poland. There were an additional 1,905,991 unsolved cases of persons reported missing. The results of this survey were kept secret until 1987. [401][402][403][404][405]
  • (1966) The West German Federal Ministry for Expellees, Refugees and War Victims issued a statement that put the number of expulsion dead at 2,111,000 (1,225,000 Germany in 1937 borders File:Oder-neisse.gif and 886,000 foreign nationals of German ancestry in eastern Europe) [375][374]
  • (1974) A study by the German Federal Archive estimated a death toll of 600,000 of civilians in the expulsions and deportations to the USSR. (400,000 in Poland (in post war borders) and the Kaliningrad Oblast of Russia 130,000 in Czechoslovakia and 80,000 in Yugoslavia.) The authors of the report maintain that these figures cover only those deaths caused by violent acts and deaths in forced labor and internment camps. They also stated that their figures do not include deaths due to malnutrition and disease. This report was kept secret and not published until 1989. [406]
  • (1985) A demographic analysis which has the support of the German government, estimated 2,020,000 civilians died during the post war expulsions and the forced labor of Germans in the Soviet Union broken out as follows: (870,000Germany in 1937 borders east of the Oder–Neisse line 108,000 Germans resettled in Poland during the war 174,000 Poland in 1939 borders [13] 40,000 Danzig 220,000 Czechoslovakia 106,000 Yugoslavia 75,000 Romania 84,000 Hungary 33,000 Baltic States 310,000 USSR) [407]
  • The German government currently maintains that 2.0 million civilians perished in the flight and expulsion from Eastern Europe. In 2006, Christoph Bergner, Secretary of State in Germany's Bureau for Inner Affairs maintainted that the figure of 2 million deaths is correct because it includes the deaths from malnutrition and disease of those civilians subject to the expulsions. [408]
  • A 2005 report by the German government search service put the death toll at 2,251,500, they did not provide details of the figure [409] The current position in 2015 of the German government Federal Agency for Civic Education is that 2 million civilians perished in the expulsions, they cited as the source for this figure Gerhard Reichling, Die deutschen Vertriebenen in Zahlen. [410]

German government figures of 2.0 to 2.5 million civilian deaths due to expulsions have been disputed by scholars since the publication of the results of the German church search service survey and the report by the German Federal Archive. [411] [412] [413] [414] [415] [416] [417] [418]

  • German historian Rüdiger Overmans (2000) published a study of German military casualties, this project did not investigate civilian expulsion deaths. [419] Overmans did however provide a critical analysis of the previous studies by German government of the human losses in the expulsions. Overmans maintains that these studies lack adequate support, he maintains that a figure of 500,000 expulsion dead is credible and that there are more arguments for the lower figures rather than the higher figures, he believes that new research is needed to determine the correct balance of the human losses in the expulsions. According to Overmans the figure of 1.9 million missing persons reported by the search service is unreliable as it includes military dead and persons of dubious German ancestry who were not expelled after the war but remained in eastern Europe, also the figures for expellees living in the GDR was understated. [413][414][420]
  • Historian Ingo Haar In 2006 controversially disputed the official figures in an article published on 14 November 2006 in the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung. [411] Haar argued for a total of 500,000 to 600,000 victims. [411][413][414][415][416][417][418]Christoph Bergner, Secretary of state in the German Federal Ministry of the Interior, argued in an interview on 29 November against revising the official count of 2.0 to 2.5 million victims, and that the controversy was based on what he maintains is misunderstanding, as he stated that Haar's figures represent the number violent deaths, while the official figures include the much more numerous deaths due to exhaustion, disease and starvation which occurred in the wake of the expulsions and deportations. [379] Haar has published three articles in academic journals during 2006–2009 which covered the background of the research by the West German government on the expulsions. According to Haar the numbers were set too high for postwar political reasons. Haar argues that the government figure of two million is overstated. He maintains the total number of known German deaths east of the Oder–Neisse line and the ethnic Germans in East Central Europe lies between 500,000 and 600,000, including those deported to the Soviet Union. Haar argues that the number reported missing includes a decline in births, persons of dubious German nationality, military deaths and murdered Jews. [378][416][417][418]
  • German historians Hans Henning Hahn and Eva Hahn (2010) have published a detailed study of the flight and expulsions. They maintain that figures related to flight and expulsion have been manipulated by the German government due to political pressure. The Hahn's believe the official German figure of 2 million deaths is an historical myth, lacking foundation. They place the ultimate blame for the mass flight and expulsion on the wartime policy of the Nazis in Eastern Europe. The Hahn's maintain that the 473,013 confirmed deaths is a correct accounting of the losses. Most of these losses occurred during the Nazi organized flight and evacuation during the war, and the forced labor of Germans in the Soviet Union they point out that there are 80,522 confirmed deaths in the postwar internment camps. [412]
  • The German Historical Museum puts the number of deaths due to the expulsions at 600,000, they maintain that the figure of 2 million deaths in the previous government studies cannot be supported. [421]
  • A joint Czech–German Historical Commission determined that between 15,000 and 30,000 Germans perished in the expulsions. The commission found that the demographic estimates by the German government of 220,000 to 270,000 civilian deaths due to expulsions from Czechoslovakia were based on faulty data. The Commission determined that the demographic estimates by the German government counted as missing 90,000 ethnic Germans assimilated into the Czech population military deaths were understated and that the 1950 census data used to compute the demographic losses was unreliable. [422]
  • Polish historian Bernadetta Nitschke has provided a summary of the research in Poland on German losses due to the flight and resettlement of the Germans from Poland, not including other eastern European countries. Nitschke contrasted the estimate of 1.6 million deaths in Poland reported by the West German government in the 1950s with the figure of 400,000 (in Poland only) that was disclosed in 1989. According to Nitschke most of the civilian deaths occurred during the flight and evacuation during the war, the deportation to the U.S.S.R. for forced labor, and after the resettlement in the Soviet occupation zone in post war Germany. [423]
  • Polish historians Witold Sienkiewicz and Grzegorz Hryciuk believe that between 600,000 and 1.2 million German civilians perished during the wartime evacuations. The main causes of death were cold, stress, and bombing. [424] According to Sienkiewicz and Hryciuk between 200,000 and 250,000 persons were held in postwar Polish internment camps and between 15,000 and 60,000 perished. [425]

Post war increase in natural deaths

  • German government figures of war losses do not include the increase in natural deaths with war casualties. The German economist Bruno Gleitze from the German Institute for Economic Research estimated that there were 1,200,000 excess deaths caused by the harsh conditions in Germany during and after the war. Gleitze estimated 400,000 excess deaths during the war and 800,000 in post war Germany [356] The West German Statistisches Bundesamt put the actual deaths in 1939–46 due to natural causes at 7,130,000 persons, the demographic study by Peter Marschalck estimated the expected deaths in peacetime due to natural causes of 5,900,000 persons, a difference of 1,230,000 excess deaths. [49] In Allied-occupied Germany the shortage of food was an acute problem in 1946–47. The average kilocalorie intake per day was only 1,600 to 1,800, an amount insufficient for long-term health. [426]
  • The Greek government is planning to claim reparations from Germany for war damages. [427][428]
  • The Greek National Council for Reparations from Germany reports the following casualties during the Axis occupation of Greece during World War II. Military dead 35,077, including: 13,327 killed in the Greco-Italian War of 1940–41 1,100 with the Greek Armed Forces in the Middle East, and 20,650 partisan deaths. Civilian deaths 171,845, including: 56,225 executed by Axis forces 105,000 dead in German concentration camps (including Jews) 7,120 deaths due to bombing 3,500 merchant marine dead 600,000 Famine deaths during the war [52]
  • A study published by Cambridge University Press in 2010 estimated that Greece suffered approximately 300,000 deaths during the Axis occupation as a result of famine and malnutrition [53]
  • Gregory Frumkin, who was throughout its existence editor of the Statistical Year-Book of the League of Nations gave the following assessment of Greek losses in the war. He points out that "the data on Greek war losses are frequently divergent and even inconsistent". His estimates for Greek losses are as follows: the war dead included 20,000 military deaths in the Greco-Italian War of 1940–41, 60,000 non-Jewish civilians, 20,000 non-Jewish deportees, 60,000 Jews and 140,000 famine deaths during the Axis occupation of Greece during World War II. [429]
  • In campaigns against the Greek Resistance the German occupiers engaged in a policy of reprisals against civilians, the most notorious were the Distomo massacre and the Massacre of Kalavryta. According to the German historian Dieter Pohl at least 25,000 but perhaps even more civilians were killed in mass executions. Pohl maintains that about 1 million persons (14% of the population) were displaced in the campaigns against the Greek Resistance because their homes were destroyed or they were expelled and became refugees. [430]
  • Guam was a United States administered territory during World War Two. The local Chamorro people were granted U.S. citizenship in the Guam Organic Act of 1950.
  • According to an official U.S. report during the Battle of Guam on December 8–10, 4 Guam local military personnel and 3 Guam residents were killed in the battle. [431] However, Japanese sources reported 40–50 of the local population killed. [432]
  • Between 1,000 [54] to 2,000 [55] Chamorro people were killed or otherwise died of abuse and mistreatment during the Japanese occupation of Guam from December 10, 1941 until August 10, 1944, including an estimated 600 civilians who were massacred by the Japanese during the Battle of Guam (1944). [55]
  • Tamás Stark of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences has provided the following assessment of Hungarian losses.
    Military losses were 300,000 to 310,000 including 110–120,000 killed in action and 200,000 in Soviet POW and labor camps and 20,000–25,000 Jews in Hungarian military labor service. [56] About 200,000 were from Hungary in the 1938 borders and 100,000 men who were conscripted from the annexed territories of Greater Hungary in Slovakia, Romania and Yugoslavia. [57]
    Civilian dead within the borders of present-day Hungary included 220,000 Hungarian Jews killed in the Holocaust and 44,000 deaths from military operations [57] The Jewish population of Hungary in the 1941 borders was 764,000 (445,000 in the 1938 borders and 319,000 in the annexed territories). Holocaust deaths in the 1938 borders was 200,000 not including 20,000 men conscripted as forced labor for the military. [185] During the Soviet occupation of Hungary, about 700,000 men were deported to Soviet Union, only 300,000 retrned to Hungary. [433]
  • India, which was a British colony during World War II, included the present-day India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. India under British administration is sometimes referred to as the British Raj.
  • The war dead of 87,029 listed here are those reported by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, [59] recruited from Nepal fought with the British Indian Army during the Second World War. Gurkha casualties with the British Indian Army can be broken down as: 8,985 killed or missing and 23,655 wounded. [434]
  • The preliminary 1945 data for Indian losses was, killed 24,338, missing 11,754, wounded 64,354 and POW 79,489. [312] Out of 60,000 Indian Army POWs taken at the Fall of Singapore, 11,000 died in captivity. [237]
  • The pro-Japanese Indian National Army lost 2,615 dead and missing. [24]
    (2007): "[E]stimates of mortality in [the Bengal famine of 1943] range from 0.8 million to 3.8 million today the scholarly consensus is about 2.1 million (Hall-Matthews 2005 Sen 1981 Maharatna 1996)." [60] estimated 1.5 million civilian deaths in the Bengal famine of 1943. [435] currently the Lamont University Professor at Harvard University has recently estimated that a figure of 2.0 to 2.5 million fatalities may be more accurate. [436]
  • Losses during Anglo-Iraqi War and UK occupation in 1941. [62]
  • According to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, 150–180 Jews were killed in the Farhud pogrom in 1941. [63]
  • Although neutral, an estimated 70,000 of the Irish Free State's citizens volunteered in the British military service. Some 40 Irish citizens were killed by accidental bombings in Dublin and Carlow, and 33 Irish merchant seamen were killed in U-boat attacks by Germany. [65][437]
  • The Italian government issued an accounting of the war dead in 1957, they broke out the losses before and after the Armistice with Italy: military dead and missing 291,376 (204,376 pre-armistice and 87,030 post armistice). Civilian dead and missing at 153,147 (123,119 post armistice) including in air raids 61,432 (42,613 post armistice). [438] A brief summary of data from this report can be found online. [439]

Military war dead
Confirmed dead were 159,957 (92,767 pre-armistice, 67,090 post armistice) [440]
Missing and presumed dead(including POWs) were 131,419 (111,579 pre-armistice, 19,840 post armistice) [441]
Losses by branch of service: Army 201,405 Navy 22,034 Air Force 9,096 Colonial Forces 354 Chaplains 91 Fascist militia
10,066 Paramilitary 3,252 not indicated 45,078. [442]
Military Losses by theatre of war: Italy 74,725 (37,573 post armistice) France 2,060 (1,039 post armistice)
Germany 25,430 (24,020 post armistice) Greece, Albania, and Yugoslavia 49,459 (10,090 post armistice)
USSR 82,079 (3,522 post armistice) Africa 22,341 (1,565 post armistice), at sea 28,438 (5,526 post armistice)
other and unknown 6,844 (3,695 post armistice). [443]

  • Military losses in Italy after the September 1943 Armistice with Italy, included 5,927 with the Allies, 17,488 Italian resistance movement fighters in Italy and 13,000 RSI Italian Social Republic Fascist forces. [444]
  • Included in the losses are 64,000 victims of Nazi reprisals and genocide including 30,000 POWs and 8,500 Jews. [195]
  • According to Martin Gilbert, Jewish Holocaust victims totaled 8,000 in Italy and 562 in the Italian colony of Libya [190] have revised the military deaths to 319,207, of which 246,432 belonged to the Army, 31,347 to the Navy, 13,210 to the Air Force, 15,197 to the Partisan formations and 13,021 to the armed forces of the Italian Social Republic. The casualties recorded for Italy do not include Italians who were born in Italian colonies and possessions (ethnic Italians in Libya, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia and the Dodecanese) and in national territories that Italy lost with the Paris peace treaty of 1947 (mainly the Julian March, Istria and Zara/Zadar a large part of the victims of the Foibe massacres are thus not included). Also Africans conscripted by Italy are not included in their figures.
  • With regards to the Partisan casualties, a ministerial study published in 1955 listed the partisans killed or executed as 35,828 however, the Ufficio dell'Albo d'Oro only considered as partisans the members of the Resistance who were civilians before joining the partisans, whereas partisans who were formerly members of the Italian armed forces (more than half those killed) were considered as members of their armed force of origin.
  • With regards to the Italian Social Republic casualties, the Ufficio dell'Albo d'Oro excludes from its lists of the fallen the individuals who committed war crimes. In the context of the RSI, where numerous war crimes were committed in the anti-partisan warfare, and many individuals were therefore involved in such crimes (especially GNR and Black Brigades personnel), this influences negatively the casualty count, under a statistical point of view. The "RSI Historical Foundation" (Fondazione RSI Istituto Storico) has drafted a list that lists the names of some 35,000 RSI military personnel killed in action or executed during and immediately after World War II (including the "revenge killings" that occurred at the end of the hostilities and in their immediate aftermath), including some 13,500 members of the Guardia Nazionale Repubblicana and Milizia Difesa Territoriale, 6,200 members of the Black Brigades, 2,800 Aeronautica Nazionale Repubblicana personnel, 1,000 Marina Nazionale Repubblicana personnel, 1,900 X MAS personnel, 800 soldiers of the "Monterosa" Division, 470 soldiers of the "Italia" Division, 1,500 soldiers of the "San Marco" Division, 300 soldiers of the "Littorio" Division, 350 soldiers of the "Tagliamento" Alpini Regiment, 730 soldiers of the 3rd and 8th Bersaglieri regiments, 4,000 troops of miscellaneous units of the Esercito Nazionale Repubblicano (excluding the aabove-mentioned Divisions and Alpini and Bersaglieri Regiments), 300 members of the Legione Autonoma Mobile "Ettore Muti", 200 members of the Raggruppamento Anti Partigiani, 550 members of the Italian SS, and 170 members of the Cacciatori degli Appennini Regiment.
  • This would bring the total number of Italian military personnel killed to some 341,000 (excluding colonial troops).
  • According to the official history of the Italian Army (Rovighi, Alberto (1988), Le Operazioni in Africa Orientale: (giugno 1940 – novembre 1941) [Operations in East Africa: (June 1940 – November 1941)], Rome, Stato Maggiore Esercito, Ufficio storico) From June 1940 to 16 April 1941, 11,755 askaris were killed in Italian East Africa, excluding the losses in Giuba region and eastern fronts. After that date, in the last battles in East Africa there were 490 askaris killed in the battle of Culqualber and 3,700 killed in the battle of Gondar, plus an unknown number in the battle of Amba Alagi and other minor clashes. This would mean that the number of askaris killed in East Africa was likely somewhere between 16,000 and 20,000. According to the Italian Army official history (USSME, La prima offensiva Britannica in Africa Settentrionale, tomo I, allegato 32 (page 375)), the two Libyan colonial divisions lost 1,399 soldiers killed (not counting the officers, who were Italian) in the battle of Sidi Barrani, where they were both destroyed. There was not much use of colonial troops in North Africa afterwards. [citation needed]
  • Estimates for total Japanese war dead in 1937–1945 range from at least 2.5 million [435] to 3.237 million [445]
  • According to the Japanese Ministry of Health and Welfare Japanese war dead(1937–45) totaled 3.1 million persons including 2.3 million soldiers and Army/Navy civilian employees, 500,000 civilians in Japan and 300,000 civilians living outside of Japan. These figures include military dead of 30,000 Chinese from Taiwan and 22,182 Koreans. [11]
  • According to a report compiled by the Relief Bureau of the Japanese Ministry of Health and Welfare in March 1964, combined Japanese Army and Navy deaths during the war (1937–45) numbered approximately 2,121,000 broken down as follows: [446]

Key: Location, Army dead, Navy dead, (Total dead)
Japan Proper: 58,100, 45,800, (103,900)
Bonin Islands: 2,700, 12,500, (15,200)
Okinawa: 67,900, 21,500, (89,400)
Formosa (Taiwan): 28,500, 10,600, (39,100)
Korea: 19,600, 6,900, (26,500)
Sakhalin, the Aleutian, and Kuril Islands: 8,200, 3,200, (11,400)
Manchuria: 45,900, 800, (46,700)
China (inc. Hong Kong): 435,600, 20,100, (455,700)
Siberia: 52,300, 400, (52,700)
Central Pacific: 95,800, 151,400, (247,200)
Philippines: 377,500, 121,100, (498,600)
French Indochina: 7,900, 4,500, (12,400)
Thailand: 6,900, 100, (7,000)
Burma (inc. India): 163,000, 1,500, (164,500)
Malaya & Singapore: 8,500, 2,900, (11,400)
Andaman & Nicobar Islands: 900, 1,500, (2,400)
Sumatra: 2,700, 500, (3,200)
Java: 2,700, 3,800, (6,500)
Lesser Sundas: 51,800, 1,200, (53,000)
Borneo: 11,300, 6,700, (18,000)
Celebes: 1,500, 4,000, (5,500)
Moluccas: 2,600, 1,800, (4,400)
New Guinea: 112,400, 15,200, (127,600)
Bismarck Archipelago: 19,700, 10,800, (30,500)
Solomon Islands: 63,200, 25,000, (88,200)

Total: 1,647,200, 473,800, (2,121,000)

Overall, perhaps two thirds of all Japanese military dead came not from combat, but from starvation and disease. [447] In some cases this figure was potentially even higher, up to 80% in the Philippines [448] and a staggering 97% in New Guinea. [449]

  • According to John W. Dower, the Japanese source Showa Shi – 1959 by Shigeki Toyama put Japanese war dead in 1937–1941 in the Second Sino-Japanese War at 185,467. [435]
  • In 1949 the report of the Japanese government Economic Stabilization Board put military war dead from December 1941 to December 21, 1946 at 1,555,308 Killed and 309,402 wounded [450][451] These figures do not include an additional 240,000 missing Army personnel. The figures of wounded show only those receiving pensions. [450] The details of these figures are as follows: [452][451]

China after Pearl Harbor 202,958 killed and 88,920 wounded.
vs. United States 485,717 killed and 34,679 wounded.
vs. U.K. and Netherlands 208,026 killed and 139,225 wounded.
vs. Australia 199,511 killed and 15,000 wounded.
French Indochina 2,803 killed and 6,000 wounded.
Manchuria & USSR 7,483 killed and 4,641 wounded.
other overseas 23,388 killed and 0 wounded
Japan proper 10,543 killed and 6,782 wounded
Army total 1,140,429 killed and 295,247 wounded.
Sailors 300,386 killed and 12,275 wounded and missing.
Civilians in Navy service 114,493 killed and 1,880 wounded and missing.
Navy total 414,879 killed and 14,155 wounded and missing.

  • The Japanese Central Liaison Office reported in July 1947 to the Allied occupation authorities that Japanese military dead in 1935–1945 were 1,687,738(1,340,700 Army and 347,038 Navy) [453]
  • The Yasukuni Shrine in Japan lists a total of 191,250 war dead from 1937 to 1941 in the Second Sino-Japanese War and 2,133,915 in the Pacific War Their figures include civilians who participated in combat and Chinese(Taiwan) and Koreans in the Japanese Armed Forces.
  • According to the calculations of Werner Gruhl, Japanese military war dead were 2,565,878 (250,000 from 1931 to 1941 and 2,315,878 in 1942–45). [454] Dower maintains that "only one third of the military deaths occurred in actual combat, the majority being caused by illness and starvation". [435] According to Dower over 300,000 Japanese POW were missing after being captured by the Soviets. Japanese figures as of 12/31/1948 listed 469,074 missing personnel in Soviet hands, while at the same time the Soviets admitted to holding 95,000 Japanese prisoners thus leaving 374,041 surrendered Japanese personnel who were unaccounted for and presumed dead. [455] According to Dower "Known deaths of Japanese troops awaiting repatriation in Allied(non-Soviet) hands were listed as 81,090 by U.S. authorities. [455][456]
  • The Japanese Ministry of Welfare and Foreign Office reported from 1951 to 1960 that 254,000 military personnel and civilians were confirmed dead and 95,000 went missing in Soviet hands after the war. The details of these losses are as follows: 199,000 in Manchurian transit camps, 36,000 in North Korea, 9,000 on Sakhalin and 103,000 in the USSR. [457]
  • According to the Japanese Ministry of Health and Welfare 65,000 soldiers and civilians were killed in the 1945 military campaign against the Soviet Union. After the war ended deaths at the hands of the Red Army and local Chinese population were 185,000 Manchuria, 28,000 in North Korea and 10,000 on Sakhalin and the Kurile islands. An additional 700,000 were taken prisoner by the Soviets were 50,000 died in forced labor in the USSR and Outer Mongolia. [458]
  • The Japanese government figures for POW deaths are not in agreement with Soviet figures. Russian sources report that the Soviets reported the POW deaths of 62,105 (61,855 Japanese and 214 collaborator forces) out of the 640,105 captured (609,448 Japanese and 30,657 collaborator forces). [459]
  • The 1949 report of the Japanese government Economic Stabilization Board detailed the casualties caused by air raids and sea bombardment. Total casualties were 668,315 including 299,485 dead, 24,010 missing and 344,820 injured. These figures include the casualties in Tokyo (東京) 97,031 dead, 6,034 missing and 113,923 injured in Hiroshima (広島) 86,141 dead, 14,394 missing and 46,672 injured, in Nagasaki (長崎) 26,238 dead, 1,947 missing and 41,113 injured. [460][461][462] According to John W. Dower, an error which appears in English language sources puts the total killed in air raids at 668,000, a figure which includes dead, missing and injured. [455]
  • A Japanese academic study published in 1979 by The Committee for the Compilation of Materials on Damage Caused by the Atomic Bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki puts the total dead in the atomic attacks at 140,000 (± 10,000) in Hiroshima and 70,000 (± 10,000) in Nagasaki. [463] According to the authors of the report a study of atomic bomb related casualties in Hiroshima in December 1945 was "lost and not discovered until twenty years later", they cited a similar survey in Nagasaki done in December 1945. [463] The authors maintain that the lower casualty figures published in the immediate post war era did not include military personnel and missing persons. [464] The figures of dead in the atomic attacks from this study were cited by John W. Dower in his War Without Mercy. [465]
  • According to the World Nuclear Association, "In Hiroshima, of a resident civilian population of 250,000 it was estimated that 45,000 died on the first day and a further 19,000 during the subsequent four months. In Nagasaki, out of a population of 174,000, 22,000 died on the first day and another 17,000 within four months. Unrecorded deaths of military personnel and foreign workers may have added considerably to these figures. About 15 square kilometers (over 50%) of the two cities was destroyed. It is impossible to estimate the proportion of these 103,000 deaths, or of the further deaths in military personnel, which were due to radiation exposure rather than to the very high temperatures and blast pressures caused by the explosions." They noted that "To the 103,000 deaths from the blast or acute radiation exposure at Hiroshima and Nagasaki have since been added those due to radiation-induced cancers, which amounted to some 400 within 30 years, and which may ultimately reach about 550. (Some 93,000 exposed survivors were still being monitored 50 years later.)" [466]
  • The Radiation Effects Research Foundation puts the number of deaths (within two to four months), in Hiroshima at 90,000 to 166,000 persons, and in Nagasaki at 60,000 to 80,000 persons. They noted that deaths caused by the atomic bombings include those that occurred on the days of the bombings due to the overwhelming force and heat of the blasts, as well as later deaths attributable to radiation exposure. The total number of deaths is not known precisely because military personnel records in each city were destroyed entire families perished, leaving no one to report deaths and unknown numbers of forced laborers were present in both cities [467]
  • The U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey published the following estimates of Japanese casualties due to U.S. bombing.

1-Summary Report (July 1946) Total civilian casualties in Japan, as a result of 9 months of air attack, including those from the atomic bombs, were approximately 806,000. Of these, approximately 330,000 were fatalities. [468]

2-United States Strategic Bombing Survey, Medical Division (1947) The bombing of Japan killed 333,000 civilians and injured 473,000. Of this total 120,000 died and 160,000 were injured in the atomic bombings, leaving 213,000 dead and 313,000 injured by conventional bombing. [469]

3-The effects of air attack on Japanese urban economy. Summary report (1947) Estimated that 252,769 Japanese were killed and 298,650 injured in the air war. [470]

4-The Effects of strategic bombing on Japanese morale Based on a survey of Japanese households the death toll was put at 900,000 dead and 1.3 million injured, the SBS noted that this figure was subject to a maximum sampling error of 30%. [471]

5-Strategic Bombing Survey The Effects of Atomic Bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki The most striking result of the atomic bombs was the great number of casualties. The exact number of dead and injured will never be known because of the confusion after the explosions. Persons unaccounted for might have been burned beyond recognition in the falling buildings, disposed of in one of the mass cremations of the first week of recovery, or driven out of the city to die or recover without any record remaining. No sure count of even the prepaid populations existed. Because of the decline in activity in the two port cities, the constant threat of incendiary raids, and the formal evacuation programs of the Government, an unknown number of the inhabitants had either drifter away from the cities or been removed according to plan. In this uncertain situation, estimates of casualties have generally ranged between 100,000 and 180,000 for Hiroshima, and between 50,000 and 100,000 for Nagasaki. The Survey believes the dead at Hiroshima to have been between 70,000 and 80,000, with an equal number injured at Nagasaki over 35,000 dead and somewhat more than that injured seems the most plausible estimate. [472]

    puts Japanese civilian dead in Battle of Saipan at 10,000 and 150,000 in Battle of Okinawa based on a recent study of the campaign. [455] However American military sources put civilian dead on Okinawa at 42,000, they noted that Japanese sources indicate 50,000 Okinawan noncombatants were killed during the campaign [473][474]
  • War related deaths of Japanese merchant marine personnel were 27,000. [475]
  • American researcher R. J. Rummel estimated 378,000 Korean dead due to forced labor in Japan and Manchuria. According to Rummel, "Information on Korean deaths under Japanese occupation is difficult to uncover. We do know that 5,400,000 Koreans were conscripted for labor beginning in 1939, but how many died can only be roughly estimated." [476] estimated the civilian death toll due to the war and Japanese occupation at 533,000 [477] has noted "Between 1939 and 1945, close to 670,000 Koreans were brought to Japan for fixed terms of work, mostly in mines and heavy industry, and it has been estimated that 60,000 or more of them died under harsh conditions of their work places. Over 10,000 others were probably killed in the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki". [478]
  • Independent Russian historian Vadim Erlikman estimated Latvian civilian war dead in 1941–45 at 220,000 (35,000 in military operations 110,000 executed, 35,000 in Germany and 40,000 due to hunger and disease. Military dead were estimated with Soviet forces at 10,000 and 15,000 with German. POW deaths 3,000.) [479]
  • Independent Russian historian Vadim Erlikman estimated Lithuanian civilian war dead in 1941–45 at 345,000 (25,000 in military operations 230,000 executed, 15,000 in Germany and 75,000 due to hunger and disease. Military dead were estimated with Soviet forces at 15,000 and 5,000 with German. POW deaths 4,000.) [480]
  • Total war dead were 5,000 [481] which included military losses of about 3,000 with the German Armed Forces and 200 in a separate unit attached to the Belgian Army.

^AG Malaya and Singapore

  • The British colony of Malaya consisted of the Straits Settlements, the Federated Malay States and Unfederated Malay States. Today they are the nations Malaysia and Singapore.
  • According to John W. Dower "Malayan officials after the war claimed, possibly with exaggeration, that as many as 100,000 residents, mostly Chinese, may have been killed by the Japanese of 73,000 Malayans transported to work on the Burma-Siam railway, 25,000 were reported to have died. [482]
  • According to Werner Gruhl in Singapore the Japanese murdered 5,000 to 10,000 Chinese in 1942. In Malaya and Singapore an estimated 50,000 Chinese were killed in this genocide by the end of the war [483]

^AH Malta 1,493 civilians were killed and 3,734 wounded during the Siege of Malta (World War II) [85] Maltese civilians killed during the siege are also included with U.K. civilian deaths by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission

  • Mexico lost 7 merchant ships and 63 dead merchant mariners. [22] A Mexican Air Force unit Escuadrón 201 served in the Pacific and suffered 5 combat deaths.
  • During World War II Japan occupied Nauru in August 1942 and deported 1,200 Nauruans to work as laborers in the Caroline Islands, where 463 died. The survivors returned to Nauru in January 1946. [87]
    recruited from Nepal fought with the British Indian Army and Nepalese Army during the Second World War. The war dead reported by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission for India include Nepalese in the British Indian Army and Nepalese Army. [484]
  • Gurkha casualties can be broken down as: 8,985 killed or missing and 23,655 wounded. [434]
  • In 1948 the Netherlands Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) issued a report of war losses. They listed 210,000 direct war casualties in the Netherlands, not including the Dutch East Indies.

Military deaths 6,750 which included 3,900 regular Army, 2,600 Navy forces, and 250 POW in Germany.
Civilian deaths of 203,250 which included 1,350 Merchant seaman, 2,800 executed, 2,500 dead in Dutch concentration camps,
20,400 killed by acts of war, 104,000 Jewish Holocaust dead, 18,000 political prisoners in Germany, 27,000 workers in Germany,
3,700 Dutch nationals in the German armed forces and 7,500 missing and presumed dead in Germany and 16,000 deaths
in the Dutch famine of 1944. Not Included in the figure of 210,000 war dead are 70,000 "indirect war casualties",
which are attributed to an increase in natural deaths from 1940–1945 and 1,650 foreign nationals killed while serving in the
Dutch Merchant Marine [88]

  • Newfoundland lost 1,089 persons with U.K. and Canadian Forces during the war. [89]
  • The losses of the Newfoundland Merchant Navy are commemorated at the Allied Merchant Navy Memorial in Newfoundland, [486]
  • Civilian losses were due to the sinking of the SS Caribou in October 1942. [90]
  • The Auckland War Museum puts the number of World War II dead at 11,671 [91]
  • The preliminary data for New Zealand losses was killed 10,033, missing 2,129, wounded 19,314 and POW 8,453. [312]

Military(Norwegian & Allied Forces) 2,000 (800 Army, 900 Navy and 100 Air). [92]
Civilians 7,500 (3,600 Merchant seaman, 1,500 resistance fighters, 1,800 civilians killed and 600 Jews killed) [92]
In German Armed Forces 700 [92]

^AQ Papua New Guinea

  • Civilian deaths were caused by Allied bombing and shellfire and Japanese atrocities. Both the Allies and Japanese also conscripted civilians to work as laborers and porters. [93]
  • Philippines military losses were 57,000 including 7,000 KIA in 1941–42 campaign, 8,000 guerrillas KIA 1942–45 and 42,000 POWs(out of 98,000). [95]
  • According to Werner Gruhl the death toll due to the war and Japanese occupation at 527,000 (27,000 military dead, 141,000 massacred, 22,500 forced labor deaths and 336,500 deaths due war related famine). Civilian losses included victims of Japanese war crimes, such as the Manila massacre which claimed the lives of 100,000 Filipinos [96]
  • Between 5,000 and 10,000 Filipinos serving with the Filipino troops, Scouts, Constabulary and Philippine Army units lost their lives on the Bataan Death March. [487]
  • In 2009, Wojciech Materski and Tomasz Szarota of the Polish Institute of National Remembrance (IPN) put the figure of Poland's dead at between 5,620,000 and 5,820,000 including an estimated 150,000 Polish citizens who died due to Soviet repression. The IPN's figures include 2.7 to 2.9 million Polish Jews who died in the Holocaust and 2,770,000 ethnic Poles[488] (including "Direct War Losses" −543,000 "Murdered in Camps and in Pacification" −506,000 "Deaths in prisons and Camps" 1,146,000 "Deaths outside of prisons and Camps" 473,000 "Murdered in Eastern Regions" 100,000 "Deaths in other countries" 2,000). [489] Polish researchers have determined that the Nazis murdered 2,830,000 Jews (including 1,860,000 Polish Jews) in the extermination camps in Poland, in addition over 1.0 million Polish Jews were murdered by the Einsatzgruppen in the eastern regions or died of starvation and disease while in ghettos. [488]
  • In his 2009 book, Andrzej Leon Sowa of the Jagiellonian University emphasizes the lack of reliable data concerning Warld War II losses. According to him, between 2.35 and 2.9 million Polish citizens of Jewish ethnicity were killed, in addition to about two million ethnic Poles. He writes that not even estimated figures are available regarding Polish citizens of German, Ukrainian or Belarusian ethnicity. [490] maintains that, in addition to 3 million Polish Jews killed in the Holocaust, "[d]ocumentation remains fragmentary, but today scholars of independent Poland believe that at least 1.9 million Polish civilians (non-Jews) were victims of German occupation policies and the war. [491] in 1993 estimated Poland's war dead to be 5.9 to 6.0 million, including 2.9 to 3.0 million Jews killed in the Holocaust and 2.0 million ethnic Polish victims of the German and Soviet occupations, (1.5 million under German occupation and the balance of 500,000 in the former eastern Polish regions under Soviet occupation). [492] Łuczak also included in his figures an estimated 1,000,000 war dead of Polish citizens from the ethnic Ukrainian and Belarusian ethnic groups who comprised 20% of Poland's pre-war population. [493][494] estimated Poland's losses in World War II to be 5.6 million including 5,150,000 victims of Nazi crimes against ethnic Poles and The Holocaust, 350,000 deaths during the Soviet occupation in 1940–41 and about 100,000 Poles killed in 1943–44 during the massacres of Poles in Volhynia. Losses by ethnic group were 3,100,000 Jews 2,000,000 ethnic Poles 500,000 Ukrainians and Belarusians. [253]
  • Total losses by geographic area were about 4.4 million in present-day Poland and about 1.6 million in the Polish areas annexed by the Soviet Union. [495][496] Polish historian Krystyna Kersten estimated losses of about 2.0 million in the Polish areas annexed by the Soviet Union. [174] Contemporary Russian sources also include Poland's losses in the annexed territories with Soviet war deaths. [497]
  • The official Polish government report on war damages prepared in 1947 listed 6,028,000 war victims during the German occupation (including 123,178 military deaths, 2.8 million Poles and 3.2 million Jews), out of a population of 27,007,000 ethnic Poles and Jews this report excluded ethnic Ukrainian and Belarusian losses. Losses were calculated for the territory of Poland in 1939, including the territories annexed by the USSR. [498] The figure of 6.0 million war dead has been disputed by Polish scholars since the fall of communism who now put the total actual losses at about 3.0 million Jews and 2.0 million ethnic Poles, not including other ethnic groups (Ukrainians and Belarussians). They maintain that the official statistics include those persons who were missing and presumed dead, but actually remained abroad in the West and the USSR after the war. [494][499]

Polish losses during the Soviet occupation (1939–1941)

  • In August 2009, Wojciech Materski and Tomasz Szarota of the Polish Institute of National Remembrance (IPN) estimated that 150,000 Polish citizens were killed due to Soviet repression. Since the collapse of the USSR, Polish scholars have been able to do research in the Soviet archives on Polish losses during the Soviet occupation. [488]
  • In his 2009 book, Andrzej Leon Sowa of the Jagiellonian University states that about 325,000 Polish citizens were deported by the Soviets in 1940–41. The number of the deaths for which the Soviets are responsible "probably did not exceed 100,000", and the same applies to the killings perpetrated by Ukrainian nationalists. [490] puts the number of Polish deaths at 90,000–100,000 of the 1.0 million persons deported and 30,000 executed by the Soviets. [252]
  • In 2005 Tadeusz Piotrowski estimated the death toll in Soviet hands at 350,000. [500]
  • An earlier estimate made in 1987 by Franciszek Proch of the Polish Association of Former Political Prisoners of Nazi and Soviet Concentration Camps estimated the total dead due to the Soviet occupation at 1,050,000. [501]

Polish military casualties

  • Poland lost a total of 139,800 regular soldiers and 100,000 Polish resistance movement fighters during the war. [494] Polish military casualties. Military dead and missing were 66,000 and 130,000 wounded in the 1939 Invasion of Poland, in addition 17,000–19,000 were killed by the Soviets in the Katyn massacre and 12,000 died in German POW camps. [502] The Polish contribution to World War II included the Polish Armed Forces in the West, and the 1st Polish Army fighting under Soviet command. Total casualties of these forces in exile were 33,256 killed in action, 8,548 missing in action, 42,666 wounded and 29,385 interned. [502]
    The Polish Red Cross reported that the 1944 Warsaw Uprising cost the lives of 120,000–130,000 Polish civilians and 16,000–17,000 Polish resistance movement fighters. [494][503] The names of Polish war dead are presented at a database online. [504]
  • During the war, 2,762,000 [505] Polish citizens of German descent declared their loyalty to Germany by signing the Deutsche Volksliste. A West German government report estimated the deaths of 108,000 Polish citizens serving in the German armed forces, [506] these men were conscripted in violation of international law. [507] The Institute of National Remembrance (IPN) estimates 200,000–210,000 Polish citizens, including 76,000 ethnic Poles were conscripted into the Soviet armed forces in 1940–41 during the occupation of the eastern regions. The (IPN) also reported that the Germans conscripted 250,000 Polish nationals into the Wehrmacht, 89,300 later deserted and joined the Polish Armed Forces in the West. [489]
  • Officially neutral, East Timor was occupied by Japan during 1942–45. Allied commandos initiated a guerrilla resistance campaign and most deaths were caused by Japanese reprisals against the civilian population. The Australian Dept. of Defence estimated the civilian death toll at 40,000 to 70,000. [101] However, another source puts the death toll at 40,000 to 50,000. [508]
  • Demographer Boris Urlanis estimated Romanian war dead at 300,000 military and 200,000 civilians [509]
  • Total Romanian military war dead were approximately 300,000. Total killed were 93,326 (72,291 with Axis and 21,035 with Allies). Total missing and POW were 341,765 (283,322 with Axis and 58,443 with Allies), only about 80,000 survived Soviet captivity. [510]
  • Civilian losses included 160,000 Jewish Holocaust dead, [188] the genocide of Roma people 36,000 and 7,693 civilians killed in Allied air raids on Romania [511]
  • The Ruzagayura famine from October 1943 to December 1944 was due to a local drought and the harsh wartime policies of the Belgian colonial administration to increase food production for the war effort in the Congo. By the time the famine ended between 36,000 [104] and 50,000 [105] people died of hunger in the territory. Several hundred thousand people also emigrated away from Ruanda-Urundi, most to the Belgian Congo but also to British Uganda. [512][513]
  • As Ruanda [Rwanda] was not occupied nor its food supply cut off, these deaths are not usually included with World War II casualties. However, at least one historian has compared the 1943 famine there to the Bengal famine of 1943, which is attributed to war. [514]
  • The war dead of 11,907 listed here are those reported by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, [515]
  • The preliminary 1945 data for South African losses was killed 6,840, missing 1,841 wounded 14,363 and POW 14,589. [312]
  • This territory includes areas now known as the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Palau, and the Northern Mariana Islands.
  • Micronesian war related civilian deaths were caused by American bombing and shellfire and malnutrition caused by the U.S. blockade of the islands. In addition the civilian population was conscripted by the Japanese as forced laborers and were subjected to numerous mindless atrocities. [516] put Japanese civilian dead in Battle of Saipan at 10,000 [455]
  • ^AYSoviet Union

The following notes summarize Soviet casualties, the details are presented in World War II casualties of the Soviet Union

  • A 1993 report published by the Russian Academy of Science estimated the total Soviet losses in World War II at 26.6 million [4][517][518] The Russian Ministry of Defense in 1993 put total military dead and missing in 1941–45 at 8,668,400 [303][519] These figures have generally been accepted by historians in the west. [520][521][522] The total population loss of 26.6 million is an estimate based on a demographic study, it is not an exact accounting of the war dead. [523] The figures of 26.6 million total war dead and 8.668 million military dead are cited by the Russian government for the losses in the war. [524]
  • Military war dead The figures for Soviet military war dead and missing are disputed. The official report on the military casualties was prepared by Grigori F. Krivosheev[525][526] According to Krivosheev, the losses of the Red Army and Navy combat forces in the field were 8,668,400 including 5,226,800 killed in action, [302] 555,500 non-combat deaths, [302] 1,102,800 died of wounds [302] 500,000 missing in action. [302]
    The remaining balance includes 1,103,000 POW dead and 180,000 POWs who remained in western countries at the end of the war. Krivosheev maintains that the higher figure of 3.3 million POW dead cited in western sources is based on German figures and analysis. [527][528] Krivosheev maintains that these statistics are not correct because they include reservists not on active strength, civilians and military personnel reported missing who were recovered during the course of the war. He maintains that the actual number captured were 4,559,000, he deducted 3,276,000 to arrive at his total of 1.283 million POW irrecoverable losses, his deductions were 500,000 reservists not on actual strength, 939,700 military personnel reported missing who were recovered during the war and 1,836,000 POWs who returned to the Soviet Union at the end of the war. [529]
    Krivosheev's figures are disputed by historians who put the actual losses at between 10.9 and 11.5 million. Critics of Krivosheev maintain that he underestimated the losses of POWs and missing in action and did he did not include the casualties of those convicted. Data published in Russia by Viktor Zemskov put Soviet POW losses at 2,543,000 (5,734,000 were captured, 821,000 released into German service and 2,371,000 liberated). [530] Zemskov estimated the total military war dead were 11.5 million, including POW dead of 2.3 million and 1.5 million missing in action. [531]S. N. Mikhalev estimated total military irrecoverable losses at 10.922 million. [532] A recent study by Christian Hartmann put Soviet military dead at 11.4 million. [533] Additional losses not included by Krivosheev were 267,300 who died of sickness in hospital, [534] 135,000 convicts executed, [535] and 422,700 convicts sent to penal units at the front. [535]
    S. N. Mikhalev estimated total military demographic losses at 13.7 million. [532] S. A. Il'enkov, an official of the Central Archives of the Russian Ministry of Defense, maintained, "We established the number of irreplaceable losses of our Armed Forces at the time of the Great Patriotic War of about 13,850,000." [536] Il'enkov and Mikhalev maintained that the field unit reports did not include deaths in rear area hospitals of wounded personnel and personnel captured in the early months of the war. Additional demographic losses to the Soviet military were those imprisoned for desertion after the war and deserters in German military service. According to Krivosheev, the losses of deserters in German service were 215,000. [366] He listed 436,600 convicts who were imprisoned. [307]
  • Civilian war dead The Russian government puts the civilian death toll due to the war at 13,684,000 (7,420,000 killed, 2,164,000 forced labor deaths in Germany and 4,100,000 deaths due to famine and disease). [537][538] A Russian academic study estimated an additional 2.5 to 3.2 million civilian dead due to famine and disease in Soviet territory not occupied by the Germans. [539] Statistics published in Russia list civilian war losses of 6,074,857 civilians killed reported by the Extraordinary State Commission in 1946, [540] 641,803 famine deaths during the siege of Leningrad according to official figures, [540] 58,000 killed in bombing raids (40,000 Stalingrad,17,000 Leningrad and 1,000 Moscow), [541] and an additional 645,000 civilian reservists that were killed or captured are also included with civilian casualties. The statistic of forced labor deaths in Germany of 2.164 million includes the balance of POW'S and those convicted not included in Krivosheev's figures. In addition to these losses, a Russian demographic study of the wartime population indicated an increase of 1.3 million in infant mortality caused by the war and that 9–10 million of the 26.6 million total Soviet war dead were due to the worsening of living conditions in the USSR, including the region that was not occupied. [542] The number deaths in the siege of Leningrad have been disputed. According to David Glantz, the 1945 Soviet estimate presented at the Nuremberg Trials was 642,000 civilian deaths. He noted that Soviet era source from 1965 put the number of dead in the Siege of Leningrad at "greater than 800,000" and that a Russian source from 2000 put the number of dead at 1,000,000. [543] These casualties are for 1941–1945 within the 1946–1991 borders of the USSR. [544] Included with civilian losses are deaths in the territories annexed by the USSR in 1939–1940 including 600,000 in the Baltic states[545] and 1,500,000 in Eastern Poland. [546] Russian sources include Jewish Holocaust deaths among total civilian dead. Gilbert put Jewish losses at one million within 1939 borders Holocaust deaths in the annexed territories numbered an additional 1.5 million, bringing total Jewish losses to 2.5 million. [547]
  • Alternative viewpoints According to the Russian demographerDr. L.L. Rybakovsky, there are a wide range of estimates for total war dead by Russian scholars. He cites figures of total war dead that range from 21.8 million up to 28.0 million. Rybakovsky points out that the variables that are used to compute losses are by no means certain and are currently disputed by historians in Russia. [548]Viktor Zemskov put the total war dead at 20 million, he maintained that the official figure of 26.6 million includes about 7 million deaths due to natural causes based on the mortality rate that prevailed before the war. He put military dead at 11.5 million, 4.5 million civilians killed and 4.0 due to famine and disease. [118] Some Russian historians put the figure as high as 46.0 million by counting the population deficit due to children not born. Based on the birth rate prior to the war there is a population shortfall of about 20 million births during the war. The figures for the number of children born during the war and natural deaths are rough estimates because of a lack of vital statistics. [548]
  • There were additional casualties in 1939–40, which totaled 136,945: Battle of Khalkhin Gol in 1939 (8,931), Invasion of Poland of 1939 (1,139), and the Winter War with Finland in 1939–40 (126,875). [549] The names of many Soviet war dead are presented in the OBD Memorial database online. [550]
  • There were 4,500 military deaths with the all Spanish Blue Division serving with the German Army in the U.S.S.R. The unit was withdrawn by Spain in 1943. [551] estimates the deaths of 20,000 anti-Fascist Spanish refugees resident in France who were deported to Nazi camps, these deaths are included with French civilian casualties. [195]
  • During the Winter war of 1939–40 the Swedish Volunteer Corps served with the Finnish Armed Forces and lost 28 men in combat. [131]
  • 33 Swedish sailors were killed when submarine HMS Ulven was sunk by a German mine on April 16, 1943.
  • During the war, Swedish merchant shipping was attacked by both German and Soviet submarines 2,000 merchant seamen were killed. [552]
  • The Americans accidentally bombed neutral Switzerland during the war causing civilian casualties. [133][553]
  • Military deaths included: 108 dead in the French–Thai War (1940–41) [554] and 5,559 who died either resisting the Japanese invasion (1941), or fighting alongside Japanese forces in the Burma Campaign of 1942–45. [555] caused 2,000 civilian deaths. [556]
  • Unlike other parts of South East Asia, Thailand did not suffer from famine during the war. [557]
  • The Refah tragedy (Turkish: Refah faciası) refers to a maritime disaster during World War II, when the cargo steamer Refah of neutral Turkey, carrying Turkish military personnel from Mersin in Turkey to Port Said, Egypt was sunk in eastern Mediterranean waters by a torpedo fired from an unidentified submarine. Of the 200 passengers and crew aboard, only 32 survived. [135]

. ^BE United Kingdom and Colonies

  • The Commonwealth War Graves Commission reported a total of 383,758 military dead from all causes for both the UK and non-dominion British colonies, not including India which was reported separately figures include identified burials and those commemorated by name on memorials. These figures include deaths that occurred after the war up until 31 December 1947 [558]
  • The Commonwealth War Graves Commission also maintains a Roll of Honour of those civilians under Crown Protection (including foreign nationals) who died as a result of enemy actions in the Second World War. The names of 67,170 are commemorated in the Civilian War Dead Roll of Honour. [559]
  • Modern updates of UK casualties including the wounded are contained in French, David (2000). Raising Churchill's Army: The British Army and the War against Germany 1919–1945. Oxford University Press. ISBN978-0-19-924630-4 . online
  • The official UK report on war casualties of June 1946 provided a summary of the UK war losses, excluding colonies. This report (HMSO 6832) listed: [284][285]

Total war dead of 357,116 Navy (50,758) Army (144,079) Air Force (69,606) Women's Auxiliary Territorial Service (624)
Merchant Navy (30,248) British Home Guard (1,206) and Civilians (60,595).
The total still missing on 2/28/1946 were 6,244 Navy (340) Army (2,267) Air Force (3,089) Women's Auxiliary Territorial Service (18)
Merchant Navy (530) British Home Guard (0) and Civilians (0).
These figures included the losses of Newfoundland and Southern Rhodesia.
Colonial forces are not included in these figures.
There were an additional 31,271 military deaths due to "natural causes" which are not included in these figures.
Deaths due to air and V-rocket attacks were 60,595 civilians and 1,206 British Home Guard.

  • The preliminary 1945 data for UK colonial forces was killed 6,877, missing 14,208, wounded 6,972 and POW 8,115. [312]
  • UK casualties include losses of the colonial forces. [560] UK colonial forces included units from East Africa, West Africa, Ghana, the Caribbean, Malaya, Burma, Hong Kong, Jordan, Sudan, Malta and the Jewish Brigade. The Cyprus Regiment made up of volunteers that fought with the UK Army, and suffered about 358 killed and 250 missing. [561]Gurkhas recruited from Nepal fought with the British Army during the Second World War. Included with UK casualties are citizens of the various European countries occupied by Germany. There were separate RAF squadrons with citizens from Poland (17) Czechoslovakia (5) Netherlands (1) Free French (7) Yugoslavia (2) Belgium (3) Greece (3) Norway (2). Volunteers from the United States served in 3 RAF squadrons known as the Eagle Squadrons. Many foreign nationals and persons from the British colonies served in the UK Merchant Navy. [562]

^BF United States
American military dead# ^BF1

  • Total U.S. military deaths in battle and from other causes were 407,316. The breakout by service is as follows: Army 318,274 (234,874 battle, 83,400 nonbattle), [286] Navy 62,614, [286] Marine Corps 24,511, [286] and the Coast Guard 1,917. [563][314]
  • Deaths in battle were 292,131. The breakout by service is as follows: Army 234,874, [286] Navy 36,950, [286] Marine Corps 19,733, [286] and Coast Guard 574. These losses were incurred during the period 12/8/41 until 12/31/46 [85][563]
  • During the period of America's neutrality in World War II (September 1, 1939 – December 8, 1941), U.S. military losses including 126 killed in October 1941 when the USS Kearny and the USS Reuben James were attacked by U-Boats, as well as 2,335 killed during the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor by Japanese air forces on December 7, 1941. [564]
  • The United States Army Air Forces losses, which are included in the Army total, were 52,173 deaths due to combat and 35,946 from non-combat causes. [287]
  • U.S. Combat Dead by Theater of war: Europe–Atlantic 183,588 (Army ground forces 141,088, Army Air Forces 36,461, and Navy/Coast Guard 6,039) Asia–Pacific 108,504 (Army ground forces 41,592, Army Air Forces 15,694, Navy/Coast Guard 31,485, Marine Corps 19,733) unidentified theaters 39 (Army). [287][314] Included with combat deaths are 14,059 POWs (1,124 in Europe and 12,935 in Asia). [314] The details of U.S. military casualties are listed online: the U.S. Army, [287] the U.S. Navy, and the U.S. Marine Corps. [565]
  • U.S. Army figures include the deaths of 5,337 from the Philippines and 165 from Puerto Rico (see p. 118). [287]
  • The names of individual U.S. military personnel killed in World War II can be found at the U.S. National Archives. [566] website lists the names of military and civilian war dead from World War II buried in ABMC cemeteries or listed on Walls of the Missing. [567]

American civilian dead # ^BF2

  • According to the, 9,521 merchant mariners lost their lives in the war (8,421 killed and 1,100 who later died of wounds). In 1950, the United States Coast Guard put U.S. Merchant Marine losses at 5,662 (845 due to enemy action, 37 in prison camps, and 4,780 missing), excluding U.S. Army transports and foreign flagged ships and they did not break out losses between the Atlantic and Pacific theaters. [568][569][570]
  • The names of U.S. Merchant Mariners killed in World War II are listed by [568][571]
  • The Civil Air Patrol assumed many missions including anti-submarine patrol and warfare, border patrols, and courier services. During World War II CAP's coastal patrol had flown 24 million miles, found 173 enemy U-boats, attacked 57, hit 10 and sunk 2, dropping a total of 83 bombs and depth charges throughout the conflict. [572] By the end of the war, 64 CAP members had lost their lives in the line of duty. [573]
  • According to U.S. War Department figures, 18,745 American civilians were interned in the war (13,996 in the Far East and 4,749 in Europe). A total of 2,419 American civilian internees were listed as dead and missing. Under Japanese internment, 992 died and another 544 were listed as "unknown" under German internment, 168 died and a further 715 were listed as "unknown". [296][574][575]
  • 68 U.S. civilians were killed during the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. [576]
  • The official U.S. report listed 1 U.S. civilian killed during the Battle of Guam on December 8–10. [431] However, another source reported 13 "civilians" killed during the battle [577] and 70 U.S. civilians were killed during the Battle of Wake Island from December 8–23, 1941. [576] 98 U.S. civilian POWs were massacred by the Japanese on Wake Island in October 1943.
  • During Japan's Aleutian Islands Campaign in Alaska in June 1942, a U.S. civilian was killed during the bombing of Dutch Harbor. The Japanese invaded the island of Attu, killing a white U.S. civilian and interned 45 Alaska Native Aleuts in Japan, in which 19 died during the rest of the war. [578]
  • Six U.S. civilians were killed in Oregon in May 1945 by Japanese balloon bombs. [579]
  • The official Yugoslav figure for total war dead is 1.7 million (300,000 military and 1,400,000 civilians). This figure is cited in reference works dealing with World War II [141][580][581] Studies in Yugoslavia by Franjo Tudjman and Ivo Lah put losses at 2.1 million [582] However, the official Yugoslav figure has been disputed studies by Vladimir Žerjavić and Bogoljub Kočović who put actual losses at about 1.0 million persons. [583][584][585][586] The calculation of Yugoslav losses is not an exact accounting listing of the dead, but is based on demographic calculations of the population balance which estimate births during the war and natural deaths. The number of persons who emigrated after the war (ethnic Germans, Hungarians, Italians and Yugoslav refugees to the west) are rough estimates. [583][584][586]
  • The U.S. Bureau of the Census published a report in 1954 that concluded that Yugoslav war-related deaths were 1,067,000. The U.S. Bureau of the Census noted that the official Yugoslav government figure of 1.7 million war dead was overstated because it "was released soon after the war and was estimated without the benefit of a postwar census". [584]
  • A recent study by Vladimir Žerjavić estimates total war related deaths at 1,027,000, which included losses of 237,000 Yugoslav partisans and 209,000 "Quislings and collaborators" (see discussion below losses of Yugoslav collaborators) [587] Civilian dead of 581,000 included 57,000 Jews. Losses by each Yugoslav republic were: Bosnia 316,000 Serbia 273,000 Croatia 271,000 Slovenia 33,000 Montenegro 27,000 Macedonia 17,000 and killed abroad 80,000. [583] , a Yugoslav statistician, calculated the actual war losses at 1,014,000. [586] , Professor Emeritus of Economics at San Francisco State University, stated that the calculations of Kočović and Žerjavić "seem to be free of bias, we can accept them as reliable". [588]

The losses of Yugoslav collaborators

  • Croatian emigres in the west made exaggerated allegations that 500,000–600,000 Croatians and Chetniks were massacred by the Partisans after the war these claims are cited by Rudolph Rummel in his study Statistics of Democide [589]Jozo Tomasevich noted that the figures of the number of collaborators killed by the Partisans are disputed. According to Tomasevich some Croatian exiles "have been more moderate in their estimates", putting the death toll at "about 200,000". [590] Regarding the death toll in the reprisals by the Yugoslav partisans Tomasevich believed that "It is impossible to establish the exact number of victims in these operations, although fairly accurate figures could probably be reached after much additional unbiased research" [591]

The reasons for the high human toll in Yugoslavia were as follows A. Military operations between the occupying German military forces and their "Quislings and collaborators" against the Yugoslav resistance. [142]
B. German forces, under express orders from Hitler, fought with a special vengeance against the Serbs, who were considered Untermensch. [142] One of the worst one-day massacres during the German military occupation of Serbia was the Kragujevac massacre.
C. Deliberate acts of reprisal against target populations were perpetrated by all combatants. All sides practiced the shooting of hostages on a large scale. At the end of the war, many Ustaše and Slovene collaborators were killed in or as a result of the Bleiburg repatriations. [142]
D. The systematic extermination of large numbers of people for political, religious or racial reasons. The most numerous victims were Serbs. [142] According to Yad Vashem, "During their four years in power, the Ustasa carried out a Serb genocide, exterminating over 500,000, expelling 250,000 and forcing another 200,000 to convert to Catholicism. The Ustasa also killed most of Croatia's Jews, 20,000 Gypsies, and many thousands of their political enemies." [592] According to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum "The Croat authorities murdered between 320,000 and 340,000 ethnic Serb residents of Croatia and Bosnia during the period of Ustaša rule more than 30,000 Croatian Jews were killed either in Croatia or at Auschwitz-Birkenau". [593] The USHMM reports between 77,000 and 99,000 persons were killed at the Jasenovac and Stara Gradiška concentration camps. [594] The Jasenovac Memorial Site quotes a similar figure of between 80,000 and 100,000 victims. Stara Gradiška was a sub-camp of Jasenovac established for women and children. [595] The names and data for 12,790 victims at Stara Gradiška have been established. [596] Serbian sources currently claim that 700,000 persons were murdered at Jasenovac [595]
Some 40,000 Roma were murdered. [597] Jewish victims in Yugoslavia totaled 67,122. [598]
E. Reduced food supply caused famine and disease. [142]
F. Allied bombing of German supply lines caused civilian casualties. The hardest hit localities were Podgorica, Leskovac, Zadar and Belgrade. [142]
G. The demographic losses due to the reduction of 335,000 births and emigration of about 660,000 are not included with war casualties. [142]

The Luger P08 has a sinister reputation, but it’s really just an innovative pistol

George Luger took that statement seriously. The result was a pistol known for its accuracy, the ammunition it introduced to the militaries of the world and the evil reputation it later gained.

The P08 nine-millimeter Parabellum—or Luger—pistol was the brainchild of its namesake inventor, and it served Germany faithfully during both world wars. Often associated with the Nazi regime, it was the handgun of the Kaiser’s Soldaten before Hitler took power.

Yet it’s more closely associated with the latter. If you watch a World War II movie, you almost expect a barking Gestapo officer to start frantically waving a Luger around.

“From its adoption, the Luger was synonymous with the German military through the end of World War II,” Aaron Davis wrote in The Standard Catalog of the Luger. “Ask any World War II vet of the [European Theater of Operations] what the most prized war souvenir was and the answer will invariably come back, ‘a Luger.’”

Although chambered for several calibers, the most common Luger model used nine-millimeter Parabellum ammunition, a caliber that swept the world after World War I, and which owed its name to the Latin saying.

Armies around the world still use this round in various submachine guns. It’s also the round fired by the Beretta M-9 pistol, currently the official sidearm of the United States military.

At top and above—Luger pistols. Thomas Quine, Askild Antonsen/Flickr photos

The Luger is a recoil-operated, locked breech, semi-automatic handgun with an eight-round capacity. It has a unique toggle-lock action, which uses a jointed arm to lock the weapon, instead of the slide action used by almost every other semi-auto pistol in the world.

Luger got his initial idea for the pistol from Hugo Borchardt, designer of the bizarre-looking C-93. Borchardt’s pistol was powerful and accurate, but heavy, awkward to hold and very expensive to produce. Luger took the complex toggle-lock action, simplified it, angled the pistol grip at 55 degrees—to make the weapon more comfortable to hold—and produced the gun in a smaller package.

The Luger Model 1900 was the first weapon engraved with the letters DWM—for the Berlin manufacturer Deutsche Waffen und Munitionsfabriken—indicating the point of origin for all early models of the pistol.

The Swiss first purchased the Luger Model 1900, originally chambered in 7.65 millimeter. By 1906, DWM made pistols for Brazil, Bulgaria, Holland, Portugal and Russia.

The U.S. Army even briefly considered the Luger before turning to the M1911 .45-caliber pistol. However, other customers—including the German navy—wanted a bigger round. By 1908, the classic nine-millimeter Luger was the standard, hence the designation Pistole 1908.

The Luger remained the standard service pistol of the German army until 1938, when the Walther P-38 nine-millimeter pistol entered service. Despite its good technical reputation, the Luger is still a complicated machine with several downsides.

When the pistol’s breech is open, the jointed arm sits at an acute angle—the kind of mechanics that make the pistol susceptible to malfunctions because of fouling.

In fact, the Browning Hi-Power became the Luger’s greatest competitor, because of the Browning’s simplicity—which mattered to soldiers who had to field-strip and clean the handgun in the field.

Yet, the Luger has a reputation for toughness and accuracy that obviously served German soldiers well. Lugers from the early 20th century are particularly well-made, built to standards so exacting that many P08s that first saw service during World War I were completely usable during World War II and beyond.

Luger P08s were highly prized trophies of war. Allied soldiers captured thousands of them—and several episodes of the HBO mini-series Band of Brothers highlights an American soldier’s quest to obtain one.

Stars & Stripes cartoonist Bill Mauldin referenced the Luger in one of the most popular images of the war. In his cartoon, one German prisoner says to another German prisoner, “Luger, $100 … camera, $150 … Iron Cross, $12 … It is good to be captured by Americans!”

However, the Germans quickly realized they could kill or wound trophy-seeking soldiers by wiring discarded Lugers on the battlefield to hand grenades or mines, making the pistol a potentially deadly souvenir.

But the Luger was its own worst enemy. Like a lot of German military hardware, it was expensive to produce—one of the reasons why Hitler’s army turned to the less-expensive Walther.

After World War II, the Swiss stopped using the Luger. Other countries soon followed. But collectors have always valued the pistol. It screams “bad-boy gun” because of its Nazi past, and rarer Lugers such as the ones chambered for the 7.65-millimeter round sometimes sell in excess of $1,200.

75 years after the Nazis surrendered, all sides agree: War is hell

As veterans and survivors of World World II mark the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day, they speak with one voice about the suffering they experienced—and inflicted.

Seventy-five years ago, the most far-flung, destructive, and lethal war in history approached its end. World War II lived up to its name: It was a true global conflict that pitted the Allied powers—the United States, the Soviet Union, Britain, China, and their smaller allies—against Germany, Japan, Italy, and a few other Axis nations. Some 70 million men and women served in the armed forces, taking part in the greatest military mobilization in history. Civilians, however, did most of the suffering and dying. Of the estimated 66 million people who perished, nearly 70 percent—some 46 million—were civilians, including six million Jews murdered during the Holocaust. Tens of millions more were uprooted from their homes and countries, many of them living in displaced persons camps for years to come.

The war’s aftereffects were as staggering as its scale. It laid the groundwork for the world we’ve known for more than seven decades, from the dawn of the nuclear age to the creation of Israel to the emergence of the United States and Soviet Union as the world’s dueling superpowers. It also sparked the formation of international alliances such as the United Nations and NATO, all designed to prevent such a cataclysm from happening again.

Yet, with the passage of time, public awareness of the war and its almost unfathomable consequences has faded, becoming as dim as the sepia tones of an old photograph. At the same time, firsthand witnesses are dwindling in number. According to U.S. government statistics, fewer than 400,000 of the 16 million Americans who served in the war—2.5 percent—were still alive in 2019.

But thanks to the willingness of some of the last survivors to share their stories, we’ve been given a valuable gift: a chance to bring the war into sharp focus again by viewing it through their eyes. With no access to the internet or other forms of today’s instant communications, most of these men and women knew little of the world beyond their communities before the war. By wrenching them out of their familiar settings, it exposed them to an overwhelming array of new experiences and tested them in previously unimaginable ways. Many found the challenges exhilarating.

That was true for 18-year-old Betty Webb, who was recruited to join Britain’s top secret code-breaking operation at Bletchley Park. Webb was one of countless women whose work was crucial to their countries’ war efforts and who, in the process, found a sense of self-worth and independence they’d never known before.

Harry T. Stewart, Jr., the 20-year-old grandson of a man born into slavery, proved himself as well. A New Yorker who had never driven a car before the war, Stewart became a fighter pilot in the famed all-black unit known as the Tuskegee Airmen, flying 43 combat missions and winning a Distinguished Flying Cross.

When did Germany really lose WW2?

I know the official surrender was on May 7 1945. But wasn't the war already long over and Hitler was just prolonging the inevitable by dragging it out tell the end? But i guess my question is what was the real turning point for Germany's losing ww2? Was it the start of operation Barbarossa and the two front war or was American coming it to the war after Pearl Harbor or lastly Hitler starting to ignoring advice and recommendations from his commanders or a combination or all three? Thanks

Since the majority of the thread is going for "straight after Barbarossa", I might also add that one of the less noted failures of the germans during this operation was key: the treatment of civilians during the invasion.

The Soviet Union was not a monolithic entity of people devoted to Stalin. Western Russia had a rich history of territories and people who were not sold on the dream of the union and were unhappy with the state of the things. Had the germans mobilized these nationalistic forces they would have had at least a consistent policing force operating behind their main line and suppressing partisan activity, instead of using german troops from the front line.

The thing is the nazis were sold on the idea of ethnic superiority and refused whatsoever deal(even in the form of false promises) that hinted at the possibility of freedom for these people. So even the previous enemies of Stalin were forced to throw their hat with him: Stalin wanted to rule them, Hitler wanted to put them in trains going somewhere horrible.

Edit: Thanks for all the upvotes and replies, I don't know if I have the time or the knowledge to answer to all, but I will at least try!

9 Answers 9

No, Hitler had no plan for defeating the US outright.

However, the Germans had been fighting against the US for quite some time in the Battle of the Atlantic, since US escorts would take convoys partway across and defend them against U-Boats. So the US neutrality was very strained already.

And when the US entered the war, the Germans at once sent U-Boats into US and Caribbean waters where the ships were not convoyed or escorted and the shore lights not blacked out and had a field day sinking these ships for a considerable period. So there were some advantages to the Germans to the new situation.

Hitler's expectation, which was initially correct, was that the United States would not enter the war. In fact, he did not even think Britain would declare war on Germany. When Britain did, he reportedly was deeply shocked.

The main "plan", if you can call it that, was what was called "fortress Europe". The idea that once united, the nations of Europe would be too strong to be defeated and the United States would just give up attacking.

There was also the "super weapon" dream that technologies like rockets, jet engines and nuclear weapons would eventually turn the tide of battle. These were more like hopes than plans.

The key piece of the puzzle you are missing is that Hitler was bankrupt. People who are out of money do desperate things. They are like a junkie who does one robbery after another to solve his immediate problem, without regard to being on an unsustainable path.

At the time Hitler declared war on the U.S. there was no existing plan for how to win it at all.

In fact, based on all the information I have studied, I have come to the opinion that the timing of the whole thing was more about the German military situation in Russia at that moment. I really don't think Hitler had any plans of a serious German war effort against the U.S. ever. Or at least not before England was dealt with. Something that was still a year or two away.

The following supports this opinion:

Short of saying it in a speech, Germany couldn't DO anything that would make a real war difference against America. Hitler did lift the ban he had on German U-boats attacking U.S. shipping but they were still looking more to enforce a naval blockade against England or sinking Russian shipments.

What is the point in giving America justification to join England in any overt actions against his Reich at that time? The answer is there is no point. Making dumb moves like that fits the Hitler of the comming desperation times but not of late 1941. The Hitler of 1941 still worked situations to his benefit in most cases.

It was during the very week of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, operation Barbarosa ground to a halt at the gates of Moscow. Right after the stall (December 5th and 6th, 1941), the Soviets attacked German forces around Moscow with forces that included 70 fresh divisions of well equipped, Siberian troops. Troops that the German High Command didn't think were available.

From the 5th on, the Soviets began a counter-offensive and were making small gains (a mile or less) in several areas. On the 6th, Soviet Thitieth Army broke into Third Panzer Group's left flank northeast of Klin to a distance of eight miles, almost creating a complete breakthrough.

German generals were reporting all along the line about the fresh, well trained and equipped Russian Siberian forces. For the next several days German forces were retreating west from Moscow.

Early on, it looked at times like the routs the German were accustomed to creating but they were the ones on the run. On the 10th of December, Guderian characterized his Second Panzer Army as a scattered assemblage of armed baggage trains slowly wending their way to the rear.

Hitler knew very well everything that was happening along the front. He was updated several times a day. He knew his armies were stalled and falling back. He also knew that unless something changed quickly, the Moscow objective could not be accomplished in 1941.

Though its certain he was shocked as this type situation had never occurred up until this time. Still, Hitler was not at a point where he was delusional and making up defensive formations yet. He knew Germany had a real issue here and likely thought he could work their way out of it.

In addition, Hitler was aware that his nation's strategic fuel reserves were low and some of the German armies in Russia were well short of normal strength. He had plans for how to get troop strengths back up but the oil situation alone threatened everything.

In order to turn the situation immediately, Hitler was looking for ways to change things on the Russian front. It is my opinion he hoped declaring war on the U.S. would induce Japan to reciprocate the gesture by declaring war on the Soviets. Or at the least, he hoped to persuade his ally to create concerns along the Russian border.

The Soviets and Japanese were not allys by any stretch. Rather, they were old enemies. In fact, Stalin had feared a Japanese attack on the Russian Eastern border since the war bagan. It was very reluctantly--and possibly out of desperation--that he had moved forces from there to the Moscow area. Even then it was only after Stalin's senior Japanese spy convinced him that Japan was looking East, not West.

If successful in influencing Stalin to pull some of these forces back, Hitler was still under the mistaken impression the Russians were completely out of reserves. He felt that victory was that close. If he could get the situation back to where it was just before the deep freeze began, they could resume the attack--and quickly win Moscow.

Other than his hopes for immediate help with the Soviet situation--which would have been admitted to NO ONE by the Nazi regime--it is unexplainable that Hitler would just up and declare war on America without substancial upside for his country at the time.