WW2 Deaths (Boundless)

World War II was the deadliest military conflict in history, with estimates of 50 – 70 million people killed.

LEARNING OBJECTIVE[ edit ]

Summarize the final ledger of military and civilian deaths of World War II.

KEY POINTS[ edit ]

With over 60 million people killed, World War II was the deadliest military conflict in history.
Military casualties 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, Japanese war crimes, population transfers in the Soviet Union, other War Crimes and deaths due to war related famine and disease.
Total military dead ranges from 22 – 25 million, including deaths in captivity of about 5 million prisoners of war, while civilians killed totaled from 40 – 52 million, including 13 – 20 million from war-related disease and famine.
TERM[ edit ]

Holocaust
The systematic mass murder (democide) of 11 million people, namely 6 million Jews and 5 million Romanis, Slavs, homosexuals and others, perpetrated by Nazi Germany shortly before and during World War II.

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FULL TEXT[ edit ]

WWII: The Death Tally

World War II was the deadliest military conflict in history. Fatality statistics vary, with estimates of total dead ranging from 50 million to over 70 million – around 2.5% of the world population.
WWII Deaths

World War 2 was devastating for both the Allied and Axis nations. Five countries suffered the deaths of more than 10% of their population.
Military casualties 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, Japanese war crimes, population transfers in the Soviet Union, other War Crimes, and deaths due to war-related famine and disease. Total military dead ranges from 22 – 25 million, including deaths in captivity of about 5 million prisoners of war, while civilians killed totaled from 40 – 52 million, including 13 – 20 million from war-related disease and famine.

Research in Russia since the collapse of the Soviet Union has caused a revision of estimates of Soviet war dead. Estimated USSR losses within postwar borders now stand at 26.6 million. In August, 2009, the Polish Institute of National Remembrance (IPN) researchers estimated Poland’s dead at between 5.6 and 5.8 million. The German Army historian Dr. Rüdiger Overmans published a study in 2000 that estimated German military dead and missing at 5.3 million.

Some nations in World War II suffered disproportionately more casualties than others. This is especially true regarding civilian casualties. Casualties included about 4 – 12 million war-related famine deaths in China, Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines, and India that are often omitted from other compilations of World War II casualties.

Compiling or estimating the numbers of deaths caused during wars and other violent conflicts is a controversial subject. Historians often put forward many different estimates of the numbers killed during World War II. 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 U.S.S.R., China, Poland, Germany, and Yugoslavia, our sources can give us 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.

Source: Boundless. “The Final Ledger of Deaths.” Boundless U.S. History. Boundless, 21 Jul. 2015. Retrieved 27 Aug. 2015 from https://www.boundless.com/u-s-history/textbooks/boundless-u-s-history-textbook/from-isolation-to-world-war-ii-1930-1943-26/the-end-of-wwii-209/the-final-ledger-of-deaths-1158-2003/

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