Regardless of the fact, if U.S. decision to go to war was right or wrong, world war two was the most sorry event in human history. Unfortunately the death and other toll due to World War Two is usually reported like number. We need to understand that when we say sixty million, we mean sixty million human beings, just like you me. They were living and breathing people with families, neighbors and friends, co-workers. Most experts believe, if there will be a Third World War, it is going to be far more deadlier and destructive, since, the weapons of mass destruction are now lot more destructive and widely spread and held. Sixty million people were killed. An estimated 3.17 to 4.00% of world population died in war or as a consequence of war. U.S. casualties were 418,500. Death toll was as high as 16.7% of Poland’s population. Total deaths in Third Reich were as high as 8.0 to 10.5%. The death rate of Soviet citizens in German military was as high as 27.0%. U.S.S.R. lost about 13.5% and Belarus lost 25.3% of it’s population. There were 11 to 17 million people, who died due to systematic murders done by Nazis, 6 million of them were Jews (Holocaust). 4.5 to 8.2 million Russian civilians were the victims of Nazi killings. 2.7 to 3 million Jews were killed only in Poland. Roma deaths were between 130,565 to 285,650, with 26,000 to 90,000, only in Yugoslavia.
The historian Chalmers Johnson has written that “the Japanese slaughtered as many as 30 million Filipinos, Malays, Vietnamese, Cambodians, Indonesians and Burmese, at least 23 million of them ethnic Chinese. There were 14,657 deaths among the total 130,895 western civilians interned by the Japanese due to famine and disease.
The deaths of 400,000 civilians deported during the Soviet annexations in 1939–40 are included with World War II casualties.
Russian sources list Axis Prisoner of war deaths of 580,589 in Soviet captivity. However some western scholars estimate the total at between 1.7 and 2.3 million.
American corpses sprawled on the beach of Tarawa. The Marines secured the island after 76 hours of intense fighting with around 6,000 dead in total from both sides together. The Pacific war claimed the lives of more than 100,000 US military personnel (Source: Wikipedia).
Wikipedia article, World War II casualties, also reports that “Civilians killed totaled from 40 to 52 million, including 13 to 20 million from war-related disease and famine. Total military dead: from 22 to 25 million, including deaths in captivity of about 5 million prisoners of war.”
- 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;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;;.
- Dr. Rüdiger Overmans believes that “It seems entirely plausible, while not provable, that one half of the missing were killed in action, the other half however in fact died in Soviet custody”;
- Soviet sources list the deaths of 474,967 of the 2,652,672 German Armed Forces POW taken in the War.
- Estimated total Soviet military war dead from 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. There were an additional 127,000 war dead in 1939–40 during the Winter War with Finland
- The official figures for military war dead and missing from 1941–45 are 8,668,400 comprising 6,329,600 combat related deaths, 555,500 non combat deaths. 500,000 missing in action and 1,103,300 POW dead and another 180,000 liberated POWs who most likely emigrated to other countries. Figures include Navy losses of 154,771. Non combat deaths include 157,000 sentenced to death by court martial.
- 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).
- The number of wounded includes 2,576,000 permanently disabled.
- 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).
- 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.
- Number served: UK & Crown Colonies(5,896,000); India (2,582,000), Australia (993,000); Canada (1,100,000); New Zealand (295,000); South Africa (250,000).
- Total war related deaths reported by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission: UK & Crown Colonies (383,786); Undivided India (87,032), Australia (40,464); Canada (45,383); New Zealand (11,929); South Africa (11,903);
- Wounded: UK & Crown Colonies (284,049); India (64,354), Australia (39,803); Canada (53,174); New Zealand (19,314); South Africa (14,363)
- Prisoner of war: UK & Crown Colonies (180,488); India (79,481); Australia (26,358); South Africa (14,750); Canada (9,334); New Zealand (8,415))
- 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.
- Battle deaths were 292,131, Army 234,874, Navy 36,950, Marine Corps 19,733, Coast Guard 574, and United States Army Air Forces (included in Army) 52,173. (185,924 deaths occurred in the European/Atlantic theater of operations and 106,207 deaths occurred in Asia/Pacific theater of operations.)
- The United States Merchant Marine war dead of 9,521 are included with military losses. U.S. Merchant Mariners in “ocean-going service” during World War II have Veteran Status.
- During World War II, 1.2 million African Americans served in the Armed Forces and 708 were killed in combat. 350,000 American women served in the military during World War II and 16 were killed in action
In short war is “the dirtiest” game. Once started, nobody knows who will survive and who will be the victim. You may be directly involved or totally unrelated, doesn’t matter. You may be a military personal or a civilian, makes no difference, in practical sense. You may be killed just because who you are or how you look like. Hence, the original question is still unanswered. Did we have to get involved in all of this? Isn’t it amazing that almost seventy years later, we are still looking for the answers to very basic questions.