Casualties of World War II

Detailed Break-Down of World War 2 Casualties Listed by Country

Estimates of the death toll attributable to the war for military and civilian losses have ranged upward to 60 million, with civilian losses at or more than 50 percent of the total. The war had a global reach: over 50 countries or dependencies had some degree of involvement.

The genocidal death toll was attributed to several factors, including brutal mistreatment of POWs and captured partisans by both sides, multiple atrocities by the Germans and the Soviets against the civilian population and each other, the wholesale use of weaponry on the battlefield against huge masses of infantry. The multiple battles, and most of all, the use of scorched earth tactics destroyed agricultural land, infrastructure, and whole towns, leaving much of the population homeless and without food.

In the near two-and-a-half year siege of Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) by the German forces, 1.5 million Russians alone died from shelling, bombing, disease and starvation, a figure that exceeded all the military casualties of the U.S.A.and British Commonwealth combined.

The war also produced mass dislocation and movement of refugees. In the immediate post-war period, millions of ethnic Germans were expelled from the liberated countries of eastern Europe, many of whom died in displaced-persons camps. For China alone, an estimate of 60 million homeless has been estimated. Similarly, millions of German and Japanese POWs required repatriation. It took ten years before the last German prisoners were released while unknown numbers of surviving Japanese soldiers left on the Asian mainland disappeared without trace.

The material destruction of those areas that became battlegrounds or were the targets of Allied bombers was colossal. The destruction of cities - Warsaw, Hamburg, Dresden, and, especially, Russian and Japan urban centers, left millions homeless. The damage to roads, bridges, railways and industrial plants created mass economic dislocation while the financial costs of the war weighed on victors and vanquished alike.

Please note that the figures in this table are unofficial estimates obtained from various sources.

Country Total Dead KIA/MIA POWs POWs died in captivity Civilian Casualties
U.S.S.R. 31.6 million 9 million 5.2 million 3.6 million 19 million
Germany 8.2 million 4 million 3.3 million 374,000 3.8 million
Great Britain 450,000 357,116 unknown unknown 92,700
USA 300,000 300,000 unknown unknown
Australia 26,976 26,976 unknown unknown
Belgium 112,000 12,000 unknown unknown 100,000
Bulgaria 20,000 10,000 unknown unknown 10,000
Canada 42,000 42,000 unknown unknown
China 10.3 million 1.3 million unknown unknown 9 million
Denmark 3,000 2,000 unknown unknown 1,000
Finland 104,000 100,000 unknown unknown 4,000
France 600,000 250,000 unknown unknown 350,000
Greece 415,000 90,000 unknown unknown 325,000
Holland 264,000 14,000 unknown unknown 250,000
Hungary 590,000 100,000 500,000 200,000 290,000
India 61,000 36,000 unknown unknown 25,000
Italy 235,000 32,000 70,000 50,000 153,000
Japan 2.4 million 1.7 million unknown unknown 672,000
New Zealand 10,000 10,000 unknown unknown
Norway 17,000 10,000 unknown unknown 7,000
Poland 6.4 million 664,000 unknown unknown 5.7 million
Romania 750,000 350,000 500,000 200,000 200,000
South Africa 9,000 9,000 unknown unknown
Yugoslavia 1.5 million 320,000 unknown unknown 1.2 million

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Sources: Rudiger Overmans, Deutsche militärische Verluste im Zweiten Weltkrieg. Oldenbourg 2000. ISBN 3-486-56531-1, Richard Overy The Dictators: Hitler's Germany and Stalin's Russia (2004), ISBN 0-7139-9309-X; Vadim Erlikman, Poteri narodonaseleniia v XX veke: spravochnik. Moscow 2004. ISBN 5-93165-107-1; Mark Axworthy, Third Axis Fourth Ally. Arms and Armour 1995, p. 216. ISBN 1-85409-267-7.