How many American soldiers died in World War II

history: Background: The Second World War in facts and figures

Berlin (AP) - When the guns fell silent in 1945, Germany was in ruins. Millions were on the run. World War II killed at least 55 million people in Europe and the Far East. Facts and figures:

POPULATION: In 1939 the German Reich with the annexed Austria had about 80 million inhabitants. Its most important later war opponents - France, Great Britain, the USA and the Soviet Union - had five times the population.

SOLDIERS IN DEPLOYMENT: In the course of the war, around 17.3 million German men were drafted into the Wehrmacht, plus around one million members of the Waffen SS. In 1945 there were 10 million soldiers in the US Army and Air Force alone, and many more in the Soviet Union.

WAR VICTIMS: The war in Europe and Asia is estimated to have killed at least 55 million people, most of them civilians. With more than 26 million dead, the Soviet Union suffered the greatest losses. Germany counted around 6.3 million dead, including almost 5.2 million soldiers. The US lost 292,000 men. Over 10 million Chinese are said to have died. American atomic bombs killed about 150,000 Japanese on the spot. The victims also include around 6 million Jews murdered by the Nazis.

POWERS: After the end of the war, around 11 million German soldiers were in captivity, mostly briefly as so-called surrender prisoners. Only 2 out of 3.3 million Germans returned from Soviet camps, the last in 1956. Of the approximately 5.7 million Red Army soldiers, 3.3 million did not survive German captivity. The most prominent was a son of the Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin.

WAR ECONOMY: The war cost the United States more than $ 4,000 billion in today's value. They supported the poorer allies with massive arms. From 1940 to 1944, US economic output more than doubled. The pillars of the German war economy were deliveries of raw materials from the occupied territories and around 7.5 million forced laborers. Much of the horrendous cost of the war was covered by loans.

REFUGEES: Before and after the end of the war, around 12 million people from the eastern empire and settlement areas looked for a new home or were expelled. According to different estimates, around 400,000 to two million refugees are said to have died in the turmoil between 1944 and 1947. Hundreds of thousands of Poles from the eastern part of the country annexed by the Soviet Union lost their homeland.

TERRITORY LOSS: Measured against the borders of 1937, the Reich lost 114,000 square kilometers or around 24 percent of its national territory (Pomerania, Silesia, East Prussia, East Brandenburg). Poland also suffered great losses despite being shifted to the west. Finland, Hungary and Romania have also been downsized.

WAR DAMAGE: At the end of the war, Germany was a field of rubble: Almost 5 million destroyed or damaged apartments, especially in large and larger cities, bombed factories and traffic routes. In the Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal, the Soviet Union asserted 71,000 destroyed cities and villages and 32,000 businesses. The city of Coventry is one of the British victims of the German Air Force.


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