Military

These Two Countries Had the Most Casualties in WWII and It's Not Even Close

Poland World War II | Photograph of German soldiers advancing on Poland during World War II
Photos.com / PHOTOS.com>> via Getty Images

On a global scale, World War II is one of the worst conflicts. Almost every country was involved in the fight in some way, and over 75 million people died and many more were injured. Many of those were people who willingly stepped in to fight for their country. However, many more people were casualties of war, lives lost due to starvation, horrible living conditions, bombs, or crimes against humanity.

Some of WWII’s biggest battles involved millions of soldiers and civilians. In the end, the war managed to shift which countries were in power and the peace has been upheld mostly since then, though several countries are still fighting their own wars.

Here 24/7 Wall St. is taking a closer look at the casualties from World War II. To identify the countries with the most casualties in World War II, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed WWII casualty statistics from World War 2 Facts, an online database of WWII battles. We ranked countries based on total casualties. We included supplemental information regarding military deaths for each country as well as civilian deaths.

While many countries lost a large number of people, the top two countries on this list were prominent in the war, losing many soldiers and civilians while trying to stop advances and protect their country, with several million casualties at the end. (These are the countries that mobilized the most troops in World War II.)

Why Are We Covering World War II?

Nato national Flag textile cloth fabric waving on the top
Source: EA09 Studio / Shutterstock.com

World War II was one of the deadliest conflicts in human history with unprecedented casualties. This war established the geopolitical situation the world is in today. Understanding how these countries were impacted by World War II and the casualties that resulted from it helps people to remember history, as well as helps them understand why alliances are the way they are now.

Here is a look at the countries with the most casualties in World War II:

27. Denmark

Denmark | Denmark
Source: philfiddyment / Flickr
  • Total deaths and injuries during WWII: 3,200

There were 3,200 casualties in Denmark. Roughly 1,100 were civilians and the other 2,100 were military.

26. Norway

  • Total casualties: 9,500

Norway had 9,500 total casualties. 3,000 were military and 6,500 were civilians.

25. New Zealand

Source: Fox Photos / Hulton Archive via Getty Images
  • Total deaths and injuries during WWII: 11,900

New Zealand had 11,900 casualties during the war. All of the casualties reported were civilian.

24. South Africa

Source: Fox Photos / Hulton Archive via Getty Images
  • Total deaths and injuries during WWII: 11,900

South Africa’s entire list of casualties were military members. All 11,900 people were military, with no reported civilian death, just like New Zealand.

23. Spain

Source: Hulton Archive / Hulton Archive via Getty Images
  • Total deaths and injuries during WWII: 14,500

Spain experienced 10,000 civilian casualties. There were also 4,500 military casualties.

22. Bulgaria

Source: 8th Cavalery Regiment (Bulgaria) in Bujanovac, Serbia, WWII by Unknown (Регионална библиотека ПЕНЧО СЛАВЕЙКОВ - Варна / Public Library - Varna) / CC0 1.0 (https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/deed.en)
  • Total deaths and injuries during WWII: 25,000

Bulgaria had 25,000 casualties during the war. 22,000 were military and 3,000 were citizens.

21. Australia

Source: Hulton Archive / Hulton Archive via Getty Images
  • Total deaths and injuries during WWII: 40,500

Australia suffered very few civilian casualties. Out of the 40,500 total casualties, 39,800 of them were military. The other 700 were civilians.

20. Canada

Source: Stanley Sherman / Hulton Archive via Getty Images
  • Total deaths and injuries during WWII: 45,300

Canada managed to suffer no civilian casualties, though there were about 45,300 military deaths, injuries, and losses.

19. Belgium

Source: Jules_Kitano / iStock via Getty Images
  • Total deaths and injuries during WWII: 86,100

Belgium suffered 86,100 casualties. Most of them, about 74,000 were civilians. The other 12,100 were military members.

18. Finland

  • Total deaths and injuries during WWII: 97,000

Most of Finland’s losses came from military casualties. 95,000 were military losses while 2,000 were civilian casualties.

17. Netherlands

Source: Images from Jeffrey / Shutterstock.com
  • Total deaths and injuries during WWII: 301,000

Out of the 301,000 casualties the Netherlands experienced, 17,000 were soldiers or military. The other 284,000 were civilians.

16. Czechoslovakia

Source: Three Lions / Hulton Archive via Getty Images
  • Total deaths and injuries during WWII: 345,000

Most of Czechoslovakia’s casualties were civilians. Of the 345,000 total casualties, 320,000 were people who suffered from starvation, horrible living conditions, and crimes against humanity. The other 25,000 casualties were military.

15. Austria

  • Total deaths and injuries during WWII: 384,700

Austria suffered from 384,700 casualties. 261,000 of them were soldiers killed, injured, or missing in action. The other 123,700 were civilians.

14. United States

Source: Keystone / Hulton Archive via Getty Images
  • Total deaths and injuries during WWII: 418,500

The United States suffered a few civilian casualties, about 1,700. However, most were military, around 416,800.

13. Great Britain

Close Up Single Re-enactor Dressed As German Wehrmacht Infantry Soldier In World War II Walking In Patrol Through Autumn Forest. WWII WW2 Times. Photo In Black And White Colors.
Source: George Trumpeter / Shutterstock.com
  • Total deaths and injuries during WWII: 449,800

Most of the casualties, especially civilian ones, during WWII in Great Britain came from the Blitz where the Germans bombed the area. Out of the 67,100 civilian casualties, about 40,000 were killed during the Blitz, most of them in London. About 382,700 military members were lost, killed, or injured during the war as well.

12. Italy

Source: Hulton Archive / Hulton Archive via Getty Images
  • Total deaths and injuries during WWII: 456,000

Italy’s casualties were around 456,000. Many of them were military, at least 300,000. There were about 145,100 civilian casualties during the war. The total number of Africans conscripted by Italy to fight on their behalf isn’t quite known, though there were likely around 20,000 casualties based on estimations.

11. Greece

  • Total deaths and injuries during WWII: 560,000

Greece suffered a lot during WWII. Roughly 35,000 members of the military were injured or killed, but over 500,000 civilians died due to starvation, living conditions, and crimes against humanity.

10. France

  • Total deaths and injuries during WWII: 600,000

Roughly 210,000 military members were injured, captured, or killed during World War II. However, civilians suffered just as much, with a total of 390,000 casualties during that time, and many suffered because of crimes against humanity.

9. Hungary

Source: Hulton Archive / Archive Photos via Getty Images
  • Total deaths and injuries during WWII: 580,000

Hungary had over half a million casualties during World War II. They were split almost evenly between civilian and military casualties, with the military having 300,000 and civilians totaling 280,000.

8. Romania

Source: Archive Photos / Archive Photos via Getty Images
  • Total deaths and injuries during WWII: 500,000

Most of Romania’s casualties during WWII were from captured soldiers. A total of 300,000 soldiers were injured, lost, or killed, with around 200,000 dying in captivity. As far as civilians, there were about 200,000 casualties.

7. Yugoslavia

  • Total deaths and injuries during WWII: 1,200,000

Yugoslavia had over a million casualties. 446,000 of them were military members, and 754,000 were civilians.

6. India

Source: A. R. Tanner / Hulton Archive via Getty Images
  • Total deaths and injuries during WWII: 2,087,000

Many of India’s civilians died during WWII. Of the 2,087,000, 2,000,000 died or were injured outside of the battlefield due to a major famine. The other 87,000 were military members lost during the fighting.

5. Japan

  • Total deaths and injuries during WWII: 2,700,000

Japan lost a few more people than India did. However, most of them, roughly 2,120,000 people, were military. Their civilian deaths stayed fairly low at 580,000.

4. Poland

Source: Photos.com / PHOTOS.com>> via Getty Images
  • Total deaths and injuries during WWII: 5,600,000

Most of Poland’s 5,700,000 casualties of war were the civilians. Of the 5,700,000 people injured or killed, only 240,000 were military, while the other 2,360,000 were mainly crimes against the citizens.

3. Germany

Source: Leonard McCombe / Picture Post via Getty Images
  • Total deaths and injuries during WWII: 7,720,800

Germany is third on this list, with nearly 8 million deaths. Most of those were from the military, about 5.5 of them. The other 2.1 million or so were civilians.

2. China

Source: FPG / Archive Photos via Getty Images
  • Total deaths and injuries during WWII: 15,000,000

China’s casualties doubled those of the next highest, Germany. Out of the 15,000,000 people who were killed, 11,500,000 of them were civilians and 3,500,000 were soldiers or members of the military.

1. Soviet Union

Source: Yevgeny Khaldei / Hulton Archive via Getty Images
  • Total deaths and injuries during WWII: 27,700,000

The Soviet Union had the most casualties of any country during WWII, with a total of 26,600,000 people injured or killed during the war. Of this number, roughly 8,700,000 people were military, while the other 19 million were civilians who suffered.

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