It has been more than a quarter of a century since the second world war ended. Since then, no war has come even close to the levels of death and destruction wrought. More than 80 million soldiers and civilians died over roughly six years of battle. By far the greatest losses were felt by the Soviet Union, where by some estimates 27 million people died. During the war, some of the deadliest battles ever fought took place.
Many of the battles on the list are conflicts between the Soviet Union, one of the Allied powers, and Nazi Germany, the main Axis power. These battles were characterized by the size of military resources involved and the significant civilian population loss.
The fog of war always complicates exact casualty totals. The estimates are the result of historians patching together primary documents over many years.
24/7 Wall St. has compiled a list of the largest battles of World War II based on the number of casualties, which includes deaths and wounded. When available, we included civilian casualties. To create our list, we reviewed material from sources such as the Imperial War Museum in London, World War II battle database, and more.
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