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British wounded Bernafay Wood 19 July 1916

British and German wounded, Bernafay Wood, 19 July 1916. Photo by Ernest Brooks

Douaumont ossuary3

Douaumont French military cemetery seen from Douaumont ossuary, which contains remains of French and German soldiers who died during the Battle of Verdun in 1916

The total number of military and civilian casualties in World War I was over 37 million. There were over 16 million deaths and 20 million wounded ranking it among the deadliest conflicts in human history.

The total number of deaths includes about 10 million military personnel and about 7 million civilians. The Entente Powers (also known as the Allies) lost about 6 million soldiers while the Central Powers lost about 4 million. At least 2 million died from diseases and 6 million went missing, presumed dead.

About two-thirds of military deaths in World War I were in battle, unlike the conflicts that took place in the 19th century when the majority of deaths were due to disease. Improvements in medicine as well as the increased lethality of military weaponry were both factors in this development. Nevertheless disease, including the Spanish flu, still caused about one third of total military deaths for all belligerents.

Classification of casualty statisticsEdit

Estimates of casualty numbers for World War I vary to a great extent; estimates of total deaths range from 9 million to over 15 million [1] The figures listed here are from official secondary sources, whenever available. These sources are cited below. Military casualty statistics listed here include 6.8 million [2] combat related deaths as well as 3 million military deaths caused by accidents, disease and deaths while prisoners of war. First World War civilian deaths are 'hazardous to estimate" according to Michael Clodfelter who maintains that “The generally accepted figure of noncombatant deaths is 6.5 million”[3] The figures listed below include about 6 million excess civilian deaths due to war related malnutrition and disease that are often omitted from other compilations of World War I casualties. The war brought about malnutrition and disease caused by a disruption of trade resulting in shortages of food; the mobilization for the war took away millions of men from the agricultural labor force cutting food production. The civilian deaths listed below also include the Armenian Genocide. Civilian deaths due to the Spanish flu have been excluded from these figures, whenever possible. Furthermore, the figures do not include deaths during the Turkish War of Independence and the Russian Civil War.

Casualties by 1914 bordersEdit

Allies of World War I Population (millions) Military deaths Direct civilian deaths (due to military action) Excess civilian deaths (due to famine, disease & accidents) Total deaths Deaths as % of population Military wounded
Flag of Australia.svg Australia b 4.5 61,966 61,966 1.38% 152,171
Canadian Red Ensign (1868–1921).svg Canada d 7.2 64,976 2,000 66,976 0.92% 149,732
British Raj Red Ensign.svg India(British colony) g 315.1 74,187 74,187 0.02% 69,214
Flag of New Zealand.svg New Zealand l 1.1 18,052 18,052 1.64% 41,317
Dominion of Newfoundland Red Ensign.svg Newfoundland m 0.2 1,570 1,570 0.65% 2,314
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland s 45.4 886,939 2,000 107,000 995,939 2.19% 1,663,435
Sub-total for British Empire - 1,115,597 2,000 109,000 1,226,597 - 2,090,212
East Africaa See footnote
Flag of Belgium.svg Belgium c 7.4 58,637 7,000 55,000 120,637 1.63% 44,686
France France e 39.6 1,397,800 40,000 260,000 1,697,800 4.29% 4,266,000
State Flag of Greece (1863-1924 and 1935-1973).svg Kingdom of Greece f 4.8 26,000 150,000 176,000 3.67% 21,000
Flag of Italy (1861-1946) crowned.svg Kingdom of Italy h 35.6 651,000 4,000 585,000 1,240,000 3.48% 953,886
Flag of Japan (1870–1999).svg Empire of Japan i 53.6 415 415 0% 907
Flag of Luxembourg.svg Luxembourg j 0.3 See footnote
Flag of Montenegro (1905–1918).svg Kingdom of Montenegro k 0.5 3,000 3,000 0.6% 10,000
Flag of Portugal.svg Portugal n 6.0 7,222 82,000 89,222 1.49% 13,751
Flag of Romania.svg Kingdom of Romania o 7.5 250,000 120,000 330,000 700,000 9.33% 120,000
Flag of Russia.svg Russian Empire p 175.1 1,811,000 to 2,254,369 500,000(1914 borders) 1,000,000(1914 borders) 3,311,000 to 3,754,369 1.89% to 2.14% 3,749,000 to 4,950,000
State Flag of Serbia (1882-1918).svg Kingdom of Serbia q 4.5 275,000 150,000 300,000 725,000 16.11% 133,148
US flag 48 stars.svg United States t 92.0 116,708 757 117,465 0.13% 205,690
Total (Entente Powers) 800.4 5,712,379 823,757 2,871,000 9,407,136 1.19% 12,809,280
Central Powers Population (millions) Military deaths Direct civilian deaths (due to military action) Excess civilian deaths (due to famine, disease & accidents) Total deaths Deaths as % of population Military wounded
Flag of Austria-Hungary (1869-1918).svg Austria-Hungary u 51.4 1,100,000 120,000 347,000 1,567,000 3.05% 3,620,000
Flag of Bulgaria.svg Kingdom of Bulgaria v 5.5 87,500 100,000 187,500 3.41% 152,390
Flag of the German Empire.svg German Empire w 64.9 2,050,897 1,000 425,000 2,476,897 3.82% 4,247,143
Ottoman flag.svg Ottoman Empire x 21.3 771,844 2,150,000 2,921,000 13.72% 400,000
Total (Central Powers) 143.1 4,010,241 121,000 3,022,000 7,153,241 5% 8,419,533
Neutral nations
Flag of Denmark.svg Denmark y 2.7 722 722 0.03% _
Flag of Norway.svg Norway z 2.4 1,892 1,892 0.08% _
Flag of Sweden.svg Sweden z 5.6 877 877 0.02% _
Grand total 954.2 9,722,620 948,248 5,893,000 16,563,868 1.75% 21,228,813

Casualties by modern bordersEdit

Map Europe 1923-en

Map of Territorial Changes in Europe after World War I

The war involved multi-ethnic empires such as Great Britain, France, Germany, Russia, Austro-Hungary and Turkey. The diverse ethnic groups in these multi-ethnic empires were conscripted for military service. The casualties listed by modern borders are also included in the above table of figures for the countries that existed in 1914.

Flag of Austria.svg AustriaEdit

The following estimates of Austrian deaths, within contemporary borders, were made by a Russian journalist in a 2004 handbook of human losses in the 20th century. Total dead 175,000: including military losses 120,000 with the Austo-Hungarian forces and POW deaths in captivity of 30,000. Civilian dead due to famine and disease were 25,000 [4]

Belgium Belgian CongoEdit

The Belgian Congo was part of the Kingdom of Belgium during the war. Following estimates of casualties were made by a Russian journalist in a 2004 handbook of human losses in the 20th century.

Flag of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.svg Democratic Republic of the Congo (1914 known as the Belgian Congo): 5,000 in military and 150,000 civilians.[5]

Flag of the Czech Republic.svg CzechoslovakiaEdit

Czechoslovakia was part of Austro-Hungary during the war. The estimates of Czechoslovak deaths within 1991 borders were made by a Russian journalist in a 2004 handbook of human losses in the 20th century. Total dead 185,000: including military losses 110,000 with the Austro-Hungarian forces and POW deaths in captivity of 45,000. Civilian dead due to famine and disease were 30,000.[6] The Czechoslovak Legions fought with the armies of the Allies during the war.

Flag of Estonia.svg EstoniaEdit

Estonia was part of Russian Empire during the war and about 100,000 Estonians served in the Russian Army. Of them about 10,000 were killed.[7]

France French coloniesEdit

The following estimates of French colonial military deaths, within contemporary borders, during World War I were made by a Russian journalist in a 2004 handbook of human losses in the 20th century. Total military dead in French Army 81,000.[8]

Flag of Algeria.svg Algeria (1914 known as French Algeria): 26,000
Flag of Vietnam.svg Vietnam (1914 known as French Indochina): 12,000
Flag of Mali.svg Mali (1914 part of French West Africa): 10,000
Flag of Morocco.svg Morocco (1914 known as the French protectorate of Morocco): 8,000
Flag of Senegal.svg Senegal (1914 part of French West Africa): 6,000
Flag of Guinea.svg Guinea (1914 part of French West Africa): 2,500
Flag of Madagascar.svg Madagascar: 2,500
Flag of Benin.svg Benin (1914 part of French West Africa): 2,000
Flag of Burkina Faso.svg Burkina Faso (1914 part of French West Africa): 2,000
Flag of the Republic of the Congo.svg Republic of the Congo (1914 part of French Equatorial Africa):2,000
Flag of Côte d'Ivoire.svg Ivory Coast (1914 part of French West Africa): 2,000
Flag of Tunisia.svg Tunisia (1914 known as French Tunisia): 2,000
Flag of Chad.svg Chad (1914 part of French Equatorial Africa): 1,500
Flag of the Central African Republic.svg Central African Republic (1914 known as French Oubangui-Chari): 1,000
Flag of Niger.svg Niger (1914 part of French West Africa): 1,000
Flag of Gabon.svg Gabon (1914 part of French Equatorial Africa): 500

German Empire German coloniesEdit

The following estimates of German Colonial military deaths, within contemporary borders, during World War I were made by a Russian journalist in a 2004 handbook of human losses in the 20th century. Total military dead 17,000.[9]

Flag of Tanzania.svg Tanzania (1914 part of German East Africa): 20,000
Flag of Namibia.svg Namibia (1914 known as German South-West Africa): 10,000
Flag of Cameroon.svg Cameroon (1914 known as Kamerun): 5,000
Flag of Togo.svg Togo (1914 known as German Togoland): 2,000

Flag of Hungary.svg HungaryEdit

The following estimates of Hungarian deaths, within contemporary borders, during World War I were made by a Russian journalist in a 2004 handbook of human losses in the 20th century. Total dead 385,000: including military losses 270,000 with the Austro-Hungarian forces and POW deaths in captivity of 70,000. Civilian dead due to famine and disease were 45,000[10]

Flag of Ireland.svg IrelandEdit

Ireland was a part of the UK during World War I. Five sixths of the island left to form the Irish Free State, now the Republic of Ireland, in 1922.

A total of 206,000 Irishmen served in the British forces during the war.[11] The number of Irish deaths in the British Army recorded by the registrar general was 27,405.[12] A significant number of these casualties were from what, in 1920, became Northern Ireland. While 49,400 soldiers died serving in Irish Divisions (the 10th, 16th and 36th) [13] Not all of the men serving in these divisions were natives of Ireland, for example 71% of the casualties in the 16th Division were natives of Ireland.[12]

Flag of Poland.svg PolandEdit

Poland was annexed by Germany, Austria-Hungary and Russia from 1795–1914. By late 1915 Germany had complete control over modern-day Poland. A 2005 Polish study estimated 3.4 million Poles served in the Armed Forces of the occupying powers during World War I. Total deaths from 1914–18, military and civilian, within the 1919–1939 borders, were estimated at 1,130,000.[14] The following estimates of Polish deaths, within contemporary (post 1945) borders, during World War I were made by a Russian journalist in a 2004 handbook of human losses in the 20th century. Total dead 640,000: including military losses of 250,000 Poles conscripted into the following armies listed below. POW deaths in captivity of 20,000. Civilian losses due to the war included 120,000 due to military operations and 250,000 caused by famine and disease.[15]

The ethnic Polish Blue Army served with the French Army. The ethnic Polish Legions fought as part of the Austro-Hungarian Army on the Eastern Front.

Flag of Austria-Hungary (1869-1918).svg Austria-Hungary (Polish Legions): 67,000
Flag of the German Empire.svg German Empire: 87,000
Flag of Russia.svg Russian Empire: 96,000

Flag of Romania.svg RomaniaEdit

The territory of Transylvania was part of Austria-Hungary during World War I. The following estimates of Romanian deaths, within contemporary borders, during World War I were made by a Russian journalist in a 2004 handbook of human losses in the 20th century. Total dead 748,000: including military losses 220,000 with the Romanian forces and 150,000 with the Austro-Hungarian forces and POW deaths in captivity of 48,000. Civilian dead were as follows due to famine and disease 200,000, killed in military operations 120,000 and 10,000 dead in Austrian prisons. [16]

Romania Romanian Forces: 220,000 military and 330,000 civilians
Austria-Hungary Austro-Hungarian Forces: 150,000

United Kingdom British coloniesEdit

The following estimates of British Empire colonial military deaths, within contemporary borders, during World War I were made by a Russian journalist in a 2004 handbook of human losses in the 20th century. Total military dead 35,700.[17] Britain recruited Indian, Chinese, native South African, Egyptian and other overseas labour to provide logistical support in the combat theatres.[18] Included with British casualties in East Africa are the deaths of 44,911 recruited labourers.[19] The CWGC reports that nearly 2,000 workers from the Chinese Labour Corps are buried with British war dead in France.[20]

Flag of Ghana.svg Ghana (1914 known as the Gold Coast): 1,200
Flag of Kenya.svg Kenya (1914 known as British East Africa): 2,000
Flag of Malawi.svg Malawi (1914 known as Nyasaland): 3,000
Flag of Nigeria.svg Nigeria (1914 part of British West Africa): 5,000
Flag of Sierra Leone.svg Sierra Leone (1914 part of British West Africa): 1,000
Flag of Uganda.svg Uganda (1914 known as the Uganda Protectorate): 1,500
Flag of Zambia.svg Zambia (1914 known as Northern Rhodesia): 3,000

Southern Rhodesia (today Zimbabwe) suffered over 700 military fatalities during the war.[21]

Pan-Slavic flag.svg Kingdom of YugoslaviaEdit

The following estimates are for Yugoslavia within 1991 borders.

Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia were part of Austria-Hungary during World War I. Serbia (including Macedonia) and Montenegro were independent nations. The Yugoslav historian Vladimir Dedijer put Serbian deaths in World War One at 369,815 military and 600,000 civilians.[22] The following estimates of Yugoslav deaths, within 1991 borders, during World War I were made by a Russian journalist in a 2004 handbook of human losses in the 20th century. Total dead 996,000: including military losses 260,000 with the Serbian forces, 80,000 with the Austro-Hungarian forces 13,000 with Montenegro forces and POW deaths in captivity of 93,000. Civilian dead were as follows due to famine and disease 400,000, killed in military operations 120,000 and 30,000 dead in Austrian prisons or executed.[23]

Flag of Nepal.svg   NepalEdit

During WW1, the Nepalese army was expanded and six new regiments, totaling more than 20,000 troops—all volunteers—were sent to India, most of them to the North-West Frontier Province, to release British and Indian troops for service overseas. Simultaneously, the Nepalese government agreed to maintain recruitment at a level that both would sustain the existing British Gurkha units and allow the establishment of additional ones. The battalions were increased to thirty-three with the addition of 55,000 new recruits, and Gurkha units were placed at the disposal of the British high command for service on all fronts. Many volunteers were assigned to noncombat units, such as the Army Bearer Corps and the labor battalions, but they also were in combat in France, Turkey, Palestine, and Mesopotamia. The Rana prime ministers urged Nepalese males to fight in the war. Of the more than 200,000 Nepalese who served in the British Army, there were some 20,000 Gurkha casualties included above with the British Indian Army.[24]

Notes on sourcesEdit

Ypres-necropole-national-gravestones.redvers

Graves of French soldiers who died on the Ypres Salient, Ypres Necropole National, Ypres, Belgium.

Indiagatedelhi

The India Gate in Delhi commemorates the Indian soldiers who died during World War I.

The main sources used for military and civilian deaths (unless stated otherwise in the footnotes below) are as follows:

  • The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) Annual Report 2009–2010 is the source of the military dead for the British Empire. The war dead totals listed in the report are based on the research by the CWGC to identify and commemorate Commonwealth war dead. The statistics tabulated by The Commonwealth War Graves Commission are representative of the number of names commemorated for all servicemen/women of the Armed Forces of the Commonwealth and former UK Dependencies, whose death was attributable to their war service. Some auxiliary and civilian organizations are also accorded war grave status if death occurred under certain specified conditions. For the purposes of CWGC the dates of inclusion for Commonwealth War Dead are 04/08/1914 to 31/08/1921. Total World War I dead were 1,115,597 (UK and former colonies 886,939; Undivided India 74,187; Canada 64,976; Australia 61,966; New Zealand 18,052; South Africa 9,477[25] These figures also include the Merchant Navy.
  • Statistics of the Military Effort of the British Empire During the Great War 1914–1920, The War Office March 1922.[26] This official report lists 908,371 'soldiers' killed in action, died of wounds, died as prisoners of war and were missing in action from 4 August 1914 to 31 December 1920, (British Isles 702,410; India 64,449; Canada 56,639; Australia 59,330; New Zealand 16,711; South Africa 7,121 and Newfoundland 1,204,other colonies 507). Figures include the Royal Navy war dead and missing of 32,287. These figures do not include the Merchant Navy total dead of 14,661 which was listed separately. Figures for total Royal Flying Corps, Royal Air Force and Royal Naval Air Service war dead were included in the total dead and not listed separately in War Office report.
    The losses of Bulgaria and Portugal were also listed in the UK War Office report.
  • The official "final and corrected" casualty figures for British Army,including the Territorial Force (not including allied British Empire forces) were issued on 10 March 1921. The losses were for the period 4 August 1914 until 30 September 1919, included 573,507 "killed in action, died from wounds and died of other causes"; 254,176 missing less 154,308 released prisoners; for a net total of 673,375 dead and missing. There were 1,643,469 wounded also listed in the report[27]
  • Casualties and Medical Statistics published in 1931.[28] was the final volume of the Official Medical History of the War, gives British Empire Army losses by cause of death. Total losses in combat theaters from 1914–1918 were 876,084, which included 418,361 killed, 167,172 died of wounds, 113,173 died of disease or injury, 161,046 missing and presumed dead and 16,332 prisoner of war deaths. Total losses were not broken out for the UK and each Dominion. These figures do not include the losses of Dominion forces in the Gallipoli Campaign, since records were incomplete.[19] Figures do not include the Royal Navy.
  • Huber, Michel La Population de la France pendant la guerre, Paris 1931.[29] This study published by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace lists official French government figures for war-related military deaths and missing of France and its colonies.
  • Mortara, Giorgo La Salute pubblica in Italia durante e dopo la Guerra, New Haven: Yale University Press 1925.[30] The official government Italian statistics on war dead are listed here. A brief summary of data from this report can be found online.go to Vol 13, No. 15
  • Urlanis, Boris Wars and Population, Moscow, 1971. Lists the military dead of Russia, Greece, Serbia and Montenegro[31] The footnotes give his estimates of combat-related casualties; killed and missing in action or died of wounds for each nation.
  • Heeres-Sanitätsinspektion im Reichskriegsministeriums, Sanitätsbericht über das deutsche Heer, (Deutsches Feld- und Besatzungsheer), im Weltkriege 1914-1918, Volume 3, Sec. 1, Berlin 1934. The official German Army medical war history listed German losses.
  • Grebler, Leo and Winkler, Wilhelm The Cost of the World War to Germany and Austria-Hungary This study published by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace details the losses of Austria-Hungary and Germany in the war.[32]
  • Hersch, Liebmann, La mortalité causée par la guerre mondiale, Metron- The International Review of Statistics, 1927, Vol 7. No 1. This study published in an academic journal detailed the demographic impact of the war on France, the UK, Italy, Belgium, Portugal, Serbia, Romania and Greece. The total estimated increase in the number of civilian deaths due to the war was 2,171,000, not including an additional 984,000 Spanish Flu deaths. These indirect war losses were due primarily to food shortages caused by the disruption of trade. This was by no means the only cause, the mobilization for the war took away millions of men from the agricultural labor force.[34]
  • Dumas, Samuel (1923). Losses of Life Caused by War. Oxford- This study published by an academic press detailed the impact of the war on the civilian population. The study estimated excess civilian deaths at: France(264,000 to 284,000), the UK (181,000), Italy(324,000), and Germany(692,000).[35]
  • Tucker, Spencer C. ed. The European Powers in the First World War: An Encyclopedia This is the source for military wounded, unless stated otherwise. Civilian deaths in the Ottoman Empire are also listed in this source.[36]

The source of population data is:

  • Haythornthwaite, Philip J., The World War One Source Book Arms and Armour, 1993, 412 pages, ISBN 978-1-85409-102-4.

FootnotesEdit

WorldWarI-DeathsByAlliance-Piechart

Deaths by alliance and military/civilian. Most of the civilian deaths were due to war-related famine

WorldWarI-MilitaryDeaths-EntentePowers-Piechart

Deaths of the Allied powers

WorldWarI-MilitaryDeaths-CentralPowers-Piechart

Deaths of the Central powers

^a The conflict in East Africa caused enormous civilian casualties. The Oxford History of World War One notes that "In east and central Africa the harshness of the war resulted in acute shortages of food with famine in some areas, a weakening of populations, and epidemic diseases which killed hundreds of thousands of people and also cattle." [37] The following estimates of civilian deaths during World War I were made by a Russian journalist in a 2004 handbook of human losses in the 20th century: Kenya 30,000; Tanzania 100,000; Mozambique 50,000; Rwanda 15,000; Burundi 20,000; and the Belgian Congo 150,000.[8]

The reported military casualties of the UK, France, Germany, Belgium, and Portugal include Africans who served with their armed forces. The details are noted in the footnotes of the various nations.

Massengrab Fromelles retuschiert

Fallen British and Australian soldiers in a mass grave, dug by German soldiers, 1916 or 1917

^b Australia Included in total military deaths are 54,000 killed or missing in action and died of wounds[31] The Commonwealth War Graves Commission Annual Report 2009-2010 is the source of the total 61,966 military dead.[25] The 'Debt of Honour Register' lists the 1.7 million men and women of the Commonwealth forces who died during the two world wars.[38] The 1922 War Office report listed 59,330 Army war dead.[39]

^c Belgium: The total Includes 35,000 killed or missing in action and died of wounds[31] Official Belgian government figures for military losses in Europe were 26,338 killed, died of wounds or accidents and 14,029 died of disease or missing. The total in Europe is 40,367. In Africa: 2,620 soldiers killed and 15,560 porter deaths, for a total in the African campaign of 18,270. The combined total for Europe and Africa is 58,637[40] Another estimate (by the UK War Office in 1922) was 13,716 killed and 24,456 missing up until November 11, 1918. "These figures are approximate only, the records being incomplete." [41] The U.S. War Department in 1924 estimated 13,716 killed and died US War Dept 1924[42]
Civilian deaths exceeded the prewar level by 92,000. 62,000 were caused by food shortages and German reprisals, and 30,000 by the Spanish Flu [43] Prof. John Horne estimated that 6,500 Belgian and French civilians were killed in German reprisals.[44]

^d Canada The total military deaths includes 53,000 killed or missing in action and died of wounds[31] The Commonwealth War Graves Commission Annual Report 2009-2010 gives a total of 64,976 military dead.[25] Includes 1,297 dead in the Royal Newfoundland Regiment. The Canadian Virtual War Memorial[45] contains a registry of information about the graves and memorials of Canadians and Newfoundlanders who served valiantly and gave their lives for their country. The losses for Newfoundland are listed separately on this table because it was not part of Canada at that time, but are included in the CVWM registry. The 1922 War Office report listed 56,639 Army war dead [39] Civilian deaths were due to the Halifax Explosion

^e France The total includes 1,186,000 killed or missing in action and died of wounds[31] The figure for total military dead of 1,397,800 is from a study published by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in 1931[46] The total includes 71,100 French Colonial Forces, 4,600 foreign nationals, and 28,600 war-related military deaths occurring from 11/11/18 to 6/1/1919[47] The UK War Office in 1922 estimated French losses as 1,385,300 dead and missing, including 58,000 colonial soldiers[48] The U.S. War Department in 1924 estimated 1,357,800 killed and died[49] The names of the soldiers who died for France during World War I are listed on-line by the French government.[50] The French encyclopedia Quid reports that 30-40,000 foreign volunteers from about 40 nationalities served in the French army. At the end of the war 12,000 were in the Czechoslovak Legions and the ethnic Polish Blue Army. 5,000 Italians served in a "Legion" commanded by Colonel Garibaldi. There were also 1,000 Spaniards and 1,500 Swiss in French service. 200 American volunteers served with the French from 1914–16, including the Lafayette Escadrille[51] Luxembourg was occupied by Germany during the war. 3,700 Luxembourg citizens served in the French armed forces. 2,800 gave their lives in the war.[52] They are commemorated at the Gëlle Fra in Luxembourg. The French Armenian Legion served as part of the French Armed forces during the war. French colonies, such as Algeria and Vietnam, also sent troops to fight for Imperial French. Almost 100,000 Vietnamese went to Europe to fight and serve on the French battlefront.
Civilian deaths exceeded the prewar level by 500,000. 300,000 were caused by military operations and food shortages, and 200,000 by the Spanish Flu[53] Another estimate of the demographic loss of the civilian population in the France during the war put total excess deaths at 264,000 to 284,000 not including an additional 100,000 to 120,000 Spanish Flu deaths.[54] Civilian dead include 1,509 merchant sailors[55] and 3,357 killed in air attacks and long range artillery bombardments[56] The French government did not provide an estimate of civilian deaths in the war zone, however tertiary sources have estimated civilian war dead at 40,000.[57][58]

^f Greece Included in total are 11,000 killed or missing in action and died of wounds[31] The Soviet demographer Boris Urlanis estimated total military dead of 26,000 including 15,000 deaths due to disease [59] Jean Bujac in a campaign history of the Greek Army in World War I listed 8,365 combat related deaths and 3,255 missing [60] Other estimates of Greek casualties are as follows: By UK War Office in 1922: Killed/died wounds 5,000; prisoners and missing 1,000.[61] By US War Dept in 1924: killed and died 5,000 [49]
Civilian deaths exceeded the prewar level by 150,000, caused by food shortages and the Spanish Flu [62]

^g India(British colony) included present day India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Included in total military deaths are 27,000 killed or missing in action and died of wounds.[31] The Commonwealth War Graves Commission Annual Report 2009-2010 is the source of the total 74,187 military dead.[25] The 'Debt of Honour Register' lists the 1.7 million men and women of the Commonwealth forces who died during the two world wars.[38] The 1922 War Office report listed 62,056 Indian Army war dead and 2,393 British serving in the Indian Army.[39]

^h Italy Included in total are 433,000 killed or missing in action and died of wounds [31] The figure 651,000 military dead is from a 1925 Italian demographic study of war deaths based on official government data published by Yale Univ. Press. The details are as follows, Killed in action or died of wounds 378,000; died of disease 186,000 and an additional 87,000 deaths of invalids from 12 Nov. 1918 until 30 April 1920 due to war related injuries.[63] Other estimates of Italian casualties were: by UK War Office in 1922, Dead 460,000[48] and by the US War Dept in 1924 650,000 killed and died[49] Civilian deaths exceeded the prewar level by 1,021,000. 589,000 caused by food shortages and 432,000 by the Spanish Flu [64] Another estimate of the demographic loss of the civilian population in the Italy during the war put total excess deaths at 324,000 not including an additional 300,000 Spanish Flu deaths.[65] Civilian deaths due to military action were about 3,400 including 2,293 by attacks on shipping, 958 during air raids and 142 by sea bombardment.[66]

^i Japan War dead figure of 415 is from a 1991 history of the Japanese Army[67] However, Michael Clodfelter reported the official toll was put at 300 KIA and noted that "A more reliable count of total Japanese military deaths from all causes lists 1,344 fatalities.[68] Casualties reported by the US War Dept in 1924 were 300 killed and died [49]

^j Luxembourg remained under German control during the war. Some citizens were conscripted into the German forces. Others escaped to volunteer for the Allies.31 3,700 Luxembourgian nationals served in the French Army, of whom 2,000 died. They are commemorated at the Gëlle Fra in Luxembourg.[52]

^k Montenegro: Michael Clodfelter lists 3,000 battle deaths and 7,000 missing and POW.[69] However, the Yugoslav government in 1924 listed 13,325 military war dead from Montenegro.[70] Casualties Reported by the US War Dept in 1924 were 3,000 killed and died [49]

^l New Zealand: Included in total military deaths are 14,000 killed or missing in action and died of wounds[31] The Commonwealth War Graves Commission Annual Report 2009-2010 is the source of the total 18,052 military dead [25] The 'Debt of Honour Register' lists the 1.7 million men and women of the Commonwealth forces who died during the two world wars.[38] The 1922 War Office report listed 16,711 Army war dead.[39]

^m Newfoundland was a separate dominion at the time, and not part of Canada.The 1922 War Office report listed 1,204 Army war dead.[25] Currently the Commonwealth War Graves Commission includes Newfoundland’s casualties with Canada and the U.K. An academic journal published in Newfoundland has given the details of Newfoundland’s military casualties. Fatalities totaled 1,570 The Royal Newfoundland Regiment suffered 1,297 dead; there were an additional 171 dead in the Royal Navy and 101 in the Merchant Navy [71]

^n Portugal: Included in total are 6,000 killed or missing in action and died of wounds[31] Total war dead reported by British War Office were 7,022 including the following: killed and died of other causes up until January 1, 1920; 1,689 in France and 5,333 in Africa. Figures do not include an additional 12,318 listed as missing and POW. Africans are included in these figures[39] Another estimate of Portuguese casualties by the US War Dept in 1924 was 7,222 killed and died[49] Civilian deaths exceeded the prewar level by 220,000, 82,000 caused by food shortages and 138,000 by the Spanish Flu[72]

^o Romania: Included in total are 177,000 killed or missing in action and died of wounds[31] The statistic of 250,000 military dead is "The figure reported by the Rumanian Government in reply to a questionnaire from the International Labour Office[73] Other estimates of Romanian casualties are as follows: By UK War Office in 1922: 335,706 Killed and missing [74] By US War Dept in 1924: 335,706 killed and died [49]
Civilian deaths exceeded the prewar level by 430,000, caused by military action,food shortages, epidemics and the Spanish Flu[75] A Russian journalist in a 2004 handbook of human losses in the 20th century estimated 120,000 Romanian civilian deaths due to military activity,10,000 in Austro-Hungarian prisons and 200,000 caused by famine and disease [76]

^p Russian Empire The sources for Russian casualties are difficult to actertain according to the Russian demographer Boris Urlanis. Casualty figures based on official reports during the war were published in 1925 by the Soviet Central Statistical office, they put Russia's casualties at 7,036,087. (626,440 killed in action, 17,174 died of wounds, 3,638,271 missing or held as prisoners of war and 2,754,202 wounded.) [77] Urlanis believes that the official figures for those killed were considerably underestimated because a large part of the reports were lost in retreats. Urlanis estimated the actual total military war dead at 1,811,000. (Killed or missing in action 1,200,000; died of wounds 240,000, gassed 11,000., died from disease 155,000, POW deaths 190,000, deaths due to accidents and other causes.15,000.[31] A 2001 study by the Russian military historian G.F. Krivosheev estimated the total war dead at 2,254,369 (Killed in action 1,200,000; missing and presumed dead 439,369; died of wounds 240,000, gassed 11,000., died from disease 155,000, POW deaths 190,000, deaths due to accidents and other causes.19,000.) Wounded 3,749,000. POW 2,384,000.[78]
Other estimates of Russian casualties are as follows: By UK War Office in 1922: Killed 1,700,000[74] By the US War Dept in 1924 1,700,000 killed and died.[8][49]
Civilian deaths in the 1914 borders exceeded the prewar level by 1,500,000 due to famine and disease and military operations.[79] Civilian deaths in the post war borders,not including Poland, exceeded the prewar level by 1,070,000 (730,000 famine and disease and 340,000 military operations).[8]

^q Kingdom of Serbia Included in total are 165,000 killed or missing in action and died of wounds[31] The estimate of total combined Serbian and Montenegrin military losses of 278,000 was made by the Soviet demographer Boris Urlanis.[80] Other estimates of Serbian casualties are as follows: By Yugoslav government in 1924: Killed 365,164.[80] By UK War Office in 1922: Killed 45,000, missing.[61] By US War Dept in 1924: 45,000 killed and died.[49] Civilian deaths exceeded the prewar level by 450,000, due to military activity, food shortages, epidemics and the Spanish Flu[81] A Russian journalist in a 2004 handbook of human losses in the 20th century estimated 120,000 Serbian civilian deaths due to military activity and 30,000 in Austro-Hungarian prisons.[82]

^r South Africa Included in military dead total are 5,000 killed or missing in action and died of wounds[31] The Commonwealth War Graves Commission Annual Report 2009-2010 is the source of the 9,477 total military dead.[25]
The 1922 War Office report listed 7,121 Army war dead[39]

Bundesarchiv Bild 102-00169A, Westfront, Abgeschossener englischer Flieger

British pilot killed in action, 1917

^s UK and Colonies Included in total military dead are 624,000 killed or missing in action and died of wounds.[31] The Commonwealth War Graves Commission Annual Report 2009-2010 is the source of total 886,939 UK military dead(including Newfoundland)[25] the 'Debt of Honour Register' lists the 1.7m men and women of the Commonwealth forces who died during the two world wars.[38] The losses of Newfoundland are listed separately on this table.
The official "final and corrected" casualty figures for British Army,including the Territorial Force were issued on 10 March 1921. The losses were for the period 4 August 1914 until 30 September 1919, included 573,507 "killed in action, died from wounds and died of other causes"; 254,176 missing less 154,308 released prisoners; for a net total of 673,375 dead and missing. There were 1,643,469 wounded also listed in the report[27]
The 1922 War Office report detailed the casualties of "soldiers who lost their lives", "killed in action, died as prisoners, died of wounds and missing" from the Regular and Territorial Forces and Royal Naval Division: 702,410 from the UK, 507 from "other colonies" and 2,393 British serving in the Indian Empire Army.[39] The figures include Royal Navy war dead of 32,287 [83] The Merchant Navy war dead of 14,661 were listed separately [83] Figures for total RAF are included in the totals of the War Office report[84]
Civilian deaths exceeded the prewar level by 292,000. 109,000 due to food shortages and 183,577 by the Spanish Flu[85]
Another estimate of the demographic loss of the civilian population in the UK during the war put total excess deaths at 181,000 not including an additional 100,000 Spanish Flu deaths.[86] The 1922 War Office report detailed the deaths of 1,260 civilians and 310 military personnel due to air and sea bombardment of the UK[87] Losses at sea were 908 UK civilians and 63 fisherman killed by U-Boat attacks[88]

^t United States The official figures of military war deaths listed by the US Dept. of Defense for the period ending Dec. 31, 1918 are 116,516; which includes 53,402 battle deaths and 63,114 non combat deaths.,[89] The US Coast Guard lost an additional 192 dead.."[90]
United States estimated civilian losses include 128 killed on the RMS Lusitania as well as 629 Merchant Marine personnel killed on merchant ships.[91]

Bundesarchiv Bild 104-0981, Revelon, gefallener Deutscher

Fallen German soldier in France, 1917

^u Austria-Hungary Included in total are 900,000 killed or missing in action and died of wounds.[31] The figure of total estimated 1,100,000 military dead is from a study published by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in 1940, based on analysis of Austro-Hungarian War Dept. data.[32] Other estimates of Austro-Hungarian casualties are as follows: By Austrian Ministry of Defense in 1938: Military dead 1,016,200[92] By UK War Office in 1922: Dead 1,200,00[93] By US War Dept in 1924: 1,200,00 killed and died [49]
A study published by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in 1940 estimated civilian 467,000 deaths "attributable to war", the primary cause being famine.[94] A Russian journalist in a 2004 handbook of human losses in the 20th century estimated 120,000 civilian deaths due to military activity in Austro-Hungarian Galicia.[82]

^v Bulgaria: Included in total are 62,000 killed or missing in action and died of wounds.[31] 87,500 total military war dead were reported by the Bulgarian War Office including 48,917 killed, 13,198 died of wounds, 888 accidentally killed, 24,497 died of disease, "losses during the retreat from sickness and privations were much greater than the figures they possess [39] The US War Dept in 1924 also listed 87,500 killed and died [49]
Civilian deaths exceeded the prewar level by 100,000.[95] due to food shortages.

Q 004256GermanDeadGuillemont

German dead scattered in the wreck of a machine gun post near Guillemont, 1916

^w German Empire Included in total are 1,796,000 killed or missing in action and died of wounds.[31] The official German medical war history listed 2,036,897 military war dead. Including confirmed military dead from all causes: Army 1,900,876, Navy 34,836 ,Colonial troops 1,185 and an estimated 100,000 missing and presumed dead [96]-To these figures we must add an additional 14,000 African conscript deaths during the war.[97] Total dead 2,050,89 -Other estimates of German casualties are as follows: By UK War Office in 1922: Killed 1,808,545 exclusive of 14,000 African conscript deaths during the war[39] By US War Dept in 1924: 1,773,700 killed and died.[49] 720 German civilians were killed by allied air raids [98]
Civilian deaths caused by the Blockade of Germany
German official statistics estimated 763,000 civilian malnutrition and disease deaths were caused by the blockade of Germany.[99][100] This figure was disputed by a subsequent academic study that put the death toll at 424,000.,[101]
In December 1918 the German government estimated that the blockade was responsible for the deaths of 762,796 civilians, this figure did not include deaths due to the Spanish flu epidemic in 1918. The figures for the last six months of 1918 were estimated.[102] Maurice Parmelle maintained that "it is very far from accurate to attribute to the blockade all of the excess deaths above pre-war mortality", he believed that the German figures were "somewhat exaggerated".[103] The German claims were made at the time when Germany was waging a propaganda campaign to end the Allied blockade of Germany after the armistice that lasted from November 1918 until June 1919. Also in 1919 Germany raised the issue of the Allied blockade to counter charges against the German use of submarine warfare.[104][105]
In 1928 a German academic study sponsored by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace provided a thorough analysis of the German civilian deaths during the war. The study estimated 424,000 war related deaths of civilians over age 1 in Germany, not including Alsace-Lorraine, the authors attributed these civilian deaths over the pre war level primarily to food and fuel shortages in 1917-1918. The study also estimated an additional 209,000 Spanish flu deaths in 1918[106] A study sponsored by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in 1940 estimated the German civilian death toll at over 600,000. Based on the above mentioned German study of 1928 they maintained that “A thorough inquiry has led to the conclusion that the number of “civilian” deaths traceable to the war was 424,000, to which number must be added about 200,000 deaths caused by the influenza epidemic” [101]
Not included in the figure of 763,000 famine deaths are additional civilian deaths during the blockade of Germany after the armistice from November 1918 until June 1919. Dr. Max Rubner in an April 1919 article claimed that 100,000 German civilians had died due to the continuation blockade of Germany after the armistice.[107] In the UK a Labour Party anti-war activist Robert Smillie issued a statement in June 1919 condeming the continuation blockade in which he also claimed that 100,000 German civilians had died.[108][109]

^x Ottoman Empire: Ottoman military casualties listed here are from data derived from the Ottoman Archives which total 771,844 war dead including 243,598 killed in action, 61,487 missing action and 466,759 deaths due to disease. The number of wounded was 763,753 and POWs 145,104[110][111] Other estimates of Ottoman military casualties are as follows: By UK War Office in 1922: Killed 50,000, died wounds 35,000, died of disease 240,000[112] By US War Dept in 1924: 325,000 killed and died.[49]
Estimates of Ottoman civilian casualties range from 2,000,000[113] to 2,150,000.[36][58][114] Civilian casualties include the Armenian Genocide, and it is debated if this event should be included with war losses. The total number of resulting Armenian deaths is generally held to have been between 1 million and 1.5 million.[115][116][117][118][119] Turkish spokesmen still maintain that reports of Armenian massacres were one sided and distorted work of wartime propaganda [120] The government of Turkey has consistently rejected charges of genocide, arguing that those who died were victims of inter-ethnic fighting, famine, or disease during World War I. Other ethnic groups were similarly attacked by the Ottoman Empire during this period, including Assyrians and Greeks, and some scholars consider those events to be part of the same policy of extermination.[121][122][123] Total Ottoman population losses from 1914–1922 were approximately 5 million[124] including the Spanish flu deaths, the Turkish War of Independence from 1919–1922 and the Population exchange between Greece and Turkey, these other population losses are not included with the casualties of World War I.

^y Denmark was neutral in the war. However, Germany at that time included part of Danish Schleswig. 30,000 men from this area served in German forces, and 3,900 were killed. These losses are included with German casualties. 722 Danish merchant sailors and fisherman died, mostly due to vessels torpedoed by German submarines[125]

^z Norway and Sweden were both neutral in the war. They both lost ships and merchant sailors in trading through the war zones. Norway lost about 50% of its merchant fleet, percentage-wise the highest loss of any nation's merchant fleet in World War I.[126] 1,892 Norwegian merchant sailors died, mostly due to vessels torpedoed by German submarines. 877 Swedish merchant sailors died, mostly due to vessels torpedoed or sunk by mines.[127]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

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External linksEdit


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