Welcome to City-Data.com Forum!
U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > History
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 10-21-2010, 12:02 PM
 
39 posts, read 285,006 times
Reputation: 58

Advertisements

Hello, everyone. I first came across shocking WWII casualty figures of USSR while reading newspaper which made me immediately doubt my eyes. So I did some research on my own and the following is what I found.
According to the book, "Armageddon; the battle for Germany, 1944-1945" by Max Hastings,
Quote:
"All statistics are unreliable, but the best available suggest that Soviet forces suffered total losses of 8.7 million killed, together with twenty-two million sick and wounded. These casualties were, of course, additional to at least eighteen million Soviet civilians who died."
If you do the math, the USSR suffered 26.7 million dead soldiers and civilians and 22 million soldiers who were wounded, sick, MIA, and POWs. In total, it adds up to 48.7 million casualties with death comprising of more than 50% of total casualties.
How is this possible? How did this come about? Could anyone confirm the casualty figures above using another source?
Thanks in advance for any insights.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 10-21-2010, 01:05 PM
 
Location: Minnysoda
10,659 posts, read 10,721,455 times
Reputation: 6745
WWII: The Casualties (http://web.jjay.cuny.edu/~jobrien/reference/ob62.html - broken link)
U.S.S.R. 194m9 million18 million 27 million19 million
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-21-2010, 01:52 PM
 
Location: Texas
14,076 posts, read 20,520,451 times
Reputation: 7807
Quote:
Originally Posted by nicesinging1 View Post
Hello, everyone. I first came across shocking WWII casualty figures of USSR while reading newspaper which made me immediately doubt my eyes. So I did some research on my own and the following is what I found.
According to the book, "Armageddon; the battle for Germany, 1944-1945" by Max Hastings, If you do the math, the USSR suffered 26.7 million dead soldiers and civilians and 22 million soldiers who were wounded, sick, MIA, and POWs. In total, it adds up to 48.7 million casualties with death comprising of more than 50% of total casualties.
How is this possible? How did this come about? Could anyone confirm the casualty figures above using another source?
Thanks in advance for any insights.

Yes, that's about right. Soviet citizens amounted to roughly half of all the people killed in WWII, world-wide. It was about 1 in 7 of every Russian.

During the peak campaigning months of June, July and August, casualties typically ran from 600,000 to 900,000+ per month on BOTH sides. The bloodletting was unimaginable, unprecedented in world history and almost unbelievable.

By way of comparison, total Russian and allied dead on that front was about 10 1/2 million, including 3 1/2 million POW's who died in German captivity. Germany and her allies suffered roughly half that many KIA's. Japan suffered 2.1 million military deaths, the United Kingdom (excluding colonial troops) 383,000 and the US 416,000.

In part, that's a factor of better medical care on the allies side, but it's mostly a reflection of the size of the battlefields we fought on. The front in Russia was, at one point, 2000 miles long, stretching from the Baltic to the Black Sea. That's roughly the same distance as from Dallas, TX to Portland, OR. We and Great Britain never fought on any front even approaching that distance. Consequently, while we had something like 75 divisions committed to the war worldwide, Russia had over 200.

And we like to think we won the war all by ourselves!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-21-2010, 03:00 PM
 
Location: New York City
2,745 posts, read 6,461,068 times
Reputation: 1890
The most common figure for Soviet casualties (dead) is 27 million total, out of which about 9 million were soldiers. About 10.5 million "irrecoverable" military casualties that are sometimes cited include POWs, some of whom returned after the war.

As to why the casualties were so high:

1. As has been pointed out, the scale of the conflict was much great than anywhere else. Even after D-Day, over three quarters of all German forces were concentrated in the East.

2. The Germans were incredibly brutal to the civilian population. Much of the fighting occurred in cities and densely populated areas. Over a million people starved in Leningrad, which was almost completely cut off from supplies for over a year. German soldiers routinely confiscated food, livestock, clothes and other necessities from the Russian people, leaving them to starve and freeze during the cold winter.

3. Soviet POWs were treated horribly, often no better than Jews. They were either employed as slave labor or simply gassed to death.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-21-2010, 03:27 PM
 
Location: Planet Eaarth
8,954 posts, read 20,671,929 times
Reputation: 7193
Napoleon also tried to subjugate the Russian people and he also took huge casualties!

List of battles by casualties - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-21-2010, 05:36 PM
 
Location: England.
1,287 posts, read 3,322,542 times
Reputation: 1293
I recall reading a newspaper column many years ago claiming that every few years after the war, the Soviet figures for war dead would rise by several million. Maybe they were recalculated on available evidence, or maybe it was propaganda, or maybe the columnist was a liar.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-21-2010, 09:38 PM
 
Location: 5 years in Southern Maryland, USA
844 posts, read 2,829,325 times
Reputation: 541
Historian William Manchester wrote a book about the horrible siege of Leningrad (Putin's hometown, by the way) where 1 million people starved. After the citizens there ran out of eating rats and cats, they tried eating grass, and even boiling leather items to eat. When winter came, Lake Ladoga there froze over, so convoys of supply trucks continuously, daringly drove over the ice from Finland to Leningrad and risked falling through the ice.

What's so IRONIC, is that in the 1930's, when Germany was forbidden by the Treaty of Versailles to even HAVE an Air Force, Stalin HELPED the Nazis by giving their Luftwaffe secret air bases in the USSR to train in. Boy, did he live to rue that day, big-time.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-21-2010, 10:25 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,016 posts, read 20,897,111 times
Reputation: 32530
I have enormous respect for Max Hastings as a historian, so I would tend to trust his figures. The fact that he emphasizes their imprecision just reflects his honesty. Before the fall of the Soviet Union, the common consensus about Soviet deaths in World War II was about 20 million, which included military and civilian. Then more information and records became available in the relative openness following the disintegration of the Soviet Union and the figures were revised upward. No doubt about it - this is mind-boggling.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-23-2010, 12:23 AM
 
Location: The Heart of Dixie
10,206 posts, read 15,910,503 times
Reputation: 7189
I think the figures for the USSR probably included many of the people who died in the concentration camps during the war. They also lost a lot of forces because they were ill prepared for battle and had inferior training and technology and fought with sheer numbers. I think the US did more than the Soviets to win the war, especially given that we basically fought the entire Pacific war by ourselves alone with onlyh limited Allied support, and we also did the bulk of the fighting on the Western European front after D-Day and the push across France and Germany.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-23-2010, 03:56 AM
 
Location: Terra firma
1,372 posts, read 1,548,326 times
Reputation: 1122
Answer:

That's what happens when you pit poorly trained, poorly equipped, and poorly disciplined soldiers (the Russians) against highly trained, fantastically equipped, and extremely motivated troops (the Germans). The Russians won through superior numbers. They just kept throwing bodies at the problem.

The following quote should give you some idea of their approach:

"Quantity has a quality all its own."
--Joesph Stalin
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > History

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:35 AM.

© 2005-2024, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 - Top