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DEATH TOLLS

COUNTRY

MILITARY

CIVILIAN

TOTAL

GERMANY

3,500,000;3,250,000

700,000;3,810,000

4,200,000;7,060,000

JAPAN

2,000,000;---

350,000;---

2,350,000;2,000,000

ITALY

330,000;330,000

80,000;80,000

410,000;410,000

SOVIET UNION

10,000,000;13,600,000

10,000,000;7,700,000

20,000,000;21,300,000

CHINA

2,500,000;1,324,000

7,500,000;10,000,000

10,000,000;11,324,000

POLAND

100,000;850,000

5,700,000;6,000,000

5,800,000;6,850,000

YUGOSLAVIA

300,000;300,000

1,400,000;1,400,000

1,700,000;1,700,000

FRANCE

250,000;340,000

350,000;470,000

600,000;810,000

CZECHOSLOVAKIA

200,000;---

215,000;---

415,000;400,000

UNITED STATES

400,000;500,000

0;0

400,000;500,000

UNITED KINGDOM

326,000;326,000

62,000;62,000

388,000;388,000

NETHERLANDS

12,000;198,000

198,000;12,000

210,000;210,000

GREECE

20,000;---

140,000;---

160,000;520,000

BELIGIUM

12,000;76,000

76,000;12,000

88,000;88,000

CANADA

37,000;39,000

0;0

37,000;39,000

AUSTRALIA

23,000;29,000

12,000;0

35,000;29,000

AUTRIA

230,000;380,000

104,000;145,000

334,000;525,000

 

= source 1

= source 2

            As you can see from the table above, the number of casualties in World War II significantly varies from source to source. There are few countries that remain constant such as Italy, Yugoslavia, and the United Kingdom. However, in this example these countries tolls only remained the same across two sources. It is highly likely that if one were to look at other sources the tolls would fluctuate. The oscillation between the two sources above varies from as little as thousands to as high as millions. One of the greatest differences between the above statistics is that source one says Germany had 700,000 civilian deaths while source two says there were 3,810,000. That’s a difference of 3,110,000 people; meaning more than three million people either died or didn’t. This change is drastic and shows that one of these sources is majorly flawed, but which one? How can anyone begin to figure this out? The only way to attempt this feat is to gather as many statistics for this death toll from as many different sources as possible.

 

SOURCE

GERMANY CIVILIAN DEATH TOLL

COMPTON’S

500,000

BRITANNICA

780,000

WALLECHINSKY

780,000

DAVIES

780,000

CLODFELTER

780,000

ECKHARDT

1,471,000

KEEGAN

1,593,000

URLANIS

2,000,000

HARPERCOLLINS

2,300,000

ELLIS

2,350,000

KINDER

3,800,000

ENCARTA

3,800,000

 

            After gathering the number of German civilian deaths from twelve different sources (shown in the table above) it is obvious that there will be no answer as to which source in the initial table is correct. The number of casualties varies from 500,000 to 3,800,000. Although, two of the sources stated that there were 3,800,000 civilian casualties and four of the sources say 780,000 (which is seemingly close to the initial 700,000), there are still too many other numbers in between. The only way to make a semi-accurate estimate is to find the average of all of the different tolls put together. The average comes out to 1,744,500 casualties. This number is in the middle of the twelve sources statistics and between the two initial sources. Unfortunately, this is as accurate as we are able to get because of the large fluctuation from source to source. I suppose the only way to be accurate is to go through every documented person who died during the war; and still you wouldn’t have a perfectly accurate answer because not all of the people who died were identified. Therefore, this leads to the conclusion that it is seemingly impossible to find the exact number of German civilian casualties.


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