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Casualties of World War I

The chart below provides estimates of the number of soldiers killed, wounded, and reported missing during World War I. Exact numbers are often disputed and are nearly impossible to determine for a variety of reasons. Different countries used different methods to count their dead and injured, and some methods were more reliable than others. Records of some countries were destroyed during the war and its aftermath. Also, some countries may have changed the number of casualties in their official records for political reasons. The numbers of civilians from each country killed during the war are even more difficult to estimate. The numbers in the chart reflect the estimates made by most historians today. 

Country Total mobilized forces Killed or died1 Wounded Prisoners or missing Total casualties
Allied Powers:
Russia 12,000,000 1,700,000 4,950,000 2,500,000 9,150,000
British Empire 8, 904,467 908,371 2,090,212 191,652 3,190,235
France2 8,410,000 1,357,800 4,266,000 537,000 6,160,800
Italy 5,615,000 650,000 947,000 600,000 2,197,000
United States 4,734,991 116,516 204,002 ------ 320,518
Japan 800,000 300 907 3 1210
Romania 750,000 335,706 120,000 80,000 535,706
Serbia 707,343 45,000 133,148 152,958 331,106

Canada3

424,000

59,694

172,000

3,8004

235,494

Belgium 267,000 13,716 44,686 34,659 93,061
Greece 230,000 5,000 21,000 1,000 27,000
Portugal 100,000 7,222 13,751 12,318 33,291
Montenegro 50,000 3,000 10,000 7,000 20,000

TOTALS

42,612,810

5,211,809

13,003,004

4,124,890

22,165,291

Central Powers:
Germany 11,000,000 1,773,700 4,216,058 1,152,800 7,142,558
Austria-Hungary 7,800,000 1,200,000 3,620,000 2,200,000 7,020,000
Turkey 2,850,000 325,000 400,000 250,000 975,000
Bulgaria 1,200,000 87,500 152,390 27,029 266,919
TOTALS 22,850,000 3,386,200 8,388,448 3,629,829 15,404,477

GRAND TOTALS

65,462,810

8,598,009

21,391,452

7,754,719

37,569,768

 

Source: "WWI Casualty and Death Tables," originally published on PBS website. Statistics also available on Encyclopedia Britannica's website.

Citations

  • 1 : Includes deaths from all causes.
  • 2 : Official figures.
  • 3 : Except where otherwise noted, statistics are from The Cost of Canada’s War, Canadian War Museum website, accessed November 21, 2018.
  • 4 : Canadian Prisoners of War, The Canadian Encyclopedia, accessed November 21, 2018.

Connection Questions

  • Which countries had the greatest number of soldiers killed and the greatest number of casualties?
  • Compare Germany, France, Russia, the British Empire and the United States. What might be some reasons for the discrepancies between countries, especially between the United States and other countries?
  • In light of these casualty figures, what might be the impact on victorious nations versus those nations that lost the war?

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