Jump to content
Free downloads from TNA ×
The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Battle Loses during Great War


Gordon Caldecott

Recommended Posts

Hi,

A friend and i were chatting earlier today, and I thought it would be interesting to hear other peoples views??

Basically, can anyone tell us which battle and which theatre was the most men killed or wounded in?

We thought that it come well be the Somme, given that 60,000 men were killed or wounded on the first day 20,000 in the first hour alone.

In those days were these loses considered exceptable?

Given the fact that the American`s lost a vast number in the Hurtgen Forst during the Second World War, and very few people today have heard of this battle!!!

In comparison how many soldiers were killed or wounded during the Korean and Vietnam Wars?

Which brought us on the the current conflict in Iraq, where the British have lost 97 and the Americans must be nearing 2,000 by now.

Today if one British Soldier is killed its totally unexceptable, but 90 years ago, not a single street in Britain, hadn`t lost a son or father!!!!

Yours points of view welcome.

Gordon.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Iraq conflict

Military Fatalities: By Month

Period US UK Other* Total Avg Days

10-2005 63 2 1 66 2.87 23

9-2005 49 3 0 52 1.73 30

8-2005 85 0 0 85 2.74 31

7-2005 54 3 1 58 1.87 31

6-2005 78 1 4 83 2.77 30

5-2005 80 2 6 88 2.84 31

4-2005 52 0 0 52 1.73 30

3-2005 36 1 3 40 1.29 31

2-2005 58 0 2 60 2.14 28

1-2005 107 10 10 127 4.1 31

12-2004 72 1 3 76 2.45 31

11-2004 137 4 0 141 4.7 30

10-2004 63 2 2 67 2.16 31

9-2004 80 3 4 87 2.9 30

8-2004 66 4 5 75 2.42 31

7-2004 54 1 3 58 1.87 31

6-2004 42 1 7 50 1.67 30

5-2004 80 0 4 84 2.71 31

4-2004 135 0 5 140 4.67 30

3-2004 52 0 0 52 1.68 31

2-2004 20 1 2 23 0.79 29

1-2004 47 5 0 52 1.68 31

12-2003 40 0 8 48 1.55 31

11-2003 82 1 27 110 3.67 30

10-2003 44 1 2 47 1.52 31

9-2003 31 1 1 33 1.1 30

8-2003 35 6 2 43 1.39 31

7-2003 48 1 0 49 1.58 31

6-2003 30 6 0 36 1.2 30

5-2003 37 4 0 41 1.32 31

4-2003 74 6 0 80 2.67 30

3-2003 65 27 0 92 7.67 12

Total 1996 97 102 2195 2.31 949

Link to comment
Share on other sites

US loses in Vietnam

58,226 American soldiers also died in the war or are missing in action

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Australia lost almost 500 of the 47,000 troops they had deployed to Vietnam and New Zealand lost 38 soldiers.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

World War One

Country

Men mobilised

Killed

Wounded

POW’s + missing

Total casualties

casualties in % of men mobilised

Russia

12 million

1.7mill

4.9mill

2.5mill

9.15mill

76.3

France

8.4 mill

1.3mill

4.2mill

537,000

6.1mill

73.3

GB + Empire

8.9mill

908,000

2mill

191,000

3.1mill

35.8

Italy

5.5mill

650,000

947,000

600,000

2.1mill

39

USA

4.3mill

126,000

234,000

4,500

350,000

8

Japan

800,000

300

900

3

1210

0.2

Romania

750,000

335,000

120,000

80,000

535,000

71

Serbia

700,000

45,000

133,000

153,000

331,000

47

Belgium

267,000

13,800

45,000

34,500

93,000

35

Greece

230,000

5000

21,000

1000

27,000

12

Portugal

100,000

7222

13,700

12,000

33,000

33

Total Allies

42million

5 million

13million

4 million

22million

52%

Germany

11million

1.7million

4.2million

1.1million

7.1million

65

Austria

7.8million

1.2million

3.6million

2.2million

7 million

90

Turkey

2.8million

325,000

400,000

250,000

975,000

34

Bulgaria

1.2million

87,000

152,000

27,000

266,000

22

Total

Central Powers

22.8mill

3.3million

8.3million

3.6million

15 million

67

Grand Total

65 million

8.5mill

21million

7.7mill

37million

57%

Link to comment
Share on other sites

World War Two

Great Britain + Commonwealth 452,000

France 250,000

USA 295,000

USSR 13,600,000

Belgium 10,000

Holland 10,000

Norway 10,000

Poland 120,000

Greece 20,000

Yugoslavia 300,000

Czechoslovakia 20,000

China (from 1937 on) 3,500,000

Total 18,587,000

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Don't forget Northern Ireland! British Army dead 730+6000+ wounded. These are NIVA figures. See CAIN SUTTON Index of deaths. In the 70's, 20-30ish soldiers being killed per month! :o

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Don't forget Northern Ireland! British Army dead 730+6000+ wounded. These are NIVA figures. See CAIN SUTTON Index of deaths. In the 70's, 20-30ish soldiers being killed per month!  :o

I had no idea it was as many as that.

Marina

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Someone once said that Canada lost more men in battle in WW1 than the US did, but the Americans had tens of thousands of influenza deaths. Anyone know if this is correct?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had no idea that we lost so many guys in Ireland!!!!!! Can anyone supply the figures?? Surely 20 t 30 killed a month can`t be right, can it???

I`m sure the Canadians must have lost more than the Yanks, in the Great War as they were involved for longer, also the Canadains lost loads due to the flu too. Theres loads of them buried in north Wales, having died at Kinmel Camp.

The American lost 130,000 men during the Hurtengen Forest battle, 79,000 battle related and 51,000 non battle related. More than the whole total during the Vietnam War.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The numbers killed were of course significant within themsleves, and I'm not saying that they weren't.

However, also of significance is the proportion of the population that was killed. This shows a completely different picture.

For example, in WW2 Luxembourg lost 2.8% of its population due to men in the allied armies, deported to concentration camps, conscripts into the Nazi army, resistance, and so on.

On the same basis, Britain lost around 1.6% of the 1939 population and the US about 0.7%

I think Russia lost around 12% and Poland around 16%.

Incidentally, it is not much realised that Luxembourg had one of the highest rates of destruction of the war, losing around 30% completely destroyed and 60% damaged/destroyed. The nothern half of the country was devastated in the Battle of the Bulge and the very southernmost area was badly damaged during the blitzkrieg.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Northern Ireland roll of Honour

Police/Army Paramilitary Civilian

1969 1 2 13 16

1970 3 5 18 26

1971 60 22 89 171

1972 149 78 249 476

1973 82 52 119 253

1974 72 30 192 294

1975 35 49 174 258

1976 62 26 207 295

1977 50 12 49 111

1978 34 7 39 80

1979 76 7 37 120

1980 38 8 34 80

1981 51 20 40 111

1982 59 15 36 110

1983 41 10 34 85

1984 33 14 22 69

1985 32 8 17 57

1986 25 9 27 61

1987 29 28 40 97

1988 46 20 38 104

1989 39 6 30 75

1990 34 11 36 81

1991 24 20 52 96

1992 11 20 58 89

1993 18 7 63 88

1994 7 9 48 64

1995 1 2 6 9

1996 2 10 6 18

1997 5 5 10 20

1998 2 6 46 54

post-2587-1130160728.gif

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The NI figures, also do not include UDR numbers! Have a look at ROLL OF HONOUR on www.nivets.co.uk. It will make a few of your jaws drop I'm sure! NIVA was formed 3 years ago for this very purpose. Many young tommies, that were KIA, are already being forgotten about! Even government figures, state there are more cases of PTSS, AMONGST NI veterans, more than ever! NI was a dirty war and no dirty civil war, will ever get the coverage, that poular wars receive. While you are on the NIVA site, have a look at the gallantry awards, that have been awarded, hardly a skirmish! Just shows what can be covered up, or forgotten about!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I assume that the WW1 figures need to be treated with caution. Do the wounded include men who recovered enough to be sent back, and possibly get wounded a second time, or killed? Linking POW's and Missing would also appear to be misleading. I assume that 'missing' usually meant 'dead', whereas, on the Western Front at least, the majority of prisoners eventually found their way home. Do the figures include civilians?

If you are looking for the greatest loss of life in a single day / location, doesn't Hiroshima top the list, with 66,000?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Had no idea, how many soldiers had been killed in Ireland. I did a tour out there in the late 90`s, but no one was lost, thank god.

Yes I think Hiroshima, must be up there at the top.

How does 3rd Ypres, fare?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Following a huge allied bombardment from the 16th to 31st July (with over 4 million shells) the battle began. The attack would make use of Gough's new (and relatively un-tested Fifth Army). The orders to advance were given and the attack moved off at 3:50am on the 31st July 1917 in heavy rain (in fact the rain was to play a major role in the campaign, as what lay ahead was the wettest Aug to Nov periods on record). The first day saw most objectives taken, however at a cost, with 15,000 casualties, rising to 31,850 by the 2nd Aug (with 12 VC's being won), all for a penetration of about 2-3kms. This pattern of high casualties for the taking of little ground was to be repeated throughout the summer and autumn. Passendale was finally captured in early Nov 1917, but at massive cost of 270,000 casualties. The battles of Third Ypres are classic examples of the advantage of defence, one which should of been learn after the Somme the previous year.

post-2587-1130240822.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Casualties

First Ypres

Second Ypres

Third Ypres

Oct-Nov 1914

Apr-May 1915

Jul-Nov 1917

British

58,000

60,000

300,000

French

50,000

10,000

8,500

German

130,000

35,000

260,000

VC's won

11

14

59

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Somme

With the winter weather deteriorating Haig now brought an end to the Somme offensive. Since the 1st July, the British has suffered 420,000 casualties. The French lost nearly 200,000 and it is estimated that German casualties were in the region of 500,000. Allied forces gained some land but it reached only 12km at its deepest points.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Somme

With the winter weather deteriorating Haig now brought an end to the Somme offensive. Since the 1st July, the British has suffered 420,000 casualties. The French lost nearly 200,000 and it is estimated that German casualties were in the region of 500,000. Allied forces gained some land but it reached only 12km at its deepest points.

post-2587-1130241129.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Somme

With the winter weather deteriorating Haig now brought an end to the Somme offensive. Since the 1st July, the British has suffered 420,000 casualties. The French lost nearly 200,000 and it is estimated that German casualties were in the region of 500,000. Allied forces gained some land but it reached only 12km at its deepest points.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Britain originally sent troops to Mesopotamia to protect its oil supplies following Turkey’s entry into the war on the side of Germany and Austria-Hungary. An Indian Division occupied the port of Basra in November 1914 and when a second division arrived, the British commander, General Sir John Nixon advanced deeper into Mesopotamia. One division moved up the Euphrates to Nasiriya while the 6th Indian Division under Major-General Charles Townshend advanced 100 miles along the Tigris to Amara, which fell on 4 June 1915. Britain believed that a successful campaign in Mesopotamia would help to rally the Arabs against the Turks so Townshend was ordered to push on to Kut and then to Baghdad, some 250 miles away.

On 28 September, having inflicted heavy losses on the Turks, Townshend’s Division entered Kut and by mid November he was only 25 miles from Baghdad. But a single division was not strong enough for such an operation and sickness and lack of supplies had weakened Townshend’s force. On 21 November he was checked at Ctesiphon, suffered heavy losses and decided to retreat back to Kut where, on 7 December, the Turks surrounded him.

In early January 1916 two Indian divisions, known as Tigris Corps, were despatched to relieve Townshend’s beleaguered forces. Tigris Corps rapidly reached Hanna, about ten miles from Kut but was then unable to break through the Turkish defences. Attacks in January, March and April all failed with heavy losses. Indeed, in attempting to rescue the 13,000 men in Kut, the relieving force suffered no fewer than 23,000 casualties. By the end of April the Kut garrison was starving, sickness was rife and with no prospect of relief, Townshend was ordered to begin surrender negotiations with the Turks. On 29 April 1916 the Kut garrison surrendered and 12,000 men marched into a harsh captivity where a third were to die.

Substantial reinforcements, increased artillery and improved logistical arrangements enabled the British, under Lieutenant-General Sir Stanley Maude to recapture Kut in February 1917. On 11 March they entered Baghdad, pushed on northwards and the following year compelled the Turkish 6th Army to surrender.

The Mesopotamian campaign had finally been won, but with 200,000 British Empire troops committed to it against far fewer Turks, the whole operation has to be seen as a drain on British resources.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

British and French forces landed on the Gallipoli peninsula, and French on the other side of the Dardanelles Straits, on 25th April 1915. On the 8th January 1916 these forces completed an evacuation, having gained little in strategic terms even having been greatly reinforced. There were moments of near-breakthrough which may have led to great strategic success, but it was not to be. It has proven to be very difficult to determine the losses of both sides in this most appalling and costly theatre: perhaps the most realistic estimates are that the Turkish army suffered 300,000 casualties (including the many sick) and the Allies, 265,000. The consequent effect of diverting troops and supplies sorely needed on the Western Front, particularly for the assault at Loos, is impossible to quantify.

Conditions on Gallipoli defy description. The terrain and close fighting did not allow for the dead to be buried. Flies and other vermin flourished in the heat, which caused epidemic sickness. In October 1915, winter storms caused much damage and human hardship, and in December, a great blizzard - followed by cataclysmic thaw - caused casualties of 10% (15,000 men) throughout the British contingent, and no doubt something similar on the Turkish side.

Of the 213,000 British casualties on Gallipoli, 145,000 were due to sickness; chief causes being dysentery, diarrhoea, and enteric fever.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Although a different era, the Roman legions lost nearly their entire army at the battle of Cannae in 216 BC.

Sources are of course not as accurate as WW1, however, it is generally agreed that the Romans fielded an army of around 50,000 men compared to around 40,000 men in the Carthagian army.

At the end of the day only a couple of hundred legionnaires and auxiliaries were left.

Together with the losses on the Carthaginian side, I reckon the death-toll for that one day of figthing will be close to 60,000.

And I'm talking dead here. Not wounded and dead.

Tim

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Although a different era, the Roman legions lost nearly their entire army at the battle of Cannae in 216 BC.

Sources are of course not as accurate as WW1, however, it is generally agreed that the Romans fielded an army of around 50,000 men compared to around 40,000 men in the Carthagian army.

At the end of the day only a couple of hundred legionnaires and auxiliaries were left.

Together with the losses on the Carthaginian side, I reckon the death-toll for that one day of figthing will be close to 60,000.

And I'm talking dead here. Not wounded and dead.

Tim

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...