A comparison of Casulties through the years:

Bob Hubbard

Retired
MT Mentor
Founding Member
Lifetime Supporting Member
MTS Alumni
Joined
Aug 4, 2001
Messages
47,249
Reaction score
767
Location
Land of the Free
This is a non-scientific look at some major wars/battles and their cost on combatants. As we enter the second week of the war in Iraq, I though it interesting to compare the losses to those sustained in the past.
To date, we have under 50 confirmed US/UK/allied KIA. While I sadly do expect this number to reach alot higher, especially once they begin to enter and take cities, it is ahead of the historical curve. I hope that is a good sign that in the end, there will be a minimal loss of life.

Peace.



==========
A comparison of Casulties through the years:

1800's Gettysburg - US. Civil War
Duration of battle = 3 days
Union 3,155 KIA | 14,530 Wounded | 5,365 Missing | total 23,040 or 27% of total engaged
Confederate 2,600-4,500 KIA | 12,800 Wounded | 5,250 Missing | Total 20,650-25,000* 30%-34% of total engaged
* Total Confederate casualties have been estimated to be as great as 28,000. It is usually agreed that total Confederate casualties numbered at least 1/3 of Lee's army.

1944 D-Day - Normandy Invasion of Europe (June - August 1944)
Most of the casualties occurred amongst a relatively small number of troops. Infantry made up only 14% of the British Army but suffered 90% of its casualties.
Duration of battle - Ground force casualties: D-Day to end of August 1944
Killed Wounded Missing Total
British & Canadian 16,138 Killed 58,594 Wounded 9,093 Missing 83,825 Total
US Armies 20,838 Killed 94,881 Wounded 10,128 Missing 125,672 Total
Total 36,976 Killed 153,475 Wounded 19,221 Missing 209,672 Total
German Army (estimated) 240,000 Killed 200,000 prisoners

1982 Falkland Islands
war lasted 72 days, claimed nearly 1000 casualties (236 British and 655 Argentine)


WARS of Major Note:
1950-53 U.S. ARMY BATTLE CASUALTIES IN KOREAN WARa

Total Casualtiesb 109,958
Total Deathsc 27,704
Killed in Action 19,334
Wounded in Action 79,526
Died 1,930
Other 77,596
Missing in Action 4,442
Died 3,778
Returned 664
Current Missing 0
Captured or Interned 6,656
Died 2,662
Returned 3,973
Refused Repatriation 21
====
a. Tentative final report including all revisions processed through 30 September 1954.

b. Total killed, wounded, missing and captured as a result of enemy action during period 25 Jun 1950-27 July 1953.

c. Killed in action, died of wounds and died while missing or captured.


Vietnam
Force KIA WIA MIA CIA
US Forces 47,378 (1) 304,704 (2) 2,338 (3) 766 (4)

ARVN 223,748 1,169,763 NA NA

South Korea 4,407 17,060 NA NA

Australia 469 2,940 NA NA

Thailand 351 1,358 NA NA

New Zealand 55 212 NA NA

NVA/VC 1,100,000 600,000 NA 26,000 (5)



Note 1: there were an additional 10,824 non-hostile deaths for a total of 58,202
Note 2: of the 304,704 WIA, 153,329 required hospitalization
Note 3: this number decreases as remains are recovered and identified
Note 4: 114 died in captivity
Note 5: Does not include 101,511 Hoi Chanh



Legend: KIA = Killed In Action WIA = Wounded In Action MIA = Missing In Action CIA = Captured In Action

=============
1968 Tet Offensive
Force KIA WIA MIA CIA
US Forces 1,536 7,764 11 unknown
ARVN 2,788 8,299 587 unknown
NVA/VC 45,000 unknown unknown 6,991
 

cali_tkdbruin

Master of Arts
Joined
Aug 27, 2002
Messages
1,697
Reaction score
16
Location
Los Angeles suburbs, Cali. USA
As an addendum, there was a report on CNN yesterday that the ratio of US service members in a war theater to the casualties incurred was for the Korean conflict and the Vietnam War about 1 casualty for every 15 members in theater.

During the 91 Gulf War the ratio was 1 casualty for every 1500 members.

Bottom line is that war is harsh and inhumane. Any death is tragic. Lets hope the casualties in this war stay as low as possible.
 

Nightingale

Senior Master
MTS Alumni
Joined
Apr 24, 2002
Messages
2,768
Reaction score
14
Location
California
reasons casualties were so high:

in the civil war and world wars: even the smallest would could turn into gangrene, requiring field amputations. more men died of infection than gunfire, and these were counted as casulties. Modern medicine takes great measures to prevent this now.
 
E

Elfan

Guest
Originally posted by nightingale8472
reasons casualties were so high:

in the civil war and world wars: even the smallest would could turn into gangrene, requiring field amputations. more men died of infection than gunfire, and these were counted as casulties. Modern medicine takes great measures to prevent this now.

Penicillin was in use for the 2nd world war, greatly reducing casualities.
 

cali_tkdbruin

Master of Arts
Joined
Aug 27, 2002
Messages
1,697
Reaction score
16
Location
Los Angeles suburbs, Cali. USA
Originally posted by nightingale8472
reasons casualties were so high:

in the civil war and world wars: even the smallest would could turn into gangrene, requiring field amputations. more men died of infection than gunfire, and these were counted as casulties. Modern medicine takes great measures to prevent this now.

Good point... :asian:
 

Johnathan Napalm

Black Belt
Joined
Jan 21, 2003
Messages
617
Reaction score
0
Originally posted by nightingale8472
reasons casualties were so high:

in the civil war and world wars: even the smallest would could turn into gangrene, requiring field amputations. more men died of infection than gunfire, and these were counted as casulties. Modern medicine takes great measures to prevent this now.

Besides, more troops died of illness that had nothing to do with combat. WWI stopped practically b/c influenza killed so many troops and citizens that they simply ran out of manpower. In the Civil war, I believe over 75% of casualties were from illness, not from combat. In the prairy Indian wars, more Indians died of illness than been killed by the troops.

In terms of combat casualties, minimizing casualties was not a priority back then. Only since Vietnam, that minimizing casualties becomes a major military objective. It used to be the military thinking that the best way to minimize casualties is to engage into combat as fast and furious as possible, so that ending the war ASAP (by winning, of course) as the best way to minimize casualties. Now, it is "proceed with caution" and "call for back up".
 
OP
Bob Hubbard

Bob Hubbard

Retired
MT Mentor
Founding Member
Lifetime Supporting Member
MTS Alumni
Joined
Aug 4, 2001
Messages
47,249
Reaction score
767
Location
Land of the Free
All good points.
Does anyone know of any major battles or wars since say, 1950 where we might be able to do a more recent comparison?

I'm not as up on recent history as I am 19th century.

:asian:
 
Top