Can you figure out these mind-blowing WWII statistics?

HISTORY

By: John Miller

6 Min Quiz

Image: wiki commons

About This Quiz

World War II was the biggest and most destructive war in human history. In its wake, it left behind countless ruined lives and mind-blowing statistics. How much do you know about the crazy numbers behind the worst war ever?

Most victims of the Holocaust were of which nationality?

Polish Jews were the primary targets of the Holocaust. More than 2.5 million Polish Jews perished in the genocide.

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Which country suffered the most (military and civilian) deaths in World War II?

The Soviets languished during the Nazi invasion. As many as 20 million men, women and children died due to the war and its related events. Some sources say the number is much higher -- around 25 million. It's no wonder the Soviets exploded in vengeance at the war's end.

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The Axis built more bombers than the Allies.

The Axis manufactured fewer than 50,000 bombers during the war. The Allies? Nearly 160,000, more than enough to punish both Germany and Japan for their imperialistic designs.

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How many World War II deaths were civilians?

About 60 percent (but probably higher) of World War II deaths were civilians -- those caught in the crossfire and tumult of gigantic militaries slinging death and destruction from every direction. America was one of the few lucky places that didn't suffer battle on her home soil.

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During the war, about how many American soldiers died PER DAY?

On average, about 220 American soldiers died per day. Every family knew service members who died during the bloody worldwide war.

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How long did World War II last?

World War II lasted just six years. The relative brevity of the war makes the numbers you're about to see just that much harder to fathom. The statistics are literally unimaginable -- and horrifying.

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Some historians believe that as many as ______ people may have died during World War II.

On the high end, some historians think that as many as 85 million people may have died in the war. That is more than the current population of Germany.

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Most historians think that the actual number of people killed in the war is lower than 85 million. What is that number?

Many researchers believe that 60 million dead is about right. That's the current population of Italy.

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America was spared invasion, so she suffered few civilian deaths. How many American military personnel died?

The United States suffered about 420,000 military deaths in the war -- a large number, but minuscule in comparison to the Soviets.

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The Nazis initiated the Holocaust, a type of industrialized genocide. How many people did the Holocaust murder?

Germany's brutal concentration camps and systematic killing squads were terrifyingly effective. They killed at least 6 million people during the war. Many of the victims were Jews.

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Britain was one of Hitler's primary targets. How many aircraft did British factories produce in 1944?

Under fire from German bombers, the British continued to crank out war machines. In 1939, they manufactured about 8,000. In 1944, that number shot up to more than 26,000.

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How many Nazis took part in the Holocaust?

About 200,000 Nazi men and women carried out the systematic killings of the Holocaust. Poison gas chambers were a common tool for murdering people.

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About 16 million Americans served in the military during World War II. Of that number, what percentage were drafted?

World War II has a reputation as the war every American wanted to fight, but it's not true. About 60 percent of service personnel were drafted. Fewer than 40 percent volunteered.

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Germany started this mess. How many Germans (soldiers and civilians) died during the war?

The numbers are rough, but close to 9 million Germans probably died during the war. More than half of that number were military deaths.

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In 1939, before America entered the war, the U.S. manufactured about 2,000 warplanes. How many did it build in 1945?

In just a few years, America overhauled its manufacturing systems, in large part to build planes. In 1945 alone, it built 90,000 warplanes to battle the Axis.

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The Soviets ramped up aircraft production, too. How many planes did they build in 1944?

Even at peak production, the vast Soviet Empire was no match for American manufacturing. They produced about 40,000 planes in 1944 in an effort to ward off the Germans.

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Japan savaged China during the war, treating the Chinese as a subhuman species. How many Chinese were killed?

It's possible that more Chinese died at the hands of the Japanese than there were victims of the Holocaust. All across China, the Japanese slaughtered men, women and even babies -- perhaps 14 million in total.

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In August of 1945, the United States dropped a single atomic bomb on Hiroshima. How many people died instantly?

In the blink of an eye, a bomb named Little Boy exacted revenge of the worst kind. More than 80,000 Japanese people (mostly civilians) died in the moments after the bomb detonated.

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Counting radiation poisoning and other effects of the bomb, how many people did that single atomic bomb kill in Hiroshima?

Little Boy killed more than 190,000 people. The bomb's shell had a diameter of just 28 inches but killed more than the populations of Beverly Hills and Pasadena combined.

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What warplane was manufactured in greater numbers than any other?

The Ilyushin Il-2, a Soviet fighter, was constructed in greater numbers than any other aircraft of the war. The Soviets built more than 36,000 of these war machines in a desperate attempt to thwart Nazi advances.

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When Germany invaded the Soviet Union, the Soviets scrambled in retreat. How many people fell back in an effort to find safety from German armies?

Stalin ordered about 17 million Soviets to fall back, and they burned everything -- from homes to offices -- to prevent materials from falling into German hands. Then, the Soviets dug in, built new factories and weathered the Nazi storm.

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How many total deaths did Japan suffer during the war?

Considering it sparked the Pacific War, Japan got off relatively light in World War II. Around three million soldiers and civilians died.

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At its peak, how many men were in the Japanese army during World War II?

With 6 million men, the Imperial Army was smaller than some other forces of the war. But its men were highly-trained professionals, and unlike most soldiers, they often fought to the death.

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Soviet leader Joseph Stalin had no qualms about deploying female soldiers in his armies. How many Soviet women served in the armed forces?

About 1 million Soviet women took up arms against the Nazis. Some of the most famous and decorated soldiers of the war were women.

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Where did most American troop deaths occur?

Far more U.S. troops died in the European theater, which accounted for about three-quarters of those killed during the war. On D-Day alone, 2,500 Americans died in combat.

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Starting in 1941, the Nazis conducted the Siege of Leningrad, a huge Soviet city of more than 3 million people. How long did the siege last?

For nearly 900 days, the people of Leningrad suffered the Nazi siege. More than 1 million people died and some resorted to cannibalism for survival.

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Eventually, the Soviets pushed back the Nazis and started offensives of their own. How many Germans did they kill, partly in retribution?

Brutalized by the Nazis, many of the Soviets were desensitized to killing. They killed German soldiers and civilians with impunity -- maybe as many as 3 million in all. Rape was common as well.

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Starting in 1942, America lost an average of how many planes per day?

Every day, America lost about 170 planes to Axis forces. It's no wonder President Roosevelt pushed factories to make planes as quickly as possible.

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Poland absorbed much of Germany's wrath. What percentage of the country's population died during the war?

About 17 percent of all Polish people were killed during the war. Everyone in Poland knew many, many people who died directly due to Nazi aggression.

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Many Germans died, too. What percentage of the country's population was killed during World War II?

Around 9 percent of the German population was killed during Hitler's rampage. All across Europe, World War II caused massive changes to demographics that are obvious even today.

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