World War I casualties

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The total number of casualties in World War I, both military and civilian, was about 37 million: 16 million deaths and 21 million wounded. The total number of deaths includes 9.7 million military personnel and about 6.8 million civilians. The Entente Powers (also known as the Allies) lost about 5.7 million soldiers while the Central Powers lost about 4 million.

Unlike most (if not all) conflicts that took place in the 19th century and before, the majority of military deaths in World War I were caused by combat as opposed to disease. Improvements in medicine as well as the increased lethality of military weaponry were both factors in this development. Nevertheless, disease (including the Spanish flu) still caused a significant proportion of military deaths for all belligerents.


Classification of casualty statistics

Estimates of casualty numbers for World War I vary to a great extent; estimates of total deaths range from 9 million to over 16.5 million [1] Military casualty statistics listed here include 6.8 million[2] combat related deaths as well as 2 million military deaths caused by accidents, disease and deaths while prisoners of war. When scholarly sources differ on the number of deaths in a country, a range of war losses is given in order to inform readers that the death toll is uncertain. The table lists total deaths; the footnotes give a breakdown between combat and non-combat losses. The figures listed below include about 6 million civilian deaths due to war related famine and disease, these civilian losses are often omitted from other compilations of World War I casualties. The war disrupted trade resulting in acute shortages of food which resulted in famine in Europe, the Ottoman Empire and Africa. Civilian deaths include the Armenian Genocide. Civilian deaths due to the Spanish flu have been excluded from these figures, whenever possible. Furthermore, the figures do not include deaths during the Turkish War of Independence and the Russian Civil War. The data listed here is from official sources, whenever available. These sources are cited below.

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