For All Nails (FAN) #155: Welcome to the Jungle
Excerpts from the Prologue of "Total War - The History and Battles of
Global War, 1939-1948"
... One of the most surprising gaps in our knowledge of the Global War
number of casualties, both military and civilian. Huge estimates have
cited by North American historians so often that they have taken on the
status of facts, yet the estimates often fall apart under the most
... the reason behind the inflated figures of civilian deaths appears to
the manner in which the North American government allocated Mason
aid. Aid was heavily weighted towards those countries which had
the most deaths during the war, providing an obvious incentive to
the estimates. For this reason, most serious scholars of the war now
discount the estimates published by the North American government,
they are still widely cited, with the most recent case being Robert
recent popular history of North America ...
... The best estimate of the number of deaths due to the war is 25 to 30
million. This includes slightly more than 12 million soldiers, with the
balance being civilian. The diversity and highly varying quality of the
sources for these estimates make it impossible to properly determine
deaths were directly the result of military action, and which were
such as the ensuing influenza epidemic ...
... As for the number of people suffering lasting injury due to the war,
over-all estimate is in the range of 55 to 60 million, both military and
civilian. The final figure for total casualties is in the range of 80 to
million. While still staggering, this number is less than half of that
reported in previous publications. Somewhere between four and five
of the population of the Earth was killed or injured. Perhaps it would
more shocking if the idea of 200 million casualties had not become so
... the high figures for Mexican military casualties cited by North
historians seem to come from the "body counts" conducted by the Japanese
Australian armed forces during the early phases of the war. The
government began releasing the body count figures in 1944, when it
obvious that the Jeffersonist government in northern China (the
"United States of China") was not going to collapse as rapidly as the
planners in Melbourne and Tokyo had antipated. Not only did the counts
conflate Jeffersonist guerrillas and Mexican regu-lars, but the
for both local commanders and the authorities in Tokyo and Melbourne to
inflate the numbers are obvious ...
... It was clear to Stanfield that the numbers cited by North American
scholars of the number of Mexican combat casualties had to be
its peak, the Mexican armed forces numbered only eight million
and approximately twice that number served at some point during the war
decade. Stanfield presumed that someone would have noticed had an
quarter of the armed forces failed to return home, and over a third of
remainder returned wounded. Sampling medical records from the War
Department's archives, Stanfield produced a maximum estimate of 4.2
casualties killed or wounded during the war. Stanfield supported this
estimate with the figure of the approximately 3.2 million Mexican
authorized to wear "wound chevrons" between 1942 and 1950. Stanfield's
figure is consistent with Corazon's estimate, derived from Veterans'
Administration of Mexico records, that 2,876,452 men have received
as injured veterans of the Global War. Unfortunately, these figures
be used to back out the number of deaths, since not all wounded soldiers
received benefits, and some of the soldiers who received wound chevrons
later died of their injuries but were not registered as KIA.
subtracting Corazon's figures from the estimate of total casualties
upper bound of 1.4 million combat deaths in the Mexican army and navy.
figure is most assuredly inflated, partially because an estimate of the
number of wounded from VAM records is too low, and partially because, as
Corazon notes, "Many soldiers simply deserted at the end of the Global
choosing to remain in Asia rather than return home."
All mistakes and confusing sentences are mine, in spite of editing
assistance from Noel Maurer.