7 May 1945

Posted: Thursday, May 06, 2010 by Travis Cody in

Sixty-five years ago tomorrow, the Allies accepted the unconditional surrender of the German High Command, officially ending the war in Europe.

The war in the Pacific would go on for another four months until the surrender of Japan was announced on 14 August 1945. The official surrender was signed on 2 September 1945, aboard USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay.

World War II is measured from 1937, when Japan invaded China, through 1945, when both Germany and Japan were finally forced to surrender. Estimated casualty figures are staggering. The numbers are so high that they are hard to understand.

  • Killed or missing in action, military (Axis) = 6.3 million
  • Wounded in action, military (Axis) = 5.2 million
  • Civilian deaths in Axis countries = 3.1 million
  • Killed or missing in action, military (Allies) = 12.0 million
  • Wounded in action, military (Allies) = 21.2 million
  • Civilian deaths in Allied countries = 23.9 million
"I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its futility, its stupidity." General Dwight D. Eisenhower


  1. Akelamalu says:

    The Eisenhower quote says it all :(

  1. Imagine if all that energy had gone toward space exploration and settling the moon and Mars. How far along we'd be now.

  1. Barb says:

    Millions. How horrid.

    I wish this War we're in now would come to an end. And I wish there would never be another war, ever. I know it's not likely, but it is my prayer.

  1. Stunning stats indeed.

  1. The statistics are harrowing, Travis! My father fought in that war and came back safe and sound, thank goodness! :)

  1. Linda says:

    And yet people still didn't learn that war solves nothing, did they?

    Very, very sobering statistics.

  1. Travis says:

    Akelamalu: Indeed.

    Charles: A perspective I hadn't considered.

    NNG: Yes.

    Barb: It's a goal worth striving and working for.

    V: The firs source was so staggering that I checked another source and recounted all the zeroes.

    Mary: My family was fortunate not to lose anyone to the war.

    Linda: I still think there are things worth fighting for. But as a means to resolve differences, war should be the last box to check.

  1. Ivanhoe says:

    Czechoslovakia was freed on the eight. It's a national holiday there. Incidentally, I touched up a war theme today as well.
    Good night!

  1. Jamie says:

    the following was written in a letter home from WW II

    A soldier fights because he has to, he doesn’t like to fight but he will for himself and for his family & friends he wants to preserve the little things he loves.

    Soldiers aren’t courageous either, they’re isn’t anyone who has more fears than a soldier.I don’t believe we’re fighting to “make the world safe for democracy” I think we’re fighting for us, our present & future happiness. We aren’t getting gray hairs over the the welfare of those who are to follow, they mean just about all of nothing to us.

    Every soldier is fighting for the mother, the father & brothers & sisters he loves the kitchen & dining room & bedroom he wants to come home to.

  1. Jeni says:

    As one who -for whatever reason, I don't know -enjoys reading, learning about WW2 especially and also various other war information too. Not that I love or even like war but reading about what took place here, there, all over, does fascinate me. The figures you cited though are really incredible, difficult to fathom, even when reading them once, then again to verify the "Did I see that right?" question that pops into ones mind. Realizing that WW2 in particular was a necessary battle to fight it is still something that boggles the mind as to how and why so many of the people on this planet managed to go in a direction that forced so many others to come after them then with the vengence needed to eventually stop the first group. Such insanity to have begun such horrid campaigns in the first place and even more to ever believe that it was their right to do that too. Will we, all the people of this earth, ever learn from things like that? I hope so, would like to believe it possible for all of us here to co-exist peacefully but still I wonder -and yes, I worry about that idea too -if it will ever come about.

  1. So, all tallied up together, the death toll on both sides is 71.7 million.

    Horrifying and staggering in the extreme.

  1. Like a fool who can't look away from the train wreck, I watched another program today about Hitler & the Nazis. The more I learn about the atrocities, the less believeable it seems. Not that I'm a denier or anything...I KNOW it's all real, but the magnitude of it just boggles the mind...

    Sorry for my recent absence, btw. Nothing but problems with my brand new, WinBLOWS 7 computer. :(