View Full Version : How many soldiers did each ot the major combatants in world war two have

Wesley Clark
04-01-2004, 10:31 AM
In today's world a country like Iraq or North Korea with 1.2 million soldiers is one of the worlds top 5 sized armies. How big were the armies of Germany, the USSR, the US, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, China, etc?

04-01-2004, 11:05 AM
Before the third Reich the German "Reichswehr" was limited to 100 000 in the army plus 15 000 in the navy which was tiny by the standards of the time.
In 1935 the draft was reinstituted and the army was renamed to "Wehrmacht". By 1936 a number of 550 000 was reached. In 1939 the Wehrmacht consisted of 2.75 million men. Note that Germany decided start the war at this point, so that number was probably considered about adequate.
The total number of soldiers drafted through 1945 was 17 million, 4.7 of those fell.
This does not count SS units, "Volkssturm" pseudo-volunteer militias, troops of other axis countries etc.

Cite (german) (http://www.dhm.de/lemo/html/wk2/kriegsverlauf/wehrmacht/)

04-01-2004, 11:32 AM
I believe that the Soviet Army was the largest army in WWII:

At the moment of the Nazi Germany assault on the USSR, the Red Army numbered around 1.5 million. During World War II, the Red Army drafted between 15 and 20 million officers and soldiers, of which 7-10 million were killed. After its victory over Germany the numbers were reduced to approximately 5 million, then reached about 3 million at the end of the Cold War.

From here. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Army)

David Simmons
04-01-2004, 06:28 PM
I don't know about the rest of them but the US had a total of about 15 million in all services.

04-01-2004, 08:59 PM
The Oxford Companion to World War II lists strength of armed forces (all services) in 1944 as:

UK – 5 million
USA – 14.8 million
USSR – 11.2 million
Germany – 9.1 million
Japan – 5.3 million

1945 isn’t listed, and this is the peak year for all nations except for Germany, which peaked at 9.5 million in 1943.

04-01-2004, 10:47 PM
To give a little perspective lookhere (http://www.lyonresearch.com/Veterans/WWII_Div_/wwii_div_.html) . This lists the amount of divisions in the American Army right before and during WWII. There are now 10 active divisions. A division is about 10 to 12000 men. Dissonence gave you the total ammount, this gives you an idea of the combat strength.