Fantastic (Non-US Centric) Online Video "The Fallen of WWII"

Although it is not mundane, I thought I would share this video that I saw linked in Slate. It does a fantastic job of showing the magnitude and cost of WWII.

As someone who regularly balks at videos more than 5 minutes long, I almost didn’t watch these 18 minutes. But they may be the most valuable 18 minutes I’ve spent all week.

Many other videos dealing with history need to dive into personal stories in order to convey the emotion and drama of events, but the sheer scale of this subject matter provides all the punch that is needed to rip you out of our modern day bubble.

We often only think of the areas of WWII that affected our country the most and often overlook other areas, many of which had far greater costs.

It separates civilian and military deaths and breaks down some of their causes. They also show deaths from other historical events and modern wars to give perspective.

To present all of this information and data with little controversy and politicizing is rare and I am thankful for it. My only point of contention with the video is that I feel they only summarized the breakdown of the many deaths in the Asian countries.

Yes, that 18 minutes went faster than many 5 minute vids I’ve seen.

They didn’t want to speculate on why the post-1945 war dead were so lower and flatter, but it’s a strong possibility that nuclear weapons were the main factor. Of course, that could have gone the other way and the 70 million column would be dwarfed by a 3-6 billion one.

Pretty eurocentric.

I was a bit curious that it didn’t show Finland at all or even mention us when talking about Siege of Leningrad, especially given how Denmark’s tiny losses are there. Not like it would make much of a difference in the 70M end result but still - we did lose roughly 8% of our whole population, 300k people. :confused:

Other than that, very good video.

Ugh. Total goosebumps when the Soviet death toll just went up and up and up. :frowning:

Is there more than one video? The one I saw began “the average age of an American…”, and then after the intro went “we’ll begin with American soldiers.” It called the death of a mere 2500 Americans on Omaha Beach - with all respect, peanuts in the context of WWII - “one of the most tragic moments of the war,” and went on to compare that number with the death toll of the American war in Afghanistan, etc.

Only after all that did it go on to the European countries, and then the Eastern Front, then the Holocaust, etc.

It did mention the American losses up front, but to me that didn’t cause me to think they were emphasized as much as used as a measuring stick.

In the US, all we hear about about WWII is how awesome we were and our great sacrifice. To list our sacrifice up front and then go into all the other areas that were so much greater just puts it into perspective.

Maybe non-US centric is the wrong word. The video was made for American audiences, but it tried to show the other parts of the war that so many documentaries ignore.


I was responding to AK84, who called the video “pretty eurocentric,” which I found odd considering both the American bit right smack in the beginning of the video, and the later bit about Asia, which I found especially fascinating. For example, I had never heard of the Yellow River flood before. All in all a very good video, IMO.