Which Allied Country made the qreatest sacrifices during WWII?

An alien species, say 100 individuals remaining, decides wiping out half of humans on Earth at the cost of 49 of their own, is a morally just decision. (They would like to take possession of a large chunk of the planet) The aliens would be in agreement with your math.

Neither the US nor the USSR became fully engaged in the war until 1941 and he was discussing their wartime tank production figures, both of which were in the 100,000 range with Soviet production slightly edging out US production. The figures can vary depending on the source and what exactly is being included in the figures:

Total tanks and self propelled guns
USSR 105,251
USA 102,410
Tanks and self propelled guns, main armament 75mm or greater
USSR 92,595
USA 71,067
Tanks produced 1940-1945
USSR 102,300
USA 88,500

Sam Stone’s claim that the US out produced the USSR in tanks by 10:1 is very wrong; it’s also something that he’s been repeatedly corrected on over the years but keeps repeating. In some other categories of land warfare equipment production by the USSR swamped production by the US, but as I said Soviet naval production was essentially nil while the US produced the largest navy in history:

USSR 516,648
USA 257,390

USSR 200,300
USA 105,055

I think Yugoslavia was second after Poland with the Soviet Union in third place.

Or in 1937 when Japan invaded China. It’s as wrong to think the war didn’t begin until Europeans started fighting as it is to think it didn’t start until Americans joined in.

Well, I don’t think it’s AS wrong. It’s certainly valid in the context of the Japanese mid-century war, and arguable for WWII. You could reasonably argue that 1937–1945 is the most accurate date for the confict known as WWII. Instead, though, your statement sounds like you’re saying that 1941–1945 is a reasonable date range to encompass WWII, as much as is 1939–1945. I don’t think that’s defensible.

bump could have said “over the course of the war (1939-1945), the US and USSR produced…” and used the same numbers to make the same point.

Yugoslavia is listed as 6.67% on that page.

USSR: 13.7%
Poland: 16.1-16.7%

If you have a different source, the numbers might look different, of course.

I don’t get what you’re saying. My comment “first hit, worst hit,” didn’t mean to imply all the deaths happened on the first day. Quite the opposite – I mean the European theater of the war started and all but ended in Poland, and their long exposure to hard fighting factored into their heavier losses.

One person from the Pitcairn Islands is worth about 20 million Chinese.

I’ve been reading A.M.'s autob To Hell And Back. Great book. The 10% of American troops who were actually in combat, and all combat troops in the war, made incredible sacrifices. Murphy tells how a guy would go on furlough after months of nothing but the struggle to survive every hour of the day and come back amazed that his countymen back home were mostly talking of striking for higher wages and bitter over the price of steak and gas and the big concern was to get ahead while times were good. America as a country sacrificed very little in the war, Roosevelt kept the army smaller than what was needed so we could ramp up industrial production and hit the ground running after the war.
The Western half of Russia was so thoroughly destroyed in the war I bet they spent a lot of time just looking around and asking, this is victory?

Sam, I’ve no idea where you get these fractions, but they’re preposterous; do you really think the Soviet Union only produced one tenth the tanks the USA did? Where on earth would you get that idea? If they only produced 8400 tanks they would have - very obviously - lost the war.

The Soviets produced at least fifty thousand T-34s alone.

Yes, I’m cool with that. It also means the life of an American or a Briton is worth less, so I don’t get what you’re trying to imply. Remember, this thread is asking about countries as entities, not about the worth of individual sacrifices.

And using a percentage measure is standard statistics - without which, it all comes down to size, which is, quite frankly, a boring answer.

I disagree. The 2nd Sino-Japanese War eventually merged into World War II, but that does not make 1937 the start of the war, especially when it largely remained a sideshow for the entirety of the larger war.

Your claim is laughable.

The US Population before the war was approximately 150 million.


“During World War II about 16,000,000 personnel served in the U.S. Military. Approximately 11,200,000 or 70% served in the U.S. Army (4,200,000 served in the Navy and 660,000 in the Marines.)”

Ok, so over 10% of the US Population served in the Armed Forces.

“The main factor which limited the size of the US Army, apart from the capacity of the American economy to equip such a large force quickly, was shipping. The shipping estimates showed that no more than 4,170,000 men could be shipped overseas by the end of 1944. In the event the number of divisions shipped abroad did not exceed 88. This fact was an important restraint on Allied strategy.
Thus although expansion between December 1941 and December 1943 was unprecedented, with the Army growing from 1,657,157 to 5,400,888, a further increase in the number of units was not undertaken. By December 1944, 4,933,682 Americans were serving abroad in 80 divisions; these were supported by a mere three divisions in reserve.”

So our difficulty was in creating, equipping and shipping such a large force in a period of less than 4 years. Had the war gone several years longer and the US taken multiple times the casualties that it did, we would have been quite capable of continuing to pump additional troops onto the battlefield, where our enemies by that point would have been exhausted.

The implication of your reasoning would mean that the life of a Chinese or Russian is worth less “sacrifice points” than the life of a Pole. Do you really want to go with that?

Thank you for pointing out the ridiculousness of your argument.

So your argument is that every country suffered equally because all life is precious?

I’m not sure who you are addressing, and I can see that you are new to the thread and might not realize there is a first page and haven’t read any of those posts, but I’ll go ahead and clarify my own position, just for you.

Lacking any justification for the idea that one life is worth more than another life, the greatest sacrifice goes to the country that lost the most lives–The Soviet Union. Just saying, “Well because…statistics!” isn’t an argument for one life being worth more than another life.

I did read the first page, actually, and you were patiently explained to why looking at a percentage was a better comparison than raw numbers as far as a sacrifice to the whole country is concerned. Just saying “Chinese people are just as valuable as British” misses the point of the discussion.

You sound like a mischesvious british housewife
First, New Zealand made the greatest effort because that country were furtherest away and declared war on

So far, the only explanations For using a percentage are:

“Its more interesting.” Not sure how, but feel free to explain that.

“Statistics uses percentages.” Well, statistics uses many mathematical tools, but it also allows for misplaced concreteness, of which this is an example.

The value of a life is what I am questioning here. Using a weighted value implies various absurdities. For example, the life of a Pitcairn being equivalent to 19-20 million Chinese. You are adding up these values in your calculation of sacrifice, so, no saying that all lives have equal value doesnt miss the point at all.

What’s ridiculous in pointing out that for the purposes of this thread, yes, one Pole was worth more than one Russian (especially given that it wasn’t Poles shooting Russians in the woods - great contribution to the Alliance, there :rolleyes: )

I’ve given my justification - you need to normalize contributions or else all comparisons are pretty meaningless.

I’m afraid if you’re comparing whole countries, it really is, or it’s just an exercise in body counts, which is trivial. But body count =/= sacrifice. Russians may have been sacrificed more than Poles were , but Russia did not sacrifice more than Poland did. Because it could absorb the losses better.