V-Day remembrance: Stunning infographic shows devastating human cost of WWII

V-Day remembrance: Stunning infographic shows devastating human cost of WWII
As Victory Day is marked around the world with special events commemorating the surrender of Nazi Germany to the Soviet Union, an astonishing animated film highlights the massive loss of life from World War II.

The mind-boggling visualization, entitled “The Fallen of World War II,” illustrates the horrific number of civilians and soldiers who lost their lives in the conflict.

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The clip compares the losses of WWII to other conflicts – both recent and historic – and highlights the war’s deaths broken down by nationality, with the Soviet Union suffering the highest total death count of the war.

The animation begins with US soldiers, counting over 400,000 deaths over the course of the war from 1939 to 1945. Two thousand five hundred US soldiers died on D-Day at Omaha Beach, around the same number of American soldiers killed over the 13-year war in Afghanistan.

The infographic then turns to European military casualties: Yugoslavia lost almost half a million soldiers, while Poland and France each lost around 200,000 soldiers.

The UK lost a similar number of soldiers to the US while fighting the Nazis, while Germany lost about a half-million soldiers during battles with the US and UK.

However, it was fighting in the Eastern Front that proved most catastrophic for the Germans. Half a million German soldiers died during the Battle of Stalingrad – the equivalent of all the western front fighting put together.

While the Soviets were victorious in the Battle of Stalingrad, they suffered almost twice as many losses, as shown here in red.

Some 2.3 million officers and men of the Wehrmacht were killed in total by the Soviet Union, but as the animation depicts in somber detail, the Soviet successes in the conflict came at a huge cost.

The Russian military has tallied their soldier deaths at 8.7 million, while others believe this could be closer to 14 million.

The data-driven visualization then looks at civilian deaths, providing a country breakdown of casualties and detailing the concentration camps responsible for killing 6 million Jews in the Holocaust.

After the Soviet Union, China experienced the second-highest number of fatalities in the global conflict.

In total, a startling 70 million people died during WWII, more than any other war in history.