World War II, ignited by Germany’s invasion of Poland on September 1, 1939, sparked a global conflict. Within days, Britain and France joined the fray, followed by other Commonwealth nations. This documentary diverges from typical war narratives, focusing instead on the millions whose lives were tragically cut short by the conflict.

While military deaths predominantly comprised young men with an average age of 23, civilian casualties were diverse. Unlike many war retrospectives, this film solely accounts for those who perished.

The toll on American soldiers was profound, with over 400,000 lives lost, primarily in the European Theatre. The bloodshed surged during pivotal moments like D-Day, where 2,500 soldiers fell in a single day, akin to the total American losses over 13 years in Afghanistan. In the Pacific, the Battle of Okinawa spanned 82 days, claiming 12,500 American lives.

Early clashes in Poland saw staggering losses, with over 200,000 Polish soldiers compared to 16,000 German casualties. Nazi aggression swept across Europe, inflicting heavy tolls on nations like France and Yugoslavia, where guerilla warfare and mass executions fueled staggering losses.

The conflict with the Soviet Union was especially brutal, resulting in an estimated 8.7 to 14 million Soviet soldiers perishing. Civilian casualties were equally devastating, with millions deliberately targeted or deprived of essentials, leading to nearly 20 million civilian deaths across Europe.

World War II stands as history’s deadliest conflict, eclipsing all others in its scale of human tragedy.

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