Saturday, May 10, 2014

WW2 | D-Day+70 Data

D-Day Assault Plan.
June 6, 2014 is the 70th Anniversary of D-Day. A good time to look at D-Day Data.

The few surviving veterans from World War II are fading away with an attrition rate of about 30 percent per year. I have interviewed one survivor at length. By the 80th Anniversary there will be hardly anyone left to tell the stories, so this 70th anniversary is special.

My wife Alice and I are going to France to pay our respects at the beginning of June, in the departments of Normandy and Mayenne (just south of Normandy). My uncle Willem van Stockum is buried in Laval, Mayenne, along with his six crew-mates on a Halifax bomber that was shot down after its mission was completed on June 10, 1944. Another seven in crew from another Halifax on the same mission are buried next to them.

In preparation for our visit, I have been assembling data on D-Day and World War II in Europe. My main source is a new book targeted at young people by Rick Atkinson, D-Day: The Invasion of Normandy, 1944, published by Henry Holt. It is meant to be used in schools and is adapted from Atkinson's #1 best-selling book The Guns at Last Light. I could not find it on Goodreads' list of the 167 best books for kids about World War II, so I added it with a 5-star rating and a brief review. I have since found the listing, so Goodreads should have it twice. Something is wrong with the Goodreads indexing system because I couldn't find the book by author or title. The listing I found gives the book an average rating of 4, because one librarian objected to the poor quality of the photos and their somewhat haphazard placement. Also, the book is definitely for the older Young Adult market because the language does not make much allowance for expected vocabulary in the elementary school grades.

Deaths from WWII (Atkinson, USA)

Total 72 million people, or 28,000 people every day of the 2,174-day war. (This is also the top Wikipedia figure.)

Soviet dead 26 million - military 10.7 million, civilian 15 million
U.S. dead 419,000 - military 417,000 (out of 16 million who served), civilian 2,000
UK dead 451,000 - military 384,000 (out of 6 million who served), civilian 67,000
Canadian dead 23,000, all military (out of 1.1 million who served)
German dead 8.8 million - military 5.5 million, civilian 3.3 million
European Jews killed in Holocaust - 6 million
***
Number of American soldiers buried in Europe - 25,000
U.S. pilots killed behind enemy lines - 14,000

Deaths from WWII - Second Source (worldwar2.org.uk).
Total dead 50-70 million.

Soviet dead 26.6 million, of which 8.7 million soldiers died in World War 2.
British 700,000 military and 60,000 civilian deaths
Poland’s dead were between 5.6 and 5.8 million.
USA military dead is around 416,800 people.
German total 7.4 million, of which military dead and missing are 5.3 million.

Deaths from WWII - Third source - USA History Channel
Total dead 35-60 million (a big range, especially when Atkinson and Wikipedia go up to 72 million.)

D-Day Armada
Allied Troops landed - 156,000
Vehicles landed - 30,000
Planes - 11,000 (my uncle's plane had a crew of seven, so many more airmen were involved)
Ships and landing craft - 5,000
Parachutists - 13,000

Most Effective Bombers in European War
Britain Avro Lancaster, DeHavilland Mosquito (wooden, to avoid radar)
USA B-17 Flying Fortress, B-24 Liberator, B-29 Superfortress
Germany Heinkel III, Junkers 87 Stuka, Junkers Ju-88

Most Effective Tanks in European War
USA M4 Sherman
Soviet T-34
German Panther (partly copied from Soviets), PzKfw Mk. IV Panzer, Tiger I/II