Quote from Winston S. Churchill

The Germans, out of a population of under 70 millions,...

2018-05-01

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The Germans, out of a population of under 70 millions, mobilized during the war for military service 13¼ million persons. Of these, according to the latest German official figures for all fronts including the Russian, over 7 millions suffered death, wounds or captivity, of whom nearly 2 millions perished.15 France, with a population of 38 millions, mobilized a little over 8 million persons. This however includes a substantial proportion of African troops outside the French population basis. Of these approximately 5 millions became casualties, of whom 1½ millions lost their lives. The British Empire, out of a white population of 60 millions, mobilized nearly 9½ million persons and sustained over 3 million casualties including nearly a million deaths. The British totals are not directly comparable with those of France and Germany. The proportion of coloured troops is greater. The numbers who fell in theatres other than the western, and those employed on naval service, are both much larger. The French and German figures are however capable of very close comparison. Both the French and German armies fought with their whole strength from the beginning to the end of the war. Each nation made the utmost possible demand upon its population. In these circumstances it is not surprising that the official French and German figures tally with considerable exactness. The Germans mobilized 19 per cent. of their entire population, and the French, with their important African additions, 21 per cent. Making allowance for the African factor, it would appear that in the life-and-death struggle both countries put an equal strain upon their manhood. If this basis is sound—and it certainly appears reasonable—the proportion of French and German casualties to persons mobilized displays an even more remarkable concordance. The proportion of German casualties to total mobilized is 10 out of every 19, and that of the French 10 out of every 16. The ratios of deaths to woundings in Germany and France are almost exactly equal, viz. 2 to 5. Finally these figures yield a division of German losses between the western and all other fronts of approximately 3 to 1 both in deaths and casualties. All

Winston S. Churchill
Winston S. Churchill in "The World Crisis, Vol. 3 Part 1 and Part 2"

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