The cost of war is almost unfathomable to us, from the losses of lives to the loss of a way of living, it is one of the costliest and saddest events for humankind. All throughout history we have fought various wars which have cost all of the participants dearly.
The biggest wars in history are the 2 world wars both of which cost all the parties involved a lot of lives and money. The adverse effects of war on such a global scale can change the whole course of history. War affects each and every aspect of our lives the human cost of war is incomprehensible however we can take a look at the economic cost of the World Wars below.
World War I: Economic Cost, After Effects And Human Loss
The First World War which started in 1914 affected the world economy more than any war before it. Every country that participated in the Great War lost a lot of its citizens and money. The war ended in 1918 but the economic effects of the war are still prevalent today.
The war between The Central Powers and The Allied Powers started after Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary was assassinated in Sarajevo, Bosnia. Britain, France, Russia, Italy, and the United States were The Allies and Germany, Austria-Hungary, Ottoman Empire, and Bulgaria formed the Central Power.
Each country involved in the war invested a lot of their money into the war, in fact, Germany alone spent around $37,775,000,000 into the war. Similarly, the following list shows the money spent by the different countries in the world.
Amount Spent ON WWI
Turkey (Ottoman Empire)
Financial loss and economic damage can be recovered however, the loss of lives is unrecoverable. The people of each of the countries involved in the war lost a lot of citizens.
We have listed the casualties of WWI below in the table along with the country which suffered the loss.
No. Of Deaths/Casualties
No. Of Wounded
867,829 to 1,011,687
1,697,000 to 1,737,800
1,052,400 to 1,243,400
59,330 to 62,149
58,639 to 66,996
In total, The Allies lost 9,235,553 to 10,080,391 people in the war and there were 11,611,271 to 12,812,271 more wounded.
Similarly, the Central Powers also lost a lot of their army men as well as normal citizens. The list below shows the death and casualties of the Central Powers
No. Of Deaths/Casualties
No. Of Wounded
1,787,000 to 2,081,200
2,198,420 to 2,800,720
2,825,000 to 3,271,844
400,000 to 763,753
The Central Powers lost around 6,997,920 to 8,341,264 in total and 8,388,052 to 8,751,805 were wounded.
World War II: Human Losses, Economic Cost
The 2nd world war started on September 1, 1939, and ended on September 2, 1945. The immediate aftermath of the 1st Great War and a lack of controlling bodies caused the Second World War. The failure of the League Of Nations, the Versailles treaty were among the causes of World War II.
This war also caused a lot of deaths in fact even more people died in this war than World War I. Similarly, the economic effects of the war were felt by the whole world. The Allied and Axis powers fought a 6-year war that would leave its mark for many years to come.
The list of military spending in World War 2 is given below.
The Axis Powers, as well as the Allied Nations, also suffered huge human loss, as a matter of fact, according to 3% of the 1940 world population (70–85 million) was lost to the war.
The following list shows the human loss suffered in World War 2 by various countries:
No. Of Casualties (Estimated)
Some sources have reported that official losses in the war were around 55 million in total.
The genocide by Hitler and his Nazi party caused mass genocide of the Jewish people in Germany and Europe. Adolf Hitler started a mass movement against the Jews. The anti-Semitic views of the then German ruling dictator caused unimaginable pain to the people especially the Jewish.
In fact, 1.3 million Jews were killed in just 3 months of the genocide which is around a quarter of the total Jewish victims.