World War II in Numbers: An Infographic Guide to the Conflict, Its Conduct, and Its Casualities


A different way to understand the magnitude of World War II.

Countless books exist about the Second World War and in those can be found all of the statistics to be had: numbers killed, bombs dropped, battles won and lost, ad infinitum. But to see these numbers as infographics gives the reader a fresh perspective on the war.

World War II in Numbers uses color graphics and succinct text to tell the key stories ...

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A different way to understand the magnitude of World War II.

Countless books exist about the Second World War and in those can be found all of the statistics to be had: numbers killed, bombs dropped, battles won and lost, ad infinitum. But to see these numbers as infographics gives the reader a fresh perspective on the war.

World War II in Numbers uses color graphics and succinct text to tell the key stories of the battles that engulfed the globe and affected virtually everyone alive during the 1940s.

To see the war set out in numbers tells the story with a new certainty:

  • how the Polish Home Army carried out more than 700,000 acts of sabotage
  • the large number of Japanese lost in the Pacific War
  • how Allied tanks stood up to the armor-piercing power of the Panzerfaust
  • the damage the Kamikaze inflicted on Allied ships during the Okinawa Campaign
  • the number of unexploded bombs reported on the island of Malta
  • that in 1944 alone 914,637 tons of bombs were dropped on German cities
  • by how much the Allied forces outnumbered the Germans in Normandy
  • how the ten costliest land battles in WWII compare with those of WWI.

The book sets out six chapters with topics discussed in two- and four-page infographics spreads, including certainty:

  • Preparation for War — Territorial skirmishes, shifting borders, militarism and alliances.
  • Land Campaigns — Key battles and the military might that fought them.
  • Weapons and Innovations - From the Polish Calvary to the
  • In the Air — Aces and blitzes.
  • At Sea — The war expands to the world's oceans.
  • Costs — The price of war and its legacy.

Compelling, a superb teaching tool, ideal for casual reading and a must-have for military hobbyists, World War II in Numbers is an exciting and powerful perspective on the global conflict.

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Editorial Reviews

American Reference Books Annual 2014 - Scott Dimarco
The numbers of sources that simply quantify historical facts are few and far between. Peter Doyle provides in this unique book a resource that is not only useful, but attractive to the reader. Designed as a perfect companion for serious enthusiasts ... a fact-filled visual exploration for general readers, it tells the story of World War II in an original way; using infographics to convey the mass of data that can derived from all aspects of the conflict. In this effort the author is successful. Divided into six chapters, many aspects of the conflict are covered from the origins to the post-conflict.... The range of entries is broad... Narration, graphs, and pictures are almost always included in each. This work is highly recommended.
Library Journal
Have you ever wondered if German tanks were larger than Allied tanks in World War II, or pondered how many submarines the United States had in the war? Doyle (geosciences, Univ. Coll. London; cosecretary, All Party Parliamentary War Heritage Group; The Home Front 1939–1945; The Blitz) provides the answers to these and many other questions in this well-done, predominantly visual work. He uses graphs, charts, maps, and other high-impact graphics to tell compellingly the story of the war's devastation and its long-term impact on Asia, Europe, and beyond. The work is divided into six chapters: "Preparation for War," "Land Campaigns," "Weapons and Innovations," "In the Air," "At Sea," and "Costs." Approximately 70 topics are addressed within the chapters, in roughly three pages per topic. Many of the graphics include a key and an explanatory caption where necessary. They also tie in closely to the text on the page. The book concludes with a selection of sources for further reading, a list of web resources, and a short but helpful index. Doyle presents the data in a clear and visually stimulating way. His concise text convincingly illustrates the brutality and effects of World War II. This would be a fine source for middle and high school students in need of statistical information for reports. It's also an excellent tool for the nonspecialist who values a generalized overview of key World War II statistics. VERDICT Although neither the first nor the last word in World War II scholarship, this is a good source for anyone who wants "just the facts" in a visually stimulating presentation.—Rob Tench, Old Dominion Univ. Lib., Norfolk, VA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781770851955
  • Publisher: Firefly Books, Limited
  • Publication date: 8/11/2013
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 1,504,853
  • Product dimensions: 8.80 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Peter Doyle is a scientist and military historian specializing in the role of terrain in warfare. He is visiting Professor at University College London, and is co-secretary of the All Party Parliamentary War Heritage Group. In addition to numerous scientific papers and books, he has written The Home Front 1939-1945, The British Soldier in Europe 1939-1945 (both with Paul Evans), Prisoner of War in Germany 1939-1945 and The Blitz.

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Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Preparation for War

Population and Powers
Military Strengths of the Allies
Military Strengths of the Axis
Fleets of Major World Powers
Soviet Forces in Europe
Japan and the Second Sino-Japanese War
Building the US Army
Munitions Production of the Main Powers
Operation Bolero
Waffen SS: Foreign Volunteers and Conscripts

Land Campaigns

The Invasion of Poland
The Battle of France
Dunkirk: Operation Dynamo
The Battle of Crete
The Conquest of Malaya
Operation Barbarossa
Hitler's Allies on the Eastern Front
Tank Strengths: Western Desert
The Second Battle of El
Stalingrad: The Doomed 6th Army
The Invasion of Italy
Monte Cassino: Polish War Crosses
The Battle of Kursk: Operation Citadel
The Raid on Dieppe
Normandy: Balance of Forces
D-Day: Casualties and Strong Points
The Polish Home Army
Operation Market Garden
The Battle of the Bulge
The Battle of Kohima
Island-Hopping in the Pacific
Top Ten Costliest Battles in the Two World Wars

Weapons and Innovations

Aircraft in the Battle of Britain
Allied and Axis Rifles
Hitler's Battleships
Special Operations Executive
Hobart's Funnies
Anti-tank Guns
The V-1 Flying Bomb
Carrier Fighter Aircraft in the Pacific
Allied Landing Craft
German Operational Jet Aircraft
"Fat Man" and "Little Boy": Atomic Bombs

In the Air

The Battle of Britain
The Blitz
The Doolittle Raid
The Bombing of Malta
The Bombing of Germany
US Bombing of Japanese Mainland
Top Five Air Aces in the Two World Wars

At Sea

The Battle of Taranto
Pearl Harbor
The Battle of the Atlantic
Convoy PQ17: Losses
Submarine Losses
The Battle of Midway
Hunting the Bismark


Prisoners of War
Battle Wounds and Sickness
The Volkssturm
The Polish Ghettos

The Holocaust

Selected Sources and Further Reading

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World War II, 1939-1945, was a truly global war; gradually sucking into a maelstrom the majority of the world's nations, and certainly the world's strongest powers, it became the greatest conflict in world history. Yet, in many ways, it arose from the aftermath of World War I. In 1918 world frontiers were redrawn and old empires dismantled, while the Treaty of Versailles, signed in 1919, condemned Germany to bankruptcy. The 1920s saw the rise of the dangerously maverick figure Adolf Hitler, who aligned German politics with the state control instigated by the Italian leader Benito Mussolini, and moved the country quickly to a point of military readiness in the late 1930s that was in direct contravention of the Versailles treaty.

The Western Allies, weakened by the earlier war and reluctant to start another, stood meekly by. In the East, Josef Stalin, leader of the Soviet Union, viewed Hitler with caution, and colluded with him until his own country was drawn into the fight in 1941. With Hitler wishing to avenge Germany's humiliation, he was prepared to push his demands to breaking point, and testing the policy of appeasement practiced by both Britain and France, he would drive the world to the brink.

The war would be fought on four continents, with at least 25 combatant nations. With such distances, the war was driven by its logistical capabilities—on land, the availability of fuel and the extension of supply lines would become paramount. At sea, the world's navies fought extended campaigns, in the protection of civilian supply routes, or in direct ship-to-ship (or aircraft-to-ship) actions. In the skies, air superiority would be all, and new battles would be fought. Aircraft were flying higher, faster, and longer; missiles, unmanned aircraft, jets—all would appear in this technological war. And tank warfare would be developed to its greatest degree.

In the East, Japan had also grown into a power that viewed expansion as a means to its greater development and thought nothing of military conquest to achieve this. The Sino-Japanese war of 1937-1945 was a conflict indicative of Japanese ambition: the control of the Pacific. The Japanese were swift to join the Axis powers, bringing the United States into the fray at Pearl Harbor in December 1941, and changing the direction and future of the war. Hitler's ambitions to conquer the Soviet Empire through the largest invasion in history, Operation Barbarossa, was also pivotal. It would ultimately lead to the dismantling of the Nazi state, and the creation of the Cold War, which would bring the world even closer to the brink of destruction in later generations.

World War II was a total war. Across the world, economies were linked directly to the needs of the war machine. Industries were geared completely to the production of munitions, and naval engagements became battles to guarantee supply and to break blockades like never before. New and more terrible weapons would be married to new and incredible innovations; battle wounds would be treated with penicillin, aviators would fly in jet aircraft before the war was done. And civilians were no longer capable of standing back from the fight.

As had been predicted by pre-war theorists, aerial armadas would wreak havoc over major cities; bomb tonnages would grow and new ways of razing cities to the ground would be invented, from firestorms to atomic weapons. This would be the only conflict in history where nuclear weapons would be used in action; a reminder of the awesome and terrible power that nations of the world could levy against each other if not kept in check. All in all, some 100 million people worldwide served in a military capacity; their actions would see 73 million people, combatants, and civilians alike, killed. Among these would be the indescribable and breathtaking slaughter of innocents, the murder of the Jews by the Nazis, two out of every three in Nazi-occupied territory; and the terror of the Japanese in China.

The war in Europe ended with much of the continent in ruins, the Nazi state destroyed and dismantled, its territory carved up into eastern and western blocs that would last through to the end of the Cold War in 1990, with the fall of the Berlin Wall. In Japan, the combatant nation with the highest rates of battlefield fatalities, the armed forces were committed to last-ditch defense, the home islands were destroyed through bombing, conventional at first, then through the deployment of atomic weapons, and the country was brought to its knees by the time the war was finally over on August 15th, 1945.

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