End Of The War

Cost Of World War II

Following the encirclement and fall of Berlin by the Soviet army in April of 1945 and the resultant suicide of Hitler, Germany surrendered on May 7th in Rheims, France. With the war over in Europe, the American forces now focused on conducting an enormous invasion of the Japanese mainland in an effort to bring the war in the Pacific to an end. On further reflection, however, to prevent large numbers of U.S. casualties that would result from the invasion, President Harry S. Truman ordered the use of a new atomic weapon instead. The atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945 and a second bomb on the port city of Nagasaki three days later. On September 2, the Japanese High Command formally surrendered aboard the battleship USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay.

But what was the cost of the war to the United States? For some people, the cost of the war is considered strictly in monetary terms. But there was also another cost, one much more irreplaceable than money - the costs in human lives.

Cost In Money And Lives

Monetarily, in 1940 dollars, the estimated cost was $288 Billion. In 2007 dollars this would amount to approximately $5 Trillion. In addition, the effects of the war on the U.S. economy were that it decisively ended the depression and created a booming economic windfall. Because the United States mainland was untouched by the war her economic wealth and prosperity soared as she became the world leader in manufacturing, technology, industry and agriculture.

In terms of the costs in American lives lost the following list the final estimations:

  • Army – 234,874
  • Navy - 36, 958
  • Marines - 19,733
  • Coast Guard - 574
  • Merchant Marines - 9,521

Total American lives killed in action: 295,790

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