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What was the total number of people involved in the German, Japanese, and U.S. military in W.W.2, and what percent of the total population of each country was each?


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Dear RL,

Statistics on American, German and Japanese forces are not hard to find, but they often refer to those under arms at certain times (e.g., at the start or end of the war) rather than the grand total. A total of 12,209,238 Americans were in military service by September 2, 1945, representing 9 percent of the 131,028,000 U.S. population. Germany had a grand total of 22,000,000 in some form of service out of a population of 69,850,000, representing 31 percent. Japan is harder to pin down, since it was on and off at war from 1931 through 1945. In 1941 the Imperial Army numbered 1,700,000, while at the end of the war the Navy numbered 1,663,223. Add them up and one has 4.7 percent under arms out of 71,380,000 Japanese.

Other national statistics can be found on the net or in current books on World War II, should you care to work out further percentages on all the other combatants … though I presume you don’t?



Jon Guttman
Research Director
World History Group
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