The Number of US Soldiers Who Died in Every Major American War

Since the founding of the United States, the country has engaged in 12 major wars extending over every continent.

Admittedly, the United States has a rather distinct relationship with war. While it is deemed to be the most military powerful country in the world today, Americans have never been subjected to war in the way that many other countries worldwide have. There is a big difference between the universal experience of war and the American experience. It might be worthwhile to look at some figures on the number of American soldiers who died in every major American war.

Vietnam War

The Vietnam War is a complicated subject, and a university scholar could devote a whole semester on the simple basics. Ever since the end of the Vietnam War, there are some approximations of its casualties put together, but they differ and are at times inconsistent with each other.

The United States paid a terrible price for its involvement in the Vietnam War, nearly sixty thousand US soldiers were killed in action, one thousand six hundred missing, and over a hundred and fifty thousand wounded. Numbers surely don’t tell the whole story, but they paint a picture of families shattered and lives lost.

Civil War

In the United States, during the first half of the 1860s, the War Between the States was one of the bloodiest wars was fought in American history. The American Civil War was fought to prevent the separation of the United States. Above all the reasons listed including slavery, the South was fighting to maintain their way of life and their freedom to be independent.

Several elements of the civil war are still hotly debated. The figures in this post are based on the soundest info available. Approximately six hundred and twenty-five thousand US soldiers died in the Civil War, more soldiers than in World War I, Vietnam War, World War II, and the Korean War combined.

World War I

World War I or the Great War started in 1914 among great, influential and affluent European countries regarding social, economic and political rift and rivalry. It continued for four years.

America joined World War I in April 1917. Over four million US soldiers served. There were fifty-three thousand four hundred and two soldiers killed in action, two hundred and five thousand wounded and about sixty-three thousand one hundred and eleven dies of disease. World War I had the most casualties than any other war in modern history up to that point. The number of deaths reached an astounding seventeen million.

World War II

World War II or the Second World War, was a universal war that continued from 1939 – 1945, although related skirmishes started earlier. The Second World War was the most destructive conflict ever known to man dwarfing the figures of casualties in World War I by a large amount.

According to the Census Bureau, approximately twelve percent of the total United States populations were a part of the armed forces. Concrete evidence indicates that the Second World War cost the lives of between fifty to seventy million souls, civilian and military, while injuries were estimated to be in the range of twenty million individuals.  The number of US soldiers who died in the conflict is estimated at more than four hundred thousand, including nearly three hundred thousand killed in action.

Persian Gulf War

The Gulf War was started by Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait on August 2, 1990. Iraq’s leader, Saddam Hussein, organized the attack and occupation of Kuwait with the aim of securing that nation’s large oil reserves, canceling a huge debt Iraq owed Kuwait, and increasing Iraqi power in the region. The Gulf war was waged by coalition forces from thirty-five nations led by the United States against Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait. About ten thousand Iraqi soldiers were killed during the war, in comparison with only three hundred coalition troops.  One hundred forty nine US soldiers were killed.

Iraq War

The Iraq War was a military conflict that lasted for seven years and cost 1.06 trillion USD. The United States led the war against Iraq after suspecting Iraq of possessing weapons of mass distraction. When Iraq failed to present its possessions, the United States army invaded Iraq in the first quarter of 2003. The Iraq war claimed the lives of four thousand four hundred and eighty-six American soldiers.

Afghanistan War

Admittedly, the occupation of Afghanistan is the longest war in the history of the United States. As of 2016, there have been two thousand three hundred and eighty-six United States military deaths in the Afghanistan War. One thousand eight hundred and thirty-four of these deaths have been the result of hostile action. Twenty thousand and forty-nine US soldiers were wounded in action. Additionally, there were one thousand one hundred and seventy-three US civilian fatalities.


Hundreds of thousands of US soldiers have been killed in battle.  But the trend is a declining number of casualties.  And as we rely on modern technology to fight, those numbers will likely decline even further.

Dangers of American Patriotism

Dangers of American Patriotism

In 2001, after the infamous terrorist group attacked America by completing their terrorist act known as the 911 incident, President George Bush signed, thus approving and putting in action, the USA PATRIOT ACT. This Congress act is actually a ten-word abbreviation. The actual title is “Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism ACT of 2001” Although nobody has the proof needed to connect the attack of 911 with any nation, Islamic or non-Islamic, creating such Congress act is regarded as an approved move by many countries.

The influence on the U.S citizens.

fb09a0ed-ec50-42d1-b47c-eaee19b6199bOnce the state declared that Islamic terrorist group was behind the attack on 911, the entire nation was engulfed with patriotic feeling, ready to do all that is necessary to defend the country against the foreign threat. The Younger part of the population, as well as a large number of veterans, charged to serve the country and join the military. This led to an alarming increase of soldiers in the United States Armed Forces branch USMC. There are numerous theories about the identity of people responsible for 911 attacks, and some include the U.S government and its delegates being involved in organizing an attack to boost the patriotism and direct their citizens towards attacking Islamic countries for the profit of the government. Whether people were blindfolded and sent to war against a county that was or was not involved in 911 attacks or solely choose to believe that their country is in need “good soldiers” to defend against a foreign threat there is no doubt that the explanations of the attacks influenced U.S citizens.

Military improvements.

Shortly after the attacks, lawmakers were quick to change the law and allow a nearly infinite budget to the U.S Military and the Pentagon in order for them to easily eliminate any attempt of a terrorist attack on the U.S soil. So the impact of 911 attacks on American patriotism is evident where rules that were created to shape the country were changed all in an effort to provide protection against a threat behind which was unknown country. The country believed to be behind the attacks was Iraq, and the U.S did not, in any case, use this attack as an excuse to rob the country of their natural wealth (oil and gas) with military forces.

Media and disinformation.

The fact that there were around 3000 civilians killed in the attacks, and more than 6000 others injured, only enhanced the patriotism streaming in U.S citizens. The media started transmitting information regarded the attack and continued to do so long after the attack was over, thus triggering a sense of empathy that as a result created increase in patriotism amongst the U.S citizens.

There is a big difference between patriotism and nationalism, where one describes a person’s belief in his country and is proud of countries past actions, and the other is only blind arrogance, fear, and anger created by believing in your country no matter what atrocities it does.

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