50 Years Later: World War II, Accomplishments and Costs
For millions of people around the world 1995 commemorates the 50th anniversary
of World War II. After more than a decade of uncertainty through the Depression
and war years, the Germans' surrender on May 7, 1945 was the beginning
of peace. What had started as a local conflict in Eastern Europe spread
into a global conflict of unmeasurable costs. Allied Forces accomplished
world peace and fifty years later we struggle to maintain it.
The Cost for Peace
- At the end of the war, Allied Forces totalled 4,581,000 men in the
air and ground military.
- Under Eisenhower, 93 divisions of air strength, 9 armies and 17,192
planes contributed to V-E Day.
- During the war the U.S. manufactured 296,000 planes, 87,000 tanks,
2.4 million trucks and millions more rifles.
- Peak production for Canada was in 1943 when they built 16,000 aircrafts,
800,000 motor vehicles and 6,500 tanks and self-propelled guns.
- 1,086,771 Canadians wore the unifor in three-armed services. 49,252
Casualties were the biggest cost for everyone in the war, soldiers and
civilians. The Soviet Union lost 20 million people; Germany lost 3 million
in battle and an additional 500,000 civilians; Allied Forces counted over
110,000 missing persons; Britain lost 60,000 civilians and 350,000 military
In all, World War II cost more than $230 billion in property damage with
many records and personal items irreplaceable.
Information on victims of war
If you want to know about a war veteran or civilian in your family, try
contacting one of the following agencies for assistance.
- United States Holocaust Research Institute: 100 Raoul Wallenberg Place,
SW., Washington, D.C. 20024-2150. (202) 488-6130. Inquire about their
archives, library, museum and survivor's registry.
- The Red Cross: Consult your phonebook for your local branch and inquire
about missing person searches for military personnel.
- The Salvation Army: This agency offers missing persons locators beyond
the military scope. Locate your nearest office in your phonebook and
request their enquiry form and guidelines, or write to: 120 W. 14th
Street, New York, NY. 10011.
- Government: Consult the government pages of your phonebook for Veterans'
Administration or the Department of Veteran Affairs.
This article appeared in the November 1995 issue of Hot Chocolate.
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