Casualties

A casualty of war is someone who has been killed, captured or injured as a result of the war...

There are two kinds of casualties, military and civilian. Armed forces record their casualties where possible but during a war it is frequently not possible to record with accuracy the number of civilians who die or are injured. After the war this is done but by then it may be impossible to do other than broadly estimate the casualties among civilians caught up in the war. Thus the estimates for Korean civilians who were injured as a result of the war are unreliable. Estimates of those who died vary between one and two million but probably about 700,000 South Korean and 900,000 North Korean civilians perished as a result of the war.

Military casualties are more accurately recorded though there are still difficulties as nations vary in their manner of recording casualties. Some include deaths not in battle – to accident or illness – and some do not. There is also a category 'missing in action' to record those whose exact fate is unknown. However at this distance in time they can be presumed to be dead and are included below in that category.

Communist armed forces
Country Dead Wounded Captured
North Korea 140,000 240,000 111,360*
China 183,108 383,218 21,440
Soviet Union 282 1381** n/a
* excluding 40,000 South Koreans pressed into the North Korean army and later captured by the United Nations Command
** probably includes casualties to illness
Total communist military casualties were about 1,100,000
United Nations Command
Country Dead Wounded Captured
South Korea 47,000 183,000 41,971
USA 36,574 105,785 30
Australia 340 1216 30
New Zealand 33 79 1
United Kingdom 1,109 2,674 1,060
Canada 516 1,042 33
Türkiye 879 2,111 216
France 312 1350 12
Greece 194 459 n/a
Colombia 165 448 28
Thailand 134 1,139 n/a
Netherlands 119 381 1
Philippines 92 356 n/a
Belgium 101 478 n/a
South Africa 20 16 8
Luxembourg 2 17 n/a
Ethiopia 121 536 n/a
Total United Nations Command military casualties were about 440,000

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Cite this page

DVA (Department of Veterans' Affairs) ( ), Casualties, DVA Anzac Portal, accessed 4 March 2024, https://anzacportal.dva.gov.au/wars-and-missions/korean-war-1950-1953/events/ceasefire-panmunjon-27-july-1953/casualties
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