The following article on D-Day casualties is an excerpt from Barrett Tillman’ D-Day Encyclopedia. It is available for order now from Amazon and Barnes & Noble. 


Allied figures for D-Day casualties are contradictory, and German figures will necessarily remain inexact. Historian Stephen Ambrose cites 4,900 Allied troops killed, missing, and wounded.

  • The First U.S. Army, accounting for the first twenty-four hours in Normandy, tabulated 1,465 killed, 1,928 missing, and 6,603 wounded. The after-action report of U.S. VII Corps (ending 1 July) showed 22,119 casualties including 2,811 killed, 5,665 missing, 79 prisoners, and 13,564 wounded, including paratroopers.
  • Canadian forces at Juno Beach sustained 946 casualties, of whom 335 were listed as killed.
  • Surprisingly, no British figures were published, but Cornelius Ryan cites estimates of 2,500 to 3,000 killed, wounded, and missing, including 650 from the Sixth Airborne Division.
  • German sources vary between four thousand and nine thousand D-Day casualties on 6 June—a range of 125 percent. Field Marshal Erwin Rommel’s report for all of June cited killed, wounded, and missing of some 250,000 men, including twenty-eight generals.

By early July the Allied armies had captured 41,000 German troops while sustaining 60,771 casualties, including 8,975 dead. French losses in the Normandy campaign have been calculated at fifteen thousand civilian dead.

The total number of casualties that occurred during Operation Overlord, from June 6 (the date of D-Day) to August 30 (when German forces retreated across the Seine) was over 425,000 Allied and German troops. This figure includes over 209,000 Allied casualties:

  • Nearly 37,000 dead amongst the ground forces
  • 16,714 deaths amongst the Allied air forces.
  • Of the Allied casualties, 83,045 were from 21st Army Group (British, Canadian and Polish ground forces)
  • 125,847 from the US ground forces.

The losses of the German forces during the Battle of Normandy can only be guested. Roughly 200,000 German troops were killed or wounded. The Allies also captured 200,000 prisoners of war (not included in the 425,000 total, above). During the fighting around the Falaise Pocket (August 1944) alone, the Germans suffered 90,000 losses, including prisoners.

 


This article is from the book D-Day Encyclopedia, © 2014 by Barrett Tillman. Please use this data for any reference citations. To order this book, please visit its online sales page at Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

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