Butcher’s Bill — Filmmaker Counts the Bloody Cost of World War Two

A new documentary tabulates the human cost of WW2. (Image source: German Federal Archive)

A new documentary tabulates the human cost of WW2. (Image source: German Federal Archive)

“Halloran tabulates the death toll suffered by the conflict’s many warring nations in a way that brings sobering new perspective to the war.”

JOSEPH STALIN ONCE remarked that the death of one man is a tragedy while the death of a million is just a statistic.

Philadelphia filmmaker and data journalist Neil Halloran has set out to prove the Soviet dictator wrong with a new web-based documentary entitled The Fallen of World War II.

The 18-minute presentation takes a look at the staggering human cost of the Second World War — and what it reveals will blow your mind.

“The Fallen of World War II” is a new interactive documentary. Click on the image to load it.

Using nothing more than freely available casualty figures (both civilian and military) and a series of animated graphics, Halloran tabulates the death toll suffered by the conflict’s many warring nations in a way that brings sobering new perspective to the war. The film and accompanying interactive infographics lay out not just how many soldiers died from each country, but when and where they were killed — something a lot of wartime number-crunching simply fails to do.

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Among the dozens of eye-popping stats this short yet surprisingly creative film presents include the following:

  • More Americans died in in a just few hours at Omaha Beach on D-Day than in 13 years of war in Afghanistan.
  • Germany lost more men at Stalingrad than it did in all of the battles against the Western Allies in Europe combined.
  • No nation suffered more casualties proportionally than Poland. An estimated 16 percent of the nation’s population were either wounded or killed in six years of war.

Released this past Memorial Day, The Fallen of World War II has already chalked up some impressive statistics of its own: More than a million views in just two weeks. And the buzz surrounding the film is still growing.

If you haven’t seen it yet, you can do so HERE. Both the film and interactive infographics are free, but Halloran and his team hope viewers will make a small donation to support their efforts.

(Originally published on June 7, 2015)

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