WWI dead and shell shock figures 'significantly underestimated'

tags: World War I, casualties




The number of soldiers killed in the Great War has been significantly underestimated, according to an academic, who adjusts the overall casualties to more than ten million – half a million more than most, recent estimates.

Antoine Prost, a French historian, argues that previous figures have been based on miscalculations and errors, which have led different countries to minimise their losses. He believes the British deaths, for instance, may have been far higher than previously thought.

The academic, who is Professor Emeritus of History at the Universite de Paris, comes up with the new figure of 10 million in an article in the final volume of a new, three part study into the war, published by Cambridge University Press, next week.

For the essay, entitled the “The Dead”, Prof Prost examined estimated losses among all the combatants, and discovered dozens of errors and miscalculated figures. Many of these were a function of administrative confusion, but taken together, they indicate a tendency for all sides to minimise their losses in the war....



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