Wars That Died Most Americans – 24/7 Wall St.
For a young country, America has an unfortunate history of wars. The toll of every war was felt deeply, but none was greater than World War II, the war in which most Americans died.
The Revolutionary War (1777-1783) made the USA an independent country. The War of 1812 (1812-1815) was a second conflict with the British. The Civil War (1862-1865) was the only major war fought within the country’s borders.
World War I (1914-1918) and World War II (1939-1945) were the wars in which the US played its largest role outside its borders (although US involvement did not begin until several years after those conflicts began). And there have been several armed conflicts such as Vietnam (US involvement from 1964-1973) in which the US has never made an official declaration of war. (These are the 18 greatest battles of World War II.)
Most wars America has been involved in have involved the deaths of military personnel and civilians from other countries. This was especially true during World War I and World War II, which killed millions of people from other nations. The only exception is the American Civil War, in which almost all the dead were Americans.
24/7 Wall Street checked websites like the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense to identify the conflicts in US military history that have killed the most Americans in action. (Some totals are estimates and are marked as such.)
Seven of the 13 wars were fought in the 20th and 21st centuries. In the early 20th century, and fresh from its victory over Spain in the Spanish-American War, the United States began projecting power around the world. As an expression of rising American power, President Theodore Roosevelt sent the so-called “Great White Fleet” – 16 new battleships – around the world from December 1907 to February 1909 to demonstrate US naval power. (This is the largest warship in the world.)
After each conflict, the United States grew as a world power, and with that expansion came additional responsibilities and obligations. This has led to long and costly land wars in Asia (including the Middle East) in recent decades, despite warnings from military and political leaders against land wars on that continent.
The war that killed the most Americans was World War II, with 291,557 casualties and 670,846 nonfatal wounds. The US had a total of 16,112,566 soldiers during its participation in the 1941-1945 war.
Click here to see the wars in which most Americans died