Napoleonic Wars casualties

Napoleonic Wars casualties

The casualties of the Napoleonic Wars (1803–1815), direct and indirect, break down as follows:

Note that deaths listed include being killed in action as well as deaths from other causes, such as: from disease; from wounds; of starvation; from exposure; of drowning; from friendly fire; as a result of atrocities; etc.


French Empire

  • 371,000 killed in action[1]
  • 800,000 killed by disease, primarily in the disastrous invasion of Russia[2]
  • 600,000 civilians[2]
  • 65,000 French allies (mainly Poles fighting for independence lost in 1795)[2]
  • Total: 1,800,000 French and allies (mostly Germans and Poles) dead in action, disease and missing[1]


  • 120,000 Italian dead or missing
  • 289,000 Russian dead or missing
  • 134,000 Prussian dead or missing
  • 376,000 Austrian dead or missing
  • 300,000 Spanish dead or missing
  • 311,806 British dead or missing[3]
British navy, 1804–15
  • killed in action: 6,663
  • shipwrecks, drownings, fire: 13,621
  • disease: 72,102
  • total: 92,386
British army, 1804–15
  • killed in action: 25,569
  • disease: 193,851
  • total: 219,420

Total dead and missing

  • 2,500,000 military personnel in Europe
  • 1,000,000 civilians were killed in Europe and in rebellious French overseas colonies[4]

These numbers are subject to considerable variation. Erik Durschmied, in his book The Hinge Factor, gives a figure of 1.4 million French military deaths of all causes. Adam Zamoyski estimates that around 400,000 Russian soldiers died in the 1812 campaign alone—a figure backed up by other sources.[who?] Civilian casualties in the 1812 campaign were probably comparable. Alan Schom estimates some 3 million military deaths in the Napoleonic wars and this figure, once again, is supported elsewhere.[where?] Common estimates of more than 500,000 French dead in Russia in 1812 and 250,000-300,000 French dead in Iberia between 1808 and 1814 give a total of at least 750,000, and to this must be added hundreds of thousands of more French dead in other campaigns - probably around 150,000 to 200,000 French dead in the German campaign of 1813, for example. Thus, it is fair to say that the estimates above are highly conservative.

Civilian deaths are impossible to accurately estimate. Whilst military deaths are invariably put at between 2.5 million and 3.5 million, civilian death tolls vary from 750,000 to 3 million. Thus estimates of total dead, both military and civilian, can reasonably range from 3,250,000 to 6,500,000.


  1. ^ a b Bodart, Gaston, Losses of Life in Modern Wars, 1916
  2. ^ a b c
  3. ^ Samuel Dumas, Losses of Life Caused By War, 1923
  4. ^ [1] Statistics of Wars, Oppressions and Atrocities of the Nineteenth Century

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