Today is Memorial Day in the United States, the day when we honor those who gave their lives in battle while serving in the Armed Forces. It’s ones of the greatest sacrifices one person can perform for another, and should never be taken lightly nor forgotten.
I write romances set during the Regency, but this period overlapped with the Napoleonic Wars, and military casualties were great. Record-keeping was not as instantaneous as it is now, so losses have to be tallied in the estimates rather than specifics, but even when rounding low, the numbers are still staggering.
I’m one of those historians who believes in keeping the aggressor’s casualty numbers separate; though those fighting are not necessarily there by choice nor ideology, I’ve always felt there’s something disrespectful in placing the perpetrators alongside the defenders on the memorial sheets. It’s a personal preference only.
He is gone to kingdom come, he is dead.
- 120,000 Italian dead or missing.
- Russian: 289,000 killed in major battles.
- Prussian: 134,000 killed in major battles.
- Austrian: 376,000 killed in major battles.
- Spanish: more than 300,000 military deaths
- Portuguese: up to 250,000 dead or missing.
- British: 311,806 dead or missing.
- Killed in battle: 560,000–1,869,000
- Total: 2,380,000–5,925,084
- Killed in action: 6,663
- Shipwrecks, drownings, fire: 13,621
- Wounds, disease: 72,102
- Total: 92,386.
British Army, 1804–1815
- Killed in action: 25,569
- Wounds, accidents, disease: 193,851
- Total: 219,420