70 years later, and it's increasingly hard to fathom the extent of the devastation wrought during World War II. Conservative estimates place the overall global death toll -- soldiers and civilians -- at around 60 million. Some, though, reckon that figure is likely far higher.
Reddit user lanson15 created this map, depicting what percentage of a nation's population died during the conflict. The countries marked in gray are ones where there was insufficient data. To be sure, the map draws on numbers listed in Wikipedia, but despite its potential inaccuracies, it gives an interesting snapshot of where the war extracted its steepest price.
What's immediately clear is the shocking amount of carnage that took place in the Eastern European "bloodlands" between the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany. According to the National World War II Museum, some 5,600,000 Polish civilians were killed -- many in the Holocaust -- while a staggering 24,000,000 Soviet civilians also died.
In the Pacific arena, the Japanese invasions of China and numerous European colonies in Southeast Asia led to mass slaughters, outbreaks of disease and continued guerrilla warfare.
War-induced food shortages led to famine in various corners of Asia and Africa: as many as 3 million Indians died during a 1943 famine in Bengal; around the same time in what's now the independent nations of Rwanda and Burundi -- then under Belgian colonial mandate -- a famine killed somewhere between a fifth to a third of the overall population.