World

This Video Will Leave You Reeling At The Number Of People Killed In World War II

Even if you've read up on the loss of life, seeing it laid bare is staggering.

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The Fallen of World War II, a video posted on Memorial Day, attempts to document all of the estimated 60 million people killed during World War II.

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In the course of 18 minutes, the video — which filmmaker Neil Halloran wrote, directed, and coded (yes, coded, no video software here) himself — works its way through the soldiers and civilians killed over the entirety of the war.

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Here's the visualization of the American soldiers killed from the war's start until its end in 1945. Each body represents 1,000 killed — in all, more than 400,000 members of the U.S. military died.

But even that number, which is high compared to the current wars the U.S. is fighting, pales in comparison to the chilling 30-second upward pan it takes to show the total number of Soviet soldiers lost: some 8.7 million.

The video — which shows side-by-side comparisons of the various participants' total dead and breaking out numbers by battle or cause of death — has been viewed nearly 3 million times, getting a spike in views on the anniversary of D-Day on June 6.

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"I got sucked into World War II, because the numbers are so huge that I couldn't get away from it," Halloran told the Washington Post about the project, which started off covering U.S. airstrikes from WWII to the present. "It was going to be a small online timeline, but it just grew." He used code rather than a video editing tool, the Post said, because "it gave him more control of the choreography of the statistics as they were presented."

Hayes Brown is a world news editor and reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact Hayes Brown at hayes.brown@buzzfeed.com.

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