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I wanted to know if "losing around 100 000 men" and "100 000 casualties" is the same thing. Or does "losing around 100 000 men" correspond to the death of 100 000 soldiers?

More generally are "losses" and "casualties" the same thing? Or are "losses" "deaths"?

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    "Losses" can include prisoners of war, whereas "casualties" are usually just the dead and wounded. – sempaiscuba Jan 26 at 3:13
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    Although I suspect that questions like this may be a better fit on the English Language & Usage:SE – sempaiscuba Jan 26 at 3:36
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    casualties is anyone rendered combat incapable. that could be deaths, woundeds or taken prisoners. I assume loosing == losses == casualties, but it would highly depend on how the writer/speaker uses it. Without more specifics, I'd take them as equivalent. And, it also depends how "history-savvy" that person is, they'd most likely group all of those together if they were, but might have just deaths in mind if they don't "do much" history. – Italian Philosopher Jan 26 at 4:00
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    Is this a history question? I voted to close since this'd better belong to ELL or ELU. – Kentaro Jan 26 at 5:10
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In general, "casualties" is dead + wounded, while "losses" is dead + wounded + prisoners + missing. You'll need to look into the particular definition being used by the historian you're interested in, though, since sometimes missing soldiers are counted as casualties, and sometimes deserters are counted among the losses (for example, a significant number of the soldiers lost during Napoleon's retreat from Moscow were desertions, not deaths).

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It depend very much on the context. Ancient documents are notorious for preposterous and absurd figures. For example Persians didn't march to Greece with millions of soldiers. Even their empire didn't have that many. Medieval battle records are equally dubious.

Only in more modern times 100.000 men came to mean 100.000 men, instead of 'many' or 'very many' men. In our day and time it works the other way around. The Chinese as well as the Germans and the Japanese aren't exactly proud about their horrendous killing records. Something the ancients would be very proud to chisel in stone. Pompey the great build a trophy on a pass in the Pyrenees with the number of people killed and captured during his tenure in Spain.

'Loosing xxx men' and 'xxx men in casualties' are semantics. Loosing can mean both killed and injured. Casualties is killed only. It's not common, certainly not for very large battles, to record the number of wounded. Wikipedia records during the Battle of Verdun both the number of wounded and killed for each side. Elsewhere I often read the number of victims in a certain battle, not specified how many were wounded.

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    Casualty Military . a member of the armed forces lost to service through death, wounds, sickness, capture, or because his or her whereabouts or condition cannot be determined. casualties, loss in numerical strength through any cause, as death, wounds, sickness, capture, or desertion. dictionary.com/browse/casualties Your statement that casualties is killed only is inaccurate. – MAGolding Jan 26 at 18:33
  • ALL contemporary accounts of military action massively overstate numbers. Case in point, if you add up the claims of shot down aircraft during the Persian Gulf war, you'd end up with several times the combat strength of the Iraqi air force. Of course with detailed analysis of radar tapes and gun camera footage such discrepancies are a lot easier to rectify now than they were back before those technologies were available and in the past many such claims were taken at face value unless challenged rather than challenged unless verified. – jwenting Jan 28 at 6:51

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