Unofficial history of the Australian & New Zealand Armed Services 

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All conflicts


Australian details supplied by Australian Bureau of Statistics
Numbers enlisted or engaged Deaths Wounded P o Ws

New Zealand War/s 1860-61 (official Australian involvement)

Crew of HMVS Victoria served 1860-61 (several thousand Australians enlisted in the New Zealand Waikato regiments 1863-69) Accurate figures not available
Sudan 1885
770 men joined the New South Wales contingent to the Sudan 9 died from all causes 3 -
South Africa (Boer War)1899-1902
16,000 Australians joined colonial and Commonwealth contingents to serve in South Africa 251 killed in action or died of wounds, 267 died of illness, total 518 dead 538 100
Boxer rebellion 1900-01
560 men, from New south Wales, South Australia and Victoria served in colonial naval contingents 6 died from all causes Accurate figures not available -
First World War1914-18
417,000 men enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force (including Australian Flying Corps) 330,000 served overseas (no figures for the Royal Australian Navy) 60,000 from all causes (AIF only) 155,000 (AIF only)


(397 died while captive)

Second World War  1939-45
691,000 men and 35,800 women enlisted in the Australian Military forces (AIF and Militia), 45,000 men and 3,100 women enlisted in the Royal Australian Navy, 189,000 men and 27,000 women enlisted in the Royal Australian Air Force 35,000 deaths from all causes (all services) 66,553 (all services)

7,289 in the war against Germany (of whom 234 died while captive),

 22,376 in the war against Japan (of whom 8,031 died while captive)

Korean war 1950-53
10,657 army personnel engaged, 4,507 navy personnel engaged (no figures for air force) 339 deaths from all causes (all services) 1,216 (all services)


(1 died while captive)

Malayan emergency 1950-60

7,000 army personnel engaged (no figures for other services) 36 deaths from all causes (all services) 20 -
Indonesian confrontation 1963-66

3,500 army personnel (no figures for other services) 15 deaths from all causes (all services) 9 -
Vietnam war 1962-72
42,700 army personnel engaged, 2,858 navy personnel engaged, 4,443 air force personnel engaged 496 deaths from all causes (all services) 2,398 (all services)
Note: Casualty figures differ between sources due to variations in recording methods, criteria for classification etc; the figures for deaths, wounded and prisoners-of-war should therefore be regarded as approximate only.
The figures below refer to the Viet Nam War. Although American I suspect that the Australian evidence would be similar. I have not been able to source Aussie figures
Body part where wound inflicted Percentage of wounds inflicted

Percentage of soldiers who died of these wounds

Arm 14% 1%
Head 20% 39%
Chest 10% 19%
Groin/stomach 8% 18%
Leg 29% 7%
Multiple 19% 16%
How wounds inflicted Percentage of wounds Percentage of combat deaths or DOW
Small arms 16% 51%
Booby traps 15% 11%
Shrapnel 65% 36%
Other 4% 2%

New Zealand Service Personnel Killed On Operational Service 

South African (Boer) War (1899-1902) 230
First World War (1914-1918) 18,166
Second World War (1939-1945) 11,625
Korean War (1950-1953) 43
Malaya/Malaysia (1948-1966 20
Vietnam War (1964-1972) 40
Peacekeeping operations (1990-2002) 6



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Digger History:  an unofficial history of the Australian & New Zealand Armed Forces