The legacy of World War II was a heavy load for statesmen to bear. The collapse of Germany, Italy, Japan, and their lesser allies left a power vacuum, temporarily filled by the armies of occupation. Military losses were half again as high as in World War I. Even greater was the different in civilian losses. For every civilian who died a war death in 1914-1918, at least a score (a total of some 20,000,000) perished in 1939-1945. Material losses in housing and productive capacity were staggering. [excerpt]
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Bloom, Robert L. et al. "10. Notes on the Postwar Political Scene. Pt. XVIII: The Western World in the Twentieth Century: The Historical Setting." Ideas and Institutions of Western Man (Gettysburg College, 1958), 59-61.