Most mobilized population?

Hope I word this right, but I’m curious as to which nation had the highest number of mobilized troops, not by raw numbers, but by percentage to the population. For example, Canada had about 1.1 million men and women in uniform by war’s end, which was about 10% of the population at the time. What would the percentages be for other nations big and small?


Here us an excellent diagram: BEHIND THE IMAGE: Number of people mobilised in World War II | Military History Matters

It is a difficult question, as at it depends on what quality of troops a nation could field, how many replacement troops it desired and how much industry it desired to operate.

Germany had the highest per-capita in uniform mobilization, but that is because of its desperate defense in late 1944 and early 1945 with old men and boys; these ‘troops’ were nothing but cannonfodder. It also used slave labour but again this did mean accepting shoddy production and low productivity.

Britain had at 25% mobilization which allowed a bare domestic economy and essential war production to continue. That is generally the practical limit before troop quality suffers or the economy loses too many key workers and production drops.

The Soviets faced the hardest choice as their conscription efforts nearly collapsed their economy while most of their key factories were either under attack or captured.


About 16 million men and women served in uniform in the US military at some point during WWII. This would represent roughly 12% of the total population. In terms of mobilization for the war effort by other means, this number would at least double.