In the years following World War II, the cost of war was a major topic of discussion. The United States and its allies had spent billions of dollars on the war effort, and there was a lot of debate about how to pay for it all. Finally, in September 1945, President Harry Truman sent a proposal to Congress asking for $50 billion in war debt forgiveness. Congress ultimately approved $13.3 billion in debt forgiveness, but that was just a small fraction of the total cost of the war.

The exact cost of World War II is impossible to calculate. However, estimates vary from $1 trillion to $3.5 trillion. This includes both direct and indirect costs, such as spending on military arms and supplies, veteran services, and repairs or reconstruction of damaged infrastructure.

The human cost of the war was also immense. More than 60 million people were killed or wounded, including more than 400,000 Americans. Many families were torn apart by the conflict, and millions of people were left homeless.

Hoboken World War II Memorial
(Source: Wally Gobetz/Flickr)

The aftermath of World War II left countries around the world struggling with immense financial burdens. It would take many years for them to recover from the devastation wrought by the war.