As Ashoka himself says in his Rock Edict XIII (at Dhauli, Puri district) his only conquest was that of Kalinga ” when he had been consecrated for 8 years “
Megasthenes states in ‘Indica’ that the King of Kalinga was protected by a standing army of 60,000 infantry, 1,000 cavalry and 700 war elephants. Megasthenes was writing this in around 300 BCE.
By 261 BCE, this army of Kalinga must have been expanded by the time of Ashoka, when the number of casualties are at least 400,000 ( incldg those dying of war wounds or in the process of being deported). But the losses of war to the defeated were not confined to casualties only.
Ashoka takes the note correct view of computation: he feelingly counts the suffering caused to the civilian population by ” violence or slaughter or separation from their loved ones ” ( upaghato va vadho abhiratnam viniskramanam).
1) The losses inflicted on the combatants by death, wounds or capture 2) the grief to the families of combatants 3) suffering caused to friends of bereaved