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The operation to reclaim Wall Maria (ウォール・マリア奪還作戦 Wōru Maria Dakkan Sakusen?, also referred to as the operation to retake Wall Maria in the FUNimation sub of the anime) was a mission assigned by the Royal Government in which twenty percent of the human population that remained after the fall of Wall Maria were sent out to reclaim land. In truth, the operation was begun in order to alleviate the food shortage brought on by the significant loss of territory and influx of refugees from Wall Maria, and a tremendous number of people died during the operation at the hands of the Titans.
After the fall of Wall Maria, humankind lost the third of its territory. As a consequence, many refugees came to Wall Rose and soon food was lacking.
Anime and Manga Differences
In the anime, it is said that approximately 250,000 individuals participated in the operation to reclaim Wall Maria, with less than 200 individuals surviving the mission. In the manga, it is only said that 20% of humanity's population participated in the operation, with a majority dying in the event, and no specific numbers are given.