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MrHMSH
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Dictators: Who Killed The Most.

Sun Jul 19, 2015 12:49 am

This is a fairly sensitive topic, so I ask that you try and keep it as factual as possible.

My question: which dictator caused the most deaths? Though more specifically, which one *directly* caused the most deaths. For example Hitler was probably the most important figure in the starting of WWII, but for this thread, I ask that those deaths caused by WWII (so upwards of 70m) be ignored, apart from ones specifically ordered by him, i.e. his political opponents, the holocaust and any policies he implemented.

My first thought is that it's Mao because of his 'Cultural Revolution', but then Stalin's purges and farming policies are strong contenders.

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pu
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RE: Dictators: Who Killed The Most.

Sun Jul 19, 2015 2:07 am

Is there any way to get an exact number for either Mao or Stalin?

.

As a side topic, let me say that in my ~30 year business transactions with the USSR and later Russia any discussion of Stalin's purges is always answered with, "Yes, but we beat the Germans in WW2 and saved humanity from Hitler."

Does anyone know what the common Chinese sentiment on the Cultural Revolution is? Or if there is a sentiment?



Pu
 
910A
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RE: Dictators: Who Killed The Most.

Sun Jul 19, 2015 3:14 am

Pol Pot of the Khmer Rouge deserves a mention. In Cambodia he had 2m killed in the second half of the 1970's which was 25% of the total population.
 
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falstaff
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RE: Dictators: Who Killed The Most.

Sun Jul 19, 2015 5:17 pm

Quoting MrHMSH (Thread starter):
For example Hitler was probably the most important figure in the starting of WWII

In Europe. There was already plenty of war going on in Asia

Quoting 910A (Reply 2):
Pol Pot of the Khmer Rouge deserves a mention. In Cambodia he had 2m killed in the second half of the 1970's which was 25% of the total population.

If you go off of how much of the population of a specific country was killed Pol Pot may be the worst of all time. Stalin or Hitler didn't even came close to killing 1 in 4 people of their own country.

It would have been interesting to find out what Soviets really did in terms of killing their own people in the 1920s and 30s. If they had lost the war we likely would know more about it. Maybe not though I don't know how good of records the Soviets kept on the subject.
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BarfBag
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RE: Dictators: Who Killed The Most.

Sun Jul 19, 2015 5:39 pm

Winston Churchill, whose actions killed 1.5-4 million people in the 1942-43 Bengal Famine.

It was the last time there was famine in India. Independent India, for all its early problems, never had one. It was the last of several famines that struck India during the course of British rule:

http://www.amazon.com/Late-Victorian...austs-Famines-Making/dp/1859843824

It influenced many firsthand, from Gandhi, to multiple Nobel laureates like Tagore and a young Amartya Sen, who would later go on to win the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1998, and wrote Poverty and Famines: An Essay on Entitlement and Deprivation, on the topic.
 
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RE: Dictators: Who Killed The Most.

Sun Jul 19, 2015 9:33 pm

Quoting BarfBag (Reply 4):
Winston Churchill, whose actions killed 1.5-4 million people in the 1942-43 Bengal Famine.

The only reference to Winston Churchill I can find in this matter is that he refused to release any shipping to carry food to India. At that time with the losses to German U boats there simply wasn't any spare shipping to release. The main causes were the loss of rice from Burma and the refusal of other Indian states to release food to Bengal.
 
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flyingturtle
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RE: Dictators: Who Killed The Most.

Sun Jul 19, 2015 9:45 pm

Idi Amin, dictator of Uganda, comes to mind. Relatively speaking, he killed a lot of people for a country of his size. 100'000 to 500'000.

This is an instructive list. Everybody knows Pol Pot, Hitler, Stalin or Mao. But all these African dictators...

http://popten.net/2010/05/top-ten-mo...f-all-time-in-order-of-kill-count/


David
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NAV30
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RE: Dictators: Who Killed The Most.

Mon Jul 20, 2015 12:11 pm

To my mind the 'prize' has to go to Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany. He had virtually total power from 1914 to 1918, during which he virtually 'ordered' the commencement of WW1. During which over 2 million people died in Germany alone.

The British Empire lost the best part of a million, and France and Russia lost even more:-

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_War_I_casualties

[Edited 2015-07-20 05:12:13]
 
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einsteinboricua
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RE: Dictators: Who Killed The Most.

Mon Jul 20, 2015 9:31 pm

First of all, dictator: a ruler with total power over a country, typically one who has obtained power by force.

If a monarch came to power through a war/bloody coup and do not yield to the people or answer to anyone, they are essentially a dictator. Kaiser Wilhelm would not fall under this category.

Is a leader who sent soldiers to war really a dictator? I would apply the label to a leader who purposely killed his own people or committed genocide and didn't face the consequences within his country. As such, unless it was Kaiser Wilhelm's goal to kill those Germans, I don't see him as a dictator.

Stalin, Mao, Hitler, the Kims (Kim Il-Sung mostly), Omar Bashir, Saddam Hussein...those are definitely dictators. They did not care who got killed and even subjected their own people to death without answering to anyone. Because my knowledge about dictators is limited (I know there were and are many more), I will go with the one who I know was singlehandedly responsible for millions of death (directly through concentration camps and indirectly with WW2): Adolf Hitler.
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tommy1808
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RE: Dictators: Who Killed The Most.

Mon Jul 20, 2015 9:38 pm

Quoting einsteinboricua (Reply 8):
(directly through concentration camps and indirectly with WW2):

plus some 3 to 5 million russian POW killed at rates higher than at the Holocausts peaks.

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Braniff747SP
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RE: Dictators: Who Killed The Most.

Mon Jul 20, 2015 11:26 pm

Leopold II of Belgium.

He killed something like ten million people in the Congo Free State.

(And before someone says he wasn't a dictator -- he was the legitimate ruler of Belgium, but the Congo Free State was his own personal domain over which legitimacy is hardly supported historically.)
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prebennorholm
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RE: Dictators: Who Killed The Most.

Tue Jul 21, 2015 2:28 am

Quoting NAV30 (Reply 7):
To my mind the 'prize' has to go to Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany. He had virtually total power from 1914 to 1918,

I don't deny the prize you give to him (you obviously mean Wilhelm II). But he had in fact little power during WW1.

Power in Germany during the war was executed mainly by the two generals Hindenburg and Ludendorff, with Wilhelm II as a "rubberstamp".

Wilhelm II was a sorrily, mentally ill person who got the worst thinkable job imaginable, considering his mental capacity. What was leading up to his job description goes much further back, to 1848-49 and the western Europe wide democratic movements, which totally failed in Germany.

The failed democratic movement gave room to Bismarck becoming a rather strange sort of dictator with Wilhelm I as rubberstamp. Bismarck converted Germany into a "military state".

So it was Bismarck's military state which Wilhelm II took over when granddad Wilhelm I, and shortly later dad Frederick III died in 1888. Now Germany had two dictators, Bismarck with some political knowledge, and a mentally ill man. One had to go, and that had to be the former.

Military state and a mentally sick dictator was a bad combination. Things went out of control in summer 1914, partly because Wilhelm II insisted not to cancel his summer voyage on the North Sea, away from his telehgraph in Berlin.

With Russia starting mobilization in responce to Austria-Hungary's attack on Serbia, and the emporer in absentia, the ruling was left to the military. Ordnung muss sein. Military had all the plans ready. Since Russia was a member of the Tripple Entente together with France and UK, then the shelf containing the Schlieffen Plan was drawn.

The Schlieffen plan was a strategy for a two front war. First conquer France (the easy way through Belgium) before the UK could react. Then move east against Russia with their presumed slow mobilization process.

Wilhelm II wasn't personally a mass murderer, but sure he was an important link in the chain leading up to Europe's worst disasters.
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solarflyer22
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RE: Dictators: Who Killed The Most.

Tue Jul 21, 2015 3:02 am

Quoting 910A (Reply 2):
Pol Pot of the Khmer Rouge deserves a mention. In Cambodia he had 2m killed in the second half of the 1970's which was 25% of the total population.

Yeah, I actually think per capita this insane basically.

Quoting BarfBag (Reply 4):
Winston Churchill, whose actions killed 1.5-4 million people in the 1942-43 Bengal Famine.

Right, I don't think they helped the Irish much either in the 1800s. If you include famine and count North Korean, there are several dictators in the millions.

I think you could argue the thread originator is looking at Dictator's that ordered the most deaths not caused the most deaths. Not sure if you'd consider the Ottoman Emperor a Dictator but if so the Armenian Genocide killed 1.5 million.
 
BarfBag
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RE: Dictators: Who Killed The Most.

Tue Jul 21, 2015 6:49 am

Quoting Bongodog1964 (Reply 5):
At that time with the losses to German U boats there simply wasn't any spare shipping to release. The main causes were the loss of rice from Burma and the refusal of other Indian states to release food to Bengal.

Excuses. You controlled the territory. If you're about to blame some local ruler for obstructing matters, it means you're incompetent on top of being rapacious, and should have buggered out right away. You didn't. You stuck around and made it worse. You damn well could have saved those people. The millions who died do not die any more because their deaths are the arguable result of omission vs commission - they are equally dead either way.

Churchill, as history will record, ended up killing nearly as many people as the little mustached German he was pitted against. Churchill did exactly what Mao did - through a combination of blinkered priorities mixed with incompetence, killed millions of those deemed his own subjects, simply because he didn't care.
 
NAV30
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RE: Dictators: Who Killed The Most.

Tue Jul 21, 2015 7:41 am

Quoting BarfBag (Reply 13):
Churchill did exactly what Mao did - through a combination of blinkered priorities mixed with incompetence, killed millions of those deemed his own subjects, simply because he didn't care.

Have to argue 100% against that, Barfbag. If only because my earliest memories are of being bombed by the Luftwaffe in 1940/1 - but, not much later, being treated to actual BARS of chocolate (literally 'priceless' at the time) by German prisoners who were mending the roads and mowing the verges in our village near London..........

I much later served in the Army, 'occupying' Germany, facing the Russians. Not being allowed to have an army of their own at that time, the Germans were VERY welcoming......... up to and including the odd free beer on occasion (we couldn't afford it!).

As far as I'm concerned, Hitler and his mates started WW2 on their own. For the first three years, it was largely up to Britain and the Commonwealth, on their own, to stop them.

Churchill certainly wasn't 'perfect' - but my feeling then, and even now, is that probably no-one else on Earth would have had the courage and 'vision' to organise things so as to stop Hitler's gang. I reckon that nine British politicians out of ten would have surrendered in 1940..........

[Edited 2015-07-21 00:56:08]
 
LMP737
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RE: Dictators: Who Killed The Most.

Tue Jul 21, 2015 8:56 am

Quoting NAV30 (Reply 14):
As far as I'm concerned, Hitler and his mates started WW2 on their own. For the first three years, it was largely up to Britain and the Commonwealth, on their own, to stop them.

On a side note ever read "Churchill, Hitler and the Unnecessary War" by Pat Buchanan. I defy you to read it and not throw up.
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BarfBag
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RE: Dictators: Who Killed The Most.

Tue Jul 21, 2015 9:01 am

Quoting NAV30 (Reply 14):
Have to argue 100% against that, Barfbag. If only because my earliest memories are of being bombed by the Luftwaffe in 1940/1 -

Someone else's experience in an entirely different context is NOT a mitigating factor. You're doing the equivalent of someone quoting Hitler's vegetarianism and temperance (compared to Churchill's drunkenness), or his love of children, to suggest he was any less a monster.

More to the point:
Bengal Famine Of 1943 - A Man-Made Holocaust
http://www.ibtimes.com/bengal-famine-1943-man-made-holocaust-1100525
Dr. Gideon Polya, an Australian biochemist, has called the Bengal famine a man-made “holocaust.”

“The British brought an unsympathetic and ruthless economic agenda to India,” he wrote.

Polya further noted that the “loss of rice from Burma and ineffective government controls on hoarding and profiteering led inevitably to enormous price rises. Thus it can be estimated that the price of rice in Dacca (East Bengal) increased about four-fold in the period from March to October 1943. Bengalis having to purchase food (e.g landless laborers) suffered immensely. Thus, it is estimated that about 30 percent of one particular laborer class died in the famine.”

Many observers in both modern India and Great Britain blame Winston Churchill, Britain's inspiring wartime leader at the time, for the devastation wrought by the famine.

In 2010, Bengali author Madhusree Mukherjee wrote a book about the famine called “Churchill's Secret War,” in which she explicitly blamed Churchill for worsening the starvation in Bengal by ordering the diversion of food away from Indians and toward British troops around the world.

Mukherjee’s book described how wheat from Australia (which could have been delivered to starving Indians) was instead transported to British troops in the Mediterranean and the Balkans. Even worse, British colonial authorities (again under Churchill’s leadership) actually turned down offers of food from Canada and the U.S.

“If it was someone else other than Churchill, I believe relief would have been sent, and, if it wasn’t for the war, the famine wouldn’t have occurred at all,” Mukherjee told Inter Press Service.

Churchill’s attitude toward India was quite extreme, and he hated Indians, mainly because he knew India couldn’t be held for very long. One can’t escape the really powerful, racist things that he was saying. It certainly was possible to send relief but for Churchill and the War Cabinet that were hoarding grain for use after the war.

Churchill’s hostility toward Indians has long been documented. Reportedly, when he first received a telegram from the British colonial authorities in New Delhi about the rising toll of famine deaths in Bengal, his reaction was simply that he regretted that nationalist leader Mahatma Gandhi was not one of the victims.

Later at a War Cabinet meeting, Churchill blamed the Indians themselves for the famine, saying that they “breed like rabbits.”

His attitude toward Indians was made crystal clear when he told Secretary of State for India Leopold Amery: "I hate Indians. They are a beastly people with a beastly religion."


That is the kind of monstrous attitude that resulted in 4 million people dying in Bengal. I don't give a fig about the greatness of stopping Hitler when the guy who did so was no less a monster.
 
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pvjin
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RE: Dictators: Who Killed The Most.

Tue Jul 21, 2015 9:49 am

Quoting BarfBag (Reply 16):
That is the kind of monstrous attitude that resulted in 4 million people dying in Bengal. I don't give a fig about the greatness of stopping Hitler when the guy who did so was no less a monster.

Well, that starvation wouldn't have happened without Hitler's decision to start WW2.
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mad99
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RE: Dictators: Who Killed The Most.

Tue Jul 21, 2015 9:50 am

Quoting BarfBag (Reply 16):
I don't give a fig about the greatness of stopping Hitler when the guy who did so was no less a monster.

I think if you read up on this you'll see it was a lot of factors and not just WW2 and certainly not just Churchill
 
na
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RE: Dictators: Who Killed The Most.

Tue Jul 21, 2015 11:26 am

Quoting BarfBag (Reply 4):
Winston Churchill, whose actions killed 1.5-4 million people in the 1942-43 Bengal Famine.

At that time Britain itself, and all of the free world, was under extreme pressure, with ships being sunk daily. Churchill didnt cause the famine as an intended crime, in the end it was a very sad side effect of the war. Without Churchill, surely a controversial man who made big mistakes, Hitler would have quite possibly conquered Europe, which, at that time, in the end would have meant most of the world. Imho Churchill was one of the three greatest men of the 20th century, and I dont know who the other two are (FD Roosevelt maybe one of them, too).

Quoting NAV30 (Reply 7):

To my mind the 'prize' has to go to Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany. He had virtually total power from 1914 to 1918, during which he virtually 'ordered' the commencement of WW1. During which over 2 million people died in Germany alone.

Nonsense. Wilhelm II had little power in WWI, almost from the start in 1914 he was relegated to a mere figurehead.
Also he didnt "order" the war, its outbreak was a chain of unfortunate events in which the Austrian and Russian emperors, and the French government, very guilty as well. The guilt of Wilhelm II is that the endorsed the Schlieffen plan which set in motion automatic military actions, which in one or the other way would have been forced on Germany anyway, with mighty armies opposing them in the West and East. If I remember right the French armament in pre-WWI wars was higher than in Imperial Germany!

Read the excellent books "The Sleepwalkers" and "Dreadnought". Those books about the pre-WWI years and its outbreak are among the best history books ever.

Quoting Braniff747SP (Reply 10):
Leopold II of Belgium.
He killed something like ten million people in the Congo Free State.

Now we are coming to the real monsters.
As for peacetime mass murderers however all are topped by Mao. And Stalin comes near.

I always find it intriguing that in 1939, when Hitler started WWII, Stalin was by far the worse killer. By that time Hitler had killed a few thousand people, Stalin already millions. Still when Germany and the USSR sacked Poland, Britain and France declared war against Hitler, but not against Stalin.
 
NAV30
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RE: Dictators: Who Killed The Most.

Tue Jul 21, 2015 12:37 pm

Quoting na (Reply 19):
Hitler would have quite possibly conquered Europe, which, at that time, in the end would have meant most of the world. Imho Churchill was one of the three greatest men of the 20th century, and I dont know who the other two are (FD Roosevelt maybe one of them, too).

IMHO the first two were the ones who counted most, na. Churchill needs no further recommendations; having been 'in the thick of it' from the very beginning, and having motivated the whole of the British Empire by the power of his words and example.

Roosevelt has to be second in line - by careful diplomacy and excellent 'communication skills,' he persuaded the people of the United States to enter the war and play a big part in winning it; even though the USA was never in any real danger itself. Although the Japanese 'helped' him a lot, by wantonly attacking Pearl Harbor!  

I'm not sure who the third one was, either. On the face of it, it was probably Stalin - had Germany succeeded in defeating and occupying Russia, the UK and USA would have had next to no chance of overcoming Nazi Germany. Arguably the Normandy landings only succeeded because a lot of Germany's military forces were far to the east, fighting the Russians..........

[Edited 2015-07-21 05:40:32]
 
B777LRF
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RE: Dictators: Who Killed The Most.

Tue Jul 21, 2015 1:37 pm

Hitler, Mao, Stalin, Leopold II - in descending order.

Anyone interested in reading about the horrors perpetrated in Congo should pick up a copy of 'The Ghosts of King Leopold'. Leopold was in the Congo for the rubber, and used his private army to force the local population into the jungle to collect natural robber. The preferred instrument of persuasion was to chop of one hand of every woman and child in the village, a punishment which was also metered out to the males if they failed to bring back enough rubber.

You will, at the same time, lose any rose tinted image you may have had of Stanley (he of Dr. Livingstone fame); he was nothing but a glorified slave driver.
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pvjin
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RE: Dictators: Who Killed The Most.

Tue Jul 21, 2015 1:45 pm

Quoting B777LRF (Reply 21):

If deaths caused by military action in WW2 are to be ignored like suggested in original post Mao and Stalin should be in front of Hitler.

The stuff that was going on in Congo under King Leopold as indeed crazy... I've got that book in my bookshelf, haven't had time to read it yet.
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zkojq
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RE: Dictators: Who Killed The Most.

Tue Jul 21, 2015 2:13 pm

Look back further. In threads like this people always forget about Genghis Khan. The body count for his actions varies quite substantially however.
http://necrometrics.com/pre1700a.htm#Mongol

Quoting B777LRF (Reply 21):
Anyone interested in reading about the horrors perpetrated in Congo should pick up a copy of 'The Ghosts of King Leopold'.

Will do.
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bmacleod
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RE: Dictators: Who Killed The Most.

Tue Jul 21, 2015 4:04 pm

Mao Zedong takes prize by a landslide with his "Great Leap Forward"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Leap_Forward
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Starbuk7
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RE: Dictators: Who Killed The Most.

Tue Jul 21, 2015 8:04 pm

WW II Data --- mind boggling

The costs of war...

https://vimeo.com/128373915

[Edited 2015-07-21 13:05:35]
 
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MrHMSH
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RE: Dictators: Who Killed The Most.

Tue Jul 21, 2015 8:49 pm

Quoting BarfBag (Reply 13):
You damn well could have saved those people.

Forgive me if I'm wrong, but Bongodog1964 was probably born in 1964, at which point I have to ask why you are accusing *him* of being responsible for the deaths in India. I highly doubt he had any sort of involvement, so I'm unsure how he could have saved them. I like to be accurate when accusing people, you can't use 'you' to accuse a country unless you are directly addresing the people responsible, because very few individuals, and almost certainly none on here are that influential. The people who are responsible for the famine are either dead or very close to it. You have to live at let die, history is full of people who 'got away with it'.

Quoting NAV30 (Reply 14):
As far as I'm concerned, Hitler and his mates started WW2 on their own.

I agree that they were the main factor, but the circumstances after WWI and the Great Depression played a role.

Quoting NAV30 (Reply 14):
For the first three years, it was largely up to Britain and the Commonwealth, on their own, to stop them.

Less than 2 years, September 1939-June 1941.

Quoting NAV30 (Reply 14):
Churchill certainly wasn't 'perfect' - but my feeling then, and even now, is that probably no-one else on Earth would have had the courage and 'vision' to organise things so as to stop Hitler's gang. I reckon that nine British politicians out of ten would have surrendered in 1940..........

British politicians have less spine than a snail. I agree, Churchill had many faults, stubbornness, drunkenness and many wrong decisions... but I hate to think of a world where Britain folded or complied with Hitler's Germany.

Quoting Braniff747SP (Reply 10):
Leopold II of Belgium.

He killed something like ten million people in the Congo Free State.

I'm not too familiar with Leopold II, that is an incredibly and sadly high figure.

Quoting einsteinboricua (Reply 8):
I will go with the one who I know was singlehandedly responsible for millions of death (directly through concentration camps and indirectly with WW2): Adolf Hitler.

I was more interested in excluding WWII, because it's obvious that Hitler would top the list otherwise. Though it's hard to define exactly who 'killed by a dictator' refers to, because many of the deaths caused directly by Hitler's authority overlap with WWII.

Quoting bmacleod (Reply 24):
Mao Zedong takes prize by a landslide with his "Great Leap Forward"

That was my first thought, but counting deaths from dictatorships is an inexact and grisly science.
 
prebennorholm
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RE: Dictators: Who Killed The Most.

Tue Jul 21, 2015 10:12 pm

Quoting na (Reply 19):
I always find it intriguing that in 1939, when Hitler started WWII, Stalin was by far the worse killer. By that time Hitler had killed a few thousand people, Stalin already millions. Still when Germany and the USSR sacked Poland, Britain and France declared war against Hitler, but not against Stalin.

It's a little more complicated than that. Hitler invaded Poland on 1 September. The French/British ultimatum expired 3 September. Stalin invaded Poland 17 September.

At that time the secret protocol of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact was secret. Stalin told the whole world that he went in to protect Poland against the nazis. It was hard to know that this statement from Stalin was the biggest lie ever.

The strategy of the secret protocol was that Hitler went in first from west, while Stalin should march in from east when Poland had had time to position all their forces in west.

Events ran fast, but the situation at least got settled on 22 June 1941 when Hitler went into Russia.

But you are right that Hitler and Stalin started WW2 together. But that was impossible to know in France and Britain, and anywhere else in the world, until long time later.

Also the scale of Stalin's crimes at home in the 30'es wasn't known outside the Soviet Union until well after WW2.
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BarfBag
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RE: Dictators: Who Killed The Most.

Wed Jul 22, 2015 2:59 am

Quoting pvjin (Reply 17):
Well, that starvation wouldn't have happened without Hitler's decision to start WW2.

Oh a great line of argument. Let me apply it back:
"The Chinese/Soviets wouldn't have starved if the west hadn't been antagonistic to communism"
"Hitler wouldn't have invaded Europe if the Allies hadn't imposed punitive reparations at Versailles."
"The Kaiser wouldn't have started WW1 if the UK wasn't so antagonistic towards him and better acknowledged German rise"
See where I'm going with this ? It doesn't matter what led to it. When it came to it the man is on record inflicting a genocide upon a country while simultaneously make a lot of noise about another genocide elsewhere.

When the lives of MILLIONS are on the line and you do not think you can effectively manage matters, the only thing you should be doing is stepping back and handing over responsibility to others. Immediately. Not month or years later, or 'after the war's over'. You do not cause a c0ckup that kills millions and then say "oh sorry, but there was a war going on and I got distracted." When you abdicate responsibility early, you're solely accused of incompetence. When you hold on and screw up in this manner, you have both incompetence and a crime against humanity to your name.

I've very little issue with Churchill's demonstrated racism. His attitude towards us is quite common among many even today, anyway. No surprises there - the man was an uncivilized buffoon. What makes him deserve a place here is he has the responsibility for 4 million dead Bengalis on his hands.

Quoting MrHMSH (Reply 26):
I like to be accurate when accusing people, you can't use 'you' to accuse a country
Quoting MrHMSH (Reply 26):
The people who are responsible for the famine are either dead or very close to it. You have to live at let die, history is full of people who 'got away with it'.

The surest sign that you do not have an argument is that you have to nitpick the English of a non native speaker. Kudos to your superior command of your own language. Quite an accomplishment indeed.

The second most certain sign that you have no argument, is the "lot of people did a lot of bad things and most are dead" line. It reminds me of an almost verbatim description of Mao from the People's Daily: "Mao Zedong was a great man who did some bad things." It's quite ironic but unsurprising to see Churchill described in almost exactly the same words by a Briton, and underlines why they both belong in this list together.
 
NAV30
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RE: Dictators: Who Killed The Most.

Wed Jul 22, 2015 3:10 am

Quoting MrHMSH (Reply 26):
Less than 2 years, September 1939-June 1941.

Wondered at first why you mentioned 'June 1941,' MrHMSH - then I realised that (I think) you were referring to Russia 'entering the War' - by getting itself invaded by the Nazis.

At first the Russians were no help at all - in fact, they were a liability for years, with the British having to take supplies to them by means of the Arctic convoys to enable them to hold out against the German attack.

Even the US, forced to enter the War in December 1941, after Pearl Harbor, naturally had to give priority to resisting the Japanese onrush in the Pacific.

So I don't think saying the Britain and the Commonwealth played the major role in Europe (and later, of course, North Africa and the Middle East) for at least the first three years was 'out of line'?

[Edited 2015-07-21 20:14:08]
 
rwessel
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RE: Dictators: Who Killed The Most.

Wed Jul 22, 2015 8:23 am

Quoting NAV30 (Reply 29):
At first the Russians were no help at all - in fact, they were a liability for years, with the British having to take supplies to them by means of the Arctic convoys to enable them to hold out against the German attack.

The relatively modest amount of materiel supplied to the Soviet Union in the early days was used to keep a massive portion of the German military occupied. IOW, for a relative pittance in supply, we helped the Soviets keep some 140+ German divisions (roughly after mid-1941) busy. After that, the number of German divisions on the Western front never reached 80 again. The combined total number of German divisions on the all the non-eastern fronts combined peaked somewhere around 140. An absolute bargain.
 
JJJ
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RE: Dictators: Who Killed The Most.

Wed Jul 22, 2015 8:58 am

Quoting rwessel (Reply 30):
The relatively modest amount of materiel supplied to the Soviet Union in the early days was used to keep a massive portion of the German military occupied.

Not only that. Helping the Soviets prevented the Germans from getting a reliable oil supply in the Caucasus which the Germans badly needed.
 
na
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RE: Dictators: Who Killed The Most.

Wed Jul 22, 2015 9:15 am

Quoting BarfBag (Reply 28):
I've very little issue with Churchill's demonstrated racism. His attitude towards us is quite common among many even today, anyway. No surprises there - the man was an uncivilized buffoon. What makes him deserve a place here is he has the responsibility for 4 million dead Bengalis on his hands.

The famine had several reasons made worse by bad harvests, but not due deliberate action by Churchill that could have been easily avoided. Important rice imports stopped because Singapore fell to the Japanese, so thats a war-related issue. The worst to be said is that not enough precaution was made, and that the famine spread surprisingly fast, overwhelming the local authorities. Vital transport capacity to Bengal was for a good part cut off due to to the events further east, other rail capacity had to be taken away because of the war effort. Shipping, already at the limit in peace time, was severely affected, too. The transport system was near collapse, and millions of refugees came from the east, fleeing from the Japanese. Add to it the bad harvest, and its a near impossible task to fight with the drastically reduced war time resources. One came to another, and faster than feared.

Quoting BarfBag (Reply 28):
When the lives of MILLIONS are on the line and you do not think you can effectively manage matters, the only thing you should be doing is stepping back and handing over responsibility to others. Immediately.

May sound a bit cynic, but Churchill surely had more pressing issues at that time. Protecting India from Japanese invasion being only a smaller one of those. Available food was mainly distributed to the defenders. Thats not an excuse, but its an explanation.

[Edited 2015-07-22 02:33:09]

[Edited 2015-07-22 02:33:31]
 
gkirk
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RE: Dictators: Who Killed The Most.

Wed Jul 22, 2015 9:29 am

Maybe Churchill knew what the future held with the spam phone calls from Indian call centres...

Back to being serious though, I find it hard to imagine that Churchill would have delibertately ignored Indias pleas.

And BarfBag, I suppose you will complain about the £1.4bn that the UK sends in aid to India every year....ohb wait, you spend most of it on a Space Programme...
When you hear the noise of the Tartan Army Boys, we'll be coming down the road!
 
iakobos
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RE: Dictators: Who Killed The Most.

Wed Jul 22, 2015 9:57 am

Quoting B777LRF (Reply 21):

Anyone interested in reading about the horrors perpetrated in Congo should pick up a copy of 'The Ghosts of King Leopold'. Leopold was in the Congo for the rubber, and used his private army to force the local population into the jungle to collect natural robber. The preferred instrument of persuasion was to chop of one hand of every woman and child in the village, a punishment which was also metered out to the males if they failed to bring back enough rubber.
Quoting Braniff747SP (Reply 10):
He killed something like ten million people in the Congo Free State.

If Adam Hochschild's idiocy is your only book on the subject you would be better to refrain expressing "opinions".
The report of the 1904 investigating committee is a genuine source albeit only available in French.
While Leopold was eager to "optimize" his possessions (which had cost him dearly for years), including through forced labor, he never ordered someone to kill.
There was no Leopold's army, only isolated individuals from various nationalities left to run huge territories with the help of local recruits.
That there were abuses makes no doubt but that 10 million died (of violent acts) is an hyperbolic nonsense.
 
NAV30
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RE: Dictators: Who Killed The Most.

Wed Jul 22, 2015 10:27 am

In early 1942, led by Ghandhi, the Indian National Congress opted for a policy of complete non-cooperation with the British, and demanded independence instead. No doubt, at the time, they did not realise how close the Japanese would come to invading India. In the event, the British did eventually stop the Japanese in Burma and Malaya and 'rescue' India, but that was no thanks to Ghandhi and his colleagues - who continued for months with a policy of total non-cooperation.

"The Indian National Congress (INC) found the proposal for the new constitution unsatisfactory, since the draft declaration promised India dominion status—but not complete independence—in return for its total cooperation during the war. Furthermore, the talks touched on progressive devolution and distribution of power, but failed to address a time frame toward self-government. Leaders of Congress and the Muslim league rejected the proposal. As the leader of the INC, Mohandas Gandhi campaigned against the war and increasingly called for Indian independence.

'After the ‘Cripps Mission,’ Gandhi believed the time had come to take action. He wrote a series of articles in Harijan, his newspaper, promoting direct action and urging people to rise up. In order to give effect to his views, the INC adopted the ‘Quit India’ Resolution on July 14, 1942. The resolution stated, “The immediate ending of the British rule in India is an urgent necessity both for the sake of India and for the success of the cause of United Nations,” and demanded complete independence from the British government. The draft also threatened Britain with massive civil disobedience in the case of its failure to accede to the demands.

"On August 8, 1942, the All India Congress Committee (AICC)—the central decision-making assembly of the INC—met in a session in Bombay and voted unanimously to pass the resolution. In a stirring speech at Gowalia Tank, Bombay, Gandhi told his supporters “There is a mantra, a short one, that I give you. You imprint it on your heart and let every breath of yours give an expression to it. The mantra is ‘do or die.’”


http://nvdatabase.swarthmore.edu/con...ence-quit-india-campaign-1942-1943

Just as well, I guess, that the British didn't do what Gandhi was agitating for - withdraw from India, thus leaving the place to the tender mercies of the Japanese........

India and Pakistan were duly granted independence in 1947...........

[Edited 2015-07-22 03:48:25]
 
na
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RE: Dictators: Who Killed The Most.

Wed Jul 22, 2015 11:03 am

Quoting iakobos (Reply 34):
That there were abuses makes no doubt but that 10 million died (of violent acts) is an hyperbolic nonsense.

The numbers are surely disputable, but 8 - 10 million also according to wikipedia - which by now should be corrected if those horrible figures would just be "hyperbolic nonsense". Even if were just half, the actions of the "Force Publique" and others in the secret society of murderers led by a king would have been one of the biggest crimes in history, and very likely the biggest single crime in colonial history happening in a rather short period of time (muslim-eatsward and christian-westward slave trade of course being on a much bigger scale over the centuries).
 
Bongodog1964
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RE: Dictators: Who Killed The Most.

Wed Jul 22, 2015 11:24 am

Quoting NAV30 (Reply 35):
India and Pakistan were duly granted independence in 1947...........

And how many deaths did that result in ? Estimates vary between 500,000 to 1,000,000
 
NAV30
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RE: Dictators: Who Killed The Most.

Wed Jul 22, 2015 11:40 am

Quoting Bongodog1964 (Reply 37):
And how many deaths did that result in ?

'Only' about 1,500 a side, according to this, Bongodog1964?

"In all, 1,500 soldiers died on each side during the war[30] and Pakistan was able to acquire roughly two-fifths of Kashmir, including five of the fourteen eight thousanders peaks of the world, while India maintained the remaining three fifths of Kashmir, including the most populous and fertile regions."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indo-Pakistani_War_of_1947
 
Bongodog1964
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RE: Dictators: Who Killed The Most.

Wed Jul 22, 2015 12:24 pm

Quoting NAV30 (Reply 38):

Quoting Bongodog1964 (Reply 37):
And how many deaths did that result in ?

'Only' about 1,500 a side, according to this, Bongodog1964?

"In all, 1,500 soldiers died on each side during the war[30] and Pakistan was able to acquire roughly two-fifths of Kashmir, including five of the fourteen eight thousanders peaks of the world, while India maintained the remaining three fifths of Kashmir, including the most populous and fertile regions."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indo-Pakistani_War_of_1947

Thats the Kashmir war, partition was the really nasty part whereby Muslims gravitated towards Pakistan and Hindus towards India

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Partition_of_India

A quick read reveals a very nasty situation all round
 
gkirk
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RE: Dictators: Who Killed The Most.

Wed Jul 22, 2015 2:18 pm

Has nobody mentioned George Dubya Bush yet?     
When you hear the noise of the Tartan Army Boys, we'll be coming down the road!
 
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winterlight
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RE: Dictators: Who Killed The Most.

Wed Jul 22, 2015 2:36 pm

Quoting gkirk (Reply 40):
Has nobody mentioned George Dubya Bush yet?

No, but I will. Around 4,500 killed in the WTC on Sept 11th just so he could invade Afghanistan.
Question everything. Trust no-one.
 
IADCA
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RE: Dictators: Who Killed The Most.

Wed Jul 22, 2015 4:12 pm

Quoting BarfBag (Reply 28):
I've very little issue with Churchill's demonstrated racism. His attitude towards us is quite common among many even today, anyway. No surprises there - the man was an uncivilized buffoon. What makes him deserve a place here is he has the responsibility for 4 million dead Bengalis on his hands.

And what makes him not deserve a place in a thread about dictators is that he wasn't a dictator.
 
PhilBy
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RE: Dictators: Who Killed The Most.

Wed Jul 22, 2015 5:08 pm

Quoting gkirk (Reply 33):
I find it hard to imagine that Churchill would have delibertately ignored Indias pleas.

I have no trouble with this. His first priority was to secure the UK. The commonwealth came second.
 
iakobos
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RE: Dictators: Who Killed The Most.

Wed Jul 22, 2015 5:17 pm

Quoting na (Reply 36):
The numbers are surely disputable, but 8 - 10 million also according to wikipedia - which by now should be corrected if those horrible figures would just be "hyperbolic nonsense". Even if were just half, the actions of the "Force Publique" and others in the secret society of murderers led by a king would have been one of the biggest crimes in history,

There is no trace of Leopold ordering a single criminal act. Full collections of archives, including King's personal, are available to Historians and have been scrutinized.

Hyperbolic nonsense because the basic reference, Stanley's rough estimation of Congo's Free State population was way off the mark. He used proportionality based on the population he encountered along the Congo river...the main populated areas, and even in this he made an error of a factor 2.

At the turn of the Century the Force Publique numbered 14,000 for a country 2,345,000sqkm large, how could they ?

nb: I have no empathy for Leopold the second
 
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MrHMSH
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RE: Dictators: Who Killed The Most.

Wed Jul 22, 2015 5:39 pm

Quoting BarfBag (Reply 28):
The surest sign that you do not have an argument is that you have to nitpick the English of a non native speaker. Kudos to your superior command of your own language. Quite an accomplishment indeed.



I can only read what you've written. I wasn't nitpicking your English, the way you wrote it made it sound like you were accusing Bongodog1964 of something that he plainly has no involvement in.

Quoting BarfBag (Reply 28):
The second most certain sign that you have no argument, is the "lot of people did a lot of bad things and most are dead" line. It reminds me of an almost verbatim description of Mao from the People's Daily: "Mao Zedong was a great man who did some bad things." It's quite ironic but unsurprising to see Churchill described in almost exactly the same words by a Briton, and underlines why they both belong in this list together.

This Briton was born in Singapore to an English mother and Caribbean father, lived in Brunei until age 10, in Spain until 17 and then 'back' to the UK. I'm not what you imagine of British people.

The point is moot however, Churchill was not a dictator.

Though I'll reinforce what I said, Churchill is dead, he can no longer be brought to justice, you obviously learn from his mistakes, but at some point you have to let go.
 
NAV30
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RE: Dictators: Who Killed The Most.

Thu Jul 23, 2015 4:13 am

Quoting Bongodog1964 (Reply 39):
Thats the Kashmir war, partition was the really nasty part whereby Muslims gravitated towards Pakistan and Hindus towards India

You can't 'have it both ways,' Bongodog1964?

From 1940 to mid-1942, Britain and the Commonwealth literally 'stood alone' against Hitler. It also, later, did everything it could to help prevent the Japanese from capturing India, while also playing a leading part in winning the Battle of the Atlantic, and later, along with US forces, invading and liberating Europe.

Now you seem to be suggesting that it should somehow have sent troops or whatever to police and supervise the partition of the vast continent of India?

I agree that the partition of India was a very bloody business - but that was the fault of the Indians and Pakistanis themselves, no-one else..........
 
BarfBag
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RE: Dictators: Who Killed The Most.

Thu Jul 23, 2015 4:32 am

Quoting IADCA (Reply 42):
And what makes him not deserve a place in a thread about dictators is that he wasn't a dictator.

You seem to hold the assumption that the Indian people were in a position to vote for or against Churchill in an election. Heck, we had to fight just to vote for one of our own. From our perspective he was very much the dictator du jour of our land - someone arbitrarily foisted upon us, who ruled by fiat. That is the very technical definition of a dictator.

Quoting NAV30 (Reply 35):
Just as well, I guess, that the British didn't do what Gandhi was agitating for - withdraw from India, thus leaving the place to the tender mercies of the Japanese........

You're not really thinking this through. I'm asserting a very specific thing here: Churchill is responsible for the deaths of 4 million people, which makes him deserve a spot in the list of dictators with most deaths on their watch.

If he withdrew in 1941, the Japanese may have grabbed the northeast. But so what ? That's merely a revisionist assertion. I'm not claiming revisionism - I'm stating facts exactly as they happened:
* Churchill was a dictator in our eyes because we had no direct political control over his appointment.
* He could have chosen to be known for having been incompetent and given up India.
But no, the actual fact is, he held on even though he had no means to effectively govern in the face of a humanitarian catastrophe that happened on his watch. I'll judge him for what he actually did, regardless of mitigating factors.

You, on the other hand, are applying the coulda/shoulda/woulda argument. The Japanese woulda attacked India. Hitler coulda taken over the world... I'm not here to debate hypotheticals. I'm stating exactly what happened. If you really want to do a war of hypotheticals, here's my contribution:
"Hitler coulda fallen off the balcony at Berchtesgaden and plunged to his death, and Tojo eaten a puffer fish and poisoned himself, all on the same day Churchill quit India in 1941."
You're welcome to outdo that  

The way I see Churchill is exactly the same as I see Mao. Both did pretty much identical things - heroically led their country in war, and killed millions of their own people. The Chinese have a far more level-headed view of Mao, willing to accept that he was a great leader who reunited the Chinese nation, but at the same time so fatally flawed that he was unperturbed by the death of millions. Churchill was exactly the same - a man simultaneously capable of heroic leadership and catastrophic dereliction of responsibility.

There's a curious tendency on the part of both western Christianity and Islam to see things in the binary. Either good or bad. Believer or heretic. I say "Churchill did bad things." You respond "No, he did good things", with the implication being that your response is a counter to my assertion. It's not. The real world is not binary. It's very much the case that Churchill was both a heroic leader, and a cruel despot who has the blood of 4 million on his hands.

He could have abdicated responsibility, in which case those deaths or the consequence of a Japanese invasion would be someone else's responsibility. But again, that's the hypothetical - all that's certain is that he would have avoided responsibility for what factual history has him responsible for - the 4 million dead in the 1942-43 Bengal Famine.
 
NAV30
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RE: Dictators: Who Killed The Most.

Thu Jul 23, 2015 5:09 am

Quoting BarfBag (Reply 47):
Churchill is responsible for the deaths of 4 million people, which makes him deserve a spot in the list of dictators with most deaths on their watch.

If he withdrew in 1941, the Japanese may have grabbed the northeast. But so what ?

Are you seriously suggesting that if the Japanese had succeeded in capturing Bengal, they would have poured in food supplies?  

As I understand it, Bengal was not self-sufficient in food, and normally imported a lot of food from Burma, which was invaded and captured by the Japanese. British and Indian troops therefore gave priority to re-capturing Burma - but, of course, it took time. And, during that time, many Bengalis didn't get enough food, whether from Burma or from the rest of India? And so many died?

You appear to be saying that that was Britain's fault? But surely, if anyone was to blame, it was the Japanese?
 
Confuscius
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RE: Dictators: Who Killed The Most.

Thu Jul 23, 2015 5:24 am

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