Bud Dajo Massacre
Also known as the “Moro Crater Massacre,” the violence committed against the Moro villagers in the Philippines by a naval detachment of 540 American soldiers during the Philippine-American War was another relatively small massacre compared to some others on this list (roughly 1,000 casualties) but it is certainly one of the worst attacks ever perpetrated by a democratically-inclined modern government.
This 1909 massacre of Armenian Christians by Ottoman Turks in the city of Adana amidst governmental upheaval resulted in a series of anti-Armenian mob violence throughout the district. Reports estimated that the massacres in Adana Province resulted in 15,000 to 30,000 deaths.
The Nanking Massacre, also known as the Rape of Nanking, was a mass murder that occurred during the six-week period following the Japanese capture of the city of Nanking (Nanjing), the former capital of China, on December 13, 1937 during the Second Sino-Japanese War. During this period, hundreds of thousands of Chinese civilians and disarmed soldiers were murdered by soldiers of the Imperial Japanese Army. Widespread rape and looting also occurred. Historians and witnesses have estimated that 250,000 to 300,000 people were killed.
Also known as the ‘Katyn Forest Massacre,’ this mass execution ordered by the Soviet Politburo on March 5, 1940 was carried out by the secret police against Polish military officers, civilian prisoners, and members of the Polish Officer Corps. Approved by Joseph Stalin, it was estimated that about 22,000 were executed in Katyn Forest.
Massacre of the Prisoners
The NKVD prisoner massacres were a series of mass executions committed by the Soviet NKVD against prisoners in Eastern Europe, primarily Poland, Ukraine, the Baltic states, Bessarabia and other parts of the Soviet Union from which the Red Army was withdrawing after the German invasion in 1941 (see Operation Barbarossa). Estimates on the death toll vary from nearly 9000 to 100,000. Not all prisoners were murdered; some of them were abandoned or managed to escape because the retreating, panicked Soviet executioners logistically could not kill all of them.