25 Most Violent Military Coups

Coup d’ etat happens when there is a sudden overthrow of a government, usually done by a state establishment like the military, in order to replace it with another body from the military or a chosen civilian. However, such exercise can be exacting to the civilian populace, not only for the violence during the acts of rebellion and sometimes in ‘democratic coup to oust an oppressive government, but also the failure of coup attempts often resulting in civil war. Here are 25 most violent military coups in history and their aftermath.

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25

Glorious Revolution, 1688

Glorious Revolution, 1688

When King James II of England was overthrown by the union of Parliamentarians by an invading army led by William III of Orange-Nassau, it led William III to the throne. Though considered a ‘bloodless revolution,’ it is known as one of the most violent military coups in history and resulted in three major battles in Ireland and two significant clashes in England.

24

18 Brumaire, 1799

18 Brumaire, 1799

The coup when General Napoleon Bonaparte overthrew the French Directory on 18 Brumaire, Year VIII of the French Republican Calendar occurred on November 9, 1799. Napoleon did not only replace the Jacobins with the French Consulate, which drew the short and vague Constitution of the Year VIII, he also crushed their resistance with arrests and exiles. Napoleon’s coup within coup was completed when the Senate allowed him to rule by decree, which ultimately led to an empire.

23

Wuchang Uprising, 1911

Wuchang Uprising, 1911

This major uprising which occurred on October 10, 1911 became the catalyst for the Xinhai Revolution, which overthrew the Qing Dynasty with the abdication of Emperor Puyi and the establishment of the Republic of China. The fight between the imperial forces and the revolutionary forces of the Chinese Revolutionary Alliance was motivated not only by the corrupt practices of a government dominated by the Manchus, an ethnic minority, but also for its failure to restrain the invasion of foreign powers. The uprising resulted in the death of 4,000 imperial troops and 1,000 from the revolutionary forces.

22

October Revolution, 1917

October Revolution, 1917

The second phase of the Russian Revolution of 1917, it began with an armed insurrection in Petrograd led by the Bolsheviks along with the workers and soldier masses to overthrow the Russian Provisional Government. The coup d’état began on October 24 when the Bolshevik Red Guards took over government buildings while the Winter Palace, the seat of the provisional government, was captured the next day. This resulted in the Russian Civil War from 1917 until 1922 that led to the creation of the Soviet Union.

21

Iraqi Coup d’état, 1936

Iraqi Coup d’état, 1936

Also known as the Bakr Sidqi coup, it was not only the first military coup in modern Iraq, but the first among Arab countries as well. Initiated by Bakr Sidqi to overthrow Prime Minister Yasin al-Hashimi, it allowed him to install Hikmat Sulayman as Prime Minister while he was acting as a de facto ruler. Besides taking over the army, Sidqi also assassinated Jafar al-Askari, the minister of defense, and exiled al-Hashimi to Istanbul as his battalions of armies were advancing in Baghdad.



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