Human history is a unique blend of successes and failures, victories and vanquishes and of love and war. Over the period of years, humans have fought various wars that have led to various other events that ignited more and more enmity between the people. Massacres are one of such events that have led to the death of many innocent lives and of those who started this massacres in order to the quench their thirst for revenge and for their human ego. Throughout history you will find numerous big and small massacre events that have changed the world, but these 10 are surely the biggest massacres in the history of mankind.
1. Nankin Massacre
The Nanking Massacre is also known as the Rape of Nanking where hundreds of thousands of civilians were brutally murdered and raped in the city of Nanking which was the former capital city of the Republic of China. The massacre went on for a period of six weeks where the soldiers of Imperial Japanese Army entered the city of Nanking and start killing people of China. The Nanking Massacre is considered to be the worst massacre in human history because more than 80 thousand men and women were killed, tortured and raped in a period of six weeks.
2. Babi Yar Massacre
The Babi Yar massacre happened in the year 1941 when more than 33 thousand Jews were killed in a single operation that was led by the military governor, Major General Friedrich Eberhardt, the Police Commander of Army Group South Friedrich Jeckeln and C Commander Otto Rasch. The operation was carried out by combined forces like SS, SD and SiPo. Babi Yar is a ravine just outside Kiev which is the capital of Ukraine. However, Nazi forces soon captured Kiev and were looking out for Jews who were hiding in Babi Yar. The Babi Yar massacre is largest single mass killing massacre in the world.
3. St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre
Also popular known as Massacre de la Saint-Barthelemy this event took place in 1572 in Paris. The massacre began two days after the attempted assassination of Admiral Gaspard de Coligny, who was the military and political leader of Huguenots. Soon after that a group of assassinations along with Roman Catholic mob began to start killing people all over Paris and the massacre spread to other urban areas and countryside as well. It is estimated that around 30 thousand people were killed in this massacre.
4. NKVD Prisoner Massacre
NKVD Prisoner Massacre is also known as the Massacre of Prisoners where a series of mass executions were performed against the NKVD prisoners in Poland and other Baltic states like Romania and Ukraine. The estimated death toll of this massacre is around 22 thousand prisoners were killed in series of killings that happened in different places. However, not all NKVD prisoners were killed and executed because some of them managed to escape from these prisons.
5. Katyn Massacre
Katyn Massacre also known as the Katyn Forest Massacre was an event where thousands of Polish prisoners of war, military officers, intellectuals and policemen were slaughtered by the Soviet NKVD. The victims were taken to Katyn Forest in Russia where Stalin ordered his army to execute all the prisoners of war instantly. The death toll of Katyn Massacre also reached around 21 thousand on an estimate.
6. Massacre of Thessalonica
The massacre of Thessalonica happened in a retaliatory action by a Roman Emperor Theodosius in 390. According to the sources, in April 390, a charioteer was arrested by the Roman military commander but soon he became the victim of mutiny which angered the Roman Emperor and he decided to kill all those people who were revolting against the orders. Though, the Emperor did had second thoughts to stop the killing the message of stopping the massacre reached late and more than 7000 people were already slaughtered.
7. The Massacre of Elphinstone’s Army
The Massacre of Elphinstone’s Army was very much like a war where Afghan forces took over the combined British and Indian forces led by Major General William Elphinstone in 1842. Three years prior to this event, British forces captured Kabul due to which there was a lot of anger and feeling of revenge in Afghan forces. However, when British were leaving Kabul, Afghan forces led by Akbar Khan, the son of Dost Mohammed Khan attacked the British troops in a surprise strategic move. The Afghan killed and murdered around 4500 men that consist of British and Indian soldiers.
8. Sabra and Shatila Massacre
In 1982, Kataeb Party that was led by Christian Lebanese Forces carried out a massacre where they killed and slaughtered Palestinian and Lebanese Muslim civilians. The massacre event triggered shortly after the assassination of Phalangist leader and President Bachir Gemayel. As per the sources more than 3500 people were killed in this massacre. Though, it is debated that it was because of Israeli Defense Force’s help that these forces were able to enter the Sabra and Shatila camps and massacre the people who were unaware of the events to unfold. The event was very much in the news for a lot of time due to which it attracted international reactions which further led to many controversies and debate that were later sorted out.
9. Batak Massacre
The Batak Massacre is about the massacre of Bulgarians in Batak by Ottoman troops in 1876. As per the sources and references there were more than 3000 people killed in this massacre. The event took place shortly after the April Uprising where Bashi-Bazouk soldiers who were mainly Turkish negotiated with Ahmet Aga for a peace treaty and than attacked the defenseless population with its entire might killing innocent people all over Batak.
10. Granada Massacre
Granada massacre is an event where a Muslim mob stormed into the Royal Palace of Granada and assassinated Jewish ruler, Joseph Ibn Naghrela who was a vizier to the Barber Kings of Granada. The mob stormed into the palace and crucified him and killed around 1500 Jewish families who were living in Granada.