The Top Five Worst Leaders of All Time


Ethan Shie, Journalist

Have you ever wondered who were the five worst leaders of all time? That was a rhetorical question because of course not, you only ever wondered who the ten worst leaders of all time were. However, I’m not going to write a ten paragraph article so instead you only get five. Here are the top five worst leaders of all time based on casualties. (By the way these are rough estimates and averages so it is possible the list is not completely correct.)

Number five is Hirohito at about 6,480,700 casualties. Emperor Shōwa, better known as his English name Hirohito, was the 124th emperor of Japan. He was born in Aoyama Palace in Tokyo on April 29, 1901, and died on January 7, 1989, at the age of 87. His early life was pretty good because he was royalty. The reason why this guy became bad was because of war crimes. This guy committed a lot of war crimes, especially against the Chinese people. Considering these war crimes against other Asian countries which is now known as the Asian Holocaust and the Attack on Pearl Harbor, he earns the spot of number five.

Number four is Chiang Kai-Shek with about 10,511,100 casualties. Chiang was the general who helped create modern China. He was born on October 31, 1887, into a Qing dynasty that was about to collapse. In 1903 he ran away from his village to join the army where he met many people from different parts of China that were all anti-Qing, and by 1907, Chiang was a full on republican. After some military training, Chiang joined the Kuomintang (a socialist group) who planned to take over China. Chaing then went to Russia to train more and when he came back with others, they trained the Kuomintang into shape. With their newly trained force, Chiang started the Northern Expansion taking over and killing many. After taking over, he also had to go to war with Japan and a growing communist party within China. Chiang would soon die on April 5, 1975, at the age of 87. He departs fourth place on our list with 10,511,100 casualties in his path.

Number three is a well known figure and not for good reasons, the one and only famous soviet leader who killed about 11,416,182, Joseph Stalin. Stalin was born a peasant on December 18, 1868, like many other Russians during the time. Being a peasant, Stalin lived a bad early life, and it didn’t help that he had an abusive father.Although everything wasn’t bad, he managed to graduate from his church school and then he joined a socialist group called the Bolsheviks. To sum it up, Stalin committed crimes against his rivals and the government which got him exiled to Siberia. Hope wasn’t lost though, because in 1914 World War 1 began and Russia lost. This led to a revolution with the Bolsheviks taking power and Stalin coming back to Russia. Stalin got the job of general secretary which doesn’t sound powerful, but it was. He had the power to give people jobs, so he gave all of his friends jobs and they gave him their support. He did this with many until he had a lot of support from many people. On his deathbed, Lenin expressed his dislike towards Stalin abusing his position, but it was too late because Stalin would become the person to replace him. Being ruler, Stalin killed many of his own people and when World War 2 began, he committed many war crimes, it is said by some he even killed 20 million. Nevertheless, he still earns the spot of number three and will go down in history.

Number two is Adolf Hitler the man responsible for World War 2, the Holocaust, and about 18,564,944 deaths. Adolf Hitler was born on April 20, 1889, and died at the age of 56 on April 30, 1945. In his early life his father mistreated him, having Hitler become somewhat of a degenerate, always misbehaving and disagreeing with his father. By World War 1, Hitler became a soldier and was very patriotic. After being knocked out in war, he found out about Germany’s loss and the Treaty of Versailles. Hitler felt rage towards the people he found responsible, the communists and Jews. After Hitler began working for the government and was tasked with looking into a communist party called the German Workers Party. He found out they weren’t communist at all and actually shared his views. He joined and quickly rose through the ranks to the top because of his great speaking ability. Eventually, he took some governmental power with his newly named Nazis and even later than that became Germany’s dictator. He then earned the military’s trust by threatening any who would replace them, and then started World War 2 and also the Holocaust killing 18,564,944.

Finally at number one is Mao Zedong with 31,998,894 deaths. Yes 31,998,894 on average with the highball estimate being over 70,000,000. Mao was born on December 26, 1893, and died at the age of 82 on September 9, 1976. Mao was born during the Qing dynasty just like Chiang Kai-Shek. If you recall this was a bad time, but luckily, his father was rich and his mother was fair. When he graduated from school, he went to the capitol Beijing and learned about communism. He soon joined a communist group and then fought against the socialists who opposed them after Chiang became ruler. However, when Japan invaded, they formed an alliance succeeding but also killing many of their own men. With the power of the people, Mao successfully won the Chinese Civil War from 1927-1950. At first was a good leader who took information and criticism. Sadly, it didn’t last because he couldn’t handle it. Soon enough he cracked under the pressure with very harsh punishments to anyone who criticized him. With droughts and starvation, millions of innocent civilians died. It was sad but needed because Mao was the soul person who paved the way to a bright modern China.

I hope you liked my list. This was a really interesting topic to write and research about, and I wish to do projects similar in the future. I was surprised that number one wasn’t Hitler and I enjoyed learning something new which I hope you did from this list. Again thank you and goodbye.