Top 10 Villainous Rulers

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Throughout the history of mankind there have been some rulers that use fear and terror to gain control of their people. They rule with an iron fist and an unrelenting thirst for power and recognition. Unfortunately for society there was too many for them all to fit on the list, so here’s the worst of the worst.

10. Attila the Hun

Widely known as The Scourge of God, Attila ruled the Hunnic Empire with his brother, Bleda from 434 until he murdered him in 445. After Rome refused to pay him tribute, he attacked a stretch of land along the Danube. The Balkans and Greece were his next targets, with each victory weighing heavily on the Roman treasury. Before he left for Gaul, Western Emperor Valentinian’s sister, Honoria offered herself to Attila and he accepted demanding half of the Western Roman Empire as her dowry, which was refused. After the defeat to King Theodoric in Gaul, he turned his army on Italy in an attempt to reclaim Honoria as his bride. Disease stopped Attila’s advance and with Pope Leo I acting as a middle man, he negotiated a peace treaty with Valentinian. In the midst of preparing an attack on Constantinople, and while celebrating his marriage to Ildico, he suffered a severe nosebleed and choked death. However, legends suggest that he was murdered, possibly by his new bride. While some consider him a great ruler, most people consider him a ruthless barbarian warlord.

9. Ivan the Terrible

Born in 1530, Ivan was taught by his boyars how to be the Grand Prince of Moscow, a title he was given after his father’s death in 1533. In 1547, Ivan crowned himself the first Czar (God’s anointed) of Russia. He set into motion a number of reforms including lessening the boyars’ power, confirming the position of the church and restricting the mobility of peasants with new laws. In 1565 Ivan formed the Oprichnina, a section of Northeast Russia that was ruled solely by him and policed by the Oprichniki. In the latter part of his reign, he was desperate for his realm to reach the sea and launched Russia into the 24-year Livonian War against Swedes, Lithuanians, Poles and Livonian Teutonic Knights. After drought, famine, and an epidemic of the plague that killed between 600-1000 people daily in Moscow alone, Ivan became mentally unstable and his Oprichniks got out of hand and quickly became incredibly violent. In 1581 in a fit of rage he killed his eldest son and heir, Ivan by striking him in the head with his pointed staff. He died in 1584 while playing chess, a later examination of his remains found that he was poisoned with mercury.

8. Benito Mussolini

Known to many as Il Duce (the Leader), Mussolini’s political career began in 1900 when he became a member of the Socialist Party. After serving in WWI, he formed the National Fascist party in 1919and advocated for aggressive nationalism and forcible restoration of order as well as ruthlessly opposing Communists and Socialists. He was elected to Parliament in 1921 and the next year he sent Fascists to march on Rome and Mussolini was granted joint leadership with King Victor Emmanuel III. He transformed Italy into a dictatorship, taking total control of all spheres of political, social, economic and cultural life, and executed his opposition with the help of the secret police and Fascist party militia. Despite his distrust in Hitler, he aligned himself with Germany during WWII. Hitler pressured Mussolini into adopting an Anti -Semitic policy in Italy which along with the previous wars against Ethiopia and Spain, led to widespread unpopularity. He was dismissed by the King in 1943 and was imprisoned until he was rescued by German troops. While trying to escape to Switzerland in 1945, he was captured by Italian partisan troops and shot. His body (and the bodies of other Fascists) was dumped on the ground of the Piazza Loreto in Milan where it was shot, kicked and spat upon before being hung from meat hooks at a gas station and stoned by civilians.

7. Mao Zedong

Commonly referred to as Chairman Moa, he began his career as a soldier during the 1911 Revolution, after which he returned to school. In 1921 he attended the National Congress of the Communist Party of China and in 1923 he was elected as a commissar of the Central Committee. In 1931 he was elected as chairman of the Soviet Republic of China and in 1934 he led the Red Army on the long march which pushed him to the forefront as the most important Communist leader. After the second Sino-Japanese War and a civil war, he continued his leadership of the new People’s Republic of China. In an attempt to revive the Chinese economy, Mao established the Great Leap Forward, a program that favored industry over agriculture. The result was a famine that killed between20 and 30 million people. The failure of the Great Leap Forward led to Mao being replaced as chairman of the central government council in 1959 by Liu Shaogi, however he remained chairman of the Communist part. He reasserted his power in his last years with the Cultural Revolution which purged all capitalist and elitist culture.

6. Idi Amin

Beginning his military career as a private of the British Army in Uganda in 1946, Amin quickly rose through the ranks. After charges of brutality, the British tried to get Prime Minister Obote to prosecute him to no avail, and when Uganda became an independent nation, Amin helped Obote to create army training camps. In 1971 he staged a coup and became President of Uganda. He was a charismatic man that immediately gained popularity with the common people, but this didn’t last. He ordered the execution of 600 troops who were loyal to Obote and purged entire ethnic groups from within his army. With three separate security organizations (the military police, the Public Safety Unit (PSU) and the State Research Center.) He consolidated power by giving them the power to arrest and execute citizens and seize properties at will. During his rule he killed between 100,000 and 500,000 mostly innocent citizens, tortured thousands more and looted Uganda’s treasury. After a war with Tanzania, he was forced into exile first in Libya then in Saudi Arabia where he died of hypertension and kidney failure in 2003.

5. Leopold II of Belgium

Born in 1835 to King Leopold I, he grew up as heir to the Belgian throne. He became a member of the senate in 1855 and instantly began to push for colonization in Africa and Asia. When he became king, and with the help of explorer Henry Morgan Stanley, he organized the International Association for the Exploration and Civilization of the Congo and at the Berlin Conference of 1884-85, the Congo Free State was established with Leopold as its ruler. He amassed a huge personal fortune by exploiting the Congolese people through forced labor, especially in the rubber industry. Enslavement and mutilation ran rampant with an estimated death toll between two and 30 million. When news broke of his atrocities in 1905, British and American pressure forced Leopold to hand over the Congo to the Belgian government and thus became the Belgian Congo.

4. Joseph Stalin

Born in 1894, he first turned his attention to theological study before converting to Marxism and joining the Social Democratic party. He fought his was to power by pushing out his rivals and former allies, eventually becoming the dictator of the USSR. In 1928 he began his Five Year Plans, aggressive industrial and agricultural programs which left thousands of peasants dead as well as getting rid of his political opposition through purge trial and secret execution. This was a part of the Great Purge that was aimed at members of the Communist party who were accused of sabotage, terrorism and treachery and at this time he was also deporting ethnic minorities. He began WWII allied with Nazi Germany but when Hitler turned on him, he took control of the military and sided with Britain and the United States. After the war, he consolidated his power in the Soviet Union against capitalist threats. He became paranoid in his later years which led him to persecute his closest collaborators. Stalin died in 1953 of a cerebral hemorrhage, and after his death, Nikita Khrushchev and other Soviet leaders accused him of tyranny, terror, falsification of history and self-glorification, in a period called de-Stalinization.

3. Queen Ranavalona I of Madagascar

Also known as the Mad Queen of Madagascar, Ranavalona I seized power in 1828 after her husband Radama’s death (and some even say she poisoned him). At the beginning of her reign, she promised to restore customary rites and old beliefs as well as giving control back to priests, judges and slave merchants. Paranoid of European colonization, she persecuted and expelled all foreigners. This led to her violently persecuting native Christians and when it didn’t eradicate Christianity, she had everyone who owned a Bible executed. The executions were less than successful and she retaliated by dangling 15 Christian leaders 150 feet above a rock-filled ravine and when they refused to denounce Christ and pray to her idols, and when they refused, their ropes were cut and they fell to their deaths. Slaves were completely disposable to Ranavalona and more than one million were killed in ritual executions, including ten thousand in a single week during her buffalo hunt. And they weren’t just killed they were tortured, usually by throwing them repeatedly from hilltops, boiling them alive or sewing them up to the neck in a freshly slaughtered buffalo hide and either left to rot or fed to wild dogs. She died peacefully in her sleep in 1861 after a terrifying 33-year rule.

2. Vlad Dracula

Also known as Vlad the Impaler, the Prince of Wallachia was born in 1431 at a time when his lands were under the control of the Ottoman Empire and as his father’s second he was held hostage as a boy with his younger brother Radu. After the deaths of his father and older brother he took the throne at the age of 17. The beginning of his rule was spent ridding Wallachia of those who were threats to his power. His favorite means of execution was impalement in which a stake is inserted into the body and left upright until the stake makes its way through the body, a slow and painful death that could last for days. While accounts vary, the amount of people who suffered by his hand range between 40,000 and 100,000 (most were tortured in some form) and it is said that when an invading Ottoman army found the forest of corpses outside Targoviste they turned and fled. Vlad died in a battle near Bucharest in 1476 and was buried at Snagov Monastery, although archeologists have been unable to find his burial site. A strict defender against Turkish rule, even today Vlad is considered a hero to the people of Romania. In 1897 he was immortalized as a blood sucking vampire in Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

1. Adolph Hitler

Born in Austria in 1889, in his early years he worked as a painter before becoming a Bavarian soldier in 1914. After World War I, he became a member of the National Socialist German Workers (Nazi) party and in 1921 he became the chairman. With hyperinflation, political chaos and the possibility of a Communist takeover that happened afer the war, Hitler offered solutions and he took control of a coalition government in 1933 and later was given dictatorial powers. At the beginning of his Third Reich, he murdered political opposition and bullied smaller nations into giving him land. He began World War II when he aligned with the USSR and invaded Poland. His need for the expansionism of Germany drove him to attack or bully Austria, Czechoslovakia, France, Great Britain, Greece, Yugoslavia, Denmark, Norway, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Belgium and eventually his ally, Russia. Driven by his Anti- Semitic views, Hitler sought to create a perfect Aryan race by eliminating Jews. He stripped the Jews of the right to be a part of society and set up concentration camps where they were either brutally used as slave labor, gassed or shot. The Holocaust is one of the worst atrocities in the history of mankind and it killed more than six million Jews and millions of Roma (Gypsies), communists, political leaders and intellectuals. Facing defeat, Hitler and his wife Eva Braun committed suicide on April 30, 1945.


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68 Comments

  1. You have Stalin listed as killing only thousands???? Have you never heard of the Holodomor, which killed MILLIONS of Ukrainians? Stalin killed more people than Hitler.

      • R Schloemer on

        Ah, so those 60 million Russians killed by Stalin is more than the 50 million who died in total from WWII? And those are both greater than the 100 million Chinese that Mao killed with special emphasis on the "Cultural Revolution?" I like how Pol Pot, who wiped out something on the order of 2 out of 7 people in a country of 7 million people (5 million after he was done) isn't even on the list.

        Your list is crap. Just cope.

        • yeah funny how Hitler is always credited as the evil of evil for killing 6 million eueopeans, but other ruthless dictatorships that killed tens of millions generally are not seen as quite as evil. Japans actions during WWII in China, the islands and Korea didnt even make this list. hmm.

        • Who is and who knows Mao? Instead of some persons who were/are brainwashed or have lost their privilege, Most of Chinese people keep in mind that Mao is the greatest leader of the world. As to the number of victims in his years, the disaster resulted from not only his revolutionary romantism but also the blockade and hatred of the USA and its myrmidons.
          As a person, you have the right to discuss (and judge) anyone, but you shoud not abuse the right without the fully knowledge of the very history.

        • You’re totally right.I was shocked that Hitler,who in fact killed mostly 17 million,most probably 13 million is seen as the greatest evil,while Stalin and Mao,who killed tens of millions are not seen that bad.Mao especially,who killed by far the most,is not seen nearly as bad,and in the vast majority of lists of top 10 evil humans,he is not even mentioned!!
          And to think,that of those 13-15 million people killed by Hitler,only 6 million of them are usually taken into consideration,and yet he STILL is considered the most evil man that ever lived.

        • You’re so right.His list is the worst I’ve ever seen.Stalin did not kill thousands of people,he killed tens of millions.He is considered by some people even worse than Hitler,but still,both of them killed under 50 million people,Mao on the other hand killed much over 50 millions,some estimates indicating 70-80 million people!!On one ocassion he even said that if it’s necesary(in a nuclear war) he would let half of China population dye!!!! I really think he should be considered the worst.
          And yes,Pol Pot should have ben mentioned on the list.

  2. Spencer Phillips on

    I am greatly offended at the errors in this list. First that you have Hitler placed at number 1 instead of Mao. Hitler is responsible for the deaths of around 12million. Joseph Stalin is responsible for at least 70million. He is responsible for a intentional famine in the Ukraine which in one winter killed 7 million. and Mao Tse-Tung is responsible for the deaths of 100 Million during just the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution

  3. um mao and stalin killed waaayy more people than hitler did, I mean if this in order and mao is only in seventh that's ridiculous

  4. Although Spencer made a good point about the poor ordering in this otherwise interesting list, his statistics are inaccurate. (BTW – I am a professor of history).

    Current thought holds that Stalin killed between 30-40 million people during the course of his reign, and Mao in the neighborhood of 50-60 million.

    The 100 million figure is often a point of confusion, as The Black Book of Communism uses that figure for all communist leaders and governments, not individuals.

    It is no surprise that Hitler is placed at #1, because his efforts were aimed at liquidating an entire race of people (along with the Romani, alcoholics, homosexuals, the chronically unemployed, the mental and physically handicapped…). The current tally for deaths in the Holocaust are approximately 10 million: 6 million Jews, and 4 million "others". Thus Hitler's aims are often considered when placing him in the company of fellow mass murderers, because neither Stalin nor Mao had the desire to wipe out an entire race of people.

    • Spencer Phillips on

      Well actually Stalin was about to start a pogrom that would have deported and exterminated the Jews in the USSR which would have been worse than the Holocaust, but he died before it could be carried out. Also I think its worse when u are Anti-Human as opposed to simply racist. Because then your targets for mass murder are unlimited as opposed to objectively limited.

    • You could daw a conclusion based on some figures even that they are actually figured out or resulted from many other causes.

  5. I am glad that you included Vlad III the Impaler, although I am surprised that he was ranked # 2, when Stalin was credited with a higher genocide count. Hitler came very close. I am not nit picking. This is just a personal observation, I think that all these peoples were monsters! Anyway, I wonder if the only way to objectively determine who is the most evil ruler is by their body count they leave behind. It's a sad concept but an accurate approach to answer the question.

    • Vlad Tepes (in english the Impaler) was a monster for all the criminals, thefts, all those who wanted to conquer our country!

      For Romanian people he was a hero! Who was standing before the armies of turks defending the christianism and he's people is called a hero!

  6. i dont believe in the Mao's part very much … he was a giant ruler but without fear and terror, and i dont think it's a problem that billions of chinese would care . the truth has been proved and this ruling policy worked … personally , the U.S is ruling the middle east with fear and terror ( Iraq and afganistan war )

    • so you think sacrificing in tens of millions is acceptable? when it comes to others yes but not when it comes to your own life… no one has to right to take anyone's life….

      • you obviously dont know chinese history very well , i think Mao's generally good ,there's a saying here that Mao is 70% honored while 30% in mistake, he was taken advantage of by the Gang of Four in last years of his life (when he was disconscious), all the chinese people are somehow victims (my older generation is no exception) but the cultural revolution is definitely not villanous ,we were always republic and even up to this moment , Mao is still admired as a legend in this nation's history

    • Spencer Phillips on

      um … i hate to burst your bubble but there was massive amounts of terror under Mao's rule. it was communist. It can't exist without an atmosphere of an all pervasive and ineffable and debilitating terror

      • as i've said above, Mao was taken advantage of during cultural revolution , actually he was the one that wanted democracy in civil war , there're massive people living in this country, 100% democracy doesnt work all the time ,that was still not villanous my older generations were somehow victims though

    • I am not sure how you can say that his policies have been proved to be effective. When he died, the land had undergone several bouts of sevear famine. There was little industrialzation, even though that was the focus of the governments economic policy. The entire population was in poverty and degridation. He was feared, but not respected by his neighbors. China was a totalitarian regime with very few freedoms, except for those granted to the members of the party. Overall, he was a great leader of the Military, but one of the poorest leaders of a large nation ever.

      Most of the economic development in China has come since they went from being a communist government to being a fascist one (Communism being a combination of socialism and totalitarianism while fascism is a combination of Capitalism and totalitarianism). If you have any doubts that China has left the Communist path take a look at the division of wealth in this classless society. Take a look at the roll of the independant labor union… No, China was an abject failure under Mao, and has only had some financial success since adopting fascism as a lead philosophy.

  7. What about Pol Pot, whose Khmer Rouge wiped out over 20% of Cambodia's population and essentially set the country's development back by over 10 years?

    • I'm surprised Pol Pot isn't included on this list. I also agree with others who commented about Hitler being too high on the list, especially when Stalin and Mao are also included. I would have placed him at #3 with Stalin at 2 and Mao at number one (but that's just me of course). Other than this, I really enjoyed the list.

  8. Actually Vlad Tepes is not an evil ruler and shouldn't be on this list at all. In Romania he is regarded as one of our most successful medieval rulers. He kept the invading ottoman armies from overrunnig the country as well as the rest of Europe.

    His evil side is just a popculture joke made famous by Stoker's novel. Vlad's ties to all things demonic is just a figment of mr. Stoker's mind so that the story had some nice pseudo history to rely on.

    And btw the whole east-European vampire thing comes from a Hungarian dutchess who bathed in virgin blood to keep young.

    So next time before posting something on a site that many ppl see and enjoy please have the decency to actually research what ur putting up.

    • The fact that Hitler was placed as number one is due the fact he was seen as the main evil of WW2.

      Even that position became fixed since he was a great scapegoat for allies. As stated before here, Mao and Stalin were responsible for more deaths than Hitler. Also, Hitler did not consider Jews nor other minorities as something to be eliminated at the beginning of his reign, they became a scapegoat for Germans for the situation of their country.

      And like the Andrei said, Vlad Tepes was not a evil ruler like he is portrayed in mainstream media. There's too much focus on his method of executing peoples: The impalement to see his true deeds.

      And no, there will not be american presidents here on the list, since they consider themselves righteous in their deeds on maintaining "world peace", even if they have to use nuclear devices on foreign grounds (Hiroshima and Nagasaki).

      Most of listing is due to the mainstream images given to each person, not as much of their true deeds. Don't believe all the information and propaganda you come across the internet or the news, afterall it's all manmade info, true or false. Guess who were men also? Yuh, that's right, the top 10 you read off here. 😀

      • With all do respect whether you like or even respect america or her presidents current or past the fact that you would even suggest that an American President to be on this list is insane. Most might want bush on this list but millions of muslims or millions of afgans/ iraqis didn't die because of him or even because of the wars even if you don't agree with the wars or the reasons supposeably justifing them. Also Truman dropped the two bombs because it was demeaned the lesser of two evils & yes thousands even hundreds of thousands of people mostly civlians died or were maimed in them but most even in Japan admit it likely saved lives & ended the war faster then having waited & invading. The economic cost for both countries also was believed lessened by the dropping of the bombs because if for no other reasons then it ended the war faster for both but also from the fact that it likely saved lives & the US after wards helped compensate & rebuild the country whichis now one of the richest & most educated countries in the world. The US is far from perfect & has made more then our share of mistakes within our own country & regards to the world but then again so has every other country current or no longer & no world leader has been perfect either. No form of government is perfect or fair. Millions died in world war I & II on both sides & because of both sides its unfair to blame one or the other solely.

        • Thats debatable, Japan’s military was crumbling the same with its economy, american carpet bombing campaigns with incendiary bombs caused almost the same damage and killed almost as many people add to that the fact that the russians also invaded, the bombs were dropped because they wanted to test their capabilities against a human population, thats the reason Hiroshima, Nagasaki and other cities were spared from the carpet bombings.

  9. i am surprise that there is no picture of American president JORGE W BUSH in this list

    dear all do u forgot his countless killing thought. so kindly change the numbering and give Mr. bush The first Rank Plz

    • The Iraq and Afghanistan wars might not be particularly well-run, and there is an unfortunate number of civilian deaths, but comparing thousands who have died in those wars in the hope of keeping millions safe on one side and improving the freedom of millions on the other to the millions upon millions killed by Stalin, Mao, and Hitler shows your complete ignorance. If anyone was to be added to the list, it ought to be Pol Pot, but you probably don't even know who he is.

      • BTW I wikipedia the wars & just on estimated civilian deaths Vietnam cost the lives of about 4 million people in the 19 years while between the two Afganistan & Iraq wars have cost an estimated 1.5 million. And that's not just one side or the other & terrorists target civilians & hide among them so who's to really say. Point is JFK & LBJ still have more blood on their hands then even dufus bush or Chairman Oba Mao.

    • Saying Bush should be on this list is like saying Chairman Oba Mao, Clinton, & the likes of JFK & LBJ should be too. I'd be suprised if the number of confirmed deaths in Afganistan & Iraq compared to those during the 15 years of the vietnam war that was started by JFK & continued by LBJ. I don't like Bush thought he made more then a few mistakes particularly regarding the wars but then again he didnt run the day to day operations like some leaders have in the past & even if he did war is unpredictable or never perfect just ask LBJ & JFK. Having said that though I do believe a country has a right to protect itself just like a community has a right to protect itself. I'm not going to get into supposeable reasons for the wars other then to say that if a murderer gangbanger terrorist drug dealer or rapist moved in down your street I down you would wait for the police let alone the suspected person to actually do something in your area. And I highly doubt you would be as hard on the police force or mayor for using the police to keep the bad guy in check. JFK & LBJ invaded Vietnam to stop communism that's it the whole & only reason for the war while there supposeably could be dozens of reason we invaded Iraq or Afganstan. North Vietnam didnt pose a threat to America or even the world but that didnt stop JFK or LBJ. Saddam prose a threat maybe not to the USA exactly but certainly to his neighbors & economically the world because like it or not the world runs on oil & as the 70s showed if that stops the world stops. Thanks Iran…. And besides Saddam killed & gas Iranians his own people & had 12 years of UN looking the other way after he attacked Kuwait & failed to do anything to him. Saddam was bad just like Hitler or Pol Pot or Stalin. Stop blaming other people mistakes are made life goes on war is never perfect. Its war.

  10. Bush,Cheney,Lindon Johnson,Kissinger, the Secretary of State who nuked Japan, twice,the many Bilderbergers,CFRs,Trilaterals,Club Of Romers,Clinton etc cannot be ignored.

  11. Unfortunately, history is not mathematics. It's subject to bias and limited to perspective so the positions are arguable. The impact of Hitler's deeds only seems to be greatest because it is more recent, but at the same time its account has a higher chance of being more accurate. Having said that, his transparent hatred and intentions of the mass murders still places him near or at the top of the list. I think the intentions, the inhumanity, or the vileness of the ruler's actions should be taken more into consideration than the estimations of the number who have died or suffered from their regime. The ranking of some of the rulers are questionable due to differing perspectives. For example, the historical account of Attila as a ravaging barbarian is flawed, because it mostly comes from Western Europe and the Church's accounts which would have painted its feared enemy as the cruelest of the cruel. Other accounts write of him as a noble and merciful ruler. There's no telling who would have been right.

  12. This is stupid on

    This list is stupid and wrong. I don't know why the internet has a fascination with Hitler but Stalin was a thousand times worse. Anyone whose done more then two minutes of studying Wikipedia knows this.

    Most of the people on this list don't deserve to be on here (Being normal for the time) or deserve to be higher or lower. In fact, most of the people on here are only mentioned because they were in movies.

    The authour has obviously learned their history and knowledge from Hollywood.

    Where is Napolean? The man who turned a Democracy into an Empire, created one of the greatest military's of the time, was exiled and came back and was defeated in a battle that was unbelievable in scale and execution? His history is far more interesting and brutal then half the people on this list.

    And I actually agree with GWB being on here. This isn't Bush bashing. This is a guy who bungled handling the single greatest terrorist attack in American history and used it's tragedy in order to launch an invasion of an uninvolved country. 4000 young men and women have died for absolutely nothing, with more being permanently maimed and injured, in addition to the mental injuries. He constantly ranted about the evils of other countries and held expensive parties with equally diabolic men (Who ran business empires) while New Orleans sunk and the people sat on roof tops waiting for rescue. He supported the death penalty – coming from being governor of a state with the highest executions. His dad ran the country's secret service (CIA) and was leader before him. GWB single handedly destroyed the economy, made America the single most hated nation on Earth, got thousands of his country's young men and women killed.

    And got away with it clean. He served his two terms, was never impeached, and is now living comfortably. He doesn't deserve to be first, but he deserves to be high on here. There is no comparable first world leader of the time. The closest comparison could only be made with Putain, and that's terrible.

    And what about Emperor Hirohito? He was the driving force behind Imperial Japan. He knew about the atrocities his men were committing against civilians and prisoners of war. He knew about his men being slaughtered needlessly by overwhelming American firepower. He knew about his abandoned men, screaming his name and rotting on bypassed islands with no resources. The war in the Pacific was lost at Midway – and most Imperial officers knew this. The only reason it was perpetrated for that much longer was because of the 'sanctity' of the Empire and the Emperor. It was his own apathy that caused the United States to bomb Japan with the nukes. The Japanese knew they were finished by the time Okinawa was won but the Emperor was refusing to surrender. Several of his advisers tried to get him to surrender, but he made it clear that he would only consider it if the Americans invaded. If they had, thousands of Japanese and hundreds of Americans would have died, not the million casualty fairy tale that some American commanders were predicting, but it would have been a brutal one month campaign.

    And what happened to him? He got to live out the rest of his days in luxury – even denying decisive defeat because the Americans used a super weapon and did not take them out like true Samurai. He never had to take responsibility for the war crimes or for his own mens deaths.

    Those three were much more villanous, with a books worth of atrocity and ineptitude and history behind them. Instead we get some Hollywood stories and a lot of generalized facts.

    Authour has failed big time.

  13. This is stupid on

    I understand that this list is supposed to be about villianious behaviour, not the most barbaric leaders, but unfortunate it seems the authour forgot that.

    I do not know why the internet has a massive fascination with Hitler; his acts of villianee have been grossly blown out of proportion. Yes, he was the driving force behind the Holocaust, yes he essentially started World War 2, though if not for his loyal alliance with the MUCH WORSE Japanese, this would not have probably effected America – he went to war with America because of Japan’s pre-emptive strike on Pearl Harbour.

    That aside here’s some crib notes;

    10) He was normal for the time. And he’s only more infamous then the half dozen warlords stomping around the region at the time because he destroyed the ‘civilized’ Romans. Rome was a barbaric nation that set the world back 1500 years in science and technology and ensured that the ignorance of relgions, a concept that would have died out naturally in the next four hundred years if Rome hadn’t adopted Christianity and transmuted it to the lords and barons emerging from the empire’s ashes.

    9) Again, normal for the time.

    8) Mussolini was inept and almost cartoonish. His only achievements were to establish Facism in Italy and ally with Germany. Although he got many Italians killed, that hardly constitutes villainy, especially when measured up against some of the hard hitters on here. And it’s not like Italy suffered post war, compared to Germany and everything North and East of them.

    7) This guy should not be seventh. He should be first. He slaughtered thousands of his fellow country men. He established a personality cult that influenced and drove other guerilla movements in other countries. His inept ideas were the back bone of such things as the Great Leap Forward. His reign of terror ensured that events like Tienanmen would happen long after his death. He also tried on several occasions to coerce the two Cold War super powers into open warfare against each other. He sent his legions down against the United Nations in North Korea and almost had the whole peninsula enslaved in inept Communist rule; South Korea could be vastly different today. AND as a kicker, he helped the North Vietnamese successfully defeat the South and Americans, then turned on them not four years later. If they hadn’t interfered and funded the people they would later be killing, South Vietnam might be a progressive place much like South Korea. But nope, number 7 Mao didn’t do enough to be higher then Idi ‘only famous cause I’m in a movie’ Amin.

    6) Why is he here? He was villainous but he was normal of Africa for the time. Does the authour know who Theoneste Bagosora is? Obviously not, by this poor list. He is one of the chief engineers of the Rwandan civil war and genocide. He was extremely disturbed, did not want the Arusha (Peace) accords to go through, and went back to Africa to await the apocalypse. He had his followers attack civilians and peacekeepers all while the walls were falling down. He is a much more villainous leader, and he is a part of our generation. But since the authour obviously only gets their inspiration from Hollywood and other top ten lists, they wouldn’t know this.

    5) Leopold? Oh jeez. Gotta have the white, monarch/capitalist who ‘exploits’ (forced development is a word that doesn’t often grace lists like these) a continent that was still living in the stone age. Yep, he’s evil ahead of Mao and comparable to Hitler. In fact, its because of him that the Congo STILL isn’t a nice place to live. Yep. There are absolutely no internal ethnic tendencies and a complete lack of interest in development by the indigenous population that is really the reason why Africa is the worlds punchline. It’s the fault of rich, white people.

    4) Yes, Stalin. One of the worst (Modern men). Yet he’s only 4, and the facts about him are grossly played down. Stalin was WORSE then Hitler. Go search Holodomor. The Ukrainians suffered more IN PEACETIME ALONE then the entire Jewish, Gypsy and Mentally challenged demographic that was made up the Holocaust. But that’s okay, because World War 2 happened and eventually the Ukrainians were freed and allowed to live securely in their own land! Oh wait, that’s right, Stalin continued to persecute them and the Soviet Union ruled them until 1990. By that time the Holocaust inspired Israel had already slaughtered the British (See the Haganah for more villainy the internet doesn’t seem to care about) and committed the same crimes against the Palestinians that the Nazi party had perpetrated against them. Yet we absolutely worship the Holocaust and consider it the single greatest crime in history. Stalin committed a half dozen of these from the late 1910’s to his peaceful death in bed in the early 1950’s. If the world would have been obliterated in a Nuclear War it would have been because of this man. He manipulated every ally he had in WW2; he fought for the Nazi’s until they pre-empted him. Then he refused to help the USA with their war against Russian until the last few weeks when he gobbled up Manchuria.
    Stalin only fought the German’s, never offering supplies or men other theaters outside of Russia. He had parties and fancy suppers while his men died by the tens of thousands and his people starved. He constantly gutted his military of competent leaders, ensuring that Russian military tactics would be wasteful, human wave affairs. People who fell out of favour with him were obliterated – they even went so far as to doctor them out of old photos.

    • By far the best comment here.They were all evil and none of them should be treated less evil than the others.They aren't that different after all.

  14. After spending quite some time in China i noticed how much Mao is appreciated in China he hangs from car mirrors and despite his killings, the cultural revolution has pushed China to the forefront of the modern world.
    Your list sucks man

  15. 10. Attila the Hun was not an awful leader, he just was the main instrument in defeating the Romans.

    9. Ivan the Terrible is actually not a villainous ruler, he was just mentally unstable. His name is a mistranslation and should be Ivan the Awe-inspiring or sumptin’ like that. He tried to reform Russia, from being a backwards nation to a modern (at the time 1500s) nation. He did kill his son in a fit of rage, and probably gets mad whenever he loses at chess and near the end of his reign the country was falling into what would become the Time of Troubles. He is still, not bad enough to be on this list.

    Leaders such as Pol Pot deserve to be on this list. If we are using the strict ruler as a background for the Worst rulers, then great military rulers like Shaka would end up on this list. Shaka was strict, but he wasn’t villainous.

    Stalin is a worse leader than Hitler, because Hitler was a villain, but nonetheless knew how to lead a country. Stalin just kills everyone who he THINKS is against him.

    But I still appreciate the time you took to make this list, and it must be difficult to appease everyone. I agree with a previous comment, good thing all these guys are dead.

    • Ivan the Terrible was the devil incarnate, he arranged for the genocide of entire peoples: the Kazan Tatars, the inhabitants of Novgorod, he spared neither women nor the elderly or children

      “Ivan’s army had rounded up and detained the leading merchants, traders and officials along with their families. They were tortured for information regarding the supposed defection and liaison with the Polish king. The judges employed exceedingly cruel tortures to facilitate their inquiries, including but not limited to burning with a “clever fire-making device” called a grill by the chronicler, roasting over fires, or being strung up by one’s hands and having one’s eyebrows singed off. An equally brutal punishment also awaited many upper and upper-middle-class families, including (but not limited to) those implicated or questioned.
      Women and children of all ages were bound and thrown from a high bank into the Volkhov river where they were trapped under the ice. Soldiers patrolled the water in boats, armed with boat hooks, spears, lances and axes, pushing down anyone who managed to surface alive. Those condemned by the court, after enduring questions under torture, were often tied to sleds and dragged through town until they too were forced off the bridge into the river.
      The “Novgorod Chronicle’’ has been able to identify many of the people summoned to the courts for examination. They included boyars from the Archbishop’s court (and many serving-men), lesser boyars, merchants, and traders. The court condemned approximately 200 gentry, more than 100 servants, 45 secretaries and chancery people, and a proportionate number of families, to die during their occupation of the city.
      In addition to the tortures visited on the upper and middle classes, the peasants and paupers were also treated with disregard and disdain, albeit of a broader nature. The oprichniki centered its attack on the townspeople around two main objectives: to increase the royal treasury, and to terrorize the lower classes into submission. Ivan’s fear of conspiracies and revolution in any combination, led him to try to quell disaffection and discourage revolutionary tendencies, generally though the manipulation of fear and violence.
      Near the end of the greater part of the Gorodische trials, Ivan ordered an attack on the trade streets of Novgorod, hoping to cripple the middle-class merchants (generally considered to be the seat of discontented revolutionary ideas) in order to suppress popular insurrection and guarantee dependency and submission. The oprichniki were to seize all profitable goods and destroy shops and storehouses, then move into the suburbs, where their instructions were to loot and destroy homes and kill all inhabitants who resisted (and, periodically, even those who complied), regardless of age or sex. Cold, hunger, and disease also killed the hundreds of families that were evicted and exiled from the city and surrounding villages.
      The famines that had plagued the area for the previous years (exacerbated by the oprichniki’s razing of the farm land on their trek to Novgorod) had drawn many of the poor from the surrounding land into the city for shelter. With little regard for the lives at stake, the Tsar ordered the collected paupers and beggars expelled from the city in the middle of winter, abandoning them to die of exposure or starvation.”

  16. though i agree with most of these comments and you list is not the best
    i can see that you worked on this list
    and good for you for bringing the Mad Queen of Madagascar to light
    i did not know who she was before now

  17. glad to see these monsters didn’t die peacefully..at least some of them. Sure thay are all having a party together in hell.

    surprised to see a woman (queen of madgascar) so cruel. I thought only men had the balls to be cruel.

  18. About Hitler…”His need for the expansionism of Germany drove him to attack or bully Austria, Czechoslovakia, France, Great Britain, Greece, Yugoslavia, Denmark, Norway, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Belgium and eventually his ally, Russia”….so relevant today but only economically

  19. You could have also added:
    Pol Pot
    Caligula

    And I’m sure there were plenty more cruel leaders throughout history.

  20. Vlad The Impailer’s body was never found because he was executed and his head was taken to the Ottoman king as a proof of his execution. Also, when Ottoman victory became inevitable, Vlad wrote letters to the Ottoman king, telling him that he could help the kind conquer his own country since he knows it very well, hoping to escape from capture and execution. These letters and their replies are in archive in both Ottoman archives in Turkey and Romanian archives. However, Romanian’s don’t like talking about this very much and even deny it. Some reasources say that Romanians went as far as burning and destroying their copies of the letters and agreements to avoid embarrassment.

  21. THEYAREALLBAD on

    In MY opinion, this list shouldnt be numbered at all. Honestly, they’re all evil for different reasons. Except Vlad. He was cruel but he istableshed and protected Romania for I’m not sure how long but he most definetly shouldn’t be placed with Hitler.

    EITHER WAY. Let’s forget about rankings and numbers and just agree that they all were evil in their own ways. They all were hated and they ALL are DEAD. Whatever they did, It’s over and we shouldn’t be arguing this much about it. No disprespect to the victims intended, but we can’t change what happened.

    And we’re doing the same thing they did, just on a lesser scale. Reading this you should consider that we need to respect eachother and stop all this useless pointless fighting. It’s not going to change anything and honestly, I think that Stalin is the worst. He starved and tortured my relatives and forced them into cannibalism to survive.
    But that’s just my opinion.
    We all have one and it’s stupid to get this worked up over it.

  22. Jose Hernandez on

    This would have been more helpful had you put it in the order of how many people they killed. Then you left some people like Pol Pot and Kin Jong Il. But you put some who aren’t rather famous so I give you credit.

  23. I think Stalin is worse than Hitler. In the Great Pruge, between 13 million died while only (only used relative) only 11 million people died. Stalin also had many other things in ehic ended in deaths

  24. Could everyone that’s complaining shut up, you guys are all complaining that what has been said doesn’t fit “YOUR” views, those can be totally different to the views of the person who wrote this. They wrote it on their views as well, even if you have the facts, you still need a way to organise it. They chose their way to organise it which again could be totally different to your views.

  25. Why is there ?ttila in this list? I do not think that he was more cruel, than Nero or Caligula. And to compare cruelty in different times really correctly? That cruelly now, thousand years back it was in order of things.

  26. The US have been making war under false pretenses for over 50 years.
    Depleted uranium, Napalm, Gas, Atomic bombs, Drones.. The US killed more civilians than any past dictators.

    Iraq may be the best example of the US crimes. Any of you nuts realize that Iraq is DESTROYED ? In Iraq MILLIONS of civilians died because of your war, teenagers are rapted in daylight for organ trafficking, iraqis average lifespan felt by 20 years and in some regions the soil is contaminated for billion of years by Uranium.

    Oh right the US are the good guys. So says the medias owned BY THEM.. Idiot.
    The US is the most evil empire on earth.

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