13 Most Ruthless Leaders of All Time

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There have been cruel leaders at all times and ages, but the ruthlessness of these leaders surpass all in human history.

One man’s hero is another man’s tyrant, a popular maxim goes. No matter how a historian tries to spin it, ordering a tower to be constructed out of live men stacked and cemented together with bricks and mortar is downright brutal.
Here’s a list of the most ruthless leaders of all time:
1. Adolf Hitler
This sickly psychopath and megalomaniac transformed the world in which we live, taking with him more than 11 million victims, in Europe and the whole world. Ruler of Germany from 1939 to 1945, his despicable actions included the genocide of millions of Jews.
He devised a plan to create his ideal ‘master race’ by eliminating Jews, Slavs, gypsies, homosexuals and political opponents by forcefully sending them to concentration camps, where they were tortured to death. According to reports, the Nazis killed about 11 million people under Hitler’s regime.


2. Idi Amin Dada
The death toll of his regime amounted to half a million out of 10 million. He was feared for feeding victims alive to crocodiles. He kept the decapitated heads of political enemies in his freezer, although he said human flesh was generally “too salty” for his taste.
General Amin overthrew an elected government in Uganda via a military coup and declared himself president. He then ruthlessly ruled for eight years, during which an estimated 3,00,000 civilians were massacred. He also drove out Uganda’s Asian population (mostly Indian and Pakistani citizens), and spent large amounts on the military, both of which led to the country’s economic decline.


11. Queen Mary I (aka Bloody Mary)
Reign: 1553-1558

The only child of the King Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon, Mary I became queen of England in 1553 and soon reinstalled Catholicism (after previous rulers championed Protestantism) as the main religion and married Philip II of Spain — a Catholic. Over the next few years, hundreds of Protestants were burned at the stake, and for that she earned the nickname ‘Bloody Mary’.

The Myth of 'Bloody Mary' | History | Smithsonian Magazine

12.  Timur

Reign: 1370-1405

Timur, later Timūr Gurkānī, was a Turco-Mongol conqueror who founded the Timurid Empire in and around modern-day Afghanistan, Iran and Central Asia, becoming the first ruler of the Timurid dynasty. As an undefeated commander, he is widely regarded as one of the greatest military leaders and tacticians in history. Source: Wikipedia

Timur led military campaigns through a large part of western Asia, including modern Iran, to Syria. In present-day Afghanistan, he ordered the construction of a tower made out of living men, one stacked on top of another and cemented together. He also ordered a massacre to punish a rebellion and had 70,000 heads built up into minarets

Timur - Wikipedia

13. Genghis Khan 

Reign: 1206-1227

Genghis Khan, born Temüjin, was the founder and first Great Khan of the Mongol Empire, which became the largest contiguous empire in history after his death.

Khan spent time as a slave during his teenage years before he united the Mongol tribes and went on to conquer a huge part of Central Asia and China. His style is characterised as brutal, and historians say he slaughtered civilians en masse.

Genghis Khan: The Mystery of His Lost Tomb | History Hit

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