1920-1939 | Chemical weapons | Churchill's crimes

Churchill backs gas warfare to preserve the Empire

3 May 1920 On 3 May 1920, Secretary of State for War Winston Churchill wrote a covering letter of support to a Cabinet memorandum by the Chief of the Imperial Staff, Field Marshal Sir Henry Wilson, on gas warfare. Churchill declared that he was ‘in entire agreement with the views put forward by Sir Henry…

1920-1939 | Livestock targeted | RAF crimes | Sudan

R.A.F. biplanes machine gun and bomb cattle to starve the Nuer of Sudan

3 May 1920 On 3 May 1920, two RAF DH9A bombers, each equipped with eight 20 lb bombs as well as Vickers and Lewis machine guns, made the first of several air strikes on herds of cattle, belonging to the nomadic Nuer of southern Sudan. The Nuer had been failing to respect the ‘tribal’ boundaries…

1860-1899 | Civilians slaughtered | Massacres | Prisoners murdered | Torture

Hundreds of civilians and prisoners tortured and killed at Taitsan

3 May 1863 On 3 May 1863, Chinese imperial troops, under the command of Major Charles Gordon, who was later to become legendary as General Gordon of Khartoum, killed hundreds of civilians and prisoners after they seized control of the city of Taitsan.  Neither Gordon nor the British troops under his command did anything to…

1800-1859 | Australia | Civilians slaughtered | Massacres

British redcoats shoot dead up to fifty Aboriginal Tasmanians

3 May 1804 On 3 May 1804, a group of about three hundred Aboriginal Tasmanian men, women and children were hunting kangaroos at Risdon Cove, on the outskirts of the first British settlement on the island, which had been established the previous autumn. Edward White, an ex-convict settler saw the Aborigines and ran to alert…