There has been speculation that a coup attempt that occurred recently was staged or a "false flag" operation undertaken by the ruling party in order to allow the dominant ruler greater power.

My question is: has a "false flag" or staged coup ever occurred in history in order to justify greater power of a ruler, or a crackdown on opposition? Please provide a list of examples.

EDIT: The closest example I have found of an attempted but failed false coup (since the coup got out of hand and actually occurred) was plotted by Ngô Đình Nhu, to occur in 1963 South Vietnam, and named Operation Bravo

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    Issues are that a) you need the officer doing the coup to agree the risk of you crossing him (it is easier to execute him as traitor than explaining that you "forgive him" while using the coup as an excuse for whatever you wanted it) and b) you need to make sure the coup is not too real (either by your guy crossing you or by other officers taking over). Also, a coup is usually seen as a signal of weakness of the regime, and you do not want that to happen. That said, there have been lots of false flags operations to cause political unrest to justify the government, just nothing so risky. – SJuan76 Jul 26 '16 at 20:20
  • @SJuan76 Absolutely I agree with you. A false coup is extremely risky, thus making me doubt it ever happens. The consequences could be as far as a civil war. And how do you let enough "conspirators" know it's a game, yet at the same time making it look credible? Tell too much and it won't work, tell too little and you can end up dethroned or in civil war. And how will the "coup" be put down? You cannot depend on people protesting on the streets, and a "surrender" will look too silly unless serious casualties are taken. – Saleh Hamdan Jul 26 '16 at 22:36
  • I highly doubt anyone has ever pulled this off due to the above reasons, thus I'm surprised at the speculations about the recent failed Turkish coup. It's striking that the [putschists went so far as to stage a fake coup][1], but only to prosecute those falsely accused without an actual coup attempt taking place. This example doesn't count because the putschists weren't in power, nor did an actual coup "attempt" take place. [1]: hurriyetdailynews.com/… – Saleh Hamdan Jul 26 '16 at 22:45

What you're looking for is a self-coup I think? Wikipedia offers a small list of (alleged) examples.

Some of the better examples:

The most know alleged False-Flag Coup however:

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    I think a self-coup is different from a false flag. A false flag may be used as a part of a self-coup, but I think the two are distinct. – Mark C. Wallace Jul 26 '16 at 15:00
  • Thanks for the answer, but I had found that before, and a "self coup" on that page is defined as, " a form of putsch or coup d'état in which a nation's leader, despite having come to power through legal means, dissolves or renders powerless the national legislature and unlawfully assumes extraordinary powers, not granted under normal circumstances." That is very different than a false-flag coup, which I defined above, and the examples provided show this. – Saleh Hamdan Jul 26 '16 at 15:01
  • @SalehHamdan My mistake. I mix them up a lot. – User999999 Jul 26 '16 at 15:03
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    The Fire at the Reichtstag is not what I'm looking for, since at best it is a false flag operation, but not an uprising of the armed forces attempting to take power. – Saleh Hamdan Jul 26 '16 at 15:17

Gulf of Tonkin is just one. LBJ and McNamara Whitehouse tapes at LBJ library prove false flag. They talked days before about provoking an attack (which never happened.) On the day of the supposed attack they talk about what to put out to the media as they had days before. In later years LBJ even admitted this in interviews. This led to the gulf of Tonkin resolution which took the Vietnam war to full stride. You also have Operation North Woods, Downing Street memos about Iraq between Bush and Blair both of which didn't occure but were planned. You also have the burning of the Reichstage by Hitler and the burning of Rome by Nero. The last two derive from strong theory but both are very strong by what we do know as was the sinking of the USS Maine. These are some I've research very heavy. If nothing else, for the later, ones to be further looked in to.

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    This answer would benefit from sources. Furthermore OP requested false flag coups; I don't think any of these represent a coup. – Mark C. Wallace Aug 28 '17 at 19:20
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    Sources would greatly improve this answer. – sempaiscuba Aug 28 '17 at 19:20

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