What is the largest mutiny in terms of people involved (approx.) or the number of days it lasted in the recorded history? -

Mutiny - Mutiny is a criminal conspiracy among a group of people (typically members of the military; or the crew of any ship, even if they are civilians) to openly oppose, change, or overthrow a lawful authority to which they are subject. The term is commonly used for a rebellion among members of the military against their superior officer(s), but can also occasionally refer to any type of rebellion against an authority figure.

Hence, we can exclude wars between kings/kingdom, fights between communities and war on terrorism. And whether the mutiny was a success or failure is no concern and it can be in progress as we speak.

Also, a Wikipedia page lists down some of the famous mutinies

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    I think at least you should define what the word mutiny is supposed to mean and show an example. Otherwise, your question is unclear. Context, please. – Rathony Sep 30 '16 at 11:12
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    Also whether successful mutiny is counted or only suppressed, and should we include all the term of its existence even if there is no warfare? For instance, one could argue that Socialism in Russia was a mutiny that came to an end in 1993, and that the protestant rebellion in England against Holy See is an ongoing mutiny. – Anixx Sep 30 '16 at 12:53
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    The United Provinces revolted against their rightful King and still have not deposed that insolent attitude even after more than 400 years! Go figure! They even style themselves "The Netherlands", as if they were an actual country with actual Kings and Queens!!! Really, you should define better the criteria for your question. :-D – SJuan76 Sep 30 '16 at 13:17
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    And by the way, if the criteria is "duration of active warfare", my answer goes to the above mentioned Eighty Years War between the Netherlands and the Spanish Empire. – SJuan76 Sep 30 '16 at 13:23
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    @SJuan76 in that case, possibly Hundred Years War should surpass it. – Anixx Sep 30 '16 at 13:29

The Kiel Mutiny as it took up the High Seas Fleet at Kiel. Based on the Naval Order of October 24 which caused the mutiny, the number of men in that mutiny would have counted at maybe 26,000 as there were 23 battleships and battlecruisers in port at that time each with somewhere between 1,000 and 1,200 men each, not counting the men in the smaller vessels.

This mutiny was also a major factor in the German Revolution of 1918 which disposed of the monarchy and set up the Weimar Republic.

  • The Russian Revolution of 1917 is by far the biggest mutiny in all of History. – Doctor Zhivago Oct 2 '16 at 3:14

Possibly, the Chinese civil war. It lasted from 1927 to 1950, that is 23 years (with some armistice during WWII).

  • I am not sure whether the Chinese civil war could be classified as "mutiny" as there was no legitimate government in China to rebel or mutiny against . The question is as unclear as it gets. – Rathony Sep 30 '16 at 12:21
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    @Rathony mutiny can be against any government, not only "legitimate" in any sense. – Anixx Sep 30 '16 at 12:51
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    Yes, you are right. I like your comment to the question. – Rathony Sep 30 '16 at 12:59

The Royal Indian Navy Mutiny

Perhaps the largest in history, the mutiny of the Royal Indian Navy in 1946 involved over 20,000 sailors across 78 ships and 20 bases on land.

Possible alternative

The Kronstadt Rebellion

Although there are no reliable figures for rebel battle losses, historians estimate that from 1,200–2,168 were executed after the revolt and a similar number were jailed, many in the Solovki prison camp.[10] Official Soviet figures claim approximately 1,000 rebels were killed, 2,000 wounded and from 2,300–6,528 captured, with 6,000–8,000 defecting to Finland, while the Red Army lost 527 killed and 3,285 wounded.[12] Later on, 1,050–1,272 prisoners were freed and 750–1,486 sentenced to five years' forced labor. More fortunate rebels managed to escape to Finland, their large number causing the first big refugee problem for the newly independent state.[13]

Examining those numbers, it seems quite possible to me that the total number of mutineers might rival the Royal Indian Navy Mutiny.


The American Civil War seems the obvious answer to me - expect for perhaps the English Civil War; or the Thirty Years War; or the Eighty Years War (Dutch Independence) depending on definition of mutiny. Perhaps the question needs to be closed

  • Certainly wasn't categorized as a Mutiny by either South or North (rebellion in North, Secession in South.) Along similar lines might be the Mamelukes in Egypt...but I think that was technically a revolt. I would agree with the German Naval Mutiny although the Fleet was in fact sunk at Scapa Flow so technically speaking the sailors did comply with their orders in an ultimate sense. I can't think of any mutinies during World War 2 remarkably. The French Army did mutiny in World War 1 however...and many have argued the British Army was on the brink in 1917. Russian Army WW1 as biggest ever? – Doctor Zhivago Oct 1 '16 at 2:43

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