List of coups and coup attempts

A coup d'état, often abbreviated to coup, is the overthrow of a government through illegal means. If force or violence are not involved, such an event is sometimes called a soft coup. In another variation, a ruler who came to power through legal means may try to stay in power through illegal means. These events are called self coups. This is a chronological list of such coups and coup attempts, from ancient times to the present.

General Bonaparte during the coup d'état of 18 Brumaire in Saint-Cloud, detail of painting by François Bouchot, 1840



Nero was the target of many plots. Here a plaster bust conserved at the Pushkin Museum, Moscow.
As-Saffah is proclaimed as the first Abbasid caliph, from Balami's Tarikhnama


General Yi Seong-gye, later crowned Taejo of Joseon.


Patrona Halil rebellion; painting by Jean Baptiste Vanmour.


Execution of Claude François de Malet and his co-conspirators on 29 October 1812 following the Malet coup in France.
The Empire of Brazil ended in a coup d'état which formed a republic.






  • Goudi coup in Greece: A secret society of military officers called the Military League issued a pronunciamiento, resulting in the replacement of Prime Minister Dimitrios Rallis government and various reforms.
  • 31 March Incident in the Ottoman Empire: Shortly after the Young Turk Revolution, members of the military convened on Sultan Ahmet Square to demand reestablishment of Sharia. After a brief period of rival groups claiming to represent the legitimate government, the uprising was suppressed and the former government was ultimately restored.




Citizens throng around The Citadel (La ciudadela) building during La decena tragica in 1913.






Defendants in the Beer Hall Putsch trial. Ludendorff is fifth from the left, with Hitler to the right. Ernst Röhm is to the right and in front of Hitler. Note that only two of the defendants, Hitler and Frick, were dressed in civilian clothing.




Benito Mussolini and Fascist Blackshirts during the March on Rome in 1922. Mussolini stayed out of most of the march.





Józef Piłsudski and other leaders of the May Coup (1926) on Poniatowski Bridge in Warsaw.






  • March Incident in Japan: The radical, ultranationalist Sakurakai secret society attempted to start large-scale riots in Tokyo, which instigators hoped would lead to martial law and then a coup d'état by the Imperial Japanese Army. Two attempts to start riots failed, and the leaders of the plot were arrested.
  • October Incident in Japan: The Sakurakai again plotted a coup, this time to be instigated by assassinations of key statesmen and officials. The plot was foiled by some of the plotters abandoning the effort, and leaks that reached the War Minister of Japan.
  • 1931 Salvadoran coup d'état: On 2 December, Arturo Araujo was overthrown by Maximiliano Hernández Martínez.


March in support of the proclamation of the Socialist Republic of Chile, in front of La Moneda Palace (12 June 1932).





1st Lt. Niu Yoshitada and his rebel troops in the 26 February Incident of 1936.


  • France: A Cagoulard plot to install a pro-Nazi government was foiled by French police.
  • Bolivia: Dissatisfied with the speed of new reforms, Germán Busch led a popular movement which secured the resignation of David Toro.
  • Brazil: President Getúlio Vargas, governing democratically since 1934, launched a self-coup and became the Dictator of the Brazilian Estado Novo ("New State").


  • Romania: King Carol II of Romania launched a self-coup, which abolished parliamentary democracy in favor of a royal dictatorship.
  • Brazil: Vargas forces detected the attempted Integralista coup, leading to a shootout with insurgents at the Guanabara Palace.








The conference room where Hitler survived the 20 July plot of 1944 after the explosion.












TV Senado video on Lott's countercoup (English subtitles).



















  • 1971 Turkish military memorandum: The Chief of the General Staff of the Turkish Armed Forces delivered a memorandum demanding the formation of a "strong and credible government, which will neutralise the current anarchical situation".
  • 1971 Ugandan coup d'état: A military coup led by General Idi Amin overthrew the government of President Milton Obote while he was abroad, and installed Amin as dictator.
  • Thailand: Prime Minister Thanom Kittikachorn launched a self-coup against his own government, dissolving parliament and appointing himself Chairman of the National Executive Council.
  • 1971 Sudanese coup d'état: Major Hashem al Atta leads a short-lived coup against the government of the Democratic Republic of the Sudan and President Jaafar Nimeiry. Several days later, Nimeiry loyalists enacted a counter-coup, toppling Atta's government and executing him.
  • Project 571 in China: An alleged coup plot was developed against the Chinese leader Mao Zedong by the supporters of Lin Biao, then vice-chairman of the Chinese Communist Party. Any attempts that may have been made at the coup ultimately failed.
  • Morocco: A coup attempt was organized by General Mohamed Medbouh and Colonel M'hamed Ababou and carried out by cadets during a diplomatic function at King Hassan II's summer palace in Rabat. The King and important guests were detained, and plotters took control of Rabat's radio station to say that the king had been killed and a republic had been founded. Royalist troops regained the palace and ended the coup attempt.
  • Bolivia: General Hugo Banzer overthrew President Juan José Torres and established a military dictatorship.



































  • Ivory Coast (also known as Côte d'Ivoire): A coup may have been attempted on 19 September, the first night of the First Ivorian Civil War. Former president Robert Guéï was killed; state government claimed it had happened as he attempted to lead a coup, but it was widely claimed that Guéï and fifteen others had been murdered in his home and his body moved.
  • 2002 Venezuelan coup d'état attempt: President Hugo Chávez was ousted from office for 47 hours before being restored to power with the help of popular support (mostly labor unions) and members of the military.





Tanks in Bangkok's street in 2006




  • Coup in Madagascar the army seized one of the presidential palaces on 16 March 2009, at which president Marc Ravalomanana was not present. The proposal offered by the president for a referendum to solve the crisis was rejected. On 17 March 2009, Marc Ravalomanana resigned under pressure from the military.
  • In Honduras, the army seized one of the presidential palaces on 28 June 2009, kidnapped president Manuel Zelaya Rosales due to his endeavor for an unconstitutional reelection and extradited him from the country. The 23-nation Rio Group & the United Nations General Assembly condemned the coup d'état.[41][42]
  • On 24 April 2009, the Ethiopian government claimed, through the Ethiopian News Agency, that it had foiled a coup attempt led by members of Ginbot 7 to overthrow the government.[43] Ginbot 7 described the allegation that it had attempted a coup as a "baseless accusation" that fitted a pattern of distraction and scapegoating by the government.[44]










  • A coup d'état plot was foiled in Austria in April. The leader Monika Unger and others were arrested after they tried to organise an army-led coup.[58]
  • On 21 June 2017, Prince Mohammed bin Salman ousted and succeeded Saudi Crown Prince and de facto leader Muhammad bin Nayef in what was described as a "palace coup".[59][60]
  • 2017 Zimbabwean coup d'état: Harare, Zimbabwe. In the early hours of 15 November 2017, an army spokesman announced the military takeover of government. This was after the army had seized control of the state run television broadcasting station. During the night before they had stormed the president's private residence and placed the head of state, President Robert Gabriel Mugabe under house arrest. The military police also captured and detained some cabinet ministers whom they labelled criminals around the president. It would succeed with the resignation of Mugabe on 21 November 2017.[61]
  • In December an attempted coup against the government in Equatorial Guinea.[62]






  • 2022 Burkina Faso coup d'état: In late January, the Burkinabé military staged a coup against Roch Marc Christian Kaboré.[83]
  • 2022 Guinea-Bissau coup d'état attempt: A coup d'état was attempted in Guinea-Bissau on 1 February 2022. President Umaro Sissoco Embalo said that "many" members of the security forces had been killed in a "failed attack against democracy."[84]
  • 2022 Ukrainian coup d'état attempt: Russian intelligence agency FSB and recruited ATO veterans were set to take control of various Ukrainian cities, install pro-Russian rule in them and transfer cities to the Russian army during 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine. However, as plans for coup were discovered by Ukrainian authorities, people who were set to participate in it were detained by SBU.[85][86]

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Further reading

  • Szulc, Tad (1965). "Latin America", The New York Times Company, Library of Congress 65-27528

External links