History is perhaps the most biased subject in the world. Many anecdotes of war are accounted for from the victor’s perspective, and the world has little sight of many optics and nastier bits of the war. The narration and recording of history leave out the torments and dirty sides of the war to go unnoticed. The British are one of the seasoned victors of wars and world history, and it is driven by arrogance, bigotry, which resulted in cruelty and mass genocides. However, when the winning side writes the history, it sings songs of praise for the British empire and in many ways filter the incidents that are outright twisted and evil. The grimmer pieces of history are kicked aside and eliminated from history while painting the image of the golden days of the Great British empire. However, a little research uncovers the covered bits of history that the English and to some Extent the British as a whole try to forget because they are too ugly to be remembered. The article explores ten pieces of history that the British and English try to forget.
The Massacre of Amritsar
For over a hundred years, India was under British rule, and their reign was notorious with violent crimes. The brutish ruled its territories with brutality and injustice policies. For instance, the 1919 massacre of Amritsar was one of the biggest atrocities committed by the British rulership in India. Of many crimes were committed in the course of the English reign in Indian, but the 13th April 1919 marked mass massacre of its time in the history of India perpetrated by the English government against the Indian population.
The Indian citizens had gathered to stage a peaceful demonstration against Rowlett Act, the laws imposed by the British government allowing the English to detain prisoners indefinitely and sentence them to imprisonment without trial. The protest had attracted over 10,000 protestors from across India gathering in Jallianwala Bagh park, which had one point of access, one entry, and exit. The demonstrators were unarmed, nowhere to run to, feeling helpless when General R.E.H. Dyer ordered the British troops to open fire killing more than 379, injuring brutally over 1200 of the innocent protestors. The incident triggered Mahatma Gandhi’s political movement which intensified peaceful protests against the British imperialism in India.
The Baralong Incident
The pride of the English is believed to reside in the concept of fair play, even in times of war, captives from enemy camp are imprisoned as prisoners of war rather than murdering them mercilessly. The 18th August 1915 incident shocked the world when the news regarding the German submarine U-27 sinking b the HMS Baralong, as if that was enough, the survivors of the shipwreck were shot without mercy, by the British. Where was the fair play pride that the English claim to thrive in? The Baralong incident occurred during the first world war at about 100 miles south o9f Ireland.
Though the German U boats had sunk passenger ships earlier the same day, tempers were high, but the act was too brutal because after sinking the U-27, the crew trying to fight for their life’s were not lucky enough as the British acted as judge, jury, and excursion of their life case. The U-27 commander Bernard Wegener was shot even with his hand raised in surrender according to reports and accounts of the activities revolving around the incident. This contradicts the British principles and way of handling tough situations and decisions; it is brutal, and they try to forget about such encounters.
The Concentration Camps
The concentration camps were not invented by the British as it is widely believed. The Spanish were the first to use the concentration camps as they employed Reconcentrados in Cuba during the ten years of war between the 1868-1878 period. However, the English were among the pioneers of the concentration camps as they used them during the second Boer War which began in 1899. The undeniable fact that history fails to point out because the winner of wars is the writer of history is that the British contained their enemies in detention camps long before the Nazis adopted the system.
The British had over 45 detention camps for Boer prisoners, over 64 for the Black African prisoners which encompassed women and children. The detention camps unhygienic for human habitation, poor sanitation, starvation, and the outbreak of dangerous infections in these concentration camps claimed over 26,000 of the prisoners. The British did not invent the camps, but they were willing and frequent users of them, the historical records that the English and the entire British society fights hard to forget.
The Irish Oppression
When you think that the English imperialism occurred only miles away from Britain’s shores, then you are wrong. During the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, she ordered her strong English troops to quench Ireland rebellion. She was one of the greatest English monarchs that were feared and loathed in Ireland because of her cultural leaps that happened during her reign. While refereeing to Ireland, she used hard and harsh or unfriendly descriptions such as “that rude and barbarous nation.” Queen Elizabeth, I feared the Irish for making the pact with her archenemies and giving them base close to her precious country, she had to do something about it, her command resulted in more barbaric havoc than the Irish could ever commit.
The command from the royal head to the troops with orders to quell the rebellious elements using the scorching the earth and killing anybody resisting. The commander Humphrey Gilbert, Sir Walter Raleigh’s half-brother, was best suited for the job because of his ruthlessness, quenching the Desmond rebellion with the brutality of the highest order, he beheaded thousands of Irish people and lined the path to his tent with heads of his enemies (Irish). Through the English try to forget such heinous genocides, Ireland has never forgiven them for these actions, and there is tension between them.
The Mau Mau Uprising/The Kenya Emergency
The conflict ensued between 1952 and 1960 and was popularly known as “The Kenya Emergency” registered numerous atrocities from both fighting camps. Kenya was under the British imperialist’s rulership during the Mau Mau Guerilla warfare. The Mau Mau uprising was composed of the group of anti-colonialism rebels who expressed their hatred and loathing of the English regime in the most vicious approach possible, attacking both the British and African collaborators.
Though the rebel’s tactics were cruel, they were with atrocious British action killing more than 20,000 in combat and imposing capital punishment to 1,090 Mau Mau suspects. The Mau Mau murdered 74 women, men, and children at Lari then the British retaliated ending the lives of 150 of their people, not the Mau Mau themselves! The more troubling of them was the Chuka Massacre where the British troops murdered 20 innocent African citizens and subsequently tortured suspected rebels. This among other marks the blood-stained and dark chapter of the English history.
The Settlement of Australia
The actions of the British against the aboriginal population in Australia was beyond horrendous; it was outright inhuman. The sustained and consistent campaign of genocides makes the settlement of Australia by Britain more horrific than any other settlements in the world. The British arrival in Australia on uninhabited lands and taking charge as they own it, disrespecting the sacred aboriginal relationship with these lands.
The British forces rounded up 28 unearned native people and massacred them in cold blood at Myall Creek including men, women, and innocent children. Secondly, the British settlers brought an infectious disease with them which the Aboriginal people had no immunity to; therefore, the disease killed them like rats. Moreover, the settles conspired to remove thousands of aboriginal children from their families as a strategy to extinct the aboriginal race. It was the most disrespectful approach of eliminating a community of people that is still under atonement.
The Glencoe Tragedy
The Scots committed mass murder of Scots at Glencoe in the name of a Dutch king, but it was Scotland’s persistent resistance to English rule that triggered the action; therefore, the English people were ultimately responsible for the Glencoe Tragedy. The English have a dark history of Scottish oppression dating back to the “Scottish Problem” during middle age under King Edward I. Scotland and England were briefly united under Stuart King reigning on English throne despite being Scottish by blood.
When the last Stuart king was exiled (James II), the Dutch William took over the throne and had to put the Scotland leaders in line, therefore, he dispatched a Scottish master of stars John Dalrymple to make the Scottish chiefs take an oath of allegiance to William. One clan chief McDonald was the last to swear an oath as he was sent the wrong address for the oath. In vengeance, Dalrymple ordered the Campbell’s to murder the entire McDonald clan, and they did. Though the history records the incident as the horrific story of Scottish violence against one another, the truth is that it was motivated and orchestrated by the British/English governance.
The Expulsion of the Jews
The after match of the Holocaust horrors revelation, many countries condemned Nazi Germany for their active role. But no one mentioned how the anti-Semitism grew in many nations only that it had not surfaced like it did in Nazi Germany. During the middle age, the anti-Semitism was overt and widespread in England. For instance, England was the first country to force the Jews to wear a unique mark more than 700 years before Nazi Germany.
In 1290, King Edward I issued popularity winning measure that banished all Jews from England for no particular crimes or fault committed by the Jews. More than 2,000 Jews were peacefully exiled from England, though some accounts state otherwise about “peacefully” but they are unofficial. The ban lasted until 1655 from 1290; the Jews were not allowed to return to England; it is unlike angelic England in the eyes of history.
The Malayan Emergency
The atrocious stories are always caused by the English’s thirst for power and control. For instance, the 1948 -1960 Malaya colony rebellion, initially named the “Anti-British National Liberation War” which for insurance purposes, the rubber plantations renamed it the Malayan Emergency. At the time of the incident, the Federation of Malaya was a UK protectorate, and the Commonwealth was forced to step in to protect the people of Malaya using the communist forces, MNLA.
History fails to mention any massacres and atrocities during the Malayan emergency; however, one of the MNLA leader Chin Peng reveals British forces genocide that occurred in the Batang Kali village in 1948 in his book. Where the highlights that Scots guard’s arrival in a village where3 they separated men from children and women, and the next morning all the 24 men were dead, no one knows precisely what happens. The fact remains, the Batang Kali village families are still searching for the truth which the British government tries to cover up because it is a shameful encounter hidden in Malaya.
The English Slave Trade
The British participation and complicity role in the slave trade were rarely referenced or mentioned in the course of history. Even the movies and documentaries on the slave trade (The Butler, or Django Unchained) points to the American plantations and suffering that followed in the farms. The facts that were never recorded in books and historical records was that without Britain they would have been no plantations in America, and they also provided the goods that were used in the slave trade across the Atlantic, and the Americans sent back plantation goods for the English industries. The slave trade was known as the triangular trade which the British abolished in 1807 using the slave trade act of 1807. Britain then became a campaigner to emancipate America. However, the uncomfortable truth the English want to forget is that without the help of Britain, there would have been no slave trade so no one would require emancipation.