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"The Deserter’s fate." A Union deserter executed by firing squad is posed on his coffin as a line of Union soldiers pose in the background, c. 1861.


Archbishop Damaskinos of Greece (R) and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill (L) leaving British embassy after discussing problem of the Greek Civil War, Athens, Greece, 1945. Photographer: Dmitri Kessel

Edith Louisa Cavell 1865 – 1915. Trained as a Registered Nurse and called on to care for wounded soldiers in WWI, Edith impressed upon fellow nurses the need to care for patients, irrespective of their nationality. Edith was responsible for the escape to neutral territory of over 200 Allied soldiers until her arrest in 1915. When interrogated she acknowledged her role in the escape system and, despite efforts by neutral officials, she was executed by firing squad on 12th October 1915.

In 1943, Hungarian Hannah Szenes joined the British Army and volunteered to be parachuted into Europe. The purpose of this operation was to help the Allied efforts in Europe and establish contact with partisan resistance fighters in an attempt to aid beleaguered Jewish communities.


Patrice Lumumba (1925 – 1961) was a Congolese independence leader and the first legally elected Prime Minister of the Republic of the Congo. Twelve weeks after helping the Republic of the Congo win its independence from Belgium. Lumumba's government was deposed in a coup. He was imprisoned and executed by firing squad, an act that was committed with the assistance of the Belgium government.


Fusillades at Lyon, Ordered by Collot - D'Herbois Lyon’s rebellion against the central government in September 1793 had terrible repercussions that seemed only to worsen with the initiation of collective trials and immediate executions by firing squad. The one depicted here on 4 December 1793 took the lives of 935 people, another 732 being guillotined over the next four months. Source: mfr 83.304

After the execution of Mata Hari at the age of 41 by the French, innumerable postcards and postal stationery have been issued by many countries to celebrate the life and dance style of the Dutch woman who was praised as the most beautiful woman of her times by many writers and critics.

Brigadeführer Waffen SS Jürgen Wagner was commander of the 23rd SS Volunteer Panzer Grenadier Division Nederland. He was charged with war crimes in Serbia and military tribunal sentenced to death, He was executed by firing squad on June 27, 1947.


Edith Cavell a British nurse working in Brussels during the First World War. She gave refuge to wounded British and German soldiers and facilitated the return to Britain of hundreds of Allied soldiers, for this she was arrested by the occupying German authorities and court marshalled, found guilty and was executed by firing squad on the 12 of October 1915.

An accused collaborator is executed by a French firing squad in Rennes Nov. 21 1944. [1024796]