Weird History A Warlord Named "General Butt Naked" Fought In The Nude With An Army of Child Soldiers  

Hugh Landman
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The Liberian Civil War was one of the most devastating in the history of Africa. The lowest points in the conflict are almost unfathomably terrible. Leading the brutality were a slew of Liberian Civil War Generals who would become infamous for taking part in the bloody conflict, as well as for giving themselves shocking names. These names included Chuck Norris - inspired by the actor and martial artist - One-Foot Devil, and the slightly ridiculous General Mosquito and General Mosquito Spray. 

The most infamous of these bloodthirsty leaders was General Butt Naked, a fearsome warlord who lived up to his nickname. His real name was Joshua Milton Blahyi and he claims to have personally killed 20,000 people during the conflict - all while fighting completely nude. The general recruited an army of child soldiers to fight for him and together they committed atrocious acts during the conflict. By the end of the war, though, Blahyi put down his gun and picked up a bible. He became an evangelical Christian who spent much of his life trying to make up for his crimes. 

Here's more about this oddly named, brutally violent, and deeply repentant warlord.

His Heinous Acts Began As A Child


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Photo: Sosanna/Wikimedia Commons

General Butt Naked was well-known as a man who committed shocking acts of cannibalism and murder. At the early age of 11, Joshua Milton Blahyi was an ordained priest and took part in his first ritualistic murder and act of cannibalism when he killed a young girl and ate her heart. During the three-day ritual, Blahyi reported that he had a vision where he saw the devil and was told he would become a great warrior, a prophecy he claims was fulfilled in his later role as a warlord.

He Was A General In A Bloody Civil War


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Photo:  Rare Historical Photos/Fair Use

General Butt Naked led troops during the First Liberian Civil War. The conflict started in 1989 when General Charles Taylor led a coup to overthrow President Samuel Doe. Taylor and his allies were part of the ethnic groups that Doe had mistreated and his response to the uprising was brutal. Both sides committed war crimes and the war cost 200,000 Liberians their lives, marking it as one of the deadliest civil conflicts in African history. 

Liberia's Civil Wars Saw A Number Of Rebel Factions Pitted Against One Another


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Photo:  James G. Antal/Wikimedia/Public Domain

At its roots, the First Liberian Civil War was waged against Liberians with American roots (Americo-Liberian) by the indigenous tribal-born Liberians who felt they were mistreated by and underrepresented in the government. After nine years of political chaos under Samuel Doe, General Charles Taylor invaded with his rebel army. Then there was a further split in the indigenous people making up the rebellion. Joshua Milton Blahyi opposed Taylor in and after the conflict but also fought against the various other rebel militant groups, many of whom fought over diamond mines and goods rather than for political reasons.

The Name Wasn't Just A Moniker, But An Intimidation Tactic


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Photo:  Gerald Barclay/Youtube.com/Public Domain

War is a savage and merciless part of humanity and General Butt Naked knew how to strike fear in the hearts of his enemies. He wanted to present the image that his troops were animals, not just guerrilla fighters. The general achieved that by making his soldiers fight naked, wearing just their shoes as they charged into battle. Being naked in a war zone may seem foolish, but Blahyi also said that he had the power to turn himself invisible, making clothes unnecessary and adding to his legend.