I’ve turned Table II of Appendix C in Edwart Luttwak’s Coup Detat into an Excel file. It’s titled “Basic Lists of Coups and Attempted Coups, 1945-1978, Revised and updated by George Schott, August 8 1978”. I don’t actually have Excel, but Open Office, so for all I know it didn’t come out right. Let me know if that’s the case.

Some notes:

  • I entered 1 in a column for “yes” and left it blank for “no”.
  • When a coup was listed as taking place over a range of days, I just entered the first day.
  • The term “faction” was so common I didn’t include it.
  • If it said “elements from three services” or “three forces” (I didn’t distinguish between them) I interpreted that as army, navy and air-force.
  • A lot of coup-factions only appear for a few coups, so you might want to use a logical OR to do data analysis.
  • I included Generals when the appendix explicitly stated “general’s faction” (I wrote it as plural to include such bases but mostly because I wanted it to read like a noun rather than adjective, but it could be a singular general) was a main party behind the coup, leaving them blank during a military coup does not indicate their opposition or indifference (nor of course would Niger’s navy, since they don’t have one, see below). I listed the branch of the military the general’s faction was in, even though they may not have had the support of the entire branch (the same issue arises for any faction, but as noted it’s so common I ignored it). As in that case and others (especially when political factions are involved) I did not distinguish between adjectives applied to a faction and the listing of multiple factions. For example “troop mutiny” is listed as both troop and mutiny and the one example of “armed political faction” is listed as both armed and political faction.
  • There is no way in the table to distinguish between “army and left-wing political faction” and “left-wing army and political faction”, not that different versions of that appear in the original.
  • Some may disagree on the ideological categorizations, there are lots of coups with political factions whose ideology is not listed.
  • The category “military” is confusing, but there are several coups with that listed rather than specifying any branches or saying there were multiple ones.
  • I’d like to add in GDPs, but the appendix that lists GDPs only has one entry per country rather than one for each year.
  • Some countries I would prefer to list as Middle-Eastern or North African were listed as African, and I just copied the table.
  • I ignored any asterisk in creating the table, so if you want to take them into account then note the following:
  1. The coup in Gabon was briefly successful but overturned the next day by the intervention of French troops in accordance with a defense agreement.
  2. The 1977 coup in Benin was widely believed to have been simulated by the President for internal political reasons.
  3. The 1971 coup in Turkey involved military leaders threatening to take over unless a strong governing coalition replaced the Prime Minister and this was resolved by political compliance rather than actual violence (the same logic would make Charles De Gaulle’s ascension a coup, but despite Luttwak’s referring to it as one it is not listed in the table, nor is the attempted coup against De Gaulle that Luttwak also examines).
  • I expected Suharto’s coming to power to be listed as a successful right-wing general’s faction in army coup, but instead it’s recorded as a failed coup by the Communist Party (which is what our ally, Suharto, proclaimed it). The table lists an attempted coup in April 26 1950 for Indonesia by “elements from two services”, but I just assumed the army was involved and only listed them. I am suspicious about this because it is listed after an attempted coup in December that it should precede, and when I tried to look it up I couldn’t find anything about it but did hear about an attempted coup in October 1956 that the table doesn’t list.
  • I know from reading Mark Moyar that were a number of unsuccessful coups in Vietnam, but none of them are listed.
  • One of the coups for Niger said “all forces”, so I had to look up what that meant. It turned out they only had an army and air-force (they’re landlocked, so no navy), but the police were also part of the military so I included them as well.
  • The Military Council of Ethiopia was already ruling during their attempted coups, but I left out the fact that they were ruling and just referred to them as military council.
  • Tanzania is also Tanganyika and Zanzibar, I listed them as Tanzania.