Currently rewatching all of Voyager, and remembering how callous Janeway was in ordering Tuvix's death. And how many times she threatens to, and actually activates the Self-Destruct Sequence.

I wonder, which Star Trek series or captain has actually ordered the most Crew to their death? (not actually dying, but at least knowing that it was most probable outcome, ala Troi's bridge officer training exam)

Alternatively, which Captain threatens/orders the most Self Destructs?

  • My gut tells me high to low, Janeway, Sisko, Picard/Kirk. Don't even know where Archer would stand in this. – user16696 Jul 16 '15 at 22:35
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    Loosely speaking, I think Janeway wins just with the order to destroy the Caretaker's array in the first episode. Her entire crew condemned to near-certain death in a 70+ year trip through uncharted space – Jason Baker Jul 16 '15 at 22:53
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    Zapp Brannigan beats them all, hands down. – Royal Canadian Bandit Aug 2 '15 at 13:25
  • If we were to stretch the parameters of the question to include orders that unintentionally caused the death of crew members, I'd say Matt Decker from the TOS ep "The Doomsday Machine." He ordered his entire crew down to the third planet of a system to save them, but that planet was then destroyed by the Doomsday Machiine. – Helbent IV Mar 11 '17 at 19:25
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    Sisko started a war that the Federation needed the Romulans to win...and had casualties in the billions. That has to count for something. – geewhiz Aug 5 '18 at 3:34

My vote goes to Picard

First of all, Picard is no stranger to the auto-destruct sequence, as in "11001001" and "Where Silence Has Lease". The crew complement of the Enterprise-D is much higher than those of the other primary Star Trek ships that we encounter, and also includes families and civilian employees. (See this answer for crew complement information regarding the Enterprise-D.)

In "Lower Decks", Picard sends Ensign Sito on a mission for which the chance of survival is known in advance to be extremely low. In fact, she does not survive.

Finally, in Star Trek: Nemesis, Picard rams the Enterprise-E nose first into the Scimitar, without ordering an evacuation of the forward saucer section (nor did he give time for one).

At best, there was:

All hands, brace for impact.

In fact, I had previously raised a question about this:

Warning regarding forward saucer section in Nemesis?

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  • See here where you can get some numbers on the number of people Picard was going to sentence to death aboard the D ;) Bear in mind the E was actually a smaller ship than the D – Often Right Jul 17 '15 at 1:27
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    Not to mention whatever mayhem Picard caused as Locutus. – Spencer Dec 10 '19 at 16:41
  • The question asks about crew not civilians, do we actually know how many were crew and not civilians? – Matt Feb 7 at 4:00
  • @Matt : Yes, we do. Unlike the Enterprise-D, there were no families aboard the Enterprise-E (see scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/84849). Barring the possibility of a few civilian staff or scientists, etc., the ship was by and large populated by active crew. – Praxis Feb 9 at 17:46
  • @Praxis fair enough, your first 2 paragraphs focused on D, which made me think of D while reading the rest +1 – Matt Feb 9 at 20:31

Well, according to a contribution to Cracked by someone calling themselves RogerRamjet:


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    Using percentage here isn't really fair for Archer considering that they had a complement of ~80 each death is more than 1%. Picard could lose a few dozen per each percent. – CJK Aug 8 '15 at 23:43
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    No entry for Captain Sisko? – RichS Mar 11 '17 at 19:26

Personally, I'd vote for Commodore Matt Decker, in "The Doomsday Machine" (TOS). He attempted to save his crew by beaming them all down to a planet, only to then watch helplessly as the machine then consumed the entire planet. That means he managed to kill off his ENTIRE crew in one shot (and went a bit off the rails due to the resulting grief).

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  • he wasn't expecting them to die though - I think OP is asking about deliberately knowing crew deaths would happen – NKCampbell Dec 10 '19 at 16:06

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