On March 23, 1991 a rebel group in eastern Sierra Leone known as the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) ignited a civil war in that country that would last over ten years and ultimately result in the death of over 50,000 civilians. Their weapons of choice were child soldiers. Poorly trained, immature and drugged, child soldiers would commit unimaginably horrific atrocities on a grand scale. The RUF saw children as a free, easy to manipulate, abundant, and when drugged, aggressively inhumane force that would conduct fighting for the side that gave them a sense of belonging and home. The RUF's means to accomplish its objectives sunk to new levels when its child soldiers turned to limb amputations, torture, rape, and executions. Sierra Leone's civil war is an interesting case study of how a rebel group could use a sizeable population of a nation's children to commit mass atrocities for the stated purpose of revolutionary change. The RUF's use of child soldiers was the result of failures in governance, extraordinary poverty, and opportunistic and apathetic leadership that synergized to create uniquely horrific conditions that led to this outcome.