73 Of The Coolest People In History, As Shared In This Online Thread

We may think of Che Guevara, Julius Caesar, and Cleopatra as some of the coolest people who have ever lived. But there are also unsung heroes and less known historical figures, who have forever changed the history of humankind.

From doctors to pirates, fighters and spies, scientists and inventors, outsiders and society’s outcasts, although their stories are worthy of history books, only a few of them have made it into them. So today, we are taking a look at these two illuminating Reddit threads (this and this) where people share who they think are the most badass people that ever lived.

We wrapped up some of the most interesting stories about them, so scroll down and upvote the ones you liked the most. After you're done, be sure to share our previous feature with more of the coolest people in history.


Mary E. Walker - doctor, and first and only woman to have the Congressional Medal of Honor from actions in the US Civil War.

She was the daughter of active abolitionists and the only woman to graduate with a medical degree when she attended Syracuse Hospital (and one of the first). When she was refused from medical military service, she started treating the wounded who were dragging themselves home. She eventually was allowed in the military in 1863 as an assistant surgeon. The infantry she served with (Ohio 52nd) had lower casualty rates. Attended battle-ground wounded and crossed enemy lines to attend women and children and civilians injured. She was captured by the Confederates in 1864. She treated her fellow POWs while held, refusing to dress or 'act' like a lady.

She then worked in Tennessee at a woman’s and orphan asylum through outbreaks of tuberculosis, fever. The hospital records of her service do not name her work, in favor of her male supervisors, but a medical award now is given in her name. Also campaigned, with risk of imprisonment, for women's right to vote. Respect for her service kept her from arrest.

Image credits: Quixotic9000


Ben L. Salomon. He was a front line surgeon in WW2. During the battle of Saipan he was in a surgical tent helping wounded soldiers, when he noticed a Japanese soldier bayoneting one of the injured men. He shot the Japanese soldier and then quickly dispatched several other Japanese soldiers who came into the tent. He then took control of a mounted machine gun and went to town. When they found his body, he was shot and stabbed 24 times and had killed 98 Japanese soldiers. He repositioned the machine gun 4 times due to him not being able to shoot over the mountains of bodies. He was given the Medal of Honor in 2002.

Image credits: RawCouponing


There is no way Stanislav Petrov isn't the most badass person ever.
On September 26, 1983, Lt. Colonel Stanislav Petrov was in command at Serpukhov-15, a bunker where the Soviets monitored their satellite-based detection systems. Shortly after midnight, panic broke out when an alarm sounded signaling that the United States had fired five Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles, or ICBMs, toward Russia. The warning was a false alarm—one of the satellites had misinterpreted the glint of sunlight off clouds near Montana as a missile launch—but to the Soviets, it appeared the United States had started a nuclear war.

Protocol demanded that Serpukhov-15 report any signs of a missile launch to the Soviet high command, but Petrov had a hunch the warning was an error. He knew the new satellite system was mistake-prone, and he also reasoned that any nuclear strike by the Americans would come in the form of hundreds of missiles, not just five. With only minutes to make a decision, Petrov chose to ignore the blaring warning alarms and reported the launch as a false alarm—a move that may have averted a nuclear holocaust. The incident remained classified until after the Cold War ended, but Petrov later received several humanitarian awards for his extraordinary actions, and was even honored by the United Nations.

Image credits: shadow_legion


Simo Hayha.
Finnish farmer. Got drafted. Killed 505 Russians in the Winter War, making him the deadliest sniper ever. Didn't use a scope. He also killed 200 more with his machine gun

Image credits: anon


Michael Malloy.

Malloy was a homeless alcoholic man. Five men took out life insurance policies on him and tried to get him to drink himself to death by giving him unlimited credit at a bar that one of them owned (so that they could collect the money from the insurance company). This wasn't working fast enough, so they started putting anti-freeze in his drink... then turpentine, then horse tranquiliser, and finally rat poison. None of them killed Malloy.

The men then tried feeding him raw oysters with wood alcohol and poisoned, spoiled sardine sandwiches (filled with carpet nails). Again, none of this worked, so they waited for him to pass out drunk one night, then dragged his body out into the -26 °C night and left him there to sleep (pouring 20 litres of water on him for good measure). The next day, Malloy came into the bar and ordered another drink.

The group then ran him over with a car at 70km/h. This hospitalised him for a few weeks, but again, didn't kill him. Eventually they succeeded by putting a gas pipe down his throat (after he passed out drunk of course) and pumping gas into him for an hour. The group were later convicted of murder (due, in no small part, to the fame of Malloy's durability), with four of them receiving the death penalty.

Image credits: battering-ram


Hands down Olga of Kiev

Her husband was killed, and eventually the tribe that did the deed started pestering her to marry one of their princes. Does she start a war? No, she plays nice, claims the emissaries got lost, and has them all buried alive.

Does she stop there? Hell no.

She sends a messenger asking for an honor guard of their best men. She insists on stopping at a bathhouse on the way, where she locks all the honor guard inside and burns it to the ground.

Does she stop there? Hell no.

She invites thousands of the to a funeral feast where she Red Weddings 5000 of them, then lays siege to the city. The settlement sues for peace.

Does she stop there? Hell no.

She tells them that she will give them peace in exchange for six birds from the rafters of every home in the city. Once she has the birds she ties burning sulfur to them and releases them. They all fly back to their roosts, setting the entire city ablaze. She massacred the fleeing survivors and left the remnant to pay tribute.

Bad. Fucking. Ass.


Julie d'Aubigny. She was the bisexual daughter of Louis XIV's Master of the Horse. She was trained in swordsmanship and horsemanship. She ran away with her boyfriend, to live as exhibition duelists, drinking and fighting their way across France. Until she got bored. At which point she hooked up with a nobleman's daughter. When the nobleman found out, he did what you do with misbehaving daughters, in the 18th century: place them in a convent. A convent that Julie then joined to have hot, sexy, illicit lesbian nun sex. They then escaped the convent together, that Julie burned the fuck down, because Julie d'Aubigny gives zero fucks. Her girlfriend, understandably freaked out, ran back to her parents, who had Julie convicted of kidnapping in absentia. The King pardoned her, she had an illustrious career at the French Opera, sexing up noblemen's wives and fighting duels. She died at 33, after living the most James Bond life I can ever imagine anyone living, ever.

TL;DR: French bisexual swordfighting noblewoman joins convent to sleep with her girlfriend, swordfights all of France, somehow gets invited to the King's court

Image credits: el_pobbster


The unidentified 'Tank Man' who stood in front of a column of tanks during the Tiananmen Square Protests.

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Hugh Glass ,
While on a fur trapping expedition, Hugh was attacked and mauled by a grizzly bear. He was able to kill the giant bear with some help, then passed out. His group left him thinking he would never survive the wounds or the journey which was 200 miles away from the nearest town. Glass regained consciousness only to find himself abandoned, without weapons or equipment. He was suffering from a broken leg, the cuts on his back were exposing bare ribs, and all his wounds were festering. So he cleaned his wounds with maggots, made a boat, fought off wolves and 6 weeks later made it back to civilization, crawling a large portion of the way.

Image credits: minayat030


Mad Jack Churchill. He was a lieutenant in WWII who marched into battle with bagpipes, a longbow, and a basket-hilted Scottish broadsword.

He firmly believed that any officer who entered battle without his sword was improperly dressed, and holds the most recent confirmed kill with a longbow.

He also disliked the Americans joining the war, because without them, the war could have gone on for 10 more years.

Image credits: KuribohMaster666


Alexander the Great. A man so badass that he conquered so much land that by the time he got to India his own generals had to convince him to go back home since he'd been on campaign for so long his men missed their families.

He reigned for 13 years and died at the ripe old age of 33, having conquered his way from Greece to India, taking Egypt along for the ride. He was also almost certainly bisexual, was thought to have been the child of Zeus and was tutored by Aristotle. He was of course a military genius and undefeated in battle.

Physical looks aside, as he was stocky and somewhat short, his entire life reads like the sort of character you'd read about in a story and think he was total Mary Sue. If he hadn't died at 33 he probably would have conquered most of the known world.

Image credits: SpiralOmega


Mary Vincent

In 1978, 15-year-old Mary Vincent hitchhiked from Las Vegas to California. She got into a van, and 50-year-old Lawrence Singleton attacked, raped, and dismembered the teen before leaving her for dead.

After brutally raping and sodomising the teenager, Singleton severed both of her arms with a hatchet and threw her down a 30 foot culvert in Del Puerto Canyon in Stanislaus County. As Singleton sped off, he believed that he had killed Mary and that nobody would ever know what he had just done. He was wrong.

The following morning, two women came across a ghastly sight: Mary Vincent was stumbling down the road, nude, holding what remained of her mutilated arms up in the air. “She was holding up her arms so that the muscles and blood would not fall out,” read the court documents.

She was rushed to hospital where she was able to provide a detailed description of Singleton. The composite sketch was so realistic that Singleton’s neighbour recognised him and called police immediately.

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I'm gonna go with Chinese pirate queen Ching Shih. Started as a prostitute, ended as the leader of a fleet of 300 ships and 20'000 to 40'000 pirates.

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Miyamoto Musashi.

He was undefeated in the 60 duels he fought, and he won one of them with a wooden sword.

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Xiahou Dun, a 2nd-century Chinese warrior who got his eye shot with an arrow and *f*****g ate it* before cleaving the dude who shot him in two.

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Odette Sansom Hallowes, later Odette Churchill, a French SOE agent during the second world war. Arrested in 1943 by the gestapo, she was sent with fellow SOE agent Peter Churchill (no relation to the Prime Minister) to Fresnes Prison. At Fresnes, she was interrogated and tortured 14 times by the Gestapo, including having her toenails torn out, her back scorched by a red hot poker, and locked in a dark basement for 3 days at a time. During interrogation, she lied to the Gestapo agents saying Peter Churchill was her husband and the nephew of Prime Minister Winston Churchill, as if the Germans thought she was a relative of his then she'd be kept alive as a bargaining tool. In 1943, she was sentenced to death twice, to which she responded, "Then you will have to make up your mind on what count I am to be executed, because I can only die once." Infuriated, the Gestapo agent sent her to Ravensbruck Camp. At Ravensbruck, she was kept on a starvation diet in a cell where other prisoners could be heard being beaten. After D-Day, all food was removed for a week, all light was blocked from her cell, and the heat was turned up. She was expected to die after a few weeks but instead only fell unconscious and was relocated to solitary confinement. As a child she'd been blind and bedridden from serious illnesses for 3.5 years, so the darkness didn't bother her, and as she was considered a "difficult child" (likely due to her illnesses) during her convent education, she was used to starvation punishments. As the Allies approached Ravensbruck, the commandant drove her to a nearby American base to surrender, hoping to use Odette as a bargaining tool to escape execution. She survived the war and was the first woman to be awarded the George Cross, and remains woman to have been awarded the medal whilst alive. Her George Cross was stolen in 1951 when her home was burgled, but later returned with an apology note after an appeal by Odette's mother. The film 'Odette' is about her, and she was technical advisor on the film 'Carve Her Name With Pride' about her fellow SOE agent Violet Szabo.


Teddy Roosevelt. Went to give a speech, nearly got assassinated. Shot in the chest, but survived. Says, "F**k it," and gives the speech anyway.

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This dude Thayr that I worked with at a hotel. He was a middle aged middle eastern that never really socialized. One day, this ghetto white kid got mad at him for something, and seriously asked Thayr if he wanted to fight. Thayr's response was to clarify, "With weapon, or with hand?" So he's my vote.


Genghis Khan.

The answer to any "Who are/were the most bad a*s bad asses in history" is always the Mongols, and Genghis was their daddy.

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Abdissa Aga- To avenge Italy's defeat by Ethiopia, Mussolini started the 2nd Ethio-Italian war in 1936. Major Abdisa Aga and his regiment were surrounded, they took him as a prisoner of war from Ethiopia in 1936 to the island of Sicily, Italy under max security, but he penetrated the prison camp and fled to the woods with ammunition and trucks full of supplies in the heart of Italy. The Italian govt did all it could to catch him. Abdisa helped free many other prisoner and they battled the Italians fiercely. Aftter the 2nd world war started the Allied force, Britain, USA, France and Russia recognized Abdisa Aga and the rest of the partisan and supplied them with arms and provisions. Major Abdisa was chosen to lead the international partisan army which consisted of Americans, French, English, Ethiopians and other nationals. This way the partisan weekend the Italian army and contributed to their defeat. Major Abdisa Aga was the first hero who entered and captured Rome, sitting in a jeep, waving first and foremost the flag of Ethiopia. The British made Abdisa the commander of the British police force and sent him to Germany to fight the Nazi. After many battles and capturing cities from the Nazi's, he entered Berlin, again Waving Ethiopian flag. Abdisa Aga passed away after 1974 Ethiopian Revolution in his motherland Ethiopia.


Julius Caesar, he took 23 stabs to kill him, he destroyed the Gauls, he destroyed Pompey, he slept with Cleopatra.

Image credits: Seansz


Tsutomu Yamaguchi, the Japanese man who was unfortunate enough to be present in the blast radius of both atomic bombs and lucky enough to not only survive both, but subsequently live all the way into the 2000s.


Lady Trieu Thi Trinh. She was a warrior-queen who decided to lead the people against the Chinese imperial rule over Northern Vietnam at that time. The Chinese governor at that time was so afraid of her that even after her death he still had thousands of wooden penises hanging around his house to scare her away.

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Diogenes- a homeless Greek philosoper who lived in a barrel and m*sturbated in public:

He also had an epic encounter with Alexander the Great:

while Diogenes was relaxing in the sunlight in the morning, Alexander, thrilled to meet the famous philosopher, asked if there was any favour he might do for him. Diogenes replied, "Yes, stand out of my sunlight". Alexander then declared, "If I were not Alexander, then I should wish to be Diogenes", to which Diogenes replied, "If I were not Diogenes, I should also wish to be Diogenes.

In another account of the conversation, Alexander found the philosopher looking attentively at a pile of human bones. Diogenes explained, "I am searching for the bones of your father but cannot distinguish them from those of a slave."

**M***********G BADASS**

Image credits: Xetev


Chesty Puller, Marine Corps General.

Chesty commanded the 1st Marine Regiment when the 1st Marine Division found itself surrounded by Chinese and North Korean forces at Chosin Reservoir, outnumbered at least eight to one. Some saw a crisis, but Chesty saw an opportunity to be able to attack in any direction and hit some enemy forces.

"All right, they’re on our left, they’re on our right, they’re in front of us, they’re behind us…they can’t get away this time!"

Heavily outnumbered, and fighting in ball-freezing sub-zero temperatures, Puller’s troops broke the enemy lines, smashed through seven enemy divisions, and then stayed behind as a rear guard, bearing the brunt of the Chinese onslaught so that the rest of the Marines could complete their retreat (Puller refused to refer to it as a retreat, however, he preferred to call it, "attacking in a different direction").

The 1st Marines withstood fierce attacks by hordes of Communist soldiers but held their position, inflicted tremendous numbers of casualties on the enemy and managed to provide enough time for the Allies to evacuate all of their wounded men and salvageable equipment. Sheer bravery in the face of intense fire and a seemingly winless situation earned Chesty Puller his fifth Navy Cross – an unprecedented accomplishment that has never been equaled.


Julius Caesar is definitely up there. Just the sheer amount of victories he managed to pull from defeat are incredible. The battle of Alesia alone where he built a wall around a besieged town and then a wall around his army so one side of his army was fighting off an army they had been attacking previously, and the other side of his army was defending against another army, would be enough to make him an incredible general, not counting the dozens of other times he was either outnumbered, outflanked, betrayed, cut off from supplies, etc and still either managed to win a battle or persuade the enemies to join him.

This motherfucker was even captured by pirates once and hunted them all down later on in life.


I like Hannibal. You march elephants across the alps to attack the Romans, you rank as one of the baddest asses of all time.


Audie Murphy

Here are some highlights: -Kept enlisting until the military took him in WWII- he weighed around 100 pounds and was sickly. He also had falsified his papers because he was too young.

held off a charging army (soldiers and TANKS) with a machine gun while the vehicle was on fire and likely to explode, he was holding them off so his fellow soldiers could retreat. This took an hour. His reason for doing this: “They were killing my friends.”

became one of the most decorated U.S. soldiers in the war. He was so heroic that other countries awarded him their medals.

fought the war while battling malaria

became addicted to pain meds after the war and kicked the habit by locking himself in a hotel room to go cold turkey

became a movie star, partly by playing himself, and had a 21 year career


Dan Daly, he is a legend in the Marine Corp. He is one of 19 people to get awarded 2 Medal of Honors and he was supposed to get a third. He is also the person responsible for the famous quote "Come on you sons of bitches, you wanna live forever!" I know of plenty of other people but this man is pretty up there in badassery.


Douglas Bader

Lost both legs in an flying accident before the Second World War, still flew highly successfully for the RAF: 22 solo kills, 6 shared, 11 damaged enemy aircraft. Shot down over occupied France and captured in 1941 (arguably only because his left leg was damaged). Attempted escape so many times the Germans stuck him in Colditz and threatened to take his prosthetics away.

There's a film, which is very good in the slightly stiff manner of 1950's cinematography.


Yang Jingyu.
His detachment of 60 troopers were betrayed to the Japanese by a staff officer on February 18. After the last two soldiers at his side were killed in action, Yang continued fighting alone for another 5 days. He was eventually cornered in a small forest by a large combined Japanese and collaborationist forces...

It was reported that the Japanese troops, fearing Yang's famed marksmanship from previous encounters, refused to approach his body for a while after his death.

Unable to understand Yang's source of perseverance (Yang had not eaten for over 6 days), the Japanese ordered an autopsy after cutting off and preserving Yang's head. When they cut open Yang's stomach, they found only tree bark, cotton batting and grass roots within — not a single grain of rice. The Japanese commander at the scene, Ryuichiro Kishitani (岸谷隆一郎), was so shocked at the revelation that he "went silent, and appeared aged a lot within the next day." Kishitani committed seppuku after Japan's defeat, but wrote in his will that "His Majesty might be wrong in launching this war. China has steely soldiers like Yang Jingyu, and it would not fall."

The Japanese initially buried Yang's beheaded body carelessly in the wild. It was then rumored that the Japanese commander-in-chief in the area, General Shōtoku Nozoe (野副昌德), was having nightmares and feared that it was Yang's ghost. Panicked, Kishitani ordered his men to rebury the body properly with full cemetery ritual and military respect, honoring Yang — though an enemy — "a true warrior."

Not only a badass when he was alive, but he was so badass his enemies still feared him even after his death.


Mary Read— a badass female pirate.

In a nutshell;

Mother dressed Mary as her dead brother for financial reasons where then Mary worked for money. Then later on she eventually joined the British navy (still disguised as a man). A ship she was on was taken by pirates where she willingly joined (yet again, still dressed as a man).

It gets rowdy from here— there was another pirate (Anne Bonny) who revealed to Mary that she was a woman (because she found Mary attractive) but then Mary revealed that she too, was a woman. Then these two badass ladies become some of the most infamous pirates.

Fast forward, both Anne and Mary were arrested and were on trial to hang when they both said they were pregnant, which meant that they’re hanging is delayed. Unfortunately Mary died in prison from an illness, it’s assumed that Mary died before the child was born.


"Sang-Ok Kim," a Korean independence fighter who fought 400:1 against Japanese soldiers with dual-wield pistols for three hours. Took 10 bullets during the fire fight, and took his own life with his last bullet only after he ran out of ammo and could no longer fight.


Witold Pilecki

TL;DR He was voluntarily imprisoned in Auschwitz just to tell the world about Holocaust and to organise resistance movement.

During World War II, Pilecki volunteered for a Polish resistance operation that involved being imprisoned in the Auschwitz concentration camp in order to gather intelligence and later escape. While in the camp, he organized a resistance movement and informed the Western Allies of Nazi Germany's Auschwitz atrocities as early as 1941. He escaped from the camp in 1943 after nearly 2½ years of imprisonment.


The White Death is pretty badass. Although I had a neighbor who got the Silver Star medal from the US Army for charging a German machine gun nest in WWII. He threw a grenade in, but forgot to pull the pin. He was about to curse his stupidity when the Germans bailed, so he shot them instead and took the nest. Used the machine gun to disable a different machine gun across the field from where he was at. He also crawled for 1/4 of a mile to rescue an injured tank gunner, then crawled the whole 1/4 mile back with the guy on his back, because he was too hurt to crawl that distance. He stabbed a Nazi officer at Normandy after his rifle and pistol ran out of ammo. He had like 8 bronze stars, a silver star, and 3 Purple Hearts. The guy is a genuine hero. After WWII, he got his MD PhD, got licensed as a radiologist, and studied radiation. He’s a pretty cool guy.


leo major, without a doubt. he single handedly liberated an entire dutch town against a full german garrison after the germans killed his buddy. he caused so much noise with gunfire and grenades that the germans fled thinking the entire canadian army was storming the city. he also stumbled upon an SS headquarters and proceeded to kill 4 ss officers with his bare hands causing the other 4 to flee for their life. presumably s******g themselves.

because of his actions in liberating the city, the canadian army didn't have to shell the city before retaking it.
he was awarded with his first distinguished conduct medal. it would have been his second but he told general montgomery that he doesn't want a medal from him the first time. nobody had respect for montgomery because he was famously a s**t general.

during the korean war, major and his squad of 18 stormed and captured a heavily fortified hill that was held by over 40k chinese soldiers. he then defended the hill for 3 days against a counter attack of over 13 thousand enemy troops while ordering artillery strikes only meters away from his position. needless to say. this earned him his second medal.

usually i would say that the man had balls of steel or titanium, but i don't think we've yet discovered the element his balls were made of.


Raoul Wallenberg.
He saved thousands of Jews in Hungary, by giving them Swedish passports.

One of his drivers said

".. he climbed up on the roof of the train and began handing in protective passes through the doors which were not yet sealed. He ignored orders from the Germans for him to get down, then the Arrow Cross men began shooting and shouting at him to go away. He ignored them and calmly continued handing out passports to the hands that were reaching out for them. I believe the Arrow Cross men deliberately aimed over his head, as not one shot hit him, which would have been impossible otherwise. I think this is what they did because they were so impressed by his courage. After Wallenberg had handed over the last of the passports he ordered all those who had one to leave the train and walk to the caravan of cars parked nearby, all marked in Swedish colours. I don't remember exactly how many, but he saved dozens off that train, and the Germans and Arrow Cross were so dumbfounded they let him get away with it"


Nikola Tesla, the Serbian God of Thunder.

Another sweet thing about Tesla is that he conducted the sort of crazy experiments that generally result in hordes of angry villagers breaking down the door to your lab with torches and pitchforks. One time, while he was working on magnetic resonance, he discovered the resonant frequency of the Earth and caused an earthquake so powerful that it almost obliterated the 5th Avenue New York building that housed his Frankenstein Castle of a laboratory. Stuff was flying off the walls, the drywall was breaking apart, the cops were coming after him, and Tesla had to smash his device with a sledge hammer to keep it from demolishing an entire city block. Later, he boasted that he could have built a device powerful enough to split the Earth in two. Nobody dared him to prove it.

Tesla also ordered the construction of the Wardenclyffe Tesla Tower, a giant building shaped like an erect penis that would have housed the largest Tesla coil ever built. The massive structure, ostensibly designed to wirelessly transmit power, has been cited as a potential cause of the mysterious 1908 Tunguska Event – a ten-megaton blast that detonated in the wastelands above central Russia that completely obliterated and deforested everything unlucky enough to be located within a several hundred mile radius. While nothing has ever successfully proven Tesla's involvement in the a*s-destroyingly huge explosion, it's pretty awesome that this guy could potentially have detonated a weapon 1,000 times more powerful than the nuclear bomb that destroyed Hiroshima, and have done it back before they'd even invented the submachine gun.


Napoleon: from a literally-who to Emperor just on merit and intelligence. He conquered Europe on a defensive campaign believe it or not (The Coalitions formed were against him and when they eventually lost, Napoleon would just take the territories as compensations), and of his two offensive campaigns, he lost both.


Deborah Sampson.

She dressed up as a dude to serve her country during the American Revolution. Pretty dope if you ask me

To not get caught, she literally shoved a bullet out of her skin and sew her skin shut in order for no male soldiers to realize she wasn’t a dude


Harriet Tubman - take a look at her bio - she went on over a dozen missions into the south to rescue salves from plantations and was a spy for the US army. Her bio is such a rollercoaster and is so fascinating and inspiring.


Samuel Whittemore.

Whittemore was in his fields when he spotted an approaching British relief brigade under Earl Percy, sent to assist the retreat. Whittemore loaded his musket and ambushed the British Grenadiers of the 47th Regiment of Foot from behind a nearby stone wall, killing one soldier. He then drew his dueling pistols, killed a second grenadier and mortally wounded a third. By the time Whittemore had fired his third shot, a British detachment had reached his position; Whittemore drew his sword and attacked.[7] He was subsequently shot in the face, bayoneted numerous times, and left for dead in a pool of blood. He was found by colonial forces trying to load his musket to resume the fight. He was taken to Dr. Cotton Tufts of Medford, who perceived no hope for his survival. However, Whittemore recovered and lived another 18 years until dying of natural causes at the age of 96.


Musashi. At the end of the feudal era in Japan but before imperialism took over, many a samurai found themselves with a sword and the accompanying skillset but no master to serve. It was the time of the wandering swordsman.

Of all these swordsmen, Musashi was the best. Over time his legend grew and with it came any and every would-be upstart looking to take that title from him. None could match his skill though.

However, there did arise one known as Kojiro who had begun to make his own name for himself. It was said that Kojiro could swing his blade so quickly that the eye couldn't see it move.

Word spread quickly that Kojiro wanted to face Musashi and prove himself the better swordsman. Musashi agreed and the fight was to take place along the bank of a large river.

The day of the fight came and Kojiro, along with a large group of onlookers, showed up at the agreed-upon location. Musashi arrived on the opposite bank with nothing but a small knife. He paid a ferryman to take him across the wide belt of the river and grabbed a spare oar.

Musashi used the knife to whittle the side of the oar into a sharper edge as he was taken to the crowd awaiting him.

As soon as he saw Musashi with the oar in hand, he laughed and began to mock someone he saw as an old feeble-minded man. The crowd joined in, but Musashi remained unfazed.

Soon the fight was started and Kojiro began swinging his sword around in a graceful display of his prowess. Musashi stood there, waiting patiently. Kojiro finally moved to strike, but Musashi was quicker and snapped the oar out. It caught Kojiro in the temple, killing him instantly. Without a word to the stunned crowd, he dropped his makeshift weapon and took the ferry back across the river and into legend.


Jim Thorpe.

Dude was an absolute bad ass. In my opinion, the greatest American athlete of all time and it isn’t particularly close.

First Native American to win an Olympic Gold (decathlon and pentathlon, 1912)

His athletic career started by being a two time All-American in football in college.

After college, he played 6 years in the MLB (you read that correctly).

He then went on to win 3 championships in professional football, eventually becoming the first president of the organization that became the NFL.

After his football career he led an all-Native American barnstorming basketball team.


Terry Fox.

Lost his leg to cancer when he was still a teenager. Decided to raise awareness of cancer by running across Canada.

With only 1 leg, he ran a marathon a day for 143 days, before it was discovered that his cancer had returned and he died.


Neil Armstrong. He was a very modest, quiet and withdrawn man who barely spoke of his trip to the Moon.


Lorenc Peter Elfred Freuchen was a 6’7” tall walrus-spearing, peg-legged, anti-Semite-clobbering Danish explorer and badass old-school 1900s explorer who wore a fucking awesome coat made of polar bear fur, rocked a seriously epic beard, rode a dogsled 1,000 kilometers across the Greenland ice cap in the 1910s, killed a wolf with his bare hands, escaped a Nazi death warrant at the height of the Third Reich, amputated his own fucking gangrenous toes with a pair of pliers (and no anesthesia), and starred in a goddamned Oscar-winning movie – which was based on a book that he wrote. And this guy was so over-the-top awesome that he played the fucking villain in a movie that was loosely based around his own autobiography. He was also the fifth person to win the jackpot in the TV game show The $64,000 Question, published thirty books, founded two Adventurer’s Clubs, and his biography is called The Vagrant Viking.


It's all subjective I guess, I'd say my grandfather - he's my personal badass.

Joined the army at 16 in 1942 and fought in North Africa, Normandy at Sword beach and through Germany before being wounded by mortar fragments. He rejoined the army in 1946 to help as what was essentially aid work as Britain was fucked financially and we had some really bad winters. Worked his way up to Sergeant and was then sent to Malaya with the Gurkha Rifles, the Malaya conflict was pretty much Britain's Vietnam war and he spent a while fighting there. After his time in Malaya he was a part of the Solomon Island Protectorate, which mainly involved clearing the islands from refuse from WW2 - landing crafts, mines, bodies, ordnance etc

He was a part of the Royal Engineers during Op Banner (Northern Ireland) and spent the rest of his career in ordnance disposal, training roles etc.


Theodore Roosevelt and Rasputin immediately come to my mind.

Roosevelt finished a relatively long speech after having been shot in the chest. "Nothing can stop the bull-moose." Roosevelt liked to use big words and and mental images, but he did everything he could to live up to the ideals he imposed on the world and himself.

And Rasputin survived multiple attempts to take his life. Poison, being shot and lastly being thrown into a river after having been poisened and shot.


Christopher Lee was a pretty big bad a*s of our time.


Jacques Mesrine - He was a French criminal during the 90s. He robbed serval banks, and escaped three prisons. He once broke into a prison he escaped from days ago to start a mass breakout, because he was unhappy at his treatment in said prison


[Either this Viking Berserker who's currently in Valhalla](http://www.badassoftheweek.com/stamfordbridge.html) or [this Japanese man who dove into raging waters of a tsunami to save his wife, mother, and many others](https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/dc/45/a0/dc45a0383da51b88cb45a50f3fda49f9.jpg).


Chesty Puller.

>We've been looking for the enemy for some time now. We've finally found him. We're surrounded. That simplifies things.


Andrew Jackson was ridiculously terrifying. For a time without modern medecine, he should be dead.


I personally think its Rasputin, I mean the man has his d**k kept in a museum.


Jesus Christ. I mean, the guy convinced everyone of a guy in the sky being his dad.


[Piru Singh Shekhawat] (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piru_Singh): During the Indo-Pakistani War of 1947:
>He rushed forward to deal with the enemy medium machine gun post, which was playing havoc with his troops. Enemy grenade splinters ripped open his clothes and wounded several parts of his body. But this did not deter him. He still continued the advance, shouting the battle cry, “Raja Ramchandra Ki Jai”. Rushing forward he bayoneted the crew of the enemy MMG, with his own sten gun, silenced the menacing gun and occupied the post. By this time all his companions lay behind either dead or wounded....

>Bleeding profusely he inched forward to attack the second enemy MMG post. At this juncture a grenade wounded him in the face. The blood dripping from his face almost blinded him. By now all the sten gun ammunition with him had been spent. He courageously crawled out of the occupied enemy trench and hurled grenades at the next enemy post. CHM Piru Singh then jumped into another trench and bayoneted two enemy soldiers to death. As CHM Piru Singh, emerged from the second trench to charge on the third enemy bunker, he was hit in head by a bullet and was seen dropping on the edge of the enemy trench. There was an explosion in the trench, which showed that the grenade had done its work. By then CHM Piru Singh’s wound had proved fatal.


King Leonidas, he was reportedly in his 60s when he led the Spartans into the infamous battle of Thermopolaye


Admiral Yi Sun-sin.

He stopped Japan from conquering Korea in the Imjim war. Without any training or experience at commanding a naval force, he completely destroyed the Japanese navy cutting of reinforcements and supply. Not only did he never lose a battle, he never lost a ship, he destroyed at least 450, half of the Japanese navy at the time. Oh and he was always outnumbered, in one battle 133 warships and 260 other vessels to his 13. He sunk 30 ship, killed half of the Japanese officials and soldiers. Yi lost 2 men.

After one battle he began giving a debriefing to his men, during witch he took of his armour, took out a dagger and removed a musket ball from his shoulder, without stopping the debriefing. He'd be shot in the battle and hadn't told anyone. In another battle his ship was close by to the Japanese flag ship, so he took out his bow and arrow, and shot the Japanese admiral and his second and third in command dead.

Oh he was also just about the only guy in the Korean military who was not corrupt, something that nearly got him killed, twice.

He was killed in the final battle of the war. As the Japanese were retreating Yi began betting the war drum himself when he was shot in the chest. His last words were to his son and nephew was "we are about to win this was, keep betting the drum. Let no man know of my death."

Today both North and South Korea have medals of honour named after Yi.

He also has one of the best honou titles ever 'the Lord of Loyalty and warfare'.


From my own country's history; Michiel de Ruyter.

This is a man that sailed the Dutch fleet up to the English coast, into the very heart of the Royal Navy, blasted the absolute fuck out of the English defenses, and then for good measure hooked up the flagship of the Royal Navy, the HMS Royal Charles, named after the goddamn King of England, and towed it back to Holland as a war prize.

And this was between several instances of kicking the ever-loving shit out of whomever dared fall foul of Holland. Dude was sent halfway across the globe to regulate on behalf of the Dutch and dude motherfucking regulated pretty much everywhere he went. There is a statue of De Ruyter in bloody Hungary because of how epically his awesomeness was during the brief time he spent in the region.


Phung Thih Chinh, a Vietnamese noblewoman who protected the central flank of the Trung sisters' army against Chinese invaders in 43AD. She was 9 months pregnant at the time and during battle with Chinese forces, she stopped to give birth then returned to open the enemy's ranks with the sword in one arm and her newborn on the other, blood and afterbirth still staining her clothes.


Gandhi - Rallied 800 million Indians to take on the most powerful empire on earth at the time - the British Empire - without an Army, Navy, or Air Force and freed a nation.

But if we're going with the Rambo stuff, then I vote Benavidez - Master Sergeant (then Staff Sergeant) Roy P. BENAVIDEZ United States Army, distinguished himself by a series of daring and extremely valorous actions on 2 May 1968 while assigned to Detachment B56, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), 1st Special Forces, Republic of Vietnam.
On the morning of 2 May 1968, a 12-man Special Forces Reconnaissance Team was inserted by helicopters of the 240th Assault Helicopter Company in a dense jungle area west of Loc Ninh, Vietnam to gather intelligence information about confirmed large-scale enemy activity. This area was controlled and routinely patrolled by the North Vietnamese Army. After a short period of time on the ground, the team met heavy enemy resistance, and requested emergency extraction. Three helicopters attempted extraction, but were unable to land due to intense enemy small arms and anti-aircraft fire.
Sergeant BENAVIDEZ was at the Forward Operating Base in Loc Ninh monitoring the operation by radio when these helicopters, of the 240th Assault Helicopter Company, returned to off-load wounded crew members and to assess aircraft damage. Sergeant Benavidez voluntarily boarded a returning aircraft to assist in another extraction attempt. Realizing that all the team members were either dead or wounded and unable to move to the pickup zone, he directed the aircraft to a nearby clearing where he jumped from the hovering helicopter, and ran approximately 75 meters under withering small arms fire to the crippled team.
Prior to reaching the team's position he was wounded in his right leg, face, and head. Despite these painful injuries, he took charge, repositioning the team members and directing their fire to facilitate the landing of an extraction aircraft, and the loading of wounded and dead team members. He then threw smoke canisters to direct the aircraft to the team's position. Despite his severe wounds and under intense enemy fire, he carried and dragged half of the wounded team members to the awaiting aircraft. He then provided protective fire by running alongside the aircraft as it moved to pick up the remaining team members. As the enemy's fire intensified, he hurried to recover the body and classified documents on the dead team leader.
When he reached the leader's body, Sergeant BENAVIDEZ was severely wounded by small arms fire in the abdomen and grenade fragments in his back. At nearly the same moment, the aircraft pilot was mortally wounded, and his helicopter crashed. Although in extremely critical condition due to his multiple wounds, Sergeant Benavidez secured the classified documents and made his way back to the wreckage, where he aided the wounded out of the overturned aircraft, and gathered the stunned survivors into a defensive perimeter. Under increasing enemy automatic weapons and grenade fire, he moved around the perimeter distributing water and ammunition to his weary men, reinstilling in them a will to live and fight. Facing a buildup of enemy opposition with a beleaguered team, Sergeant BENAVIDEZ mustered his strength, began calling in tactical air strikes and directed the fire from supporting gunships to suppress the enemy's fire and so permit another extraction attempt.
He was wounded again in his thigh by small arms fire while administering first aid to a wounded team member just before another extraction helicopter was able to land. His indomitable spirit kept him going as he began to ferry his comrades to the craft. On his second trip with the wounded, he was clubbed from behind by an enemy soldier. In the ensuing hand-to-hand combat, he sustained additional wounds to his head and arms before killing his adversary.[5][note 1] He then continued under devastating fire to carry the wounded to the helicopter. Upon reaching the aircraft, he spotted and killed two enemy soldiers who were rushing the craft from an angle that prevented the aircraft door gunner from firing upon them. With little strength remaining, he made one last trip to the perimeter to ensure that all classified material had been collected or destroyed, and to bring in the remaining wounded.
Only then, in extremely serious condition from numerous wounds and loss of blood, did he allow himself to be pulled into the extraction aircraft, Sergeant BENAVIDEZS' gallant choice to join voluntarily his comrades who were in critical straits, to expose himself constantly to withering enemy fire, and his refusal to be stopped despite numerous severe wounds, saved the lives of at least eight men. His fearless personal leadership, tenacious devotion to duty, and extremely valorous actions in the face of overwhelming odds were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service, and reflect the utmost credit on him and the United States Army.


Theodora, wife of Justinian, Empress of the Byzantine empire. Started as the daughter of a bear trainer, worked as an "actress" who "danced"(stripped) while taming bears, ended as the queen bee of one of the strongest empires in history.



A member of the Mapuche natives of Chile in South America around 1550 AD. If you kill the leader of a revolt, it might make him a martyr, so the conquistadores publicly cut off his hands, and kept him around as a warning to any others who would not bend to their will.

Galvarino went back and started another insurrection, with KNIVES attached to both his wrists. The conquistadors had horse-mounted cavalry and steel body armor, so the mapuches lost. Even so, he saw what the Spaniards were doing to his community, and he fought to the death against horrifying odds.


Léo major.

From wikipedia :
­­Major single-handedly captured 93 German soldiers during the Battle of the Scheldt in Zeeland in the southern Netherlands. During a reconnaissance, whilst alone, he spotted two German soldiers walking along a dike. As it was raining and cold, Major said to himself, "I am frozen and wet because of you so you will pay." He captured the first German and attempted to use him as bait so he could capture the other.

The second attempted to use his gun, but Major quickly killed him. He went on to capture their commanding officer and forced him to surrender. The German garrison surrendered themselves after three more were shot dead by Major. In a nearby village, SS troops who witnessed German soldiers being escorted by a Canadian soldier shot at their own soldiers, injuring a few and killing seven. Major disregarded the enemy fire and kept escorting his prisoners to the Canadian front line. Major then ordered a passing Canadian tank to fire on the SS troops.

He marched back to camp with nearly a hundred prisoners. Thus, he was chosen to receive a DCM. He declined the invitation to be decorated, however, because according to him General Montgomery (who was giving the award) was "incompetent" and in no position to be giving out medals.

[Source] (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L%C3%A9o_Major)

edit : formatting


Adolph Metzger. He was a bugler in the US Cavalry in the 1860s. He was killed in one of the worst massacres in US military history, known as the [Fetterman Fight](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fetterman_Fight) during a larger US-American Indian conflict known as Red Cloud's War. In this battle, all 81 men were killed, with 80 (or 79, depending on the source) horribly mutilated. One exception was Adolph Metzger, who instead was covered in buffalo hide, as a sign of respect. According to American Indians who were there, he fought bravely until the very end, and once out of ammunition, used his bugle to bludgeon Indians to death until he was finally overwhelmed and killed. More info (and a picture of the badly dented bugle) [here](https://regularcavalryincivilwar.wordpress.com/2015/09/07/bugler-adolph-metzger/)


Yi Sun-sin.

Failed his first military examination.

Retook it and then became the oldest junior officer in his province.

He made a name for himself but his superiors became jealous and had him imprisoned and tortured.

He got out, re-enlisted, and eventually outranked them.

Then became admiral.

Then again stripped of his rank.

Then reinstated just in time to win perhaps the greatest naval battle in history - the Battle of Myeongnyang with his own 13 ships against Hideyoshi's 300 ships.

Fought 23 naval battles. Won 23 naval battles. All with no prior experience.


Teddy Roosevelt. Got shot giving a campaign speech, and refused to get off the stage and get treatment until he was done. He lost the election unfortunately.


Joan of Arc was a teenage girl who had Angels come to her and tell her she had to help lead France's army against England. And she did just that. Then she was captured and burned at the stake. She later became a saint.


Vito Bertoldo

This guy is super unknown to the public but if you look him up, you’ll realize his name should be everywhere.

He was part of the a division that was left behind to slow the German advance from gaining on the retreating American Army at the town of Hatten in France. This was just after D-day and the American’s met heavy resistance from the Germans to the point where they needed to regroup. Bertoldo and the rest of his battalion were left behind to try and slow the Germans, which was basically a suicide mission because you were either going to be overrun, or taken prisoner.

Bertoldo and the squad ambushed the first group of germans that were sent to scout ahead, but in doing so the Germans took out their hidden weapons and everyone involved in the confrontation died except for Bertoldo.

Now picture this, Bertoldo is all alone in this little French town with 1 or 2 entire German divisions coming to take it back for Germany. The logical thing to do would be to haul your ass back to your main army and push forward later on, but this super human of a man stayed there on his own free will.

He then killed 40 German soldiers, blew up one tank over the course of 3 days without sleep and had a tank shoot right at him, destroying one of the buildings he was in and giving him a concussion.

After he ran out of ammunition that was left over, he made his way back to the main army, who by that time had regrouped and was pushing back to the town to reclaim it eventually push all the way to Germany.

There were also reports of German soldiers saying that the heaviest fighting they had ever faced during the war was at the town of Hatten, unknown to them, by the hands of one man.

Without Bertoldo, the Americans may not have been able to push through the German’s defences along the western front and the result of the war could have been very different.


My distant ancestor, Kim Gyeong Son. He fought during the Mongol invasion of Korea.

When he heard the news of the invasion, he raced to the nearest endangered fort so quickly that only a dozen soldiers were able to follow him, he nicknamed them "dare-to-die soldiers". The Mongol were surrounding the fort so thickly, that he had to fight his way to the main gates, which were completely shut.

From that place, in front of the gates, he challenged the Mongols and fought so fiercely, that they feel back and paused, giving time for him and his men to rush into the fort, from where he directed its defenses. He gained a lot of reputation for holding the fort until the end, forcing most of the Mongols to be tied up there, and able to only make raids, never conquering any place.

He is also written down in the historical records for having put down a rebellion of over a thousand men. There were no soldiers available and so he rode down to meet the rebels, and basically without pausing he cut a bloody path to the two enemy leaders and cut them down as they were staring dumbfounded. He told the rest of the rebels to go home, and they did.

Later in his life, he was exiled and politically assassinated. When they threw his buddy by the side of the road, people from many miles around came to bow down to the ground before his corpse, and called him the savior of Korea.

I'm not a direct descendant, by the way. He had an older brother and a younger brother. The older brother was killed due to intrigue, but because of the outstanding accomplishments if the family line, the third son was kept alive and his descendants also contributed both militarily and scholastically. I'm from this line, but definitely a loooong way down the line.


Giles Corey. Rather than pleading guilty for witchcraft, he asked for “more weight” as they slowly killed him through pressing.