86 Rare Facts About the Most Brutal Wars The World Has Seen

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26Battle of Nanking

In 1937 during the Battle of Nanking, two Japanese officers held a contest to be the first to kill 100 people with a sword. Both were later executed on war crimes charges.


27. The last recorded kill using a bow and arrow in the war was made in WWII by British officer Jack Churchill, who carried a longbow, bagpipes and a Scottish broadsword into battle


28. In 585 BC a solar eclipse occurred in the middle of a battle between the Lydians and the Medes. They promptly ceased fighting and signed a peace treaty.


29. In 86 AD, the Colosseum was filled with water to stage a full naval battle


30. A British prisoner of war named Edwin Rose missed the liberation of his camp because he fell asleep on the toilet and slept through the battle. He woke to find everyone else gone, so he shaved, put on his best clothes and walked out to freedom.


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31Fistfight

During a major Civil War battle, both armies briefly stopped fighting to watch a fist fight between two opposing soldiers who had both taken cover in the same place.


32. In the 8th century, Danish king Harald Wartooth, realizing he might die of old age and therefore not go to Valhalla, asked the Swedish king Sigurd for a battle. Wartooth was slain after amassing enough glory, and Sigurd was crowned king of Sweden & Denmark. 40,000 other warriors died.


33. In the 1300s, some fellows from Modena stole a bucket from Bologna (both in Italy), resulting in a great deal of humiliation for the Bolognese. They declared war, had a battle with around 2,000 casualties (split between both sides) and failed to reclaim the bucket.


34. There's a city in South Dakota called Gettysburg. Its slogan is "Where the Battle Wasn't."


35. In the '30s the Smithsonian recorded Confederate Civil War veterans reenacting the rebel yell battle cry. This is the only recording of actual veterans doing the yell.


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36Erwin Rommel

In WW2 German field marshal, Erwin Rommel would often personally pilot a reconnaissance aircraft over the battle to view the situation. Although Rommel did not have a pilot's license, his skill with machinery made him a competent pilot, and none of the Luftwaffe officers had the nerve to stop him


37. Erwin Rommel as a junior officer in the German Army during World War 1, captured 19,000 Italian soldiers during the Battle of Caporetto over the course of 13 days with less than 150 men under his command. Six German soldiers died under his command in the battle.


38. In 2009 Kashmir, when 18-year old Rukhsana Kauser saw her parents being beaten as part of a forced marriage proposal by a militia commander, she killed one militant with an ax, gunned the commander down, then started a 4-hour gun battle with the militia.


39. Pyrrhus of Epirus, an ancient Greek General, died while fighting an enemy soldier in the streets of Sparta. The soldier's mother, who was watching their battle from a rooftop, threw a tile that hit Pyrrhus in the head and paralyzed him, sealing his fate.


40. The Toyota War was the end phase of the Libyan-Chadian war where the Chadian army and its Toyota pickups destroyed 92 T-55 battle tanks, 33 BMP-1 infantry fighting vehicles, and 784 soldiers while only losing 18 men and three trucks.


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41Theodore Roosevelt Jr

Theodore Roosevelt's son, Theodore Roosevelt Jr, was the only General involved in the initial assault on D-Day, after insisting to his superiors that he be one of the first ones off the boats. He survived the battle but died of a heart attack one month later.


42. King Henry V was struck in the face by an arrow in his first battle leading soldiers. Rather than leave the field, he reportedly stated that "he would rather die than stain his soldierly reputation by flight." He was sixteen at the time.


43. Melvin E. Biddle, for his actions during the Battle of the Bulge, earned the Medal of Honor on October 30, 1945, by President Truman. When presenting the medal, Truman whispered: "People don't believe me when I tell them that I'd rather have one of these than be President."


44. 25 Russian soldiers under the command of Yakov Pavlov defended a building during the Battle of Stalingrad so well that it never fell. Vasily Chuikov, general of the Soviet forces in Stalingrad, later joked that the Germans lost more men trying to take "Pavlov's house" than they did taking Paris.


45. In early feudal Japan, there was a class of female Samurai called Onna-Bugeisha who commonly engaged in battle alongside the men and were trained in the use of weapons to protect their household, family, and honor in times of war.


46Battle of Tsushima

Despite the Russian fleet signaling surrender in the Battle of Tsushima, the Japanese navy didn't get the message and continued firing because they did not have surrender in their codebooks.


47. According to moderate estimates, the Romans possibly lost over 40,000 men in a single day at the Battle of Cannae (216 BC), which may have accounted for somewhere between 5 to 10 percent of the total Roman male population during the late 3rd century BC period.


48. Battle of Brisbane, a 2-night riot between US military & Aussie military & civilians. Afterward, US Sergeant Bill Bentson said: "It sort of settled down & you go into a pub & an Aussie would come & up & slap me on the back."Oh, wasn't that a good ruckus we had the other night? Have a beer on me.


49. The Lakota People have been trying to claim independence in the longest legal battle in history (more than 160 years) with the United States


50. During the Battle of Iwo Jima, Hospital Corpsman John Willis was treating a fallen Marine in a mortar crater when a grenade landed at his feet. He returned the grenade, followed by 7 others thrown by the enemy in rapid succession, all while administering blood plasma. The 9th grenade killed him.

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