Historical Badass Archive – Part 3: 30 Incredible Badasses In History Revealed

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1Carlos Hathcock

During Vietnam War American sniper Carlos Hathcock volunteered to crawl for 3 days across 2000m of the open field containing an enemy headquarters. He had bed sores from staying motionless for so long. He could only move when the wind blew the grass around him. Enemy patrols came so close that they actually stepped on his knuckles and stopped to smoke within feet of him. He took a single shot that killed an NVA General and he then had to backtrack the same way while enemy patrols were swarming looking for a sniper. He was only able to move inches at a time and made it back without being spotted.


2. On January 2014, Aitzaz Hasan, a 15year-old boy in Pakistan, died when he bravely confronted a suicide bomber walking towards his school, which resulted in the early detonation of the bomb. His action saved the lives of hundreds of students.


3. Liviu Librescu was a Romanian-born internationally renowned professor of aerospace engineering at Virginia Tech. He survived the Holocaust when he was young. At the age of 76, he held the door of his classroom shut while the gunman attempted to enter it. Most of his students managed to escape through the windows. He was shot 5 times through the door and managed to saved 22 out of the 23 students in his class. A shot to his head proved fatal.


4. There was a Jewish boxer named Salamo Arouch imprisoned at Auschwitz. He was forced to fight fellow prisoners. The losers were sent to the gas chambers or shot. He survived more than 2 years and 200 fights, eventually being released when the camp was liberated.


5. As an officer of the California highway patrol, Sgt. Kevin Briggs has stopped more than 200 people from committing suicide on the Golden Gate Bridge.


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6Edward Loder

Edward Loder is the most decorated man in the Boston Fire Department's history. After his first decade of service, he was assigned to Rescue One because of his reputation for being tough. In 1990, he saved a mentally unstable woman from jumping from her 16th-floor hotel room by rappelling down from the roof of the hotel by a guideline and tackling her away from the ledge right when she was about to jump. In 1993, he caught a mental patient with one hand right after he jumped and had to hang on to the rescue ladder with the other hand. He had to hold on to the jumper until the ladder was lowered down.


7. Joseph D. Pistone a.k.a “Donnie Brasco” was an FBI agent who worked undercover infiltrating a mob family for 6 years to the point that he was going to be “made” (becoming a fully initiated member of the mafia family) but he was pulled out because his superiors decided that the operation was becoming too dangerous.


8. Samuel Whittemore was a true American patriot, and he gladly fought for his freedom against the British during the Revolutionary War at the age of 78. Prior to this, Whittemore served as a private in King George's War and aided in the capture of the Fort Louisburg in 1745. Some believe he also fought in the French and Indian War when he was 64. By the time most of us will be retired, he was fighting in the Battle of Lexington and Concord. He also single-handedly killed three British soldiers in his fields with a rifle and his dueling pistols. For his efforts he was shot in the face, bayonetted, and left for dead. He refused to die, and in fact, fully recovered and lived until the ripe age of 98.


9. In 1883, the body of a bear and Frank Devereaux were found dead beside each other with the ground around them thrashed for 20 square feet. It is that the man and bear fought to death.


10. When he was 9 years old John Fairfax settled a dispute with a pistol. He was kicked out of the Boy Scouts for firing on another group with a firearm. At 13 he ran away to live like Tarzan in the Amazon jungle. When he was 20 he decided to commit suicide - by Jaguar! He did bring a pistol with him in case he changed his mind, which he did, and he subsequently shot and skinned the animal. He spent three years as a pirate after trying to bike and hitchhike across South America. Then when it was all said and done he rowed solo across the Atlantic Ocean, and later the Pacific in tandem with another.


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11Agustina of Aragon

Agustina of Aragon was en route to a fort to deliver apples to the Spanish soldiers during the Spanish War of Independence when she found them fleeing in the face of a French attack. She ran ahead and manned the cannons, shaming the soldiers so badly that they felt compelled to return to the fight. With her assistance, they drove off the French. She was eventually captured, but escaped and became a leader of a band of guerilla fighters. She even served as a battery commander in the Battle of Victoria. They called her the Spanish Joan of Arc.


12. When Chinese general Zhuge Liang had to defend a town against 150,000 troops with just 100 men, he told his men to hide, flung open the gates and sat on the walls playing the lute. The opposing general, certain it was a trap, ordered a retreat.


13. Saburo Sakai was a Japanese air ace who was shot in the face during a dogfight in World War 2. Blind in one eye and partially paralyzed, “he flew upside down to prevent blood from blinding his other eye.” He flew for five hours to get back to the base, made his report and then had surgery without anesthesia.


14. In 1907, a Mexican railroad brakeman named Jesus Garcia saved the entire town of Nacozari in Sonora by singlehandedly driving a damaged and burning train containing dynamite. He drove the train 6 kilometers away from the town before it finally exploded, killing him.


15. In 2008, British Marine Lance Corporal Matthew Croucher flung himself back-first onto a grenade to save his comrades. Though the explosion threw him in the air, his rucksack absorbed the blast and he walked away with just a nosebleed and a headache.


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16Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln is enshrined in the wrestling hall of fame. Defeated only once in approximately 300 matches, Lincoln reportedly talked a little smack in the ring. According to Carl Sandburg's biography of Lincoln, Honest Abe once challenged an entire crowd of onlookers after dispatching an opponent: “I’m the big buck of this lick. If any of you want to try it, come on and whet your horns.” There were no takers.


17. There was a real team of Jewish assassins called “The Avengers” who tracked down and executed Nazi war criminals after WWII.


18. During World War 1, French flying ace Charles Nungesser managed to score 45 victories. A German plane once challenged him to single combat on the next day. When he arrived the next day, he was met with six German fighter planes. He managed to shoot down two of them before he returned back home. By the end of the war, he suffered skull fracture, brain concussion, fractured upper and lower jaw, a piece of shrapnel in the right arm, dislocated knees, clavicle, wrist and ankle, a bullet wound in mouth and ear, atrophied tendon in left leg and calf, teeth loss and numerous contusions.


19. A Chandragupta Maurya was an orphan born in the slums of in Eastern India (4th Century BC), who went on to forge one of the most expansive empires in India. He commanded 9000 war elephants, 50 million people and an army of 36,000. His personal bodyguard unit was made up of more than 500 Greek and Indian warrior women. To destroy the Nanda Empire; he simply grabbed a bronze sword and singlehandedly stormed the palace. He was captured and jailed but escaped. Eventually, he went on to destroy the ruling dynasty and put into place the long-lasting Maurya dynasty.


20. During the Vietnam War, Michael Fitzmaurice absorbed the blast of a grenade with his flak vest to protect his comrades. After his rifle was damaged by a second grenade blast, he proceeded to acquire another rifle from an enemy soldier after killing him with his bare hands. Though seriously wounded and partially blinded, he continued to fight refusing medical evacuation. He survived and was subsequently awarded the Medal of Honor.


21Eddie Aikau

In 1968, big wave surfer Eddie Aikau was selected to be the first lifeguard at Waimea beach in Oahu. Not a single person died during his time as a lifeguard and he rescued over 500 people, often braving waves that reached 30 feet (9.1 m) high or more.


22. When Private 1st Class Edward H. Ahrens in WW2 was found clutching a sword surrounded by 13 dead Japanese soldiers, his final words were, “I guess they didn’t know I was a marine.”


23. During the 1968 Olympics, Kip “Keino” was late for the 1500m final, because he was stuck in traffic. He ran 2 miles to make it to the event on time, and still won the gold. He was also suffering from Gallstones at that time.


24. During the 2003 invasion of Iraq, British sniper Matt Hughes managed to kill an enemy with a half-mile sniper shot, during which the bullet curved 56 feet (17 meters) in the air before hitting the target. He aimed the shot 56 feet to the left and 38 feet high from the target.


25. Jason Lewis became the first person to circumnavigate the Earth without using motors or sails. He walked, cycled and inline skated five continents, kayaked, swam, rowed, and pedaled a boat across the rivers, seas, and oceans. It took him 13 years to complete the 46,505-mile journey.

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