History’s 50 Most Awesome Badasses You Should Know About – Part 5

If you haven’t checked out our previous parts, check them out here.

For part 1 click here.

For part 2 click here.

For part 3 click here.

For part 4 click here.

1Dirk Vlug

In 1944, when Dirk Vlug and his men were manning a roadblock, they encountered Japanese tanks. Vlug scooped up his rocket launcher, dashed into open and midst machine gunfire blew up his first tank. When occupants of a second tank opened the hatch to dismount to attack him, Vlug drew his pistol and shot the first guy, loaded up and blew the second tank, then a third, a fourth one and finally a fifth one back to back without missing a single shot.


2Zinaida Portnova

In 1941, when Nazis invaded the Soviet Union Zinaida Portnova was a 15-year-old girl away at Soviet summer camp and couldn’t reach her home in Leningrad. She joined Belarus underground as part of a unit nicknamed the Young Avengers. When she turned 17, she was prompted to scout, responsible for venturing out into the field to look for possible targets. She was finally caught one day and taken by Gestapo for questioning. While in questioning, she took an officer’s pistol from the table next to her, killed the interrogator and two armed soldiers and escaped. Though she was captured again and executed a year later, she was made a hero of the Soviet Union.


3William George Barker

By 1918, Canadian fighter ace William George Barker had already survived 3 years of war, having blown up 46 enemy planes. On his last flight before going home, he shot down an enemy plane, which turned out to be a bait. 60 German fighters descended on him at once and one explosive bullet shattered his right thighbone. He turned his plane around and plowed through the squadron taking down two planes and in the process injured his other good leg. He fainted and regained consciousness after freefalling 6000 feet. He regained control and again plowed through two more planes before his left elbow was shattered, fainting again. He then regained consciousness only to crash his plane headfirst at 90 mph. He went into a coma and woke up two days after the war ended.


4Thomas G. Lanphier

After fighter pilot Thomas G. Lanphier, Jr. flew the longest interception mission of World War 2 to shoot down and kill the Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, who was responsible for the attack on Pearl Harbor, he broke radio silence to tell everybody “That son of a b*tch will not be dictating any peace terms in the White House.”


5SAS Sniper

In November 2015, an unnamed SAS sniper saved hundreds of lives by firing three well-aimed shots killing five terrorists from a distance of 800 meters in Mosul, Iraq. He shot the first jihadi in the chest, detonating his explosive device and killing him instantly, along with two nearby ISIS guards. The second terrorist was killed with a headshot and the third jihadi also died when his explosive vest was set off by a shot to the chest.


6James Robinson

When James Robinson’s Charlie battalion came under fire from 400-men strong Vietcong battalion, he ran around the battlefield killing snipers with a grenade launcher, rescuing wounded medics and soldiers (suffering multiple gunshot wounds) and distributing water and ammunition. When an enemy machine gun opened fire on them, Robinson charged the gunner with a grenade in each hand. He was shot in the leg with a tracer round, causing his pants to catch fire. He tore his pants off and continued charging the gunner. He was shot twice more in the chest (5 total bullet wounds) but managed to hurl a grenade at the gunner’s nest. He received Medal of Honor posthumously.


7Tilly Smith

Tilly Smith, a 10-year-old British schoolgirl, save her family and 100 other tourists from the 2004 Asian tsunami, by recognizing signs of tsunamis she had learned in geography lesson two weeks before.


8Robert Patrick

In 1984, Robert Patrick (T-1000 from Terminator 2: Judgment Day), swam for 3 hours to rescue people after a boating accident on Lake Erie, nearly drowning in the attempt.


9King Henry V

Future King Henry V was struck in the face by an arrow in his first battle leading soldiers. Rather than leaving the field, he reportedly stated that “I would rather die than stain my soldierly reputation by flight. He was 16 at that time.


10Nonstop Runner

In 1986, during the Namibian War of Independence, two Namibian guerrillas realized they were being followed and split up. One of them managed to escape. The trail of the second one was picked up by Special Forces trackers who tracked him in armored carriers. Despite this, he actually managed to increase the distance between himself and trackers. Even when helicopters were called, they could not keep up with him. They tracked him for 230 miles over five days with no evidence that he stopped to sleep. The only thing they ever found were used syringes. They found spots where he had collapsed from exhaustion, shot himself with methamphetamines, gotten back up and started running again. They never caught him.

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