A private in the Regiment de la Chaudiere, Leo Major got his first taste of combat during the Normandy landings, where he single-handedly captured a German half-track and had his left eye burned out with white phosphorus. After successfully arguing that he shouldn't be sent back to Canada, since he only needed his right eye to look down the sights of his rifle (an argument as logically sound as it was existentially terrifying), he kept fighting across France, Belgium and Holland.
With a chin like that, how couldn't he?
In 1945, a Canadian army company was captured while patrolling near the German-held Dutch town of Zwolle. The Canadians decided to bring up the heavy guns and level the whole damn town, but first, they needed to know where the Germans were, and perhaps also to contact the Dutch resistance to see if they would terribly mind being exploded today. Major and a friend, Willie Arsenault, volunteered for the exceptionally dangerous scouting mission inside the town about to be blown to hell.
And then they thought: Fuck that. Why waste a perfectly good town? Wouldn't it be better if they just captured the damn thing themselves while they were down there? Seeing no problem with that plan, they each took a machine gun and waited until nightfall. Under cover of darkness, the two man crept toward the first outpost covering the approach to the town. Unfortunately (for the Germans), the sentry heard them coming and fired at the noise, killing Arsenault.
Bad idea, random Nazi.
Major took the gun out of his dead friend's hands and charged down the whole damn town. He shot the sentry and the guy next to him (and probably the horse they rode in on). The rest of the Germans in the bunker fled, leaving behind a small ammunition dump. Major strapped a captured German machine gun, Arsenault's leftover weapon and his own rifle to his back, then filled a sack with grenades and made his way toward the town center.
You call that "armed"?
He spent the rest of the night ambushing patrols in the town, most of which fled (understandably) from the guy swinging the grenade sack dressed in a jacket made out of machine guns. He found the local SS Headquarters, kicked down the front door and killed most of the death squad inside, then set fire to the Gestapo HQ and continued to hurl grenades at isolated groups of German soldiers until the entire force fled the town. Then Major spent the rest of the morning trying to convince everybody that it was safe to come out; the townsfolk were still all in hiding.
Probably not from the Germans.
"Is he gone?"
The time: April 11, 1966.
The place: Viet-fuckin'-nam.
The plan: Use Robinson and 133 other men of Charlie Company to lure out a Vietcong battalion of 400-plus men.
"Sounds like a fair fight."
The result was the Battle of Xa Cam My, where the plan went catastrophically wrong for Charlie Company. They were pounded by both their own artillery and the surrounding enemy forces, with no reinforcements on the horizon. Robinson, being generally just kind of awesome, ran around the battlefield killing snipers with a grenade launcher, rescuing wounded medics and soldiers (while suffering multiple gunshot wounds of his own), and distributing the dwindling supplies of water and ammunition. Then an enemy machine gun opened fire into the American defensive circle, causing heavy casualties.
"Hey Jim? This whole 'war' thing kind of sucks ass, doesn't it?"
Despite his wounds and complete lack of ammunition, Robinson made a beeline for the Vietnamese machine-gunner with a grenade in each hand. Most of these stories involve an insane, lone charge against overwhelming odds and in spite of grievous, life-threatening wounds. And in that respect, Robinson's tale is no different, save for one key element: During his one-man suicide charge, Robinson was set on fucking fire.
Pictured: Fucking fire.
He was shot in the leg (again), except this time with a tracer round that somehow ignited his pants. Tearing off the burning garment, he continued to advance -- a pant-less, burning god of vengeance -- toward the Vietnamese machine-gunner. He was shot twice more in the chest (making that five bullet wounds, if you weren't keeping count) but marshaled his fleeting strength to hurl his explosives into the enemy, silencing the machine gun and saving dozens of American lives.
Damn. War sure seems to involve a lot more insanity, fire and man-nudity than the history books tell us.
300 was right!
For more incredibly badass warriors, check out 5 Real Life Soldiers Who Make Rambo Look Like a Pussy and 6 Soldiers Who Survived Shit That Would Kill a Terminator.
And stop by Linkstorm to discover what happens when you make Cody Johnston angry.
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