Just as in sports, the military likes to keep track of records. And, until 2009, the record for the longest distance kill by a sniper was held by Canadian Corporal Rob Furlong in Afghanistan. Furthermore, it turns out that the Canadians are freaking hardcore in general.
South Park may not have been entirely honest with us.
The record that Furlong broke had been set only a few days earlier, by Master Corporal Arron Perry, another guy on the same Canadian sniper squad. We're talking distances upward of 1.5 miles, so far away that regular people can't tell a terrorist from a camel. And they record they broke had stood for more than 40 years (since 1967).
Furlong casually recounts that his first shot missed because his trigger finger pulled slightly to one side, probably moving the gun barrel a distance of one atom to the left.
This is his rifle. It insists on being addressed as "Sir".
How they got screwed:
They're Canadians. Because the rest of the world have cemented Canada's reputation as polite, peace loving people, rather than a country made up of super snipers that shoot enemy soldiers a mile and a half away, it's only natural that Perry and Furlong would fall victim to political correctness.
Perry's mistake was, one day, unwrapping a Tootsie Roll and joking that it was a severed finger from one of the bodies lying around. Upon getting wind of his admittedly bad-taste throwaway line, the Canadian military brass dedicated the following few years to finding out whether Perry and his colleagues really were walking around battlefields, cutting off body parts and wrapping them up like Tootsie Rolls. It didn't help that someone else on the squad left behind a sign saying "fuck terrorism"-- probably not a controversial sentiment, but it fuelled the speculation that Perry and his team were out of control rogue corpse-disfiguring Tootsie Roll cannibals.
We guess tootsie rolls aren't patriotic for Canadians.
The charges against Perry were eventually dropped due to lack of evidence, but not before they were all pressured out of the military and their names dragged through the mud to the extent that they never received the respect they deserved. Because seriously -- one and a half miles.
In the summer of 1944, the Allies undertook a series of missions to Romania to attack Hitler's oil fields, and the Nazis started playing a real-life game of Duck Hunt, except that instead of ducks, they were shooting down American bombers, and instead of a laughing dog, the surviving airmen were retrieved by a group of Serbian resistance fighters called the Chetniks.
They had the best flag of the whole war.
The Chetniks, although they hated Nazis too, weren't on very good terms with the Allied forces, so it came down to George Vujnovich, an American officer with Serbian roots, to contact the Chetniks and negotiate for the prisoners' release. He masterminded a huge operation codenamed "Halyard Mission," during which more than 500 airmen were escorted out of hostile territory by a militia of war-hardened Serbs. It was like that movie, Behind Enemy Lines, except 500 times that.
OSS Capt. George Vujnovich on the right with a group of saved airmen
How he got screwed:
As we've just mentioned, the Serbs and the Croats hate each other more than cats and dogs, and during World War II, the highest-profile Croat in the world was Yugoslavian leader Josip Broz Tito. It just so happed that Tito and his communist regime were instrumental American allies, and the only thing he hated more than Nazis were those blasted Chetniks.
Who could hate these wacky, bearded misfits?
To maintain good relations with Tito, the American government classified the Halyard Mission, covering up the fact that they had collaborated with a bunch of filthy Serbs. The sad ending for the Chetniks is that, after the war, Tito hunted them down and executed their leader, Draza Mihailovich, while the American government looked at the sky and whistled complacently.
As for Vujnovich, he was awarded the Bronze Star for his efforts... in October of 2010, because Tito has only been dead for, well, 30 years now.
We at Cracked believe that it's never too late to hate.
During World War II, Japanese Consul-General Chiune Sugihara and his wife Yukiko saw how bad things were getting for the Jews and figured God's chosen might be safer in Japan than playing hide-and-seek throughout an increasingly Nazified Europe. But the Japanese government, having taken a liking to this Hitler fellow, refused permission for Chiune to issue visas to Jews to get them out of harm's way.
He did anyway, in direct disobedience to his superiors. As the Nazis encroached, Chiune and his wife started issuing Japanese visas around the clock, blazing through them like bureaucrats on meth. In the eleventh hour, even as they were forced to flee the country, Sugihara was still issuing visas and throwing them out the train window as it pulled away.
He also had streaks in his hair, apparently.
In the end, it's estimated he saved the lives of up to 6,000 Jews in his manic spree. Pretty impressive when you consider that Oskar Schindler's list is estimated to have saved 801.
How he got screwed:
Japan was, at that time, still a country that lived by the fake samurai code of honor the government had conveniently fabricated in the early 20th Century, of which a very important tenet was total obedience to one's superiors. The fact that Chiune saved thousands of people from slaughter took a distant back seat to the fact that he disobeyed an order, pretty much the worst thing a Japanese person could do at the time. He may as well have been working around the clock stabbing 6,000 puppies.
When the government found out what he had done, he was pushed out of government without ceremony, and was forced to live the life of a dishonoured samurai until he died in 1986. The Japanese only begrudgingly apologised to his family in October of 2000, acknowledging that, yeah, he was probably a decent guy.
The Lithuanians gave him this nice tree. So, uh. That's ... something?
For more of Eric Yosomono's articles you can visit his website at Gaijinass.
For more 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 see Jesus riding a dinorsaur.
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