#3. Herbert Christian
In June 1944, Private Herbert F. Christian was on a patrol in Central Italy with 12 other men when they were ambushed by a force of about 60 enemy soldiers rolling deep with three tanks at a range of only 30 yards. Understandably, Christian gave the signal to his patrol that they should probably get the hell out of there.
It was at this point that a tank sheared off his right leg above the knee.
That would make anyone feel a little unbalanced. (Sorry.)
Driven into a legless fury, Christian propped himself up on what must have been little more than his right thighbone, slotted a fresh magazine into his submachine gun and immediately killed three enemy soldiers. Not satisfied with that, he started shuffling toward the enemy while the rest of his patrol used the distraction he provided to cover their retreat.
"Run! Let the crippled guy handle it!"
Christian made it to within 10 yards of the nearest enemy position, firing as he went and leaving a river of blood in his wake, and killed yet another enemy soldier. The Germans, enraged by his plucky leglessness, poured all their fire (including some from a 20mm anti-aircraft gun) into him until he finally died, which we're going to go ahead and assume was a whole lot of bullets later.
We think it was when he grafted his gun to his leg that made them really worried.
#2. Fazal Din
Fazal Din was a Punjabi Muslim fighting for the British in Burma during World War II. In March 1945, Din was commanding a section of about a dozen men in an attack on some Japanese machine gun bunkers when he and his men were held up by enemy fire. Din, not one to stand for any such bullshit, took out the bunkers personally with some expertly lobbed grenades.
His aim was only as sharp as his personal grooming.
Without pausing, Din and one of his men continued the attack against six Japanese soldiers led by two sword-wielding officers. Din's man was struck down, and when Din came to his aid, one of the Japanese officers stabbed him through the chest, the tip of the blade poking all the way out through Din's back. The officer withdrew the sword, assuming his work was done.
"Yep, that'll probably do ya."
Din had other ideas. He wrestled the sword away from the officer and killed him with it, then turned on the other soldiers, killing two more and routing the rest. The rest of Din's platoon caught up with him and, waving the sword over his head, Din led them into a final attack that wiped out the remainder of the enemy's positions.
The moral of the story? Don't wave around a sword if you don't want to get stabbed.
Still carrying the sword, Din walked to the nearest British command post and gave his account of the battle. Only then did he allow his gaping chest wound to get the better of him, and he fell down dead.
#1. Mikhail Panikakha
In World War II, the Battle of Stalingrad looked very much like it was a battle the Germans couldn't possibly lose. The Russians were pushed back to the banks of the Volga, and divisions that were supposed to be 12,000 men strong were down to mere hundreds or even dozens. In the middle of all this was Mikhail Panikakha, a Pacific Fleet Marine who had volunteered to fight in Stalingrad, where the life expectancy of a Soviet fighter was measured in hours.
And badassery was measured in -- holy shit that's a big gun.
The situation was desperate, not just for Panikakha but for the whole Red Army. A strong German attack was threatening to split the Soviet defense in two and push them out of the city. On October 1, the Germans assaulted Panikakha's position, but despite being armed with little more than the physical manifestation of consummate hatred, the Soviets managed to defeat the first wave. The second wave soon followed, with Germans driving their tanks over the Soviet trenches to collapse the sides and bury their occupants, one of which was Panikakha.
Bad idea, tank.
Out of antitank grenades and about to be buried alive under a piece of German armor, Panikakha grabbed a pair of Molotov cocktails and leaped out of the trench. As he went to light the first Molotov a bullet struck the bottle, causing the flaming liquid to burst all over him. Despite being engulfed in a column of fire, Panikakha picked up the other Molotov and climbed on top of the tank, smashing the bottle on the engine compartment. The tank, along with Panikakha, exploded almost immediately. The Germans, realizing that Russians soaked in alcohol are both incredibly common and incredibly combustible, retreated.
The original draft of this statue involved a lot more fire and exploding Nazis.
Read more from Tony Pilgram at Bad Metaphors.com.
For more badass loners, check out 6 Soldiers Who Survived Shit That Would Kill a Terminator and 5 Spies with Bigger Balls Than James Bond.
And stop by LinkSTORM to see what happens when David Wong puts on his red headband.
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