#2. Berthe Fraser, Housewife/Mastermind of the Resistance
Berthe Emilie Vicogne-Fraser was born French, but married a British dude, because really, who could resist all those thinly veiled innuendos and polite misunderstandings? Then World War II broke out, Germany invaded France, and Fraser dropped the terrible British dinner she'd been preparing for her husband and instead opted to prepare a little blood pudding for the Krauts.
Served without spotted dick.
Fraser organized an underground network that channeled British soldiers and spies to the coast, where she would hide them until they could be transported back to England. By day, Fraser was known as an ordinary housewife, but by night, she was the mastermind behind the underground network of the French Resistance. She plotted hidden paths and trails for British agents, devised distractions and cover stories -- hell, the woman once shuffled a man out of France in a hearse. We're pretty sure we saw that in a Bond movie.
In 1941, Fraser was betrayed and sent to a Belgian prison for 15 months, but she wasn't just playing at war hero hausfrau. She wasn't about to be dissuaded by a paltry year and change in a brutal enemy prison. Upon release, she went right back to organizing her network. She spent another three years saving numerous lives until she was betrayed again in 1944.
By one of the agents she had just saved.
Turns out he wasn't a coffin fan.
She spent six months in solitary confinement at Loos. There, she was tortured every day -- flogged, stripped, and beaten -- but would not talk. Eventually, she was condemned to die, but Fraser's life really was scripted by a Hollywood screenwriter: On September 1, right before her scheduled execution, Allied forces stormed the prison and rescued her, to which she coolly replied: "Thank you, boys, you are just in time."
Presumably followed by an embarrassing cheek pinch and some hot cocoa.
#1. Rukhsana Kausar, 18-Year-Old Female Indian Rambo
In 2009, 18-year-old Rukhsana Kausar was spending time with her family in Jammu, India. Located in the Kashmir region that both India and Pakistan claim ownership of, Jammu is basically the island from Lost: there's a lot of drama and a lot of death, and if you try to make sense out of it all, you're only going to end up disappointed.
Her mother was presumably just about to start passive-aggressively asking about babies, as all mothers do, when Pakistani militants rushed into Kausar's village. Four guards posted up outside of her house, while three gunmen went in and beat Kausar's parents and uncle in front of her and her siblings. Luckily for Kausar, her parents had stuffed her under a bed before they came in.
But after her parents fell to the ground in front of her, she found she could take no more. Kausar leaped up behind one of the gunmen (who was also armed with an ax), grabbed him by the hair, bashed his head into the wall, and threw him down. She clocked the floored invader with his own ax, seized his rifle, and blasted commander Abu "I feel like my name was made up by racists" Osama into pieces.
A pretty definitive way of rejecting his marriage proposal.
She tagged another as he fled, and started a pitched battle with the rest of the militants that lasted for hours. After seeing their commander smoked by a teenage girl, then trying to take her out for half a day with only injuries on their side, the rest of the militants decided they'd rather not risk getting made fun of quite so hard in hell, so they packed up and fled. Kausar's family and village were safe ... for now.
But watch out for Kausar: First Blood Part 2, coming to a hotly contested valley near you.
Evan V. Symon is a moderator in the Cracked Workshop. When he isn't playing David Bowie's Heroes while researching kickass people, he can be found on Facebook. Be sure to bookshelf and vote for his new book, The End of the Line. Matt Moffitt has a blog here and Twitter account here. Also, he thanks George L. for his input on writing this article.
Related Reading: For more civilians taking on armies, click here and read about the real-life answer to the Inglorious Basterds. For creepy war stories, click here and get a load of this Nazi baby factory. Oh, and also the CIA faked vampire attacks.
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