5 Soldiers Who Were More Badass Than Rambo (Without Guns)

#2. Two Men Fistfight on an Active Battlefield

Comstock/Stockbyte/Getty Images

OK, so the Civil War isn't super modern as conflicts go, but it was a war where gunfire dominated the battlefield, and old standbys like the sword really started to look like outdated relics of a more elegant, less survivable age. But at least the sword has a few thousand years of advancement on freaking fists, mankind's first and fleshiest of weapons.

Siri Stafford/Digital Vision/Getty Images
Hello, old friend.

So you wouldn't expect one of the first mechanized wars in history to have had any fistfights of consequence. It's just a stupid idea in an era of Gatling guns. And yet two bold soldiers weren't willing to leave man's oldest way of messing up his fellow man behind. During the Battle of the Wilderness, a Yankee and a Confederate warrior each sheltered in the same gully for cover from the murder whizzing about in the air above them.

They decided immediately that this whole "dual occupancy" trench thing wasn't going to fly. Both men agreed that one of them needed to take the other prisoner. A straight-up fistfight was the only sane way to decide which man would capture the other. So they started punching each other, and gradually both sides around them stopped firing to gawk at the spectacle of two young men fisting each other's meaty frames in a brutal ballet much less sexy than this sentence has made it sound so far.

Panorios / Vetta / Getty
Like this, but before showering existed.

Eventually the Yankee surrendered, and the two presumably staggered off arm-in-arm to have a beer.

#1. One Man Makes War the Shovel Way

Dorling Kindersly / Getty

Every now and then we come across a story so insane, so unbelievably impressive, that we can't believe we haven't already covered it on Cracked. We're convinced the only reason you haven't already heard of Anthony Kaho'ohanohano is because his name ought to be freaking impossible based on everything we know about letters.

But he was a real man. And he could do more with a folding shovel than the average SWAT team can do with ... uh, itself.

U.S. Army
Hell, this guy ate SWAT teams and pooped out Delta Force.

Kaho'ohanohano was fighting in the Korean War, trying to stop North Korea from becoming All Korea, when he ran into a minor problem: All his friends were retreating, and he had to stop an entire army from chasing them down. He did this via the traditional methods, aka "every gun at hand." But eventually those ran out, and he was also shot repeatedly. When the North Koreans massed for their final charge, Kaho'ohanohano had only one weapon left: his entrenching shovel.

The world will never know exactly what happened that fateful day, but when American forces recovered the position, they found Tony's body, shovel in hand, surrounded by 13 men he'd beaten to death before deciding to take the counsel of his many bullet wounds and die.

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