The Dutch did slowly take over, inch by bloody inch, though resistance would remain in the highlands for generations after. But it was all worth it, knowing that those men had given their lives to the worthy cause of sweet, delicious pepper! Aw, yeah!
300 Guys Retake all of Spain
Those flamboyant Spanish sex machines don't like to admit it, but years ago, Spain got ripped a new asshole by Islamic invaders. Starting in 711, the Umayyad Moors from modern-day Morocco utterly destroyed the forces of Christian Spain, conquering the entire country in eight years. Keep in mind, this was during a time when it probably took eight fucking years just to get from one end of Spain to the other, even without a bunch of Christians trying to kill you along the way.
The Muslims swept across the Iberian Peninsula, gobbling up every piece of land in their path. Every piece of land, that is, except for one little strip along the northern mountains.
A Spanish nobleman named Pelayo retreated north, to the mountains of Asturias. There, he got together an army of 300 men (which barely qualifies as a rabble nowadays) and defeated a Muslim army almost three times its size.
This shitty band has more fans than Spanish army had soldiers in 711.
After the Battle of Covadonga, Pelayo's pathetic little mountain kingdom would go on to retake all of Spain. Sure, it took almost 800 fucking years, but still... damned fine work.
Not only did little Asturias hold off a vastly superior enemy, it actually defeated that enemy. So it should come as no surprise that Pelayo went down as one of the greatest heroes in Spanish history, getting his name on everything from a shitty 19th Century battleship that did absolutely nothing in almost forty years of commission, to...
... a shitty monument in the middle of the fucking mountains.
Ethiopia Kicks Ass in an Old School Way
Ethiopia is the ultimate underdog these days, as most westerners picture it as a stretch of barren land inhabited by starving children. But the country has a history of badassery literally stretching back to the dawn of man.
In the 1800s, the fad among Western countries was to take over random hunks of Africa, often for no good reason. It was kind of a status thing, if you wanted to have any respect at all, then you had to claim vast tracts of African land that probably had zero natural resources and would not benefit your nation in any way. It was basically the 19th Century equivalent of bling.
Peep the way I'm sportin' these countries, yo.
In 1895, Italy was in the terrible position of having hardly any Africa at all (all it had was a few shitty, tiny coastlines of African land--definitely not enough to be considered cool). But, unfortunately, the only African country not yet claimed by anyone else was Ethiopia.
It would have to do. Italy brought in a huge mess of modern military gear: guns, cannons, artillery, the whole shebang. The simple idea of losing a war to Africans was utterly preposterous. The Italians were so confident of victory, they basically decided to fuck tactics and march right in. Seriously, what are a bunch of Ethiopians going to do about it?
After all, it's not like they'd been fighting wars for the last 3,000 years or anything.
Well, the Italian army of 20,000 got its ass handed to it at the Battle of Adwa, and the ragged band of comically confused survivors fled back to Italy. The fallout was horrendous. Within a few months, riots broke out in major Italian cities, with angry mobs of wacky, mustachioed men charging at government buildings, dousing them with olive oil, and setting them on fire with flaming bread sticks. The government collapsed, and the rest of Europe had a good laugh.
Ethiopia, meanwhile, earned the distinction of being the only African country to successfully resist European colonialism (well, temporarily, anyway) and Italy earned the distinction of being the only European country to lose a war in Africa.
If the Total War franchise is to be believed, this is what Italy lost to.
Oh, and by the way, it's thought that humans first appeared as a species in Ethiopia. So in a way, all of the badasses on this list were Ethiopian. Who else can say that?
For more bite-sized country fun, check out Fun Size Countries: The Insane Histories of the World's 6 Tiniest Nations. Or see what the rest of the world has to offer in the form of national anthems, in 6 National Anthems That Will Make You Tremble With Fear.
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