The 6 Greatest Moments In Wartime Smack Talk
If we were to suddenly find ourselves in the middle of an honest-to-God firefight, the only sick burns we'd be composing would be the ones in our underpants. But as we've shown you before, real-life soldiers caught in the quagmire of war seemingly have no problem coming up with badass one-liners that would make an '80s action movie screenwriter drop to his knees in awe. For example ...
"Come on, you sons of bitches, do you want to live forever?!"
At five feet, six inches tall and 132 pounds, Sergeant Major Dan Daly was like a real-life Steve Rogers, if Steve Rogers had pooh-poohed the super soldier project because his balls pumped out all the super soldier serum he could possibly need. A former Commandant in the Marine Corps once called him "the most outstanding Marine of all time," and he's one of only two Marines to ever earn the Medal of Honor twice for separate actions -- the other of whom, Major General Smedley Butler, called him "the fightin'est Marine I ever knew."
His first Medal of Honor came during the Boxer Rebellion in 1900, when he singlehandedly defended a bastion wall swarming with Chinese snipers using only a bayoneted rifle. His second came 15 years later in Haiti, when he retrieved a lost machine gun (which weighed more than he did) from the bottom of a river and proceeded to use it to rain hellfire on the 400 Haitian insurgents who'd ambushed his patrol. That's right: At an age at which most people start to seriously think about switching to wheat bread, Dan Daly was renewing the nation's highest award for extraordinary heroism as if that sucker expires.
"I needed a new medal anyway. The ribbon on the old one kept breaking off during sex."
This brings us up to Daly's role in World War I and the Battle of Belleau Wood, where the then-First Sergeant risked his life to extinguish an ammo dump that had been struck by enemy fire. Two days later, with his unit pinned down and outgunned by the Germans, Daly walked up and down the line, cheering on each of his machine gun positions and straight-up daring any German bullets to hit him. When he judged it time to launch a counterattack, Daly leapt toward the enemy and shouted, "Come on, you sons of bitches, do you want to live forever?!"
Surprisingly, his men didn't answer back, "Yeah, that actually sounds great!"
"I didn't even know that was an option!"
The taunt rallied his fellow soldiers, and Daly led an attack during which he (true to form) singlehandedly eliminated a German machine gun section with a .45 and some grenades. He was recommended for a third Medal of Honor, but someone up the chain downgraded it to a Distinguished Service Cross, maybe figuring that Daly was getting bored with the things by now.
"I've got 'em right where I want 'em, surrounded from the inside!"
Jerry "Mad Dog" Shriver was a U.S. Army Special Forces Green Beret who served in the MACV-SOG (Military Assistance Command, Vietnam -- Special Operations Group). He slept with a rifle, and packed as many as six revolvers during combat (plus a shotgun and his regular machine gun). You know that action flick trope where the bad guys tell him to disarm, and the badass hero just keeps removing weapons until it gets ridiculous? Shriver invented that. Sometimes referred to as the Real Rambo, Mad Dog survived twice as many missions as the average member of his unit -- a unit which exceeded a 100 percent casualty rate because everybody in it was wounded (usually more than once) and fully half of them were killed.
It's not entirely clear when Shriver earned the "Mad Dog" moniker, but it's possible that it was in relation to Klaus, a German Shepherd that he'd brought back from Taiwan and which was his closest companion. Once, Klaus yorked on the floor of the Mess after some recon men gave him beer as a gag, and they rubbed his nose in it and threw him outside. When Shriver got wind of this, he went in, drank a beer, set a revolver on the table, and dropped a deuce on the floor. He said, "If you want to rub my nose in this, come on over." No one did.
And Klaus was promoted to squad leader.
In 1966, Shriver's recon team was surrounded by North Vietnamese Army soldiers in Cambodia. AK-47 fire rained down on them from all around. As a Forward Air Controller watched the enemy close in on the team from overhead, he radioed down to Shriver with perhaps the biggest understatement of the war: "It sounds pretty bad."
"No. No," Shriver responded. "I've got 'em right where I want 'em, surrounded from the inside!"
Clinking through life as a goddamned walking arsenal comes in handy once in a while. Perhaps not shockingly, turns out it really helps during wartime. Shriver and his team shredded the jungle like they were in the minigun scene from Predator, putting a tear in Mother Nature's eye and countless bullets and grenade fragments in their NVA aggressors. The attackers were driven back, and with some overhead help from the FAC, the team was safely extracted.
Mad Dog chose to hitchhike back to base.
Eventually, Shriver succumbed to an overdose of toxic masculinity. On April 24, 1969, on approach to the Central Office for South Vietnam as part of the Hatchet Force, his team was pinned down by a machine gun bunker. Shriver rushed the bunker and ... went MIA. He was 27 years old -- or 189 in Mad Dog years.
"I will give him only six feet of English earth, or seven, for he is taller than other men!"
Way back in 1066, while anxiously awaiting the impending Norman invasion from modern-day France, King Harold Godwinson of England was taken unawares by scads of Norsemen landing from (surprise!) the north. Led by the Viking King Harald III Sigurdsson, the invasion force was allied with Tostig Godwinson -- the newly-crowned Harold's pissed-off younger brother. Possessing the element of surprise, the invaders took the city of York and camped out at Stamford Bridge, where they patiently awaited their reward of hostages and cattle.
Instead of spoils, however, the Norsemen were greeted by the surprise arrival of King Harold's army, which had marched 185 miles in four days. In an effort to stave off aggressions, Harold met with Tostig and offered him a third of his kingdom if only he'd take off the silly horned helmet and abandon the Norsemen. When Tostig in turn asked what Harold would offer Sigurdsson as appeasement, he replied, "I will give him only six feet of English earth, or seven, for he is taller than other men!"
Before Harold's attendants could finish saying, "Aw, snap!" the battle horns sounded. In a true parallel to the story of David and Goliath, a lone Viking defender advanced onto Stamford Bridge and used an obscenely large battle ax to chop down countless English attackers like saplings. In a not-so-biblical moment, the English defeated this Viking Goliath by floating beneath the bridge in a swill tub and spearing him straight in the dick.
To which even Harold said, "Really, bro? No. Not cool."
The bridge thus seriously, seriously uncoolly cleared, the English army swarmed across and gave the Vikings such a spanking that the Norse never invaded Britain -- their traditional punching bag -- again.
"Are you afraid to stand when I am on horseback?"
The year was 1898, and the war was of the Spanish-American variety. At the famous Battle of San Juan Hill -- part of a decisive initiative to drive the Spanish Army into the Cuban city of Santiago, where they could be laid siege to until they surrendered -- Cracked resident badass Teddy Roosevelt's Rough Riders fought alongside the African American 9th and 10th Cavalry and 24th and 25th Infantry (aka the Buffalo Soldiers). The regiments were bogged down in an exposed position on the banks of the San Juan River, awaiting word to proceed with their assault on the hill.
"Stop, drop, shut 'em down, open up shop."
When said word finally came, Roosevelt mounted up and rode down the line to urge the men forward, even as bullets zipped all around him -- because by God, he didn't ride a horse all the way to Cuba to not use it. When one soldier was reluctant to stand and stare Death straight in the eye, Roosevelt singled him out and bellowed, "Are you afraid to stand, when I am on horseback?"
The cowering soldier stood right up ... and was immediately shot dead, definitively demonstrating that not all men are magically goddamn invincible like Teddy.
This includes his horse, which is why Teddy would later find a sturdier mount.
"If I had ammunition, you would not be here."
The Mexican-American War didn't go all that splendidly for Mexico. Still, each side had its heroes, and on the side south of the border, there was General Pedro Maria de Anaya.
Go ahead, make fun of his middle name. He double dares you.
On August 20, 1847, Santa Ana's army holed up at Churubusco in their continual retreat toward Mexico City. Churubusco was home to the Convent of San Mateo, which offered an ideal defensive position thanks to its enormous stone walls, an abundance of parapets in which to stuff cannons, and hopefully some backup in the form of heavenly blessings. And indeed, the Mexicans did a standup job of repelling the Americans ... right until their ammunition supply went kaput.
General Anaya, second in command to General Manuel Rincon and nigh-superhuman holder of the left flank, ordered his men to fight on regardless, barehanded if goddamned necessary. But if Battlefront has taught us anything, it's that battles aren't won with melee attacks. Inevitably, a white flag was raised over the convent, and U.S. Brigadier General David Twiggs entered to accept the Mexican generals' official surrender. When Twiggs confronted Anaya, he asked the good general to surrender his ammunition stores.
Anaya historically replied, "If I had ammunition, you would not be here."
"And if I had a mic, I would drop it."
Had the Mexican army's prayers for more ammunition been answered, it would have delayed the inevitable, but ultimately, the Battle of Churubusco (not to mention the greater war) was a hopeless endeavor for Mexico, and the USA has "Texas, California, Nevada, Utah, most of New Mexico and Arizona, and parts of Colorado and Wyoming" to prove it.
Hey, you know what, Mexico? We'd be willing to let you have some of that back.
"Landed. Killed Germans. Fucked off."
Anders Lassen was a guy who was only good at war. Having left secondary school boasting the lowest examination scores of the year, he was drawn into soldiering in 1940 when Germany occupied his home country of Denmark. In 1941, he landed in the Special Operations Executive, which was recruiting Danes to work as spies. It was here that Lassen's superiors noticed a few key qualities about the man. Namely, his volatile temper, complete lack of discretion, and utter contempt for the rules -- all of which made for a rather shitty spy. Hell, it made for a rather shitty regular soldier, too. However, it perfectly suited him for unconventional, guerilla-style warfare, so Lassen was transferred to the Small Scale Raiding Force and tasked with throwing as many wrenches as possible into the gears of the German war machine.
"You're being transferred to Lt. Raine's unit."
Despite his reckless nature, Lassen distinguished himself with his ability to win battles while taking few casualties. He had a complete lack of regard for danger, and was often noted for his ability to read the terrain and then reach and destroy his objective with lightning speed. This was a man who was at his best when surrounded by chaos. He was brutal, he was violent, and his hatred for Germans was legendary.
And you know what else he hated? Goddamned paperwork.
You see, after a battle, officers are expected to file an operational report -- a rundown of events that the bigwigs can analyze to help improve future operations. And Lassen was having absolutely none of that shit. His reports consisted of a mere five words: "Landed. Killed Germans. Fucked off."
As you can imagine, this aggravated his superiors. However, as we've already mentioned, Lassen didn't give a shit, and when pressed to give more details, he would only respond, "It's done. What else is there to say?"
"You know who else does paperwork? HITLER."
And he continued to get it done until April 1945. After landing in northeast Italy, Lassen (now a member of the Special Boat Service) and his commandos encountered German sentries. Lassen led an attack on a German machine gun nest and took it out using only a pistol and grenades. Then he did it again. When he made ready to dick-slap a third, the Germans signaled their surrender.
Unfortunately, Lassen made a fatal mistake: He trusted Nazis. When he approached, the "surrendering" Germans opened fire. Lassen was mortally wounded in the belly and midsection, effectively ending the initiative, and when his men tried to get him to safety, he demanded to be left behind to avoid slowing them down. We sincerely hope that, in his honor, they refused to file paperwork on the incident.
Which is why, 71 years later, we have chosen to file a final after-action report even he would approve of. Hopefully.
Jorden Weir wants to promote his wife's awesome photography business. Check out her Facebook page! Adam Koski isn't a badass, but if you will dare listen to the short story he wrote with his brother, then you must be one! Abraham is a Mexican lawyer, and when he isn't doing lawyery stuff, he writes comedy! You can say hi to him on Twitter or visit his DeviantArt.
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