History has proven that sometimes if you take a risk or go against the grain your name is remembered forever. Some of these people fought oppression and for the benefit of themselves and others while others fought for power and less noble causes. Either way, These people have left their legacies as badasses.
Simo Hayha (December 17, 1905 – April 1, 2002)
Simo Hayah was a Finnish Sniper known notoriously as “The White Death.” He is notable for having the highest recorded number of confirmation kills in a major war, with stats of 505 soviets killed in 100 days during the Winter War (1939 – 1940). Simo Hayha later had half of his face blown off by an explosive bullet, which still didn’t kill him. After the war, he lived his life moose hunting and dog breeding; until he passed away at the age of 96.
Agustina of Aragon (March 4, 1786 – May 29, 1857)
Augustina is a Spanish Heroine during the Spanish War of Independence, and is often compared to Joan of Arc. Augustina was trying to bring supplies to some of the Spanish soldiers and ended up killing several invading French soldiers with a cannon. This act inspired the Spanish soldiers to continue attacking the French. Later she was captured, escaped, and lead a group of reinforcement guerrilla soldiers to attack those who attacked her. After the war she married and lived out her life as a respected woman in Spanish society. After her death at age 71, her legacy was embraced by several artists and authors.
Adrian Carton de Wiart (May 5, 1880 – June 5, 1963)
Lieutenant General Sir Adrian Carton de Wiart was a British soldier who served in the first Boer War, WWI and WWII. During his service he was Shot in the face, lost his eye, Shot in the head, stomach, ankle, leg, hip, and ear; survived two plane crashed; tunnelled out of a prisoner-of-war camp; and bit off his own finers when a doctor refused to amputate them. Even after all of this he voluntarily continued to serve. When asked about his experience during WWI, he calmly responded with, “Frankly I had enjoyed the war.”
“Mad” Jack Churchill (September 16, 1906) – (March 8, 1996)
Jack Churchill was a Lieutenant Colonel who fought in WWII. He warned his nickname “Mad Jack” due to his ferocity and his unconventional weapons in battle; He rushed in with a bow and arrow, a broadsword and bagpipes. Churchill also single-handedly captured a German-held town in Sicily, capturing 42 men and their mortar position. After the war ended, Churchill was disappointed and quoted stating, “If it wasn’t for those damn Yanks, we could have kept the war going another ten years.”
Hugh Glass (1780 – 1833)
Hugh Glass was an American fur trapper and frontiersman, living in the American West. He became an American folk legend after running into a bear, Wrestling it, and being left for dead only to undertake a 200 mile trek to civilization. Glass had many wounds, a broken leg, cuts on his back, exposed ribs; he set his own leg, and wrapped himself in the bear pelt that his fellow trappers shrouded over him, believing him to be dead. Glass prevent gangrene by allowing maggots to eat the dead flesh and keep his wounds clean. After his six week odyssey, Glass had made it back to society to recover fully. Once recovered, went back to trapping – until several years later when he was killed by Native Americans at Fort Union
Ching Shih (1775 – 1844)
Ching Shih was a prostitute who eventually married the notorious pirate Cheng I. After Cheng died she took over his crew and fleet. Her reign became notorious and she challenged several of the largest fleets of the time, including: British fleets, Portuguese fleets, Dutch fleets and the Qing dynasty. Her fleet and crew grew, some estimates state she controlled between 300 and 1800 Ships and 20,000 to 80,000 crew members, consisting of men, women and children. She is known as the most powerful pirate of all time. She fought several governments and held them off, until they agreed she can keep her loot – she then retired from piracy and opened a brothel and casino, until her death.
Boudicca (? – 61 AD)
Boudicca was the queen of the Iceni tribe, a tribe of Celts. When Roman invaders attacked her tribe, and raped her daughters she led an uprising against the largest army in the world -The Roman Empire – with her small, less-equipped army. Her Rage fueled her troops who eventually destroyed a major portion of the Roman Army and burned all of Londonium (modern day London) to the ground. Her efforts almost persuaded Emperor Nero to abandon the idea of conquering Britain.
Witold Pilecki (May 13, 1901 – May 25, 1948)
Witold Pilecki was a Polish soldier and founder of the Tajna Armia Polska (Secret Polish Army Resistance group). During WWII Pilecki volunteered to gain the Allied forces an intelligence report on Auschwitz concentration camp by purposely getting captured and sent there. In 1940 Pilecki entered Auchwitz and began gathering his information, as well as, forming resistance movements inside among the inmates. After three years, Pilecki eventually escaped and spread the news of the atrocities committed within the camp walls. He was eventually captured, tortured and executed for his work by the Polish Communist Regime.
Captain Lawrence Oates (March 17, 1880 – March 17, 1912)
Captain Lawrence Oates was a British Soldier who served in the Second Boer War, as part of the Inniskilling Dragoons, and rose through the ranks to Captain. After his military career he volunteered to join the Terra Nova Expedition, a dangerous excursion to explore the South Pole. The weather and food supply was unpredictable on this journey and eventually the expedition turned deadly. Stricken with Gangrene and frostbite, Oates knew his odds, so he walked off into a blizzard to help the remaining three members of the expedition survive on the limited food left. According to the crews diaries his last words were “I am just going outside and may be some time.”