As they say, a person’s true nature is revealed when they are pushed into a tight corner. Most of the times, more than bravery and strength, it is being able to stay clear headed and choose the right action despite everything that saves them. Conversely, sometimes it is the sheer force of will and determination that lets them survive the ordeal. The history has many such stories about people who were so remarkable that we could only marvel and be astonished at what they could achieve in deadly situations. And here are a few such badass facts about people that we collected that you probably haven’t come across yet.
1. Miyamoto Musashi, the 17th-century Japanese swordsman, twice arrived late to duels and defeated both opponents. For his next duel, he arrived early and ambushed the force that was assembling to ambush him.
After the war between Toyotomi and Tokugawa clans in 1600, Musashi, a 17-year-old teenager, disappeared from records until he began a series of duels against Yoshioka School when he reached 20 or 21. There, in 1604, he challenged the master of the school Yoshioka Seijuro for a single blow duel winning by striking the master’s arm, which crippled him. Seijuro then passed the headship of the school to his brother Yoshioka Denshichiro who then challenged Musashi, but was defeated, leaving a 12-year-old Yoshioka Matashichiro as the head. The whole matter enraged the Yoshioka family who assembled archers, musketeers, and swordsmen and challenged Musashi to duel outside Kyoto. This time, Musashi broke his habit of being late and hid, and then assaulted the force and killed Matashichiro, thus he ended that branch of Yoshioka School. (source)
2. Medal of Honor recipient, Master Sergeant Roy Benavidez fought for 6 hours straight and had 37 puncture wounds, exposed intestine, broken jaw, and eyes caked in blood. He was pronounced dead until he spat in the face of a doctor who was zipping him up in a body bag.
In 1965, Benavidez stepped on a land mine in South Vietnam and was evacuated to the United States where the doctors told him he would never be able to walk again. But, he then started propping himself up a wall and after several months of excruciating practice at walking, he started to walk. Even with continuing pain, he went back to Vietnam, where on May 2, 1968, after hearing radio for help from a 12-man Special Forces patrol was surrounded by a battalion of about a 1,000 men, Benavidez, armed with just a knife and a medical bag, jumped from the helicopter to help them. His daring fight saved at least 8 men, but he himself was thought to be dead until a friend recognized him and called for a doctor. The doctor thought he was dead too until Benavidez managed to spit in the doctor’s face when about to zip the body bag. (source)
3. Harald Hadrada, a Viking who fled from his native country, Norway, to Kievan Rus’, went on to become an elite guardsman in Eastern Roman Empire and fought in Iraq. He then went back to Kievan Rus’, married a princess, became the King of Norway and finally invaded England with his army.
When Harad was 15, he and his half-brother Olaf fought in the Battle of Stiklestad to reclaim the Norwegian throne which was lost to the Danish king, Cnut the Great, two years ago. However, they lost the war and were forced into exile for 15 years in Kievan Rus’. During that time Harald became a mercenary and a military commander in Kievan Rus’ and of the Varangian Guard in the Byzantine Empire.
In 1042 he returned from Byzantine and started his campaign to reclaim Norwegian throne. He became an ally to Sweyn II of Denmark, the nephew of the king of Denmark, with whom he became the co-ruler of Norway and the sole ruler a year later after Sweyn’s death. Harald claimed the throne of Denmark untıl 1064 and the English throne in 1066 unsuccessfully. His death in the Battle of Stamford Bridge for the English throne is considered the end of the Viking Age and he was thought to be the last great Viking or Viking king. (source)
4. When he was wounded, Thomas Baker ordered his squad to leave him propped against a tree, with a pistol and eight bullets. Later, American forces found the now-deceased Baker in the same spot, holding an empty pistol, with eight dead Japanese soldiers lying around him.
During the Second World War, between June 19 and July 7, 1944, Thomas Baker was cited to show exceptional bravery by voluntarily running with a bazooka within 100 yards of the enemy when his entire company was surrounded even though there was fire aimed at him. On July 7, Baker was seriously wounded when the perimeter he was part of was surrounded on three sides by as many as 3,000 to 5,000 Japanese soldiers. Instead of being carried to safety, he asked his comrades to be left sitting against a tree with a pistol with 8 rounds, where he was later found dead with 8 Japanese soldiers. He was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously. (source)
5. In 2001, 8-year-old Jessie Arbogast was attacked by a 7-foot-long bull shark that tore off his arm. When his uncle heard the commotion and grabbed the shark out of the ocean and onto shore when the shark still held the child’s dismembered arm. Fortunately, surgeons later reattached the boy’s arm.
Jessie Arbogast was visiting the shore of Pensacola, Florida, with his uncle Vance Flosenzier in 2001 when the incident happened. The first thing Flosenzier did when he understood what was happening was to grapple the shark out of the ocean to wrestle and get his nephew’s arm back. Then, the surgeons were able to successfully reattach the boy’s dismembered arm. (source)
6. A French woman, Jeanne de Clisson, became a pirate in the 1300’s for revenge after her husband was beheaded. She sold her lands and bought 3 ships, which were painted black. When she caught nobles while hunting French ships, she personally beheaded them with an axe.
The whole thing started when the French authorities with whom Olivier, Jeanne de Clisson’s husband, once fought defending Brittany from the English began to suspect his loyalty. He was then captured and tried for treason by the orders of King Philip VI, who took advice from Charles de Blois, a man who fought along with Olivier. He was beheaded at Les Halles and his head was sent to Nantes to be displayed on a pole outside the castle of Bouffay.
Enraged and bewildered over her husband’s execution, Jeanne fought as a pirate for thirteen years killing and fighting against French on the seas, even after the death of King Philp VI. Her ruthlessness earned her the title “The Lioness of Brittany”. Later, Jeanne fell in love with an English nobleman, married him and settled down for a quiet life.(source)