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5 Real Life Soldiers Who Make Rambo Look Like a Pussy

By Marc Russel February 4, 2009 1,978,487 views

We all understand that action movies are cheesy escapism. After all, could one
commando really take out a whole compound full of bad guys?
Actually, yes. It turns out the history books are full of stories of soldiers doing things so
badass they'd hesitate to put them into a film for fear of killing the realism. Like these
five, for example.

Simo Hayha

Who Was He?

Simo Hayha had a fairly boring life in Finland. He served his one mandatory year in the
military, and then became a farmer. But when the Soviet Union invaded his homeland in
1939, he decided he wanted to help his country.
Since the majority of fighting took place in the forest, he figured the best way to stop the
invasion was to grab his trusty rifle, a couple of cans of food and hide in a tree all day
shooting Russians. In six feet of snow. And 20-40 degrees below zero.
Can you spot Hayha? Neither could the Russians.

Of course when the Russians heard that dozens of their men were going down and that
it was all one dude with a rifle, they got fucking scared. He became known as "The
White Death" because of his white camouflage outfit, and they actually mounted whole
missions just to kill that one guy.

They started by sending out a task force to find Hayha and take him out. He killed them
Then they tried getting together a team of counter-snipers (which are basically snipers
that kill snipers) and sent them in to eliminate Hayha. He killed all of them, too.

Over the course of 100 days, Hayha killed 542 people with his rifle. He took out another
150 or so with his SMG, sending his credited kill-count up to 705.
Since everyone they had was either too dead or too scared to go anywhere near him,
the Russians just carpet-bombed everywhere they thought he might be. Supposedly,
they had the location right, and he actually got hit by a cloud of shrapnel that tore his
coat up, but didn't actually hurt him, because he's the fucking White Death, damn it.

Finally on March 6th, 1940, some lucky bastard shot Hayha in the head with an
exploding bullet. When some other soldiers found him and brought him back to base, he
"had half his head missing." The White Death had finally been stopped...

...for about a week. In spite of having come down with a nasty case of shot-in-the-face
syndrome, he was still very much alive, and regained consciousness on March 13, the
very day the war ended.
The Best Hollywood Could Come Up With:
Bob Lee Swagger (Mark Wahlberg) from Shooter:
In Shooter, Mark Wahlberg plays a reclusive, worn-out ex-sniper trying to escape the
ghosts of his past. Bob Lee is called in by the FBI who want to know if he
(hypothetically) wanted to murder, let's say, the president, how would he (hypothetically)
do it? They claim that he's "the best there is" because after years of training with long-
distance shooting, he successfully killed 70 men in the desert with one of these:

Why it doesn't Compare:

Aside from the obvious fact that Hayha killed over 10 times as many men after only the
most basic military training, he did it in 40-below weather, in the middle of the forest.
And he did it all with one of these:
Yogendra Singh Yadav

Who Was He?

Yogendra Singh Yadav was a member of an Indian grenadier battalion during a conflict
with Pakistan in 1999. Their mission was to climb "Tiger Hill" (actually a big-ass
mountain), and neutralize the three enemy bunkers at the top. Unfortunately, this meant
climbing up a sheer hundred-foot cliff-face of solid ice. Since they didn't want to all climb
up one at a time with ice-axes, they decided they'd send one guy up, and he'd fasten
the ropes to the cliff as he went, so everyone else could climb up the sissy way. Yadav,
being awesome, volunteered.

Half way up the icy cliff-o'-doom, enemies stationed on an adjacent mountain opened
fire, shooting them with an RPG, then spraying assault-rifle fire all over the cliff. Half his
squad was killed, including the commander, and the rest were scattered and
disorganized. Yadav, in spite of being shot three times, kept climbing.

When he reached the top, one of the target bunkers opened fire on him with machine
guns. Yadav ran toward the hail of bullets, pitched a grenade in the window and killed
everyone inside. By this point the second bunker had a clear shot and opened fire, so
he ran at them, taking bullets while he did, and killed the four heavily-armed men inside
with his bare hands.
Meanwhile, the remainder of his squad was standing at the top of the cliff staring at him
saying, "dude, holy shit!" They then all went and took the third bunker with little trouble.

For his gallantry and sheer ballsiness, he was awarded the Param Vir Chakra, India's
highest military award. Unlike the Medal of Honor, the Param Vir Chakra is only given
for "rarest of the rare gallantry which is beyond the call of duty and which in normal life
is considered impossible to do." That's right, you actually have to break the laws of
reality just to be eligible.
And we imagine the medal looks like two, brass testicles.

It has only been awarded 21 times, and two thirds of the people who earned it died in
the process. It was initially reported that Yadav had as well, but it turns out that they just
mistook him for someone less badass. Or they just figured no real human being could
survive a broken leg, shattered arm and 10-15 fresh bullet holes in one sitting.
The best Hollywood could come up with:
John McClane (Bruce Wilis) from Die Hard:
Why it Doesn't Compare:
McClane has a fairly impressive resume of badassery, climbing through elevator shafts
and killing terrorists with his bare hands, much like Yadav, except Yadav took more
bullets in 10 minutes than McClane did in the entire series without even slowing down.
Plus, he was fucking 19-years-old! Try to imagine a high school Bruce Willis screaming,
"yippee ki-yay, motherfucker!"


Jack Churchill

Who Was He?

An allied commander in WWII, and an avid fan of surfing, Captain Jack Malcolm Thorpe
Fleming Churchill aka "Fighting Jack Churchill" aka "Mad Jack" was basically the
craziest motherfucker in the whole damn war.

He volunteered for commando duty, not actually knowing what it entailed, but knowing
that it sounded dangerous, and therefore fun. He is best known for saying that "any
officer who goes into action without his sword is improperly dressed" and, in following
with this, for carrying a sword into battle. In WWII. And not one of those sissy
ceremonial things the Marines have. No, Jack carried a fucking claymore. And he used
it, too. He is credited with capturing a total of 42 Germans and a mortar squad in the
middle of the night, using only his sword.

Churchill and his team were tasked with capturing a German fortification creatively
called "Point 622." Churchill took the lead, charging ahead of the group into the dark
through the barbed wire and mines, pitching grenades as he went. Although his unit did
their best to catch up, all but six of them were lost to silly things like death. Of those six,
half were wounded and all any of them had left were pistols. Then a mortar shell swung
in and killed/mortally wounded everyone who wasn't Jack Churchill.

When the Germans found him, he was playing "Will Ye No Come Back Again?" on his
bagpipes. Oh, we didn't mention that? He carried them right next to his big fucking
After being sent to a concentration camp, he got bored and left. Just walked out. They
caught him again, and sent him to a new camp. So he left again. After walking 150
miles with only a rusty can of onions for food, he was picked up by the Americans and
sent back to Britain, where he demanded to be sent back into the field, only to find out
(with great disappointment) the war had ended while he was on his way there. As he
later said to his friends, "If it wasn't for those damn Yanks, we could have kept the war
going another 10 years!"
The Best Hollywood Could Come Up With:
Colonel Bill Kilgore (Robert DuVall) from Apocalypse Now, of "I love the smell of napalm
in the morning" fame.

Why It Doesn't Compare:

Well, truth be told, they're pretty much the same person. They're both at home on the
battlefield, they have the same philosophies of war and both of them seem to be
immune to mortar fire and bullets. Churchill's basically a crazier, Scottish version of
Kilgore. With a big fucking broadsword. Like if Kilgore was played by William Wallace
from Braveheart on crystal meth.
Alvin York

Who Was He?

Born to a family of redneck farmers from Tennessee, Alvin York spent much of his youth
getting piss drunk in bars and getting into crazy barfights. When his friend got killed in
one of the aforementioned barfights, he swore off the liquor, and became a pacifist.
When he received his draft notice in 1917, York filed as a "conscientious objector" but
was denied. They shipped his ass out to basic training.
About a year later, he was one of 17 men designated to sneak around and take out a
fortified machine-gun encampment guarding a German railroad. As they were
approaching, the gunners spotted them and opened fire, tearing nine of the men to

What's left of York's troupe.

The few survivors that didn't have enormous balls of steel ran away, leaving York
standing there taking fire from 32 heavy machine gunners. As he said in his diary,
"I didn't have time to dodge behind a tree or dive into the brush, I didn't even have time
to kneel or lie down. I had no time no how to do nothing but watch them-there German
machine gunners and give them the best I had. Every time I seed a German I just
touched him off. At first I was shooting from a prone position; that is lying down; just like
we often shoot at the targets in the shooting matches in the mountains of Tennessee;
and it was just about the same distance. But the targets here were bigger. I just couldn't
miss a German's head or body at that distance. And I didn't."

After he killed the first 20 men or so, a German lieutenant got five guys together to try to
take this guy from the side. York pulled out his Colt .45 (which only had eight bullets)
and killed all of them with it, a practice he likened to "shoot[ing] wild turkeys back

At this point lieutenant Paul Jurgen Vollmer yelled out over the noise asking if York was
English. See, in WWI, no one really took the Americans very seriously, and everyone
thought of them as the rookies. Vollmer figured this crazy/awesome/ballsy soldier must
be some kind of English superman who was showing these sissy Americans how it was
done. When York said he was American, Vollmer replied "Good Lord! If you won't shoot
any more I will make them give up."
Ten minutes later, 133 men came walking towards the remains of York's battalion.
Lieutenant Woods, York's superior at first thought it was a German counter-attack until
he saw York, who saluted and said "Corporal York reports with prisoners, sir." When the
stunned officer asked how many, York replied "Honest, Lieutenant, I don't know."
The Best Hollywood Could Come Up With:
John Rambo from Rambo.
Why it Doesn't Compare:
Sure, Rambo takes on a huge chunk of the Vietnamese soldiers guarding a POW camp
and slaughters them all. But that was a good 10 years after the war ended. It's not like
they were expecting some guy to come charging into the camp, mowing everybody

York pulled his badassery off in the middle of a war, while outnumbered every bit as
badly as Rambo was. And York's the one who was a pacifist.

Audie Murphy

Who Was He?

When Audie Murphy applied to the Marines in 1942 at the tender age of 16, he was 5'5"
and weighed 110 pounds. They laughed in his face. So he applied to the Air Force, and
they also laughed in his face. Then he applied for the Army, and they figured they could
always use another grunt to absorb gunfire, so they let him in. He wasn't particularly
good at it, and they actually tried to get him transferred to be a cook after he passed out
halfway through training. He insisted that he wanted to fight though, so they sent him
into the maelstrom.
During the invasion of Italy he was promoted to corporal for his awesome shooting
skills, and at the same time contracted malaria, which he had for almost the entire war.
Try to remember that.

He was sent into southern France in 1944. He encountered a German machine gun
crew who pretended they were surrendering, then shot his best buddy. Murphy
completely hulked out, killed everyone in the gun nest, then used their weaponry to kill
every baddie in a 100-yard radius, including two more machine gun nests and a bunch
of snipers. They gave him a Distiguished Service Cross, and made him platoon
commander while everyone apologized profusely for calling him "Shorty."
About half a year later, his company was given the job of defending the Colmar Pocket,
a critical region in France, even though all they had left was 19 guys (out of the original
128) and a couple of M-10 Tank Destroyers.
The Germans showed up with a shitload of guys and half a dozen tanks. Since
reinforcements weren't coming for a while, Murphy and his men hid in a trench and sent
the M-10s to go do the heavy lifting. They got ripped to shreds.

Then, this five-and-a-half-foot-tall kid with malaria ran up to one of the crippled M-10s,
hopped in behind the .50 cal machine gun, and started killing everything in sight.
Understand that the M-10 was on fire, had a full tank of gas and was basically a death-

He is a seriously tiny man.

He kept going for almost an hour until he was out of bullets, then walked back to his
bewildered men as the M-10 exploded in the background Mad Max style. They gave
him literally every medal they could (33 in all, although he had doubles of a few, plus
five from France and one from Belgium), including the Medal of Honor.
After the war, he came down with Shell-Shock, and was prescribed the antidepressant
placidyl. When he became addicted to the drug, rather than enter a program like some
kind of sissy, he went cold-turkey, locked himself in a motel room for a week and got
over it. He wrote an autobiography entitled To Hell and Back, and later became an
The Best Hollywood Could Come Up With:
Audie Murphy (Audie Murphy) from To Hell and Back:

He is a seriously tiny man.

In To Hell and Back, Audie Murphy plays Audie Murphy, a badass war hero who proves
his worth on the battlefield with his awesome badassery. The movie was the highest-
grossing film Universal made, a record it held for 20 years until the making of Jaws.
That's right, they actually needed a movie about a giant, man-eating, shark to top Audie
Murphy's awesomeness.
Why it Doesn't Compare:
When some Hollywood producer wanted to make a movie based on Murphy's
autobiography, he was determined to have Murphy play himself in the film. Murphy was
afraid people would see the complete insane awesomeness the story had to offer, and
think he was embellishing or trying to cash in on his fame, so he actually had them take
parts out for fear that they wouldn't be believable to a Hollywood audience. Seriously.

Sometimes killing a dozen men at once isn't what makes you badass, but how a
dozen men failed at killing you.

Source: In.com

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