History is full of wars and battles, and some soldiers have distinguished themselves by their courage, skill, and effectiveness in combat. These are some of the deadliest soldiers in history, who have killed hundreds or even thousands of enemies, often against overwhelming odds. They come from different countries, cultures, and eras, but they all share a common trait: they are badass.
10. James H. Howard
James H. Howard was an American fighter pilot who fought in both World War II and the Korean War. He is the only fighter pilot to receive the Medal of Honor for his actions in Europe during World War II. On January 11, 1944, he single-handedly defended a formation of American bombers from more than 30 German fighters for over half an hour, shooting down at least six enemy planes and damaging several others. He was nicknamed “One-Man Air Force” by the press for his feat.
9. Jack G. Hanson
Jack G. Hanson was an American soldier who fought in the Korean War. He was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously for his actions on June 7, 1951, when he was only 21 years old. He was part of a platoon that was surrounded and attacked by a large enemy force. He volunteered to stay behind and cover the withdrawal of his comrades, using his rifle, grenades, and a machine gun. He killed more than 200 enemy soldiers before he ran out of ammunition and was killed by a grenade.
8. Dominic “Fats” McCarthy
Dominic “Fats” McCarthy was an Australian soldier who fought in World War II and the Korean War. He was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions on August 6, 1952, during the Battle of Samichon River in Korea. He led a bayonet charge against a heavily defended enemy position, killing more than 40 enemy soldiers and capturing three machine guns. He then held his ground against repeated counterattacks until reinforcements arrived.
7. Herbert Christian
Herbert Christian was an American soldier who fought in World War II. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross posthumously for his actions on June 3, 1944, during the Battle of Cisterna in Italy. He was part of a patrol that was ambushed and pinned down by enemy fire. He crawled forward and threw grenades at the enemy machine gun nests, silencing two of them. He then continued to advance despite being wounded several times, until he reached a third machine gun nest and destroyed it with his last grenade. He died shortly after from his wounds.
6. Mikhail Panikakha
Mikhail Panikakha was a Soviet soldier who fought in World War II. He was awarded the Hero of the Soviet Union posthumously for his actions on October 16, 1943, during the Battle of Stalingrad. He was part of a group of soldiers who were defending a hill from a German tank attack. When he ran out of anti-tank grenades, he grabbed two bottles of gasoline and ran towards a tank. He threw one bottle at the tank’s tracks, setting them on fire. He then climbed on top of the tank and tried to throw the second bottle into the hatch, but it exploded in his hand, killing him and destroying the tank.
5. Miyamoto Musashi
Miyamoto Musashi was a Japanese samurai who lived in the 16th and 17th centuries. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest swordsmen in history, and the author of The Book of Five Rings, a classic treatise on strategy and martial arts. He fought in more than 60 duels throughout his life, and never lost a single one. He often used unconventional tactics, such as arriving late, using wooden swords or sticks instead of metal blades, or fighting with two swords at once.
4. Lü Bu
Lü Bu was a Chinese warlord who lived in the late 2nd and early 3rd centuries AD, during the Three Kingdoms period. He is famous for his exceptional martial prowess, as well as his treachery and disloyalty. He served under several lords, but betrayed them all for his own gain or ambition. He was feared and respected by his enemies and allies alike, as he could defeat any opponent in single combat or on horseback. He wielded a halberd called Sky Piercer, which could split arrows in mid-air.
3. Adnan bin Saidi
Adnan bin Saidi was a Malay soldier who fought in World War II under the British Army. He is best known for his heroic defense of Bukit Chandu (Opium Hill) during the Battle of Singapore in 1942. He led a platoon of 42 men against a Japanese force of over 13,000. He refused to surrender or retreat, and fought to the last man. He was captured and tortured by the Japanese, who tried to make him reveal the British positions. He refused to cooperate, and was bayoneted and hung upside down from a tree until he died.
2. Dillard “C. J.” Johnson
Dillard “C. J.” Johnson is an American soldier who fought in the Iraq War and the War in Afghanistan. He is one of the most decorated soldiers in American history, with 37 medals and citations, including a Silver Star and four Bronze Stars. He is credited with killing more than 2,746 enemy combatants, mostly as a sniper or a tank commander. He survived being shot several times, as well as an IED blast that left him with a traumatic brain injury.
1. Agustín Ramos Calero
Agustín Ramos Calero was a Puerto Rican soldier who fought in World War II under the United States Army. He is the most decorated Hispanic soldier in American history, with 22 medals and citations, including a Silver Star and six Bronze Stars. He is also known as the “One-Man Army” for his actions on February 25, 1944, during the Battle of Anzio in Italy. He single-handedly killed 32 enemy soldiers, wounded four, and captured eight, using his rifle, submachine gun, grenades, and knife.