Tuesday, June 7, 2011

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5: Awesome Last Stands

        For those of you who don't know, a last stand is when you know you're about to die, and still do something to stop the enemy, or at least slow them down. Here are five cases of men with balls as big as the earth who weren't going to let the enemy win, not even over their dead bodies.

5: The Last Stand At Thermopylae

        So, you guys obviously know about the Spartans, the manliest culture that has ever existed. They're known as the toughest civilization ever, tougher than even the Aztecs, and at Thermopylae, they faced the hardest odds ever recorded in a military standoff. While the 300 Spartans had a bit of help, I don't know, about 5,700 troops, they faced off an enemy greater than the millions, and that's a huge ratio right there.

        Well, what was this last stand? Leonidas wanted to buy some time for his fellow soldiers, so his royal highness decided to let the others go while he fought the Persians. Leonidas had already been struck with a few arrows, so he ordered his men to retreat. He was about to die, but wasn't about to give up. He took his helmet off, dropped his shield, and grabbed his spear. He stood on his knees, and the whole Persian army stopped, to see the king, dying on his knees, to buy his people more time. He was struck with a Javelin, having stopped the most feared army in the world on its tracks.

4: The Alamo

        Ah, remember the Alamo. Mexicans hate the treason Santa Anna did there, Americans love it, and the world knows it as the way Texas became a nation and then a state. There, in the mission, were 182 American troops, untrained and unarmed. They were going up against 2,000 Mexicans under Santa Anna.

        The mission was bombarded by cannons, but somehow its walls withstood the constant fire. One day, Santa Anna had enough and went in. Everybody, except the women and children, and a couple of African Americans were killed. Of course, the Mexicans were the good guys in this case, but it was courageous of the Texans, nontheless.

3: The Battle Of Rorke's Drift

        All right, so basically, the Brits were the bad guys, as they were the ones invading the Zulu's lands. Still, these guys, they weren't soldiers. They were cooks, janitors, etc., who got left behind while the others did the invading, and got killed in the process at the Battle of Islawandha. So, how many of these were there? 132 men.

For you, stupid blokes, spaghetti and DEATHBALLS.

        At the Battle of Islawandha, the Zulus had an attack formation in the form of a bull. A huge circe was nearing from the front, and there were two "horns" coming from the sides. Unfortunately, the horns got there after everybody was killed, so they were going to take their anger out on the men left behind at Rorke's Drift.

        Now, the Zulus had the higher ground, weapons, knew the terrain very well, and had the element of surprise. The others had bayonets and Martini-Henry rifles. The Zulus attacked in massive waves the night of Jan. 23 and the morning of Jan. 24, nonstop. They were going to do another assault, when their scouts saw the British Relief full with cannons. They decided to retire, but had a newfound respect for their unkilled enemies. The defenders won 11 Victoria Crosses, the most awarded for one single engagement. Now, while this wasn't really a last stand, it had the feeling. Nobody thought he was getting out alive when he saw the whole bunch of Zulus coming from the top of the hills.

Shit, shit, shit, shit, screw it guys, they have cannons!

2: Sempronius Densus

         Sempronius was a Roman Guard who took his job way seriously. He was the only one who offered to protect the throne, while everybody else refused to. That day, a thousand mutinous Roman soldiers were running to the temple, to slay the Caesar. He walked to them, and took out a Centurion Whacking Stick. A, um, a simple stick used to beat up soldiers who are out of line. He ordered them to stop. Seeing nobody listened, he pulled out a pugio, a dagger half the size of a Roman sword. He screamed at them to stop, but they kept marching. He knew they'd asked for it, so he lunged himself at them.

Stop! I'm damn serious!

         The way Plutarch says it, the war-hardened man fought and resisted "for some time". His last stand ended when he was struck behind the knee and promptly executed on his knees. Still, Caesar Galba was killed, and his head was paraded through town.

1: Dian Wei

        Dian Wei was a machine of slaughter, that went up through the ranks in feudal Japan for his carnage delivered. He was getting to the top of the Wei Kingdom, and was handpicked by the Wei King, Cao Cao, to be his bodyguard. His last stand took place in the Battle of Wancheng, where he placed a whole army into submission by himself. Some governer got pissed when Cao Cao banged his aunt, and launched a surprise night attack on his camp. When the army of warriors got to the camp, Dian was there at the entrance, wielding two 40-pound axes.

I heard you want to kill my boss...

        The assassins charged, and Dian Wei started splattering the ground with ungodly amounts of blood. After swinging his axes like a wild madman for a while, Wei got pissed and started breaking spines with his own hands. He killed more than 20 enemies, when another group came from behind and killed him. He achieved his goal, though. Cao Cao escaped and eventually brougth the Three Kingdoms to an end.

So basically, Dian ended killing up guys like this.

         So, there you have it, a few epic stories of badassery, brought on by some of the bravest men in history. These guys deserve to be more well known, and that's why I write about them. It's because of men like these that history's changed.