Who are the greatest warriors of all time? I’m not looking for groups of people like knights, the samurai or Vikings nor great generals or strategists who never actually fought in combat. I need fighters like that Spartan at Thermopylae (don’t remember his name right now) or famous swordsmen like Musashi. Thanks!
Re-read OP-never mind!
Fun fact, Musashi’s side actually lost almost all of the battles he was in (with the exception of the siege of Fushimi Castle). That’s not necessarily a reflection on him, but I just found it interesting.
ETA: Musashi was apparently also part of the force that put down the Shimibara Rebellion, but he was knocked out by a rock before the battle started and didn’t actually participate in the actual fighting.
How about the Byzantine Emperor’s Varangian Guard? Specially selected Viking warriors employed by the Byzantine Emperor for their legendary axe-wielding ferocity and absolute loyalty as his personal guard …
That’s amazing, Captain. Did not know that. Malthus, thanks but I need specific names like King Leonidas. Or maybe a specific knight who became famous because of his skills in actual battle. Something like that.
How about the most famous Varangian of them all - Harold Hardrada?
Is a “warrior” someone who is necessarily good with a weapon? Wouldn’t they also have to be able to do a bit with the old unarmed combat aspect?
I’d say anyone who was totally reliant on a weapon, was more of a wuss than a warrior.
Also, I’d say most elite MMA fighters are closer to being “warriors” than a modern soldier.
Thanks, Malthus. First time I’ve heard of the Varangian Guards and King Harold.
Simo Hayha, Finnish sniper during the Winter War with the Soviet Union.
Limited light and -20 to -40ºC. At least 500 confirmed kills, possibly over 800, and all in less than 100 days.
Thanks, jk1245. Holy crap, 500 kills.
“Audie Murphy was credited with destroying six tanks in addition to killing over 240 German soldiers and wounding and capturing many others. His principal U.S. decorations included the Medal of Honor, Distinguished Service Cross, two Silver Stars, the Legion of Merit, two Bronze Stars with Valor device, and three Purple Hearts (all for genuine combat wounds). Murphy participated in campaigns in North Africa, Sicily, Italy, France and Germany, as denoted by his European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with one silver battle star (denoting five campaigns), four bronze battle stars, plus a bronze arrowhead representing his two amphibious assault landings at Sicily and southern France. During the French Campaign, Murphy was awarded two Presidential Citations, one from the 3rd Inf, Division, and one from the 15th Inf. Regiment during the Holtzwihr action.”
It is also going to be hard to top modern special forces groups like the Navy SEALS and the British SAS because they have so many elite people to choose from as well as the technology, money, and training techniques to push them to the limits of human capability. Historical fighting forces wouldn’t stand a chance against them in equal numbers.
This Book has a lot of examples of what you’re looking for, and is pretty hilarious to boot.
I think we need to define what a warrior is. I’d have thought the above was no more a warrior’s feat than casting a fishing rod, unless he was under fire during every kill. Even then, he’d just be a lucky man, who was good with a rifle, unless he could also handle himself in CQC.
Wasn’t there a single axe-wielding Viking warrior, at the battle of Stamford Bridge in 1066, that killed a ridiculous number of Saxon opponents attempting to cross the bridge before a surprise spear-thrust ended his life?
Like the Cracked article says of Hayha: the Russians sent a task force specifically to find “The White Death”, and he killed them all. They followed that up with a team of counter-snipers, marksmen specifically trained to kill snipers. Hayha killed them all, too. He may not have been in “the thick of battle” for every kill, but he was pretty damn bad-ass.
Audie Murphy is #1 on that list. They note that he was so awesome, they actually had to tone down some of his incredible feats when making To Hell And Back, because audiences wouldn’t find them believable.
Another good Cracked list on warriors with balls of brass: The 7 Most Badass Last Stands in the History of Battle. gytalf2000’s Viking is #4 on that list.
I don’t know about that, I think many of the techniques used for MMA fighting are designed specificially for unarmed combat under a strict rules structure. Remove the ruleset (allow eye-gouging, headbutting, throat grabbing, groin shots, etc.), or add something like knives to the mix, and I imagine many of the “elite” MMA fighters would suddenly be woefully un-prepared.
Any “warrior” should be well-versed in all forms of combat, especially those designed to severely incapacitate or kill.
To add to the above, MMA fighting is also designed for 1v1 fights only. Hardly a guarantee under real-life scenarios. I think something as simple as a 1v2 fight would cause about 90% of an elite MMA grappler’s skills to become useless.