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Real Life Superhero: Leo Major

Monday, 01 March 2010

If you find yourself needing some inspiration to action you could do none worse than read up about the super human exploits of the French Canadian war hero Leo Major.

Seriously this guy is unbelievable.... on a scale you would not believe.... you have to read on...

Leo Major fought in the Second World war and in the Korean War, winning 2 Distinguished Conduct Medals  (DCM from now on) (the 2nd highest award available to him, just short of the Victoria Cross), and an extra one to boot that... well read on...

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Superman For Real - Leo Major 

Here is a short list of Leo Major's achievements

  • Landing on D-Day he single handedly went out killed the full crew of 8 and captured a Nazi half-track armoured vechile and it's communication gear including the current German secret codes thus allowing the Allies to crack German communications - this helped the Allied invasion a heck of a lot as you can imagine.
  • Days later he again single handedly killed a patrol of 4 elite SS soldiers, though the last SS threw a phosphorous grenade (think napalm) and Leo Major lost an eye
  • He refused the medical evacuated and re-entered combat service, saying as a sniper he only needed one eye to fire his rifle. It is also rumoured (well writtenon the Internet) that Leo Major commented that it made him look like a pirate.
  • Next he single handedly captured 93 (yes, that is ninety three) German soldiers by capturing and tricking their patrol then their commanding officer, and after shooting 4 of their number dead.
  • He was awarded a DCM by the head of Allied command, General Montgomery. Leo Major refused the award saying the Montgomery was incompetant and therefore should not have been handing out medals (or commanding).
  • Evacuating some dead he was in a vehicle ran over a anti-tank mine which broke both his ankles, 4 ribs and his back was broken in 3 places! He lived and was going to be medically evacuated.
  • But he escaped hospital a week later, hitched a lift to a local family he had met and stayed there a month recovering then rejoined his unit at the front.
I told you he was super human, but read on, things only get more fantastic...
  • Again single handedly went into combat against the German occupied fortified town of Zwolle in Holland. You read that right, by himself, alone, he liberated the fortified town from German occupying forces. Leo captured somewhere between 80 and 100 German soldiers, set fire to the Gestapo HQ, located the SS HQ, entered and killed 4 of the 8 officers present, the other 4 fled. After much machine gun fire and a dispensing a big bag of grenades Leo Major saw the Germans retreating and at 4.30am declared the city safe. At 9am he returned to his unit and they were able to walk into the city unopposed. For this he won one of his DCM's.
Not good enough for Leo Major, this one eyed pirate patch wearing superman then went on to single handedly try to win the Korean War...
  • A division (about 10,000 men if at full strength) of US Army were pushed back by two Chinese divisions totalling 14,000 men. The Americans were forced to retreat so quickly that they left their vechiles and supplies behind. For two days they tried to unsuccessfully recapture the hill. Thats when they called in Leo Major (still with only one eye), this time with 20 men under his command Leo Major infiltrated the Chinese front lines by night and started firing. Leo major and his 20 men, with mortar support,  captured the hill and for the next three days repelled the 14,000 strong Chinese Army until reinforcements arrived. Leo Major was awarded his 2nd (or 3rd really) DCM.
And the Americans would have you believe that they won the wars... 
 
Then Leo managed to live through to a ripe old age of 87.

Now if that is not living grand then I don't know what is. Overcoming fear, overcoming astronomical odds, and a daring attitude to take risks he was a one man army, really. 

Leo Major is an inspiration to everyone who wants to give life their best shot, a real life superman. My god I feel pumped just telling you about him. As a stunt actor we just emulate these guys in relatively safe environments, these guys are the real heros that should be looked up to, not film and pop stars as todays youth do.

You can find out more about Leo Major on wikipedia and  a special BIG thanks to Badass of the week for bringing Leo Major to my attention.

 
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