War is more of a national conflict than a personal one. Soldiers march and end the lives of the enemy soldiers who did nothing wrong to them except being born on the opposing side… or maybe they did?

Whichever it was, there were people whose lives were drastically affected by the war, be it because their family members were killed or properties were taken away. Their lives changed forever, and they did not just let the sufferings they experienced pass and slip. Instead, they made it their personal thing and vowed to seek revenge, and they really did. Here are some of those.

Eliahu Itzkovitz Tracking The Nazi Who Killed His Family

Eliahu Itzkovitz was born in Romania of Moldavian descent. When World War II broke out, the Nazis took his family for being Jews and brought them to a concentration camp. Like many others, he witnessed his family being murdered by a Romanian prison guard named Stanescu. His parents and three brothers were all killed, leaving him the lone survivor. He vowed to himself that he would avenge his family’s murder.

After the Soviet army liberated them in 1944, Itzkovitz moved to Israel, where he served under the Israeli Defense Forces as a paratrooper. As fate permitted, he found out while serving that Stanescu had joined the French Foreign Legion serving in Vietnam. So he abandoned the Israeli Defense Forces and instead joined the Foreign Legion. He successfully arranged to be transferred to Stanescu’s unit, where he waited for the perfect timing to execute his revenge.

The perfect timing arrived during a tense moment when they were under fire, and Eliahu turned to Stanescu, “I’m one of the Jews from Chisinau,” before taking his life. He was later court-martialed in Israel that imposed only one year of prison as his sentence, saying they could not give a heavy sentence “in view of the circumstances of the case.”

Pierre Picaud Spent Years Plotting His Revenge After Being Accused of Spying

Pierre Picaud was born in Southern France. During the Napoleonic Wars, three of his friends, Loupian, Solari, and Chaubart became consumed with envy because Picaud had attracted the attention of a lovely and wealthy girl that Loupian coveted for himself.   They framed him for treason on the accusation that he was a spy for England. Imprisoned for 7 years, he befriended an elderly Italian priest in the next cell.  For years he helped look after the old priest.  As he was dying, the priest told Picaud of a treasure he had hidden in Milan and where to find it.  When Napolean’s government collapsed in 1814, Picaud was released in an amnesty and traveled to Milan, recovering the treasure.  He was suddenly very rich.

Picaud then returned to France to seek his revenge.  He used his wealth to bribe a man named Allut who knew who framed him.  Picaud pretended to be dying and offered him a large diamond to reveal the names of the men who sent him to prison.  Allut figured that Picaud would only be taking this information to the grave with him and gave up the names of the plotters along with the devastating news that his finance had married Loupian.

Picaud then took his revenge.  He first arranged to have Chaubart murdered in cold blood. He then tracked down Solari and poisoned him. Then he set his sights on Loupian. Simply killing him would not be enough, Picaud set out to destroy everything Loupian ever loved.  He first targeted Loupian daughter by getting her to marry a criminal whom he then arranged to have arrested.  The shame and scandal caused her enough mental anguish that she took her own life. Loupian was the owner of a very successful restaurant and Picaud had it burnt to the ground, all but ruining him financially.  Picaud wasn’t finished yet. he next went after Loupian’s son and managed to frame him as a thief and get him thrown into jail.  Finally, he was ready to confront his nemesis face to face. Picaud stabbed Loupian to death.

Allut, the guy who ratted out everybody else saw the handwriting on the wall.  He figured that Picaud would be looking to kill him next.  If Picaud was caught by the police and revealed that Allut had informed on the others, the families of the dead men would surely take their revenge on him.  He also understood that he was the one man that could finger Picaud for the cops as well, and Picaud would certainly kill him to cover his tracks.  Either way, he was probably a dead man if he didn’t act.  Allut had Picuad abducted and then killed before Picaud could do the same to him.  He then very shrewdly went to the police himself and confessed everything he knew, casting himself as an unwitting victim caught up in the envy, jealousy, and revenge of Picaud and his friends.

If this story sounds at all familiar, it formed the basis of the novel, “The Count of Monte Cristo” by Alexandre Dumas

Dantès on his rock, poster by Paul Gavarni for Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas.
Dantès on his rock, poster by Paul Gavarni for Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas.


Qutuz Became Sultan of Egypt and Defeated the Mongols Who Enslaved Him

During the 13th century, the people of Turkey and the Mongols fought against each other for control of the country. In one of their battles, the Mongols captured and enslaved a young Turk named Qutuz. He was taken in chains to Syria and later on sold to Aybak the Auubid Sultan of Egypt. Living now as a slave or “Mamluk”, Qutuz vowed that he would live to take revenge on the Mongols who enslaved him. the Egyptians trained their Mamluks to be soldiers in their army and many ended up rising to prominence by heroic acts on the field fo battle.  Qutuz was apparently quite a soldier and ended up as the vice sultan and principal advisor to Aybak.

Things were going pretty well for the ex-slave until Akbak’s wife had him assassinated.  This put Qutuz’s life in danger as well. Using the authority he still had left, he managed to extract from the wife’s own slaves information that she had plotted to kill her husband the Sultan.  Qutuz had her arrested within hours and then beaten to death.  To secure his own position Qutuz installed Aybaks son as Sultan who was still just a kid.

So things returned to something like normal in Egypt until news arrived that the Mongols were on the march again, Baghdad had fallen and they were marching now on Syria. If Egypt didn’t act immediately, the Mongols would be on their way to Cairo in short order.

Qutuz argued that the 15-year-old Sultan just wasn’t up to the job of leading the country in such a war.  He asked to be installed as Sultan himself until the Mongol threat was eliminated promising that he would step down and return to his old job as an advisor.  They agreed and Qutuz was now the Sultan of Egypt and the head of a powerful army.  He was at last in the position to make good on his vow to take revenge on the Mongols who had enslaved him as a kid.

As predicted, Syrian cities began to fall one by one and the Mongols were now on their way to Egypt.  As was customary, the Mongols sent envoys ahead to demand the surrender of Egypt or see it utterly destroyed.  Qutuz had them beheaded as a form of reply and displayed the heads on the gate of the city.


Saif ad-Din Qutuz. (User: SoultanOmarCC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

Qutuz then proceeded to lead his army against the Mongols rather than wait for them to come to Egypt, beating them on the battlefield for the first time ever. He was joined in this effort by Mamluk General Baibars who had the remnant of Syrian forces still fighting the Mongols.  The defeat was so complete that Qutuz was able to liberate virtually all of the Muslim kingdoms the Mongols had conquered in Syria and Iraq as well. He was now in the position to be the ruler of the entire Muslim world if he wanted to be.

This is where Qutuz may have screwed up fatally.  He took it upon himself to appoint new rulers to the reconquered kingdoms and even installed a new Caliph for the Muslim world.  He did not ask for the advice of Cairo in doing so.  This may have cost Qutuz his life.

Now he was returning to Cairo at the head of a victorious army, a hero in Egypt and in the Muslim world. The government in Cairo may have been rightly suspicious that he would not return the power he had borrowed and was now a grave threat.  They may have conspired with General Baibars to have him assassinated on the march home. It is also possible that Baibars did it on his own as revenge for the death of a close friend at the hands of Sultan Aybak, Qutuz’s old master.