There are some things, claims, and stories that are just so hard to believe sometimes that you had to ask for proof before you believe them. Some cynics won’t believe even after being presented with facts. Many things like this happened on the battlegrounds as well. They were so otherworldly and seemingly impossible that they sounded fake, but they aren’t. Wars and conflicts no doubt put human beings in the most extreme situations, and humans are often capable of overcoming and accomplishing remarkable things that we thought could only happen in movies. Here are some of these unbelievable warfare stories:

Daniel Inouye Lost A Hand Still Holding a Live Grenade

Daniel Inouye,
Daniel Inouye, senator from Hawaii. (United States Congress, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

Former US Senator from Hawaii Daniel Inouye was a World War II veteran and a Medal of Honor recipient who fought in the 442nd Infantry Regiment. When the war broke out, Inouye had to fight his way from America’s discriminatory policies against the Japanese Americans before the government allowed them to enlist and be part of the military. When he did, he was sent to serve as a sniper in France and Italy, where he was soon promoted to 2nd lieutenant.

His most unbelievable action in combat came on April 21, 1945, when Lt. Inouye led his troops during an assault on the village of San Terenzo in Italy. His troops advanced on three German machine-gun nests and he was shot in the torso. Despite the injury, he still kept pushing forward, throwing grenades at the enemies while firing his submachine gun. He eventually was able to down two of the machine gun nests. He was about to approach the third nest, ready to throw the grenade from which he had just pulled the pin when a round fired by the enemy blew off his right arm.

When he looked, his severed hand was still holding the pinless grenade. Inouye immediately snatched it from the hand that was once his and then threw it at the last gun position, successfully eliminating him just before he passed out. He stayed on the battlefield for the next few hours, directing his troops as the attack went on. It was not until after nine hours that he arrived at the hospital.

Chips the Dog Captured Four Enemy Soldiers

Chips was a Shepherd-Collie-Husky mix originally owned by Edward Wren from Pleasantville, New York. During World War II, the US military called for citizens to volunteer their dogs for duty, and over 11,000 Americans answered the call. Chips’ owner was one of them. The dog was 3.5 years old when he was taken to the War Dog Training Center in Front Royal, Virginia, to be trained as a sentry dog. He was then assigned to his handler, Pvt. John P. Rowell. Rowell was part of the 3rd Infantry Division in North Africa, Sicily, Italy, Germany, and France.

Chips, the war dog
Chips, the war dog. (Cassowary ColorizationsCC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

A year into his deployment, Chips was there during the invasion of Sicily when his handler was pinned down on the beach by a team of Italian machine gunners. He broke away from his leash and ran toward the enemy position. A single shot was heard, followed by an Italian gunner emerging with Chips biting his throat. He, along with three of the Italian gunners, was forced to surrender. On the other hand, Chips received a wound on his scalp and burns on his left eye and mouth. He continued fighting that day and helped capture ten more enemy troops. Chips made it out alive from the war zone and was able to return home to the Wren family after the war. Now, that’s a really good boy.

Adrian Carton de Wiart Pulling Off His Dangling Fingers

British General Adrian Carton de Wiart earned the moniker “the unkillable soldier” for reasons. De Wiart was a Belgian aristocrat who became a captain in the British army in 1915. Before that, he had already fought and survived the Boer War.

Sir Adrian Carton de Wiart by H. Walter Barnett. (H. Walter Barnett, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

One night on the French battlefield of Ypres in WWI, his group of officers went too close to the enemy lines, and the Germans welcomed them with a barrage of bullets. De Wiart was hit in the hand, but he managed to scramble back to the rest of his group. His hand was bleeding so profusely that he had to take a fallen German’s scarf to try and stop the bleeding. He was brought to the dressing station, and the surgeons were unsure of what to do with the gory mess of his hand, as two of his fingers were dangling off, barely hanging. His palm was gone, as so the majority of his wrist. As he wrote in his memoir,

I asked the doctor to take my fingers off; he refused, so I pulled them off myself and felt absolutely no pain in doing it.

By December 1915, his hand had not shown any sign of healing, and it had to be amputated. Throughout the rest of his career, he would take several more bullets in his body, survive two plane crashes, and lose one eye. Sir Adrian was both one of the luckiest and unluckiest soldiers we have ever heard of.

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