What do mean, 'Smile'? I am smiling....
I'm not going to crack a joke here, because that man up there scares me. And he's been dead since 1996.
His name was Jack Churchill. And he was an officer in the English army during WWII. And calling him bad ass is doing him a great disservice. Bad ass doesn't even come close to describing what this man was. His cajones weren't made of brass. They were made of Adamantium.
Chuck Norris balls up into the fetal position, sucks his thumb and weeps when Jack Churchill looks at him.
Jack Churchill makes Alvin York and Audie Murphy look like pansies.
For starters, his nickname was Mad Jack. And he earned that nickname.
He graduated from college in 1926, and joined the army. It was a good way for a young Englishman to see the world back then. And Jack served happily until 1936, when he left to become an editor for a newspaper.
In his spare time, he liked to play the bagpipes, and enjoyed the sport of archery. He was a very good archer, in fact. His skills with a bow and arrow earned him roles in two movies.
But, none of that makes him bad ass.
What does make him the baddest of the asses is, after Germany invaded Poland in 1939, he resumed his commission in the army. In May of 1940, during the fight for France, Churchill launched an ambush by killing the sergeant in charge of a German patrol. With his longbow.
That act made Jack Churchill the only English soldier known to have killed an enemy with a bow an arrow.
That makes him mildly bad ass. But Mad Jack hadn't even begun.
In 1941, during the raid on Vagsoy Norway, Jack was the first off his landing craft. He charged onto the beach, playing 'March of the Cameron Men' on his bagpipes. That wasn't all that unusual. There were many pipers in the British Army, and the commonly played the troops into battle. What made Jacks playing so amazing was, he was in the lead. And as soon as he got close enough, he tossed a grenade and began killing.
In 1943, during the fight for Salerno, Churchill was ordered to take a German position. So, again he led the charge. While playing his pipes. Armed only with his bow and arrows, and the Scottish Claymore, (great sword), at his waist. Using his sword, he took 42 prisoners, and made them transport his wounded back to his lines.
In May of 1944, he was leading his troop of commandos on a raid in support of Yugoslavian partisans under the command of Tito. The night of the attack, the partisans decided to wait until morning, and Jack led his commandos on the attack alone. They were strafed accidentally by an RAF Spitfire, so Jack pulled back to wait for morning.
At first light, Jack led his men against the Germans again, and the partisans chickened out, again. Leading from the front of his men, playing his pipes along the way, Jack and only six of his men reached the objective. The Germans counterattacked and using mortars, killed or wounded everyone else, but Jack was left unscathed.
He stood defiantly in the face of the oncoming Germans, playing 'Will Ye No Come Back Again' on the pipes. The Germans tossed grenades and knocked Jack unconscious and captured him.
He was sent to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp.
In September of 1944, Jack and another officer crawled under the wire and started making for the Baltic coast, and freedom. They were recaptured within a couple of miles from their goal.
In April of 1945, Jack and 140 other high value prisoners were taken from the camp by the SS and relocated to the Tyrol. Worried that they were to be executed, Jack approached the highest ranking German army officer and demanded that they be treated as the Geneva Accords demanded they be. The German officer led his army troops to protect the prisoners, and seeing they were vastly outnumbered, the SS ran off.
After the SS ran off, the German officer released the prisoners and led his troops off to surrender to anyone other than the Russians.
Churchill then walked 90 miles into Italy where he met up with an American armored patrol.
You would think that would be the end of Jacks adventure in the war. But you'd be wrong. The Japanese were still fighting in the Pacific, so Jack demanded a transfer. He was ordered to go to Burma, where some of the largest land battles were being fought against the Japanese, but only made it to India by the time the bombs were dropped and Japan surrendered.
This really pissed off Mad Jack. He was quoted as saying, "If it weren't for the damn yanks, we could have kept this war going for another 10 years."
After the war, he was transferred to Palestine. In 1948, he led 12 soldiers to assist the transport of a medical convoy, when they came under attack by hundreds of Palestinians. Seventy eight Jewish doctors, nurses, patients and Haganah fighters, plus one of Churchills soldiers, were killed. The incident has come to be known as the Hadassah Convoy Massacre. (sticky situation, the Palestinians were attacking the military escort, and claim everyone fought back, including the civilians. The leaders of the convoy admitted they were transporting military supplies as well as humanitarian aid. This led to the separation of military and humanitarian convoys)
Churchill then took his troops and coordinated the evacuation of 700 people from the Mt. Scopus Hospital.
After serving in Palestine, Jack went to Australia and trained their military at the land-air warfare school. While there, he fell in love with the surfboard. When he left Australia, he took his board back to England, and became the first person to surf the River Severn.
After he left the military in 1959, to keep himself busy, he took a job in the city. That job required him to take the train to and from the city every day. On the way home, every day, he would throw his briefcase out the train window. When asked why, he said he was throwing it into his backyard so he didn't have to carry it home from the train station.
Sure, tossing a briefcase out a train window may not be all that bad ass, but dude fought his way through WWII with a bow and arrow, sword and bagpipes. Plus, he (almost) escaped from one of the most closely guarded concentration camps in Germany. (it was located just 20 miles north of Berlin)
So, whenever you do something that makes you feel excessively manly, remember 'Mad' Jack Churchill. And then realize you ain't squat.