by pantea

Pantea, Arteshbod of the Persian Immortals

550 B.C.E. - Pantea, Arteshbod (Commander and Chief) of the “Immortals”, was one of the all time greatest Persian commanders during the reign of Cyrus the Great (559 - 529 B.C.E.). She was the wife of General Aryasb (Achaemenid Arteshbod). She played an important role in keeping law & order in Babylonia after the conquest of the Neo-Babylonian Empire in 547 B.C.E. by Cyrus the Great. Commander Pantea truly was an important and sensitive military commander whose presence on the ancient battlefield made a difference to the outcome of the battle and played a part in building up the tapestry of ancient military Achievement. Pantea and General Aryasb were the commanders of the elite force of Persian soldiers who performed the dual roles of both Imperial Guard and standing army during the Persian Empire’s expansion. They formed the elite core of the Persian army in times of war and the royal guard in times of peace in Persian Achaemenid Empire. In Persian lore, Pantea was the most beautiful woman in all of Asia and kept her face covered during battle to prevent men from falling in love with her.

The name Pantea means: “Strong and immortal” in Persian and “all the gods” or “all the flowers” in Greek

The elite force were known as “The Immortals” because they were kept constantly at a strength of exactly 10,000 men, every killed or seriously wounded member was immediately replaced. To insure loyalty, the original members of this “immortal” fighting machine were Persians by bloodline and trained from early childhood (age 7+). Not everyone could become one of the 10,000 since the training was very rigorous and hard both physically and psychologically. They also followed a strict adherence to the religion of the prophet Zarathustra and his teachings in order to respect life. “The Immortals” were mainly used during the last stages of each battle as reinforcement by the order of the King of Kings to shock the enemies strategically.

Warrior Woman: Pantea Arteshbod

During the reign of Cyprus the Great (559-530 B.C.E.), Pentea was wife of General Aryasb and Arteshbod (commander) of the Immortals. Persia’s elite fighting force that was both standing army, and Imperial Guard gained their legend by keeping their force 10,000 strong at all times. 

Little is known about this fierce woman, her deeds being overshadowed by the legend of the Immortals, but their very conception is attributed at times to her and her husband. Between them, and their use of the Immortals, they helped solidify rule in a conquered Babylon.

Legend states that Pentea was the most beautiful woman in all of Asia, and had to keep her face covered in battle to keep men from falling in love with her. So fearsome in battle, her presence in a fight was seen as to assure victory, and there is little historical evidence to prove this wrong. 

Unfortunately there is little else known about her outside of legend, but what little is known paints a true warrior woman capable of leading one of the most renowned fighting forces of the ancient world. 

Master List of Women in Combat (Over 200 women are listed below.) -brought to us by Rejected PrincessesRejected Princesses is so awesome. If you haven’t already,then you need to hit the link and revel in the awesomeness that is Rejected Princesses. **PRE-1ST CENTURY Ahhotep I (16th century BCE): Egyptian queen who rallied troops against invaders, was merciful, got Order of the Fly Fu Hao (13th century BCE): Chinese general who led up to 13,000 people in battle, defeated the Shang after many many battles Chrysame (11th century BCE): killed entire legion of invaders using mad cow disease/LSD Pantea Arteshbod (6th century): Persian commander of the Immortals, kept face covered so people wouldn’t fall in love with her [had a lot of trouble finding primary source on this one] Telesilla (6th century BCE): poet who defended her town from invading Spartans Tomyris (5th century BCE): Massagetae queen who beheaded Cyrus the Great Artemisia I (5th century BCE): naval commander who helped Xerxes attack the greeks, had 10,000 drachma bounty Sela (5th century BCE): Princess who became a pirate, had to be put down for good of kingdom Yuenü (5th century BCE): Chinese warrior who was hired by king to train his warriors Onomaris (4th century BCE): Galatian woman who led starving people to new land, kicking the ass of local inhabitants along way Teuta (3rd century BCE): Illyrian pirate queen Chilonis (3rd century BCE): Spartan princess who appeared in Senate with a sword, urged women to battle, fought w/rope around neck so could commit suicide instead of being taken alive Arachidamia (3rd century BCE): Spartan queen; led women in siege of Lacedaemon Amage (2nd century BCE): Took reins from lazy husband, rushed a Scythian prince and murdered his ass **1ST CENTURY-9TH CENTURY Boudica (1st century CE): killed 80,000 Romans and burnt London to the ground Trung Nhi and Trung Trac (1st century CE): Vietnamese martial artist sisters who drove out Chinese and ruled as queens Phung Thi Chinh (1st century CE): Woman who fought alongside the Trung sisters, gave birth while doing so, carried newborn and sword at same time Le Chan (1st century CE): Another noblewoman who fought alongside Trung sisters Arawelo (1st century CE): Somali queen who hung rapists by their testicles, won war with all female army Gualim (1st century CE): heroine of the Karakalpak epic “Kyrk Kyz” (“Forty Maidens”, got forty women to become warriors). Fought the invader Nadir Shah. Trieu Thi Trinh (3rd century CE): Vietnamese warrior against Chinese rule; purportedly nine feet tall and monstrously strong Zenobia (3rd century CE): Syrian queen who rebelled successfully against Romans, became gold standard for “strong woman” for centuries thereafter Mavia (4th century CE): Syrian warrior queen who defeated Romans; more successful (but less well-known) double of Zenobia’s story Princess Aspas (4th century CE): Commander of Persian police forces, name means “Guard of strength.” [had trouble tracking down primary source on this one] Kawlah bint al-Azwar al-Kind’yya (7th century CE): Black knight who led army of women for Muhammad Apranik (7th century CE): Persian commander for Sasanian/Sassanid Empire; continued with guerilla warfare after empire fell to Arabs Dihya al-Kahina (7th century CE): Queen of the Imazighen, united them to fight against Muslim invaders Hind al-Hunnud (7th century CE): Fought early Muslims, ate foes’ liver Princess Pingyang (7th century CE): Military commander for Chinese emperor, led army of women in battle A’ishah (7th century CE): One of Muhammad’s wives, took control in battle of the camel Umm ‘Umara (7th century CE): Took up shield and defended Muhammad in early battles Wanda of Poland (8th century CE): Warrior princess who either committed suicide to prevent her own marriage, or who inspired others to do so Banu Khorramdin (9th century CE): Persian freedom fighter, fought with husband against Abbasid Caliphate for 23 years, heroine of Iran Aethelflaed (9th century CE): Mercian woman who drove out the Vikings, great strategist Aud the Deep-Minded (9th century CE): Viking pirate princess who was one of the first settlers of Iceland. **10TH-12TH CENTURY Gwenllian Ferch Gruffydd (12th century CE): Welsh Robin Hood, name became a battle shout Aoife MacMurrough (12th century CE): Irish queen, conducted battles (“Red Eva”), ancestor of many English and Scottish heroes Freydis Eriksdottir (10th century CE): While pregnant, grabs a sword, faces down her attackers, and stabs herself in the chest to intimidate the Skrælingjar (Native Americans) into running away. Saint Olga of Kiev (10th century CE): Buried opponents alive, killed invaders using pigeons to commit arson Matilda of Canossa (11th century CE): Defender of the pope; led armies into battle, accomplished archer, made kings kneel before her Adelaide of Susa (11th century CE): burned down city of Asti twice; possibly fought in armor to defend her father’s lands as a teenager (haven’t found source for that), enemy of Matilda of Canossa Gudit (10th century CE): Semi-legendary queen who laid waste to Axum, Beta Israeli (Ethiopian) Hallgerd the Petty (11th century CE): Slighted at wedding, ends up murdering everyone Rusla and Stikla (11th century CE): Fearsome Viking pirates, considered most cruel of all warrior Norse women Sikelgaita (11th century CE): Lombard princess who conducted sieges in full armor, tried to poison her stepson Yang family generals (11th century CE): Chinese legends/novels (and many, many adaptations) of family in Song dynasty; women take up fighting after their husbands die. Mu Guiying particularly famous Liang Hongyu (12th century CE): Made into slave, then bought herself free and became fearsome general of her own accord Tamar of Georgia (12th century CE): Wore armor into battle, expanded Georgia’s borders enormously and brought in country’s golden age, defeated shitty ex-husband in battle twice Yennenga (12th century CE): African queen who was so skilled a fighter that her father refused to let her marry; founder of Burkina Faso Blenda (12th century CE): Swedish Viking hero who killed many Danes Tomoe Gozen (12th century CE): Samurai warrior who fought at battle of Awazu, beheaded at least one person, was fearsome enough to make samurai flee to maintain their honor Order of the Hatchet (12th century CE): order of female knights given to the women of the town of Tortosa, who defended against a Moorish siege **13TH-15TH CENTURY undefeated Mongolian wrestler princess, fearsome soldier, favorite of her father’s Töregene Khatun (13th century CE): Took over lands from her late husband, led wars like a boss, had Muslim woman Fatima as second in command Hangaku Gozen (13th century CE): Samurai warrior famed for her skill with a naginata Koman (13th century CE): Minamoto samurai who saved the clan banner by swimming to shore with it in her teeth, while under attack by boat Rudrama Devi (13th century CE): Raised as man, took throne in midst of war, kept the peace through force, executed traitors, Marco Polo thought she was great Jeanne de Clisson (14th century CE): French noblewoman who went on revengetastic murder spree after husband was killed Black Agnes aka Agnes Rudolph (14th century CE): Defended against a siege. When the walls were catapulted, she dressed up her maids and went out to tauntingly dust the damage off. When the attacked tried to batter down the door, she dropped the boulders that had been catapulted at her. Tribhuwana Wijayatunggadewi (14th century CE): Javanese queen, led armies into war and famously expanded borders of Majapahit massively Agnes Hotot (14th century CE): When her father fell ill and couldn’t duel, she went in disguise in his stead and beat the opponent. Then stripped off breastplate to reveal it was her, resulting in awesome coat of arms. Marzia Ordelaffi aka Marzia Ubaldini, Cia degli Ordelaffi, Cia degli Ubaldini (14th century CE): dressed in armor and fought with soldiers to defend against papal siege Jane, countess of Mountfort (14th century CE): Personally defended her duchy on land and sea; once charged through an enemy camp to get home Jeanne Hachette (15th century CE): Badass French axe-wielder who defended her town Marguerite de Bressieux (15th century CE): Raped along w 11 others; forms 12-person black knight revenge corps, is TERRIFYING Joan of Arc (15th century CE): Duh. **16TH CENTURY Sayyida al Hurra: Islamic pirate queen, married King of Morocco, king went to her to get married Grace O’Malley: Irish pirate queen, constantly got into fights, led rebellions, thrown in jail Mandukhai Khatun: United Khans, gave birth to twins during a fight and kept going. Amina: Nigerian warrior queen who claimed, then killed, lovers from the conquered Abbakka Chowta: Fought off Portuguese from Goa for 40 years, first woman freedom fighter of India Chand Bibi: Indian muslim woman warrior, defended Ahmednagar against Mughal emperor Akbar Kenau Simonsdochter Hessaeler: Led defense of Haarlem (Netherlands) against Spanish by tossing burning tar onto soldiers, led army of 300 women Madame de Saint-Baslemont: the Christian Amazon; led peasants & vassals to fight defensive skirmishes during 30 Years’ War Komatsuhime: when defector dad came back to her house, she confronted him in full armor and told him to GTFO Sri Suriyothai: Died saving her husband and daughter, while on war elephant in armor; Thai Tsuruhime Ohori: Fought off Ouchi invaders at age 16 Aqualtune: Angolan princess who led Brazilian revolts, escaped slavery while pregnant Durgavati: Fought off multiple invasions from outside forces, finally fell to Moghuls Unniyarcha: Legendary Indian martial artist, saved women from being kidnapped Inés de Suárez: Spanish conquistadora who built Santiago, saved it from invasion, decapitated 7 people in its defense María de Estrada: Conquistadora who armed like a man, impaled Indians with her lance María Pita: Spanish heroine, held against siege of Corunna in 1589 La Niña de la Hueca: Traveling swords-wielding policewoman (encapado) living in Chancay valley near Peru Marie-Christine de Lalaing: Princess of Espinoy, held down fort against Spain for 2 months, bore cuirass and battle-ax Gaboimilla: Leader of Peruvian amazon tribe that fled conquistadors and set up in the jungle Malahayati: Indonesian naval general, first in world after Artemisia I, well-respected, led “Widow’s Armada,” made English negotiate actual peace instead of invasion **17TH CENTURY Nzinga Mbande: led people of Ndongo in guerilla wars against Portuguese for 4 decades, won Veronica I of Matamba: Successor to Nzinga, also waged a lot of war Rui Sasaki: Swordmaster of Edo Japan who would fight street gangs while dressed outlandishly Ilona Zrinyi: Hungarian noblewoman who was left to defend a castle by herself for three years while pregnant; national heroine Lin Siniang: prostitute-turned-princess; trained harem in martial arts, making female army who would later rescue the king Qin Liangyu: Ming dynasty general who fought against the Manchu who would establish the Qing dynasty; sold her belongings to raise an additional 3000 troops Catalina de Erauso: Got into nonstop knife fights while posing as man through south America, received permission from the pope to crossdress Suke Kaway Istana: Indonesian all-female palace guard under Meurah Ganti and Cut Meurah Inseuen Hannah Duston: captured by Native Americans, killed & scalped ten of her captors to escape; first American woman with a statue Charlotte, countess of Derby: Better soldier than her husband, made humiliating last-minute defeat of besieging captain Jacquotte Delahaye: Caribbean pirate; at one point faked her death, lived for years as a man, then came back, so was known as “Back from the Dead Red”; took over an island & died defending it Tarabai: Queen who kept resistance against Mughal invasion going, led group of warrior women in special saris Anne Dieu-la-Veut: French pirate and buccaneer Mai Bhago: Sikh warrior saint, only survivor of massively bloody battle of Khidrana Bibi Dalair Kaur: led 100 female Sikhs against Moghuls, died, is martyr Ana Lezama de Urinza and Eustaquia de Sonza: the Valiant Ladies of Potosi, two teenage vigilantes who would fight evildoers at night; possibly fictional Nazo Tokhi: Afghan warrior, poet, and peace negotiator. “Mother of Afghan Nationalism.” Belawadi Mallamma: First woman to form a womens’ army against British and Marathas Julie d’Aubigny aka La Maupin: Aggressively bisexual sword-slinging, opera-singing, nun-romancing badass Dandara: Capoeira expert, wife of Zumbi & leader of quilombos who fought the Portuguese. See also Aqualtune Alyona: Former Russian nun who tried conquering town in Peasants Revolt; was burnt at stake; famed for bravery in battle + interrogation Prajurit Estri: Javanese corps of women who guarded the palace Gao Guiying: led revolution against Ming Dynasty with husband; empress of short-lived Shun Dynasty; when husband killed, allied with Southern Ming Dynasty to fight the Manchurian Qing Dynasty Shen Yunying: when father killed, roused citizens to defeat attackers; took over from her father as Ming Dynasty general **18TH CENTURY Yim Wing Chun: When bully tried forcing her to marriage, used martial arts to subdue him; improved the style massively; forebear of Bruce Lee and Ip Man Nanny of the Maroons: Led escaped slaves in Jamaica into large guerilla army; national hero Begum Samru: Only Catholic queen of India, led mercenary army, so insanely rich that inheritance is disputed to modern day Rani Velu Nachiyar: One of the first Indian queens to fight British, invented human bomb, formed woman’s army Christian Davies: Fought in army disguised as man for thirteen years in search of her husband Gabriela Silang: Filipina revolutionary Thao Suranari: Got invading soldiers drunk, led rebellion of prisoners, gave kitchen knives to soldiers Thao Trep Kasattri: Dressed as man, held off invaders for 5 weeks along with sister Bui Thi Xuan: Vietnamese general who was so awesome when she was defeated, her enemies ate her to gain her courage Mkabayi kaJama: Obsessively looked after Zululand by assassinating improper rulers, including Shaka Zulu Keladi Chennama: Queen of Karnataka, last holdout against Mysore and British; beat Aurangzeb Bartolina Sisa: Aymara woman who led indigenous uprising in Bolivia, laying siege to La Paz for 6 months Micaela Bastidas: Fearsome wife of Tupac Amaru who managed all logistics for rebellion, would often fight herself Gregoria Apaza: Aymara woman who helped lead uprising alongside Bartolina Sisa Kurusa Llawi: Aymara (native Bolivian) woman who helped lead uprising with her husband Queen Esther Montour: Mixed Iroquois warrior who killed 14+ Americans in recompense for death of her son, was likely misunderstood and largely peaceful Onake Obavva: When husband went to lunch, killed upwards of 100 men with a pestle Anne Bonny and Mary Read: Pirates that people won’t stop mailing me about. Deborah Sampson: Disguised self as man to fight in US revolutionary war Hannah Snell: Brit disguised as man, became soldier, was shot a LOT, ran a pub Margaret Corbin: Fought in US revolutionary war; fired cannon until the last, first woman to get a pension Toypurina: Native American woman who tried staging revolt against Spaniards; Joan of Arc of California Ann Mills: Disguised herself as man to become a dragoon/pirate Ulricka Eleonora Stalhammar: Crossdresssing soldier who took a wife, was tried for lesbianism Rose Lacombe: Led womens brigade during French Revolution, orator, given city crown, starts local business Hanifa: Niece of Saladin, daughter of al-Malik al-‘Adil, led an army at one point? Nearly impossible to google. May be Dayfa Khatun. Manuela Beltran: incited Colombian revolt against excessive taxation. Tomasa Tito Condemayta: Peruvian-Incan woman who fought with Tupac Amaru, leading a battalion of women Ghaliyya al-Wahhabiyya: Led military movement in Saudi Arabia to defend Mecca against foreigners Wang Cong’er: Chinese rebel, led the White Lotus rebellion Dahomey Amazons: Terrifying all-female elite warrior corps of kingdom of Dahomey; would file down teeth to sharp points, made French soldiers piss themselves Women of Groton: Small American militia who held a bridge for some time and captured people who came by. **19TH CENTURY Fatma N’Soumer: Algerian rebel against France, Joan of Arc of Kabylie Anita Garibaldi: Brazilian who fought alongside husband Giuseppe in revolutions across south America and Italy Hanging Cloud: supposedly the only female full warrior of the Ojibwe Albert Cashier: Irish-born union soldier who fought and lived as a man his whole life Julia Banyai: Hungarian spy/soldier who fought in Transylvanian independence war Rani Lakshmibai: Indian rebel queen of 1857 uprising who fought with child strapped to back Jhalkaribai: Dalit warrior under Lakshmibai, at one point pretended to be Lakshmibai to let her escape Melchora Aquino: 84-year-old filipina revolutionary Kurmanjan Datka: Kyrgyzstani queen who united country, limited Russian rule, shown on their currency, has awesome action movie Yaa Asantewaa: African Queen-Mother of the Asante, led the War of the Golden Stool rebellion against British colonialism Maria Remedios del Valle: Argentinian military leader under Spanish rule, afro-argentinian, Nov 8 holiday in her name; she and her daughters are “the Maidens of Ayohuma” after battle they participated in Policarpa Salavarrieta: Colombian spy/revolutionary, died VERY young Juana Azurduy de Padilla: Revolutionary who worked to free both Argentina and Bolivia, fought while pregnant, lost four sons and husband to the conflict Juana Galan: 20-year-old Spanish barmaid, who organized women to repel French invaders with boiling water and a baton Crow two-spirit whose name means “Finds Them And Kills Them” – crackshot with a rifle The Other Magpie: Crow woman who carried a knife into a gunfight, and won. (see Osh-Tisch entry) Emmeline Pankhurst: Militant suffragette who punched, kicked, threw rocks, burnt buildings, had 30-woman strong jujitsu master bodyguard just to get the vote Laskarina Bouboulina: Born in prison, became naval commander, heroine of Greek War of independence Malalai of Maiwand: Afghan Joan of Arc, fought off British, namesake of Malala Yousafzai Qiu Jin: Chinese suffragette, studied martial arts and was firebrand, tortured and killed Takeko Nakano: Naginata-wielding seppuku-doing badass Yaeko Yamamoto: 1800s gunnery expert who wore pants in the family Tjoet Nja Dhien aka Cut Nyak Dhien: Indonesian muslim aristocrat who waged guerilla war against invading Dutch for decades, daughter continued in her shoes Carlota Lukumi: Cuban slave, led armed uprisings against plantations for a year, drawn and quartered Mary Fields: 6′ tall, smoked cigars, wielded shotgun, “Stagecoach Mary” Matilda Newport: Deported African-American who saved Liberian town and became complex heroine/villain in Liberian history Loreta Janeta Velasquez: Funded own infantry, fought for union and confederacy, had shit luck with husbands Maria Quiteria: Brazilian lieutenant, served in wall of independence; Brazilian Joan of Arc Gouyen: Apache woman who tracked down her husband’s murderer, infiltrated his camp, and stabbed him to death. Lozen: Apache prophetess and warrior who once killed a longhorn with a knife because shooting it would’ve been too noisy. Dahteste: Apache warrior, translator, messenger & negotiator for Geronimo; longtime friend of Lozen Running Eagle: Blackfoot warrior chieftan. Prostitute turned incredibly successful pirate Tarenorerer: Indigenous Australian, fought off invading British Pine Leaf / Woman Chief: Crow warrior; supposedly swore to kill 100 people before marrying after her twin brother was killed; took four wives, possibly Two-Spirit? Mochi: Cheyenne woman who, when attacked by rapist US soldier, shot him, then spent 11 years fighting the US; only female native POW Constance Markiewicz: Irish revolutionary and politician, sold jewelry to fund revolution,shot a sniper in the face, “Dress suitably in short skirts and strong boots, leave your jewels in the bank and buy a revolver.” Eliza Allen: After being denied marriage by parents, runs away, has adventures, fights in Mexican-American war Emilia Plater: Armed hundreds of peasants with war scythes, led rebellion, kept uniform on; Lithuanian Joan of Arc Flora Sandes: Serbian war nurse and soldier, given highest decorations, sworn virgin (asexual), wounded by grenade Frances Hook: enlisted in the Union army as female AND underage; when discovered and kicked out, re-enlisted somewhere else. After getting captured she impressed the Confederacy so much they tried to recruit her Molly Pitcher: Kept bringing water to US revolutionaries, took up arms herself. aka Mary Ludwig, Mary McCauley, Ludwig Hays Pearl Hart: Wild West bandit, had a wild life Sarah Emma Edmonds: Crossdressed through entire civil war to fight for the north, disguised self in blackface and other disguises Sarah Pritchard: Crossdressed to serve in Confederate army, deserted to union Malinda Blalock: Fought in civil war first as confederate, then as yankee – became marauder alongside husband Gregoria Montoya y Patricio: Filipina revolutionary, tried to avenge her husband, general who led 30 men Mamea: Tahitian queen who fought off French invaders, aka Queen of Huaheme and Queen of Raiatea Teresa Magbanua: Filipina general, financed war by selling all her stuff Trinidad Tecson: Filipina rebel; survived fatal wounds numerous times. Ma Ying Taphan: Thai Amazon chieftan, name means Great Mother of War, her devotees were addicted to duels to the death Luiza Mahin: street vendor who used her cart to organize uprisings of slaves in Brazil Nehanda Nyakasikana: Spirit medium who led Zimbabwe against colonialists in war Sarraounia: Western African warrior queen who successfully fended off French Amelio Robles: Went from woman (Amelia) to male Amelio, to fight in the Mexican Revolution. Manuela Pedraza: fought to retake Buenos Aires from British; when husband fell in battle, she killed the soldier who did it and picked up husband’s gun to fight Buffalo Calf Road: Cheyenne warrior, performed Hollywood-style rescue of her brother; The Battle Where the Girl Saved Her Brother named after her. Also continued fighting even after surrender, even while pregnant Colestah: Yakama medicine woman, psychic, and warrior; went to war, nursed husband during battle Anna Etheridge: Rode into Union battles repeatedly, handled shellshock with grace Louise Michel: “Red Virgin” – French Communard, defended against Prussian invaders, set half of Paris on fire Maria Lebstuck: Hungarian revolutionary soldier, gave birth in prison, dramatized in opera Nadezhda Durova: Disguised self as man, became distinguished cavalry officer, was thrown out of carriage as baby Sadie the Goat: Headbutted people to mug them in alleyways. American gangster and river pirate Marie-Therese Figeur: served openly in French Army for 22 years, through the French Revolution & Napoleonic era, nicknamed “Unconstrained” Vilma Beck: Hungarian spy and freedom fighter Agueda Kahabagan: Legendary Filipina revolutionary, little known about her, Tagalong Joan of Arc Paulina Pfiffner: Hungarian revolutionary soldier, disguised herself as a man Cathay Williams: first African-American woman to enlist in US army **20TH CENTURY (a note: so many frickin’ women started fighting in the 20th century, there is no way in hell this is a comprehensive list, even up to WW2. Consider more of a breezy overview of some notable characters) Petra Herrera: Mexican soldadera revolutionary who disguised self as man; one of many many active-duty soldaderas Marie Marvingt: Fought hip-deep in mud, invented first flying ambulance, piloted planes, biked Tour de France (unofficially, since women weren’t allowed), invented new kinds of surgical sutures, only person ever to win a gold medal for “all sports” – possibly the most accomplished person in human history Nancy Wake: Overwhelmingly competent WW2 resistance leader, killed a German guard with a single karate chop to the neck, executed a women who had been spying for the Germans, shot her way out of roadblocks and biked 70 hours through perilous Nazi checkpoints to deliver radio codes for the Allies. Kumander Liwayway aka Remedios Paraiso-Gomez: Led 100 men to battles, would come hair, manicure nails, and apply lipstick before battle; Joan of Arc of the Philippines Mekatilili Wa Menza: Anti-colonialist freedom fighter in Kenya, escapes prison repeatedly, continues organizing wars into her 50s and 60s. Phoolan Devi: Bandit Queen, became politician, enacted revenge, was killed out of revenge Lydia Litvyak: Soviet fighter pilot ace, flew 168 missions; see also the rest of the Night Witches Andree de Jongh: Ran Belgian resistance in WW2, worked in African leper hospitals after, “Little Cyclone” Rose Kabuye: Highest-ranking woman in Rwandan military history; VA mental health advocate; successful politician Joice Mujuru: Zimbabwe politician, downed a helicopter with a machine gun! Named “spill blood”, possibly corrupt Teurai Ropa Nhongo: Name means The Blood Spiller, guerrilla fighter in 70s who fought days after giving birth, later took office, husband was killed by Nazis, sold belongings, bought a tank, named tank Fighting Girlfriend, started killing Nazis Alexandra Boiko: like Oktyabrskaya, bought a tank with her husband so she could kill Nazis; when commander wouldn’t let her fight, she rode on motorcycle for 12 hours searching for her tank Nieves Fernandez : Filipina guerilla leader (ex-schoolteacher); killed 200 Japanese w/homemade guns; had large bounty; survived war with just a flesh wound Soraya Tarzi: Tibetan nun who led armed uprising against China, fled to meet Dalai Lama, Tibetan Joan of Arc Wu Shuqing: organized female regiment in Chinese 1911 Xinhai Revolution Hannah Szenes: Hungarian Jew parachuted into Yugoslavia to help evacuate Jews Hermine Braunsteiner: German psychopathic officer, first Nazi extradited from US, “The Stamping Mare” Tringe Smajl Martini aka Yanitza: Freedom fighter against Ottomans; became sworn virgin; Albanian Joan of Arc Hannie Schaft: Dutch WW2 resistance fighter; ended up teasing her executioner by saying she could shoot better Lorena Barros: Intellectual filipina revolutionary; fought while pregnant; tortured into miscarriage; died when refused medical attention in exchange for info Muhumusa: Ugandan rebel against Germans, British passed Witchcraft act in response Las Mariposas: 3 Dominican revolutionary sisters (the 4th, Dedé, lived to 2014) Maria Rosa: 15-year-old girl who led 6000 men in Contestado War Miriam Muhammas: Eritrean conscript (along with 12,000 others), started women’s VA, at time Eritrea was the most female-heavy army in world also the Belorussian Front Sniper Squad. Eugenie Shakhovskaya: First female Russian aviator, did recon, was an actual princess, became executioner for the Bolsheviks and died of messy circumstances Ilona Toth: Hungarian revolutionary, nurse, athlete, skydiver, fencer, nurse, sacrificed self to save others Maria Bochkareva: Made 2000-woman shaved-head woman army in WWI (Battalion of Death) James Barry aka Miranda Stuart: inspector general of Canadian hospitals, found out was woman posthumously Pearl Witherington: SOE agent, fought 2000 germans, captured 18,000, was snarky about awards Roza Shanina: WWII sniper Elaine Mordeaux: French WW2 resistance commander; unit killed 3000 Nazis and 100 vehicles in an hour, died tossing dynamite at them Mildred Harmack: Wisconsin housewife who ended up leading German resistance against Hitler, only woman to be personally executed by the man Jin Xing: transgender colonel in Chinese army, trained ballerina, appears in Tom Yum Goong Comandante Ramona: fought in Zapatista Uprising Mariana Dragescu: Romanian medical pilot during WW2, last surviving member of the White Squadron:squadron of teenage girls who used anti-aircraft guns to hold off Germans for two days Milunka Savic: Most decorated female soldier in history Vela Krylova: Russian WW2 nurse who took charge of everything, kicked, punched, and commandeered artillery in her rise to fame Hazel Ying Lee: Chinese-American pilot, flew in WWII, strong-willed and intensely capable Lai Choi San: possibly fictional pirate; reputed to have 40,000 followers. Model for “Dragon Lady” stereotype Hor Lhamo: Tibetan woman who complained about taxes; when rejected, raised army and took over province Celia Sanchez: large part in Cuban Revolution Berthe Fraser: headed French underground in WW2; tortured, former housewife Olga Benario Prestes: German Jewish communist; bodyguard and lover of Prestes as they fought against dictatorial governor of Brazil; died in Nazi concentration camp Vo Thi Sau: Vietnamese martyr, killed a bunch of French soldiers and then was executed at 19 Yun Hui-sun: After Empress Myeongseong was killed by the Japanese, she rallied a womens’ militia group to fight them off, sheltered troops; Korean Lakshmi Sahgal: “Captain Lakshmi”; OB/GYN who led all-female “Rani of Jhansi” regiment in WW2