Adrian Carton de Wiart: The Most Badass Soldier of All Time and a Real Life Action Hero
This video is made possible by backplates, get a 15 day free trial. Of Backblaze, dot-com. /bi. Graphics, a. Total. Disregard, for his own personal, safety an indomitable, fighting. Spirit, reckless. Courage and the gifts have been nearly. Indestructible this soldier survived five, wars, including, World War one and World War, two and became one of the most decorated British, officers, of all time and sustained. Countless, injuries was, he the unluckiest. Soldier, of all time or maybe just the quintessential, British war, hero well make up your own mind as we hear the story of today's protagonist Adrian. Cotton, to us the, unbreakable soldier. Adrián, carton diet was born into an aristocratic family, in, Brussels Belgium on May the 5th 1880, the father of this quintessential, British war hero was actually, Belgium, and a lawyer is another well, she was actually Irish, Adrian was so Belgium in fact that throughout his life he was amused by the rumor that he was an illegitimate child of King Leopold ii. Who owned the Congo Adrian's, mother sadly, passed away when he was just six and his father Leon moved the family to Cairo, in Egypt, during, this period Leon married again and Adrian's, stepmother, thought it was a good idea for the boys education, if they were to spend some time at a British boarding school as the family was Catholic he was sent to a Catholic, school the, Azzurri near Birmingham the founder of the school Cardinal, John Henry Newman once wrote fear not as they life shall, come to an end but a rather fear, that, it shall never have, a beginning. Adrian's. Life would be on the brink of coming to an end countless. Times but he, never showed any fear and for sure his life it, certainly, had a hell, of a beginning by, 1899, Adrian, was 19, he was attending Bailey, L College at Oxford at this stage in his life as per his father's, desire, he could have easily settled, for a law degree and the pleasant existence, of a typical tov, just in drawing his family's wealth he accepts it didn't. On the, 11th of October 1899. The second burr war broke out spitting the British Empire against, the Orange Free State and the Transvaal, Republic and, South Africa, this was a revelation, for Adrian in his autobiography happy.
Odyssey He wrote at that moment I knew once and for all that war was in my blood if the British didn't fancy me I would offer myself to, Boers it, turns out the Brits they did fancy him Adrian enrolled his volunteer, faking, his identity, as well, as his age he, was soon dispatched, to South Africa, while his father still believed him to be studying law at Oxford and this was, the start of his real life a soldier's. Life very. Early on straight after training in South Africa, de wardes and his units were crossing a river in full, view, of some Bourke Mondo's when he was shot twice once. In the stomach and, once in the groin so, we're gonna help you out here and keep count of how many times he was shot or, shrapnel, or otherwise, just injured, after being shot a superior bluntly asked if their woman Ebers about to which she replied coolly no, but, the few were very good shots in the hospital his identity was discovered and so it was forced to return to England to recover, and to face his father's, wrath who by now had discovered what his son was up to luckily. Leon consented. And his son pursued a military career and after Adrian, returned he decided to quit Oxford for good and returned to South Africa, in 1901, for, a nother round of fighting this time though he did it in style booking, himself in first class and ending, generous, tips to the bar staff so that he landed in Cape Town with, exactly, one, pound, in my pocket after joining, a Cavalry Regiment duart was promoted, corporal, this promotion lasted exactly 24 hours after which he was demoted again to simple trooper for threatening, to hit a sergeant, but it was clear to us that he was destined, to greater, things and after a few months he returns or more probably bought, a commissioned, a second, lieutenant during. The rest of 1901, ends, until the ends, of the second Boer War in 1902, dou, art greatly. Suffered for the lack of action his only opportunity to do anything of military, value was to cut some barbed wire in a Bergkamp but even, then he was ordered not to do it fretting, for action at the end of the war he applied to be sent to British Mario Lanza joined the hunt for Muhammad bin Abdullah also known as the mad mullah bin Abdullah, had started a guerrilla campaign against, the British East African, colony, and he was fighting, for independence, and, considered, by his followers a Sunni holy man and, almost a messiah but two colonial authorities, he wasn't a messiah he was just a rather naughty, boy, again, their art superiors, they curbed his fighting enthusiasm.
And He was gazetted to a Cavalry, Regiment in, maschera, in India, the Indians day was peaceful, and largely uneventful, except, for about finding, a great passion for pig, sticking, which basically consists, in chasing wild boar on horseback through the forest who pierced them with a long spear, anyway. When chasing one of these pigs in the jungle duart fell off the horse and the horse fell, on him and cracked, several, ribs and one, ankle during, his convalescence he, had an argument with the local servants and pelted him with stones. And the servants got out of range so I shot, him in the butt, and to this point it's pretty clear that this guy was in dire need of battle. His Beria's they were not amused by the attack on the servant though and they jailed him for a time but he did manage to avoid demotion. In, 1904, dawat was transferred, back to South Africa he wrote in his memoirs, that he was happy not to see India again suppose. The feeling was probably mutual on, that one the ensuing years they were blissful to out spent his time gambling, socializing, racing horses and shooting wildlife, he enjoyed several liquid, meals as he called them but also cultivated, his physical fitness at one point he was so strong that he could rip in half a, pack of cards, in 1907, Dodd swore an oath of allegiance to, the king formally, becoming a British citizen within, the British Army in 1908, do it returned to England where as few regimental, duties gave him time to play polo and travel, the continents, and especially, austria-hungary. To shoot grouse pheasants, another game in the same year his connection to that empire was strengthened, by his marriage to Frederick Maria Caroline, Henriette, Rosa's Sabina Francisca, fuga von Babin housen and no he had not become a woman to married seven different women this was the full name of the bride in Austrian countess, they went on to have two daughters together in his memoirs Dwyer recalls the atmosphere, of mistrust, at German border posts whenever he entered the country from France and how his french-sounding surname, attracted suspicion, a clear sign that tension. Was mounting and. That war was certainly on the horizon, they, probably knew that one when World War one broke, out - art was on his way to British, Somaliland to, take part in what is now a mostly, forgotten conflict, - the colonial, war against the mad mother who we introduced, earlier towards, desire to go and fight there is had finally, been fulfilled but upon learning that the UK had declared war on Germany, - I'd felt like playing in a village cricket match instead, of in the test and for our friends, in the u.s. here the test is - cricket with the World Series is - baseball - I was assigned to lead a squadron of the Somaliland Camel Corps on the hunt, for the mad mullahs followers, that a vicious when tasked, with storming, an enemy fort reward could not resist, going on the attack headfirst, but, the enemy position it was well defended and he was shot by the dervishes three. Times in. The face indeed, one bullet took part of his left ear a second bullet got him in the left eye and a third bullet ricocheted, and hit him across the very same, I of, course do art lost his eye but his assessment of the battle it had all been most exhilarating, fun do, all that took the occasion, returned to England where he hoped to be reassigned, to service on the Western Front the Army Medical Commission, agreed to it provided, that he use a glass eye which he hated indeed, while riding in a cab in London and fighting the bar side who uncomfortable, he just yanked, it out and threw, it out of the taxi window from, then on he would wear his distinctive, eyepatch.
Okay. Now just before we get into his actions, on the Western Front I do want to tell you a little bit about today's sponsor Backblaze, now our sponsors really they do make it possible so we can make long videos just, like this several times a week so when, you go to use one of their services, because the, links that we put in the description it really does make a difference to what we do and it really does allow us to keep doing it so if you think that blaze is for you why not just click that and check it out it's amazing, now back place is the best way to backup, all of your files now as you guys know I do test out all of the sponsors that appear on this show and, indeed, I am using back plays to back up all of my files both as we record this video and as you, are watching it so as we speak my files are being securely synced with back, Blaze's, servers, not my computer's just sitting, over there it's chatting away in the background it does that all day and all night just uploading, the gigabytes, upon gigabytes, of videos. That I make every day, just syncing, with their service so I never have, to worry about backing anything, up I can just rest assured the back base is taking care of all of that and it's also doing all of my files and, other important, stuff like that that I don't want, to ever risk losing. Now. Fortunately. Touching. The fake plastic wood on my chair I've never had to call him them but if you do have a problem you can download files, directly, I'd do that because I got a superfast internet connection, but if I had a major failure like one of my giant hard disks went out they will actually ship, you a hard, disk all encrypted, all nice and safe so that you can just plug, it straight into your computer or you can transfer the files or you can just keep the disk and pay them a fee it's and it's all super reasonable also, all changes, to files are automatically, backed up so it's all it's it's really just the hands-off, experience, and if you're watching this you can get a 15-day. Free trial. Right now, you can click the link below or just go to Backblaze, comm, forward slash bio graphics, get, that peace of mind and supporting. Backblaze supports, us which, is awesome so don't put it off click that link maybe open in a new tab and just try out that 15 day trial you'll, love it I'm pretty sure of it and let's, get back to the Western Front. In. February 1915, Adrian Carson's Awadh was bound, for the Western, Front to join a cavalry, regiments, the fourth Royal Irish Dragoon. Guards his. First major engagement. Was during the Second Battle of Ypres in April, of that year well, on March 2 relieve an infantry unit his regiment, came under fire from a German artillery position, a combination, of shrapnel and splinters, from his own wristwatch, mangled, his left hand leaving only part, of the palm to, dangling, fingers, when, the field doctor hesitated, to amputate them do it just tore off the two remaining fakers, what remained of his hand would be later amputated, at this point he could have easily asked to be repatriated, and just have a quiet life behind, a desk but. He didn't so, I could, not give two hoots about his injuries and teachers got on with it returning to battle undeterred, and unimpaired. We like to think of this pointed story that he probably exclaimed, tis but a scratch and. Then, retire to battle he then went on to fight in the Battle of the Somme during which his men recalled him pulling pins from grenades, with his teeth and then flinging, them with his one good hand into enemy territory he, distinguished, himself during the assault on the village of La Boisselle in France in 1916. Three, unit commanders from the 8th battalion, Gloucestershire, regiments, have been killed throughout then took charge of all three units with no availability, of field radios field telephones. Nor, even pigeons, do communicate, orders he decided to be his own messenger, and ran back and forth along the three units to relay his orders defying the hail of bullets and artillery shells raining, on to no man's land in his men managed, to hold back the advancing Germans after, this action - I received, the, Victoria Cross for, most conspicuous.
Bravery Coolness. And determination, during severe operations, of prolonged nature. This was the citation, after this Dodd continued, to lead from the front battle, after battle exposing. Himself to further injuries, for example in the trenches of delville wood nicknamed, the devil's wood he was actually shot in the head he, was a clean straight shot through his skull right to the back of the head if he had to die well this, would be the right occasion to do so except, he didn't apparently, - I didn't, care for being dead so he simply survived and got on with us during three subsequent battles, he was shot in the ankle hip. And here, but, after every, stay in hospital he regains full mobility, and returned to the Front's time, after. Time, darts assessment of this grueling experience of, the meat-grinder of, the Western Front was frankly. I enjoyed. The war. The. Years between World, War 1 and the start of World War 2 often, wrongly labeled the interwar, years because. This period actually saw a lot of conflicts, taking place in Europe and where there was conflicts, you'd, be sure to find Adrian. Cotton, to art having. The time of his life, in 1919. New art was assigned to Poland, as a military advisor to the newly independent country. Which over a period of two years found, itself at war with Soviet Russia Czechoslovakia. Ukraine, and Lithuania though, I had made himself indispensable to, Field Marshal Joseph. Pilsudski and as, usual he got involved in all types of risky situations, at the same year in 1919, he survived not, one but, two plane crashes the, second of these crashes resulted, in a brief period of captivity with, the Lithuanians, after his release he increased, his efforts to support the Polish military even, organizing, a gun smuggling operation, via, Hungary in 1920, he got closer to the front as the war with Russia intensified. One day his observation, train was attacked by a charge of Cossack cavalry with the intent of hijacking it he confronted the attackers, single-handedly. Quite literally with, his revolver at, one point he even fell off the moving train but quickly left back on it and continued, the firefight until the Train escaped from the cossacks when the Polish Wars finally ended in victory in 1921, dawat decided, to stay in Poland as he had grown fond of its people and its wildlife which he proceeded, to shoot for the next eighteen years the wildlife that it's not the people in 1923, he finally decided to retire having now achieved the rank of major-general, after, a life of adventures, this gentleman would go on to lead a quiet and wealthy, life in his adopted country. Except. He didn't. We. All know what happened on the 1st of September 1939.
In A matter of three weeks Germany invaded from the West the Soviet Union from the east and the UK and France declared war on the Axis powers though. It's quite life in Poland it was no more as a form of British military advised, the best course of action was to flee immediately he abandoned his estate acquired, a fake passport and, crossed, the border with Romania, upon, returning to the UK Dwight re enlisted in the military in April 1940, Dwight was recalled into active service despite, and, I should stress this again in case you've forgotten being. 61. ID and an, amputee, he was given the rank of acting lieutenant, general, and tasked with leading an anglo-french landing, force in norway to halt the german invasion this operation, there was a complete disaster from the start while arriving in Norway var seaplane Dodds aircraft, it was forced to crash land this. Happens on a Ford where it was then attacked by a German fighter plane rather, than boarding, a rubber dinghy to reach Shore ins become a sitting duck he calmly waited, in the wreckage until the enemy plane ran out of ammo and left, after, reaching his forces by the Tron time Ford doe-eyed realized, that they were under supplied, under guns, and seemed, to be encircled by the Germans, but watch you might imagine he didn't really care about the odds being stacked against him and he just got on with it his troops they managed to break the encirclements, by traversing, over, the mountains and back to the coast under a constant, barrage of artillery strikes. And Luftwaffe, attacks, finally, the Royal Navy came to the rescue and managed to ferry droite and his band of brothers out of Norway and they landed in Great Britain on his 60th birthday in. April 1941, carton, Duras was appointed, by Winston, Churchill to lead a British secret, mission in Yugoslavia. The objective, was to make contact with Tito's partisans, and offer them allied support, but. He never got there after, a refueling stop in Malta the Wellington bomber in which the mission was travelling went into a nosedive straight, into the Mediterranean, luckily, there was a coast line in sight as the fuselage, sank to at 61. One handed and one eyed swam, to shore while, carrying, an injured comrade also. The coast they had reached was the coast of Libya access. Territory, and Dwight and his friends they were immediately seized by the Italians, a hero today was transported. By the Italian, military to the high-security POWs. Camp established, within the castle. Vinci, a yachtie near, Florence, this prison was specifically, dedicated to guarding senior British officers, captured in North Africa the average age of the prisoners was 52, but these indomitable, officers, they had the energy of young soldiers when it came to breaking out dough art was a part of at least five escape, attempts one of which involved digging a 60-foot, tunnel under, the castle walls this, was certainly a complicated. Endeavor for an amputee, but as usual - I didn't, give a damn about it and he just got on with it after, seven months the tunnel was complete go out and five other prisoners, succeeded, in their great escape in March of 1943, and hid for some days in their countryside, the cunning plan was to make themselves inconspicuous, by, dressing, like Italian, peasants, so yes, considering that one of them was a one-handed, 63, year old gentleman, with an eyepatch, covered in scars, and none of them could speak Italian it, was sort of a miracle that they managed to escape capture, for eight days, no, artists he was soon back in captivity at, the castle though fun fact by the way this castle, can now be hired for weddings, if you're interested, but freedom, was on the horizon On, June the 25th of 1943. Benito, Mussolini, was ousted by a monarchist coup, King Victor Emmanuel the, third appointed Field Marshal Badoglio, as his successor, and the two conspirators. Continued, honoring the alliance, with Germany but, only, on the surface behind. The scenes they were looking to negotiate, an armistice with the Allies they, needed an intermediary, and dawat, he seemed to be the perfect choice as he was due for release from the castle anyway, because of his disability, due out he was taken to a tailor in Rome so that he could get some civilian clothes as, a loyal customer of Savile Row he didn't trust the Italian tailors and he protested, that he didn't want to look like a gigolo but in the end he was happy with the suit that they fashioned for him and on the 16th of August 1943, he was flown in secret, to Lisbon alongside, general, Castellano.
The King's chief negotiator, after, an agreement was reached after return, to the UK on the 28th of August but he only had the chance to rest for one month, before Churchill, personally, appointed him as a special, representative, to the chinese nationalist, leader Chiang, kai-shek. Compared. To the swash and buckle, of previous years Duarte. And China is relatively, calm as his mission was more of a diplomatic one rather than a military one during this time while advising Chang on his strategies, against the Japanese he befriended him and his wife but when he got to meet Mao well he, simply could understand, him the Generalissimo, Chiang kai-shek and Chairman Mao we're uneasy allies, in the war against Japan but no heart he was a staunch anti-communist. And did not trust the future leader of China Mao delivered a lengthy speech on the qualities of his faction when he mentions how hard they were fighting the Japanese droite cut him short he, said he, tried my credulity a little, too far I told him that what they were doing was to keep looking over their shoulder to see what the Generalissimo was, doing first to, surprise Marik no offense and simply laughed, another, leader asked him why hadn't gone to Yunnan to see their operations, I answered, quite frankly that I hated communism, two I had stayed in China in zone 1947. Surviving yet another plane crash along the way by the way and let's add another notch shall we on the way back to Britain dort paid a visit at, a friend's house in Rangoon, Burma while walking down a flight of stairs he was ambushed, by an unpredictable foe, this was actually, a coconut, mat he slept on it and went flying down the stairs breaking, a couple of vertebrae along, the way the, good thing is that the doctors treating his back took the occasion to remove quite a bit of old shrapnel from his body and it was now about time them to retire from active duty general. Cotton, - I finally moved to a family estate in Ireland and spent the next year's there writing, his memoirs hunting, fishing, and polishing. His collection, of more than thirty medals, eventually, even such a legend has to die after, the last few peaceful, years Adrian cotton derives life it came to an end on June the 5th, 1963. In his Irish hymen while in recent years his achievements, have been rediscovered, and celebrated, by major media outlets, this inspiring. Character, is still little-known, I hope that in today's biographic. Sui did a bit to perpetuate, his memory and we, hope that you could do the same and share, this video, frankly I've enjoyed the story of this gentleman and I hope you did too and before leaving maybe, answer this question in the comments if you were to shoot a movie about carton, - who, would you'd like to see in the lead role and as, always please, do hit that like button subscribe. All of that Goods stuff jacket our wonderful sponsor Backblaze and as always thank. You for watching.