Yuenü or ‘the Lady of Yue’ was a legendary Chinese swordswoman from the state of Yue, in the province of Zhejiang, during the 5th century BCE.
While also known as Aliao and Maiden of the Southern Forest, the actual name of Yuenü is undocumented. It is known that she served during the reign of King Goujian of Yue at the end of the ‘Spring and Autumn era’. Caught in an ongoing war with the Wu state to the north, Goujian sought military specialists to better train his troops. Having already recruited a champion archer from Chu, he was advised of a young woman of the Southern Forest whose skill with the sword was infamous.
Goujian invited the woman to attend his court, where she demonstrated the ability to counter the attacks of several opponents at once. The woman claimed to have developed her own sword-fighting style for protection in her native forest, and was also known to be a skilled archer. Impressed by her skills, Goujian gave her the title of Yuenü and enlisted her to train his best officers and soldiers in her techniques. 
Yuenü’s techniques were described as simple but powerful, based around a philosophy of strengthening the spirit  while remaining openly calm in combat. She likened the art of the sword to a door, which can be divided in yin and yang. Hers is the earliest known exposition on the art of the sword, which influenced Chinese martial arts for generations, introducing the concept of using agility and fluid speed to counter the advantages of physical strength.
Yuenü is also credited with developing a new form of metallurgy that could create untarnishable bronze swords with flexible cores and extremely sharp edges, which became known as ‘Yuenü swords’. In 1965 archeologists discovered one such sword buried alongside the remains of King Goujian.

Yuenü or ‘the Lady of Yue’ was a legendary Chinese swordswoman from the state of Yue, in the province of Zhejiang, during the 5th century BCE.

While also known as Aliao and Maiden of the Southern Forest, the actual name of Yuenü is undocumented. It is known that she served during the reign of King Goujian of Yue at the end of the ‘Spring and Autumn era’. Caught in an ongoing war with the Wu state to the north, Goujian sought military specialists to better train his troops. Having already recruited a champion archer from Chu, he was advised of a young woman of the Southern Forest whose skill with the sword was infamous.

Goujian invited the woman to attend his court, where she demonstrated the ability to counter the attacks of several opponents at once. The woman claimed to have developed her own sword-fighting style for protection in her native forest, and was also known to be a skilled archer. Impressed by her skills, Goujian gave her the title of Yuenü and enlisted her to train his best officers and soldiers in her techniques.

Yuenü’s techniques were described as simple but powerful, based around a philosophy of strengthening the spirit  while remaining openly calm in combat. She likened the art of the sword to a door, which can be divided in yin and yang. Hers is the earliest known exposition on the art of the sword, which influenced Chinese martial arts for generations, introducing the concept of using agility and fluid speed to counter the advantages of physical strength.

Yuenü is also credited with developing a new form of metallurgy that could create untarnishable bronze swords with flexible cores and extremely sharp edges, which became known as ‘Yuenü swords’. In 1965 archeologists discovered one such sword buried alongside the remains of King Goujian.

Erika Szeles was a young soldier and nurse in the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. When her photo was taken by a Danish photographer her image graced the covers of several Euopean magazines and she became an international symbol of the revolution.
Szeles was born to Jewish parents in 1941 and raised solely by her mother after her father’s death in a Nazi concentration camp. At age 14 she trained as a cook at the Hotel Béke in Budapest. While her mother was a hardline communist, Szeles had an older boyfriend who converted her to the anti-communist cause.
When Hungary’s revolution against the Soviet Union began on October 23rd 1956, she was 15 years old. When her boyfriend formed a resistance group with some fellow students she chose to join them. She quickly learned how to use a sub-machine gun and fought alongside the group in several skirmishes with Soviet soldiers.
The iconic photo above of Szeles holding her sub-machine gun was taken around November 1st 1956. A few days afterward she was approached by friends who, knowing that Russian divisions were pouring into Hungary, feared for her safety. They argued that she was too young to be fighting and she agreed to put down her gun and to instead serve the resistance as a Red Cross nurse.
On November 8th the resistance group she was with became involved in a heavy firefight with Russian soldiers in the center of Budapest. When a friend of hers was wounded she ran forward to help him. Despite being unarmed and wearing a Red Cross uniform she was gunned down and died instantly. She was buried in the Kerepesi Churchyard in Budapest.
Szeles’s story remained largely unknown for some 50 years, until in 2008 journalists were able to uncover the truth about the young woman from the infamous picture. She is now recognised as a martyr of the Hungarian Revolution. 

Erika Szeles was a young soldier and nurse in the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. When her photo was taken by a Danish photographer her image graced the covers of several Euopean magazines and she became an international symbol of the revolution.

Szeles was born to Jewish parents in 1941 and raised solely by her mother after her father’s death in a Nazi concentration camp. At age 14 she trained as a cook at the Hotel Béke in Budapest. While her mother was a hardline communist, Szeles had an older boyfriend who converted her to the anti-communist cause.

When Hungary’s revolution against the Soviet Union began on October 23rd 1956, she was 15 years old. When her boyfriend formed a resistance group with some fellow students she chose to join them. She quickly learned how to use a sub-machine gun and fought alongside the group in several skirmishes with Soviet soldiers.

The iconic photo above of Szeles holding her sub-machine gun was taken around November 1st 1956. A few days afterward she was approached by friends who, knowing that Russian divisions were pouring into Hungary, feared for her safety. They argued that she was too young to be fighting and she agreed to put down her gun and to instead serve the resistance as a Red Cross nurse.

On November 8th the resistance group she was with became involved in a heavy firefight with Russian soldiers in the center of Budapest. When a friend of hers was wounded she ran forward to help him. Despite being unarmed and wearing a Red Cross uniform she was gunned down and died instantly. She was buried in the Kerepesi Churchyard in Budapest.

Szeles’s story remained largely unknown for some 50 years, until in 2008 journalists were able to uncover the truth about the young woman from the infamous picture. She is now recognised as a martyr of the Hungarian Revolution. 

Liudmyla Pavlychenko was a Soviet soldier during World War 2 and is regarded as the most successful female sniper in history, with a total record of 309 kills. 
Born in a small village in Ukraine in 1916, Pavlychenko and her family later moved to Kiev when she was 9 years old. When she was 14 she joined a shooting club and became adept at firing rifles. As a young woman she studied history at Kiev university, during which time she also practiced sprinting, pole vaulting, and took classes at a sniper’s school to improve her marksmanship.
When Nazi Germany began its invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941, Pavlychenko was among the first group of volunteers at the army recruiting office. Despite providing her marksmanship certificate, she was initially laughed at and told she could be a nurse instead. However she went on to prove her worth to the army by shooting two Romanian soldiers near Belyayevka, Odessa, using a Tokarev SVT-40 semi-automatic rifle with 3.5X telescopic sight. Following this demonstration she was accepted into the Red Army's 25th Rifle Division.
Pavlychenko was initially hesitant about taking human lives, but was shocked into action after witnessing the death of a young soldier next to her. “He was such a nice, happy boy,” she recalled. “And he was killed just next to me. After that, nothing could stop me.” For the next two and half months she spent in Odessa, Pavlychenko racked up a tally of 187 kills.
After Odessa fell to Romanian forces, Pavlychenko’s unit was relocated to fight in the 8-month long Siege of Sevastopol. During the siege she continued to excel, adding a further 257 kills to her record. As her kill count rose she was assigned to increasingly dangerous missions, including countersniping hunts which could last for entire days and nights at a time. By May 1942, Pavlychenko had dispatched 36 enemy snipers in this manner. She became so notorious that the Germans broadcast radio messages trying to bribe her to defect.
Despite being wounded on four separate occasions, Pavlychenko remained in active service until June 1942, when her position was bombed and shrapnel struck her face. Because of her fame she was withdrawn from duty and sent to the United States on a publicity visit, where she became the first Soviet citizen to be received by a US President. Pavlychenko was disappointed by the disparaging comments by the American press about her appearance in uniform, but emboldened by her friendship with Eleanor Roosevelt she lashed out at them at a press event in Chicago, saying “I am 25 years old and I have killed 309 fascist occupants by now. Don’t you think, gentlemen, that you have been hiding behind my back for too long?”
On returning home, Pavlychenko was promoted to Major and became a sniper instructor. In 1943, she was awarded the Gold Star of the Hero of the Soviet Union for her heroic service. After the war she went on to complete her education and became a historian attached to the Soviet navy. She died aged 58 and is buried in the Novodevichye Cemetery in Moscow.

Liudmyla Pavlychenko was a Soviet soldier during World War 2 and is regarded as the most successful female sniper in history, with a total record of 309 kills. 

Born in a small village in Ukraine in 1916, Pavlychenko and her family later moved to Kiev when she was 9 years old. When she was 14 she joined a shooting club and became adept at firing rifles. As a young woman she studied history at Kiev university, during which time she also practiced sprinting, pole vaulting, and took classes at a sniper’s school to improve her marksmanship.

When Nazi Germany began its invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941, Pavlychenko was among the first group of volunteers at the army recruiting office. Despite providing her marksmanship certificate, she was initially laughed at and told she could be a nurse instead. However she went on to prove her worth to the army by shooting two Romanian soldiers near Belyayevka, Odessa, using a Tokarev SVT-40 semi-automatic rifle with 3.5X telescopic sight. Following this demonstration she was accepted into the Red Army's 25th Rifle Division.

Pavlychenko was initially hesitant about taking human lives, but was shocked into action after witnessing the death of a young soldier next to her. “He was such a nice, happy boy,” she recalled. “And he was killed just next to me. After that, nothing could stop me.” For the next two and half months she spent in Odessa, Pavlychenko racked up a tally of 187 kills.

After Odessa fell to Romanian forces, Pavlychenko’s unit was relocated to fight in the 8-month long Siege of Sevastopol. During the siege she continued to excel, adding a further 257 kills to her record. As her kill count rose she was assigned to increasingly dangerous missions, including countersniping hunts which could last for entire days and nights at a time. By May 1942, Pavlychenko had dispatched 36 enemy snipers in this manner. She became so notorious that the Germans broadcast radio messages trying to bribe her to defect.

Despite being wounded on four separate occasions, Pavlychenko remained in active service until June 1942, when her position was bombed and shrapnel struck her face. Because of her fame she was withdrawn from duty and sent to the United States on a publicity visit, where she became the first Soviet citizen to be received by a US President. Pavlychenko was disappointed by the disparaging comments by the American press about her appearance in uniform, but emboldened by her friendship with Eleanor Roosevelt she lashed out at them at a press event in Chicago, saying “I am 25 years old and I have killed 309 fascist occupants by now. Don’t you think, gentlemen, that you have been hiding behind my back for too long?”

On returning home, Pavlychenko was promoted to Major and became a sniper instructor. In 1943, she was awarded the Gold Star of the Hero of the Soviet Union for her heroic service. After the war she went on to complete her education and became a historian attached to the Soviet navy. She died aged 58 and is buried in the Novodevichye Cemetery in Moscow.
Osh-Tisch, or ‘Finds Them and Kills Them’, was a boté spiritual leader and warrior of the Crow Nation who lived in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.
Boté was a Crow term referring to an individual possessing a gender identity different to their assigned sex, or to someone who possessed an identity of both male and female characteristics. Boté genders were considered separate to male or female genders and were distinct identities in their own right, a concept common to Native American societies and now sometimes captured under the modern umbrella term ‘Two Spirit’ (see this link for more info).
Osh-Tisch was a male-assigned-at-birth boté who lived as a woman and expressed a preference for women’s work. In her life she took on a number of roles including artist, medicine woman, shaman and warrior. She was also a skilled craftswoman who made intricate leather goods and large tipis, and is known to have constructed the huge buffalo-skin lodge of the Crow Chief Iron Bull. 
According to the testimony of Pretty Shield, Osh-Tisch fought at the Battle of the Rosebud in 1876, where the Crow fought as part of a US-led coalition against the Lakota Sioux and Cheyenne. When a wounded Crow warrior fell from his horse, Osh-Tisch leapt from her own horse and defended the fallen man with a salvo of rifle shots. At the same time a woman warrior named The Other Magpie was attacking the Lakota with a coup stick. Moments after The Other Magpie struck a Lakota with the coup stick he was killed by Osh-Tisch’s bullet, leading to her gaining the epithet of ‘Finds Them and Kills Them’.
By the 1890s the Crows had been forced into living in reservations by the US government. During this time Osh-Tisch and two other boté were targeted by an agent of the Bureau of Indian Affairs named Briskow, who had them imprisoned, their hair cut, and forced them to wear men’s clothing. The Crow rallied to the protection of the boté and Chief Pretty Eagle used what little power he had to have Briskow removed from the reservation. Osh-Tisch’s friend and Crow historian Joe Medicine Crow later described this attack on the boté as a ‘tragedy’.
Osh-Tisch continued to be targeted by preachers and other managers of the reservation for the rest of her life. Along with the gradual internalisation of United States cultural norms, this persecution led to a shift away from boté acceptance among the Crow and Osh-Tisch ultimately died in 1929 as one of the last of her kind.

(This post inspired by the Rejected Princesses article on Osh-Tisch: http://www.rejectedprincesses.com/post/92639871808/osh-tisch-princess-of-two-spirits-1854-1929)

Osh-Tisch, or ‘Finds Them and Kills Them’, was a boté spiritual leader and warrior of the Crow Nation who lived in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

Boté was a Crow term referring to an individual possessing a gender identity different to their assigned sex, or to someone who possessed an identity of both male and female characteristics. Boté genders were considered separate to male or female genders and were distinct identities in their own right, a concept common to Native American societies and now sometimes captured under the modern umbrella term ‘Two Spirit’ (see this link for more info).

Osh-Tisch was a male-assigned-at-birth boté who lived as a woman and expressed a preference for women’s work. In her life she took on a number of roles including artist, medicine woman, shaman and warrior. She was also a skilled craftswoman who made intricate leather goods and large tipis, and is known to have constructed the huge buffalo-skin lodge of the Crow Chief Iron Bull. 

According to the testimony of Pretty Shield, Osh-Tisch fought at the Battle of the Rosebud in 1876, where the Crow fought as part of a US-led coalition against the Lakota Sioux and Cheyenne. When a wounded Crow warrior fell from his horse, Osh-Tisch leapt from her own horse and defended the fallen man with a salvo of rifle shots. At the same time a woman warrior named The Other Magpie was attacking the Lakota with a coup stick. Moments after The Other Magpie struck a Lakota with the coup stick he was killed by Osh-Tisch’s bullet, leading to her gaining the epithet of ‘Finds Them and Kills Them’.

By the 1890s the Crows had been forced into living in reservations by the US government. During this time Osh-Tisch and two other boté were targeted by an agent of the Bureau of Indian Affairs named Briskow, who had them imprisoned, their hair cut, and forced them to wear men’s clothing. The Crow rallied to the protection of the boté and Chief Pretty Eagle used what little power he had to have Briskow removed from the reservation. Osh-Tisch’s friend and Crow historian Joe Medicine Crow later described this attack on the boté as a ‘tragedy’.

Osh-Tisch continued to be targeted by preachers and other managers of the reservation for the rest of her life. Along with the gradual internalisation of United States cultural norms, this persecution led to a shift away from boté acceptance among the Crow and Osh-Tisch ultimately died in 1929 as one of the last of her kind.

(This post inspired by the Rejected Princesses article on Osh-Tisch: http://www.rejectedprincesses.com/post/92639871808/osh-tisch-princess-of-two-spirits-1854-1929)

Anonymous asked:

Do you have more information on the Congolese female para-commando during jump training at capital Leopoldville in 1967? Books titles? I can only find on wiki "The Democratic Republic of the Congo began training an initial 150 women as para-commandos in 1967 and many more were trained subsequently, over a period of several years at least. The women did receive complete jump training as well as weapons training although it is unclear to what extent they were actually integrated into the combat"

Thank you for your question. I’m sorry to say I have very little more information on the subject to report besides what you have already found. As is sadly often the case, little to no information about these women and their military careers seems to have been recorded.

What little I can find is as follows. The original source of the image is from Le Patriote Illustré, a now defunct Belgian magazine, dated 26 Nov 1967 (source: http://bit.ly/Zfto9r ), but no further information is given.

There are a few other photos archived on the internet supporting the existence of female Congolese paratroopers in the late 1960s:

1: http://collections.si.edu/search/results.htm?q=record_ID:siris_arc_112792

2: http://siris-archives.si.edu/ipac20/ipac.jsp?uri=full=3100001~!121711!0

The photographer’s notes for these images make reference to the paratrooper units being Israeli-trained but offer no other information.

On page 16 of the book 'Great Lakes Holocaust: First Congo War' by Tom Cooper, another photo of female paratroopers is shown, labelled 'Female Paratroopers of the Israeli-trained 12th Airborne Battalion (later 312th Para Batallion)’. See: http://bit.ly/1weL6Vs

Unfortunately there my research runs dry. If you or anyone finds any further information on these paratroopers I would love to hear about it. All the best.