While cruising the internet, you’ll often see pics of the “Overly Manly Man”, Chuck Norris jokes aplenty, video of Bear Grylls eating disgusting bugs and animals and manly rap battles. Yeah these things are amusing, but they can pull the spotlight away from men who truly deserve it and who you will probably never hear much about. Men such as Simo Häyhä, Grigori Rasputin or Jim West. Yeah, I’m linking to a bunch of our old posts, but these are absolutely worth a read!
Lieutenant General Adrian Carton de Wiart
Enter Lieutenant General Adrian Carton de Wiart: a true manly man. I doubt you recognize the picture up above but you should! This man served in the Boer War, World War 1 and World War 2 and sustained various injuries that would most likely kill most poor excuses for men these days.
Adrian Carton de Wiart (25 at the time) enlisted in the British Military in 1899 under the name “Trooper Carton”. His first tour was in South Africa where he sustained wounds to the stomach and groin. In true manly fashion, this only motivated Carton to get tougher. He began to train harder and play sports regularly; a few of his favourite sports being shooting, polo and boar hunting.
“Frankly I had enjoyed the war…and why do people want peace if the war is so much fun”
– Adrian Carton de Wiart
When the first World War broke out, Carton was sent to Somalia. While attacking an enemy fort, he was shot twice in the face, costing him his left eye and an ear.
In 1915 Carton was on a steamer destined for France. Carton now had 3 infantry battalions and a brigade under his command. He was wounded 7 more times here and lost his left hand. He also sustained an injury to his right hand. When Carton had a doctor decline to remove several fingers from the injured hand, Carton simply removed them himself by biting them off.
Carton was shot in the head and ankle at the Battle of Somme, the hip at the Battle of Passchendaele, the leg at Cambrai and the ear at Arras.
On April 5, 1941 , Carton boarded a bomber en route to Cairo. While just off the coast of Libya both engines failed. The plane plummeted into the sea, about a mile from shore. The plane began to sink and Carton swam the full mile to shore where he was apprehended by the Italians.
“With his black eyepatch and empty sleeve, Carton de Wiart looked like an elegant pirate, and became a figure of legend.”
– Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
As a POW, Carton made 5 escape attempts, one of which he was able to avoid being captured for 8 days. Another attempt involved 7 months of tunneling. Carton had been approved for release; however, the news had come after his 8 day escape. When he was found, his release was revoked. As one of the conditions of his release would be that he could no longer fight in any war, it was assumed that he would have declined anyway. Carton was finally released in 1943.
Adrian Carton de Wiart’s Many Badass Awards
In May of 1915, Carton de Wiart was awarded the Distinguished Service Order (DSO), a decoration awarded to true badass officers of the armed forces during wartime, usually in combat.
In March, 1918 , he was awarded the Belgian Croix de Guerre. A decoration awarded specifically to men who show bravery on the battlefield.He was also appointed to the Order of St Michael and St George, which is awarded to someone who displays extraordinary non-military service while in a foreign nation.
“Governments may think and say as they like, but force cannot be eliminated, and it is the only real and unanswerable power. We are told that the pen is mightier than the sword, but I know which of these weapons I would choose.”
– Adrian Carton de Wiart
During WW1 he was awarded the Victoria Cross, the highest award for bravery in combat that a British soldier can achieve.
In 1919, Carton was appointed to the Order of the Bath, an order consisting of royalty and selected military officers.
In 1945 he was Knighted as a KBE (Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire)
Basically Lieutenant General Adrian Carton de Wiart VC, KBE, CB, CMG, DSO is as manly as it gets. While online memes joke about how they deal with the pain of stepping on Legos and how Chuck Norris’ tears cure cancer, this exceptional badass goes unnoticed. Although real badasses don’t do it for the fame and glory, the Man Institute likes to give credit where credit is due. Adrian Carton de Wiart was shot in the face, head, stomach, ankle, leg, hip and ear. He survived a plane crash, swam one mile to shore, tunneled out of a POW camp, and bit off his own fingers when a doctor wouldn’t amputate them. When asked about what he thought about war, he remarked: “Frankly I had enjoyed the war… and why do people want peace if the war is so much fun”.
Here’s to a legendary badass.
this article first appeared on MAN INSTITUTE.