Horatio Nelson was a British flag officer whose inspirational leadership brought about several British naval victories, especially during the Napoleonic Wars. Regarded as one of Britain's heroic figures, Horatio Nelson's legacy remains influential and several monuments, including the Nelson Monument and Nelson's Column, have been created in his memory.
A legendary female pirate of the early eighteenth century, Mary Read took to piracy when her ship was seized by Jack Rackham in West Indies. By then, she had started dressing as a man and had served in the military, which might have helped her to become a successful buccaneer. Captured in 1720, she died in prison five months later.
Carl von Clausewitz was a Prussian military theorist and general. As a theorist, Clausewitz stressed the political aspects of war. His book Vom Kriege, which talks about military strategy, has been very influential despite the fact that it was unfinished at the time of his death. His ideas also influenced personalities like Karl Marx, Mao Zedong, and Leon Trotsky.
Kazimierz Pułaski was a Polish nobleman, military commander, and soldier. Dubbed the father of the American cavalry, Pulaski is credited with creating the Pulaski Cavalry Legion and reorganizing the American cavalry. He played an important role in the American Revolutionary War and is remembered for fighting for the independence of Poland and the United States.
French biologist Jean-Baptiste Lamarck acquired his love for plants while serving as a soldier in the French army. Following an injury, he quit his military career but retained his love for botany. He later taught zoology, studied the classification of invertebrates, and also coined the term biology.
Banastre Tarleton was a British politician and general. He served in the American Revolutionary War where he was a lieutenant colonel. An iconic figure, Tarleton has been portrayed in several films, such as Sweet Liberty, The Patriot, and Amazing Grace. He has also been depicted in many TV series and novels.
Robert Rogers was a British soldier who served during the American Revolution and the French and Indian War. Rogers is remembered for raising and commanding the popular Rogers' Rangers during the French and Indian War. In 1992, he was inducted into the United States Army Ranger Hall of Fame. Robert Rogers’ heroics are depicted in the 1940 film Northwest Passage.
British admiral Arthur Phillip was a pioneering leader of the colonization of Australia. He established the first permanent European colonial settlement in Australia. He had also served as the first governor of New South Wales but was unable to establish peace. He was part of the Seven Years' War, too.
Cuthbert Collingwood, 1st Baron Collingwood was a legendary British naval commander known for his heroics at the Battle of Trafalgar. He had been sailing since age 12 and was second in command to Lord Nelson at Trafalgar. His exploits earned him the title of Baron and an annual pension £2,000.
James Wilkinson served the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War and also revealed Aaron Burr’s conspiracy to the U.S. government. While he worked against the Spanish people as part of the U.S. army, he was later revealed to be a Spanish spy, also known as Number Thirteen.
Chevalier d'Éon not just fought for France in the Seven Years' War but was also a spy. Interestingly, he led the first half of his life as a man and the second half as a woman. In his unpublished memoir, he claimed he was a woman raised as a man.
Born to a white man and a mulatto slave woman, Jim Beckwourth was practically born into slavery. While he looked like an American Indian, he was known as a “free Negro” after being released. Known as Bloody Arm, he is credited with exploring the Beckwourth Pass.
Joseph Radetzky von Radetz had almost become a national hero in Austria for his military successes. Known as Vater, or Father Radetzky, in the army circle, the field marshal had also served as the Habsburg Empire’s chief of the general staff. One of his iconic victories was at the Battle of Custoza.
24 John Colter
Trapper-explorer John Colter, who was part of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, is remembered as the first white man to visit and describe the Yellowstone National Park. He had a brush with death on three occasions, when he came face-to-face with Indian tribes. He later settled in a Missouri farm.