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"Most Inspiring Last Stand to the Last Man" Topic

35 Posts

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Action Log

21 Apr 2018 3:16 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

  • Removed from TMP Poll Suggestions board
  • Crossposted to Historical Wargaming board

851 hits since 29 Sep 2017
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

DisasterWargamer Supporting Member of TMP30 Sep 2017 5:04 a.m. PST

What do you consider the most inspiring last stand

Little Big Horn
Warsaw Ghetto

For me – it would be Camerone if for no other reason that the Legion maintains Captains Danjou's wooden hand as an artifact.

However the one that had the lost impact history wise was probably the stand of the Spartans

Allen5730 Sep 2017 5:50 a.m. PST

Thermopylae. Without it the Greek culture and our Westen world would be vastly different.

Cerdic Supporting Member of TMP30 Sep 2017 7:10 a.m. PST

Not sure about some of the others, but Hastings was not a 'last stand'. It was a 'decisive' battle where the losing side eventually broke. Many of the English troops survived, some of whom continued to oppose the Normans using guerilla type warfare for some time after!

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP30 Sep 2017 7:25 a.m. PST

I think, if we're going to count Hastings as a "stand to the last man," we might also put the last stand of Newcastle's whitecoats following Marston Moor.

I think also the 10 August 1792 stand of Louis XVI's Swiss Guard ought to make the list. "The Swiss part with their lives, but not their arms."

Dien Bien Phu? Rorke's Drift?

And Maldon
"Mind shall not falter, nor mood waver
Though doom come and darkness conquer."

princeman30 Sep 2017 8:09 a.m. PST

I vote for the Alamo

Ragbones Supporting Member of TMP30 Sep 2017 8:19 a.m. PST


DisasterWargamer Supporting Member of TMP30 Sep 2017 8:41 a.m. PST

Should have specified with Hastings – The Saxon Housecarls specifically

rmaker30 Sep 2017 8:54 a.m. PST

Horatius at the bridge.

Shagnasty Supporting Member of TMP30 Sep 2017 9:20 a.m. PST

Thermopylae for its lasting effect.

Personal logo lewis cannon Supporting Member of TMP30 Sep 2017 9:25 a.m. PST

Flashman at Gandamack.

attilathepun47 Inactive Member30 Sep 2017 9:34 a.m. PST

Although it's difficult to sort facts from legend, there is a story of an heroic last stand by Siamese villagers against invading Burmese troops at Bang Rajan (or Bang Rachan) in 1767. The traditional version of events is well told in a Thai movie (2000), which I got from Netflix years ago (note that it has not been dubbed in English--subtitles only). Below is a link to a (not very satisfactory) Wikipedia entry on this event.


Hafen von Schlockenberg30 Sep 2017 9:40 a.m. PST

LC beat me to Gandamack,although I was going to say "44th at--".

IIRC, Flashman was (ahem)"looking on from a safe distance".

dBerczerk30 Sep 2017 9:41 a.m. PST

Private Vasquez and Lieutenant Gorman at the terraforming colony Hadleys Hope on exomoon LV-426.

Hafen von Schlockenberg30 Sep 2017 10:13 a.m. PST

I'll add a little-remembered incident: the nine batallions,mostly of young recruits, abandoned in the French center at Blenheim. A few surrendered,some survived by feigning death,but most,in the face of overwhelming musket and cannon fire, died where they stood,"In Batallion Quare in the best Order I ever saw till they were cutt to pieces almost in Rank and File"--Captain James Abercrombie.

Terrible waste,and changed nothing,but pretty damn inspiring,all
the same.

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP30 Sep 2017 11:51 a.m. PST

How is "everybody getting killed who couldn't get away" inspiring?

Hafen von Schlockenberg30 Sep 2017 12:46 p.m. PST

Many ran. They didn't.

I imagine many of those in your OP would also have "gotten away", if they could.

T Corret Supporting Member of TMP30 Sep 2017 1:39 p.m. PST

A family story claims two old rebels were sitting outside the Post Office, when one claimed he never ran from a battle they both survived. His friend said,"Them as didn't run are still there."

goragrad30 Sep 2017 2:23 p.m. PST

As noted Winston in about half of those there was an exit.

At sea there is less of an option for individuals to bug out. So to the last man is pretty much a decision made for the crew.

However the crew of Borgestad at SLS 64 could have abandoned ship or made a futile effort to escape and instead steamed at the Hipper firing her gun. All 31 men and 1 woman aboard perished.

Beaverford in HX84 engaged the Scheer for over 4 hours after the Jervis Bay was sunk. No survivors.

Of course these were merchant seamen (aside from the 2 naal gunners attached to the crew). Not even military personnel who stepped up to attempt to give their fellows a chance to escape.

Sundance30 Sep 2017 3:52 p.m. PST

Stalingrad and Sugar Loaf Hill, though Sugar Loaf Hill wasn't really a last stand to the last man.

Personal logo SBminisguy Supporting Member of TMP30 Sep 2017 4:50 p.m. PST

Me. Her. The last slice of pizza. Epic last stand before I fell to superior firepower…

Frederick Supporting Member of TMP30 Sep 2017 5:34 p.m. PST

Most inspiring – I would say Camerone or the Alamo – probably the Alamo although Goragrad does give great examples of situations where the smart thing would have been to run or surrender, but to save their mates sailors in woefully outgunned situations slugged it out with much bigger, more capable opponents

Most impactful – Thermopylae

USAFpilot30 Sep 2017 6:52 p.m. PST

Thermopylae. It's the oldest and perhaps the source of inspiration for 'last man standing' battles that have come afterward. I can envision some future military leader in some future battle in which overwhelming enemy are faced; and the leader tells the story of Thermopylae to his troops.

Bunkermeister Supporting Member of TMP30 Sep 2017 9:47 p.m. PST

Remember the Alamo.

Mike Bunkermeister Creek

basileus66 Inactive Member01 Oct 2017 10:30 a.m. PST

There are a lot of last stands that are inspiring: the last stand of the Tercio Viejo de Cartagena at Rocroi, or the heroic resistance at Kfar Etzion, in the War of Independence of Israel. Or the little Glowworm attacking the Admiral Hipper, despite the odds. And Thermopylae, of course, because although they could have chosen to retreat, they decided to stay. That it's bravery at its best.

However for me the most inspiring of all is the Warsaw Ghetto. They weren't warriors, nor military; they had only a few weapons and almost no ammunition. They were, mostly, civilians… and starving civilians at that. There are few things more inspiring than that.

Personal logo piper909 Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member01 Oct 2017 9:12 p.m. PST

I thought we already had this same poll in the last year or two?

And people argued about some of the choices not being proper last stands, and the usual argy-bargy.

I even recall noting the absence of St. Jacob-en-Birs from a list.

Personal logo piper909 Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member01 Oct 2017 9:15 p.m. PST

Quasi-fictional -- the 20th Legion at the Thirtieth Milestone, A.D. 407. As lyrically detailed in the fine novel "Eagle In the Snow" by Wallace Breem (1970).

(Get the original or the UK paperback reprint from Phoenix Books -- the US Rugged Land edition is MISSING the coda, ruins the ending!!) link

Apache 604 Oct 2017 8:25 a.m. PST


Mikasa Inactive Member04 Oct 2017 9:41 a.m. PST

What about Frost's battalion at Arnhem?

Personal logo John the Greater Supporting Member of TMP04 Oct 2017 12:27 p.m. PST

Lomas Valentinas, December 21–27, 1868.

OK, the Paraguayan President/Marshal Lopez ran away and survived until March 1, 1870. But his army was annihilated so it should count as a last stand.

Personal logo Herkybird Supporting Member of TMP04 Oct 2017 1:42 p.m. PST

Those guys in the grain silo in Stalingrad!

…or Thermopylae!

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP06 Oct 2017 10:26 a.m. PST

Taffy 3.

Rallynow Supporting Member of TMP06 Oct 2017 10:31 a.m. PST


Rallynow Supporting Member of TMP06 Oct 2017 10:31 a.m. PST

Some of these are not to the very last man. My apologies.

Dien Bien Phu
Fort Washington
Kabul (1842)
Roncevaux Pass
Godfrey Ranch
Adobe Walls
Fort Pillow
Shangani Patrol (1893)
Warsaw Ghetto
Teutoburg Forest?
Samar: Task Unit 77.4.3 ("Taffy 3")
Sinking of the Bismarck
Spanish Armada
Loan Survivor (USN Seals, Afghanistan)
Babaji, Helmand: (2010, Afghanistan, see below)

Dipprasad Pun of the Royal Gurkha Rifles was guarding his unit's compound when he was attacked by 30 insurgents. He was surrounded and was certain of his death, so he resolved to kill as many of the attackers as he could. He expended all 400 rounds of his ammunition, launched 17 grenades, detonated a Claymore mine, and killed the final attacker with his tripod.

Rallynow Supporting Member of TMP06 Oct 2017 10:56 a.m. PST

Depending on your definition, there were many last stands by the Japanese in WWII. Most with just a few who surrendered or were captured.

Rallynow Supporting Member of TMP06 Oct 2017 11:15 a.m. PST

French Old Guard at Waterloo?

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