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Top 10 troops who became heroes after disobeying orders

Top 10 troops who became heroes after disobeying orders

Entering the military requires an oath to obey lawful orders. Commanding officers can send
troops into a suicide mission if it serves the greater purpose. When obeying such commands,
it’s necessary for those troops to believe a commander wouldn’t order them into harm’s way unless it was necessary, that the action serves a greater good, and that it’s not an illegal order. Troops have to make a
choice to follow the orders of those appointed over
them or to disobey. This list is about men
who disobeyed orders because lives were at
stake and they decided that saving those lives
was worth the risk. In no particular order,
these are 10 moments when troops became heroes
after disobeying orders. Number one, Dakota Meyer, U.S.
Marine Corps, Afghanistan. In 2009, Dakota Meyer was
at the Battle of Ganjgal, where his commander
ordered him to disregard a distress call from ambushed Afghan and American troops, four of them friends pinned down by possibly
hundreds of enemy fighters. He repeatedly asked
permission to drive his truck to help relieve his outnumbered and surrounded friends and allies. He and another Marine finally hopped in a Humvee to take action. Meyer manned the gun while
the other drove the vehicle. They drove right into the firestorm, loading the beleaguered Afghans, mostly wounded, onto their Humvee. As weapons jammed, Meyer would
grab another and another. They drove into the melee five times, until they came across
Meyer’s friends, now fallen, and pulled them out too. Meyer received the Medal
of Honor for his actions. Number two, Daniel Hellings,
British Army, Afghanistan. Daniel Hellings was on a joint patrol in Helmand Province with Afghan allies when his patrol was hit by an explosion. An improvised explosive
device was detonated in an alleyway, injuring
two of the patrollers. Then another went off,
injuring a third man. Hellings’ commander ordered
an immediate withdrawal. Instead, Hellings got down
on the ground and started a fingertip search for more
bombs – and he found some. He found four of them. He was on the ground,
poking around in the dirt until he found all of the IEDs. For his bravery and quick thinking, he was awarded the
Queen’s Gallantry Medal. Number three, Lieutenant
Colonel Stanislav Petrov. Soviet Army, Cold War. Lieutenant Colonel Stanislav Petrov was in command of a Nuclear
Early Warning System on the morning of September 26, 1983, when that system detected
a probable launch of American nuclear missiles. Suspecting it was a
false alarm, he disobeyed the standing order of reporting it to his commanding officers, who likely would have retaliated
with their nuclear arsenal. In this case, doing nothing
was doing something big, as in completely averting World War III and mutually assured destruction. Because it was indeed a false alarm. The event also showed a flaw
in the USSR’s early warning system and helped to avert
further misunderstandings. Number four, Benaya Rein,
Israel Defence Forces, Second Lebanon War. Several Israeli soldiers, lacking accurate maps, became lost in 2006 while downrange in Southern Lebanon. As they attempted to get their bearings, about 20 men appeared in the distance, and the commander, thinking
they were Hezbollah fighters, ordered Benaya Rein to open fire. Rein wasn’t so sure. He instead took a tank out to
the location to investigate. When he arrived, he found 20
of his fellow IDF soldiers. “Because he refused to
follow his commander’s order, the lives of these soldiers were saved,” his mother told an Israeli paper. Rein would later be killed
after the tank he was commanding was hit by a Hezbollah missile. He was one of the last
Israelis killed during the war. Number five, Lieutenant David
Teich, U.S. Army, Korean War. Lieutenant David Teich
was in a tank company near the 38th parallel in 1951 when
a radio distress call came in from the Eighth Ranger Company. Wounded, outnumbered,
and under heavy fire, the Rangers were near Teich’s tanks, and facing 300,000 Communist troops, moving steadily toward their position. Teich wanted to help, but was
ordered to withdraw instead. Teich went anyway. He led four tanks over
to the Rangers’ position and loaded up so many
of them on each tank, they covered up the tank’s turrets. He still gets letters from
the troops he saved that day, thanking him for disobeying
his order to move out. Number six, Corporal Desmond
Doss, U.S. Army, World War II. Corporal Desmond Doss wanted to serve, he just wasn’t willing to
kill to do it and refused every order to carry a weapon or fire one. However, Doss would do
anything to save his men, repeatedly braving Japanese fire to pull the injured to the rear. As his unit climbed a
vertical cliffside at Okinawa, the Japanese opened up
with artillery, mortars, and machine guns, turning his unit back and killing or wounding 75 men. Doss retrieved them one-by-one, loading them onto a
litter and down the cliff. A few days later, in the mouth of a cave, he braved a shower of grenades
thrown from eight yards away, dressed wounds, and made four trips to pull his soldiers out. He treated his own wounds
and waited five hours for a litter to carry him off. On the way back, the three men carrying him had to take cover from a tank attack. While waiting, Doss
crawled off his litter, treated another injured man,
and told the litter bearers to take the other man instead. While waiting for them to return, he was hit in the arm by a sniper and crawled 300 yards to an aid station. He was the first conscientious objector to earn the Medal of Honor. Number seven, Lieutenant
Thomas Currie “Diver” Derrick, Australian Imperial Force, World War II. The Battle of Sattelberg
in the Pacific nation of New Guinea was as hard-fought as any in the Pacific Theater. It took the Australians a
grudgingly slow eight days to push the Japanese out of the town and they paid dearly for it. On November 24, 1943,
Lieutenant Thomas Currie Derrick was ordered to withdraw his platoon because the CO didn’t
think he could capture the heights around Sattelberg. Derrick’s response was “Bugger the CO – just give me 20 more minutes and we’ll have this place.” Derrick climbed a
vertical cliff by himself, holding on with one hand
and throwing grenades with the other, stopping
only to fire his rifle. He cleared out 10 machine
gun nests that night and forced the Japanese to withdraw. The Aussies captured
Sattelberg and Derrick was awarded the Victoria Cross. Number eight, 1st.
Lieutenant Frank Luke, Jr., U.S. Army Air Corps, World War I. In September 1918, 1st Lieutenant
Frank Luke Jr was grounded by his commanding officer and
told that if he disobeyed, he would be charged with being AWOL. Luke, an ace with 15 aerial
victories, flew anyway, going out to find military
reconnaissance balloons. Balloons might sound like an easy target, but they were heavily defended
by anti-aircraft weapons. He knocked out three balloons
that day before he was forced down by machine gun fire. He managed to land and exit the plane and he kept fighting the
Germans with his sidearm until a bullet wound killed him. Luke was the first pilot to
receive the Medal of Honor. Number nine, Major General Daniel Sickles, Union Army, Civil War. Major General Daniel Sickles’ disobedience during the Battle of Gettysburg changed the momentum of the war
and may have changed the entire history of the United States. In a move historians
haven’t stopped talking about for 150 years, Sickles moved his men to Peach Orchard instead
of Little Round Top, where General George G.
Meade had directed him. This move prompted Confederate
General James Longstreet to attack the Union troops in the orchard and the wheat field, nearly destroying the Union forces there. Which, admittedly, sounds terrible. But that Confederate
move allowed Union troops to flank them in a counteroffensive
and completely rout the Confederate forces, winning Gettysburg for the Union and ending Robert E. Lee’s invasion of the North. Sickles himself lost
a leg in the fighting, but he received the Medal of Honor and helped preserve Gettysburg as a national historic site after the war. Number 10, Lieutenant Albert Battel and Major Max Liedtke, German
Wehrmacht, World War II. Albert Battel and Max Liedtke served in the German Wehrmacht
during World War II where they bravely
resisted their own country to save Jewish lives. On July 26, 1942, the German
SS and the Gestapo made their first attempt to liquidate
the Przemysl Jewish ghetto, but they were blocked by
Lieutenant Albert Battel and Major Max Liedtke. They ordered their men to block the bridge over the River San,
which was the only route of deportation from the ghetto. They threatened to open fire
on the advancing troops, while secretly working within the ghetto to save as many lives as they could. 100 Jews were hidden by
Battel’s men in the barracks of a local military base,
sparing them from grisly fates in the Belzec death camp. Both men would be posthumously recognized as one of the Righteous Among the Nations for risking their lives
during the Holocaust to save Jews from
extermination by the Nazis. So that’s our list. Who are your favorite heroes in history? Leave us a comment and let us know, maybe we’ll make a video about them next.

Reader Comments

  1. Check out this Marine General who played by his own rules when he wargamed a fictional Iran against the U.S. military — AND WON:

  2. Audie Murphy when they asked what was he thinking he say's "they where killing my friends" there is a film called to hell and back where he plays him self. Its worth a watch.

  3. Sickles disobedience at Gettysburg almost cost the north the war! He left little round top wide open, exposing the entire Yankee left flank, and it had to be defended by the 20th Maine. It was only by the grace of a desperate Yankee charge ordered by Joshua Chamberlain, when out of ammunition that saved the day. I guess history is written by the victors, right or wrong!

  4. Daniel Sickles …. Bogus…..His actions threatened the entire left flank of the Union Army. His actions needlessly cost the lives of several hundred soldiers. Please read any Battle of Gettysburg history, the MOH was, in effect, self awarded and political. In addition to his lack of military training, or any understanding battle tactics and strategy, the man was completely delusional. Including him casts serious doubts on others perhaps deserving and heroic. This needs to be re-done, or removed. His actions are criminal at any point in US history. .

  5. There is no such thing as a 'Second Lebanon War'. Israel plainly invaded the Lebanon as a land grab of the Litani River and the surrounding farm lands. The local militia of 5,000 villagers trained by Hesbollah in modern battle field tactics out fought 40,000 Israeli soldier using top grade antitank missiles repelled the Israel Invasion War.

  6. Germans all the way . Almost as good as Kurt Knipsel decking an ss trooper abusing a Russian P.O.W. laid him out cold with one punch across the tracks. Even though he had more tank kills than any other german he never got many medals ,a tanker of his caliber would have gotten the knights cross of iron cross with oak leaves and swords , his tunic looked very bare. I guess the SS doesn't forgive.

  7. In the end, man will kill each other on such a level, if God does not intervene, no flesh would survive. Think about that for a second. It was recorded thousands of years ago that this would happen. And only now is that a human capability. Jesus is coming back soon my friends!

  8. Colonel Eriksen had orders not to engage. This is what happened, Norway 1940:

  9. My brother served in the USAF as a boom operator first in KC97s and transitioning to KC135s. He volunteered for 7 tours in Viet Nam. During one of those tours, our fighter planes were bombing North Viet Nam targets, but the tankers were still restricted to South Viet Nam air space. His tanker was flying along the North Vietnamese border when the fighter bomber commander contacted the tanker commander and informed him his fighter wing would not be able to reach the rendezvous point beacause they were low on fuel due to having to fight off Migs since leaving their bombing run. The tanker crew discussed the situation and agreed to a man that they would not abandon their fellow airman. They flew the tanker north and intercepted the fighter wing somewhere over North Viet Nam. As my brother refueled one fighter plane, the remaining fighters kept the Migs off the tanker. The tanker crew was successful in refueling the entire fighter wing and all aircraft and airman safely returned to their bases. However, upon touching down at their base in Thailand, my brother's crew were brought up on court martial for disobeying orders. They were restricted to their quarters for 2 weeks before someone had the epiphany that they had saved a fighter wing as result of their courageous actions. Instead of being court martialled, they were awarded Distinguished Flying medals. Gotta love our military brass. My brother is one of my heroes.

  10. I have a hero and that's my great grandpa he was a pilot that flew over d day braving flak guns and got the troops he was carrying close to there drop that man nearly lost his arm in that flight

  11. My son in Afghanistan was in charge for looking for IEDS through cameras on the lead hummer.
    He was supposed to get permission from an officer to call in an airstrike.
    My son saw a platoon was in danger his officer was nowhere to be found. So laying his career on the line he called in the air strike himself. He was a sgt.
    He saved the lives of every soldier in that platoon that day.
    And was awarded the Bronze star for Valor. Wich at first he wanted to turn down.

  12. to many americans in this list its really shame..just imagine how many brave man died in battle for Stalingrad on both sides just one example…americans are known for their cowardice
    they only attack from drones or when they are much,much stronger than their opponents ..imagine american soldier with best equipment fighting some afgan peasants is a war hero its a joke i know …

  13. He didnt disobey orders, but Ive only ever seen a book written about Pvt. John Robert McKinney. He was stationed in the Phillippines during WWII and held off an advance of 200 Japanese by himself. The Japanese honestly believed he couldn't die and nicknamed him "The Phantom Warrior." He got a Medal of Honor for that.

  14. Such patriotic soldiers are very less and such stories are rare
    I felt honored and you guys are the most daring person I heard about
    A grand salute sir for saving the world and saving lives
    I was inspired and felt honored and patriotic

  15. My family was very good friends with Desmond Doss. Sat next to him in church in Collegedale, TN.
    Thank God for these gifts!
    USMC 1999-2007

  16. The fact that Dan Sickles received the Medal of Honor is a disgrace to the award. His selfish actions, (he left the entire Federal line open to the Confederates) to move to a better position, this did help us flank the enemy., but this was not planned by Sickles. He did this, not for military reasons , but purely for glory and narcissitic motivation.  
    He also shot his wife's lover, Barton Key, the son of Francis Scott key (Oh say can you see…) He is the first person to enter the insanity plea, and was found not guilty because of it. * He died in 1914 at the ripe old age on 92. For on him, please read.

  17. Have you not heard the Filipino contingent in Golan height disobeyed their superior the UN general commander ordering them to surrender to enemies.
    They rather chose to fight and not a single of them harmed. Appreciation and commendations followed.

  18. I like Desmond doss and you should do a video on the Medel of honor resumption colonel Joshua Lawrence chamberlain which after the battle of Gettysburg got the Medal of Honor and was promoted major general after defending little round top

  19. 2:17 That picture is not Stanislav Petrov, that's Vasili Arkhipov. He was on a Soviet nuclear submarine during the Cuban Missile Crisis that was going to start nuclear war because the crew thought that war had already started. He managed to avert it by saying by voting no to the Captain and Political Officer. This is Stanislav Petrov.

  20. In this world those who dont follow order are a scum but those who dont care about their comrade are worse that a scum

  21. Not taking anything away from Desmond Doss but he was not the first conscientious objector to win a medal of honor Sergeant Alvin York was

  22. doss should be no 1 as he saved both sides but as the opposition soldiers were lowered to the end of the cliff they were shot. in war this happens

  23. "A Sergeant in motion outranks a Lieutenant who doesn't know what's going on." – The 70 Maxims of maximally effective mercenaries

  24. Nobody mentions here how the Jews had the avengers.
    They killed many lower level nazi after the war.
    All the atrocities against other people or their usury.
    They are not anybody's friend.
    Not to be trusted.

  25. Dan Sickles was a glory hound, and an evil, vile human being. He fucked up not by being in the wrong place, but by disobeying a direct order to stand fast against Confederate Gen Longstreet, and sacrificed his ENTIRE division. He was also the first person in U.S. history to plea temporary insanity and got away with murdering his young wife in a jealous rage. It is suspected that His "medal of honor " was given to him through blackmail. His leg bone is on display at the US army Walter Reed hospital in D.C.(also put there by him. He 2as a senator, and had a failed run for the presidency, complete narsicist.

  26. Why would that create WW3 sorry but that Cold War was between Russia and America it wasn’t like WW1 and WW2 that involved shit tone if countries since Germany invaded and declared war on them

  27. Give me a break. So no enemies of America can be honored for their bravery, unless they are serving the American interests. No Germans was good unless he turned on his own command and saved the Jews. GTFO

  28. sickles was an incompetent idiot and he only got the medal of honor because he lobbied his affluent friends in Congress to give it to him he didnt deserve that honor what so ever the person who made this video should've learned and studied more history before making false statements and claims on sickles

  29. Major general Dan Sickles was no hero. His rank was bought and paid for, and he was a fool who got his men slaughtered. Should you ever find yourself at Gettysburg, you can see from cemetery ridge just how far out there sickles led his men. He nearly cost the union army the battle by leaving a gap in the line. The real heroes were the ones you stood their ground despite the orders they received from their insane commander.

  30. Hernan Cortez disobeyed direct orders from the Governor of Cuba not to attempt the Conquest of the Aztecs in Mexico.  His conquest of Mexico gave Spain all the financial resources necessary to conquer the balance of LatAm and seek to be masters of Europe for the 16th century.


  32. Man the last men where the real brave. Imagine Hitler winning and finding out you disobeyed his orders to exterminate the Jewish lives you saved.

  33. No Rommel???? Field Marshal Rommel was very heroic as he disobeyed Hitler many times whenever he was ordered to execute captured Jewish soldiers and other POWs he tore up the orders. Whenever he gets ordered to deport Jewish population he again tears up Hitler's order. Whenever he forced civilians into labor he made sure they get paid. His tactical retreat to Tunisia after his defeat at El Alamein saved his men's lives after disobeying Hitler to fight to the death.

  34. If everetone only supposed to obey lawful orders then America would have no army because literally everything they’ve done since I can remember has been illegal and immoral

  35. Even if they were hezbollah soldiers the Israeli still shouldn’t have fired because they were in their own country and he had no business being in there country without a visa and with weapons like some terrorist would do in Europe.

  36. One of my heroes: Sgt. Alvin York, World War I.

    During the war, Sgt. York, single-handedly, destroyed over 30 machine gun nests and captured over 370 German prisoners. His favorite tactic was that if the Germans were advancing on his position, he would kill or injure the men in the rear first. A second tactic was using bird calls to force German soldiers to reveal their locations — and as a result of these tactics, York was a master marksman, hitting targets at well over 400 yards on a consistent basis. As a result of his bravery, he was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously.

  37. Stanislov Petrov from the former Soviet Union is BY FAR the greatest hero on this list. If it were not for him, no one would be here right now because he single handedly prevented World War 3. On top of that, he was paid back by his own government by being reprimanded because he refused to follow an order!

  38. My personal favourite is the story of Canadian soldier Private Leo Major. Single handed, he liberated an entire Dutch town from German occupation during WWII. Later in the Korean War, he led a 20 man platoon of Canadian soldiers to retake a hilltop that the Chinese has captured from the Americans. By the time he arrived the hilltop held roughly 40,000 Chinese troops. Leo and his small platoon repelled the entire Chinese force, and over the next three days repelled counter attacks by another two Companies. If you’re keeping score, that’s 20 bad ass Canadians on a lonely hilltop…. against at least 60,000 pissed off Chinese soldiers. Leo and his Canadians held the hill till relief came.
    It’s mind boggling really.

  39. How about General Dietrich Von Choltitz the German commander of Paris. When the Allies were nearing Paris in 1944, he disobeyed Hitler's direct order to level the city and ,instead, surrendered it intact to Free French troops.

  40. Much respect for this video. My grandfather served in ww2 in the Canadian Air Force as a tail gunner in a bomber over the African front and the western front from 1941 to to end of the war. He’s my hero

  41. When Dan Sickles moved his entire corp forward, he provided the confederates with two gaping holes in his lines. The Devils Den, The Peach orchard, and one other theater were all created by Dan Sickles Genius, However, it should be noted that upon learning of this folly of Gen.Sickles Gen. Mead on the quick mind you rushed 8,000 troops to fill the gaps created by Gen Sickles. There was to be certain terribly intense fighting that these particular actions required. The confederate action followed a rolling thunder attempt because as the attempt intensified on the Sickles line Confederates attacked with repeated charges on the Union position on Little Round Top. That was one tough afternoon for Union forces at the Battle of Gettysburg

  42. I heard that Gen. Dan Sickles, who I believe is from New York, was recognized as a result of having killed his wife's lover, Is that True?

  43. The confederates were not able to circumvent the Union Position at The Battle of Gettysburg, they most certainly tried but neither flank yielded and as a result, It was the Confederates who left the field of Battle. it is rather well known of the heroics at the Little Round Top however less well known though no less heroic were the actions of Brevit General George Custer. He defeated a superior sized Rebel Force of Cavalry under the Leadership Gen. Jeb Stuart.had he not defeated Stuarts Calvary, some 4,200 to Custers 2,500 men. The confederates would have had lunch in Meads rear stores. I believe the defeat at Gettysburg, pa for the confederates was a first for Jeb Stuarts Calvary as well.

  44. The narrator claims that the Union Forces were able to either envelope the confederate position or somehow overwhelm the confederate attempt. That a-lot of hooey, however Gen. Mead it was thought, was slow to respond to the retreating Confederates. President Lincoln may very well of replaced Gen. Mead as a result of not following and attacking a retreating Army of Northern Virginia. When General Grant tried such a deed he found out that General Lee was not tops in his class at West Point for nothing. Grant once charged into a buzz saw which he confessed for the only time in the war he regretted doing. It was on a retreating Army of Northern Virginia that such a pasting occurred.

  45. One further mention, Union Calvary very nearly bagged Jeb Stuart as The Army of Northern Virginia retreated. It was a short battle almost perhaps a skirmish however the food was still hot as Confederates had to vamoose.

  46. You guys need to do a small segment on Pascal Cleatus Poolaw, he was a Native American soldier who fought in WW2, the Korean War and was killed fighting in the Vietnam War. He was awarded 42 medals and citations along with 5 bronze stars, 4 silver stars and 3 Purple Hearts. He deserves recognition for his service and dedication to his country and his people. He joined the Vietnam War in hopes to keep his youngest son from entering the war but he had already shipped out. He was killed trying to pulled a soldier to safety.

  47. The filthy rich of westpoint get to send people to die without ever facing it themselves. That's the definition of privilege, cowardly, and inexcusable.

  48. Although kind of defiled from being depicted by a nameless scientology bastard in a movie, Claus Stauffenberg could have made that list also…

  49. 8:36 No one did it for the Jews, but for the Honour of Germany my fathers comrades were resisting too. Not for Jews, but for the glory of Germany. Didn't work well Leider Gottes

  50. Trust me everyone is gonna say thank god that we didnt have a ww3 ……….Because they dont want to say something good about the Russian soldier i mean dam thats pretty harsh of yall to say that and God didnt decide he did so F to you all for not thinking about him

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