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Monday, September 5, 2011

Two Girls and An Army

There have been women in history who showed incredible courage and skills against odds that would daunt even the hardiest of men.  

For sheer badassery, however, few could top the Trung Sisters (Trung Trac and Trung Nhi), who are regarded today in Vietnam as national heroes.
The Trung sisters were born in China-dominated Vietnam sometime during the first century (no one was really sure of the exact date).

Coming from a military family, the sisters grew up well-versed in martial arts, which meant they were no strangers when it came to some serious ass-kicking.
Not really known as a benevolent overlord, China was then pursuing a policy of forcible assimilation of the Vietnamese people, an idea that did not sit well in the Trung household.
Thi Sach, Trung Trac’s husband, decided enough was enough and made a stand against the Chinese. 
As you can imagine, the Chinese invaders did not take this well; they promptly executed him as an example to other would-be heroes; after which they raped his widow because 1, to show others what might happen to those who defy China, and 2, because why the hell not.
The Chinese thought that that story would end there, with Thi Sach as another casualty and Trung Trac just another widow, but they were wrong. 

They were wrong big time. 

Instead of just grieving for her husband and moving on, Trac, together with her sister, Nhi, raised an army of around 80,000 seriously pissed-off women and proceeded to kick the Chinese invaders where it hurts most.
Not only did the women liberate their own village, but they went on to take back 65 Chinese strongholds, eventually liberating their country. It took the sisters and their army just a few months to accomplish this.  

What leadership they must have shown, to inspire an army composed mostly of women to deliver such an ass kicking to the army of the foremost “superpower” nation of the period. 

The sisters and their army were eventually defeated, but their struggle against the Chinese was so awesome that one would think the entire saga was a product of some Hollywood hack. 
Statue of the Trung Sisters in Ho Chi Minh City

Their story has all the stuff legends are made of (as they say), like the one about a noblewoman named Phung Thi Chinh, who was one of the Trung sisters' generals and was heavily pregnant during the epic final battle. 
You’d think being pregnant would be enough of an excuse, don’t you, for her to stay at home; but no, she went on to the battlefield to serve some Vietnamese kickass-flavored dishes to the Chinese horde. 

That in itself was pretty badass, but the really badass part was when she gave birth on the frigging battlefield, and it didn’t even stop her.
Hell no; she strapped her newborn to her back and with a sword in her hand, killed a few more enemies. 

Makes John McClane look like a wuss, doesn’t she. 

Another legend is that the soldiers China sent to face Trung’s army were naked
These soldiers faced an army of (mostly) women with their schlongs blowin’ in the wind, so surprising the female warriors that they fled from the battlefield, leaving the army in a weakened state.
It is no surprise then that Chinese historians wrote just a few paragraphs about the Trung sisters.  

And who could blame them?

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