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  • How crazy would someone have to be to fight in wars their whole life, in three different

  • armies?

  • They would have to be crazy enough to put on skis and wind through the snowy mountains

  • of Finland while shooting Soviets.

  • They would have to be crazy enough to join Nazi Germany as an SS officer to set ambushes

  • for Russian soldiers.

  • They would have to be crazy enough to change their name, become a United States Green Beret,

  • and head off to war in Vietnam to bring destruction to North Vietnamese communists.

  • You may be thinking, there is no way one person could do all of those things.

  • But that's just because you haven't been introduced to Larry Thorne yet.

  • Larry Thorne is not actually his real name.

  • This insane soldier was born Laurirni, in Finland, in the year 1919.

  • When he became a teenager he began his life calling as a soldier.

  • At the age of 19 he joined the Finnish military to fight off the Soviet invasion of his homeland,

  • in what came to be called the Winter War.

  • Once Larry Thorne started fighting, he never stopped.

  • Thorne was given a rifle, some warm clothes, and skis to fight off the Soviets.

  • He was so good at killing the enemy in the winter landscape of Finland, that he quickly

  • rose through the ranks and was given command of his own squad.

  • They would wait at the top of hills until the enemy was below.

  • Then they would ski down the fresh powder, spraying snow from side to side as they rode

  • and firing bullets into the Soviet ranks.

  • Thorne and his squad would catch the Soviets off guard, picking them off one by one.

  • The ski squad commanded by Thorne would have the high ground, which made sniping enemy

  • soldiers easier.

  • But it was his precision with a rifle while skiing that made Thorne so deadly.

  • He could be flying down the mountain and still take out Soviets along the way.

  • Luckily for the Soviets, Thorne was taken out of commission in 1942 when he skied over

  • a mine.

  • The explosive device went off shattering his skis to pieces and throwing Thorne several

  • feet into the air.

  • He crawled to safety and was eventually brought back to a Finnish base to receive medical

  • treatment.

  • It was there that he was given the Mannerheim Cross, which was Finland's version of the

  • Medal of Honor.

  • This would not be his last military medal.

  • Thorne had a lot more combat left in him.

  • Finland eventually fell to the Soviets and Thorne found his home occupied by his sworn

  • enemy.

  • In the eyes of the Soviets Finnish soldiers had two options, submit or die.

  • Thorne was not ready to die, and he sure as hell was not about to submit to the Soviets,

  • so he did the only thing he could, he joined another army.

  • Thorne made his way to Germany where he enlisted with the Nazi SS.

  • It is not clear why he decided to join the SS instead of a different country's military.

  • It may have been the fastest way to get back into the fight against the Soviets, or maybe

  • Thorne shared certain ideologies with Nazi Germany.

  • Either way, Thorne made it clear he would best serve Germany on the eastern front, which

  • would allow him to combat the Soviets.

  • In the back of his mind he may have been thinking about liberating Finland more than he was

  • thinking about helping Hitler's regime.

  • Thorne had a vendetta against the communists.

  • When he enlisted in the German army he received additional combat training.

  • Now the battles against the Soviets would not be in the snowy mountains of Finland,

  • but in the forests of the eastern front.

  • In this environment guerrilla warfare would be the most effective method for killing Soviets.

  • Thorne engaged enemy troops again and again, each time using his cunning to lay deadly

  • traps and ambushes.

  • He would lie in wait until the enemy was in sight, then make them pay for what they did

  • to his homeland.

  • Thorne was so deadly during the Winter War and World War II that the Soviets put a bounty

  • on him.

  • He had disrupted their plans on numerous occasions, and killed so many of their soldiers, that

  • the Soviets wanted him dead.

  • It is reported that he was the only Finnish soldier to ever have a bounty on his head.

  • The bounty itself was for $650,000, but no one ever tried to collect on it.

  • Apparently, Thorne was so well known for his deadly tactics that either everyone was too

  • afraid, or they figured there was no way to catch the vengeful Finnish warrior.

  • As World War II came to an end Thorne was arrested by British forces since he was a

  • SS officer.

  • He was sent to a POW camp.

  • Thorne had no qualms with the British, but he was not ready to stop fighting yet.

  • He staged an escape and successfully fled the British prison.

  • He made his way back to Finland.

  • Even though he had received their Medal of Honor, Thorne was arrested and tried for Treason.

  • He was sentenced to six years in prison by the country he loved.

  • Halfway into his sentence, the President of Finland found out that the war hero had been

  • imprisoned.

  • Although Thorne did join the Nazi army, he may have only done it to continue his fight

  • against Finland's Soviet oppressors.

  • The president of Finland pardoned Thorne, and he was released from prison in 1948.

  • This is when things really got crazy for Larry Thorne, you won't believe what he does next.

  • Europe was enjoying a moment of peace at the time Thorne was released.

  • He had burnt bridges among armies in Europe, but he wasn't ready to quit being a soldier.

  • Thorne decided it was time to try something new.

  • Thanks to the passage of the Lodge-Philbin Act in June of 1950, foreigners could now

  • join the United States military as a path to citizenship.

  • This is when Laurirni officially changed his name to Larry Thorne and joined the ranks

  • of the United States Army.

  • The timing of the Lodge-Philbin Act and acceptance by the United States could not have come at

  • a better time for Thorne.

  • As luck would have it, the Soviets were still after him and he needed an out.

  • The leaders of the Soviet Union wanted Thorne to be surrendered to Moscow and tried for

  • war crimes.

  • There he would have most definitely been found guilty, regardless of if there was evidence

  • against him or not.

  • So, Thorne ran.

  • He made it all the way to the United States where an Army recruiter who had heard of his

  • commando exploits accepted him into the Army.

  • The U.S. military welcomed Thorne into its ranks with open arms.

  • While in training, Thorne distinguished himself from the other cadets.

  • He was quickly recruited into the newly formed special forces unit of the Army, the Green

  • Berets.

  • The commanding officers realized that the skills and knowledge Thorne possessed were

  • invaluable.

  • He was promoted and made an instructor at the Special Warfare School at Fort Bragg.

  • There he taught everything from survival to guerilla tactics to the Green Beret recruits.

  • He was known as one of the toughest captains at the base, and was so physically fit that

  • he often outperformed soldiers half his age.

  • At forty years old he had the physique and stamina of a twenty-five year old, one officer

  • recounted.

  • His first special ops mission with the Green Berets was in 1962.

  • He led a daring rescue mission into the Zagros Mountains in Iran to recover classified materials

  • from a United States Air Force C-130 plane that had crashed.

  • The plane wreck was located on the Iran-Turkish-Soviet border.

  • As soon as Thorne heard he would be engaging with Soviets, he was ready for the mission.

  • In his mind it had been too long since he unleashed hell on the country that had invaded

  • his homeland years before.

  • He still had plenty of pain left to dish out to the communists.

  • Previous missions to secure the classified intel had all failed.

  • But Thorne was determined not to let American secrets fall in the hands of the Soviets.

  • He led his men on a treacherous mission up the mountain, where the air was thin, and

  • danger lurked around every corner.

  • One wrong step and a soldier could plummet to his death, not to mention the Soviet threat

  • that was in the area.

  • The mission was a success and Thornes' squad returned with the intel.

  • It was safe from the communist enemy.

  • Upon returning to the United States Thorne continued to train Green Berets.

  • Then the Vietnam War broke out.

  • Although the Soviets were not the direct enemy, the North Vietnamese were backed by the Communist

  • Party.

  • This seemed like a job for Larry Thorne.

  • He immediately asked to be deployed to Vietnam where he would serve two tours, earn a Bronze

  • Star medal for heroism, and five Purple Hearts for combat wounds.

  • Thorne had been at war his whole life, and he wasn't about to stop now.

  • On October 18, 1965 he led the first MACV-SOG mission into Laos.

  • This military squad was specially trained to gather highly classified intel and movements

  • of the enemy.

  • This particular mission was to learn more about the workings and movement down the Ho

  • Chi Minh Trail.

  • The team flew into the drop zone in South Vietnamese Air Force helicopters.

  • The thick jungle covered most of the ground below.

  • An RPG or anti-aircraft gun could blow them out of the sky at any moment.

  • The helicopters finally found a clearing and landed to drop off the squad.

  • But, the weather had turned on them.

  • An intense fog settled around the helicopters.

  • It began to thunder and lightning, rain poured down in sheets.

  • Thorne refused to leave until he was sure that his men had deployed safely.

  • He ordered the air support to wait, even as the weather worsened.

  • Finally, the MACV-SOG squad on the ground radioed that their deployment had been a success.

  • Thorne remained in the chopper, as his main role was to lead the drop and make sure that

  • the men could start their mission.

  • Now that was completed, he ordered the chopper to head back to base.

  • On the way back, the weather turned even worse.

  • There was zero visibility.

  • The helicopter sent out a distress call just before it crashed.

  • The entire crew of the chopper was declared killed in action, but the crash site couldn't

  • be found.

  • Rumors began to circulate among the troops that Thorne was too strong to die.

  • Instead, he was probably deep in the jungle fighting the communist forces by himself,

  • and winning.

  • The soldiers saw him as invincible.

  • They believed he was hiding in the dense jungle, lying in wait for enemy soldiers to cross

  • his path.

  • Then he would pop out like a jaguar and claim his communist victims.

  • In reality, Larry Thorne had died in the helicopter crash.

  • Towards the end of the war the crashed chopper was found in the jungle.

  • The remains of the bodies on board were recovered, but were unidentifiable.

  • Then in 1999 the mystery of what happened to Larry Thorne was uncovered.

  • DNA confirmed the identities of the aircrew from the crash.

  • Along with the DNA samples, dental records also provided evidence that Thorne was among

  • the victims.

  • He was 46 years old when the chopper went down.

  • Thorne had just been approved for a promotion to major.

  • The Army bestowed the rank upon him posthumously along with the Legion of Merit and Distinguished

  • Flying Cross.

  • Larry Thorne lived his entire life as a soldier.

  • He fought in three different armies, and received medals of honor from two different countries.

  • His drive to fight may have been fueled by his hatred for communism, due to the invasion

  • of his homeland by the Soviets.

  • Or maybe Larry Thorne just was a born fighter, and that's all he ever knew.

  • Either way, he was an insane soldier who is the only former Waffen-SS officer to be buried

  • in Arlington National Cemetery.

  • Now check out The Insanely Crazy Story of a Tiny Soldier.

  • Or watch our video about this crazy story: Soldier Sentenced to Death Escapes, Becomes

  • Jungle King || Insane True Story.

How crazy would someone have to be to fight in wars their whole life, in three different

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Insane Soldier Who Fought In 3 Different Armies

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    Summer posted on 2020/09/19
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