Milunka Savic

Even though Wikipedia claims inspiration for Disney movie Mulan was Chinese folk story, real-life Mulan lived on Balkan.

Milunka was born 1892 or 1888 (I am biased towards the latter, since that would make us exactly 100 years apart) in Serbia. Her brother was supposed to join the army, but he fell sick. Nothing uncommon during those times. However, Milunka stepping is instead of him was far from ordinary!

She cut her hair and wore men clothes and was a rock star (pretty sure this phrase had no meaning which makes me want to use it even more) at battle field. She fought at both Balkan wars and it was a while until she got injured and she had to be medically treated. Because of this, everyone found out she was a woman. Rules asked for her to be discharged. However, with Milunka  being so valuable, her superiors did not want to lose her. So they offered her a nurse position. Can you guess what happened then? Milunka said no, naturally. She demanded to remain in combat. And some rules are there until we break them. And she sure did, in a glorious way.

During World War 2, she once captured 23 Bulgarian soldiers on her own. Because of this, and many other stories, she was one of most decorated warriors of all time and the most decorated female warrior ever!

Maybe war is not my jam, but I have goosebumps all over my body just by thinking about this.

She could’d lived comfortably in France, but instead, she chose to live with her daughters (1 biological and 2 adopted) in Belgrade. She lived modestly, but I want to believe she lived in her own terms by the day she died.

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