I recently read a book named "Badass", where the case is made for various leaders - some of whom I was not familiar with - to be proclaimed Badass.
Some were surprising. Julius Caesar made the cut partially because he trained his men to use their swords and spears and go for the eyes of the enemy. Seeing your mates have their eyes put out and then having the badass come after you had sort of a sobering effect.
I have a nomination:
You are absolutely forbidden to die by your own hand. It may take three years, it may take five, but whatever happens, we'll come back for you. Until then, so long as you have one soldier, you are to continue to lead him. You may have to live on coconuts. If that's the case, live on coconuts! Under no circumstances are you to give up your life voluntarily.
Lieutenant Hiroo Onoda of the Japanese Imperial Army's Intelligence Division was sent to the Philippine Island of Lubang in 1944 with a top-secret mission - to stay out of sight, collect information on Allied troop movements on the island, launch guerilla attacks, disrupt the enemy and generally just be completely fucking nuts. He took this mission so seriously that he ended up fighting for his life well after everyone else had called it a day and went home. If the delicate line between insanity and badassitude is measured by determination, then Lt. Hiroo is probably high in the running for being one of the most badassed men of World War II.
Onoda and his small, elite four-man reconnaissance team were initially tasked with exploding the airfield and pier on the island, but not long after they deployed the entire Philippines was overrun by American forces. Onoda's men managed to elude capture and retreat back into the dense jungles on the outskirts of the island, where they were forced to live off of the land to avoid detection by enemy scouts and patrols looking to shove their guns up some Japanese asses. From this super-secret base of death, destruction and mayhem, Onodo and his men conducted lightning raids against the occupying armies, engaging in numerous gun battles with U.S. troops garrisoned on the island as well as the local Filipino police force. They survived on rice, coconuts and bananas foraged from the underbrush, and occasionally made daring night raids into town to steal beer and other supplies from peoples' outdoor fridges.
Well, he survived alright.....and stayed hidden in the jungle until 1974!