Women have been fighters ever since fighting was invented, but were rarely ever allowed, much less invited, to participate in wars and revolutions. But there were always some who took it upon themselves to do what needed to be done, and a few that made their place in history. Still, they don’t get the credit they deserve. This list has a few women warriors I bet you’ve never heard of, like the Greek freedom fighter Laskarina Bouboulina.
Bouboulina was born in a Constantinople prison to parents who were locked up for taking part in a failed Greek revolution against Ottoman rule. She played a big part in making sure the next revolution turned out differently. Obsessed with the sea and sailing from a young age, she married two naval commanders (who both died in battles with pirates). In 1821, as a 50-year-old mother of seven who'd inherited a considerable fortune, Bouboulina decided to become a naval leader herself. She financed and took control of the flagship of the fledgling Greek navy, which she named the Agamemnon, and commanded an eight-strong fleet in the ultimately successful Greek War of Independence. She didn't live to see its successful conclusion but was posthumously given the rank of admiral in the Russian Imperial Navy, which had allied with Greece against the Ottomans.
Read about nine other female military leaders at The Mary Sue.