The 'Lethal Lady Death' and Other Dangerous Historic Figures
The ‘Lethal Lady Death’ and Other Dangerous Historic Figures

The ‘Lethal Lady Death’ and Other Dangerous Historic Figures

Khalid Elhassan - July 10, 2021

The ‘Lethal Lady Death’ and Other Dangerous Historic Figures
Facial reconstruction of Tamerlane, based on his recovered skull. Owlcation

1. A Savage Conqueror’s Curse From Beyond the Grave?

To cap off his accomplishments, Tamerlane sought to conquer Ming China, which had overthrown and chased out its Mongol rulers in 1368. He formed alliances with the surviving Mongols, and established supply depots in Central Asia for his upcoming invasion. However, China was spared – and Tamerlane’s rampage finally came to an end – when the savage conqueror took ill and died in 1405, just before the start of his planned invasion. Eerily, the lethal warlord supposedly continued to wreak havoc even after death.

Centuries after his demise, Tamerlane’s body was exhumed by Soviet anthropologists on June 19th, 1941. Carved inside his tomb were the words: “When I rise from the dead, the word shall tremble“. Two days later, Germany invaded the Soviet Union, in an onslaught that the USSR survived only by the skin of its teeth. Just to be on the safe side, Tamerlane was reburied with full Islamic ritual in November, 1942, shortly before Operation Uranus. Tamerlane’s curse – if a curse it had been – was lifted, and the operation led to the first major Soviet victory at Stalingrad.

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Where Did We Find This Stuff? Some Sources and Further Reading

Badass of the Week – Simo Hayha

Burton, Turkus B., and Feder, Sid – Murder Inc.: The Story of the Syndicate (2003)

Encyclopedia Britannica – Timur

History Collection – World War II Myths

J. Grit – Murder Inc: The Syndicate’s Killing Team

Kavieff, Paul R. – The Life and Times of Lepke Buchalter, America’s Most Ruthless Labor Racketeer (2006)

Lee, David D. – Sergeant York: An American Hero (1985)

Manz, Beatrice Forbes – The Rise and Rule of Tamerlane (1999)

National World War II Museum – “Lady Death” of the Red Army: Lyudmila Pavlichenko

New York Times, November 14th, 1941 – Guards Demoted in Reles Escape

Saarelainen, Tapio – The White Sniper: Simo Hayha (2016)

Top War – Dmitry Ovcharenko: The Hero Who Hacked Two Dozen Fascists With an Ax

Vinogradova, Lyuba – Avenging Angels: Young Women of the Soviet Union’s WWII Sniper Corps (2017)

War History Online – Russian Rambo of WWII

Wikipedia – Alvin York

Wikipedia – Lepke Buchalter

Wikipedia – Lyudmila Pavlichenko

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