Catherina Linck

Catherina Margaretha Linck (c.1687 - 1721) was a Prussian soldier who lived in the early 18th century. Linck spent most of their adult life presenting themselves as a man and it is a subject of discussion as to whether Linck can be best described as a transman, a lesbian woman who impersonated a man, or genderfluid.

An illegitimate child of a widow, Linck was raised in an orphanage in Halle, which they then left aged 14. They spent a number of years with a religious group known as 'Inspirants', likely a form of Quakers. Linck went on to disguise themselves as a man in order to enlist as a soldier in the army of Hanover, using the name 'Anastasius Lagrantinus Rosenstengel'. They served in the army for 3 years until they deserted in 1708. When arrested for desertion Linck declared themself to be a woman in order to avoid being hanged, which was then verified by a medical examination.

Over the next several years Linck served in a number of armed forces across Prussia, including a Polish garrison and the army of of Hesse. However these periods of service repeatedly came to an end either due to Linck deserting or being exposed as a woman. When out of the army Linck worked in the cloth trade, often alternating their dress between male and female. When presenting as a man Linck used a horn to allow them to urinate while standing and wore a strap-on dildo made of stuffed leather when having intercourse with women.

In 1717 an impoverished Linck married an 18-year old woman named Catharina Margaretha Mühlhahn, using the same alias of Anastasius. The marriage was disapproved of by Mühlhahn's mother, who ultimately tore off Linck's clothes in a violent confrontation and reported them to the authorities. Both Linck and Mühlhahn were put on trial for the crime of 'female sodomy', to which Linck pleaded guilty. However Linck also professed that their intentions toward Mühlhahn had been honourable and that Mühlhahn had not fully understood the nature of their sexual intercourse. This was accepted and Mühlhahn was given a lesser sentence of 3 years imprisonment, followed by exile.

The trial caused controversy as officials could not agree if Linck's had committed sodomy under the biblical definition, punishable by death, or a lesser crime. The case was referred to King Frederick William I, who sentenced Linck to death by beheading. This was an unusual decision for it's time and in 1721 Linck became the last person in Europe to be executed for lesbian sexual activity.


Buffalo Calf Road

Buffalo Calf Road was a Northern Cheyenne warrior who lived in the late 19th century.

Buffalo Calf Road came to prominence among the Cheyenne at the Battle of the Rosebud in 1876, where she joined the male warriors of her village as part of the Cheyenne and Lakota army led by Crazy Horse. During the battle Calf saw her brother, Chief Comes in Sight, trapped in a gully as his fellow warriors retreated. Riding on horseback and avoiding enemy bullets, Calf was able to rescue her brother and get him to safety. Crazy Horse’s forces were victorious and Calf’s fellows were so impressed by her courage that named it ‘The Battle Where the Girl Saved Her Brother’ in her honour.

Buffalo Calf Road is also known to have fought at the Battle of Little Bighorn alongside her husband Black Coyote. During this battle she is credited with rescuing a young warrior who became stranded. Other accounts also say it was Calf who felled Lieutenant Colonel George Custer from his horse.

Despite these victories the Cheyenne continued to be pushed back and following an attack on their village, Buffalo Calf Road led a group of 30 survivors in the wilderness, despite being pregnant. Eventually the group surrendered and were relocated to a reservation in far off Oklahoma. In order to escape the horrific living conditions, Calf and her family were part of the Northern Cheyenne Exodus in 1878, an attempt to return to their homeland. However most of the migrating Cheyenne were rounded up and captured. Black Coyote was put on trial for murder and Buffalo Calf Road was imprisoned at Fort Keogh, where she died of diphtheria in 1879.

Elena Haas

Elena Haas (1912-1945) was a Czech resistance fighter during World War 2.

A young woman beginning a career in civil engineering, Haas was 25 years old when Nazi Germany invaded Czechoslovakia in 1938. She joined the Czech Resistance movement to fight against Nazi occupation, where her engineering skills made her an excellent saboteur, identifying where to plant explosive charges for maximum damage to structures.

In September 1944 she led a strategic raid, aided by a French agent and British special operatives. During this mission she successfully destroyed a key bridge and stocks of Nazi ammunition and supplies. 35 enemy soldiers were killed in the process.

Haas died in early 1945 leading a force of Czech partisans against a Nazi airfield near Prague. During the mission she was shot down, still firing her own weapon as she fell to the ground.