This Kickass Female Pirate Commanded a Fleet of 1,500 Ships

by Kathryn Hensch

You may have never heard of her, but the pirates of the 1800’s sure did. Chang Shih, a.k.a. the most badass swashbuckler the world has ever seen, was in charge of 80,000 sailors on 1,500 ships. Those numbers make Blackbeard’s work look like child’s play.

Chang’s legacy began when she married Zheng Yi in 1801. Unlike others, she actively helped her husband in operating The Red Flag Fleet, South China Sea’s force to reckon with. When Zheng passed away six years later, Chang took control of the fleet.

Her no-nonsense rules, including decapitating her own pirates if they dared defy her, were what made her so successful. In addition to this, she ran several brothels to bring in more profit. These were not your everyday brothels, however. She protected all women from rape by making sure perpetrators would face her wrath. Having any sexual relations with women prisoners aboard the ship was punishable by death. 

Chang Shih was (rightfully) featured in Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End. A snippet from the movie and some more facts about this lady of the sea can be seen below: 

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Via majoliroja on YouTube

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