Aimo Allan Koivunen (17 October 1917 – 12 August 1989) was a Finnish soldier in World War II and the first documented case of a soldier overdosing on amphetamine during combat.
Koivunen was assigned duty on a ski patrol 15 March 1944, along with several other men. Three days into their mission, the group was attacked and surrounded by Soviet forces, from which they managed to escape. Koivunen became fatigued after skiing for a long distance of high-speed travel, but could not stop. He was also the sole carrier of army-issue Pervitin, or amphetamine, a stimulant used to remain awake while on duty. Koivunen had trouble pulling out a single pill, so he poured the entire bottle of thirty capsules into his hand and took them all.
Genius move, Aimo.
He had a short burst of energy, but then entered into a state of delirium, and lost consciousness. Koivunen remembered waking up the following morning separated from his patrol, and having no supplies.
Great buddies he had there, abandoning him in his moment of need and making off with all the supplies! There may be more to this story that we aren't hearing. I'm wondering if Aimo's demonstrably poor decision making in other areas had annoyed his mates to the point that they were willing to abandon him in a ditch, surrounded by angry Soviets.
Anyway, in the following days, he escaped Soviet forces once again, was injured by a land mine, and lay in a ditch for a week waiting for help. After traveling more than 400 km (250 miles) on skis (imagine the smell at this point), he was found and admitted to a nearby hospital, where his heart rate was measured at 200 beats per minute, double the average human heartbeat, and weighing only 43 kg (94 pounds). In the week he was gone, he subsisted only on pine buds and a single Siberian Jay that he caught and ate raw.