Benito Juárez, one of the most revered Mexican presidents, was about to be executed along with his whole cabinet by a traitor squad, when his friend Guillermo Prieto, then Minister of Finance, barged in. Prieto then put himself between the firing squad and Juárez and began a passionate speech with the words: "Put down those weapons! Put them down! Brave men don't murder! You are all brave men, and brave men don't murder. You are Mexicans! This is our representative for the law and our country! Lay down those weapons! Do you want to spill blood? Takemineinstead!". He spoke until the firing squad retreated after he convinced them to spare their honor as soldiers and not betray the republic.
King John III Sobieski of Poland and the Holy League at the Siege of Vienna in 1683. The Ottoman forces have had the city under siege for month and have finally managed to place the underground charges to breach the walls when 30,000 Polish heavy cavalry, led by the King himself and his famed elite Winged Hussars, show up, perform the largest cavalry charge in human history straight into the Ottoman lines, rout the Turks, and save the city. The Pope declared Sobieski the savior of Western civilization.
Against all probability, infamously bumbling mayor of London Boris Johnson pulled one of these when he intervened to stop a woman being attacked whilst out on his bicycle. Makesyouwonder...
The 442nd Regimental Combat Team, rescuing the 1st Battalion, 141st Infantry in the Vosges Mountains on October 30th, 1944.
Ironically enough the rescue resulted in MORE casualties then there would have been if the Hero Moment didn't happen.
More irony is that the 442nd was made up entirely of Japanese-American enlisted men. Most of the men had family sent off to the internment camps, and they still fought for their country with a heroism that made the 442nd the most highly-decorated regiment in the history of the US military.
Daniel Inouye, the late senior US Senator from Hawai'i and former President Pro Tempore, led the 442nd in that rescue. He took a shot to the stomach, destroyed one machine gun nest, destroyed the next with his men, had his arm blown off, pried the live grenade from his (dead) right hand, destroyed the last nest, finished off the last German soldier with a one-handed burst from his Thompson SMG, was hit in the leg, and tumbled down to the bottom of the hill unconscious. For his actions, Inouye was awarded the Medal of Honor. The best part? He was one of twenty-one soldiers in the 442nd who were awarded the Medal of Honor.
The launch of the NATO air strike campaign against Gadaffi's forces, just as the last city under rebel control seemed in imminent danger of falling. Whether or not this is a good thing is up for debate, but it is unlikely that Gadaffi would have been keen to offer an olive branch afterwards.
This family, who also qualify as a Badass Family. Bethany Arceneaux's family tracked her down when she was kidnapped by her ex-boyfriend, and saved her life.
Any time a member of the public is trying to save someone's life with CPR, and then the paramedics show up.
In the American Revolutionary War, a French naval fleet we had been asking for came just in time to block British General Cornwallis from loading his soldiers onto boats into Chesapeake Bay to escape the colonists' land siege.
In another rescue on the high seas, the RMS Carpathia was the closest liner to the stricken RMS Titanic when she struck the iceberg in April 1912. The Carpathia was an old, slower ship capable of making a maximum of 14 knots (20.1 mph, 32.4 km/h). Through the efforts of Captain Arthur Rostron and her crew, they managed to push the ship's speed to 17 and a half knots. All the same, the ship arrived near the lifeboats of the ship 4 hours after they had received the distress signal, a little less than 2 hours after the ship had foundered. The Carpathia collected the survivors, then turned around from her normal course eastward to return to New York with the remnants of Titanic's passengers. Captain Rostron was later awarded the Congressional Gold Medal by the United States, as well as being granted a knighthood by King George V.