"It came to me one night as I was surfing the net. Sonja and Joan have very similar backgounds and it could very well be that Joan of Arc was the inspiration for the Red tressed she devil.
Joan fronted the armies of France during the hundred years war back in the 1400's...she was inspired to pick up a sword because she heard words of a Holy nature speaking to her.
The King who commisioned her betrayed her as a heretic and had her burned alive. She was 19 at the time of her death. Many many years later in the 1920's she was canonized as a Saint. Not too long after that. Robert E Howard created the prototype for the heroine we adore today. Basically recreated and reinvented. Red Sonja the she devil with a sword!! "