3Moffat's Squadron Takes Down a Floating Death Star
The Half-Assed Hollywood Effort:
Luke's Red Squadron from Star Wars. If instead of fancy space technology, the Red Squadron used a flare gun and a slingshot to destroy the Death Star.
The Badass True Story:
Stretching at 825 feet and capable of displacing more than 50,000 metric tons, the Bismarck was the largest battleship in the world when it was launched. Seeing this bastard through a pair of binoculars, you'd have to think it was too big to be possible.
Not only did it boast eight 15-inch guns (if you're thinking that sounds tiny, understand the shells were 15 inches across) and five dozen smaller armaments, the ship's onboard targeting computer was so precise it blew away HMS Hood, the pride of the Royal Navy, with one freaking shot. The subsequent destruction of the HMS Hood and the loss of almost all its sailors was considered one of the largest non-nuclear explosions in all of WWII.
Fortunately, the battleship did have one fatal weakness: a small and vulnerable rudder, presumably located right below its thermal exhaust port. Enter Lieutenant Commander John Moffat of the Fleet Air Arm.
Just after nightfall on May 24, 1941, Moffat and his squad of biplane bombers assaulted the Bismarck from every direction, in most cases skimming just above the water-line to avoid the battleship's fire.
Although they were flying in the black of night likely using some old timey version of the Force, Moffat was able to fire a torpedo in a one-in-a-million shot that struck the Bismarck square on its rudder, the one vulnerable spot in 50 thousand tons of armor and bristling weaponry. The hit left the most feared battleship in the Kriegsmarine floating dead in the water. The Royal Navy promptly sailed in to finish the job.
Boy, those survivors sure are some sour krauts.
2The Filthy Thirteen
The Half Assed Hollywood Effort:
The Dirty Dozen, a film that would probably not have been possible had the Filthy Thirteen not come out first.
The Badass True Story:
The Filthy Thirteen were a sub-unit within the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, better known as the "Screaming Eagles" who descended on Hitler's Fortress Europe with the 82nd Airborne during the wee-hours of D-Day for some early-morning foreplay. The Filthies were among the hardest-hitting, harder-drinking roughnecks in the U.S. Army, and got their name for their tendency to bathe and shave only once a week during training and rarely washing their uniforms, if ever. Hello, scabies!
Real heroes are disgusting and riddled with easily preventable diseases.
Their specialty was blowing the shit out of bridges and whatever else they figured could go "boom" if they strapped it to enough TNT, which caused a nightmare for the Germans as they tried in vain to fend off the Allied invasion. The jobs were as risky as a shore leave prostitute in Thailand, but the Filthy Thirteen were able to blow the shit out of Nazi-occupied France all the way from Normandy to the Battle of the Bulge, all while smelling worse than, well, a goddamn shore leave prostitute in Thailand.
Their fearless leader, Jake McNiece was part Native-American, and his fellow Filthies chose to honor this by going into battle sporting mohawks like Travis Bickle, and freaking war-paint.
But before he even made it that far, McNiece had to enlist and, at the age of 23, was delivered this nugget of advice from the enlisting officer:
"You may just be 23. I don't know, but your face and your head looks like it's been used as practice for hand grenade tossing and wore out three bodies already."
If that's not some movie shit, we don't know what is. Wait, yes we do, this quote from fellow Filthy Thirteener Robert Cone regarding the D-Day mission:
"We landed near a hedgerow, from which the Germans were firing at us, and the guy I was with was killed. I got hit in the right shoulder, which broke my arm all the way down into the forearm. The bullet was lodged in there for a year. I was able to get away, though, but could not hold my rifle."
Unless crapping your pants and falling to the ground in a heap of blubbering womanliness somehow managed to become an escape tactic, there probably isn't a person reading this who would escape some something like that one-armed and unarmed.
And if none of that piques your interest, check this quote from Filthy Thirteen member Jack Womer regarding the time he met Winston Churchill, which we proudly present to you with absolutely no additional information to help you ascertain exactly how this came to pass:
"I thought to myself, 'Should I shoot this son of a gun? I don't care if he is Prime Minister, I don't want him urinating on me!'"
With someone who drank like Churchill, the possibilities are endless.