One of the most popular action movie conventions is the idea of the average Joe being forced into an extreme situation, discovering a storming well of ass-kicking fury buried deep within and dealing it out on a tactically superior enemy who by all rights should be killing the shit out of him.
What we tend to forget is that the reason those movies exist is because those things actually happen sometimes. Regular people get pushed, and sometimes they push back. Hard.
Like many Greek men in the 1930s, Antonis Vratsanos enlisted in the Greek Army because of the impending threat of the Axis powers. Unfortunately, Vratsanos was rejected from service for being a filthy, filthy communist, which in the eyes of the creators of democracy was almost as bad as being Hitler himself.
However, when Germany (and to a lesser extent Italy) invaded Greece in 1941, Vratsanos decided to prove his government wrong and immediately went into the Greek Resistance.
That guy in the back has something missing, but we just can't put our finger on it.
Once in, Vratsanos -- a random, non-military dude off the street -- formed a sabotage squad called Olympus. They quickly secured a reputation as the go-to mad bombers against the Axis powers.
Despite Vratsanos himself not having a clue on how to make or rig bombs, in three short years Olympus blew up 36 bridges, 47 railroad depots, 32 trains and over 3,000 Axis soldiers.
And only some of them were on purpose.
But most impressive were his actions in February 1944. Working completely alone, Vratsanos scouted a German train, rigged it with explosives and blew it right the hell up, walking calmly away with his back to the inferno.
"I think my beret's on fire."
The train bombing turned out to be the biggest sabotage by any non-military unit in the war, killing 300 soldiers, 150 officers and even a general. After the war, Vratsanos finally joined the Democratic Army of Greece, although as it turns out their initial reluctance to accept him was well-placed -- he tried to overthrow the government in the late 1940s and install a communist regime, presumably using exploding trains.
"The theory of communism may be summed up in the single sentence: I hate goddamn trains."