92Napoleon's Officers Take a Bridge by Calmly Strolling Across It
So you need to capture a crucial bridge, but force alone isn't going to do it, since such an action would destroy the bridge in the process. Only the power of bullshit can save you now.
It was 1805, and Napoleon was having trouble conquering the Austrians, who had adopted a strong defensive position on the east bank of the Danube. The French needed to get across, but the only bridge within marching distance was wired with explosives, and the Austrians had orders to blow it up the second France attacked. Knowing that trying to take the bridge by force would simply result in it getting blown to rubble, Napoleon's officers came up with a plan so stupid, it had to work.
Text them and ask nicely?
Two marshals named Lannes and Murat just casually strolled up to the bridge guards and started chatting about how glad they were that an armistice had finally been signed and that the fighting was now over (in case you're not following along, this was a blatant lie). The guards, being unaccustomed to idle banter with high-ranking enemy officers, remained unconvinced and kept them at gunpoint. Lannes and Murat didn't give a damn. They continued to saunter across, laughing off any attempts to stop them.
Meanwhile, an elite squadron of French grenadiers also started heading for the bridge. They had been ordered to behave as casually as possible -- their guns were slung across their backs and they walked instead of marching, laughing and joking among themselves as they slowly but surely advanced.
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"Hey, guys. Where should we put the beer?"
When they reached the other side of the bridge, the two marshals noticed an Austrian sergeant preparing to light the fuse to blow the bridge. Lannes, displaying such huge balls that their gravity started attracting debutantes, snatched the match from his hand and angrily insisted that since a truce had been signed, the sergeant was destroying public property, and if he tried it again, Lannes would have him arrested, goddammit.
A nearby Austrian artillery force prepared to fire on the sauntering grenadiers, but the officers persuaded them to back down -- Lannes actually stopped a cannon from being fired by nonchalantly sitting on the barrel to light his pipe. When a particularly persistent sergeant insisted that the whole thing was clearly a trick, Murat demanded to know if the Austrian officers were going to let an enlisted man talk to them like that. At which point the humiliated Austrian officers ordered the man imprisoned.
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"You can just stay there until you learn to trust the men we're actively warring against."
The fact that the French grenadiers crossed the bridge and seized said Austrian officers immediately after probably made for a very bittersweet "I told you so!" moment.
91The Crying Guardsman
Wait, what is a sobbing man in goofy headgear doing on a list of badass images? He looks like a preteen girl watching The Notebook -- or any man on Earth watching a dog die in an action movie. What's his deal?
This is an Evzone, an elite Greek presidential guard, and this photograph was taken during a riot. So, what, he's crying to see what's become of his country? Nope! The Evzones are, in part, responsible for maintaining vigil over the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Their duties are largely ceremonial, much like the famous Queen's Guard at Buckingham Palace. In short, they are not to react to external stimuli unless it threatens the tomb, and they are not to be moved from their post under any circumstance. Even under penalty of chemical attack. That's important, see, because this particular Evzone is standing, absolutely immobile, inside a giant cloud of tear gas.
The photo of the crying guardsman was taken during a protest for the Parnitha forest held in Syntagma Square, which also just happens to house the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Riot police deployed tear gas on the protesters when they got out of hand (or more likely, just because they were bored), and the Evzone, caught in the crossfire, just stood there and took it without so much as a twitch. This feat is especially impressive when you consider two things: The Evzones dress like somebody making fun of a Keebler elf, and they are proud members of the Ministry of Silly Walks.
Also, this isn't any old riot: It's a Greek riot. And nobody riots like the Greeks. Look up "the Greek riots" in a Google Image search and it not only shows you a page of photos that looks like somebody made a scrapbook out of Michael Bay's soul, but also asks you to be more specific.
And up there is an Evzone hanging out in the middle of a Greek riot, looking like a racist Christmas ornament and moving like a Monty Python sketch, just baaarely misting up after being blinded by tear gas. Man, if you didn't already feel like a pussy for crying at the end of The Iron Giant, you sure as hell do now.