Poland is Europe's Afghanistan. Every superpower that tried to swallow it up has been subjected to unrelenting and extremely violent resistance. The Poles rose up against the Russians in the 1870s with giant medieval scythes, and they defeated an army wielding modern muskets and cannons. As to be expected, they didn't exactly welcome the Nazi war machine with open arms (nobody really did; the Nazis were notoriously discourteous house-guests.)
And they all wore stupid looking socks.
Britain was too far away to supply arms effectively, and the Soviet Union mostly didn't give a damn, so the Poles were very much on their own. What else was left to do but surreptitiously build all the weapons they needed themselves and fight the bastards anyway. Factories were set up in basements, auto repair shops and strongholds hidden deep in forests and swamps. From there, they supplied arms of astonishingly high quality to the resistance.
The Poles in their underground, impromptu factories managed to design, test and produce Filipinka and Sidolowka grenades, the Blyskawica, Bechowiec and KIS submachineguns, and satchel charges made from stolen munitions and dud German artillery shells. While these things are very impressive (or at least really good at puttin' holes in dudes,) that wasn't the end of the Pole's murderous ingenuity. Take, for example, the K-Pattern Flamethrower:
Via Wikimedia Commons
It consisted of one tank of compressed air, one larger tank full of a gas-diesel mixture, a rubber hose, a valve, a pipe and a short length of rope on the end of the barrel that would be kept constantly alight.
They used them to destroy Tiger Tanks.
Or how about the steampunk catapults they made from the leaf-springs of a truck, which they used to fling Molotov Cocktails over fortified walls?
But the biggest, craziest Polish MacGyverism of Death was the Kubus armored car:
People who were alive during the 80s should have the horn section from the A-Team theme blaring in their head right about now.
The whole thing was based on a Chevy truck platform, and was churned out in only 13 days in the back of an auto-repair shop in Warsaw. For reference, modern mechanics take 13 days to replace a headlight, and that's not counting the week spent waiting for the spring-clips to arrive from Korea.
There was no design or testing stage here, no written plan or blueprint: The manufacturer, Cyprian Odorkiewicz (O'Dorkowitz? Really?) just threw it all together and then drove it out the front door, straight into the Warsaw Uprising. It was armed with a Russian machinegun up top, and armored slots all around, from which the dozen Poles inside could fire their guns, tank-killing flame-throwers, or just swing their crazy-ass scythes around, depending on their ingenuity, resources, and how little of a fuck they wanted to give that day.
Check out more of Tony Pilgram's stuff at Bad Metaphors.
For more acts of badassery it's worth drinking a beer to this Memorial Day, check out 5 Real Life Soldiers Who Make Rambo Look Like a Pussy and 6 Soldiers Who Survived Shit That Would Kill a Terminator.