Fun stories of derring-do from TVTropes, then a grumble on the fluff vs crunch business.
- In at least one episode in WW2, light Russian tanks crossed frozen rivers, daring German pursuers to do the same. But a Tiger tank weighed in at fifty tons as opposed to twenty-two…
- …the Poles were used to underpowered, underarmed Polish and French fighters, and found that the only way to make any impression on German formations was to dive head-on at them and open fire at point-blank range. When they tried this in Merlin-engined, 8-gun Hurricanes, the tactic proved to be awesomely effective, causing more than one German raid to abort entirely as the pilots tried desperately to get away from these madmen…
- Royal Navy pilot Lt. Charles Lamb pulled this move to shake off two pursuing Italian fighters who thought his antiquated Swordfish biplane would be easy meat. Lamb dived to sea level hoping the far faster Italians would overshoot and lose him. Pulling out of his dive just above sea level, Lamb’s rear-cockpit observer alerted him to the two Italians who were in close pursuit. But a hundred-miles-an-hour biplane can pull out of a dive far more easily than a monoplane fighter doing nearly four hundred… the two Italians crashed into the sea, so intent on an easy kill they hadn’t noticed their own peril.
- The all-female Soviet Night Witches used old biplanes for night bombing raids that were difficult to shoot down since they flew slower than the stall speed of the Germans’ Messerschmitts and Focke-Wulfs.
To do any of the above right, you need crunch – and moreover, what the crunch means. If I was to look over a list of tank weights, I would just see a bunch of meaningless numbers. It takes an experienced tanker who knows plenty about both tanks and river ice to combine the two to create awesomeness.
It’s time for me to wander away and whine about my inability to know/calculate everything.