A while ago I wrote a post about Colonel George Tsamouranis, a Greek fighter pilot who flew the PZL, an obsolescent Polish-made fighter against the Italians in 1940. During the course of researching the PZL I came across an interesting article on this aircraft and its use by the Greek Air Force. I was particularly struck by what I read about Greek ingenuity and bravery. I hope readers will find the following excerpts worthwhile and a very good example of what I consider Greek exceptionalism: "The next day saw two PZLs of a three aircraft detachment from 21 Mira charged with the defense of Yanina shot down and a third one damaged while attempting to intercept an Italian force sent to raid Larissa. Again the Greeks made several claims of Italian bombers shot down during this action that have not been confirmed from Italian records. The Greeks luck changed on the 16th of when PZLs of 21 Mira attacked and intercepted a force of Cant Z.1007 bombers and brought three of them down including one brought down by a Lt. Mitralexes who emptied his guns into a Cant only to see it flying on, apparently unimpressed. Mitralexes then resorted to a novel tactic that involved flying up to the tail end of the Cant and shredding its tail surfaces with his propeller. This tactic was successful in that it damaged the Cant and probably also scared the living daylights out of its crew; the Cant went down with Mitralexes' P.24 gliding down behind it with a totally wrecked propeller. He landed the aircraft and it was repaired.......... The high serviceability of the PZL squadrons prewar was remarkable; but the fact that it was maintained as well as it was even under the strain of combat is even more impressive. The Greek mechanics managed to keep their aircraft in the air completely cut off from any source of spares by carefully salvaging wrecked and damaged PZLs and cannibalizing them for parts. A good example of just how skilled the Greeks had become at adaptive maintenance and creative/reverse engineering is an incident witnessed by British airmen at the airbase at Yanina where 21 Mira shared a base with 80 and 112 Sqn. RAF as part of "Advanced Operations Wing West" during February 1941. It seems that the pilot of a PZL returning from a mission at dusk spotted another PZL too late in the dark and collided with it in the middle of the airfield. The British airmen watched their Greek colleagues gather around the wrecks, scratched their heads and rubbed their chins as they critically inspected the the wrecks and then began a heated discussion in Greek. After concluding their discussion they dragged the wrecks into a hangar where they spent the night. The next morning the Brits were met on the tarmac by a grinning group of Greek mechanics and pilots standing around a PZL P.24. They had spent the entire night at work and married the usable components of the two P.24 wrecks to produce a new aircraft!!!" Read the whole thing here.