I am seeking the title/author of two short stories; the first was about an engineer in a remote outpost near a rebelling or alien occupied planet. He orders the engineers of two ships to reduce the engine performance (I remember the author used the term “detune”) so it matched a third. He then circled the planet, one ship at a time, and bombarded a remote area. Sensors from the planet showed that what appeared to be one ship had released a payload greater than its own weight - they were awed by the apparent technology and surrendered.
There was a second story in a later anthology wherein the engineer, now in command of some sort of hauler or similar, gets caught up in a galactic battle of some significance. He defends an open perimeter by dumping a bunch of nuts and bolts into the space where the opposing force would come out of hyperspace and the slam into it at breakneck speed.
Would have been read (and likely published) in the late 80s. I thought it was from the anthology series The Fleet, but I'm reviewing the titles and I don't see it.
It was however like The Fleet – a single common world, occasional insertion of contextual commentary to inform the relevance of each short story as a “wrapper”.