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Phrost
8/08/2010 2:19pm,
http://www.bullshido.net/images/ba/gurkha.jpg

As the story goes...

Once upon a time a Gurkha sergeant was told by his UK commander that his men would soon be jumping into enemy territory. After conferring with his unit, he returned to the commander to inform him that the men would rather jump from below 500ft on to marshy ground. 'But your parachutes won't open,' said the Colonel. 'Ah,' said the sergeant. 'No one mentioned parachutes.'

However, that story is somewhat apocryphal. So here's a verified one, of a soldier named Lachhiman Gurung, from the actual text of his citation for the Victoria Cross (which is essentially the United Kingdom's equivalent of the Congressional Medal of Honor):


On 12/13 May 1945 at Taungdaw, Burma (now Myanmar), Rifleman Lachhiman Gurung was manning the most forward post of his platoon which bore the brunt of an attack by at least 200 of the Japanese enemy. Twice he hurled back grenades which had fallen on his trench, but the third exploded in his right hand, blowing off his fingers, shattering his arm and severely wounding him in the face, body and right leg.

His two comrades were also badly wounded but the rifleman, now alone and disregarding his wounds, loaded and fired his rifle with his left hand for four hours, calmly waiting for each attack which he met with fire at point blank range. Afterwards, when the casualties were counted, it is reported that there were 31 dead Japanese around his position which he had killed, with only one arm

Repelling 200 attackers literally single-handedly, sums up the Gurkha very well; almost as well as their trademark kukri short swords. It is that short sword which inspired this month's column.

Believe it or not, I didn't start this article as a "Badass of the Month" award but as one for "Douchebag of the Month". You see, there was a story in the news a few weeks back about a team of Ghurka on a mission in Afghanistan to hunt down and kill a high value commander of the Taliban's forces. The individual was of such importance that they were ordered to bring back his body to be identified beyond question.

However, transporting a dead human body is an arduous task. And it's even more difficult when you're trying to move it under enemy fire while taking casualties of your own.

So, if you're a quick-witted member of a team of soldiers known for their fierce fighting skills and fiercer blades, do you:

a.) Continue dragging a 150-200lb sack of meat and bones while losing squad members and jeopardizing the completion of the mission.

or

b.) Employ the tool for which you're world-renowned reduce your load to about by about 150 lbs, so you can both complete your mission and save the lives of your fellow soldiers?

Hrm... let's see...

Yeah, the answer is FUCKING B.

But why was this going to be a "Douchebag of the Month" award? That's because the Gurkha soldier who correctly went with Option B, shortly after completing his mission, was ejected from Afghanistan and returned to the UK to face disciplinary action.

Yeah, that's right, do your mission, survive, and get burned for it.

But wait, the UK military brass must have had a good reason for the decision, right? Of course they did! After all, in the local culture to behead someone is...


http://cdn-hw.liveleak.com/u/thumbs/2007/Apr/11/ad40dce961912_1_thumb.jpg (http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=3fc_1176308462)

Oh yeah, I forgot; shut the **** up.

So this month's column is dedicated to the unnamed Gurkha, and all Gurkha soldiers of the past century. We're glad you're on our side, and are proud to have you supporting our mission, even if your commanders are not.

Robstafarian
8/08/2010 2:48pm,
This is a damn good choice for Badass of the Month.

When I heard about this story, I told my father:

There's something truly delicious about Gurkhas beheading the evil fuckers that have been beheading our soldiers and civilians. The closest comparison I can think of would be killing neo-Nazis (as justifiable self-defense, obviously) with new production 1911s.

That's some really high quality schadenfreude—black tar schadenfreude.
Okay, so I can be a little twisted sometimes. :icon_evil

Kovacs
8/08/2010 2:53pm,
The government here have been shafting the Ghurkas for a very long time in exchange for a very long service history in our militry, something like hundreds of years.

Only recently have they ben given roughly the same rights as UK soldiers, ie a pension and the right to settle here. Luckily the public got the arse and with a great deal of campaigning it's been ruled that they are treated much more fairly.

It was an embarrassing state of affairs that should have been sorted years ago.

TheMightyMcClaw
8/08/2010 3:32pm,
These are a clear candidate for Season 3 of Deadliest Warrior.

Saint Myk
8/08/2010 7:01pm,
"If a man says he is not afraid of dying, he is either lying or is a Gurkha." - Sam Manekshaw.

Dargentus
8/08/2010 7:44pm,
The Gurkha's are incredible. The Japanese used to be terrified of them in WW2

I've read stories in numerous books or Gurkha's sneaking into enemy camps and slitting the throat of every second sleeping Jap soldier.

Then hit the same camp later on and just tie all their laces together just to **** with them.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ojK3e0CCVM&feature=related

Even their leaders hang off their nuts just see them talk there about their own men:
YouTube- ‪Iron Gurkhas‬‎ (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ujdl4wDQoW8&feature=related)

And as for the British Government to be even talking about cutting or cancelling the Gurkha trust a few years ago?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Wu7ZX7ZLrk
For shame.

Mr.Miyagi
8/08/2010 9:24pm,
Awesome, I've always had deep respect for these guys and their super awesome weapons!

Confused Artist
8/09/2010 5:15am,
The Gurkhas are probably the best fighting force in the world. Definitely the best jungle warriors. The British royal family's official body guards are Gurkha soldiers because they simply want the best.

Lebell
8/09/2010 5:18am,
if you treat the people who shed their blood for you and lost their lives for you in such manner you deserve to go die in a fire.
all the bs brasss and highranking politicians never have and never will contribute even 5% of what these guys have given.

Rene "Zendokan" Gysenbergs
8/09/2010 6:23am,
Just for the Trekkies: The original rank title of a Gurkha Lieutenant in the British Indian Army was Jemadar.

Cougar Spirit
8/09/2010 8:35am,
Excellent choice, Phrost. Gurkhas are in their own category of badass-ness.

Joeytoey
8/09/2010 9:45am,
I worked with these guys in Hong Kong in the early '90s. They were tough, they used to do their NBC drills in full dress when even the locals wouldn't go out the heat and humidity.
I remember that they had to be held in the medical centre when they caught a cold or something as their idea of taking it easy was doing just one full kit 5 mile run a day.

That said, when you'd get to know them personally, they were the nicest guys in the world, they're fully deserving of all the respect they get.

Eddie Hardon
8/09/2010 10:16am,
The government here have been shafting the Ghurkas for a very long time in exchange for a very long service history in our militry, something like hundreds of years.

Only recently have they ben given roughly the same rights as UK soldiers, ie a pension and the right to settle here. Luckily the public got the arse and with a great deal of campaigning it's been ruled that they are treated much more fairly.

It was an embarrassing state of affairs that should have been sorted years ago.

As I understand it, when India gained Independence following WW2, there was an Agreement between the Govt of India and the UK on the employment of Gurkhas and that there should be financial parity so that those Gurkhas serving the new Govt of India Army would not feel aggrieved at any higher pay for those Gurkhas in UK Army service.

The UK, though, in a bid to for fairness compensated in kind by supplying clothing and foreign travel, for examply around Europe. Have you ever seen the Gurkhas off-duty? They're immaculate. Blazer, Tie, Dazzling White Shirt, highly Polished Black Shoes and Trousers with Creases that could cut meat.

As said, that is what I understood to be the nub of it. Parity between India and UK on their Pay to Gurkhas. Anyway, circumstances change...

I once when to Diwali in the 6th KEO Gurkhas. Fantastic hospitality. Gracious hosts. Warriors to a Man and incredible courtesy.

Thanks to PizDoff for both stories - I'm glad to say I was aware of both.

(Not sure if it's wholly true but once drawn the Kukri must taste blood).

Cheers

Hertzyscowicz
8/10/2010 1:40pm,
I used to think that pulling Prince Harry out of Afghanistan was a bum move. Now that I found this out about the gurkhas, who the good prince had been serving with, the decision is starting to sound downright brain dead, and right in line with the fuss about the unknown gurkha taking option b.

danno
8/11/2010 2:25am,
grandad served with gurkhas in WWII. he said he'd rather fight alongside 1 gurkha than 10 of any other soldier.

i saw a doco recently which showed how communists are starting a movement in nepal and are interfering with gurkha enlistment, amongst other things.

danniboi07
8/13/2010 2:26pm,
I honestly had not heard of the Gurkha before this article. So for writing and sharing, I thank you. I'm going to research a bit more and learn about these guys. It seems almost absurd that I had not heard of them, based on what you all have said. They definitely deserve some respect!