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Incredible facts about the Gurkhas

The Gurkhas have served the British Crown continuously for over two hundred years. The Nepalese elite unit is world-renowned for its courage and discipline and follows its motto: "It's better to die than to live like a coward."

The name "Gurkha" derives from the city-state of Gorkha from western Nepal . Today, the Gurkhas Brigade continues to fight as an integral part of the British Army and is always ready to trigger their legendary war cry " Ayo Gorkhali ", which simply means "The Gurkhas" are here. "

Former Enemies

After the British Empire conquered India in the mid-18th century, it sought to extend its reach north to the Kingdom of Nepal. Terrible idea. Led by the East India Company the imperial troops met with fierce resistance from the bitter Himalayan fighters who refused to be captured.

The bloody campaign prompted a British soldier to write later: "I have never seen more permanence or exhibited valor in my life. They would not run away, and they did not seem to be afraid of death, though their comrades rushed around them. "Eventually, in 1816, the two sides signed a peace treaty that ended the ill-advised invasion that led to a major invasion of British casualties.

The mutual respect was so great that the agreement also established that Gurkhas were now welcome to partner with their ex-opponents. British officials declared the Gurkhas in the 19th century to be a "martial race" a term that describes men who are considered to be in the fight for "naturally bellicose and aggressive" guys.

Only the Best

Thousands Gurkha Candidates fight for only 400 places in the British Army each year, which is a doubling from previous years. Nevertheless, the competition for young men seeking life-changing opportunities both financially and out of pride of the state is stronger than ever.

In the ranks, there are usually four ethnic groups of mountain farmers living on the southern slopes of the valley. Himalaya Mountains: Gurungs and Magars in central Nepal, as well as Rais and Limbus from the east. From an early age, these villagers from one of the poorest countries in Asia grow slender and healthy when working long hours in the fields. They also benefit from their high altitude environment – an advantage that allows them to increase their number of red blood cells by getting used to the thinner air.

Preliminary qualification for the brigade requires a recruit to perform a series of written and physical tests, including 12 pull-ups, 75 bank jumps in one minute, and 70 sit-ups in 2 minutes. That's the easy part. For those who do, they must also pass the infamous Doko Race : a five-kilometer uphill ride in less than 46 minutes, with a wicker basket on its back, loaded with 55 pounds of rocks and sand. Because the standard is so high, extra points are awarded for excellence before the scores are counted and the final selection made.

Cutting edge

For several centuries, Nepalese warriors have been carrying a traditional weapon called [19659003indieSchlacht] kukri . The legendary 18-inch knife has a distinctly curved blade with a handle made of wood, bone or the horn of a water buffalo. According to an apocryphal legend, a Kukri, once drawn in combat, must taste blood before returning to its sheath.

Each soldier receives one for daily use and one for ceremonial purposes . The blade is razor-sharp and performs a variety of functions such as chopping, digging, broaching and even opening cans. It is also amazingly secretive to kill the enemy. In Military Anecdotes, author Geoffrey Reagan describes a report from a Gurkha unit serving during World War II in North Africa: zero ammunition spending.

Another unique feature of the Kukri form is a notch at the base of the blade. Although several applications are used, blood may flow off the edge instead of dripping on the handle and making it slippery. This feature is especially useful when used for the animal sacrifice ritual.


As some of the fiercest warriors who ever wanted to enter a battlefield, the Gurkhas Brigade produced prodigious acts. Since its founding in 1815, they have been brave and self-sacrificing. Their numbers reached their peak during their use in both world wars, but suffered extremely high losses of over 50,000 men.

During the deployment primarily in the infantry, the experienced unit of Borneo to the Falkland Islands was opposed. The brigade recently fought in Iraq and Afghanistan where Prince Harry lived with a Gurkha battalion during his 10 weeks in the country.

Overall, Nepalese soldiers have received 13 Victoria Crosses (26 in total from the brigade) – the highest British award for valor. British Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw once said, "If a man says he is not afraid of dying, then he lies or is a Gurkha."

All the Queen's Men

When They Are the longest living monarch in the world and one of the richest people in the world. You can afford the hottest bodyguards you can buy for money. Not surprisingly, Queen Elizabeth II is always flanked by two Gurka officers at her side during official state and key events.

The Gurkha Officers of the Queen a highly specialized entity from the reign of Queen Victoria, are equally revered as stubborn and loyal. Sir Ralph Turner MC had the following to say about the Gurkhas after the First World War: "The bravest, most generous of the most generous, never had a country that was more faithful than you."

After the Gurkhas gave up their duties then become members of the Royal Victorian Order a dynastic knightly order recognizing personal service to the British Crown.

One-Man Army

On the night of September 2, 2010, a gang of armed bandits pretending to be passengers stopped a crowded train in northeastern India. The attackers, possibly up to 40 men, walked along the corridors, plundering and terrorizing the travelers. But without the knowledge of the robbers, a 35-year-old retired Gurkha named Bishnu Shrestha was on board. The bad guys never had a chance.

Shrestha had slept in his chair when the service was called. As he calmly watched the chaos that was going on around them, the men grabbed a girl sitting next to him, intending to rape her. Then the soldier jumped into action and went to work. He took out his kukri and quickly killed three of the robbers and injured eight others, causing the remaining men to run away. During the close combat Shrestha suffered a deep cut in his hand, but he managed to defeat the ambush successfully.

Following the ordeal the family of the intended rape victim offered him a considerable monetary reward. The Gurkha refused and said, "Fighting the enemy in combat is my duty as a soldier. Taking over the clubs on the train was my duty as a human.

Shrestha recovered from his wounds for more than two months and was later honored by the Indian Government with three Galantry Awards.


Strong family values ​​are the foundation of everyday life for the Nepalese people and are passed down from one generation to the next. A fighting spirit is also part of their bloodline – and no more than two warriors with the surname Pun.

On June 23, 1943, Tul Bahadur Pun was in a dire situation fighting the Japanese during the Second World War in Burma. All Pun units were either killed or wounded after an enemy attack near a critical railway bridge. Undaunted, he picked up a Bren weapon and shot away as it raced across a muddy open field. He then killed three Japanese soldiers and captured two machine guns and a large supply of ammunition.

In his Victory Cross quote it says: "Rifleman Pun's courage and great bravery in the face of adversity, for which a certain death represented the greatest inspiration of all ranks and were beyond praise. "

67 years later: Pun's grandson, sergeant Dipprasad Pun fought alone 30 Taliban soldiers in Helmand province in Afghanistan. The Gurkha had kept watch on the roof of a checkpoint as the insurgents stormed into the command post armed with rocket grenades and AK-47s.

In the next hour, Pun exhausted all his ammunition when dispatching the attackers. Once he even threw a machine gun tripod to a Taliban fighter who had climbed onto the roof. Pun's actions earned him an eye-catching gallantry cross, the second highest British medal for bravery.

Never Say Die

One of the most significant battles the Gurkhas had ever won was not on a battlefield but in a court of law. Despite two centuries of loyal service, marked by courage and sacrifice, soldiers born in Nepal received far less pay than British-born subjects and were denied their pension rights. The case would include a highly publicized campaign fueled by a former Bond girl, a Victoria Cross winner, and public outrage to overcome the immense injustice.

After the war, Pun returned to Nepal, but several decades later applied for resettlement in the UK to receive urgently needed medical treatment. He was rejected. The absurd reason? Because he "could not prove strong relations with Great Britain". In 2009, British actress Joanna Lumley whose father's life served as an officer in the Gurkha rifles with Pun helped establish the charge of raising awareness of the cause. The UK government claimed that the former Gurkhas did not enjoy the same treatment, as Nepal is not a member of the Commonwealth and a relocation to the United Kingdom would lead to "massive pressure" on the immigration service. An overwhelming majority of British citizens disagreed.

Finally, the High Court ruled in 2009 that all Gurkhas who held office for four or more years had the right to British citizenship and were allowed to settle there. The government's decision triggered a rousing cry from "Ayo Gorkhali" among supporters of Parliament's move.

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