Unleash the Gurkhas: Britain's most terrifying warriors prepare to take on the Taliban.
October 12, 2001 9:28 PM   Subscribe

Unleash the Gurkhas: Britain's most terrifying warriors prepare to take on the Taliban. ".... A British officer said, for them, it is like playing in the World Cup....." The evil ones won't know what hit them.
posted by Voyageman (18 comments total)
i remember hearing stories about the gurkhas... during world war 2, they'd sneak behind enemy lines during night, going into tents and silently killing one guy there, leaving the other person(s) in there to wake up later only to find their comrade dead.
posted by lotsofno at 9:50 PM on October 12, 2001

like the sardaukar...

i remember seeing this awhile back:

The UN should staff its Rapid Reaction Force with Gurkhas

reading up, they were used as peacekeeping troops in sierra leone ("battle-hardened" in kashmir) and east timor.
posted by kliuless at 9:52 PM on October 12, 2001

Way cool.
The average height is 5 feet, 3 inches...
They say watch out for the quiet ones, but it's always the short guys who are psychos.
posted by dong_resin at 10:12 PM on October 12, 2001

Release the hounds!
posted by NortonDC at 10:46 PM on October 12, 2001

grr. it ate my
<Mr. Burns>Release the hounds!</Mr. Burns>
in the preview stage.
posted by NortonDC at 10:48 PM on October 12, 2001


yeah but remember that the Fremen kicked sardaukar butt.
posted by signal at 1:08 AM on October 13, 2001

A Captain in the New Zealand Army related this story to me a while ago, I think it was an amusing illustrative story (although he may have presented it to be true, I can't recall).

A British officer stood before a large group of Gurkhas and briefed them on an operation he needed volunters for:

"We have spotted, from the air, a number of enemy troops on this side of the border. They became aware of our observation and a retreating to the border. We would like to stop them. I need volunteers to leave from the airport and jump from a transport plane to head them off near the border."

He looked around the room, one or two hands we raised, but certainly not the 18-24 he had hoped for.

"I can't believe this," the officer said, "I had always heard the Gurkhas were fearless, but I can't even find volunteers to parachute in and head off a group of milita..."

The officer was cut off by a Gurkha in the front of the room, "Oooooh. Parachute," he said, as all the troops raised their hands...

I believe this was supposed to have occured in East Timor, but as I said, I think it is just a neat little illustrative story - but you never can tell.
posted by sycophant at 1:17 AM on October 13, 2001 [1 favorite]

Release the hounds!

Quite. It's so refreshing that the first hint of war turns people into little boys, squealing with prepubescent joy at the technology of death. And I'm so glad to be told that the Gurkhas are attack animals, and not the people I remember from Nepal. Silly me.
posted by holgate at 1:21 AM on October 13, 2001

Twist your undies as tight as will provide entertainment, holgate, but that won't change the fact that my three words were merely a play on the post's first three words. Yes, by my thirteenth day 1500 miles from home after being given three hours notice of my initial departure (and being told it would last only 4 nights), and my now in my fourth day of significant illness, yes, that does pass for entertainment.

Hmm, undie twisting...

Did you really mean to call Gurkhas a technology?
posted by NortonDC at 1:53 AM on October 13, 2001

Hmmm. From what I know, they're like any other established batallion in the British army - professional soldiers, proud of their history and tradition.

But that article makes it sound like they're some bunch of weirdos - as if the fighting is being subcontracted to a bunch of "foreigners" that don't mind dying as much as "we" do.

On the surface it makes them sounds like heroes, but there's this funny aftertaste of colonialism and exploitation. Maybe it's just me :-/

(NortonDC - what's up? Hope you get better...)
posted by andrew cooke at 2:01 AM on October 13, 2001

Heh. Thanks, but I don't think it's anything exciting, merely lots of not-fun. I'm just whining.
posted by NortonDC at 2:30 AM on October 13, 2001

also saw this regarding the discrimination of gurkhas in the british establishment.
posted by kliuless at 6:09 AM on October 13, 2001

This article made me think of Carry on up the Khyber. Especially the bit where the 'burpas' flee because they've seen what's under the 3rd Foot and Mouth Regiment's kilts.
posted by Summer at 6:33 AM on October 13, 2001

*turns and flees, screaming, as Summer cites a Carry On movie*
posted by xiffix at 7:43 AM on October 13, 2001

I like Carry on up the Khyber. Sir Sydney Rough-Diamond. Private Widdle. Ho ho ho. *gets coats and leaves*
posted by Summer at 7:54 AM on October 13, 2001

I thought Gurkhas were a form of pickle, half or fully sour, you had with deli or hotdogs.
posted by Postroad at 8:09 AM on October 13, 2001

The most famous story from Singapore regarding the Gurkha regiment stationed there involves the British surrender of the island to the Japanese in World War II.

In the memoirs of Singapore's prime minister lee Kuan Yew, it is stated that he wanted Singapore to have permanent battalations of Gurkha troops guarding the island for all time. He had observed, as a teenager when the British troops were taken prisoner after the terrible Singapore defeat, only the Gurkhas regiments walked upright, spine perfectly intact.
posted by timyang at 8:25 AM on October 13, 2001

Sigh. It wasn't meant to be personal, NortonDC. I just get annoyed when I see articles which play to the kind of audience that feasts on bad SAS novels and buys weekly part-works on The World's Greatest Weapons. And this is one of those articles, given that it regards the Mirror -- the leftish version of the Sun -- as a credible source. The Gurkhas are a committed, professional regiment with a long and celebrated history; having someone accepted into the regiment brings honour and a decent amount of money to a Nepalese family. But like the SAS, the tabloid mythology of the Gurkhas panders to those who like their vicarious tales of war.
posted by holgate at 9:22 AM on October 14, 2001

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