The Gurkhas: how to fight the best soldiers in the world

History 26/03/20 Gurkhas: how to fight the best soldiers in the world

This came down from the mountains, the people gave the world the fearless and faithful warriors. Their best qualities Gurkhas repeatedly confirmed in the bloodiest wars of the last two centuries, repeatedly bringing terror to the enemy.

the Origin

When the British army during the war with the principalities of the Indian subcontinent, in 1814, came to Nepal, she encountered fierce resistance of the local population – Gurkhas. Only after a year of grueling fighting, British commanders realized that to conquer the warlike Nepalese they will not succeed, but to take advantage of possible. 1815 was the beginning of the service of Gurkhas in the army of great Britain.

homeland of the Gurkhas – mountain Principality of Gorkha (hence the name). Descending into the Kathmandu valley, they cleared and established their influence on areas larger than the area of modern Nepal. Through discipline and training Gurkhas in the Bud stopped the infighting and attempts by neighbors to invade their possessions. And only after the signing of the peace Treaty with Britain established the final boundaries of the territory of the Gurkha, which is today Nepal.
the Harsh conditions of the Himalayan mountains forged a special type of Gurkha warrior – squat, with a broad chest, but more importantly strong and durable. Boys have been taught since childhood the secret the art of war – “kukri”, in which they honed combat skills and tempered will. Indian General Sam Manekshaw, noting the fearless Gurkhas, once remarked: “If a man says that he is not afraid of death, he is a liar or a Gurkha”.


the Life of a warrior-Gurkhas are unthinkable without his faithful companion – a knife “kukri”. The form of a kukri with a curved forward blade and extending to the edge of the blade is reminiscent of the Greek kopis, which probably happened. Zone-hardened knife (hard edge and soft spine) and a variable angle sharpening blades make effective use of the weapon when slashing, coluseum and cutting strokes.
the kukri Hilt usually made of horn of Buffalo and traditionally has no guard. The sheath is made of Buffalo skin, in addition to the main knife are two smaller acute – hunting and stupid, used as flint.
the Secrets of kukri from generation to generation passed down from the Smiths “kami”. If the knife is forged by a true master, the skilful possession of such weapons in one stroke, you can carry a human head.


Malawska battle (1815) was the first military action of the Gurkhas in the British army. In the future, they did not miss any major military campaign the British Kingdom, including the Russo-Turkish war of 1877-1878. The Gurkhas also took part in the suppression of the Boxer rebellion in China (1900) and was part of the British military expedition to Tibet (1905).

With the outbreak of the First world war, Gurkhas were thrown at various sectors of the front in Persia, Mesopotamia, Palestine, France, where they fight with the German and Turkish troops. In WWII they fought in North Africa, Italy, Greece and even Singapore. Only two wars were attended by about 450 thousand Gurkhas, more than 52 thousand were lost, 5 thousand persons have received various awards.

After the Second world war, when British troops left India, the question arose about the fate of the Gurkhas. During the tripartite negotiations between Britain, India and Nepal, it was decided that from now on, when recruiting for a foreign army Gurkhas will retain their status as citizens of Nepal, but will be fully integrated to it: that is, they will be able to get allowance and vacation to the extent that other servicemen.


Despite the fact that all Gurkha owners cross Victoria chose to be a soldier in the Indian army, however, most of the soldiers chose to remain in the armed forces of the British kingesta. This trend continued in the future. In the period from the 1960s to the 1990s years, the Gurkhas were actively priznavali in the combat mission to the Falklands, Afghanistan, Kosovo and other hot spots of the planet.

the Most stringent requirements for new recruits-there are Gurkhas in the British army. Usually out of 10 thousand applicants annually, the original selection are no more than 800 people. Requirements are: age from 17.5 to 22 years, growth 160 cm, and weight not less than 50 pounds, a minimum of 6 years of education and good health.
After the examination candidates pass the exam on the knowledge of the English language and mathematics. And then the queue for tests of strength and endurance. The task of the most difficult: you need to run a distance of 4.2 kilometers with a load of 25 kilos in 48 minutes, while the elevation reaches 400 meters. Naturally, many do not pass this test. At the end of the selection are 250 people who are still waiting for the 9-month preparation in the educational centre of North Yorkshire.

From July 2006, the British authorities give British citizenship to Gurkhas and their descendants who served in the British army on the territory of the former colonial possessions of the Empire (Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong). Such people, according to calculations by the British immigration authorities, there are up to 140 thousand people.

In other armies

Outstanding fighting skills attract Gurkhas and other countries. So, Gurkhas serve in the protection of the American military base in Bahrain, make up the percussion part of the contingent of the police forces of Brunei and Singapore. In the ranks of the Indian army is now serving 39 battalions of Gurkhas, however, the head of Nepal Prachanda has repeatedly spoken out about ending the practice of recruitment of Gurkhas in foreign countries, especially addressing his message to them unloved India. However, how realistic such a ban? It should be noted that the ban will be a strong blow to the economy of Nepal: India spends only 160 million dollars in retirement living in Nepal to retirees is the sum of the military budget Nepal.


As only brave people are the Gurkhas have their heroes. Corporal DIL Prasad Pun in 2010 was awarded the relatively new British award – the Cross “For outstanding courage”. In the night of 17 July in the Afghan province of Helmand, in fighting alone with a numerous detachment of the Taliban, he destroyed 12 militants.

And that’s the case, when it retired Gurkha to protect civilians. As Bishnu Shrestra was back home in the train. Suddenly the car came a man of 40 robbers, and threatening the passengers with weapons, began to take money, valuables, phones. But when one of the bandits tried to rape 18-the summer girl, the Gurkha took out a knife, and using the rapist as a shield, went on the attack. In the end, three of the attackers were killed, eight wounded, and the rest, leaving the loot, hurried escape. Bishnu himself escaped with a wound to the hand.

In the same trenches with the “sir”

History has preserved a number of curious facts relating to the service of the Gurkha. If a unit of Gurkhas commanded by an Englishman, he in any case had no right to call his subordinates “savages”, or the reaction of a proud and warlike people it was impossible to predict.

the Gurkhas, differed little growth, often reaching to the shoulder of the English soldiers. When the Nepalese were dug by the British in the trenches, they had no opportunity to fire from there.

he Led the British Gurkhas and to exercise. If one of the Gurkhas wore a gas mask, then the other, rolling on the ground laughing, tore the whole event. Cheer Gurkhas, in principle, could any fact. So, seeing in the heat of battle love games of camels, the Gurkhas could no longer continue the battle.

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