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Gurkhas - the Martial Race

dhesi@bsu-cs.UUCP (Rahul Dhesi)
(true, chuckle)

[Ed: Edited] (From article <6907@jhunix.HCF.JHU.EDU> in soc.culture.indian:)


Now that an accord has been signed between the GNLF of Subhash ( not the go back to India one :-)) Ghising and the Government of India, it might be appropriate to recollect an interesting anecdote regarding these doughty warriors.

In World war II, an English reporter who had heard so much about the bravery and elan of the Gurkhas visited a camp just in front of the enemy lines (Germans). During the course of his reporting, he had occasion to observe a mission being conducted.

The mission was to airdrop a bunch of soldiers behind enemy lines to conduct some relatively light action. He watched the commander of the Gurkhas (a British soldier) pitch the mission and then ask for volunteers. To his surprise, only about half the Gurkhas volunteered and were sent off.

Throughly disillusioned with the legends of Gurkha bravery, the reporter went back home. After the war, he happened to run into a Gurkha who had been there, and asked him why half the troops had failed to volunteer. It turned out that none of the squad, both those who volunteered and those who did not, were aware that they would get a parachute for the drop. Hence the low turnout.

Mukund Srinivasan Department of Civil Engineering, Johns Hopkins

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