Military Review

Nepalese Gurkha volunteers in the service of the English Crown

14



In South Asia, the state of Nepal is located in the Himalayas. To the north of it is Tibet (autonomy belonging to China), and in the south and west of it is India. Most of the territory of Nepal is occupied by the Himalayan mountain system. Among the 28 million inhabitants of the country are about a hundred nationalities and castes.

One of the peoples inhabiting Nepal is the Gurkha. The name of the Gurkha people was the name of the Hindu warrior - Gur Gorakhnath. The Gurkha ancestors were immigrants from North India - Rajputs and Brahmins. By the way, the Brahmin caste is fearless warriors and priests. During the British colonial wars, the British attributed the Gurkas to the "warlike races." It was already noted that Gurkha warriors are distinguished by their aggressiveness in battles, tremendous courage, loyalty, physical strength, self-sufficiency and incredible endurance.

In 1769, the Gurkha dynasty came to power in Nepal. During the British-Gurkh war (1814-1816), the Gurkha put up fierce resistance to the invaders. As a result of the military confrontation, Nepal had to make a number of territorial concessions in favor of the British East India Company, which, in response, pledged to pay the country 200 thousand rupees annually. It was Gurkham Nepal that owes the fact that the country did not become a protectorate of Britain. The abilities of the warlike people shook the British, and from 1815 onwards, a voluntary recruitment of Gurkhas to the ranks of the British colonial army began.

Even after the withdrawal of British troops from India, the Gurkha remained to serve in the armies of both India and Great Britain. According to the laws of both countries, Gurkha are not mercenaries - they are fully integrated into the military systems of these countries. The battle cry of the Gurkhas are the words "Jai Mahakali, Ayo Gorkhali" and translate as "Glory to the Great Kali, go Gurkha!"


Monument Gurkha in London near the building of the Ministry of Defense of Great Britain


The Gurkha took part in eradicating the anti-colonial uprisings in India, raised by Sikhs and Besai, as well as suppressing unrest in Afghanistan in the 1848 year. Since 1857, Gurkha warriors have served in Burma, the former British, and then the Japanese colony, as well as on the borders of India and Afghanistan. During the Russian-Turkish war (1877-1878) they were on the side of the Turkish troops. Gurkha also served in Malta, in China.

Few people know that the Gurkha took part in the battles of the First World War on the side of Great Britain, defending the interests of their overlord in France and the Middle East. Between the two great wars, they took part in the Anglo-Afghan military conflict in 1919 and in a number of other military companies.



In difficult times for Great Britain, during the Second World War, the Gurkha fought in Italy, Africa and Southeast Asia. For this, the monarch of Nepal allowed the British to form battalions of the Gurkha 55, in which about 250 thousands of Nepalese soldiers served. There was a case when the Gurkhas showed great courage in confrontation with the Luftwaffe paratroopers in the battle of Monte Cassino (Italy).

During the Falkland Conflict (1982), the Gurkha showed themselves as brave warriors and reaffirmed their reputation as invincible soldiers. It was a battalion of Gurkha-shooters, landed in the bay of San Carlos, contributed to the breakthrough of the Argentine defense of Port Stanley.

Nepalese Gurkha volunteers in the service of the English Crown


Gurkha also participated in military conflicts in the Persian Gulf, in Afghanistan, in Iraq, in NATO operations in Kosovo, and also were part of the peacekeeping forces in East Timor and Bosnia.

The great confidence of the English crown to the gurkhas was also expressed in the fact that it was the Nepalese who carried out the guard of Prince Harry during his service in Afghanistan.

The British successfully use the fact that Gurkha warriors are distinguished by their courage, the strictest discipline and loyalty to the oath. Therefore, today, around 3,5, thousands of Gurkha soldiers and officers in the same brigade are serving the English crown.

Most Gurkha units are quartered in Hampshire County in the town of Church Crookham. The minimum service life for which the contract is concluded is 5 years. New recruits are recruited in the highlands of Nepal. The competition is huge: there are about 200 thousands of young Gurkhas claiming 28 seats. The selection procedure is striking in its cruelty: applicants for enrollment in the British army need to run uphill for forty minutes with a load of 20 kg. But, even having passed the preliminary selection, recruits pass nine months of training at one of the Hong Kong bases before being sent to the active part. Gurkha units have very few British military personnel in their ranks. According to the established tradition, applicants for officer and sergeant posts are promoted from the Gurkha ranks.



As a rule, infantry light infantry battalions that do not have armored vehicles form Gurkha groups. Also, the 2 squadron of military engineers, three communications squadrons, a transport regiment and even a military band are part of the units of the Gurkha fighters. All soldiers and officers of combat units have good parachute training. Gurkha must have traditional equipment weapon Nepalese warriors - fighting knives kukri. They use their favorite weapon in hand-to-hand combat with the enemy.


Gurkha Kukri Knife


Legislatively, Gurkha has a lifespan of from 15 to 30 years - only in this case, the Gurkha warrior is entitled to receive a pension from the British government. As a rule, after completing their service in the army, the Gurkha return to their homeland - in Nepal. Since 2006, the English authorities have granted British citizenship to Gurkha. Such "lucky" today there are about 140 thousands of people. Recently, former Gurkha military personnel have been fighting for the appointment of the same level of pensions as British retirees - citizens of the country. Today it is only one third of the pension of English retirees.

It would be a mistake in this situation to accuse Gurkha of self-interest and label them mercenaries fighting for interests alien to them. It would be more correct to consider them warriors who faithfully fulfill their duty to the British crown. It is fair to say that Nepal, by giving its citizens the opportunity to serve in the army of another state, derives quite a few benefits from this - a mountainous state receives thousands of highly paid (by Nepali standards) "working" jobs. Britain also gets hardy, brave warriors, loyal to the British authorities and always ready for battle.



Perhaps the struggle of retired Gurkhas for the right to receive a decent pension is associated with a far from rosy outlook for the future of the existence of elite combat Gurkhan units in the British army.

First, in connection with the return of Hong Kong to China, great difficulties have arisen with the training base. Secondly, the Gurkha fighters still have language difficulty. Thirdly, in connection with the development of military technology, Gurkha combat techniques may become unclaimed. It is possible that these wonderful parts will soon be disbanded.

For twenty years, the Gurkha veterans have been fighting for a decent retirement of Nepalese fighters who have retired: from hunger strikes to appeals to the British authorities. One Gurkha veteran says: “We don’t know what else can be done to attract attention. Thousands died without waiting for justice. Nobody cares about us in the Ministry of Defense. So I’ll either enforce my rights or die. ”

Many British citizens believe that the state is indebted to Gurkha, because “... they fought shoulder to shoulder with the British troops for almost 200 years, we have moral obligations, honor debt. Gurkha gave their lives so that we can live. "

In the meantime, the British military department plans to reduce the units of the Nepalese soldiers by one and a half times, citing the lack of funds in the treasury.

Time will tell how much the desire to save is equivalent to the loss of an elite combat unit by the British army.

Materials used:
http://www.vesti.ru/doc.html?id=1151458
http://www.kailash.ru/c003/500.html
http://www.genon.ru/GetAnswer.aspx?qid=5a4b616c-1e75-4b75-bad7-7d8d387e442c
http://omop.su/article/49/3666.html
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  1. aszzz888
    aszzz888 18 November 2013 08: 48
    +1
    Some of the most loyal Britons warriors. And the famous cooks were afraid of all knives who had to fight hand-to-hand with Nepalese. The head was rolled off with one blow.
    1. xetai9977
      xetai9977 18 November 2013 09: 53
      +3
      Gurkhas are wonderful warriors. And very hardy, as their body is adapted for oxygen starvation in the conditions of the Himalayan highlands.
    2. cdrt
      cdrt 22 November 2013 19: 11
      0
      Quote: aszzz888
      Some of the most loyal Britons warriors. And the famous cooks were afraid of all knives who had to fight hand-to-hand with Nepalese. The head was rolled off with one blow.


      I bought a kukri to a friend as a birthday present (he collects edged weapons).
      A real cleaver, tearing down your head in skilled hands is not at all a question.
  2. kagorta
    kagorta 18 November 2013 10: 17
    +1
    I read that my favorite pastime was to cut the laces of Japanese watchmakers with boots on. Is it interesting?
  3. makarov
    makarov 18 November 2013 10: 43
    +3
    I pay tribute. I read a lot about them. Brave, courageous and devoted warriors !!!
  4. Kerch
    Kerch 18 November 2013 12: 13
    0
    Of course they are brave warriors, but I was confused by the fact: "The Gurkhas took part in the elimination of anti-colonial uprisings in India, raised by Sikhs and sepoys, as well as in the suppression of unrest in Afghanistan in 1848. Since 1857, Gurkha warriors have served in Burma, a former British and then Japanese colony, as well as on the borders of India and Afghanistan. During the Russian-Turkish war (1877-1878) they sided with the Turkish troops. Also Gurkhas served in Malta, in China. "

    That is, they betrayed their people?
    1. cdrt
      cdrt 22 November 2013 19: 19
      +1
      Quote: Kerch
      Of course they are brave warriors, but I was confused by the fact: "The Gurkhas took part in the elimination of anti-colonial uprisings in India, raised by Sikhs and sepoys, as well as in the suppression of unrest in Afghanistan in 1848. Since 1857, Gurkha warriors have served in Burma, a former British and then Japanese colony, as well as on the borders of India and Afghanistan. During the Russian-Turkish war (1877-1878) they sided with the Turkish troops. Also Gurkhas served in Malta, in China. "

      That is, they betrayed their people?


      Why your people?
      Gurks are Nepalese, sepoys are Indians, Hindus and Muslims are half-serving British (Indian soldiers), Sikhs are another Indian military class, something like Indian Cossacks. Nepalese are another people, another language, traditionally hostile to Hindus, Muslims, and Sikhs.
      In fact - an analogue of our Chechens for example
  5. datur
    datur 18 November 2013 12: 59
    +5
    There was a case when the gurkhas showed great courage in the confrontation with the Luftwaffe paratroopers in the battle of Monte Cassino (Italy) belay .--- funny to read !!! a handful of German paratroopers stopped an entire English group! wink even the bombing did not help !!! and who had the courage there, huh? even the Germans and enemies were to us, but they just showed courage !!! I didn’t hear about the Gurkhas, but (though I don’t like psheks) they just excelled in that!
  6. dnh70
    dnh70 18 November 2013 14: 11
    +3
    we have our own mountaineers, abruptly ....
  7. Asan Ata
    Asan Ata 18 November 2013 16: 42
    +3
    Smiled about his highlanders! drinks
  8. MAG
    MAG 18 November 2013 17: 38
    0
    "they take nine months of training at one of the Hong Kong bases" and that Hong Kong is no longer Chinese again?
  9. uzer 13
    uzer 13 18 November 2013 23: 08
    0
    The Gurkhas have so long survived in the English army for a very simple reason - the British themselves never intended to go under the bullets when it was possible to put up cheap mercenaries. Now the picture of the battlefield has changed - there is less need for cannon fodder, and more and more modern technologies. Yes and the generation of capitalism - a large number of illiterate shaven-headed fools also need to be done somewhere. That’s why gurkhas become unnecessary. Well, how much Britain knows how to be thankful and what is hidden behind beautiful military ceremonies, this is just written this article.
  10. max702
    max702 18 November 2013 23: 41
    +1
    I read alas I do not remember where that during the Crimean war there was such an episode .. The British are confident that these brave "warriors" will bring them victory in the assault on the fortification that they could not take, and our soldiers decided what it was .. Turks and the Turks are ours they always beat them, so they beat these vaunted "warriors" without understanding .. the English were shocked.
  11. Military79
    Military79 19 November 2013 04: 06
    0
    I saw these guys in the Green Zone. When I asked the British officer he told about them about the same as in the article. And another joke about the Gurkhas. I remembered him:
    “One British general was recruiting a company to land in the rear and came to the Gurkha.
    -I heard you are considered the most daring and fearless warriors. Who is ready to penetrate with me behind enemy lines? At night, from a height of 1000 meters, the enemy landed on an enemy’s head and destroyed it. Well, soldiers, a step forward, who is not afraid.
    It turned out about half the system. The General said disappointedly:
    -And these are bold gurkhas? Apparently you have been praised if you are afraid to jump even with a parachute.
    "But will we jump with a parachute? Why were you silent before."
    And the rest also stepped forward. "
    In every joke ... you know yourself. But when the Briton spoke about gurki, I heard in my voice genuine notes of respect.
  12. SlavaP
    SlavaP 24 November 2013 01: 35
    0
    No matter what they say, they are serious guys. Many then serve in private security, crossed paths with them and apart from great respect I can not add anything