Gurkhas, How true is this.

Discussion in 'General' started by peterhastie, Nov 22, 2009.

  1. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

  2. Warlord

    Warlord Veteran wannabe

    Does anyone know heard-over-the-grapevine tales about Gurkha actions in the CBI?

    Their hand-to-hand fighting skills, specially with the kukri, must have scared the hell out of Japanese troops, since down in the Burmese jungles, conflict was by necessity up-close and personal.
     
  3. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    There was about 10 VC's won by members of the Gurkha regiments during WW2. Have a look at some of the citations, they should give you an idea of what fighting was like.

    VC's of WW2

    Whats CBI?

    Andy
     
  4. Warlord

    Warlord Veteran wannabe

    There was about 10 VC's won by members of the Gurkha regiments during WW2. Have a look at some of the citations, they should give you an idea of what fighting was like.

    VC's of WW2

    Whats CBI?

    Andy

    I´ve already checked them, and some of them sure illustrate how dirty jungle fighting can get.

    CBI stands for China-Burma-India. Maybe its better known to you Commonwealthers as SEAC, South East Asia Command.
     
  5. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Hot air manufacturer

    China-Myanmar-India theatre ;)
     
  6. Warlord

    Warlord Veteran wannabe

    China-Myanmar-India theatre ;)

    The military dictators didn´t get good grades in their english classes... :p

    So much for Yangon-style name changes.
     
  7. sol

    sol Very Senior Member

    Does anyone know heard-over-the-grapevine tales about Gurkha actions in the CBI?

    Their hand-to-hand fighting skills, specially with the kukri, must have scared the hell out of Japanese troops, since down in the Burmese jungles, conflict was by necessity up-close and personal.

    These are just some of examples:

    Three or four Japanese from an adjacent trench stood up and threw grenades. The machinegun from the bunker suddenly turned on us,
    wounding one and pinning us down. Then one fleet-footed Gurkha, Narpati Rai, stood up with his kukri and charged, yelling "Gorkhali ayo!" and
    jumped into the enemy trench. Inspired by his daring example, we all fired our weapons and charged, while lst and 2nd Platoons rushed the
    other bunker. Left Hill was secured. Our platoon had suffered one dead and three wounded. The other platoons had also suffered light casualties. The Japanese lost 32 men, most of whom we had cut down in their trenches with our kukris. Our jemadar was very pleased with our first battle performance.

    From one large bunker, I pulled out the body of a Gurkha who was covered by seven dead Japanese. He had killed them with his kukri before he was bayoneted to death.

    The determined enemy then staged another attack. This time they tried to overrun our position with two companies. They screamed,
    "Nippon banzai!" The Gurkhas, instead of remaining in the trenches, jumped up and attacked the advancing Japanese with their kukris. We cut
    down many of them in hand-to-hand fighting. The surprised Japanese, who had not expected such an instant counterattack, fled into the jungle. One Japanese squad, though - in a state of confusion - ran into our perimeter. We cut them down with kukris.
    The next morning we cheered and applauded the forward platoons of D Company for their daring kukri charge, which we could now see had
    killed more than 90 enemy troops. These men were truly the pride of the 10th Gurkha Regiment.

    Suddenly the jemadar stood up and screamed, "Gorkhali ayo!" We all yelled in unison, and followed him into the Japanese trenches. We
    rushed through the maze of narrow trenches, thrusting, slashing and chopping at the surprised enemy. Some tried to withdraw into the bunkers, but ran into other Gurkhas and were chopped down instantly.
    Then they counterattacked from the western slope. One Japanese commander, with his sword drawn, rushed out from the main bunker
    screaming, "Banzai! Banzai! Banzai!" His men, with fixed bayonets, also charged and tried to flank us. We jumped out of the trenches to meet
    them.
    The Japanese officer cut down one Gurkha, then another. But then, just as quickly, the Jemadar sprang forward and decapitated the
    enemy officer. Then the jemadar yelled, "Gorkhali ayo! No prisoners!" And we responded, "No prisoners! Gorkhali ayo!" The resultant
    collisions were of steel against steel, steel against flesh, and flesh against flesh - it was a killing frenzy among fanatic warriors.
    Our Lord Shiva, goddess Kali, and Yama witnessed this brutal hand-to-hand fighting. It lasted about 15 minutes. Many Japanese escaped down the south slope, leaving 125 of their dead behind. Our platoon lost two men killed and three wounded. Our faces and uniforms were drenched with blood.

    Complete story you can find here:

    Stickgrappler's MMA page - Bando - Command Issue 16/May-June 1992 page
     
    Roxy and Steve G like this.
  8. Warlord

    Warlord Veteran wannabe

  9. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

  10. Warlord

    Warlord Veteran wannabe

  11. andy007

    andy007 Senior Member

    Does anyone know heard-over-the-grapevine tales about Gurkha actions in the CBI?

    Their hand-to-hand fighting skills, specially with the kukri, must have scared the hell out of Japanese troops, since down in the Burmese jungles, conflict was by necessity up-close and personal.

    Hi Warlord,
    I don't really know any 'fighting' stories as such, my Gurkha vet tends to steer clear of those. He did how ever tell me a story that went like this...Word got around that there was a high ranking British Officer coming to visit the troops at the front, so a Gurkha suggested it was a good idea to present him with a gift.....so when he arrived the next morning he was presented with a Basket full of Japanese heads! some Gurkhas had gone out the night before and 'collected' them to say.

    Also at the battle of Sittang Bridge in Feb 1942 my Gurkha vet was caught on the wrong side when the Bridge was demoed. When his group reached safety He was the only Officer with 116 other ranks. They crossed the Sittang river using upturned clay pots lashed to reeds with their boot laces. Many men were lost in the river because they were unable to swim.
     
  12. Stig O'Tracy

    Stig O'Tracy Senior Member

    Reminds me of something I read recently in "Forgotten Voices of the Secret War" . One of the men in the book recounted a story of his experiences in Burma. I believe that his unit was surrounded by the Japanese on a hill. They were resupplied by Lysanders dropping ammo. I don't think that they used parachutes on the drop and as a result .303 ammo was frequently damaged. Consequently rifle ammo was limited. When the natives who were fighting with them asked for more ammo they were told that because of shortages they would only get 50 rounds a head. Later the author was approached by a group of these native fighters who were carrying a large basket. When they got close he noticed the flies, the basket was full of Japanese heads.
     
  13. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Very Senior Member

    they were told that because of shortages they would only get 50 rounds a head. Later the author was approached by a group of these native fighters who were carrying a large basket. When they got close he noticed the flies, the basket was full of Japanese heads.


    "Here's twenty-five, can we have our 1,250 rounds please?" :)
     
  14. damenra

    damenra New Member

    Well the logic behind the feeling of boot laces was that the Gurkhas (My Grandfathers (both my mother's father and my Father's father) were in the British Gurkha Army from 6th GR) had never seen the White men other than British before. So, at daylight they would know but in nights they had to be extra extra carefull while patroling around or guarding their own tents. To make sure they were the british officers as they were all superior in ranks to them, they had to be very very silent for if they were the british officers they would be in big trouble and if not then the quicker the enemy dies the better for them.
    Hence the feeling of boots or touching the helmets from above the trees.

    Any more inquries you can ask me.

    And the war cries was "Jai Gorakh-Kali, Aayo Gorkhali" ("Hail Godess Gorakh-Kali, Here Comes the Gurkhas"), latter Changed with time to "Jai Maha-Kali, Aayo Gorkhali" ("Hail Great Kali, Here Comes the Gurkhas").
     
    dbf likes this.
  15. mapshooter

    mapshooter Senior Member

    H'mm, then ther's the other side.

    The biggest stuff-up I've ever come across on operations was by Gurkhas, basically a result of sloppy soldiering.

    And I've accumulated some 30 months on active service in three different wars in two armies. In my view the Gurkhas are over -hyped. But perhaps they did seem wonderful to WW2 conscripts.
     
  16. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake Gunner Tours

    Other Indian soldiers were capable pf acts of extraordinary bravery. Captain Umrao Singh VC fought off waves of Japanese attackers with a Bren gun and then the hand spike from his gun. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Umrao_Singh After thje action he was found still alive, still clutching the handspike, with ten dead Japanese soldiers around him ,
     
  17. BRI54

    BRI54 Junior Member

    Hi there
    My Dad told me of a time when he was in the cassino area about the ghurkas going up a hill to clear out the germans as they were pinned down,and in the morning there were 88 dead german found. then he came out with the ways of lace-ing boots and how it may save your life. i thought this was just a story ,but after reading the letters ,there must be some truth in it .
     
  18. zahonado

    zahonado Well-Known Member

    Terrible stories.
     
  19. Warlord

    Warlord Veteran wannabe

    I see the Gurkhas in the same way as the Israeli army: IMHO, maybe not a lot of spit-and-polish (even though being in the Royal Army calls for it as obligation, rather than choice), but with the necessary fighting skills to roll over anyone in their path when the smelly stuff hits the windmill.
     
  20. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Deffo. You'd want them on your side, no doubt about it.
     

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