The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #70754   Message #1213127
Posted By: HuwG
23-Jun-04 - 04:43 PM
Thread Name: BS: Dont mix it with these chaps....
Subject: RE: BS: Dont mix it with these chaps....
There is another hackneyed old joke about the Gurkhas. A Gurkha and a Japanese officer are engaged in a desperate hand-to-hand struggle in Burma in World War 2. The Japanese officer slashes with his sword. "Ha! Missed me!" says the Gurkha, who then swings with his kukhri. "Ha! Missed me!" says the Japanese officer. "Now nod your head", says the Gurkha.

This story is obviously apocryphal, but there is a better attested tale, related by Field Marshal Slim no less, in his book "Defeat into Victory". A Gurkha patrol presented themselves before their commanding officer which he was eating lunch. They calmly took four gory Japanese heads out of a reed basket, and put them in on the table in front of him. They then politely offered him the fish which filled the rest of the basket for his lunch.


I have met one or two officers in the British Army who had served with Gurkha units. Their loyalty had to be split between their orders from above, and their duty to their soldiers. In most cases they could reconcile the two only by becoming paternalistic towards their soldiers and at the same time obnoxiously boastful about them to other officers.

The same could sometimes be observed of officers and NCO's who had been attached to the Sultan of Oman's Armed Forces, who had recently defeated insurgents in the Dhofar Province. (This was the late 1970's and early 1980's.