"The Gurkhas – The inside story of the world's most feared soldiers" (Headline Publication) (Non-fiction/ Military History) by John Parker
Punch Line -"BETTER TO DIE THAN TO BE A COWARD"
"If a man says he is not afraid of dying, he is either lying, or he is Gorkha" says Sam Maekshaw, the first Field Marshal of India, about the Gorkhas rightfully, being the Colonel of the 8th Gurakha Rifles of Indian Army.
This is my first book on military history , I picked up instantly when I saw the title. Gurkhas are well spread in entire India (at least northern part) and mostly found in cities and towns as security guard or doing night patrolling.
The Gurkhas? Who were they? These were "little olive-skinned soldires from the East" who fought for the British Empire to their last breath. Noted for being exceedingly proeficient in cutting of enemy's head in one swish of kukri (samll dagger like weapon)
This is well researched book from the Military Writer John Parker. The book is about the highest military achievements and courage of the small mountain tribe, Gorkhas of Nepal. Especially when they fought for the countries other then of their own. This book is concentrated on the two century long association of Gorkhas Brigade with British Army
Several accounts of battles on different fronts around the world are mentioned and how the fearsome reputation was earned by the Gurkhas in the hearts of their enemies. There are many intersting stories and expereinces by the British Officers and war reporters.
For many years only British Officers with short heights were assigned to the Gurkhas as the different in the heights of the soldiers and officcers created difficulties during battles. Trench dug for Gurkhas was too shallow for British officers ,increasing the casualty rate of the officers, and trench for the British soliders was useless for Gurkhas as they could not see outside their trench.
Gurkhas fought for the British Empire on every possible front of the empire. But the disparity in the payment to the little warriors is very shocking. In 1997 the mighty empire paid 23 pound as a pension to a soldire and 85 pound to a senior officer ;nearly 1/20th of amount paid to their British counterpart.
Now, as the Empire has shrunken and having no confrontation to face, the Brigish Government is heavly reducing, nearly by 70 %, the numbers of Gurkhas soldiers in its Army.
Overall if you are interested in military documentary closely or remotley, or you are interested to know Gurkhas closely then this is certainly only ,and therefore, a recommended ,book.