Gorkha Rifles : Nightmare Of Enemies
Hello Defence Lovers, Gorkha Rifles is a Gorkha infantry regiment of the Indian Army composed of Gurkha soldiers of Nepalese origin, especially martial tribes of Magars and Gurungs. Integral to the Indian Army, the Gorkhas are probably the most feared and bravest soldiers on the face of the earth. They are on of the fiercest forces known to mankind and even their enemies tremble when they attack. The Gorkhas were integrated with the Indian Forces on April 24, 1815. Over time they have served in all theatres of war and won many military decorations.
- It was originally formed as part of the East India Company’s Bengal Army in 1815, later adopting the title of the 1st King George V’s Own Gurkha Rifles (The Malaun Regiment), however, in 1947, following the partition of India, it was transferred to the Indian Army and in 1950 when India became a Republic, it was redesignated as 1 Gorkha Rifles (The Malaun Regiment).
- The regiment has a long history and has participated in many conflicts, including many of the colonial conflicts prior to Indian independence, as well as the First and Second World Wars.
- Since 1947 the regiment has also participated in a number of campaigns against Pakistan in 1965 and 1971 as well as undertaking peacekeeping duties as part of the United Nations.
- The war cry of the Gorkha Regiments is ‘Jai Maha Kali, Ayo Gorkhali’ which basically means all hail to the Goddess Kali, The Gorkhas Are Here.
- The Gorkha units are some of the most decorated in the Indian Army. They have played an important role in all the wars and have won Battle Honours in Uri sector in 1947-48, Ladakh in 1962, Jammu and Kashmir in 1965 and 1971. They have also been part of the Indian Peace Keeping Force in Sri Lanka.The Gorkha Regiments have been awarded 3 Param Vir Chakras the highest number, shared by the Grenadiers, 33 Maha Vir Chakras, and 84 Vir Chakras during operations.
- Officers in the Gorkha Regiments of the Indian Army have to learn the Gorkhali language to be able to interact with their men in their native tongue.
- The Regimental Insignia of all the Gorkha Rifles Regiments consists of a pair of crossed khurkis with the numeral of the regiment in-between, above or below.
- Gorkhas are the ethnic Nepali citizens or the Nepali citizens of India.
Currently there are 39 battalions of Gorkhas, serving in 7 regiments, out of which 6 were transferred from the British Indian Army while one was formed after independence.
- Another famous battalion of Gorkhas is the third battalion of the 4 Gorkha Rifles which was instrumental in Operation Meghdoot in Siachen. The 8 Gorkha Rifles are also have a glorious past as they produced one of the only two Field Marshals for India – Sam Manekshaw.
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About Gorkhas :
(1.) Bravest of the brave, most generous of the generous, never had a country more faithful friends than you.” - Professor Sir Ralph Turner MC, ex-3rd Gurkha Rifles
(2.) “If a man says he is not afraid of dying, he is either lying or is a Gorkha.” - Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw, Indian Chief of Army Staff (8 June 1969 – 15 January 1973)
(3.) “The nastiest part about parachuting is landing, and in this, with his compact light body and strong hill legs, he has a distinct advantage over most other races. For this reason I would say that, along with the Jap who is similarly built, he is probably the best natural parachutist in the world.” – Lieutenant Colonel F J Loftus-Tottenham, ‘Walkabouts and Laughabouts in the Raj’ (Undated)
(4.) “I have never seen more steadiness or bravery exhibited in my life. Run they would not and of death they seemed to have no fear, though their comrades were falling thick around them, for we were so near that every shot told.” – Ensign John Shipp describing the Battle of Makwanpur, February 1816
(5.) “I must pause in this narrative especially to notice the determined hardihood and bravery with which our two Battalions of Gorkhas, The Sirmoor and Nusseeree, met the Sikhs, wherever they were opposed to them. Soldiers of small stature but indomitable spirit they vied in ardent courage with The Grenadiers of our own nation, and, armed with the short weapons of their mountains, were a terror to the Sikhs throughout this great combat.” – General Sir Hugh Gough, dispatch after the Battle of Sobraon, 1846
(6.) “The Gorkhas were merry little chaps and the only native troops with whom British soldiers were friendly enough for joking and playing tricks.” – Frank Richards, ‘Old-Soldier Saheb’ (1936)
(7.) “The Gorkha is a soldier of high battle-skill, a world-famed fighting man and respected in every country where men fought alongside us in the last war.” – Lieutenant General Sir Francis Tuker, ‘While Memory Serves’ (1950)
(8.) “The Gorkha keeps faith not only with his fellow men but with great spiritual concepts, and above all, with himself.” – John Masters, ‘Bugles and a Tiger’ (1956)
(9.) “To serve with a Gorkha soldier under the British Crown was, and is, a rare privilege which nobody who has shared it can ever forget.” – Colonel B R Mullalay, ‘Bugle and Kukri’ (1957)
(10.) “The Almighty created in the Gurkhas an ideal infantryman, indeed an ideal Rifleman, brave, tough, patient, adaptable, skilled in fieldcraft, intensely proud of his military record and unswerving loyalty.” – Field Marshal Viscount Slim, ‘Unofficial History’ (1959)
(11.) “It was easy to command such people. It was a privilege to be allowed to do so.” – Patrick Davis, ‘A Child at Arms’ (1970)
(12.) “Hearing a British Gurkha officer discuss his profession was something like hearing a priest discuss his vocation.” – Byron Farwell, ‘The Gurkhas’ (1984)