Thursday, October 05, 2006

Gurkha Pride

Fire of Liberty
For a long time I've had a keen interest in the various special/expeditionary forces of the various militaries throughout the world. While most people are familiar with the stories and accolades of the Navy Seals, Delta Force, French Foreign Legion and the British SAS few tend to focus on the UK's Brigade of Gurkhas. Thankfully, Tom Coughlan has a excellent article in the Daily Telegraph on the tenacious fighting spirit of the Gurkhas and how they used this to their advantage put down an attack by the Taliban in Afghanistan. Here's a sample of what the Gurkhas have achieved:
One of the most dramatic engagements took place in the town of Nawzad, a key strategic post in southern Helmand.

The Gurkha commanders realised that trouble was brewing when the town centre emptied of civilians.

As night fell they heard the sounds of holes being chipped through the walls of the buildings close to their fortified ''platoon house", the town's police station. Then the sound of civilian electricity generators in the town abruptly ceased, so that in the silence approaching British helicopters could be heard sooner.

"We knew it was the calm before the storm. We sensed what was coming," said Major Dan Rex, 35, the Gurkhas' tall, softly spoken commander.

During the next 10 days, the 40 Gurkhas sent to Nawzad to hold the police station fought tenaciously to defend themselves as they were subjected to 28 attacks lasting one to six hours each, including five full scale efforts by hundreds of Taliban fighters to over-run their compound.

Senior British officers say it was one of a series of gruelling attritional sieges that have characterised the bloody first six months of the British deployment to Helmand.

They paid tribute to the courage displayed by the 110- man mixed force from the 1st and 2nd Gurkha Rifles, particularly those who fought so valiantly to defend the Nawzad police station.
Thank G-d for the Gurkhas and the many special forces/specialist units that take on our enemies and fight to preserve our freedoms.

*See here, here, here, here, here, here, and here for more on the Gurkhas.

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