Badass of the Week.

Lachhiman Gurung

"I had to fight because there was no other way.  I felt I was going to die anyway, so I might as well die standing on my feet.  All I knew was that I had to go on and hold them back.  I am glad that helped the other soldiers in my platoon, but they would have all done the same thing."

There are plenty of seriously hardcore warrior associations out there, but as far as I'm concerned it doesn't get a whole lot better than the Gurkhas.  From as early as the 19th century, these sack-tearing hardasses from rural Nepal have been like Britain's personal detachment of borderline-sociopathic serial killers.  They're so disarming it's unnerving they've got big, easy smiles, they're quiet, incredibly polite, respectful, and never really bother anybody.  They just want to chill out and drink some beers.  While none of this really screams badass through a truck-mounted megahorn, it's the deadliest, most insane motherfuckers who don't need to get all up in your face and talk a bunch of shit about how awesome they are. These are guys who know they can turn you from a rampaging dumbass to an eviscerated carcass in about two seconds if they want to, and they're confident enough in their abilities that they don't need to go all macho-man about it just because they're secretly worried that other people think they have small dicks or something. Despite the cool, calculated exterior, though, when it comes time to flip out, the Gurkhas are some motherfuckers who seriously FLIP THE FUCK OUT:

Every couple of years, the Gurkhas fighting in Afghanistan
get in trouble because they're always beheading the corpses of Taliban fighters.
That's not even a joke.

On the night of 12 May 1945, Lachhiman Gurung of the 8th Gurkha Rifles was part of a small forward platoon dug into trenches defending a position in Burma, when all of a sudden his tiny unit came under a massive attack from a couple hundred Japanese soldiers looking to punch through these defenses and then punch a few holes into his torso so that they could tear out his large intestines and strangle him to death with them.  The idea of this was not very appealing to Lachhiman.

The marauding Japanese first decided to soften up the Gurkha positions by chucking three full dickloads of hand grenades and various explosive materials into the Allied trenches and then face-shooting the bejeezus out of anyone who tried to dive out of the trench or otherwise escape their imminent fragmentation-related demises.  Gurung summarily developed an ingenious third option one which didn't blow him up and didn't result in exposing himself to an enfilade of enemy fire he just snatched the fucking live grenades up from the floor of the trench and chucked them back at the Japanese.  His tactic of hurling insults and incendiaries at the enemy whenever the opportunity presented itself worked out well for a while, and he sent two flying explosive middle-fingers back at his assailants, but the third time proved to not be the charm for Lachhiman his timing was a little off and the grenade ended up detonating in his hand.  In the military, this is what they refer to as, "bad".

The frag blew off a couple fingers, destroyed his right arm, and nearly took off half his face.  He was left bleeding, partially blinded, crippled, and seriously fucked up in general, but despite having half of his body blown into something vaguely like Two-Face from Batman, Lachhiman Gurung was sure as fuck not going to stop resisting this onslaught as long as he was capable of sustaining basic life functions.  Half-dead, bloody, and badly wounded, Gurung drew his kukri knife the ultimate symbol of Gurkha badassitude jammed it point-first into the ground before him, and defiantly yelled into the darkness, "No one will pass here today!"

Then he grabbed his rifle, chambered a round, and shouted, "Now come and fight a Gurkha!"

There are very few occasions in which drawing a line in the sand is not badass.

With every other man dead or dying around him, Lachhiman Gurung never stopped shooting every Japanese person he could see.  This dude, by himself, loaded, cocked, and fired his fucking bolt-action rifle for four hours of non-stop combat, fighting off wave after wave of attackers like a wounded wolverine tearing his own leg off with bullets.  His tactic for success was to lie down in the trench, not get shot, wait until he could hear the enemy soldiers nearly right on top of him, and then pop up like a murderous, rifle-toting whack-a-mole and smoke some dude in half at point-blank range with his left hand.  Then he'd reposition the rifle, chamber a new round (lefty), shift it back, and blast another guy apart.  How the fuck he managed to hold off 200 gun-toting, battle-hardened Japanese soldiers using this technique is completely beyond me, but the authors of the Victoria Cross citations aren't usually in the habit of making shit up off the tops of their heads.

By the time the smoke cleared the next morning, Gurung had been fighting for over four hours straight.  31 Japanese soldiers lay dead in the field before him.  He'd single-handedly kicked all their asses, and I of course mean single-handedly in every possible meaning of the word.

A Lee-Enfield SMLE Mk III bolt-action rifle similar to the ones carried by 8 Gurkha.

Gurung obviously had to be hospitalized, mostly for for extreme blood-hysteria and obscenely high levels of deathtosterone, but also because half his arm had been blown off by a grenade and explosive shrapnel had blinded him in the right eye.  He never regained use of his right arm, but this guy ripped so many balls with his off-hand that they let him stay in the service and finish out the war with his unit.  He refused to be sent home anyways, and if there's one thing about Lachhiman Gurung, it's that you can't fucking make this guy move anywhere he doesn't want to go, so his superiors were just like, "forget it dude, whatever you want is bitchin' with us."

After the war, Gurung moved back home to Nepal for a while, but then eventually emigrated to Britain.  Even into his significantly more decrepit years, this guy continued staying true to his people and never forgot his roots in 2008 when Gurkha soldiers were told they weren't allowed to live in Britain because they had "failed to demonstrate strong ties to Britain", the 91 year-old Gurung hauled ass out to the High Court out there decked out in about a million medals and told the judicial system to take their bullshit law, crumple up the paper it was printed on, and jam it up their own urethras.  Everyone was so impressed that they ended up repealing the stupid law. Damn straight.



The Independent

The Telegraph

The Times

Victoria Cross Citation


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