This is such a great honor to write about the most badass person ever born in this subcontinent- People, here is the story of Lachiman Gurung of the 8th Gurkha Rifles.
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 bag load 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 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 messed up in general, but despite having half of his body blown into something vaguely like Two-Face from Batman, Lachhiman Gurung was sure as hell 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!”
With every other man dead or dying around him, Lachhiman Gurung never stopped shooting every Japanese person he could see. This man, 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 monster 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 on earth he managed to hold off 200 gun-toting, battle-hardened Japanese soldiers using this technique is even beyond some Michael Bay movie , but the authors of the Victoria Cross citations aren’t usually in the habit of making things 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.
His citation in the london gazette ends with
“Of the 87 enemy dead counted in the immediate vicinity of the Company locality, 31 lay in front of this Rifleman’s section, the key to the whole position. Had the enemy succeeded in over-running and occupying Rifleman Lachhiman Gurung’s trench, the whole of the reverse slope position would have been completely dominated and turned.
This Rifleman, by his magnificent example, so inspired his comrades to resist the enemy to the last, that, although surrounded and cut off for three days and two nights, they held and smashed every attack.
His outstanding gallantry and extreme devotion to duty, in the face of almost overwhelming odds, were the main factors in the defeat of the enemy”
Gurung was hospitalised for the wounds he received during the above action and subsequently lost his right eye and the use of his right hand, but he continued to serve with the 8th Gurkhas, choosing to remain with them when they were transferred to the newly independentin 1947.
He received the honored Victoria cross and later achieved the rank ofHe returned to his village in Nepal on completion of his service in 1947,where he farmed on a small holding.
Gurung died on December 12 , 2010 at the age of 92 in London leaving behind a legacy of selfless sacrifice and bravado. People like Gurung are a constant testimony to the fact that there is no limit to Human abilities.