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Gurkhas

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gruff5
416057.  Wed Oct 01, 2008 11:19 am Reply with quote

I don't know much about Gurkhas currently signed up with the UK army and getting a salary for fighting in Iraq, say.

Do they fall into the category of foreign mercenaries?

 
Izzardesque
416181.  Wed Oct 01, 2008 3:47 pm Reply with quote

I wouldn't have thought so - they come under the British Army regualrs.

And reddy, the reason the knives are curved as the are is to provide a weight for heavy cutting strokes - hence chopping off heads is entirely possible/likely!

 
Flash
416189.  Wed Oct 01, 2008 4:24 pm Reply with quote

Finally, a subject I know something about.

The kukri is an agricultural implement and a culinary tool and everything else as well as a weapon. They use it for sharpening pencils, removing paint, everything. The business about having to draw blood every time you draw it is completely untrue.

And there is no way you could cut off a human head with a single blow of a service-sized kukri, although very large kukris are used in butchery (ie cutting up animals), which is probably where the myth comes from.

 
PDR
416196.  Wed Oct 01, 2008 4:35 pm Reply with quote

bobwilson wrote:
Can anyone explain to me what the nominal RAF commanders in charge of USAF bases in Britain actually do?


The same as the station commanders of any other base - they run the base facilities. They provide buildings, light, heat, power, telecoms, sewerage, catering, mess facilities, runway maintenance, Air Traffic Control (sometimes, details vary - consult your airbase documentation), station defence, station security, MT flight, post, freight distribution etc. They provide the point of contact for liasing with the local community, send armed squads into the town hall to execute council officials who get above themselves (no, really - well not the execution bit perhaps but I have seen a local council official arrested by armed RAF police when they closed a crash-gate access road to an airfield to create an unannounced 1-way system).

In other words they provide the base facilities. There is actually a written contract in QRs which states exactly what the base will provide to resident squadrons, and what the squadrons will provide to the base. It's quite a senior post - any RAF station with aircraft and a runway will usually have at least a Group Captain as station commander.

PDR

 
Izzardesque
416198.  Wed Oct 01, 2008 4:52 pm Reply with quote

Flash wrote:

And there is no way you could cut off a human head with a single blow of a service-sized kukri, although very large kukris are used in butchery (ie cutting up animals), which is probably where the myth comes from.


This gentleman certianly thought it was possible... http://www.burmastar.org.uk/gian_singh.htm

 
Arcane
416240.  Wed Oct 01, 2008 6:56 pm Reply with quote

Flash wrote:
Finally, a subject I know something about.

The kukri is an agricultural implement and a culinary tool and everything else as well as a weapon. They use it for sharpening pencils, removing paint, everything. The business about having to draw blood every time you draw it is completely untrue.

And there is no way you could cut off a human head with a single blow of a service-sized kukri, although very large kukris are used in butchery (ie cutting up animals), which is probably where the myth comes from.


Ha. Thanks Flash for that. I think he used to tell us that just to scare us!

 
Sadurian Mike
416246.  Wed Oct 01, 2008 7:08 pm Reply with quote

Yes, anecdotal evidence* suggests that the kukri was used to behead victims on more than one occasion, although the famous "with one stroke" might be exaggeration. I'm inclined to believe it, however, simply because a half-beheaded opponent is as dead as beheaded one, yet almost all the stories mention that the Ghurkas took the head clean off their victims which might be seen as wasting time in battle if more than one stroke were required.

http://www.britishempire.co.uk/forces/armyunits/gurkha/gurkhaskukri.htm
http://khukurihouse.trustpass.alibaba.com/product/100414577/Gi4_Gurkha_Issue_4th_Knives.html
http://www.diggerhistory2.info/graveyards/pages/units/indians.htm

*Needless to say, there is always the possibility that much of the wealth of anecdotal evidence is either contemporary propaganda (such as the WWI tales of Ghurkas' kukris cutting through German helmets and splitting the owner's head in two), or a half-remembered or witnessed incident coloured with existing legend.

 
Arcane
416293.  Thu Oct 02, 2008 2:49 am Reply with quote

Thank you Mike, the stroke/blow that was described in the first link was the one my father demonstrated.

I'm also wondering if the blade is curved because it gives the illusion of the sword being a different length? I know it's used for different things along with clearing undergrowth, but it would be definitely another handy factor in battle if the enemy didn't quite know how long the blade was (I think they discussed the same thing in the movie "Gladiator" based on a Thracian sword, it too was slightly curved).

 
Eric the Underwriter
416389.  Thu Oct 02, 2008 5:02 am Reply with quote

What ever you do.......do not accept a curry from them.

The local take away can't compete with the burn factor!


I have a Kukri in my house. Genuine thing, not sure where the thing come from, dad doing some deals in the army may be the source.
However it does have a striking cane-sword with it.

The Criminal Justice Act 1988 (Offensive Weapons) Order 1988, ISBN 0-11-088019-6 also made it illegal to trade in sword canes in England and Wales. However, antique swordsticks which are 100 years old or older are exempt.

B8gger!

 
Izzardesque
416396.  Thu Oct 02, 2008 5:14 am Reply with quote

I have a napoleonic era heavy cavalry sword. I must admit, I've never tried carrying it around on the streets - not sure how the police would take that!

 
Arcane
416397.  Thu Oct 02, 2008 5:20 am Reply with quote

Although I know very little technical information on swords, whenever one comes up on something like Antiques Roadshow, I prick up my ears. I'm fascinated by them. Don't know why!

 
Izzardesque
416398.  Thu Oct 02, 2008 5:21 am Reply with quote

Me too - when I get some cash, its something I'd like to collect.

 
Eric the Underwriter
416499.  Thu Oct 02, 2008 7:41 am Reply with quote

Izzardesque wrote:
I have a napoleonic era heavy cavalry sword. I must admit, I've never tried carrying it around on the streets - not sure how the police would take that!



Is that the one Sharpe swings about before bedding the women?

I think the danger with this cane-sword is the conceled part of it. To be fair if I walk down the street with it, looks a normal walking cane. Something any gentleman of the past would of used. Quick twist and 3ft of sharp metal to hand......not very fair on the mugging chav.
Now there IS and idea ;)

 
Izzardesque
416501.  Thu Oct 02, 2008 7:44 am Reply with quote

Of that ilk certainly!

 
AlmondFacialBar
416529.  Thu Oct 02, 2008 8:46 am Reply with quote

Eric the Underwriter wrote:
I think the danger with this cane-sword is the conceled part of it. To be fair if I walk down the street with it, looks a normal walking cane. Something any gentleman of the past would of used. Quick twist and 3ft of sharp metal to hand......not very fair on the mugging chav.
Now there IS and idea ;)


:-D

btw - am i the only sad, obsessive twerp who'd like to see such an implement used by a certain new jersey based healthcare professional. YAY, the panic he could cause! ;-P

:-)

AlmondFacialBar

 

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