The Gurkhas: Special Force

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John Murray, Apr 14, 2011 - History - 448 pages
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The Gurkhas have fought on behalf of Britain and India for nearly two hundred years. As brave as they are resilient, resourceful and cunning, they have earned a reputation as devastating fighters, and their unswerving loyalty to the Crown has always inspired affection in the British people. There are also now up to 40,000 Gurkhas in the million-strong army of modern India. But who are the Gurkhas? How much of the myth that surrounds them is true? Award-winning historian Chris Bellamy uncovers the Gurkhas' origins in the Hills of Nepal, the extraordinary circumstances in which the British decided to recruit them and their rapid emergence as elite troops of the East India Company, the British Raj and the British Empire. Their special aptitude meant they were used as the first British 'Special Forces'. Bellamy looks at the wars the Gurkhas have fought this century, from the two world wars through the Falklands to Iraq and Afghanistan and examines their remarkable status now, when each year 11,000 hopefuls apply for just over 170 places in the British Army Gurkhas. Extraordinarily compelling, this book brings the history of the Gurkhas, and the battles they have fought, right up to date, and explores their future.

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About the author (2011)

Until 2010 acclaimed historian and journalist Chris Bellamy was Professor of Military Science and Doctrine and Director of the Security Studies Institute, Cranfield University, based at the Defence Academy of the UK at Shrivenham. He now holds the position of Director of the Greenwich Maritime Institute, University of Greenwich. His latest book, Absolute War: Soviet Russia in the Second World War won the Westminster Medal for Military Literature. Previously he has been Defence Correspondent at the Independent. He was shortlisted for Foreign Reporter of the Year in the British Press Awards and the Foreign Press Association Awards for 1996 for reporting from Chechnya.

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