Formation patch 48th Indian Infantry Brigade (canvas)

canvas, crossed white kukri's on red square

€ 12,00

The Gurkhas (Nepali : गोर्खा) (/ˈɡɜrkə/ or /ˈɡʊərkə/), also spelt as Gorkhas, are indigenous people of different clans mainly from the South Asian country of Nepal. Their name derives from the Hindu warrior-saint Guru Gorakhnath (8th century).

There are Gorkha military units in the Nepalese, British and the Indian army (Gorkhas) enlisted in Nepal. Although they meet many of the requirements of Article 47  of Protocol I of the Geneva Conventions regarding mercenaries, they are exempt under clauses47(a)(c)(d)(e)&(f) similar to the French Foreign Legion.

Gurkhas are closely associated with the Khukuri, a forward-curving Nepalese knife and have a well known reputation for their fearless military prowess. The former Indian Army Chief of Staff Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw, once stated that "If a man says he is not afraid of dying, he is either lying or is a Gurkha."

During World War II (1939–45), there were ten Gurkha regiments, with two battalions each making a total of twenty pre-war battalions. Following the Dunkirk evacuation of theBritish Expeditionary Force in 1940, the Nepalese government offered to increase recruitment to increase the total number of Gurkha battalions in British service to thirty-five. This would eventually rise to forty-three battalions and in order to achieve this, third and fourth battalions were raised for all ten regiments, with fifth battalions also being raised for 1 GR, 2 GR and 9 GR. This expansion required ten training centres to be established for basic training and regimental records across India. In addition five training battalions were raised, while other units were raised as garrison battalions for keeping the peace in India and defending rear areas. Large numbers of Gurkha men were also recruited for non-Gurkha units, and other specialised functions such as paratroops, signals, engineers, and military police.

A total of 250,280 Gurkhas served in 40 battalions, plus eight Nepalese Army battalions, plus Parachute, training, garrison, and porter units during the war, in almost all theatres. In addition to keeping peace in India, Gurkhas fought in Syria, North Africa, Italy, Greece and against the Japanese in the jungles of Burma, northeast India and also Singapore. They did so with considerable distinction, earning 2,734 bravery awards in the process and suffering around 32,000 casualties in all theatres.

The 48th Indian Infantry Brigade was an infantry formation of the British Indian Army and then of the Indian Army.

It was formed in October 1941, at Secunderabad in India and assigned to the 19th Indian Infantry Division. It was then transferred to the 17th Indian Infantry Division and fought in the Burma Campaign. It was attached to the 1st Burma Division in April 1942.

It was serving with 17th Indian Division when it was disbanded January 1947 in Burma. The brigade then returned to India as an independent brigade; it was located at Dhond in August 1947.

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