Gurkha soldiers have a fearsome reputation on the battlefield – and it is a reputation that each Gurkha strives to live up to.
But few tales can top that of Sergeant Dipprasad Pun of the Royal Gurkha Rifles on a hot night in Afghanistan’s Helmland Province on a hot September night in 2010.
Sgt. Pun was on sentry duty at a two-story checkpoint when he thought he heard an animal nearby before spotting two insurgents in the process of laying an IED in the road. Watching and listening intently, he realized he was surrounded by Taliban fighters.
That’s when the quiet night was instantly filled with the sights and sound of bullets and RPG fire as the insurgents sprang a well-planned assault on the small checkpoint.
The Gurkha Sergeant reacted by pulling his L7A2 general purpose machine gun off the turret and using it as a rifle, firing continuously into oncoming enemy fighters.
After expending all of the ammunition for the machine gun, Sgt. Pun started grabbing grenades from his post, throwing a total of 17 at the attackers.
Out of grenades, he picked up his SA80 service rifle and began opened fire at the insurgents. At one point, Pun even threw a Claymore mine at the enemy.
While engaging the attackers, one Taliban fighter managed to climb the side of an adjacent sentry tower and hopped jumped across, attacking Pun. As the sergeant turned his rifle to shoot his nearby attacker, the weapon misfired.
Reacting to the malfunctioning weapon, Pun first grabbed a sandbag and swung at the insurgent, but the bag opened and emptied mid strike. Screaming “Marchu talai!”, the sergeant picked up the machine gun tripod and threw it at the Taliban’s face – knocking the insurgent off the roof to his death.
The pitched battle continued until reinforcements arrived. After the smoke cleared, there were 30 dead Taliban surrounding the area.