It took him 400 rounds, 17 grenades, and a machine gun tripod used as a weapon, but one British Gurkha soldier single-handedly beat back an attack by 30 Taliban fighters in Afghanistan last summer. And now he's getting one of his military's highest honors:
Sergeant Dipprasad Pun, a 31-year-old from Bima in western Nepa and part of the Gurkha regiment serving the British Military, is receiving the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross for bravery. It's well deserved. According to his superiors, Pun's fearsom fighting is responsible for saving the lives of at least three other soldiers.
Yesterday, he explained his unbelievable battle (via the London Telegraph). Not only is he brave, but he's also ingenious. At one point during the fighting, after running out of bullets, he fought off an attacker using a pole from a machine gun tripod:
Sgt Pun told yesterday how he was on guard duty at the base near Rahim Kalay in Helmand Province on September 10 last year when he heard a digging sound in the darkness in front of him.
Grabbing two radios, a GPMP machine gun, his SA80 rifle, a grenade launcher and an arsenal of hand-held grenades he climbed onto the rooftop and opened fire.
With rocket propelled grenades and gun fire flying over his head from all directions he defended the position for more than 15 minutes, killing three Taliban and forcing the others to flee.
At one point the diminutive soldier turned around to see a “huge” Taliban fighter approaching him on the rooftop, a few feet away, having silently scaled the wall, and shot him.
While the mass of Taliban fired from an area of open ground, another crept into the compound and tried to climb the wall but he spotted him.
“I tried to fire my SA80 but it wouldn’t work,” he said.
“I don’t know if there was an obstruction or the magazine was finished.
“I threw my SA80 down and grabbed a sandbag but it wasn’t tied and all the sand dropped out.
“As I tried to jump into the sentry post I found a metal rod from the GPMG (machine gun) tripod and pulled it round and hit him.”
As he ran towards the Taliban fighter he gave a shout of “Marchu Talai” Nepalese for “I’m going to kill you."
A brief history of the Gurkha regiment, known for its fierce fighters, can be seen here.
"The Brigade of Gurkhas is one of the most decorated British Army Regiments and 13 of its soldiers have been awarded the Victoria Cross," the Telegraph says. "The Gurkha motto is 'Better to die than be a coward.'"