Two of the UK’s most elite units have gone toe-to-toe in an all out brawl after tensions reached boiling point while on an exercise in Kenya.
Trouble allegedly broke out when soldiers from 3rd Battalion, Parachute Regiment, launched their final ‘practice’ assault on the eight-week training package called Exercise Askari Storm in Kenya.
However troops from the Royal Gurkha Rifles, who were meant to be playing the enemy , hid in ambush to attack the Paras for real.
An Army spokesman said: “We can confirm that there was an incident involving soldiers during a training exercise in Kenya. This is under investigation by the Royal Military Police and it would be inappropriate to comment further.”
Many were injured and some hospitalised, according to insiders. “It was like a scene from a football hooligan film,” one told The Sun. “Soldiers were fighting using rifles and spare general-purpose machine gun barrels as clubs. A few of the guys were hospitalised, and there aren’t many without a bruise or gash.”
A grudge formed between the two units two years ago when another brawl broke out during the same exercise at Archer’s Post base in Nanyuki, Kenya.
“On this exercise the Paras had been winding the Gurkhas up throughout,” the insider said. “I’m not sure who you’d declare the winners; the Gurkhas used surprise well so they may have clinched it.”
An Army source said: “These are two of the most elite infantry units in the world training intensely. Things can boil over. They are soldiers — they fight.”
Both units possess possibly the strongest esprit des corps in any fighting unit worldwide. The Paras motto is Utrinque Paratus – meaning ‘ready for anything’, while the Gurkhas’s motto is Kaatar Hunnu Bhanda Marnu Ramro – ‘Better to die than to be a coward’.
While the exercise is over it would appear the feud is not – with many Paras taking to social media to express their readiness for another fight.