The British wanted a hundred
Max Boot recounts an anecdote from the military memoirs of John Masters, an officer in the colonial British Army:
…â€œstraightness, honesty, naturalness, loyalty, courageâ€â€”all qualities illustrated in a famous anecdote about a group of Gurkhas who in 1940 were asked to jump out of an airplane.
Only 70 men came forward at first. One hundred were needed. The British officers, crestfallen, â€œcalled upon the sacred honor of the regiment and vowed that parachutes neverâ€”well, hardly everâ€”failed to open.â€
Upon hearing this, a lance naik (lance corporal) happily exclaimed, â€œOh, we jump with these parachutes, do we? Thatâ€™s different.â€
And thereupon the entire regiment volunteered.[Max Boot/CFR]