28 November 2008

Too much information, as usual

One author was, in the excessive way of youth, tempted to 'fill out' the Table of Organization for the Lurkers, and spent far too many hours creating a complete dossier on the unit, full of esoteric and obscure military details (an obsession he has not lost in the intervening years, though now it serves him when he writes his books).
The other author, wiser in his advanced years, merely shook his head at the sight of it and said "The Lurkers wouldn't have any of that and, if they did, they sure as shit wouldn't write it down."
Alas, he was right, and now it's all lost to posterity...

23 November 2008

How the Lurkers became the 14th Burmese

As another of the authors recalls, the name evolved as we were discussing how British military units seemed to accquire colorful, descriptive names...and we did not. Even honored units like the 82nd Airborne, or the 7th Cavalry, seemed a bit pale when held up to the 24th Regiment of Foot/South Wales Borderers, or the Peshawar Mountain Battery, the Coldstream Guards and, well, let's not even get started on the Scots Highland Regiments.

That night along the Usal River we formed the 14th Burmese Lurkers, a highly classified intelligence unit. Ostensibly formed in Rangoon in 1936, it was such a closely guarded secret that it has not been seen nor heard from since as they were, of course, always out in the bush, lurkin' about. But somehow their pay chits always manage to get cashed. In order to preserve their cover, the Lurkers evolved some very unusual traditions; e.g., the Regimental Anthem was never played by a band, only hummed softly under the breath, and then there was their distinctive salute, which was both hands stuffed into pants pockets.

All in all, not your typical military unit, in any man's army.