Israeli Defense Force




DESCRIPTION : This UNIQUE , EXTREMELY RARE and ONE OF ITS KIND book , Is an Eretz Israeli military MANUAL - GUIDE regarding LAND MINES , ANTI -TANK MINES and ANTI - PERSONNEL MINES. This GUIDE BOOK - MANUAL , with a profusion of described ILLUSTRATED MINES helps the ISRAELI IDF SOLDIER IDENTIFYING the MINES , Operating them , Dismantling them and obviously CAUTION and SAFETY INSTRUCTIONS while DEFUSING them. The EXTREMELY RARE PUBLICATION was published only a few months after the PROCLAMATION of INDEPENDENCE - Namely " The DECLARATION of the ESTABLISSHMENT of the STATE of ISRAEL" ("The DECLARATION of INDEPENDENCE" - "The INDEPENDENCE SCROLL"). The MANUAL book was originaly published in 1948 Eretz Israel - Palestine (Fully dated).

An illustrated Jewish - Judaica - Hebrew book (Namely - manual). This UNIQUE edition is dated 1948 and it was published by the newly established IDF (Israel Defence Forces) - Right after the establishment of the INDEPENDENT STATE of ISRAEL and its formal and official ARMY - Namely the IDF - ZAHAL.

This GUIDE BOOK was definitely in use during the 1948 WAR of INDEPENDENCE by the IDF Jewish-Israeli warriors. The MANUAL depicts around 45 various mines which were in extensive use during the WW2. NUMEROUS German - Nazi mines , Italian mines , French mines, British mines, American mines, Arab mines and Eretz Israeli "Made In Israel" mines - Including 3 types of "JERUSALEM MINE". Each of the MINERS is described with an ILLUSTRATION and short Hebrew text. Around 4.5 x 4.58 throughout illustrated pp. Nicely preserved ULTRA RARE copy.

(Pls look at scan for accurate AS IS images) Will be sent inside a protective rigid envelope. AUTHENTICITY : This is an ORIGINAL vintage 1948 (dated) MANUAL - GUIDE book , IDF PUBLISHING , NOT a reproduction or a reprint , It holds a life long GUARANTEE for its AUTHENTICITY and ORIGINALITY. Will be sent inside a protective envelope.

Estimated Int'l duration around 14 days. An anti-tank mine (abbreviated to "AT mine") is a type of land mine designed to damage or destroy vehicles including tanks and armored fighting vehicles.

Compared to anti-personnel mines, anti-tank mines typically have a much larger explosive charge, and a fuze designed only to be triggered by vehicles or, in some cases, tampering with the mine. Contents 1 History 1.1 US Civil War 1.2 First World War 1.3 Inter-War 1.4 Second World War 1.5 Modern 2 Design 3 Dispersal systems 4 Off-route mines 5 Countermeasures 6 Combat use 6.1 Second World War 6.2 Indo-China 6.3 Southern Africa 7 See also 8 References 9 External links History[edit] US Civil War[edit] While obviously the anti-tank mine as such did not pre-date the deployment of tanks in 1916, essentially identical devices were used earlier against locomotives. For example, during the U. Civil War, Confederate forces created pressure-activated anti-railroad mines which destroyed at least two trains. [1] First World War[edit] The first anti-tank mines were improvised during the First World War as a countermeasure against the first tanks introduced by the British towards the end of the war.

Initially they were nothing more than a buried high-explosive shell or mortar bomb with its fuze upright. Later, purpose-built mines were developed, including the Flachmine 17, which was simply a wooden box packed with explosives and triggered either remotely or by a pressure fuze. By the end of the war, the Germans had developed row mining techniques, and mines accounted for 15% of U. Tank casualties during the Battle of Saint-Mihiel, Third Battle of the Aisne, Battle of Selle and Meuse-Argonne Offensive.

Inter-War[edit] The Soviet Union began developing mines in the early 1920s, and in 1924 produced its first anti-tank mine, the EZ mine. The mine, which was developed by Yegorov and Zelinskiy, had a 1 kg charge, which was enough to break the tracks of contemporary tanks.

Meanwhile, in Germany, defeat spurred the development of anti-tank mines, with the first truly modern mine, the Tellermine 29, entering service in 1929. It was a disc-shaped device approximately 30 cm across filled with about 5 kg of high explosives. A second mine, the Tellermine 35 was developed in 1935. Anti-tank mines were used by both sides during the Spanish Civil War. Notably, Republican forces lifted mines placed by Nationalist forces and used them against the Nationalists.

The Winter War between the Soviet Union and Finland also saw widespread use of anti-tank mines. Second World War[edit] Soviet TM-35 mine at the Museum of Heroic Defense and Liberation of Sevastopol on Sapun Mountain, Sevastopol The German Tellermine was a purpose-built anti-tank mine developed during the period between the first and second world wars, the first model being introduced in 1929. Some variants were of a rectangular shape, but in all cases the outer casing served only as container for the explosives and fuze, without being used to destructive effect e. Tellermine was the prototypical anti-tank mine, with many elements of its design emulated in the Pignone P-1, NR 25, and M6 mine (among others).

Because of its rather high operating pressure, a vehicle would need to pass directly over top of the mine to set it off. But since the tracks represent only about 20% of a tank's width, the pressure fuse had a limited area of effect.

As one source has it: Since they were pressure-detonated, these early anti-tank mines typically did most of their damage to a tank's treads, leaving its crew unharmed and its guns still operational but immobilised and vulnerable to aircraft and enemy anti-tank weapons... During World War II they (the Wehrmacht) began using a mine with a tilt-rod fuze, a thin rod standing approximately two feet up from the center of the charge and nearly impossible to see after the mine had been buried. As a tank passed over the mine, the rod was pushed forward, causing the charge to detonate directly beneath it. The blast often killed the crew and sometimes exploded onboard ammunition. Now that tank crews were directly at risk, they were less likely to plow through a minefield.

[2] Although other measures such as satchel charges, sticky bombs and bombs designed to magnetically adhere to tanks were developed, they do not fall within the category of land mines as they are not buried and detonated remotely or by pressure. The Hawkins mine was a British anti-tank device that could be employed as a mine laid on the road surface for a tank to run over setting off a crush fuze or thrown at the tank in which case a timer fuze was used.

Shaped charge devices like the Hohl-Sprung mine 4672 were also developed by Germany later in the war, although these did not see widespread use. The most advanced German anti-tank mine of the war was their minimal metal Topfmine. German Riegel mine 43 In contrast to the dinner plate mines such as the German Tellermine were bar mines such as the German Riegel mine 43 and Italian B-2 mine. These were long mines designed to increase the probability of a vehicle triggering it, the B2 consisted of multiple small shaped-charge explosive charges along its length designed to ensure a mobility kill against enemy vehicles by destroying their tracks. This form of mine was the inspiration for the British L9 bar mine.

Modern[edit] Anti Tank Mine used by Indian Army Several advances have been made in the development of modern anti-tank mines, including: more effective explosive payloads (different explosive compounds and shaped charge effects) use of non-ferrous materials making them harder to detect new methods of deployment (from aircraft or with artillery) more sophisticated fuzes e. Design[edit] More modern anti-tank mines are usually more advanced than simple containers full of explosives detonated by remote or the vehicles pressure. The biggest advances were made in the following areas: Power of the explosives (explosives such as RDX). Shaped charges to increase the armour piercing effect.

More advanced or specific detonation triggers. Most modern mine bodies or casings are made of plastic material to avoid easy detection. They feature combinations of pressure or magnetically activated detonators to ensure that they are only triggered by vehicles.

Dispersal systems[edit] There are several systems for dispersing mines to quickly cover wide areas, as opposed to a soldier laying each one individually. These system can take the form of cluster bombs or be artillery fired.

Cluster bombs contain several mines each, which could be a mixture of anti-personnel mines. When the cluster bomb reaches a preset altitude it disperses the mines over a wide area. Some anti-tank mines are designed to be fired by artillery, and arm themselves once they impact the target area.

Off-route mines[edit] Polish MPB mine. Off-route mines are designed to be effective when detonated next to a vehicle instead of underneath the vehicle. They are useful in cases where the ground or surface is not suitable for burying or concealing a mine.

They normally employ a MisznaySchardin shaped charge to fire a penetrating slug through the target armour. This self forging projectile principle has been used for some French and Soviet off route mines and has earned infamy as an improvised explosive devices (IED) technique in Israel and especially Iraq. Due to the critical standoff necessary for penetration and the development of standoff neutralization technologies, shaped charge off-route mines using the Munroe effect are more rarely encountered, though the British/French/German ARGES mine with a tandem warhead is an example of one of the more successful. The term "off-route mine" refers to purpose designed and manufactured anti-tank mines.

Explosively Formed Projectiles (EFPs) are one type of IED that was used in Iraq, but most "home made" IEDs are not employed in this manner. Countermeasures[edit] Main article: Demining The most effective countermeasure deployed against mine fields is mine clearing, using either explosive methods or mechanical methods. Explosive methods, such as the Giant Viper and the SADF Plofadder 160 AT, involve laying explosives across a minefield, either by propelling the charges across the field with rockets, or by dropping them from aircraft, and then detonating the explosive, clearing a path. Mechanical methods include plowing and pressure-forced detonation.

In plowing, a specially designed plow attached to the front end of a heavily armored tank is used to push aside the earth and any mines embedded in it, clearing a path as wide as the pushing tank. In pressure-forced detonation, a heavily armored tank pushes a heavy spherical or cylindrical solid metal roller ahead of it, causing mines to detonate. Casspir Personnel Carrier There are also several ways of making vehicles resistant to the effects of a mine detonation to reduce the chance of crew injury. In case of a mine's blast effect, this can be done by absorbing the blast energy, deflecting it away from the vehicle hull or increasing the distance between the crew and the points where wheels touch the groundwhere any detonations are likely to centre.

A simple, and highly effective, technique to protect the occupants of a wheeled vehicle is to fill the tires with water. [3] This will have the effect of absorbing and deflecting the mine's blast energy.

Steel plates between the cabin and the wheels can absorb the energy and their effectiveness is enhanced if they can be angled to deflect it away from the cabin. Increasing the distance between the wheels and passenger cabin, as is done on the South African Casspir personnel carrier, is an effective technique, although there are mobility and ease of driving problems with such a vehicle. A mine resistant vehicle can use a wedge-shaped passenger cabin, with the thin edge of the wedge downwards, to divert blast energy away from occupants. Improvised measures such as sandbags in the vehicle floor or bulletproof vests placed on the floor may offer a small measure of protection against tiny mines. Steel plates on the floor and sides and armoured glass will protect the occupants from fragments.

Mounting seats from the sides or roof of the vehicle, rather than the floor, will help protect occupants from shocks transmitted through the structure of the vehicle and a four-point seat harness will minimise the chance of injury if the vehicle is flung onto its side or its roofa mine may throw a vehicle 5 10 m from the detonation point. Police and military can use a robot to remove mines from an area. [4] Combat use[edit] Anti-tank mines have played an important role in most wars fought since they were first used.

Second World War[edit] Anti-tank mines played a major role on the Eastern front, where they were used in huge quantities by Soviet troops. The most common AT mines included the TM-41, TM-44, TMSB, YAM-5, and AKS. In the Battle of Kursk, combat engineers laid a staggering 503,663 AT mines, for a density of 1500 mines per kilometer. [5] This was four times greater than what was seen in the Battle of Moscow. Furthermore, mobile detachments were tasked with laying more mines directly in the path of advancing enemy tanks.

Each artillery battalion and, in some cases, each artillery battery, had a mobile reserve of 5 to 8 combat engineers equipped with 4 to 5 mines each. Their function was to mine unguarded tank approaches after the direction of the enemy attack had been definitely ascertained.

These mines proved highly effective in stopping and even in destroying many enemy tanks. [6] The Wehrmacht also relied heavily on anti-tank mines to defend the Atlantic Wall, having planted six million mines of all types in Northern France alone.

[7] Mines were usually laid in staggered rows about 500 yards (460 meters) deep. Along with the anti-personnel types, there were various model of Tellermines, Topfmines, and Riegel mines. On the Western front, anti-tank mines were responsible for 20-22% of Allied tank losses. [8] Since the majority of these mines were equipped with pressure fuzes (rather than tilt-rods), tanks were more often crippled than destroyed outright. Indo-China[edit] During the Vietnam War, both'regular' NVA and Viet Cong forces used AT mines.

These were of Soviet, Chinese or local manufacture. Anti-tank mines were also used extensively in Cambodia and along the Thai border, planted by Pol Pot's Maoist guerrillas and the Vietnamese army, which invaded Cambodia in 1979 to topple the Khmer Rouge. Millions of these mines remain in the area, despite clearing efforts. It is estimated that they cause hundreds of deaths annually. [9] Southern Africa[edit] Conflict in southern Africa since the 1960s have often involved Soviet, United States or South African supported irregular armies or fighters engaged in guerrilla warfare.

What makes these conflicts significant to the study of anti-tank mines is that they featured the widespread use of these mines in situations other than conventional warfare (or static minefields) and also saw the development of effective mine resistant vehicles. As a result, both Angola and Mozambique are littered with such devices to this day (as with Cambodia).

In the Angolan Civil War or South African Border War that covered vast sparsely populated area of southern Angola and northern Namibia, it was easy for small groups to infiltrate and lay their mines on roads before escaping again often undetected. The anti-tank mines were most often placed on public roads used by civilian and military vehicles and had a great psychological effect. Mines were often laid in complex arrangements.

One tactic was to lay multiple mines on top of each other to increase the blast effect. Another common tactic was to link together several mines placed within a few metres of each other, so that all would detonate when any one was triggered. RG-31 Mine Protected Armored Personnel Carrier (MP APC) in service with the US Army in Iraq in 2006 It was because of this threat that some of the first successful mine protected vehicles were developed by South African military and police forces. Chief amongst these were the Buffel and Casspir armoured personnel carriers and Ratel armoured fighting vehicle. They employed v-shaped hulls that deflected the blast force away from occupants.

In most cases occupants survived anti-tank mine detonations with only minor injuries. The vehicles themselves could often be repaired by replacing the wheels or some drive train components that were designed to be modular and replaceable for exactly this reason. Most countries involved in Middle Eastern peace keeping missions deploy modern developments of these vehicles like the RG-31 (Canada, United Arab Emirates, United States) and RG-32 (Sweden).

Anti-personnel mines may be classified into blast mines or fragmentation mines, the latter may or may not be a bouncing mine. The mines are often designed to injure, not kill, their victims in order to increase the logistical (mostly medical) support required by enemy forces that encounter them. Some types of anti-personnel mines can also damage the tracks on armoured vehicles or the tires of wheeled vehicles.

The International Campaign to Ban Landmines has sought to ban mines culminating in the 1997 Ottawa Treaty, although this treaty has not yet been accepted by a number of countries including the United States, Israel, Russia, the People's Republic of China, Pakistan and India. Contents 1 Use 2 Blast mines 2.1 Effect 2.2 Components 2.2.1 Mine casing 2.2.2 Pressure plate/fuze mechanism 2.2.3 Booster 2.2.4 Main charge 2.3 Deployment 3 Fragmentation mines 3.1 Effect 3.2 Types of fragmentation mine 3.2.1 Stake 3.2.2 Bounding 3.2.3 Directional 4 Gallery 5 Improvised explosive devices 6 Other mine types 7 Examples 8 Patentability 9 Criticism of name 10 See also 11 References 12 External links Use[edit] Italian Valmara 69 bouncing type anti-personnel mine Anti-personnel mines are used in a similar manner to anti-tank mines, in static "mine fields" along national borders or in defense of strategic positions as described in greater detail in the land mine article. What makes them different from most anti-tank mines, however, is their smaller size, which enables large numbers to be simultaneously deployed over a large area. This process can be done manually, via dispensers on land vehicles, or from helicopters or aircraft. Alternatively, they can be dispensed by cargo-carrying artillery shells. Other uses specific to anti-personnel mines are where they are deployed on an ad hoc basis in the following situations: When laying an ambush Protecting a temporary base To force any attackers to travel through a narrow, cleared path where firepower can be focused on the enemy To evade pursuit e. Their primary purpose is to blow the victim's foot or leg off, disabling them. Injuring, rather than killing, the victim is viewed as preferable in order to increase the logistical (evacuation, medical) burden on the opposing force. Effect[edit] When a person steps on a blast mine and activates it, the mine's main charge detonates, creating a blast shock wave consisting of hot gases travelling at extremely high velocity. The shock wave sends a huge compressive force upwards, ejecting the mine casing and any soil covering the mine along with it.

When the blast wave hits the surface, it quickly transfers the force into the subject's footwear and foot. This results in a massive compression force being applied.

In most cases, the victim's foot is blown off by the blast wave. The resulting injuries to a human body depend on the size of the mine's main charge, the depth, type of soil it was laid in and how the victim contacted it, e.

Stepping on the mine, using all or part of the foot. Different types of soil will result in different amounts of energy being transferred upward into the subject's foot, with saturated "clay-like" soil transferring the most. Larger main charges result in a release of significantly more energy, driving the blast wave further up a target's foot and leg and causing greater injury, in some cases even described as severe as traumatic amputation of the leg up to the knee.

[1] Secondary injuries from a blast mine are often caused by the material that has been torn loose by the mine's explosion. This consists of the soil and stones that were on top of the mine, parts of the victim's footwear and the small bones in the victim's foot. This debris creates wounds typical of similar secondary blast effects or fragmentation.

Special footwear, including combat boots or so-called "blast boots", is only moderately protective against the destructive effects of blast mines, and the loss of a foot is a typical outcome. Blast mines have little effect on armoured vehicles, but can damage a wheeled vehicle if it runs directly over the mine. Small blast mines will severely damage a tire, rendering it irreparable while some types could also damage adjacent running gear.

Components[edit] Typical components of an anti-personnel blast mine Mine casing[edit] The mine casing houses the components of the mine and protects it from its environment. Early mines, such as the ones used in the World War II era, had casings made of steel or aluminium.

However, by the middle of the conflict, the British Army was using the first, practical, portable metal detectorthe Polish mine detector. The Germans responded with mines that had a wooden or glass casing to make detection harder. Wooden mines had been used by the Russians in 1939, before the appearance of metal detectors, in order to save steel. Some, like the PP Mi-D mine, continued to be used into the 1980s as they were easy to make and hard to detect. Wood has the disadvantage of rotting and splitting, rendering the mine non-functional after a comparatively short time in the ground (or the advantage, in that the mine can be considered self-disabling, and will be less likely to cause unintended injuries years later). Mines manufactured after the 1950s generally use plastic casings to hinder detection by electronic mine detectors. Some, referred to as minimum metal mines, are constructed with as little metal as possible often around 1 gram (0.035 oz) to make them difficult to detect. Mines containing absolutely no metal have been produced, but are uncommon. By its nature, a mine without any metal components in it cannot be found using a metal detector. Pressure plate/fuze mechanism[edit] The fuze mechanism is designed to set off the detonator, either by striking it with a spring-loaded firing pin, compressing a friction sensitive pyrotechnic composition, or by passing an electric charge through it.

Most mines employ a spring-loaded striker that hits a stab detonator when activated by the victim. Typically, the detonator contains a tiny pellet of lead azide. The fuze is the most complicated component in any mine, although the amount of effort required to design and manufacture a simple fuze mechanism is quite low, similar to the retraction mechanism in a ballpoint pen. [citation needed] More sophisticated examples, such as the Italian SB-33 mine have a fuze mechanism that detonates the mine if subject to gradual, steady pressure, but locks the fuze if subject to a sudden shock.

This defeats one of the main methods of clearing a path through a minefield detonating the mines with explosive devices, such as mine-clearing line charges. Booster[edit] The booster charge is a highly sensitive explosive that will activate easily when subjected to the shock of the detonator. Typically, a pea-sized pellet of RDX is used. The purpose of the booster is to amplify the shock of the detonator and initiate the main explosive charge. Main charge[edit] The main charge consists of a stable explosive that is detonated by the booster charge. This is necessary, because making a mine out of a highly sensitive detonator or booster explosive would be more expensive, and make the device more sensitive and thereby susceptible to accidental detonation. In most AP blast mines TNT, Composition B or phlegmatized RDX are used. On a US M14 mine, 29 grams of tetryl is used, while 240 grams of TNT is used in a Russian PMN mine. Deployment[edit] Anti-personnel blast mines are the most common type and are typically deployed on the surface (hidden by leaves or rocks) or buried under soil at a depth of 10 20 mm. They are activated by pressure, i.

When the victim steps on them, but it could also be a vehicle driving over them. They were designed for use as area denial weapons. Weapons of this type are supposed to deny opposing military forces access to a specific area.

Fragmentation mines[edit] Stockmine M43 in a display case surrounded by other less lethal items While blast mines are designed to cause severe injury to one person, fragmentation mines (such as the World War II era German S-mine) are designed to project fragments across a wide area, causing fragmentation wounds to nearby personnel. [2] Fragmentation mines are generally much larger and heavier than blast mines, and contain a large amount (often several kilograms) of ferrous metal. As such, they are easy to detect if the environment is not too heavily contaminated with iron.

Effect[edit] These mines are deemed to be more efficient than purely "blast effect" mines, because the shrapnel covers a greater area, potentially injuring more combatants. The shrapnel from these mines can even disable some armoured vehicles, by puncturing their tires andin the case of soft-skinned vehiclesalso penetrating the skin and damaging internal components or injuring personnel. Because fragmentation mines generally contain a much larger charge than blast mines, they can cause severe damage to an unarmoured vehicle which runs directly over one. Types of fragmentation mine[edit] Stake[edit] These mines (such as the Russian POMZ) are entirely above ground, having a fragmenting warhead mounted on a stake at a suitable height, concealed by vegetation or rubbish and triggered by one or more tripwires. Bounding[edit] Bounding mines have a small lifting charge that, when activated, launches the main body of the mine out of the ground before it detonates at around chest height. This produces a more lethal spray of shrapnel over a larger area.

One suchthe US M16 minecan cause injuries up to 200 metres (660 ft) away. The steel shrapnel makes bounding mines easy to detect, so they may be surrounded by minimum metal mines to make mine clearance harder. Directional[edit] Directional fragmentation weapons (such as the M18 Claymore) differ from other types in that they are designed to direct their fragments only in a limited arc.

They are placed so that the blast will be directed at the target area and away from friendly forces. This design also allows forces to protect themselves by placing these types of mines near their own positions, but facing the enemy. They are triggered in a conventional manner with either tripwire or command detonation.

They are generally referred to as claymore mines from the US mine of this type. Gallery[edit] Bounding mine - German S-Mine Stake mine - a Yugoslav IMP mine with tripwire (Balkans 1996) Directional mine - Russian MON-50 Blast mine - American M14 Blast mines - Russian PMN1 and PMN2 Blast mine - Italian TS-50 in-situ Blast mine - Italian VS-MK2 (cross-sectional view) Bounding mine - Yugoslavian PROM-1 Improvised explosive devices[edit] In the conflicts of the 21st century, anti-personnel improvised explosive devices (IED) have replaced conventional or military landmines as the source of injury to dismounted (pedestrian) soldiers and civilians.

These injuries were recently reported in BMJ Open to be far worse than landmines, resulting in multiple limb amputations and lower body mutilation. [3] This combination of injuries has been given the name "Dismounted Complex Blast Injury" and is thought to be the worst survivable injury ever seen in war. [4] Other mine types[edit] British chemical mine c1940: Chemical Mine No 1 Mk 1 During World War II, flame mines known as the flame fougasse were produced by the British during the invasion crisis of 1940. Later, the Russians produced a flame-mine, called the FOG-1.

This was copied by the Germans to produce the Abwehrflammenwerfer 42, these devices were effectively disposable, trip-wire triggered flamethrowers. Chemical mines have also been made.

They were made by Britain, the US and the Soviet Union during World War II, but never deployed. During the Cold War, the US produced the M23 chemical mine containing VX (nerve agent). A small explosive charge burst the mine open and dispersed the chemical when the mine was triggered.

Examples[edit] World War II anti-personnel mines S-mine (Bouncing Betty): infamous German bouncing mine; widely copied after the war. Glasmine 43: German mine made largely from glass, to make it difficult to detect. PDM-6 and PMD-7: Russian World War II mines, made from wood. Post-War, US anti-personnel mines Gravel mines, 1960s1970s. Simple, small mine with no moving parts. Millions were dropped during the Vietnam War. M16: improved version of the German S-mine. Air-dropped mine used during the Vietnam War. GATOR mine system: modern dispersal system, includes AP (BLU-92/B) and anti-tank mines. M86 Pursuit Deterrent Munition: tripwire triggered bounding mine that automatically deploys its own tripwires. It is intended to be dropped by special forces when evading a pursuing enemy. Post-War, Russian anti-personnel mines PFM-1 (butterfly mine, NATO: Blue Parrot), modern.

MON-50: Russian directional mine; similar to the American M18 Claymore. PMN mine: one of the most commonly encountered mines during de-mining operations. MON-200: large mine with a 12 kg TNT charge. Also effective against light vehicles. Post-War, British anti-personnel mines HB 876 mine: 1970s1999.

An air dropped mine used as part of the JP233 runway attacking system. Each attack with a JP233 also dropped 215 HB 876s that were intended to make repair of the damaged runway slow and dangerous. Yugoslav anti-personnel mines MRUD: Directional mine similar to the M18 Claymore. Patentability[edit] Anti-personnel mines are a typical example of subject-matter excluded from patentability under the European Patent Convention, because the publication or exploitation of such inventions are contrary to the "ordre public" and/or morality Article 53(a) EPC.

[5] Criticism of name[edit] The author Rob Nixon has criticized the use of the adjective "anti-personnel" to describe mines, noting that the word "personnel" signifies people engaged in a particular organization, whereas in reality "four-fifths of mine casualties are civilians", in particular children. Thus, he argues, the name flatters their accuracy by implying that they target an organization, military or otherwise. Such a device is typically detonated automatically by way of pressure when a target steps on it or drives over it, although other detonation mechanisms are also sometimes used. [1] A land mine may cause damage by direct blast effect, by fragments that are thrown by the blast, or by both. The use of land mines is controversial because of their potential as indiscriminate weapons. They can remain dangerous many years after a conflict has ended, harming civilians and the economy. 78 countries are contaminated with land mines and 15,00020,000 people are killed every year while countless more are maimed. Approximately 80% of land mine casualties are civilian, with children as the most affected age group. Most killings occur in times of peace. [2] With pressure from a number of campaign groups organised through the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, a global movement to prohibit their use led to the 1997 Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their Destruction, also known as the Ottawa Treaty.

To date, 164 nations have signed the treaty, but these do not include China, the Russian Federation, and the United States. "[4][5] Similar in function is the booby-trap, which the Protocol defines as "any device or material which is designed, constructed or adapted to kill or injure and which functions unexpectedly when a person disturbs or approaches an apparently harmless object or performs an apparently safe act.

[5] Such actions might include opening a door or picking up an object. Normally, mines are mass-produced and placed in groups, while booby traps are improvised and deployed one at a time. [6] Also, booby traps can be non-explosive devices such as the punji stick. [7] Overlapping both categories is the improvised explosive device (IED), which is a device placed or fabricated in an improvised manner incorporating explosive material, destructive, lethal, noxious, incendiary, pyrotechnic materials or chemicals designed to destroy, disfigure, distract or harass.

They may incorporate military stores, but are normally devised from non-military components. [8] Some meet the definition of mines or booby traps and are also referred to as improvised, artisanal or locally manufactured mines.

[9] Other types of IED are remotely activated, so are not considered mines. [7] Remotely delivered mines are dropped from an aircraft or carried by devices such as artillery shells or rockets.

[5] Another type of remotely delivered explosive is the cluster munition, a device that releases several submunitions ("bomblets") over a large area. [10] If they do not explode, they are referred to as unexploded ordnance (UXO), along with unexploded artillery shells and other explosive devices that were not manually placed (that is, mines and booby traps are not UXOs). Explosive remnants of war (ERW) include UXO and abandoned explosive ordnance (AXO), devices that were never used and were left behind after a conflict.

[5][11] Land mines are divided into two types: anti-tank mines, which are designed to disable tanks or other vehicles; and anti-personnel mines, which are designed to injure or kill people. [9] History[edit] The history of land mines can be divided up into three main phases: In the ancient world, buried spikes provided many of the same functions as modern mines. Mines using gunpowder as the explosive were used from the Ming Dynasty to the American Civil War.

Subsequently, high explosives were developed and used in land mines. [12] Before explosives[edit] Roman caltrop Some fortifications in the Roman Empire were surrounded by a series of hazards buried in the ground.

These included goads, foot-long pieces of wood with iron hooks on their ends; lilia (lilies, so named after their appearance), which were pits in which sharpened logs were arranged in a five-point pattern; and abatis, fallen trees with sharpened branches facing outwards. As with modern land mines, they were "victim-operated", often concealed, and formed zones that were wide enough so that the enemy could not do much harm from outside, but were under fire (from spear throws, in this case) if they attempted to remove the obstacles. A notable use of these defenses was by Julius Caesar in the Battle of Alesia. His forces were besieging Vercingetorix, the leader of the Gauls, but Vercingetorix managed to send for reinforcements.

To maintain the siege and defend against the reinforcements, Caesar formed a line of fortifications on both sides, and they played an important role in his victory. Lilies were also used by Scots against the English at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314, and by Germans at the Battle of Passchendaele in the First World War. [13] A more easily deployed defense used by the Romans was the caltrop, a weapon about 1215 cm across with four sharp spikes that are oriented so that when it is thrown on the ground, one spike always points up. As with modern antipersonnel mines, caltrops are designed to disable soldiers rather than kill them; they are also more effective in stopping mounted forces, who lack the advantage of being able to carefully scrutinize each step they take (though forcing foot-mounted forces to take the time to do so has benefits in and of itself). They were used by the Jin Dynasty in China at the Battle of Zhongdu to slow down the advance of Genghis Khan's army; Joan of Arc was wounded by one in the Siege of Orléans; in Japan they are known as tetsu-bishu and were used by ninjas from the fourteenth century onwards.

Caltrops are still strung together and used as roadblocks in some modern conflicts. [13] Gunpowder[edit] See also: History of gunpowder East Asia[edit] Illustration of the "self-tripped trespass land mine" from the Huolongjing. Starting in the ninth century, the Chinese began centuries of experiments that resulted in gunpowder, an explosive mixture of sulfur, charcoal and potassium nitrate.

Gunpowder was first used in battle in the thirteenth century. An "enormous bomb", credited to Lou Qianxia, was used in 1277 by the Chinese at the Battle of Zhongdu, [14] although it probably had little effect.

Gunpowder was difficult to use in mines because it is hygroscopic, easily absorbing water from the atmosphere, and when wet is no longer explosive. [15] A 14th-century military treatise, the Huolongjing (Fire Dragon Manual), describes hollow cast iron cannonball shells filled with gunpowder. [16] The wad of the mine was made of hard wood, carrying three different fuses in case of defective connection to the touch hole. These fuses were long and lit by hand, so they required carefully timed calculation of enemy movements. [14] The Huolongjing also describes land mines that were set off by enemy movement.

A nine-foot length of bamboo was waterproofed by wrapping it in cowhide and covering it with oil. It was filled with compressed gunpowder and lead or iron pellets, sealed with wax and concealed in a trench. [14] The triggering mechanism was not fully described until the early 17th century. When the enemy stepped onto hidden boards, they dislodge a pin, causing a weight to fall. A cord attached to the weight was wrapped around a drum attached to two steel wheels; when the weight fell, the wheels struck sparks against flint, igniting a set of fuses to multiple mines.

A similar mechanism was used in the first wheellock musket in Europe as sketched by Leonardo da Vinci around 1500 AD. [17] Another victim-operated device was the "underground sky-soaring thunder", which lured bounty hunters with halberds, pikes, and lances planted in the ground. If they pulled on one of these weapons, the butt end disturbed a bowl underneath and a slow-burning incandescent material in the bowl ignited the fuses. [18][19] The fuse mechanisms for the above devices were cumbersome and unreliable.

[15] By the time Europeans arrived in China, landmines were largely forgotten. [20] Europe and the United States[edit] At Augsburg in 1573, three centuries after the Chinese invented the first pressure-operated mine, a German military engineer by the name of Samuel Zimmermann invented the Fladdermine (flying mine).

It consisted of a few pounds of black powder buried near the surface and was activated by stepping on it or tripping a wire that made a flintlock fire. Such mines were deployed on the slope in front of a fort. They were used during the Franco-Prussian War but were probably not very effective because a flintlock does not work for long when left untended. [15][20] Another device, the fougasse, was not victim-operated or mass-produced, but it was a precursor of modern fragmentation mines and the claymore mine. If consisted of a cone-shape hole with gunpowder at the bottom, covered either by rocks and scrap iron (stone fougasse) or mortar shells, similar to large black powder hand grenades (shell fougasse).

It was triggered by a flintlock connected to a tripwire on the surface. It could sometimes cause heavy casualties but required high maintenance due to the susceptibility of black powder to dampness. Consequently, it was mainly employed in the defenses of major fortifications, in which role it used in several European wars of the eighteenth century and the American Revolution. [20] One of the greatest limitations of early land mines was the unreliable fuses and their susceptibility to dampness. This changed with the invention of the safety fuse. Later, Command initiation, the ability to detonate a charge immediately instead of waiting several minutes for a fuse to burn, became possible after electricity was developed. An electrical current sent down a wire could ignite the charge with a spark. The Russians claim first use of this technology in the Russo-Turkish War of 18281829, and with it the fougasse remained useful until it was superseded by the claymore in the 1960s. [15] Victim-activated mines were also unreliable because they relied on a flintlock to ignite the explosive.

The percussion cap, developed in the early 19th century, made them much more reliable, and pressure-operated mines were deployed on land and sea in the Crimean War (18531856). [15] During the American Civil War, the Confederate brigadier general Gabriel J. Rains deployed thousands of "torpedoes" consisting of artillery shells with pressure caps, beginning with the Battle of Yorktown in 1862. As a Captain, Rains had earlier employed explosive booby traps during the Seminole Wars in Florida in 1840. [21][20] Over the course of the war, mines only caused a few hundred casualties, but they had a large effect on morale and slowed down the advance of Union troops.

[22] Many on both sides considered the use of mines barbaric, and in response, generals in the Union Army forced Confederate prisoners to remove the mines. [15] High explosives[edit] Starting in the 19th century, more powerful explosives than gunpowder were developed, often for non-military reasons such as blasting train tunnels in the Alps and Rockies. Guncotton, up to four times more powerful than gunpowder, was invented by Christian Schonbein in 1846. It was dangerous to make until Frederick Augustus Abel developed a safe method in 1865. From the 1870s to the First World War, it was the standard explosive used by the British military.

[6] In 1847, Ascanio Sobrero invented nitroglycerine to treat angina pectoris and it turned out to be a much more powerful explosive than guncotton. It was very dangerous to use until Alfred Nobel found a way to incorporate it in a solid mixture called dynamite and developed a safe detonator. Even then, dynamite needed to be stored carefully or it could form crystals that detonated easily. Thus, the military still preferred guncotton. [6] In 1863, the German chemical industry developed trinitrotoluene (TNT).

This had the advantage that it was difficult to detonate, so it could withstand the shock of firing by artillery pieces. It was also advantageous for land mines for several reasons: it was not detonated by the shock of shells landing nearby; it was lightweight, unaffected by damp, and stable under a wide range of conditions; it could be melted to fill a container of any shape, and it was cheap to make. Thus, it became the standard explosive in mines after the First World War. [6] Between the American Civil War and the First World War[edit] In their colonial conflicts, the British had fewer scruples about using mines than the Americans had in the Civil War. The British used mines in the Siege of Khartoum to hold off a much larger Sudanese Mahdist force for ten months. In the end, however, the town was taken and the British massacred. In the Boer War (18991903), they succeeded in holding Mafeking against Boer forces with the help of a mixture of real and fake minefields; and they laid mines alongside railroad tracks to discourage sabotage. [6] In the Russo-Japanese War of 19041905, both sides used land and sea mines, although the effect on land was mainly moral. The naval mines were far more effective, destroying several battleships.

[6] First World War[edit] Cutaway diagram of the S-mine One sign of the increasing power of explosives used in land mines was that, by the First World War, they burst into about 1,000 high-velocity fragments; in the Franco-Prussian War (1870), it had only been 20 to 30 fragments. [20] Nevertheless, antipersonnel mines were not a big factor in the war because machine guns, barbed wire and rapid-fire artillery were far more effective defenses. An exception was in Africa (now Tanzania and Namibia) where the warfare was much more mobile.

[6] Towards the end of the war, the British started to use tanks to break through trench defenses. The Germans responded with anti-tank guns and mines.

Improvised mines gave way to mass-produced mines consisting of wooden boxes filled with guncotton, and minefields were standardized to stop masses of tanks from advancing. [6] Between World Wars, the future Allies did little work on land mines, but the Germans developed a series of anti-tank mines, the Tellermines (plate mines). They also developed the Schrapnell mine (also known as the S-mine), the first bouncing mine. When triggered, this jumped up to about waist height and exploded, sending thousands of steel balls in all directions.

[6][20] Triggered by pressure, trip wires or electronics, [6] it could harm soldiers within an area of about 2800 square feet. [23] Second World War[edit] The Schu-mine 42, the most common mine used in the Second World War.

Tens of millions of mines were laid in the Second World War, particularly in the deserts of North Africa and the steppes of Eastern Europe, where the open ground favored tanks. However, the first country to use them was Finland. They were defending against a much larger Soviet force with over 6,000 tanks, twenty times the number the Finns had; but they had terrain that was broken up by lakes and forests, so tank movement was restricted to roads and tracks.

Their defensive line, the Mannerheim Line, integrated these natural defenses with mines, including simple fragmentation mines mounted on stakes. [20] While the Germans were advancing rapidly using blitzkrieg tactics, they did not make much use of mines. After 1942, however, they were on the defensive and became the most inventive and systematic users of mines. Their production shot up and they began inventing new types of mines as the Allies found ways to counter the existing ones.

They also took a formal approach to laying mines and they kept detailed records of the locations of mines. [24][20] In the Second Battle of El Alamein in 1942, the Germans prepared for an Allied attack by laying about half a million mines in two fields running across the entire battlefield and five miles deep. Nicknamed the Devil's gardens, they were covered by 88 mm anti-tank guns and small-arms fire.

The Allies prevailed, but at the cost of over half their tanks; 20 percent of the losses were caused by mines. [25] The Soviets learned the value of mines from their war with Finland, and when Germany invaded, they made heavy use of them, manufacturing over 67 million. At the Battle of Kursk, which put an end to the German advance, they laid over a million mines in eight belts with an overall depth of 35 kilometres.

[24] Mines forced tanks to slow down and wait for soldiers to go ahead and remove the mines. The main method of breaching minefields involved prodding the dirt with a bayonet or stick at an angle of 30 degrees (to avoid putting pressure on the top of the mine and detonating it). Since all mines at the beginning of the war had metal casings, metal detectors could be used to speed up the locating of mines. A Polish officer, Józef Kosacki, developed a portable mine detector known as the Polish mine detector. To counter the detector, Germans developed mines with wooden casings, the Schu-mine 42 (antipersonnel) and Holzmine 42 (anti-tank). Effective, cheap and easy to make, the schu mine became the most common mine in the war. Mine casings were also made of glass, concrete and clay. The Russians developed a mine with a pressed-cardboard casing, the PMK40, and the Italians made an anti-tank mine out of bakelite. In 1944, the Germans created the Topfmine, an entirely non-metallic mine. They ensured that they could detect their own mines by covering them with radioactive sand, but the Allies did not find this out until after the war. [24] Several mechanical methods for clearing mines were tried. Heavy rollers attached to tanks or cargo trucks, but they did not last long and their weight made the tanks considerably slower. Tanks and bulldozers pushed ploughs that in turn pushed aside any mines to a depth of 30 cm. The Bangalore torpedo, a long thin tube filled with explosives, was invented in 1912 and used to clear barbed wire. Larger versions such as the Snake and the Conger were developed but were not very effective. One of the best options was the flail, which chains with weights on the end attached to rotating drums.

The first version, the Scorpion, was attached to the Matilda tank and used in the Second Battle of El Alamein. The Crab, attached to the Sherman tank, was faster (2 kilometers per hour); it was used during D-Day and the aftermath.

[24] Cold War[edit] Claymore mine with firing device and electric blasting cap assembly During the Cold War, the members of NATO were concerned about massive armored attacks by the Soviet Union. They planned for a minefield stretching across the entire West German border, and developed new types of mine. The British designed an anti-tank mine, the Mark 7, to defeat rollers by detonating the second time it was pressed. It also had a 0.7-second delay so the tank would be directly over the mine. They also developed the first scatterable mine, the No.

The Americans used the M6 antitank mine and tripwire-operated bouncing antipersonnel mines such as the M2 and M16. [26] In the Korean War, land mine use was dictated by the steep terrain, narrow valleys, forest cover and lack of developed roads. This made tanks less effective and more easily stopped by mines.

However, mines laid near roads were often easy to spot. In response to this problem, the US developed the M24, a mine that was placed off to the side of the road. When triggered by a tripwire, it fired a rocket. However, the mine was not available until after the war. [26] The Chinese had a lot of success with massed infantry attacks.

The extensive forest cover limited the range of machine guns, but anti-personnel mines were effective. However, mines were poorly recorded and marked, often becoming as much a hazard to allies as enemies. Tripwire-operated mines were not defended by pressure mines; the Chinese were often able to disable them and reuse them against UN forces. [26] Looking for more destructive mines, the Americans developed the Claymore, a directional fragmentation mine that hurls steel balls in a 60 degree arc at a lethal speed of 1,200 metres per second.

They also developed a pressure-operated mine, the M14 ("toe-popper"). These, too, were ready too late for the Korean war. [26] The L9 Bar Mine In 1948, the British developed the No.

6 antipersonnel mine a minimum-metal mine with a narrow diameter, making it difficult to detect with metal detectors or prodding. Its three-pronged pressure piece inspired the nickname "Carrot Mine". However, it was unreliable in wet conditions. In the 1960s the Canadians developed a similar, but more reliable mine, the C3A1 ("Elsie") and the British army adopted it.

The British also developed the L9 Bar Mine, a wide anti-tank mine with a rectangular shape, which covered more area, allowing a minefield to be laid four times as fast as previous mines. They also upgraded the Dingbat to the Ranger, a plastic mine that was fired from a truck-mounted discharger that could fire 72 mines at a time. [26] In the 1950s, the US Operation Doan Brook studied the feasibility of delivering mines by air. This led to three types of air-delivered mine. Wide Area Anti-Personnel Mines (WAAPMs) were small steel spheres that discharged tripwires when they hit the ground; each dispenser held 540 mines. The BLU-43 Dragontooth was small and had a flattened W shape to slow its descent, while the Gravel mine was larger. Both were packed by the thousand into bombs. All three were designed to inactivate after a period of time, but any that failed to activate presented a safety challenge.

Over 37 million Gravel mines were produced between 1967 and 1968, and when they were dropped in places like Vietnam their locations were unmarked and unrecorded. A similar problem was presented by unexploded cluster munitions. [26] The next generation of scatterable mines arose in response to the increasing mobility of war. The Germans developed the Skorpion system, which scattered AT2 mines from a tracked vehicle.

The US developed a range of systems called the Family of Scatterable Mines (FASCAM) that could deliver mines by fast jet, artillery, helicopter and ground launcher. [26] Chemical and nuclear[edit] In the First World War, the Germans developed a device, nicknamed the Yperite Mine by the British, that they left behind in abandoned trenches and bunkers. It was detonated by a delayed charge, spreading mustard gas (Yperite).

In the Second World War they developed a modern chemical mine, the Spruh-Buchse 37 (Bounding Gas Mine 37), but never used it. [20] The United States developed the M1 chemical mine , which used mustard gas, in 1939; and the M23 chemical mine, which used the VX nerve agent, in 1960. [27] The Soviets developed the KhF, a "bounding chemical mine". [28] The French had chemical mines and the Iraqis were believed to have them before the invasion of Kuwait.

[29] In 1997, the Chemical Weapons Convention came into force, prohibiting the use of chemical weapons and mandating their destruction. As of 30 April 2019, 97% of the declared stockpiles of chemical weapons were destroyed. [30] For a few decades during the Cold War, the U.

Developed atomic demolition munitions, often referred to as nuclear land mines. These were portable nuclear bombs that could be placed by hand, and could be detonated remotely or with a timer. Some of these were deployed in Europe. Governments in West Germany, Turkey and Greece wanted to have nuclear minefields as a defense against attack from the Warsaw Pact. However, such weapons were politically and tactically infeasible, and by 1989 the last of these munitions was retired.

[31][32] The British also had a project, codenamed Blue Peacock, to develop nuclear mines to be buried in Germany; the project was cancelled in 1958. [33][34] Characteristics and function[edit] Section of an anti-tank mine. It has a firing mechanism such as a pressure plate; this triggers a detonator or igniter, which in turn sets off a booster charge. [35] Firing mechanisms and initiating actions[edit] A land mine can be triggered by a number of things including pressure, movement, sound, magnetism and vibration. [35] Anti-personnel mines commonly use the pressure of a person's foot as a trigger, but tripwires are also frequently employed.

Most modern anti-vehicle mines use a magnetic trigger to enable it to detonate even if the tires or tracks did not touch it. Advanced mines are able to sense the difference between friendly and enemy types of vehicles by way of a built-in signature catalog. This will theoretically enable friendly forces to use the mined area while denying the enemy access.

Many mines combine the main trigger with a touch or tilt trigger to prevent enemy engineers from defusing it. Land mine designs tend to use as little metal as possible to make searching with a metal detector more difficult; land mines made mostly of plastic have the added advantage of being very inexpensive. Some types of modern mines are designed to self-destruct, or chemically render themselves inert after a period of weeks or months to reduce the likelihood of civilian casualties at the conflict's end. These self-destruct mechanisms are not absolutely reliable, and most land mines laid historically are not equipped in this manner.

There is a common misperception that a landmine is armed by stepping on it and only triggered by stepping off, providing tension in movies. [36] In fact the initial pressure trigger will detonate the mine, as they are designed to kill or maim, not to make someone stand very still until it can be disarmed. The intention is to hinder deminers by discouraging any attempts to clear minefields.

Alternatively, some mines may mimic a standard design, but actually be specifically intended to kill deminers, such as the MC-3 and PMN-3 variants of the PMN mine. For this reason, the standard render safe procedure for mines is often to destroy them on site without attempting to lift them. Anti-tank mines[edit] Main article: Anti-tank mine Anti-tank mines were created not long after the invention of the tank in the First World War. At first improvised, purpose-built designs were developed. Set off when a tank passes, they attack the tank at one of its weaker areas the tracks. They are designed to immobilize or destroy vehicles and their occupants. Military terminology destroying the vehicles is referred to as a catastrophic kill while only disabling its movement is referred to as a mobility kill. Anti-tank mines are typically larger than anti-personnel mines and require more pressure to detonate.

The high trigger pressure, normally requiring 100 kilograms (220 lb) prevents them from being set off by infantry or smaller vehicles of lesser importance. More modern anti-tank mines use shaped charges to focus and increase the armor penetration of the explosives. Anti-personnel mines[edit] Main article: Anti-personnel mine Anti personnel mine in Cambodia Anti-personnel mines are designed primarily to kill or injure people, as opposed to vehicles.

They are often designed to injure rather than kill in order to increase the logistical support (evacuation, medical) burden on the opposing force. Some types of anti-personnel mines can also damage the tracks or wheels of armored vehicles. In the asymmetric warfare conflicts and civil wars of the 21st century, improvised explosives, known as IEDs, have partially supplanted conventional landmines as the source of injury to dismounted (pedestrian) soldiers and civilians. IEDs are used mainly by insurgents and terrorists against regular armed forces and civilians. The injuries from the anti-personnel IED were recently reported in BMJ Open to be far worse than with landmines resulting in multiple limb amputations and lower body mutilation. [37] Warfare[edit] A U. Army Explosive Ordnance Disposal technician removing the fuze from a Russian-made mine in order to clear a minefield outside of Fallujah, Iraq Argentinian minefield at Port William, Falkland Islands created in 1982; clearance inhibited by boggy terrain Land mines were designed for two main uses: To create defensive tactical barriers, channelling attacking forces into predetermined fire zones or slowing an invading force's progress to allow reinforcements to arrive. To act as passive area-denial weapons (to deny the enemy use of valuable terrain, resources or facilities when active defense of the area is not desirable or possible). Land mines are currently used in large quantities mostly for this first purpose, thus their widespread use in the demilitarized zones (DMZs) of likely flashpoints such as Cyprus, Afghanistan and Korea. As of 2013, the only governments that still laid land mines were Myanmar in its internal conflict, and Syria in its civil war. [38] In military science, minefields are considered a defensive or harassing weapon, used to slow the enemy down, to help deny certain terrain to the enemy, to focus enemy movement into kill zones, or to reduce morale by randomly attacking material and personnel.

In some engagements during World War II, anti-tank mines accounted for half of all vehicles disabled. Since combat engineers with mine-clearing equipment can clear a path through a minefield relatively quickly, mines are usually considered effective only if covered by fire. The extents of minefields are often marked with warning signs and cloth tape, to prevent friendly troops and non-combatants from entering them. Of course, sometimes terrain can be denied using dummy minefields. Most forces carefully record the location and disposition of their own minefields, because warning signs can be destroyed or removed, and minefields should eventually be cleared.

Minefields may also have marked or unmarked safe routes to allow friendly movement through them. Placing minefields without marking and recording them for later removal is considered a war crime under Protocol II of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons, which is itself an annex to the Geneva Conventions. Artillery and aircraft scatterable mines allow minefields to be placed in front of moving formations of enemy units, including the reinforcement of minefields or other obstacles that have been breached by enemy engineers.

They can also be used to cover the retreat of forces disengaging from the enemy, or for interdiction of supporting units to isolate front line units from resupply. In most cases these minefields consist of a combination of anti-tank and anti-personnel mines, with the anti-personnel mines making removal of the anti-tank mines more difficult. Mines of this type used by the United States are[citation needed] designed to self-destruct after a preset period of time, reducing the requirement for mine clearing to only those mines whose self-destruct system did not function. Some designs of these scatterable mines require an electrical charge (capacitor or battery) to detonate. After a certain period of time, either the charge dissipates, leaving them effectively inert or the circuitry is designed such that upon reaching a low level, the device is triggered, thus destroying the mine. Guerrilla warfare[edit] None of the conventional tactics and norms of mine warfare applies when they are employed in a guerrilla role:[citation needed] The mines are not used in a defensive role (for specific position or area).

Mined areas are not marked. Mines are usually placed singly and not in groups covering an area. Mines are often left unattended (not covered by fire).

Land mines were commonly deployed by insurgents during the South African Border War, leading directly to the development of the first dedicated mine-protected armoured vehicles in South Africa. [39] Namibian insurgents used anti-tank mines to throw South African military convoys into disarray before attacking them. [39] To discourage detection and removal efforts, they also laid anti-personnel mines directly parallel to the anti-tank mines. [40] This initially resulted in heavy South African military and police casualties, as the vast distances of road network vulnerable to insurgent sappers every day made comprehensive detection and clearance efforts impractical. [39] The only other viable option was the adoption of mine-protected vehicles which could remain mobile on the roads with little risk to their passengers even if a mine was detonated.

[39] South Africa is widely credited with inventing the v-hull, a vee-shaped hull for armoured vehicles which deflects mine blasts away from the passenger compartment. [39] During the ongoing Syrian Civil War, [41][42] Iraqi Civil War (20142017)[43] and Yemeni Civil War (2015present)[44] landmines have been used for both defensive and guerrilla purposes. Laying mines[edit] Minefield warning on the Golan Heights, still valid more than 40 years after creation of the field by the Syrian army Minefields may be laid by several means.

The preferred, but most labour-intensive, way is to have engineers bury the mines, since this will make the mines practically invisible and reduce the number of mines needed to deny the enemy an area. Mines can be laid by specialized mine-laying vehicles. Mine-scattering shells may be fired by artillery from a distance of several tens of kilometers. Mines may be dropped from helicopters or airplanes, or ejected from cluster bombs or cruise missiles. Anti-tank minefields can be scattered with anti-personnel mines to make clearing them manually more time-consuming; and anti-personnel minefields are scattered with anti-tank mines to prevent the use of armored vehicles to clear them quickly. Some anti-tank mine types are also able to be triggered by infantry, giving them a dual purpose even though their main and official intention is to work as anti-tank weapons. Some minefields are specifically booby-trapped to make clearing them more dangerous. Mixed anti-personnel and anti-tank minefields, anti-personnel mines under anti-tank mines, and fuses separated from mines have all been used for this purpose.

Often, single mines are backed by a secondary device, designed to kill or maim personnel tasked with clearing the mine. Multiple anti-tank mines have been buried in stacks of two or three with the bottom mine fuzed, in order to multiply the penetrating power.

Since the mines are buried, the ground directs the energy of the blast in a single directionthrough the bottom of the target vehicle or on the track. Another specific use is to mine an aircraft runway immediately after it has been bombed in order to delay or discourage repair. Some cluster bombs combine these functions. One example was the British JP233 cluster bomb which includes munitions to damage (crater) the runway as well as anti-personnel mines in the same cluster bomb. As a result of the anti-personnel mine ban it was withdrawn from British Royal Air Force service, and the last stockpiles of the mine were destroyed on 19 October 1999. [45] Demining[edit] Main article: Demining School posters in Karabakh educating children on mines and UXO British Royal Engineers practice mine clearance Metal detectors were first used for demining, after their invention by the Polish officer Józef Kosacki. [47][48] The Nazis used captured civilians who were chased across minefields to detonate the explosives.

According to Laurence Rees Curt von Gottberg, the SS-Obergruppenführer who, during 1943, conducted another huge anti-partisan action called Operation Kottbus on the eastern border of Belarus, reported that'approximately two to three thousand local people were blown up in the clearing of the minefields'. [49] Whereas the placing and arming of mines is relatively inexpensive and simple, the process of detecting and removing them is typically expensive, slow, and dangerous. This is especially true of irregular warfare where mines were used on an ad hoc basis in unmarked areas.

Anti-personnel mines are most difficult to find, due to their small size and the fact that many are made almost entirely of non-metallic materials specifically to escape detection. Manual clearing remains the most effective technique for clearing mine fields, although hybrid techniques involving the use of animals and robots are being developed.

Animals are desirable due to their strong sense of smell, which is more than capable of detecting a land mine. [50] Animals like rats and dogs can also differentiate between other metal objects and land mines because they can be trained to detect the explosive agent itself. [51] Other techniques involve the use of geo-location technologies.

A joint team of researchers at the University of New South Wales and Ohio State University is working to develop a system based on multi-sensor integration. [52] The laying of land mines has inadvertently led to a positive development in the Falkland Islands. Mine fields laid near the sea during the Falklands War have become favorite places for penguins, which do not weigh enough to detonate the mines. Therefore, they can breed safely, free of human intrusion.

These odd sanctuaries have proven so popular and lucrative for ecotourism that efforts exist to prevent removal of the mines. [53] International treaties[edit] Main article: Ottawa Treaty Party states to the Ottawa Treaty (in blue) The use of land mines is controversial because they are indiscriminate weapons, harming soldier and civilian alike. They remain dangerous after the conflict in which they were deployed has ended, killing and injuring civilians and rendering land impassable and unusable for decades.

To make matters worse, many factions have not kept accurate records (or any at all) of the exact locations of their minefields, making removal efforts painstakingly slow. These facts pose serious difficulties in many developing nations where the presence of mines hampers resettlement, agriculture, and tourism.

The International Campaign to Ban Landmines campaigned successfully to prohibit their use, culminating in the 1997 Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their Destruction, known informally as the Ottawa Treaty. The Treaty came into force on 1 March 1999. The treaty was the result of the leadership of the Governments of Canada, Norway, South Africa and Mozambique working with the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, launched in 1992. The campaign and its leader, Jody Williams, won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997 for its efforts. The treaty does not include anti-tank mines, cluster bombs or claymore-type mines operated in command mode and focuses specifically on anti-personnel mines, because these pose the greatest long term (post-conflict) risk to humans and animals since they are typically designed to be triggered by any movement or pressure of only a few kilograms, whereas anti-tank mines require much more weight (or a combination of factors that would exclude humans).

Existing stocks must be destroyed within four years of signing the treaty. Signatories of the Ottawa Treaty agree that they will not use, produce, stockpile or trade in anti-personnel land mines. In 1997, there were 122 signatories; the Treaty has now been signed by 162 countries. As of early 2016, 162 countries have joined the Treaty. Thirty-six countries, including the People's Republic of China, the Russian Federation and the United States, which together may hold tens of millions of stockpiled antipersonnel mines, are not party to the Convention.

[54] Another 34 have yet to sign on. The United States did not sign because the treaty lacks an exception for the Korean Demilitarized Zone. There is a clause in the treaty, Article 3, which permits countries to retain land mines for use in training or development of countermeasures. Sixty-four countries have taken this option. As an alternative to an outright ban, 10 countries follow regulations that are contained in a 1996 amendment of Protocol II of the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW).

The countries are China, Finland, India, Israel, Morocco, Pakistan, South Korea and the United States. Sri Lanka, which had adhered to this regulation announced in 2016, that it would join the Ottawa Treaty. [55] Manufacturers[edit] Before the Ottawa Treaty was adopted, the Arms Project of Human Rights Watch identified "almost 100 companies and government agencies in 48 countries" that had manufactured more than 340 types of antipersonnel landmines in recent decades. The largest producers were probably China, Italy and the Soviet Union. The companies involved included giants such as Daimler-Benz, the Fiat Group, the Daewoo Group, RCA and General Electric.

[56][57] As of 2017, the Landmine & Cluster Munition Monitor identified four countries that were "likely to be actively producing" land mines: India, Myanmar, Pakistan and South Korea. Another seven states reserved the right to make them but were probably not doing so: China, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Russia, Singapore, and Vietnam. [58] Impacts[edit] Throughout the world there are millions of hectares that are contaminated with land mines. [59] Casualties[edit] Countries with high numbers of land mine victims. Very high High Moderate From 1999 to 2017, the Landmine Monitor has recorded over 120,000 casualties from mines, IEDs and explosive remnants of war; it estimates that another 1,000 per year go unrecorded.

The estimate for all time is over half a million. In 2017, at least 2,793 were killed and 4,431 injured. 87% of the casualties were civilians and 47% were children (less than 18 years old).

The largest numbers of casualties were in Afghanistan (2,300), Syria (1,906), and Ukraine (429). [60] Environmental[edit] Natural disasters can have a significant impact on efforts to demine areas of land. For example, the floods that occurred in Mozambique in 1999 and 2000 may have displaced hundreds of thousands of land mines left from the war. Uncertainty about their locations delayed recovery efforts.

[59] Land degradation[edit] From a recent study by Asmeret Asefaw Berhe, land degradation caused by land mines "can be classified into five groups: access denial, loss of biodiversity, micro-relief disruption, chemical composition, and loss of productivity". The effects of an explosion depend on: (i) the objectives and methodological approaches of the investigation; (ii) concentration of mines in a unit area; (iii) chemical composition and toxicity of the mines; (iv) previous uses of the land and (v) alternatives that are available for the affected populations.

"[61] Access denial[edit] The most prominent ecological issue associated with landmines (or fear of them) is denial of access to vital resources (where "access" refers to the ability to use resources, in contrast to "property, the right to use them). [62] The presence and fear of presence of even a single landmine can discourage access for agriculture, water supplies and possibly conservation measures. [61] Reconstruction and development of important structures such as schools and hospitals are likely to be delayed, and populations may shift to urban areas, increasing overcrowding and the risk of spreading diseases. [63] Access denial can have positive effects on the environment. When a mined area becomes a "no-man's land", plants and vegetation have a chance to grow and recover.

Similarly, the Penguins of the Falkland Islands have benefited because they are not heavy enough to trigger the mines present. [64] However, these benefits can only last as long as animals, tree limbs, etc. Do not detonate the mines.

In addition, long idle periods could "potentially end up creating or exacerbating loss of productivity", particularly within land of low quality. [61] Loss of biodiversity[edit] Landmines can threaten biodiversity by wiping out vegetation and wildlife during explosions or demining. This extra burden can push threatened and endangered species to extinction. They have also been used by poachers to target endangered species. Displace people refugees hunt animals for food and destroy habitat by making shelters.

[61] Shrapnel, or abrasions of bark or roots caused by detonated mines, can cause the slow death of trees and provide entry sites for wood-rotting fungi. When landmines make land unavailable for farming, residents resort to the forests to meet all of their survival needs. This exploitation furthers the loss of biodiversity.

[61] Chemical contamination[edit] Near mines that have exploded or decayed, soils tend to be contaminated, particularly with heavy metals. Products produced from the explosives, both organic and inorganic substances, are most likely to be "long lasting, water-soluble and toxic even in small amounts".

[61] They can be implemented either "directly or indirectly into soil, water bodies, microorganisms and plants with drinking water, food products or during respiration". [61] Toxic compounds can also find their way into bodies of water accumulate in land animals, fish and plants.

They can act "as a nerve poison to hamper growth", with deadly effect. The Defence was the main paramilitary organization of the Jewish Yishuv in Mandatory Palestine between 1920 and 1948, which later became the core of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). Formed out of previous existing militias, its original purpose was to defend Jewish settlements from Arab attacks, such as the riots of 1920, 1921, 1929 and 19361939. It was under the control of the Jewish Agency, the official governmental body in charge of Palestine's Jewish community during the British Mandate. Until the end of the Second World War, Haganah's activities were moderate in accordance with the policy of havlaga ("self-restraint"), which caused the splitting of the more radical Irgun and Lehi. The Haganah sought cooperation with the British in the event of an Axis invasion of Palestine through North Africa, prompting the creation of the Palmach in 1941. With the end of World War II and British refusal to cancel the 1939 White Paper's restrictions on Jewish immigration, the Haganah turned to sabotage activities against the British authorities, including bombing bridges, rail lines, and ships used to deport illegal Jewish immigrants, as well as assisting in bringing Jews to Palestine in defiance of British policy. After the United Nations adopted a partition plan for Palestine in 1947, the Haganah came into the open as the biggest fighting force among Palestinian Jews, successfully overcoming Arab forces during the civil war.

Shortly after Israel's independence declaration and the beginning of the 1948 ArabIsraeli War, the Haganah was dissolved and became the official army of the state. Contents 1 History 1.1 Overview 1.2 1920 and 1921 Arab riots 1.3 1931 Irgun split 1.4 19361939 Arab revolt in Palestine 1.5 1939 White Paper 1.6 Patria disaster 1.7 World War II participation 1.8 1944 Lord Moyne assassination and the Season 1.9 Post World War II 1.10 Reorganisation 1.11 War of Independence 1.12 Pal-Heib Unit 2 See also 3 Notes 4 References 5 Further reading 6 External links History Overview The evolution of Jewish defense organisations in Palestine and later Israel went from small self-defense groups active during Ottoman rule, to ever larger and more sophisticated ones during the British Mandate, leading through the Haganah to the national army of Israel, the IDF. The evolution went step by step from Bar-Giora, to Hashomer, to Haganah, to IDF.

The Jewish paramilitary organisations in the New Yishuv (the Zionist enterprise in Palestine) started with the Second Aliyah (1904 to 1914). [2] The first such organization was Bar-Giora, founded in September 1907. At no time did Bar-Giora have more than 100 members. [citation needed] It was converted to Hashomer (Hebrew: ; "The Watchman") in April 1909, which operated until the British Mandate of Palestine came into being in 1920. Hashomer was an elitist organization with narrow scope, and was mainly created to protect against criminal gangs seeking to steal property.

During World War I, the forerunners of the Haganah/IDF were the Zion Mule Corps and the Jewish Legion, both of which were part of the British Army. After the Arab riots against Jews in April 1920, the Yishuv's leadership saw the need to create a nationwide underground defense organization, and the Haganah was founded in June of the same year. The Haganah became a full-scale defense force after the 19361939 Arab revolt in Palestine with an organized structure, consisting of three main unitsthe Field Corps, Guard Corps, and the Palmach strike force.

During World War II the successor to the Jewish Legion of World War I was the Jewish Brigade, which was joined by many Haganah fighters. During the 194748 civil war between the Arab and Jewish communities in what was still Mandatory Palestine, a reorganised Haganah managed to defend or wrestle most of the territory it was ordered to hold or capture.

At the beginning of the ensuing 194849 full-scale conventional war against regular Arab armies, the Haganah was reorganised to become the core of the new Israel Defense Forces. 1920 and 1921 Arab riots After the 1920 Arab riots and 1921 Jaffa riots, the Jewish leadership in Palestine believed that the British, to whom the League of Nations had given a mandate over Palestine in 1920, had no desire to confront local Arab gangs that frequently attacked Palestinian Jews. [3][4] Believing that they could not rely on the British administration for protection from these gangs, the Jewish leadership created the Haganah to protect Jewish farms and kibbutzim. The first head of the Haganah was a 28 year-old named Yosef Hecht, a veteran of the Jewish Legion. [5] In addition to guarding Jewish communities, the role of the Haganah was to warn the residents of and repel attacks by Palestinian Arabs.

In the period between 19201929, the Haganah lacked a strong central authority or coordination. Haganah "units" were very localized and poorly armed: they consisted mainly of Jewish farmers who took turns guarding their farms or their kibbutzim.

Following the 1929 Palestine riots, the Haganah's role changed dramatically. It became a much larger organization encompassing nearly all the youth and adults in the Jewish settlements, as well as thousands of members from the cities. It also acquired foreign arms and began to develop workshops to create hand grenades and simple military equipment, transforming from an untrained militia to a capable underground army. 1931 Irgun split Many Haganah fighters objected to the official policy of havlagah (restraint) that Jewish political leaders (who had become increasingly controlling of the Haganah) had imposed on the militia. Fighters had been instructed to only defend communities and not initiate counterattacks against Arab gangs or their communities.

This policy appeared defeatist to many who believed that the best defense is a good offense. In 1931, the more militant elements of the Haganah splintered off and formed the Irgun Tsva'i-Leumi (National Military Organization), better known as "Irgun" (or by its Hebrew acronym, pronounced "Etzel"). 19361939 Arab revolt in Palestine Haganah fighters guarding Migdal Tzedek, 1936 During the 19361939 Arab revolt in Palestine, the Haganah worked to protect British interests and to quell Arab rebellion using the FOSH, and then Hish units. At that time, the Haganah fielded 10,000 mobilized men along with 40,000 reservists. Although the British administration did not officially recognize the Haganah, the British security forces cooperated with it by forming the Jewish Settlement Police, Jewish Supernumerary Police and Special Night Squads, which were trained and led by Colonel Orde Wingate. The battle experience gained during the training was useful in the 1948 ArabIsraeli War. 1939 White Paper By 1939, the British had issued the White Paper, which severely restricted Jewish immigration to Palestine, deeply angering the Zionist leadership. David Ben-Gurion, then chairman of the Jewish Agency, set the policy for the Zionist relationship with the British: We shall fight the war against Hitler as if there were no White Paper, and we shall fight the White Paper as if there were no war. In reaction to the White Paper, the Haganah built up the Palmach as the Haganah's elite strike force and organized illegal Jewish immigration to Palestine.

Approximately 100,000 Jews were brought to Palestine in over one hundred ships during the final decade of what became known as Aliyah Bet. The Haganah also organized demonstrations against British immigration quotas. [6][7] World War II participation Marching Jewish troops in the British army (1942) In the first years of World War II, the British authorities asked Haganah for cooperation again, due to the fear of an Axis breakthrough in North Africa. [citation needed] After Rommel was defeated at El Alamein in 1942, the British stepped back from their all-out support for Haganah. [citation needed] In 1943, after a long series of requests and negotiations, the British Army announced the creation of the Jewish Brigade Group.

While Palestinian Jews had been permitted to enlist in the British army since 1940, this was the first time an exclusively Jewish military unit served in the war under a Jewish flag. The Jewish Brigade Group consisted of 5,000 soldiers and was initially deployed with the 8th Army in North Africa and later in Italy in September 1944.

The brigade was disbanded in 1946. [citation needed] All in all, some 30,000 Palestinian Jews served in the British army during the war. [8] On May 14, 1941, the Haganah created the Palmach (an acronym for Plugot Mahatzstrike companies), an elite commando section, in preparation against the possibility of a British withdrawal and Axis invasion of Palestine. Its members, young men and women, received specialist training in guerilla tactics and sabotage.

[9] During 1942 the British gave assistance in the training of Palmach volunteers but in early 1943 they withdrew their support and attempted to disarm them. [10] The Palmach, then numbering over 1,000, continued as an underground organisation with its members working half of each month as kibbutz volunteers, the rest of the month spent training.

[11] It was never largeby 1947 it amounted to merely five battalions (about 2,000 men)but its members had not only received physical and military training, but also acquired leadership skills that would subsequently enable them to take up command positions in Israel's army. 1944 Lord Moyne assassination and the Season In 1944, after the assassination of Lord Moyne (the British Minister of State for the Middle East), by members of the Lehi, the Haganah worked with the British to kidnap, interrogate, and in some cases, deport Irgun members.

This action, which lasted from November 1944 to February 1945, was called the Saison, or the Hunting Season, and was directed against the Irgun and not the Lehi. [citation needed] Future Jerusalem mayor Teddy Kollek was later revealed to be a Jewish Agency liaison officer working with the British authorities who had passed on information that led to the arrest of many Irgun activists.

[12] Many Jewish youth, who had joined the Haganah in order to defend the Jewish people, were greatly demoralized by operations against their own people. [13] The Irgun, paralyzed by the Saison, were ordered by their commander, Menachem Begin, not to retaliate in an effort to avoid a full blown civil war.

Although many Irgunists objected to these orders, they obeyed Begin and refrained from fighting back. The Saison eventually ended due to perceived British betrayal of the Yishuv becoming more obvious to the public and increased opposition from Haganah members. Within this new framework, the three groups agreed to operate under a joint command.

They had different functions, which served to drive the British out of Palestine and create a Jewish state. The Haganah was less active in the Jewish Rebellion than the other two groups, but the Palmach did carry out anti-British operations, including a raid on the Atlit detainee camp that released 208 illegal immigrants, the Night of the Trains, the Night of the Bridges, and attacks on Palestine Police bases. [14] The Haganah withdrew on 1 July 1946, but "remained permanently unco-operative" with the British authorities. [15] It continued to organize illegal Jewish immigration as part of the Aliyah Bet program, in which ships carrying illegal immigrants attempted to breach the British blockade of Palestine and land illegal immigrants on the shore (most were intercepted by the Royal Navy), and the Palmach performed operations against the British to support the illegal immigration program. The Palmach repeatedly bombed British radar stations being used to track illegal immigrant ships, and sabotaged British ships being used to deport illegal immigrants, as well as two British landing and patrol craft.

[16] The Palmach performed a single assassination operation in which a British official who had been judged to be excessively cruel to Jewish prisoners was shot dead. [17] The Haganah also organized the Birya affair. Following the expulsion of the residents of the Jewish settlement of Birya for illegal weapons possession, thousands of Jewish youth organized by the Haganah marched to the site and rebuilt the settlement. [18] In addition to its operations, the Haganah continued to secretly prepare for a war with the Arabs once the British left by building up its arms and munitions stocks. It maintained a secret arms industry, with the most significant facility being an underground bullet factory underneath Ayalon, a kibbutz that had been established specifically to cover it up. [19] British estimates of the Haganah's strength at this time were a paper strength of 75,000 men and women with an effective strength of 30,000. [20] After the British army, the Haganah was considered the most powerful military force in the Middle East. [21] In July 1947, eager to maintain order with the visit of UNSCOP to Palestine and under heavy pressure from the British authorities to resume collaboration, the Jewish Agency reluctantly came into brief conflict with the Irgun and Lehi, and ordered the Haganah to put a stop to the operations of the other two groups for the time being. As Palmach members refused to participate, a unit of about 200 men from regular Haganah units was mobilized, and foiled several operations against the British, including a potentially devastating attack on the British military headquarters at Citrus House in Tel Aviv, in which a Haganah member was killed by an Irgun bomb. The Haganah also joined the search for two British sergeants abducted by the Irgun as hostages against the death sentences of three Irgun members in what became known as the Sergeants' affair.

The Jewish Agency leadership feared the damage this act would do to the Jewish cause, and also believed that holding the hostages would only jeopardize the fates of the three condemned Irgun members. The attempts to free the sergeants failed, and following the executions of the three Irgun members, the two sergeants were killed and hanged in a eucalyptus grove. However, the campaign soon disintegrated into a series of retaliatory abductions and beatings of each other's members by the Haganah and Irgun, and eventually petered out.

The campaign was dubbed the "Little Season" by the Irgun. [13][22] Reorganisation Theatre of Operation of each Haganah brigade.

After'having gotten the Jews of Palestine and of elsewhere to do everything that they could, personally and financially, to help Yishuv,' Ben-Gurion's second greatest achievement was his having successfully transformed Haganah from being a clandestine paramilitary organization into a true army. [23] Ben-Gurion appointed Israel Galili to the position of head of the High Command counsel of Haganah and divided Haganah into 6 infantry brigades, numbered 1 to 6, allotting a precise theatre of operation to each one. Yaakov Dori was named Chief of Staff, but it was Yigael Yadin who assumed the responsibility on the ground as chief of Operations. Palmach, commanded by Yigal Allon, was divided into 3 elite brigades, numbered 1012, and constituted the mobile force of Haganah.

[24] Ben-Gurion's attempts to retain personal control over the newly formed IDF lead later in July to The Generals' Revolt. On 19 November 1947, obligatory conscription was instituted for all men and women aged between 17 and 25. By end of March 21,000 people had been conscripted.

[25][26] On 30 March the call-up was extended to men and single women aged between 26 and 35. Five days later a General Mobilization order was issued for all men under 40.

[27] From November 1947, the Haganah, ... Began to change from a territorial militia into a regular army.

Few of the units had been well trained by December. By MarchApril, it fielded still under-equipped battalion and brigades. By AprilMay, the Haganah was conducting brigade size offensive. [28] The brigades of the Haganah which merged into the IDF once this was created on 26 May 1948: The northern Levanoni Brigade, located in the Galilee, was split on February 22, 1948 into the 1st and 2nd Brigades.

The 1st or Golani Brigade was deployed in the Lower Galilee The 2nd or Carmeli Brigade was deployed in the north and took its name after its commander, Moshe Carmel The 3rd or Alexandroni Brigade formed on December 1, 1947 and dismantled in the summer of 1949 The 4th or Kiryati Brigade formed in 1948 in the Tel Aviv area The 5th or Givati Brigade formed in December 1947. During civil war the Givati Brigade was deployed in the central region, and during the conventional war in the south as the 5th Brigade The 6th or Etzioni or Jerusalem Brigade headquartered in Netanya, it covered the area from Tel Aviv to Zichron Ya'akov[29][30] The Haganah mobilized Jewish youth for military training To the initial six brigades, three were added later during the war: The 7th Brigade, in Hebrew "Hativat Sheva" formed in 1948, manned mainly with Holocaust survivors and including a number of Machal troops. Almost annihilated at Latrun, then re-formed in the north.

It had tanks and mounted infantry. The 8th Brigade founded on May 24, 1948 and subordinated to Yitzhak Sadeh as the IDF's first armoured brigade, headquartered near Jerusalem. The 9th or Oded Brigade headquartered in Jerusalem. The Palmach brigades which merged into the IDF: The 10th or Harel Brigade established on 16 April 1948 The 11th or Yiftach Brigade The 12th or Negev Brigade established in March 1948 War of Independence Main article: 1948 Palestine War Haganah fighters in 1947 Haganah female officer in 1948 After the British announced they would withdraw from Palestine, and the United Nations approved the partition of Palestine, the 1947-48 Civil War in Mandatory Palestine broke out. The Haganah played the leading role in the Yishuv's war with the Palestinian Arabs.

Initially, it concentrated on defending Jewish areas from Arab raids, but after the danger of British intervention subsided as the British withdrew, the Haganah went on the offensive and seized more territory. Following the Israeli Declaration of Independence and the start of the 1948 ArabIsraeli War on May 15, 1948, the Haganah, now the army of the new state, engaged the invading armies of the surrounding Arab states. [13] On May 28, 1948, less than two weeks after the creation of the state of Israel on May 15, the provisional government created the Israel Defense Forces, merging the Haganah, Irgun, and Lehi, although the other two groups continued to operate independently in Jerusalem and abroad for some time after. [13] The re-organisation led to several conflicts between Ben-Gurion and the Haganah leadership, including what was known as The Generals' Revolt and the dismantling of the Palmach. Famous members of the Haganah included Yitzhak Rabin, Ariel Sharon, Rehavam Ze'evi, Dov Hoz, Moshe Dayan, Yigal Allon and Dr.

The Museum of Underground Prisoners in Jerusalem commemorates the activity of the underground groups in the pre-state period, recreating the everyday life of those imprisoned there. Pal-Heib Unit Some Bedouins had longstanding ties with nearby Jewish communities. They helped defend these communities in the 19361939 Arab revolt in Palestine. During the 1948 ArabIsraeli War, some Bedouins of Tuba formed an alliance with the Haganah defending Jewish communities in the Upper Galilee against Syria. Some were part of a Pal-Heib unit of the Haganah. Sheik Hussein Mohammed Ali Abu Yussef of Tuba was quoted in 1948 as saying, Is it not written in the Koran that the ties of neighbors are as dear as those of relations? Our friendship with the Jews goes back many years. We felt we could trust them and they learned from us too. [31] The 1948 (or First) ArabIsraeli War was the second and final stage of the 194749 Palestine war. It formally began following the end of the British Mandate for Palestine at midnight on 14 May 1948; the Israeli Declaration of Independence had been issued earlier that day, and a military coalition of Arab states entered the territory of British Palestine in the morning of 15 May. The first deaths of the 194749 Palestine war occurred on 30 November 1947 during an ambush of two buses carrying Jews.

[13] There had been tension and conflict between the Arabs and the Jews, and between each of them and the British forces since the 1917 Balfour Declaration and the 1920 creation of the British Mandate of Palestine. British policies dissatisfied both Arabs and Jews. Arabs opposition developed into the 19361939 Arab revolt in Palestine, while the Jewish resistance developed into the Jewish insurgency in Palestine (19441947). In 1947, these on-going tensions erupted into civil war following the 29 November 1947 adoption of the United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine, which planned to divide Palestine into an Arab state, a Jewish state, and the Special International Regime encompassing the cities of Jerusalem and Bethlehem. On 15 May 1948, the civil war transformed into a conflict between Israel and the Arab states following the Israeli Declaration of Independence the previous day.

Egypt, Jordan, Syria, and expeditionary forces from Iraq entered Palestine, even though Jordan had declared privately to Yishuv emissaries on 2 May that it would not attack the Jewish state. [14] The invading forces took control of the Arab areas and immediately attacked Israeli forces and several Jewish settlements. [15][16][17] The 10 months of fighting took place mostly on the territory of the British Mandate and in the Sinai Peninsula and southern Lebanon, interrupted by several truce periods. [18] As a result of the war, the State of Israel controlled the area that UN General Assembly Resolution 181 had recommended for the proposed Jewish state, as well as almost 60-percent of the area of Arab state proposed by the 1947 Partition Plan, [19] including the Jaffa, Lydda, and Ramle area, Galilee, some parts of the Negev, a wide strip along the Tel AvivJerusalem road, West Jerusalem, and some territories in the West Bank. Transjordan took control of the remainder of the former British mandate, which it annexed, and the Egyptian military took control of the Gaza Strip. At the Jericho Conference on 1 December 1948, 2,000 Palestinian delegates called for unification of Palestine and Transjordan as a step toward full Arab unity. [20] The conflict triggered significant demographic change throughout the Middle East. Around 700,000 Palestinian Arabs fled or were expelled from their homes in the area that became Israel, and they became Palestinian refugees[21] in what they refer to as Al-Nakba ("the catastrophe"). In the three years following the war, about 700,000 Jews emigrated to Israel, many of whom had been expelled from their previous homelands in the Middle East. [22] Contents 1 Background 1.1 Armed forces 1.1.1 Importing arms 1.1.2 Arms production 1.1.3 Manpower 1.1.4 Irgun 1.1.5 Arab forces 2 Political objectives 2.1 Yishuv 2.2 Arab League as a whole 2.3 King Abdullah I of Jordan 2.4 Other Arab states 2.5 Arab Higher Committee of Amin al-Husayni 3 Initial line-up of forces 3.1 Military assessments 3.2 Yishuv/Israeli forces 3.3 Arab forces 3.3.1 Arab states 4 Course of the war 4.1 First phase: 15 May 11 June 1948 4.1.1 Southern front Negev 4.1.2 Battles of Latrun 4.1.3 Battle for Jerusalem 4.1.4 Northern Samaria 4.1.5 Northern front Lake of Galilee 4.1.6 Palestinian forces 4.1.7 Air operations 4.1.8 Sea battles 4.1.9 End of the first phase 4.2 First truce: 11 June 8 July 1948 4.2.1 Reinforcements 4.2.2 UN mediator Bernadotte 4.3 Second phase: 818 July 1948 ("Ten Day Battles") 4.3.1 Southern front 4.3.2 Lydda and al-Ramla 4.3.3 Jerusalem 4.3.4 Southern Galilee 4.3.5 Eastern Galilee 4.4 Second truce: 18 July 15 October 1948 4.5 Little triangle pocket 4.6 Third phase: 15 October 1948 10 March 1949 4.6.1 Northern front Galilee 4.6.2 Negev 4.6.3 Anglo-Israeli air clashes 4.6.4 UN Resolution 194 5 Weapons 6 Aftermath 6.1 1949 Armistice Agreements 6.2 Casualties 6.3 Demographic outcome 6.3.1 Palestinian Arabs 6.3.2 Jews 7 Historiography 8 In popular culture 9 Maps 10 See also 11 Notes 12 Notes 13 References 14 Further reading 14.1 History 14.2 Fiction 15 External links Background Main articles: 1947 UN Partition Plan and 194748 Civil War in Mandatory Palestine Proposed separation of Palestine On 29 November 1947, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution recommending the adoption and implementation of a plan to partition the British Mandate of Palestine into two states, one Arab and one Jewish, and the City of Jerusalem. [23] The General Assembly resolution on Partition was greeted with overwhelming joy in Jewish communities and widespread outrage in the Arab world. In Palestine, violence erupted almost immediately, feeding into a spiral of reprisals and counter-reprisals. The British refrained from intervening as tensions boiled over into a low-level conflict that quickly escalated into a full-scale civil war. [24][25][26][27][28][29] From January onwards, operations became increasingly militarized, with the intervention of a number of Arab Liberation Army regiments inside Palestine, each active in a variety of distinct sectors around the different coastal towns. They consolidated their presence in Galilee and Samaria. [30] Abd al-Qadir al-Husayni came from Egypt with several hundred men of the Army of the Holy War.

Having recruited a few thousand volunteers, al-Husayni organized the blockade of the 100,000 Jewish residents of Jerusalem. [31] To counter this, the Yishuv authorities tried to supply the city with convoys of up to 100 armoured vehicles, but the operation became more and more impractical as the number of casualties in the relief convoys surged. By March, Al-Hussayni's tactic had paid off. Almost all of Haganah's armoured vehicles had been destroyed, the blockade was in full operation, and hundreds of Haganah members who had tried to bring supplies into the city were killed. [32] The situation for those who dwelt in the Jewish settlements in the highly isolated Negev and North of Galilee was even more critical.

While the Jewish population had received strict orders requiring them to hold their ground everywhere at all costs, [33] the Arab population was more affected by the general conditions of insecurity to which the country was exposed. Up to 100,000 Arabs, from the urban upper and middle classes in Haifa, Jaffa and Jerusalem, or Jewish-dominated areas, evacuated abroad or to Arab centres eastwards.

[34] This situation caused the United States to withdraw its support for the Partition plan, thus encouraging the Arab League to believe that the Palestinian Arabs, reinforced by the Arab Liberation Army, could put an end to the plan for partition. The British, on the other hand, decided on 7 February 1948, to support the annexation of the Arab part of Palestine by Transjordan. [35] Although a certain level of doubt took hold among Yishuv supporters, their apparent defeats were due more to their wait-and-see policy than to weakness. David Ben-Gurion reorganized Haganah and made conscription obligatory. Every Jewish man and woman in the country had to receive military training. Thanks to funds raised by Golda Meir from sympathisers in the United States, and Stalin's decision to support the Zionist cause, the Jewish representatives of Palestine were able to sign very important armament contracts in the East. Other Haganah agents recuperated stockpiles from the Second World War, which helped improve the army's equipment and logistics. Operation Balak allowed arms and other equipment to be transported for the first time by the end of March. Palmach M4 Sherman tank leading a convoy. Ben-Gurion invested Yigael Yadin with the responsibility to come up with a plan of offense whose timing was related to the foreseeable evacuation of British forces. This strategy, called Plan Dalet, was readied by March and implemented towards the end of April. [36] A separate plan, Operation Nachshon, was devised to lift the siege of Jerusalem. [37] 1500 men from Haganah's Givati brigade and Palmach's Harel brigade conducted sorties to free up the route to the city between 5 and 20 April.

Both sides acted offensively in defiance of the Partition Plan, which foresaw Jerusalem as a corpus separatum, under neither Jewish nor Arab jurisdiction. The Arabs did not accept the Plan, while the Jews were determined to oppose the internationalization of the city, and secure it as part of the Jewish state.

[38] The operation was successful, and enough foodstuffs to last two months were trucked into Jerusalem for distribution to the Jewish population. [39] The success of the operation was assisted by the death of al-Husayni in combat.

During this time, and independently of Haganah or the framework of Plan Dalet, irregular fighters from Irgun and Lehi formations massacred a substantial number of Arabs at Deir Yassin, an event that, though publicly deplored and criticized by the principal Jewish authorities, had a deep impact on the morale of the Arab population and contributed to generate the exodus of the Arab population. At the same time, the first large-scale operation of the Arab Liberation Army ended in a debacle, having been roundly defeated at Mishmar HaEmek, [40] coinciding with the loss of their Druze allies through defection.

[41] Within the framework of the establishment of Jewish territorial continuity foreseen by Plan Dalet, the forces of Haganah, Palmach and Irgun intended to conquer mixed zones. The Palestinian Arab society was shaken. Tiberias, Haifa, Safed, Beisan, Jaffa and Acre fell, resulting in the flight of more than 250,000 Palestinian Arabs. [42] The British had, at that time, essentially withdrawn their troops. The situation pushed the leaders of the neighbouring Arab states to intervene, but their preparation was not finalized, and they could not assemble sufficient forces to turn the tide of the war.

The majority of Palestinian Arab hopes lay with the Arab Legion of Transjordan's monarch, King Abdullah I, but he had no intention of creating a Palestinian Arab-run state, since he hoped to annex as much of the territory of the British Mandate for Palestine as he could. He was playing a double-game, being just as much in contact with the Jewish authorities as with the Arab League. In preparation for the offensive, Haganah successfully launched Operations Yiftah[43] and Ben-'Ami[44] to secure the Jewish settlements of Galilee, and Operation Kilshon, which created a united front around Jerusalem. The inconclusive meeting between Golda Meir and Abdullah I, followed by the Kfar Etzion massacre on 13 May by the Arab Legion led to predictions that the battle for Jerusalem would be merciless. On 14 May 1948, David Ben-Gurion declared the establishment of the State of Israel and the 1948 Palestine war entered its second phase with the intervention of the Arab state armies and the beginning of the 1948 ArabIsraeli War. Armed forces By September 1947 the Haganah had "10,489 rifles, 702 light machine-guns, 2,666 submachine guns, 186 medium machine-guns, 672 two-inch mortars and 92 three-inch (76 mm) mortars". [45] Importing arms In 1946, Ben-Gurion decided that the Yishuv would probably have to defend itself against both the Palestinian Arabs and neighbouring Arab states and accordingly began a "massive, covert arms acquisition campaign in the West", and acquired many more during the first few months of hostilities. An Israeli Avia S-199, in June 1948 The Yishuv managed to clandestinely amass arms and military equipment abroad for transfer to Palestine once the British blockade was lifted. In Western Europe, Haganah agents amassed fifty 65mm French mountain guns, twelve 120mm mortars, ten H-35 light tanks, and a large number of half-tracks.

[46] The airborne arms smuggling missions from Czechoslovakia were codenamed Operation Balak. The airborne smuggling missions were carried out by mostly American aviators Jews and non-Jews led by ex-U.

Air Transport Command flight engineer Al Schwimmer. Schwimmer's operation also included recruiting and training fighter pilots such as Lou Lenart, commander of the first Israeli air assault against the Arabs. [47][48] Arms production The Yishuv also had "a relatively advanced arms producing capacity", that between October 1947 and July 1948" produced 3 million 9 mm bullets, 150,000 Mills grenades, 16,000 submachine guns (Sten Guns) and 210 three-inch (76 mm) mortars", [45] along with a few "Davidka" mortars, which had been indigenously designed and produced. They were inaccurate but had a spectacularly loud explosion that demoralized the enemy.

A large amount of the munitions used by the Israelis came from the Ayalon Institute, a clandestine bullet factory underneath kibbutz Ayalon, which produced about 2.5 million bullets for Sten guns. The munitions produced by the Ayalon Institute were said to have been the only supply that was not in shortage during the war.

Locally produced explosives were also plentiful. After Israel's independence, these clandestine arms manufacturing operations no longer had to be concealed, and were moved above ground. All of the Haganah's weapons-manufacturing was centralized and later became Israel Military Industries. [49] Manpower In November 1947, the Haganah was an underground paramilitary force that had existed as a highly organized, national force, since the Arab riots of 192021, and throughout the riots of 1929, Great Uprising of 193639, [45] and World War 2. It had a mobile force, the HISH, which had 2,000 full-time fighters (men and women) and 10,000 reservists (all aged between 18 and 25) and an elite unit, the Palmach composed of 2,100 fighters and 1,000 reservists.

The reservists trained three or four days a month[citation needed] and went back to civilian life the rest of the time. These mobile forces could rely on a garrison force, the HIM Heil Mishmar, lit. Guard Corps, composed of people aged over 25. The Yishuv's total strength was around 35,000 with 15,000 to 18,000 fighters and a garrison force of roughly 20,000.

[45][50] There were also several thousand men and women who had served in the British Army in World War II who did not serve in any of the underground militias but would provide valuable military experience during the war. [51] Walid Khalidi says the Yishuv had the additional forces of the Jewish Settlement Police, numbering some 12,000, the Gadna Youth Battalions, and the armed settlers. [52] Few of the units had been trained by December 1947. [45] On 5 December 1947, conscription was instituted for all men and women aged between 17 and 25 and by the end of March, 21,000 had been conscripted. [53] On 30 March, the call-up was extended to men and single women aged between 26 and 35.

Five days later, a General Mobilization order was issued for all men under 40. [54] Irgun The Irgun, whose activities were considered by MI5 to be terrorism, was monitored by the British. [55] By March 1948, the Yishuv had a numerical superiority, with 35,780 mobilised and deployed fighters for the Haganah, [56][57] 3,000 of Stern and Irgun, and a few thousand armed settlers. [58] Arab forces The effective number of Arab combatants is listed at 12,000 by some historians[59] while others calculate a total Arab strength of approximately 23,500 troops, and with this being more of less or roughly equal to that of the Yishuv. However, as Israel mobilized most of its most able citizens during the war while the Arab troops were only a small percentage of its far greater population, the strength of the Yishuv grew steadily and dramatically during the war.

[60] According to Benny Morris, by the end of 1947, the Palestinians "had a healthy and demoralising respect for the Yishuv's military power" and if it came to battle the Palestinians expected to lose. Political objectives Yishuv Yishuv's aims evolved during the war. [61] Mobilization for a total war was organized. [62] Initially, the aim was "simple and modest": to survive the assaults of the Palestinian Arabs and the Arab states. "The Zionist leaders deeply, genuinely, feared a Middle Eastern reenactment of the Holocaust, which had just ended; the Arabs' public rhetoric reinforced these fears".

As the war progressed, the aim of expanding the Jewish state beyond the UN partition borders appeared: first to incorporate clusters of isolated Jewish settlements and later to add more territories to the state and give it defensible borders. A third and further aim that emerged among the political and military leaders after four or five months was to "reduce the size of Israel's prospective large and hostile Arab minority, seen as a potential powerful fifth column, by belligerency and expulsion". [61] Plan Dalet, or Plan D, (Hebrew:', Tokhnit dalet) was a plan worked out by the Haganah, a Jewish paramilitary group and the forerunner of the Israel Defense Forces, in autumn 1947 to spring 1948, which was sent to Haganah units in early March 1948. According to the academic Ilan Pappé, its purpose was to conquer as much of Palestine and to expel as many Palestinians as possible, [63] though according to Benny Morris there was no such intent. In his book The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, Pappé asserts that Plan Dalet was a "blueprint for ethnic cleansing" with the aim of reducing both rural and urban areas of Palestine.

[64] According to Gelber, the plan specified that in case of resistance, the population of conquered villages was to be expelled outside the borders of the Jewish state. If no resistance was met, the residents could stay put, under military rule. [65] According to Morris, Plan D called for occupying the areas within the U.

N sponsored Jewish state, several concentrations of Jewish population outside those areas (West Jerusalem and Western Galilee), and areas along the roads where the invading Arab armies were expected to attack. [66] The intent of Plan Dalet is subject to much controversy, with historians on the one extreme asserting that it was entirely defensive, and historians on the other extreme asserting that the plan aimed at maximum conquest and expulsion of the Palestinians. The Yishuv perceived the peril of an Arab invasion as threatening its very existence.

Having no real knowledge of the Arabs' true military capabilities, the Jews took Arab propaganda literally, preparing for the worst and reacting accordingly. [67] Arab League as a whole The Arab League had unanimously rejected the UN partition plan and were bitterly opposed to the establishment of a Jewish state.

The Arab League before partition affirmed the right to the independence of Palestine, while blocking the creation of a Palestinian government. [clarification needed] Towards the end of 1947, the League established a military committee commanded by the retired Iraqi general Isma'il Safwat whose mission was to analyse the chance of victory of the Palestinians against the Jews.

[68] His conclusions were that they had no chance of victory and that an invasion of the Arab regular armies was mandatory. [68] The political committee nevertheless rejected these conclusions and decided to support an armed opposition to the Partition Plan excluding the participation of their regular armed forces. [69] In April with the Palestinian defeat, the refugees coming from Palestine and the pressure of their public opinion, the Arab leaders decided to invade Palestine. [70] The Arab League gave reasons for its invasion in Palestine in the cablegram:[71] the Arab states find themselves compelled to intervene in order to restore law and order and to check further bloodshed the Mandate over Palestine has come to an end, leaving no legally constituted authority the only solution of the Palestine problem is the establishment of a unitary Palestinian state.

British diplomat Alec Kirkbride wrote in his 1976 memoirs about a conversation with the Arab League's Secretary-General Azzam Pasha a week before the armies marched:... When I asked him for his estimate of the size of the Jewish forces, [he] waved his hands and said:'It does not matter how many there are. We will sweep them into the sea.

"[72] Approximately six months previously, according to an interview in an 11 October 1947 article of Akhbar al-Yom, Azzam said: "I personally wish that the Jews do not drive us to this war, as this will be a war of extermination and a momentous massacre which will be spoken of like the Mongolian massacres and the Crusades. Discuss[73] According to Yoav Gelber, the Arab countries were drawn into the war by the collapse of the Palestinian Arabs and the Arab Liberation Army [and] the Arab governments' primary goal was preventing the Palestinian Arabs' total ruin and the flooding of their own countries by more refugees. According to their own perception, had the invasion not taken place, there was no Arab force in Palestine capable of checking the Haganah's offensive. [67] King Abdullah I of Jordan King Abdullah was the commander of the Arab Legion, the strongest Arab army involved in the war according to Rogan and Shlaim in 2007.

[74] However, Morris wrote in 2008 that the Egyptian army was the most powerful and threatening army. [75] The Arab Legion had about 10,000 soldiers, trained and commanded by British officers.

King Abdullah outside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, 29 May 1948, the day after Jordanian forces took control of the Old City in the Battle for Jerusalem In 194647, Abdullah said that he had no intention to resist or impede the partition of Palestine and creation of a Jewish state. [76] Ideally, Abdullah would have liked to annex all of Palestine, but he was prepared to compromise. [77][78] He supported the partition, intending that the West Bank area of the British Mandate allocated for the Arab state be annexed to Jordan.

[79] Abdullah had secret meetings with the Jewish Agency (at which the future Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir was among the delegates) that reached an agreement of Jewish non-interference with Jordanian annexation of the West Bank (although Abdullah failed in his goal of acquiring an outlet to the Mediterranean Sea through the Negev desert) and of Jordanian agreement not to attack the area of the Jewish state contained in the United Nations partition resolution (in which Jerusalem was given neither to the Arab nor the Jewish state, but was to be an internationally administered area). In order to keep their support to his plan of annexation of the Arab State, Abdullah promised to the British he would not attack the Jewish State. [80] The neighbouring Arab states pressured Abdullah into joining them in an "all-Arab military invasion" against the newly created State of Israel, that he used to restore his prestige in the Arab world, which had grown suspicious of his relatively good relationship with Western and Jewish leaders.

[76] Jordan's undertakings not to cross partition lines were not taken at face value. While repeating assurances that Jordan would only take areas allocated to a future Arab State, on the eve of war Tawfik Abu al-Huda told the British that were other Arab armies to advance against Israel, Jordan would follow suit.

[81] On 23 May Abdullah told the French consul in Amman that he "was determined to fight Zionism and prevent the establishment of an Israeli state on the border of his kingdom". [82] Abdullah's role in this war became substantial. He saw himself as the "supreme commander of the Arab forces" and "persuaded the Arab League to appoint him" to this position.

[83] Through his leadership, the Arabs fought the 1948 war to meet Abdullah's political goals. Other Arab states King Farouk of Egypt was anxious to prevent Abdullah from being seen as the main champion of the Arab world in Palestine, which he feared might damage his own leadership aspirations of the Arab world. [77] In addition, Farouk wished to annex all of southern Palestine to Egypt. [77] According to Gamal Abdel Nasser the Egyptian army first communique described the Palestine operations as a merely punitive expedition against the Zionist "gangs", [84] using a term frequent in Haganah reports of Palestinian fighters. [85] According to a 2019 study, senior British intelligence, military officers and diplomats in Cairo were deeply involved in a covert scheme to drive the King to participate in the Arab states war coalition against Israel.

[86] These intelligence officers acted without the approval or knowledge of the British government. [86] Nuri as-Said, the strongman of Iraq, had ambitions for bringing the entire Fertile Crescent under Iraqi leadership. [77] Both Syria and Lebanon wished to take certain areas of northern Palestine. [77] One result of the ambitions of the various Arab leaders was a distrust of all the Palestinian leaders who wished to set up a Palestinian state, and a mutual distrust of each other. [77] Co-operation was to be very poor during the war between the various Palestinian factions and the Arab armies.

[77] Arab Higher Committee of Amin al-Husayni Further information: All-Palestine Government Following rumours that King Abdullah was re-opening the bilateral negotiations with Israel that he had previously conducted in secret with the Jewish Agency, the Arab League, led by Egypt, decided to set up the All-Palestine Government in Gaza on 8 September under the nominal leadership of the Mufti. [87] Abdullah regarded the attempt to revive al-Husayni's Holy War Army as a challenge to his authority and all armed bodies operating in the areas controlled by the Arab Legion were disbanded. Glubb Pasha carried out the order ruthlessly and efficiently. [88][89] Initial line-up of forces Military assessments Though the state of Israel faced the formidable armies of neighboring Arab countries, yet due to previous battles by the middle of May the Palestinians themselves hardly existed as a military force. [90] The British Intelligence and Arab League military reached similar conclusions.

[91] The British Foreign Ministry and C. A believed that the Arab States would finally win in case of war. [92][93] Martin Van Creveld says that in terms of manpower, the sides were fairly evenly matched. [94] In May, Egyptian generals told their government that the invasion will be "A parade without any risks" and Tel Aviv "in two weeks". [95] Egypt, Iraq, and Syria all possessed air forces, Egypt and Syria had tanks, and all had some modern artillery.

[96] Initially, the Haganah had no heavy machine guns, artillery, armoured vehicles, anti-tank or anti-aircraft weapons, [51] nor military aircraft or tanks. [45] The four Arab armies that invaded on 15 May were far stronger than the Haganah formations they initially encountered. [97] On 12 May, three days before the invasion, David Ben-Gurion was told by his chief military advisers (who over-estimated the size of the Arab armies and the numbers and efficiency of the troops who would be committed much as the Arab generals tended to exaggerate Jewish fighters' strength) that Israel's chances of winning a war against the Arab states were only about even. [96] Yishuv/Israeli forces Jewish forces at the invasion: Sources disagree about the amount of arms at the Yishuv's disposal at the end of the Mandate. [51] According to Collins and LaPierre, by April 1948, the Haganah had managed to accumulate only about 20,000 rifles and Sten guns for the 35,000 soldiers who existed on paper.

[98] According to Walid Khalidi "the arms at the disposal of these forces were plentiful". [52] France authorized Air France to transport cargo to Tel Aviv on 13 May. [99] Yishuv forces were organised in 9 brigades, and their numbers grew following Israeli independence, eventually expanding to 12 brigades. Although both sides increased their manpower over the first few months of the war, the Israeli forces grew steadily as a result of the progressive mobilization of Israeli society and the influx of an average of 10,300 immigrants each month. [100] By the end of 1948, the Israel Defense Forces had 88,033 soldiers, including 60,000 combat soldiers.

[101] Brigade Commander Size[102] Operations Golani Moshe Mann 4,500 Dekel, Hiram Carmeli Moshe Carmel 2,000 Hiram Alexandroni Dan Even 5,200 Latrun, Hametz Kiryati Michael Ben-Gal 1,400 Dani, Hametz Givati Shimon Avidan 5,000 Hametz, Barak, Pleshet Etzioni David Shaltiel Battle of Jerusalem, Shfifon, Yevusi, Battle of Ramat Rachel 7th Armoured Shlomo Shamir Battles of Latrun 8th Armoured Yitzhak Sadeh Danny, Yoav, Horev Oded Avraham Yoffe Yoav, Hiram Harel Yitzhak Rabin[103] 1,400 Nachshon, Danny Yiftach Yigal Allon 4,500 inc. [99] Czechoslovakia supplied vast quantities of arms to Israel during the war, including thousands of vz. 24 rifles and MG 34 and ZB 37 machine guns, and millions of rounds of ammunition.

Czechoslovakia supplied fighter aircraft, including at first ten Avia S-199 fighter planes. The Haganah readied twelve cargo ships throughout European ports to transfer the accumulated equipment, which would set sail as soon as the British blockade was lifted with the expiration of the Mandate. [104][105] Following Israeli independence, the Israelis managed to build three Sherman tanks from scrap-heap material found in abandoned British ordnance depots. [106] Sherman tanks of the Israeli 8th Armoured Brigade, 1948 The Haganah also managed to obtain stocks of British weapons due to the logistical complexity of the British withdrawal, and the corruption of a number of officials. [107] A Cromwell tank After the first truce: By July 1948, the Israelis had established an air force, a navy, and a tank battalion.

[105] On June 29, 1948, the day before the last British troops left Haifa, two British soldiers sympathetic to the Israelis stole two Cromwell tanks from an arms depot in the Haifa port area, smashing them through the unguarded gates, and joined the IDF with the tanks. These two tanks would form the basis of the Israeli Armored Corps.

[108] IDF soldiers of the Samson's Foxes unit advance in a captured Egyptian Bren Gun carrier. After the second truce: Czechoslovakia supplied Supermarine Spitfire fighter planes, which were smuggled to Israel via an abandoned Luftwaffe runway in Yugoslavia, with the agreement of the Yugoslav government. [citation needed] The airborne arms smuggling missions from Czechoslovakia were codenamed Operation Balak. Arab forces At the invasion: In addition to the local irregular Palestinians militia groups, the five Arab states that joined the war were Egypt, Jordan (Transjordan), Syria, Lebanon and Iraq sending expeditionary forces of their regular armies. Additional contingents came from Saudi Arabia and Yemen.

On the eve of the war, the available number of Arab troops likely to be committed to war was between 23,500 and 26,500 (10,000 Egyptians, 4,500 Jordanians, 3,000 Iraqis, 3,0006,000 Syrians, 2,000 ALA volunteers, 1,000 Lebanese, and several hundred Saudis), in addition to the irregular Palestinians already present. Prior to the war, Arab forces had been trained by British and French instructors. This was particularly true of Jordan's Arab Legion under command of Lt Gen Sir John Glubb.

[109] Arab states Jordan's Arab Legion was considered the most effective Arab force. Armed, trained and commanded by British officers, this 8,00012,000 strong force was organised in four infantry/mechanised regiments supported by some 40 artillery pieces and 75 armoured cars. [110] Until January 1948, it was reinforced by the 3,000-strong Transjordan Frontier Force. [111] As many as 48 British officers served in the Arab Legion. [112] Glubb Pasha, the commander of the Legion, organized his forces into four brigades as follows: Military Division Commander[113][114] Rank Military Zone of operations First Brigade, includes: 1st and 3rd regiments Desmond Goldie Colonel Nablus Military Zone Second Brigade, includes: Fifth and Sixth Regiments Sam Sidney Arthur Cooke Brigadier Support force Third Brigade, includes: Second and Fourth Regiments Teel Ashton Colonel Ramallah Military Zone Fourth Brigade Ahmad Sudqi al-Jundi Colonel Support: Ramallah, Hebron, and Ramla The Arab Legion joined the war in May 1948, but fought only in the area that King Abdullah wanted to secure for Jordan: the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.

France prevented a large sale of arms by a Swiss company to Ethiopia, brokered by the U. K foreign office, which was actually destined for Egypt and Jordan, denied a British request at the end of April to permit the landing of a squadron of British aircraft on their way to Transjordan, and applied diplomatic pressure on Belgium to suspend arms sales to the Arab states.

[99] The Jordanian forces were probably the best trained of all combatants. Other combatant forces lacked the ability to make strategic decisions and tactical maneuvers, [115] as evidenced by positioning the fourth regiment at Latrun, which was abandoned by ALA combatants before the arrival of the Jordanian forces and the importance of which was not fully understood by the Haganah general-staff. In the later stages of the war, Latrun proved to be of extreme importance, and a decisive factor in Jerusalem's fate. In 1948, Iraq's army had 21,000 men in 12 brigades and the Iraqi Air Force had 100 planes, mostly British. Initially the Iraqis committed around 3,000 men[116] to the war effort, including four infantry brigades, one armoured battalion and support personnel. These forces were to operate under Jordanian guidance[117] The first Iraqi forces to be deployed reached Jordan in April 1948 under the command of Gen. [118] Vickers light tanks in the desert In 1948, Egypt's army was able to put a maximum of around 40,000 men into the field, 80% of its military-age male population being unfit for military service and its embryonic logistics system being limited in its ability to support ground forces deployed beyond its borders.

[citation needed] Initially, an expeditionary force of 10,000 men was sent to Palestine under the command of Maj. This force consisted of five infantry battalions, one armoured battalion equipped with British Light Tank Mk VI and Matilda tanks, one battalion of sixteen 25-pounder guns, a battalion of eight 6-pounder guns and one medium-machine-gun battalion with supporting troops. [citation needed] The Egyptian Air Force had over 30 Spitfires, 4 Hawker Hurricanes and 20 C47s modified into crude bombers. [citation needed] Syria had 12,000 soldiers at the beginning of the 1948 War, grouped into three infantry brigades and an armoured force of approximately battalion size. The Syrian Air Force had fifty planes, the 10 newest of which were World War IIgeneration models.

France suspended arms sales to Syria, notwithstanding signed contracts. [99] Lebanon's army was the smallest of the Arab armies, consisting of only 3,500 soldiers.

[111] According to Gelber, in June 1947, Ben-Gurion arrived at an agreement with the Maronite religious leadership in Lebanon that cost a few thousand pounds and kept Lebanon's army out of the War of Independence and the military Arab coalition. [119] According to Rogan and Shlaim, a token force of 1,000 was committed to the invasion.

It crossed into the northern Galilee and was repulsed by Israeli forces. Israel then invaded and occupied southern Lebanon until the end of the war. [120] Arab forces after the first truce: By the time of the second truce, the Egyptians had 20,000 men in the field in thirteen battalions equipped with 135 tanks and 90 artillery pieces. [121] During the first truce, the Iraqis increased their force to about 10,000. [122] Ultimately, the Iraqi expeditionary force numbered around 18,000 men.

[123][124] Saudi Arabia sent hundreds of volunteers to join the Arab forces. In February 1948, around 800 tribesmen had gathered near Aqaba so as to invade the Negev, but crossed to Egypt after Saudi rival King Abdallah officially denied them permission to pass through Jordanian territory. [125] The Saudi troops were attached to the Egyptian command throughout the war, [126] and estimates of their total strength ranged up to 1,200. [127][128] By July 1948, the Saudis comprised three brigades within the Egyptian expeditionary force, and were stationed as guards between Gaza city and Rafah. [129] This area came under heavy aerial bombardment during Operation Yoav in October, [130] and faced a land assault beginning in late December which culminated in the Battle of Rafah in early January of the new year. [131] During the first truce, Sudan sent six companies of regular troops to fight alongside the Egyptians. [132] Yemen also committed a small expeditionary force to the war effort, and contingents from Morocco joined the Arab armies as well. [4] Course of the war At the last moment, several Arab leaders, to avert catastrophe secretly appealed to the British to hold on in Palestine for at least another year. [133] First phase: 15 May 11 June 1948 Further information: Israeli Declaration of Independence Arab offensive, 15 May 10 June 1948 A "Butterfly" improvised armored car of the Haganah at Kibbutz Dorot in the Negev, Israel 1948.

The armored car is based on CMP-15 truck. The car has brought supply to the kibbutz. The Negev Kibbutz's[dubious discuss] children were later evacuated by those cars from their kibbutz, before an expected Egyptian Army attack. On 14 May 1948, David Ben-Gurion declared the establishment of a Jewish state in Eretz-Israel to be known as the State of Israel, a few hours before the termination of the Mandate.

[134] At midnight on 15 May 1948, the British Mandate was officially terminated, and the State of Israel came into being. Several hours later, Iraq and the neighboring Arab states, Egypt, Jordan (Transjordan) and Syria, invaded the newborn state, [135][136] and immediately attacked Jewish settlements. [16] What was now Israel had already, from 1 April down to 14 May, conducted 8 of its 13 full-scale military operations outside of the area allotted to a Jewish state by partition, and the operational commander Yigal Allon later stated that had it not been for the Arab invasion, Haganah's forces would have reached'the natural borders of western Israel. [137] Although the Arab invasion was denounced by the United States, the Soviet Union, and UN secretary-general Trygve Lie, it found support from the Republic of China and other UN member states. [138] The initial Arab plans called for Syrian and Lebanese forces to invade from north while Jordanian and Iraqi forces were to invade from east in order to meet at Nazareth and then to push forward together to Haifa.

In the south, the Egyptians were to advance and take Tel Aviv. [139] At the Arab League meeting in Damascus on 1113 May, Abdullah rejected the plan, which served Syrian interests, using the fact his allies were afraid to go to war without his army. He proposed that the Iraqis attack the Jezreel valley and the Arab Legion enter Ramallah and Nablus and link with the Egyptian army at Hebron, [139] which was more in compliance with his political objective to occupy the territory allocated to the Arab State by the partition plan and promises not to invade the territory allocated to the Jewish State by the partition plan.

In addition, Lebanon decided not to take part in the war at the last minute, due to the still-influential Christians' opposition and due to Jewish bribes. [70] Intelligence provided by the French consulate in Jerusalem on 12 May 1948 on the Arab armies' invading forces and their revised plan to invade the new state contributed to Israel's success in withstanding the Arab invasion.

[140] The first mission of the Jewish forces was to hold on against the Arab armies and stop them, although the Arabs had enjoyed major advantages (the initiative, vastly superior firepower). [141] As the British stopped blocking the incoming Jewish immigrants and arms supply, the Israeli forces grew steadily with large numbers of immigrants and weapons, that allowed the Haganah to transform itself from a paramilitary force into a real army.

Initially, the fighting was handled mainly by the Haganah, along with the smaller Jewish militant groups Irgun and Lehi. On 26 May 1948, Israel established the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), incorporating these forces into one military under a central command. Southern front Negev Israeli soldiers in Nirim Israeli soldiers in Negba The Egyptian force, the largest among the Arab armies, invaded from the south. On 15 May 1948, the Egyptians attacked two settlements: Nirim, using artillery, armoured cars carrying cannons, and Bren carriers;[16] and Kfar Darom[16] using artillery, tanks and aircraft.

The Egyptians attacks met fierce resistance from the few and lightly armed defenders of both settlements, and failed. On 19 May the Egyptians attacked Yad Mordechai, where an inferior force of 100 Israelis armed with nothing more than rifles, a medium machinegun and a PIAT anti-tank weapon, held up a column of 2,500 Egyptians, well-supported by armor, artillery and air units, for five days. [142] The Egyptians took heavy losses, while the losses sustained by the defenders were comparatively light. [143] One of the Egyptian force's two main columns made its way northwards along the shoreline, through what is today the Gaza Strip and the other column advanced eastwards toward Beersheba.

[143][144] To secure their flanks, the Egyptians attacked and laid siege to a number of kibbutzim in the Negev, among those Kfar Darom, Nirim, Yad Mordechai, and Negba. On 28 May the Egyptians renewed their northern advance, and stopped at a destroyed bridge north to Isdud. The Givati Brigade reported this advance but no fighters were sent to confront the Egyptians. Had the Egyptians wished to continue their advance northward, towards Tel Aviv, there would have been no Israeli force to block them. [146][147] Further information: Operation Pleshet From 29 May to 3 June, Israeli forces stopped the Egyptian drive north in Operation Pleshet.

In the first combat mission performed by Israel's fledgling air force, four Avia S-199s attacked an Egyptian armored column of 500 vehicles on its way to Isdud. The Israeli planes dropped 70 kilogram bombs and strafed the column, although their machine guns jammed quickly. Two of the planes crashed, killing a pilot.

The attack caused the Egyptians to scatter, and they had lost the initiative by the time they had regrouped. Following the air attack, Israeli forces constantly bombarded Egyptian forces in Isdud with Napoleonchik cannons, and IDF patrols engaged in small-scale harassment of Egyptian lines. Following another air attack, the Givati Brigade launched a counterattack. Although the counterattack was repulsed, the Egyptian offensive was halted as Egypt changed its strategy from offensive to defensive, and the initiative shifted to Israel.

[148] On 6 June, in the Battle of Nitzanim, Egyptian forces attacked the kibbutz of Nitzanim, located between Majdal (now Ashkelon) and Isdud, and the Israeli defenders surrendered after resisting for five days. Battles of Latrun Further information: Battles of Latrun (1948) The heaviest fighting occurred in Jerusalem and on the Jerusalem Tel Aviv road, between Jordan's Arab Legion and Israeli forces.

[149] As part of the redeployment to deal with the Egyptian advance, the Israelis abandoned the Latrun fortress overlooking the main highway to Jerusalem, which the Arab Legion immediately seized. [150] The Arab Legion also occupied the Latrun Monastery. From these positions, the Jordanians were able to cut off supplies to Israeli fighters and civilians in Jerusalem.

[151] The Israelis attempted to take the Latrun fortress in a series of battles lasting from 24 May to 18 July. The Arab Legion held Latrun and managed to repulse the attacks. [151] During the attempts to take Latrun, Israeli forces suffered some 586 casualties, among them Mickey Marcus, Israel's first general, who was killed by friendly fire.

The Arab Legion also took losses, losing 90 dead and some 200 wounded up to 29 May. [152] Building the Burma Road A bulldozer tows a truck on the "Burma road", June 1948 Area map The besieged Israeli Jerusalem was only saved via the opening of the so-called "Burma Road", a makeshift bypass road built by Israeli forces that allowed Israeli supply convoys to pass into Jerusalem. [151] Parts of the area where the road was built were cleared of Jordanian snipers in May and the road was completed on 14 June. Supplies had already begun passing through before the road was completed, with the first convoy passing through on the night of 12 June.

The Jordanians spotted the activity and attempted to shell the road, but were ineffective, as it could not be seen. However, Jordanian sharpshooters killed several road workers, and an attack on 9 June left eight Israelis dead. On 18 July, elements of the Harel Brigade took about 10 villages to the south of Latrun to enlarge and secure the area of the Burma Road.

The Arab Legion was able to repel an Israeli attack on Latrun. The Jordanians launched two counterattacks, temporarily taking Beit Susin before being forced back, and capturing Gezer after a fierce battle, which was retaken by two Palmach squads the same evening. [153] Jordanian artillery shelling Jerusalem in 1948 Arab Legion soldier standing in ruins of the most sacred Synagogue, the "Hurva", Old City. [154] Jewish residents of Jerusalem Old City fleeing during the Jordanian offensive Battle for Jerusalem Further information: Battle for Jerusalem Mathematics professor Michael Fekete, the Provost of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, with his water quota, during the siege of Jerusalem The Jordanians in Latrun cut off supplies to western Jerusalem. [151] Though some supplies, mostly munitions, were airdropped into the city, the shortage of food, water, fuel and medicine was acute.

The Israeli forces were seriously short of food, water and ammunition. [151] King Abdullah ordered Glubb Pasha, the commander of the Arab Legion, to enter Jerusalem on 17 May. The Arab Legion fired 10,000 artillery and mortar shells a day, [151] and also attacked West Jerusalem with sniper fire. Heavy house-to-house fighting occurred between 19 and 28 May, with the Arab Legion eventually succeeding in pushing Israeli forces from the Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem as well as the Jewish Quarter of the Old City. [151] The 1,500 Jewish inhabitants of the Old City's Jewish Quarter were expelled, and several hundred were detained. The Jews had to be escorted out by the Arab Legion to protect them against Palestinian Arab mobs that intended to massacre them. [155] On 22 May, Arab forces attacked kibbutz Ramat Rachel south of Jerusalem. After a fierce battle in which 31 Jordanians and 13 Israelis were killed, the defenders of Ramat Rachel withdrew, only to partially retake the kibbutz the following day. Fighting continued until 26 May, until the entire kibbutz was recaptured. Radar Hill was also taken from the Arab Legion, and held until 26 May, when the Jordanians retook it in a battle that left 19 Israelis and 2 Jordanians dead. A total of 23 attempts by the Harel Brigade to capture Radar Hill in the war failed. The same day, Thomas C. Wasson, the US Consul-General in Jerusalem and a member of the UN Truce Commission was shot dead in West Jerusalem.

It was disputed whether Wasson was killed by the Arabs or Israelis. In mid to late October 1948, the Harel Brigade began its offensive in what was known as Operation Ha-Har, to secure the Jerusalem Corridor. Northern Samaria Further information: Battle of Jenin (1948) Israeli soldiers in Afula. An Iraqi force consisting of two infantry and one armoured brigade crossed the Jordan River from northern Jordan, attacking the Israeli settlement of Gesher with little success. [16] Following this defeat, Iraqi forces moved into the strategic triangle bounded by the Arab towns Nablus, Jenin and Tulkarm.

On 25 May, they were making their way towards Netanya, when they were stopped. [156] On 29 May, an Israeli attack against the Iraqis led to three days of heavy fighting over Jenin, but Iraqi forces managed to hold their positions. [156] After these battles, the Iraqi forces became stationary and their involvement in the war effectively ended. [118][156] Iraqi forces failed in their attacks on Israeli settlements with the most notable battle taking place at Gesher, and instead took defensive positions around Jenin, Nablus, and Tulkarm, from where they could put pressure on the Israeli center. [citation needed][157] On 25 May, Iraqi forces advanced from Tulkarm, taking Geulim and reaching Kfar Yona and Ein Vered on the Tulkarm-Netanya road.

The Alexandroni Brigade then stopped the Iraqi advance and retook Geulim. The IDF Carmeli and Golani Brigades attempted to capture Jenin during an offensive launched on 31 May, but were defeated in course of the subsequent battle by an Iraqi counterattack. Northern front Lake of Galilee Syrian R-35 light tank destroyed at Degania Alef. Further information: Battles of the Kinarot Valley On 14 May Syria invaded Palestine with the 1st Infantry Brigade supported by a battalion of armoured cars, a company of French R 35 and R 37 tanks, an artillery battalion and other units. [158] The Syrian president, Shukri al-Quwwatli instructed his troops in the front, "to destroy the Zionists". The situation was very grave. There are no heavy weapons, Ben-Gurion told the Israeli Cabinet. [159][160] On 15 May, the Syrian forces turned to the eastern and southern Sea of Galilee shores, and attacked Samakh the neighboring Tegart fort and the settlements of Sha'ar HaGolan, Ein Gev, but they were bogged down by resistance. [16] Later, they attacked Samakh using tanks and aircraft, and on 18 May they succeeded in conquering Samakh[158] and occupied the abandoned Sha'ar HaGolan. [16] On 21 May, the Syrian army was stopped at kibbutz Degania Alef in the north, where local militia reinforced by elements of the Carmeli Brigade halted Syrian armored forces with Molotov cocktails, hand grenades and a single PIAT. One tank that was disabled by Molotov cocktails and hand grenades still remains at the kibbutz. The remaining Syrian forces were driven off the next day by four Napoleonchik mountain guns Israel's first use of artillery during the war. [161] Following the Syrian forces' defeat at the Deganias a few days later, they abandoned the Samakh village. [158] The Syrians were forced to besiege the kibbutz rather than advance. [156] One author claims that the main reason for the Syrian defeat was the Syrian soldiers' low regard for the Israelis who they believed would not stand and fight against the Arab army. [160] On 6 June, nearly two brigades of the Arab Liberation Army and the Lebanese Army took Al-Malkiyya and Qadas in what became the only intervention of the Lebanese army during the war. [156] On 6 June, Syrian forces attacked Mishmar HaYarden, but they were repulsed. On 10 June, the Syrians overran Mishmar HaYarden and advanced to the main road, where they were stopped by units of the Oded Brigade. [162] Subsequently, the Syrians reverted to a defensive posture, conducting only a few minor attacks on small, exposed Israeli settlements.

[158] Palestinian forces Kaukji, the Arab Liberation Army commander In the continuity of the civil war between Jewish and Arab forces that had begun in 1947, battles between Israeli forces and Palestinian Arab militias took place, particularly in the Lydda, al-Ramla, Jerusalem, and Haifa areas. On 23 May, the Alexandroni Brigade captured Tantura, south of Haifa, from Arab forces.

On 2 June, Holy War Army commander Hasan Salama was killed in a battle with Haganah at Ras al-Ein. Air operations An Egyptian Spitfire shot down over Tel Aviv on 15 May 1948 Volunteers evacuating a wounded man during Egyptian bombardment of Tel Aviv. All Jewish aviation assets were placed under the control of the Sherut Avir (Air Service, known as the SA) in November 1947 and flying operations began in the following month from a small civil airport on the outskirts of Tel Aviv called Sde Dov, with the first ground support operation (in an RWD-13)[163] taking place on 17 December. By 10 May, when the SA suffered its first combat loss, there were three flying units, an air staff, maintenance facilities and logistics support. At the outbreak of the war on 15 May, the SA became the Israeli Air Force.

With its fleet[164] of light planes it was no match for Arab forces during the first few weeks of the war with their T-6s, Spitfires, C-47s, and Avro Ansons. On 15 May, with the beginning of the war, four Royal Egyptian Air Force (REAF) Spitfires attacked Tel Aviv, bombing Sde Dov Airfield, where the bulk of Sherut Avir's aircraft were concentrated, as well as the Reading Power Station.

Several aircraft were destroyed, some others were damaged, and five Israelis were killed. Throughout the following hours, additional waves of Egyptian aircraft bombed and strafed targets around Tel Aviv, although these raids had little effect.

One Spitfire was shot down by anti-aircraft fire, and its pilot was taken prisoner. Throughout the next six days, the REAF would continue to attack Tel Aviv, causing civilian casualties. On 18 May, Egyptian warplanes attacked the Tel Aviv Central Bus Station, killing 42 people and wounding 100. In addition to their attacks on Tel Aviv, the Egyptians also bombed rural settlements and airfields, though few casualties were caused in these raids.

[165] At the outset of the war, the REAF was able to attack Israel with near impunity, due to the lack of Israeli fighter aircraft to intercept them, [166] and met only ground fire. As more effective air defenses were transferred to Tel Aviv, the Egyptians began taking significant aircraft losses. As a result of these losses, as well as the loss of five Spitfires downed by the British when the Egyptians mistakenly attacked RAF Ramat David, the Egyptian air attacks became less frequent. By the end of May 1948, almost the entire REAF Spitfire squadron based in El Arish had been lost, including many of its best pilots. Although lacking fighter or bomber aircraft, in the first few days of the war, Israel's embryonic air force still attacked Arab targets, with light aircraft being utilized as makeshift bombers, striking Arab encampments and columns.

The raids were mostly carried out at night to avoid interception by Arab fighter aircraft. These attacks usually had little effect, except on morale. Avia S-199 Israeli 1st fighter aircraft Israeli Spitfire F Mk Israeli B-17s in flight The balance of air power soon began to swing in favor of the Israeli Air Force following the arrival of 25 Avia S-199s from Czechoslovakia, the first of which arrived in Israel on 20 May.

Ironically, Israel was using the Avia S-199, an inferior derivative of the Bf 109 designed in Nazi Germany to counter British-designed Spitfires flown by Egypt. Throughout the rest of the war, Israel would acquire more Avia fighters, as well as 62 Spitfires from Czechoslovakia. On 28 May 1948, Sherut Avir became the Israeli Air Force. Many of the pilots who fought for the Israeli Air Force were foreign volunteers or mercenaries, including many World War II veterans. On 3 June, Israel scored its first victory in aerial combat when Israeli pilot Modi Alon shot down a pair of Egyptian DC-3s that had just bombed Tel Aviv.

Although Tel Aviv would see additional raids by fighter aircraft, there would be no more raids by bombers for the rest of the war. From then on, the Israeli Air Force began engaging the Arab air forces in air-to-air combat.

The first dogfight took place on 8 June, when an Israeli fighter plane flown by Gideon Lichtman shot down an Egyptian Spitfire. By the fall of 1948, the IAF had achieved air superiority and had superior firepower and more knowledgeable personnel, many of whom had seen action in World War II.

[167] Israeli planes then began intercepting and engaging Arab aircraft on bombing missions. Following Israeli air attacks on Egyptian and Iraqi columns, the Egyptians repeatedly bombed Ekron Airfield, where IAF fighters were based. During a 30 May raid, bombs aimed for Ekron hit central Rehovot, killing 7 civilians and wounding 30. In response to this, and probably to the Jordanian victories at Latrun, Israel began bombing targets in Arab cities.

On the night of 31 May/1 June, the first Israeli raid on an Arab capital took place when three IAF planes flew to Amman and dropped several dozen 55 and 110-pound bombs, hitting the King's Palace and an adjacent British airfield. Some 12 people were killed and 30 wounded. During the attack, an RAF hangar was damaged, as were some British aircraft. The British threatened that in the event of another such attack, they would shoot down the attacking aircraft and bomb Israeli airfields, and as a result, Israeli aircraft did not attack Amman again for the rest of the war.

Israel also bombed Arish, Gaza, Damascus, and Cairo. Israeli Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress bombers coming to Israel from Czechoslovakia bombed Egypt on their way to Israel. [168][169] According to Alan Dershowitz, Israeli planes focused on bombing military targets in these attacks, though Benny Morris wrote that an 11 June air raid on Damascus was indiscriminate. Sea battles Northland in Greenland circa 1944 which became the Israeli INS Eilat At the outset of the war, the Israeli Navy consisted of three former Aliyah Bet ships that had been seized by the British and impounded in Haifa harbor, where they were tied up at the breakwater. Work on establishing a navy had begun shortly before Israeli independence, and the three ships were selected due to them having a military background one, the INS Eilat, was an ex-US Coast Guard icebreaker, and the other two, the INS Haganah and INS Wedgwood, had been Royal Canadian Navy corvettes. The ships were put into minimum running condition by contractors dressed as stevedores and port personnel, who were able to work in the engine rooms and below deck. The work had to be clandestine to avoid arousing British suspicion. In Tel Aviv, the ships were fitted with small field guns dating to the late 19th century and anti-aircraft guns. After the British left Haifa port on 30 June, Haifa became the main base of the Israeli Navy. The warships were manned by former merchant seamen, former crewmembers of Aliyah Bet ships, Israelis who had served in the Royal Navy during World War II, and foreign volunteers. [170][171] End of the first phase Palestine Military Situation, June 11, 1948. Truman Papers Throughout the following days, the Arabs were only able to make limited gains due to fierce Israeli resistance, and were quickly driven off their new holdings by Israeli counterattacks.

As the war progressed, the IDF managed to field more troops than the Arab forces. In July 1948, the IDF had 63,000 troops; by early spring 1949, they had 115,000.

The Arab armies had an estimated 40,000 troops in July 1948, rising to 55,000 in October 1948, and slightly more by the spring of 1949. Upon the implementation of the truce, the IDF had control over nine Arab cities and towns or mixed cities and towns: New Jerusalem, Jaffa, Haifa, Acre, Safed, Tiberias, Baysan (Beit She'an), Samakh and Yibna (Yavne). Another city, Jenin, was not occupied but its residents fled.

The combined Arab forces captured 14 Jewish settlement points, but only one of them, Mishmar HaYarden, was in the territory of the proposed Jewish State according to Resolution 181. Within the boundaries of the proposed Jewish state, there were twelve Arab villages which opposed Jewish control or were captured by the invading Arab armies, and in addition to them, the Lod Airport and pumping station near Antipatris, which were within the boundaries of the proposed Jewish state, were under the control of the Arabs. The IDF captured about 50 large Arab villages outside of the boundaries of the proposed Jewish State and a larger number of hamlets and Bedouin encampments. 350 square kilometers of the proposed Jewish State were under the control of the Arab forces, while 700 square kilometers of the proposed Arab State were under the control of the IDF.

This figure ignores the Negev desert which wasn't under any absolute control of either side. 800 Jews were taken hostage by the Arabs and 1,300 Arabs were taken hostage by the Jews, mostly Palestinians. [172] First truce: 11 June 8 July 1948 The UN declared a truce on 29 May, which came into effect on 11 June and lasted 28 days. The truce was designed to last 28 days and an arms embargo was declared with the intention that neither side would make any gains from the truce. Neither side respected the truce; both found ways around the restrictions placed on them.

[173] Both the Israelis and the Arabs used this time to improve their positions, a direct violation of the terms of the ceasefire. [174] Reinforcements Israeli Forces 1948[175] Initial strength 29,677 4 June 40,825 17 July 63,586 7 October 88,033 28 October 92,275 2 December 106,900 23 December 107,652 30 December 108,300 At the time of the truce, the British view was that "the Jews are too weak in armament to achieve spectacular success". [173] As the truce commenced, a British officer stationed in Haifa stated that the four-week-long truce "would certainly be exploited by the Jews to continue military training and reorganization while the Arabs would waste [them] feuding over the future divisions of the spoils". [174] During the truce, the Israelis sought to bolster their forces by massive import of arms.

[173] The IDF was able to acquire weapons from Czechoslovakia as well as improve training of forces and reorganization of the army during this time. Yitzhak Rabin, an IDF commander at the time of the war and later Israel's fifth Prime Minister, stated [w]ithout the arms from Czechoslovakia... It is very doubtful whether we would have been able to conduct the war. [176] The Israeli army increased its manpower from approximately 30,00035,000 men to almost 65,000 during the truce due to mobilization and the constant immigration into Israel.

It was also able to increase its arms supply to more than 25,000 rifles, 5,000 machine guns, and fifty million bullets. [174] As well as violating the arms and personnel embargo, they also sent fresh units to the front lines, much as their Arab enemies did. When they refused to hand the arms to the Israeli government, Ben-Gurion ordered that the arms be confiscated by force if necessary.

Several Irgun members and IDF soldiers were killed in the fighting. UN mediator Bernadotte UN Palestine mediator, Folke Bernadotte, assassinated in September 1948 by the militant group Lehi. The ceasefire was overseen by UN mediator Folke Bernadotte and a team of UN Observers made up of army officers from Belgium, United States, Sweden and France. [177] Bernadotte was voted in by the General Assembly to "assure the safety of the holy places, to safeguard the well being of the population, and to promote'a peaceful adjustment of the future situation of Palestine'".

[174] Folke Bernadotte reported: During the period of the truce, three violations occurred... Of such a serious nature: the attempt by... Another truce violation occurred through the refusal of Egyptian forces to permit the passage of relief convoys to Jewish settlements in the Negeb... The third violation of the truce arose as a result of the failure of the Transjordan and Iraqi forces to permit the flow of water to Jerusalem. [178] After the truce was in place, Bernadotte began to address the issue of achieving a political settlement. The main obstacles in his opinion were "the Arab world's continued rejection of the existence of a Jewish state, whatever its borders; Israel's new'philosophy', based on its increasing military strength, of ignoring the partition boundaries and conquering what additional territory it could; and the emerging Palestinian Arab refugee problem".

[174] Taking all the issues into account, Bernadotte presented a new partition plan. He proposed there be a Palestinian Arab state alongside Israel and that a "Union" "be established between the two sovereign states of Israel and Jordan (which now included the West Bank); that the Negev, or part of it, be included in the Arab state and that Western Galilee, or part of it, be included in Israel; that the whole of Jerusalem be part of the Arab state, with the Jewish areas enjoying municipal autonomy and that Lydda Airport and Haifa be'free ports' presumably free of Israeli or Arab sovereignty". [174] Israel rejected the proposal, in particular the aspect of losing control of Jerusalem, but they did agree to extend the truce for another month. The Arabs rejected both the extension of the truce and the proposal. [174] Second phase: 818 July 1948 ("Ten Day Battles") On 8 July, the day before the expiration of the truce, Egyptian forces under General Muhammad Naguib renewed the war by attacking Negba.

[179] The following day, Israeli air forces launched a simultaneous offensive on all three fronts, ranging from Quneitra to Arish and the Egyptian air force bombed the city of Tel Aviv. [180] During the fighting, the Israelis were able to open a lifeline to a number of besieged kibbutzim. [173] The fighting continued for ten days until the UN Security Council issued the Second Truce on 18 July. During those 10 days, the fighting was dominated by large-scale Israeli offensives and a defensive posture from the Arab side. Southern front Further information: Operation An-Far and Operation Death to the Invader An Egyptian artillery piece captured by battalion 53 of the Givati Brigade.

In the south, the IDF carried out several offensives, including Operation An-Far and Operation Death to the Invader. The task of the 11th Brigades's 1st Battalion on the southern flank was to capture villages, and its operation ran smoothly, with but little resistance from local irregulars.

According to Amnon Neumann, a Palmach veteran of the Southern front, hardly any Arab villages in the south fought back, due to the miserable poverty of their means and lack of weapons, and suffered expulsion. [181] What slight resistance was offered was quelled by an artillery barrage, followed by the storming of the village, whose residents were expelled and houses destroyed. [182] Further information: Battles of Negba On 12 July, the Egyptians launched an offensive action, and again attacked Negba, which they had previously failed to capture, using three infantry battalions, an armored battalion, and an artillery regiment. In the battle that followed, the Egyptians were repulsed, suffering 200300 casualties, while the Israelis lost 5 dead and 16 wounded. [183] After failing to take Negba, the Egyptians turned their attention to more isolated settlements and positions.

On 14 July, an Egyptian attack on Gal On was driven off by a minefield and by resistance from Gal On's residents. [184] Further information: Battle of Be'erot Yitzhak The Egyptians then assaulted the lightly defended village of Be'erot Yitzhak.

The Egyptians managed to penetrate the village perimeter, but the defenders concentrated in an inner position in the village and fought off the Egyptian advance until IDF reinforcements arrived and drove out the attackers. The Egyptians suffered an estimated 200 casualties, while the Israelis had 17 dead and 15 wounded. The battle was one of Egypt's last offensive actions during the war, and the Egyptians did not attack any Israeli villages following this battle. Lydda and al-Ramla Israeli soldiers in Lod (Lydda) or Ramle. On 10 July, Glubb Pasha ordered the defending Arab Legion troops to make arrangements...

[185] Israeli Operation Danny was the most important Israeli offensive, aimed at securing and enlarging the corridor between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv by capturing the roadside cities Lod (Lydda) and Ramle. In a second planned stage of the operation the fortified positions of Latrun overlooking the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem highway and the city of Ramallah were also to be captured.

Hadita, near Latrun, was captured by the Israelis at a cost of 9 dead. Further information: 1948 Palestinian exodus from Lydda and Ramle and Operation Danny Israeli armored vehicles in Lydda airport after the town's capture by Israeli forces.

Arab forces surrender to the victorious Israelis in Ramla. The objectives of Operation Danny were to capture territory east of Tel Aviv and then to push inland and relieve the Jewish population and forces in Jerusalem.

Lydda had become an important military center in the region, lending support to Arab military activities elsewhere, and Ramle was one of the main obstacles blocking Jewish transportation. Lydda was defended by a local militia of around 1,000 residents, with an Arab Legion contingent of 125300. [186] The IDF forces gathered to attack the city numbered around 8,000. It was the first operation where several brigades were involved.

The city was attacked from the north via Majdal al-Sadiq and al-Muzayri'a, and from the east via Khulda, al-Qubab, Jimzu and Daniyal. Bombers were also used for the first time in the conflict to bombard the city. The IDF captured the city on 11 July. [173] Up to 450 Arabs and 910 Israeli soldiers were killed. The next day, Ramle fell.

[173] The civilian populations of Lydda and Ramle fled or were expelled to the Arab front lines, and following resistance in Lydda, the population there was expelled without provision of transport vehicles; some of the evictees died on the long walk under the hot July sun. [187] Further information: Battles of Latrun (1948) On 1516 July, an attack on Latrun took place but did not manage to occupy the fort. [173] A desperate second attempt occurred on 18 July by units from the Yiftach Brigade equipped with armored vehicles, including two Cromwell tanks, but that attack also failed. Despite the second truce, which began on 18 July, the Israeli efforts to conquer Latrun continued until 20 July. Jerusalem Further information: Operation Kedem Beit Horon Battalion soldiers in the Russian Compound in Jerusalem, 1948 Operation Kedem's aim was to secure the Old City of Jerusalem, but fewer resources were allocated.

[188] Originally the operation was to begin on 8 July, immediately after the first truce, by Irgun and Lehi forces. However, it was delayed by David Shaltiel, possibly because he did not trust their ability after their failure to capture Deir Yassin without Haganah assistance. Irgun forces commanded by Yehuda Lapidot were to break through at the New Gate, Lehi was to break through the wall stretching from the New Gate to the Jaffa Gate, and the Beit Horon Battalion was to strike from Mount Zion. The battle was planned to begin on the Shabbat, at 20:00 on 16 July, two days before the second ceasefire of the war.

The plan went wrong from the beginning and was postponed first to 23:00 and then to midnight. It was not until 02:30 that the battle actually began. The Irgun managed to break through at the New Gate, but the other forces failed in their missions.

At 05:45 on 17 July, Shaltiel ordered a retreat and to cease hostilities. On 14 July 1948, Irgun occupied the Arab village of Malha after a fierce battle.

Several hours later, the Arabs launched a counterattack, but Israeli reinforcements arrived, and the village was retaken at a cost of 17 dead. Southern Galilee Further information: Operation Dekel The second plan was Operation Dekel, which was aimed at capturing the Lower Galilee including Nazareth. Nazareth was captured on 16 July, and by the time the second truce took effect at 19:00 18 July, the whole Lower Galilee from Haifa Bay to the Sea of Galilee was captured by Israel.

Eastern Galilee Operation Brosh was launched in a failed attempt to dislodge Syrian forces from the Eastern Galilee and the Benot Yaakov Bridge. During the operation, 200 Syrians and 100 Israelis were killed. The Israeli Air Force also bombed Damascus for the first time. Second truce: 18 July 15 October 1948 Further information: Folke Bernadotte At 19:00 on 18 July, the second truce of the conflict went into effect after intense diplomatic efforts by the UN.

On 16 September, Count Folke Bernadotte proposed a new partition for Palestine in which the Negev would be divided between Jordan and Egypt, and Jordan would annex Lydda and Ramla. There would be a Jewish state in the whole of Galilee, with the frontier running from Faluja northeast towards Ramla and Lydda. Jerusalem would be internationalized, with municipal autonomy for the city's Jewish and Arab inhabitants, the Port of Haifa would be a free port, and Lydda Airport would be a free airport.

All Palestinian refugees would be granted the right of return, and those who chose not to return would be compensated for lost property. The UN would control and regulate Jewish immigration. [189] The plan was once again rejected by both sides.

On the next day, 17 September, Bernadotte was assassinated in Jerusalem by the militant Zionist group Lehi. A four-man team ambushed Bernadotte's motorcade in Jerusalem, killing him and a French UN observer sitting next to him. Lehi saw Bernadotte as a British and Arab puppet, and thus a serious threat to the emerging State of Israel, and feared that the provisional Israeli government would accept the plan, which it considered disastrous.

Unbeknownst to Lehi, the government had already decided to reject it and resume combat in a month. Bernadotte's deputy, American Ralph Bunche, replaced him. [190][191][192][193] On 22 September 1948, the Provisional State Council of Israel passed the Area of Jurisdiction and Powers Ordnance, 57081948. The law officially added to Israel's size by annexing all land it had captured since the war began. It also declared that from then on, any part of Palestine captured by the Israeli army would automatically become part of Israel. [194] Little triangle pocket Main article: Operation Shoter The Arab villagers of the area known as the "Little Triangle" south of Haifa, repeatedly fired at Israeli traffic along the main road from Tel Aviv to Haifa and were supplied by the Iraqis from northern Samaria. [195] The sniping at traffic continued during the Second Truce.

The poorly planned assaults on 18 June and 8 July had failed to dislodge Arab militia from their superior positions. The Israelis launched Operation Shoter on 24 July in order to gain control of the main road to Haifa and to destroy all the enemy in the area. [195] Israeli assaults on 24 and 25 July were beaten back by stiff resistance. The Israelis then broke the Arab defenses with an infantry and armour assault backed by heavy artillery shelling and aerial bombing.

Three Arab villages surrendered, and most of the inhabitants fled before and during the attack. The Israeli soldiers and aircraft struck at one of the Arab retreat routes, killing 60 Arab soldiers. Most of the inhabitants fled before and during the attack, reaching northern Samaria; hundreds were forcibly expelled during the following days. At least a hundred militiamen and civilians were killed. [195] The Arabs claimed that the Israelis had massacred Arab civilians, but the Israelis rejected the claims.

[dubious discuss] A United Nations investigation found no evidence of a massacre. Following the operation, the Tel Aviv-Haifa road was open to Israeli military and civilian traffic, and Arab roadblocks along the route were removed.

Traffic along the Haifa-Hadera coastal railway was also restored. Third phase: 15 October 1948 10 March 1949 October battles Israel launched a series of military operations to drive out the Arab armies and secure the northern and southern borders of Israel. Northern front Galilee Further information: Operation Hiram An Israeli mortar team outside Safsaf in October 1948.

Israeli soldiers attack Sasa during Operation Hiram, October 1948. On 22 October, the third truce went into effect. [196] Irregular Arab forces refused to recognize the truce, and continued to harass Israeli forces and settlements in the north.

On the same day that the truce came into effect, the Arab Liberation Army violated the truce by attacking Manara, capturing the strongpoint of Sheikh Abed, repulsing counterattacks by local Israeli units, and ambushed Israeli forces attempting to relieve Manara. The IDF's Carmeli Brigade lost 33 dead and 40 wounded. On 24 October, the IDF launched Operation Hiram and captured the entire upper Galilee area, driving the ALA and Lebanese Army back to Lebanon, and ambushing and destroying an entire Syrian battalion. [198] The Israeli force of four infantry brigades was commanded by Moshe Carmel.

[198] The entire operation lasted just 60 hours, during which numerous villages were captured, often after locals or Arab forces put up resistance. [198] Arab losses were estimated at 400 dead and 550 taken prisoner, with low Israeli casualties. [198] Some prisoners were reportedly executed by the Israeli forces.

An estimated 50,000 Palestinian refugees fled into Lebanon, some of them fleeing ahead of the advancing forces, and some expelled from villages which had resisted, while the Arab inhabitants of those villages which had remained at peace were allowed to remain and became Israeli citizens. The villagers of Iqrit and Birim were persuaded to leave their homes by Israeli authorities, who promised them that they would be allowed to return. Israel eventually decided not to allow them to return, and offered them financial compensation, which they refused to accept. [199] At the end of the month, the IDF had captured the whole of Galilee, driven all Lebanese forces out of Israel, and had advanced 5 miles (8.0 km) into Lebanon to the Litani River, [200] occupying thirteen Lebanese villages. In the village of Hula, two Israeli officers killed between 35 and 58 prisoners as retaliation for the Haifa Oil Refinery massacre. Both officers were later put on trial for their actions.

Negev Israeli troops occupying abandoned Egyptian trenches at Huleiqat, October 1948. IDF forces in Beersheba during Operation Yoav. IDF artillery unit in the Negev IDF forces near Bayt Nattif (near Hebron) after it was captured. Further information: Operation Yoav, Shmone, Lot, Assaf, Horev, Uvda, and Battles of the Sinai Israel launched a series of military operations to drive out the Arab armies and secure the borders of Israel.

However, invading the West Bank might have brought into the borders of the expanding State of Israel a massive Arab population it could not absorb. The Negev desert was an empty space for expansion, so the main war effort shifted to Negev from early October. [201] Israel decided to destroy or at least drive out the Egyptian expeditionary force since the Egyptian front lines were too vulnerable as permanent borders. [202] On 15 October, the IDF launched Operation Yoav in the northern Negev. [173] Its goal was to drive a wedge between the Egyptian forces along the coast and the Beersheba-Hebron-Jerusalem road and ultimately to conquer the whole Negev.

[173] This was a special concern on the Israeli part because of a British diplomatic campaign to have the entire Negev handed over to Egypt and Jordan, and which thus made Ben-Gurion anxious to have Israeli forces in control of the Negev as soon as possible. [173] Operation Yoav was headed by the Southern Front commander Yigal Allon. Committed to Yoav were three infantry and one armoured brigades, who were given the task of breaking through the Egyptian lines. [198] The Egyptian positions were badly weakened by the lack of a defense in depth, which meant that once the IDF had broken through the Egyptian lines, there was little to stop them.

[198] The operation was a huge success, shattering the Egyptian ranks and forcing the Egyptian Army from the northern Negev, Beersheba and Ashdod. [198] In the so-called "Faluja Pocket", an encircled Egyptian force was able to hold out for four months until the 1949 Armistice Agreements, when the village was peacefully transferred to Israel and the Egyptian troops left. [198] Four warships of the Israeli Navy provided support by bombarding Egyptian shore installations in the Ashkelon area, and preventing the Egyptian Navy from evacuating retreating Egyptian troops by sea. [170] On 19 October, Operation Ha-Har commenced in the Jerusalem Corridor, while a naval battle also took place near Majdal (now Ashkelon), with three Israeli corvettes facing an Egyptian corvette with air support. An Israeli sailor was killed and four wounded, and two of the ships were damaged.

One Egyptian plane was shot down, but the corvette escaped. Israeli naval vessels also shelled Majdal on 17 October, and Gaza on 21 October, with air support from the Israeli Air Force. The same day, the IDF captured Beersheba, and took 120 Egyptian soldiers prisoner. On 22 October, Israeli naval commandos using explosive boats sank the Egyptian flagship Emir Farouk, and damaged an Egyptian minesweeper.

[198] On 9 November 1948, the IDF launched Operation Shmone to capture the Tegart fort in the village of Iraq Suwaydan. The fort's Egyptian defenders had previously repulsed eight attempts to take it, including two during Operation Yoav. Israeli forces bombarded the fort before an assault with artillery and airstrikes by B-17 bombers. After breaching the outlying fences without resistance, the Israelis blew a hole in the fort's outer wall, prompting the 180 Egyptian soldiers manning the fort to surrender without a fight. The defeat prompted the Egyptians to evacuate several nearby positions, including hills the IDF had failed to take by force.

Meanwhile, IDF forces took Iraq Suwaydan itself after a fierce battle, losing 6 dead and 14 wounded. From 5 to 7 December, the IDF conducted Operation Assaf to take control of the Western Negev. The main assaults were spearheaded by mechanized forces, while Golani Brigade infantry covered the rear. An Egyptian counterattack was repulsed. The Egyptians planned another counterattack, but it failed after Israeli aerial reconnaissance revealed Egyptian preparations, and the Israelis launched a preemptive strike. About 100 Egyptians were killed, and 5 tanks were destroyed, with the Israelis losing 5 killed and 30 wounded. [citation needed] An Israeli convoy in the Negev during Operation Horev On 22 December, the IDF launched Operation Horev (also called Operation Ayin). [198] The goal of the operation was to drive all remaining Egyptian forces from the Negev, destroying the Egyptian threat on Israel's southern communities and forcing the Egyptians into a ceasefire. During five days of fighting, the Israelis secured the Western Negev, expelling all Egyptian forces from the area. [198] Israeli forces subsequently launched raids into the Nitzana area, and entered the Sinai Peninsula on 28 December. The IDF captured Umm Katef and Abu Ageila, and advanced north towards Al Arish, with the goal of encircling the entire Egyptian expeditionary force. Israeli forces pulled out of the Sinai on 2 January 1949 following joint British-American pressure and a British threat of military action.

IDF forces regrouped at the border with the Gaza Strip. Israeli forces attacked Rafah the following day, and after several days of fighting, Egyptian forces in the Gaza Strip were surrounded.

The Egyptians agreed to negotiate a ceasefire on 7 January, and the IDF subsequently pulled out of Gaza. [198] According to Morris, the inequitable and unfair rules of engagement: the Arabs could launch offensives with impunity, but international interventions always hampered and restrained Israel's counterattacks. [203] On 28 December, the Alexandroni Brigade failed to take the Falluja Pocket, but managed to seize Iraq el-Manshiyeh and temporarily hold it. [204] The Egyptians counterattacked, but were mistaken for a friendly force and allowed to advance, trapping a large number of men.

The Israelis lost 87 soldiers. [citation needed] On 5 March, Operation Uvda was launched following nearly a month of reconnaissance, with the goal of securing the Southern Negev from Jordan. The IDF entered and secured the territory, but did not meet significant resistance along the way, as the area was already designated to be part of the Jewish state in the UN Partition Plan, and the operation meant to establish Israeli sovereignty over the territory rather than actually conquer it.

The Golani, Negev, and Alexandroni brigades participated in the operation, together with some smaller units and with naval support. [205] On 10 March, Israeli forces secured the Southern Negev, reaching the southern tip of Palestine: Umm Rashrash on the Red Sea (where Eilat was built later) and taking it without a battle.

Israeli soldiers raised a hand-made Israeli flag ("The Ink Flag") at 16:00 on 10 March, claiming Umm Rashrash for Israel. The raising of the Ink Flag is considered to be the end of the war. [206] Anglo-Israeli air clashes The funeral of a Royal Air Force pilot killed during a clash with the Israeli Air Force.

As the fighting progressed and Israel mounted an incursion into the Sinai, the Royal Air Force began conducting almost daily reconnaissance missions over Israel and the Sinai. RAF reconnaissance aircraft took off from Egyptian airbases and sometimes flew alongside Royal Egyptian Air Force planes. High-flying British aircraft frequently flew over Haifa and Ramat David Airbase, and became known to the Israelis as the shuftykeit. [207] On 20 November 1948, an unarmed RAF photo-reconnaissance De Havilland Mosquito of No. 13 Squadron RAF was shot down by an Israeli Air Force P-51 Mustang flown by American volunteer Wayne Peake as it flew over the Galilee towards Hatzor Airbase. Peake opened fire with his cannons, causing a fire to break out in the port engine. The aircraft turned to sea and lowered its altitude, then exploded and crashed off Ashdod. The pilot and navigator were both killed. [207][208] Just before noon on 7 January 1949, four Spitfire FR18s from No.

208 Squadron RAF on a reconnaissance mission in the Deir al-Balah area flew over an Israeli convoy that had been attacked by five Egyptian Spitfires fifteen minutes earlier. The pilots had spotted smoking vehicles and were drawn to the scene out of curiosity. Two planes dived to below 500 feet altitude to take pictures of the convoy, while the remaining two covered them from 1,500 feet. [207][209] Israeli soldiers on the ground, alerted by the sound of the approaching Spitfires and fearing another Egyptian air attack, opened fire with machine guns. One Spitfire was shot down by a tank-mounted machine gun, while the other was lightly damaged and rapidly pulled up.

The remaining three Spitfires were then attacked by patrolling IAF Spitfires flown by Slick Goodlin and John McElroy, volunteers from the United States and Canada respectively. All three Spitfires were shot down, and one pilot was killed. [207][209] Two pilots were captured by Israeli soldiers and taken to Tel Aviv for interrogation, and were later released.

Another was rescued by Bedouins and handed over to the Egyptian Army, which turned him over to the RAF. Later that day, four RAF Spitfires from the same squadron escorted by seven Hawker Tempests from No. 213 Squadron RAF and eight from No. 6 Squadron RAF went searching for the lost planes, and were attacked by four IAF Spitfires. The Israeli formation was led by Ezer Weizman.

The remaining three were manned by Weizman's wingman Alex Jacobs and American volunteers Bill Schroeder and Caesar Dangott. [207][209] The Tempests found they could not jettison their external fuel tanks, and some had non-operational guns. Schroeder shot down a British Tempest, killing pilot David Tattersfield, and Weizman severely damaged a British plane flown by Douglas Liquorish. Weizman's plane and two other British aircraft also suffered light damage during the engagement. The battle ended after the British wiggled their wings to be more clearly identified, and the Israelis eventually realized the danger of their situation and disengaged, returning to Hatzor Airbase.

[207][209] Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion personally ordered the wrecks of the RAF fighters that had been shot down to be dragged into Israeli territory. Israeli troops subsequently visited the crash sites, removed various parts, and buried the other aircraft. However, the Israelis did not manage to conceal the wrecks in time to prevent British reconnaissance planes from photographing them. An RAF salvage team was deployed to recover the wrecks, entering Israeli territory during their search. Two were discovered inside Egypt, while Tattersfield's Tempest was found north of Nirim, four miles inside Israel. Interviews with local Arabs confirmed that the Israelis had visited the crash sites to remove and bury the wrecks. Tattersfield was initially buried near the wreckage, but his body was later removed and reburied at the British War Cemetery in Ramla.

[207][210] In response, the RAF readied all Tempests and Spitfires to attack any IAF aircraft they encountered and bomb IAF airfields. British troops in the Middle East were placed on high alert with all leave cancelled, and British citizens were advised to leave Israel. The Royal Navy was also placed on high alert.

At Hatzor Airbase, the general consensus among the pilots, most of whom had flown with or alongside the RAF during World War II, was that the RAF would not allow the loss of five aircraft and two pilots to go without retaliation, and would probably attack the base at dawn the next day. That night, in anticipation of an impending British attack, some pilots decided not to offer any resistance and left the base, while others prepared their Spitfires and were strapped into the cockpits at dawn, preparing to repel a retaliatory airstrike.

However, despite pressure from the squadrons involved in the incidents, British commanders refused to authorize any retaliatory strikes. [207][211] The day following the incident, British pilots were issued a directive to regard any Israeli aircraft infiltrating Egyptian or Jordanian airspace as hostile and to shoot them down, but were also ordered to avoid activity close to Israel's borders.

The British Foreign Office presented the Israeli government with a demand for compensation over the loss of personnel and equipment. [207][212] UN Resolution 194 In December 1948, the UN General Assembly passed Resolution 194. It called to establish a UN Conciliation Commission to facilitate peace between Israel and Arab states.

However, many of the resolution's articles were not fulfilled, since these were opposed by Israel, rejected by the Arab states, or were overshadowed by war as the 1948 conflict continued. Weapons Largely leftover World War II era weapons were used by both sides. Egypt had some British equipment; the Syrian army had some French. German, Czechoslovak and British equipment was used by Israel.

[213] Type Arab armies IDF Tanks Matilda tanks, R-39s, FT-17s, R35s, Panzer IVs (dug in and used as stationary gun emplacements by Egypt), Fiat M13/40, Sherman M4, M-22, Vickers MK-6. Cromwell tanks, H39s, M4 Sherman APCs/IFVs British World War II era trucks, Humber Mk III & IV, Automitrailleuses Dodge/Bich type, improvised armored cars/trucks, Marmon-Herrington Armoured Cars, Universal Carriers, Lloyd Towing Carriers British World War II era trucks, improvised armored cars/trucks, White M3A1 Scout Cars, Daimler Armoured Cars, M3 Half-tracks, IHC M14 Half-tracks, M5 Half-tracks Artillery Mortars, 15 cm sIG33 auf Pz IIs, 25 mm anti-tank guns on Bren carriers, improvised self-propelled guns used by Syrians in 194849, 65 mm mountain guns on Lorraine 38L chenillettes, 2-pounder anti-tank guns, 6-pounder anti-tank guns Mortars, 2-inch (51 mm) British mortars, 65 mm French howitzers (Napoleonchiks), 120 mm French mortars, Davidka mortars Aircraft Spitfires, T-6 Texans, C-47 Dakotas, Hawker Hurricanes, Avro Ansons Spitfires, Avia S-199s, B-17 Flying Fortresses, P-51 Mustangs, C-47 Dakotas Small Arms LeeEnfield rifles, Bren Guns, Sten guns, MAS 36s Sten guns, Mills grenades, Karabiner 98k (Czech copies), Bren Guns, MG-34 Machine guns, Thompson submachine guns, LeeEnfield rifles, Molotov cocktails, PIAT anti-tank infantry weapon Aftermath 1949 Armistice Agreements Main article: 1949 Armistice Agreements Boundaries defined in the 1947 UN Partition Plan for Palestine: Area assigned for a Jewish state Area assigned for an Arab state Planned Corpus separatum with the intention that Jerusalem would be neither Jewish nor Arab Armistice Demarcation Lines of 1949 (Green Line): Israeli controlled territory from 1949 Egyptian and Jordanian controlled territory from 1948 until 1967 In 1949, Israel signed separate armistices with Egypt on 24 February, Lebanon on 23 March, Jordan on 3 April, and Syria on 20 July. The Armistice Demarcation Lines, as set by the agreements, saw the territory under Israeli control encompassing approximately three-quarters of the prior British administered Mandate as it stood after Transjordan's independence in 1946. Israel controlled territories of about one-third more than was allocated to the Jewish State under the UN partition proposal. [214] After the armistices, Israel had control over 78% of the territory comprising former Mandatory Palestine[215][216] or some 8,000 square miles (21,000 km2), including the entire Galilee and Jezreel Valley in the north, whole Negev in south, West Jerusalem and the coastal plain in the center. The armistice lines were known afterwards as the "Green Line". The Gaza Strip and the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) were occupied by Egypt and Jordan respectively. The United Nations Truce Supervision Organization and Mixed Armistice Commissions were set up to monitor ceasefires, supervise the armistice agreements, to prevent isolated incidents from escalating, and assist other UN peacekeeping operations in the region. Just before the signing of the Israel-Jordan armistice agreement, general Yigal Allon proposed to conquer the West Bank up to the Jordan River as the natural, defensible border of the state. Ben-Gurion refused, although he was aware that the IDF was militarily strong enough to carry out the conquest. He feared the reaction of Western powers and wanted to maintain good relations with the United States and not to provoke the British. More, the results of the war were already satisfactory and Israeli leaders had to build a state. [217][218][219] Casualties Main articles: Israeli casualties of war and Palestinian casualties of war See also: Killings and massacres during the 1948 Palestine war Israel lost 6,373 of its people, about 1% of its population at the time, in the war. About 4,000 were soldiers and the rest were civilians. [10] Around 2,000 were Holocaust survivors. [220] The exact number of Arab casualties is unknown. One estimate places the Arab death toll at 7,000, including 3,000 Palestinians, 2,000 Egyptians, 1,000 Jordanians, and 1,000 Syrians.

[105] In 1958, Palestinian historian Aref al-Aref calculated that the Arab armies' combined losses amounted to 3,700, with Egypt losing 961 regular and 200 irregular soldiers and Jordan losing 362 regulars and 200 irregulars. According to Henry Laurens, the Palestinians suffered double the Jewish losses, with 13,000 dead, 1,953 of whom are known to have died in combat situations.

Of the remainder, 4,004 remain nameless but the place, tally and date of their death is known, and a further 7,043, for whom only the place of death is known, not their identities nor the date of their death. According to Laurens, the largest part of Palestinian casualties consisted of non-combatants and corresponds to the successful operations of the Israelis.

[11] Demographic outcome Palestinian Arabs Main articles: 1948 Palestinian exodus and Causes of the 1948 Palestinian exodus 1948 Palestinian exodus Main Articles 194748 civil war 1948 ArabIsraeli War 1948 Palestine war Causes of the exodus Nakba Day Palestinian refugee Palestinian refugee camps Palestinian right of return Palestinian return to Israel Present absentee Transfer Committee Resolution 194 Background Mandatory Palestine Israeli Declaration of Independence IsraeliPalestinian conflict history New Historians Palestine · Plan Dalet 1947 partition plan · UNRWA Key incidents Battle of Haifa Deir Yassin massacre Exodus from Lydda and Ramle Notable writers Aref al-Aref · Yoav Gelber Efraim Karsh · Walid Khalidi Nur-eldeen Masalha · Benny Morris Ilan Pappé · Tom Segev Avraham Sela · Avi Shlaim Related categories/lists List of depopulated villages Related templates Palestinians vte During the 19471948 Civil War in Mandatory Palestine and the 1948 ArabIsraeli War that followed, around 750,000 Palestinian Arabs fled or were expelled from their homes, out of approximately 1,200,000 Arabs living in former British Mandate of Palestine. In 1951, the UN Conciliation Commission for Palestine estimated that the number of Palestinian refugees displaced from Israel was 711,000. [221] This number did not include displaced Palestinians inside Israeli-held territory. More than 400 Arab villages, and about ten Jewish villages and neighborhoods, were depopulated during the ArabIsraeli conflict, most of them during 1948.

According to estimate based on earlier census, the total Muslim population in Palestine was 1,143,336 in 1947. [222] The causes of the 1948 Palestinian exodus are a controversial topic among historians. [223] After the war, around 156,000 Arabs remained in Israel and became Israeli citizens. [224] Displaced Palestinian Arabs, known as Palestinian refugees, were settled in Palestinian refugee camps throughout the Arab world. The United Nations established UNRWA as a relief and human development agency tasked with providing humanitarian assistance to Palestinian refugees. Arab nations refused to absorb Palestinian refugees, instead keeping them in refugee camps while insisting that they be allowed to return. [225][226] Refugee status was also passed on to their descendants, who were also largely denied citizenship in Arab states, except in Jordan. [227] The Arab League instructed its members to deny Palestinians citizenship to avoid dissolution of their identity and protect their right of return to their homeland.

More than 1.4 million Palestinians still live in 58 recognized refugee camps, [225][226] while more than 5 million Palestinians live outside Israel and the Palestinian territories. The Palestinian refugee problem and debate about the Palestinian right of return are also major issues of the ArabIsraeli conflict. Palestinians and their supporters have staged annual demonstrations and commemorations on 15 May of each year, which is known to them as "Nakba Day". The popularity and number of participants in these annual Nakba demonstrations has varied over time.

During the Second Intifada after the failure of the Camp David 2000 Summit, the attendance at the demonstrations against Israel increased. Jews Main article: Jewish exodus from Arab countries Jewish exodus from Arab and Muslim countries Communities Mizrahi (Persian, Baghdadi) Sephardi Yemenites Background Jews under Muslim rule Ottoman Old Yishuv Antisemitism in the Arab World The Holocaust in Libya Farhud Zionism ArabIsraeli conflict 1948 ArabIsraeli War Suez Crisis Six-Day War Algerian War Main events Magic Carpet (Yemen) Ezra and Nehemiah (Iraq) Lebanese exodus Egyptian exodus Moroccan exodus Operation Yachin Pied-Noir (Algeria) Day of Revenge (Libya) Exodus of Iran's Jews Resettlement Template HIAS Mossad LeAliyah Bet JDC Mizrahi Jews in Israel Iranian Iraqi Kurdish Moroccan Syrian Turkish Yemenite Transition camps Immigrant camps Development towns Austerity North African Jews in France Advocation Remembrance Day JIMENA JJAC WOJAC The Forgotten Refugees Related topics Arab Jews Musta'arabi Maghrebi Jews Berber Jews vte During the 1948 War, around 10,000 Jews were forced to evacuate their homes from Arab dominated parts of former Mandatory Palestine.

[228] But in the three years from May 1948 to the end of 1951, 700,000 Jews settled in Israel, mainly along the borders and in former Arab lands, [22] doubling the Jewish population there. [229] Of these, upwards of 300,000 arrived from Asian and North African states. [230][231] Among them, the largest group (over 100,000) was from Iraq. The remaining came mostly from Europe, including 136,000 from the 250,000 displaced Jews of World War II living in refugee camps and urban centers in Germany, Austria, and Italy, [232] and more than 270,000 coming from Eastern Europe, [233] mainly Romania and Poland (over 100,000 each). On the establishment of the state, a top priority was given to a policy for the "ingathering of exiles", and the Mossad LeAliyah Bet gave key assistance to the Jewish Agency to organize immigrants from Europe and the Middle East, and arrange for their transport to Israel.

For Ben-Gurion, a fundamental defect of the State was that'it lacked Jews'. [234] Jewish immigrants from Arab and Muslim countries left for numerous reasons. The war's outcome had exacerbated Arab hostilities to local Jewish communities. News of the victory aroused messianic expectations in Libya and Yemen; Zionism had taken root in many countries; active incentives for making aliyah formed a key part of Israeli policy; and better economic prospects and security were to be expected from a Jewish state. Some Arab governments, Egypt, for example, held their Jewish communities hostage at times.

Persecution, political instability, and news of a number of violent pogroms also played a role. Some 800,0001,000,000 Jews eventually left the Arab world over the next three decades as a result of these various factors. [230] Approximately 680,000 of them immigrated to Israel; the rest mostly settled in Europe (mainly France) or the Americas.

[235] Israel initially relied on Jewish Agency-run tent camps known as immigrant camps to accommodate displaced Jews from Europe and several Muslim-majority states. In the 1950s, these were transformed into transition camps ("Ma'abarot"), where living conditions were improved and tents were replaced with tin dwellings. Unlike the situation in the immigrant camps, when the Jewish Agency provided for immigrants, residents of the transition camps were required to provide for themselves. These camps began to decline in 1952, with the last one closing in 1963.

The camps were largely transformed into permanent settlements known as development towns, while others were absorbed as neighborhoods of the towns they were attached to, and the residents were given permanent housing in these towns and neighborhoods. [236] Most development towns eventually grew into cities.

Some Jewish immigrants were also given the vacant homes of Palestinian refugees. There were also attempts to settle Jewish refugees from Arab and Muslim countries in moshavim (cooperative farming villages), though these efforts were only partially successful, as they had historically been craftsmen and merchants in their home countries, and did not traditionally engage in farm work. Historiography See also: New Historians After the war, Israeli and Palestinian historiographies differed on the interpretation of the events of 1948:[237] in the West the majority view was of a tiny group of vastly outnumbered and ill-equipped Jews fighting off the massed strength of the invading Arab armies; it was also widely believed that the Palestinian Arabs left their homes on the instruction of their leaders. [238] From 1980, with the opening of the Israeli and British archives, some Israeli historians have developed a different account of the period.

In particular, the role played by Abdullah I of Jordan, the British government, the Arab aims during the war, the balance of force and the events related to the Palestinian exodus have been nuanced or given new interpretations. [238] Some of them are still hotly debated among historians and commentators of the conflict today. The Palmach Hebrew: , acronym for Plugot Maatz (Hebrew:), lit. "Strike forces" was the elite fighting force of the Haganah, the underground army of the Yishuv (Jewish community) during the period of the British Mandate for Palestine. The Palmach was established on 15 May 1941.

By the outbreak of the Israeli War of Independence it consisted of over 2,000 men and women in three fighting brigades and auxiliary aerial, naval and intelligence units. With the creation of Israel's army, the three Palmach Brigades were disbanded. This and political reasons compelled many of the senior Palmach officers to resign in 1950. [1] The Palmach contributed significantly to Israeli culture and ethos, well beyond its military contribution. Its members formed the backbone of the Israel Defense Forces high command for many years, and were prominent in Israeli politics, literature and culture.

Contents 1 History 2 Underground 3 Post World War II Operations 3.1 Retaliation raids 3.2 A change in objectives 3.3 Operation Nachshon 3.4 Mishmar Ha'amek 3.5 Operation Yiftach and the conquest of Safad 3.6 The creation of the Israeli Army 3.7 Casualties 4 Military organization 5 In politics and culture 6 Palmach song 7 Notable Palmachniks 8 Palmach Museum 9 References 10 Bibliography 11 External links History[edit] Women of the Palmach at Ein Gedi, 1942 The Palmach was established by the Haganah High Command on 14 May 1941. Its aim was to defend the Palestinian Jewish community against two potential threats. Firstly the occupation of Palestine by the Axis in the event of their victory over the British in North Africa. Secondly, if the British army were to retreat from Palestine, Jewish settlements might come under attack from the Arab population. Yitzhak Sadeh was named as Palmach commander.

[2] Initially the group consisted of around one hundred men. In the early summer of 1941 the British military authorities agreed to joint operations against Vichy French forces in Lebanon and Syria. The first action was a sabotage mission against oil installations at Tripoli, Lebanon. Twenty-three Palmach members and a British liaison officer set out by sea but were never heard of again. [3] On 8 June mixed squads of Palmach and Australians began operating in Lebanon and Syria. The success of these operations led the British GHQ to fund a sabotage training camp for three hundred men at Mishmar HaEmek. Since the Palmach consisted of unpaid volunteers, the funding was used to cover the needs of twice that number of men. [4] When the British ordered the dismantling of Palmach after the Allied victory at the Second Battle of El Alamein in 1942, the organization went underground. Underground[edit] Beit Keshet, First Palmach outpost, 1944 Since British funding had stopped, Yitzhak Tabenkin, head of the kibbutz union HaKibbutz HaMeuhad, suggested the Palmach could be self-funding by having its members work in the kibbutzim. Each kibbutz would host a Palmach platoon and supply them with food, homes and resources. In return the platoon would safeguard the kibbutz and carry out work such as agricultural work. [5] The proposal was accepted in August 1942, when it was also decided that each month Palmach members would have eight training days, 14 work days and seven days off. The program of combined military training, agricultural work and Zionist education was called "Hach'shara Meguyeset" (meaning "Drafted/Recruited Training"). Later, Zionist youth movements offered members aged of 1820 an opportunity to join core groups (gar'in) for agricultural settlement that became the basis for the Nahal. Basic training included physical fitness, small arms, mêlée and KAPAP, basic marine training, topography, first aid and squad operations. Most of the Palmach members received advanced training in one or more of the following areas: sabotage and explosives, reconnaissance, sniping, communications and radio, light and medium machine guns, and operating 2-inch and 3-inch mortars. Platoon training included long marches, combined live-fire drills with artillery support and machine guns and mortars. The Palmach put great emphasis on training independent and broadminded field commanders who would take the initiative and set an example for their troops.

It trained squad commanders and company commanders. The major commanders training course was in the Palmach and many Haganah commanders were sent to be trained in the Palmach. The Palmach commanders' course was the source for many field commanders, who were the backbone of Haganah and, later, the Israel Defense Forces. Post World War II Operations[edit] Small arms training of B Company Main article: Jewish insurgency in Palestine For seven months after the assassination of Lord Moyne, members of the Palmach under the command of Shimon Avidan were involved in the Saison Operation, in which they cooperated with the British in an attempt to crush the Irgun and Stern Gang. [6] But with David Ben-Gurion's decision, 1 October 1945, to launch an armed struggle against the British, the Palmach entered an alliance with the dissident groups, called The Hebrew Resistance Movement.

[7] On 10 October 1945 a force led by Yitzhak Rabin raided the prison at Atlit freeing 208 Jewish prisoners. The first joint operation took place on 31 October 1945 when the Palmach sank three British patrol boats, 2 in Haifa and one in Jaffa, and were involved in 153 bomb attacks on bridges and culverts of the railway system. [8] On the night of 22 February 1946 the Palmach attacked the Police Tegart fort at Shefa-'Amr with a 200-pound bomb; in the firefight that followed, the Palmach suffered casualties. [9] In June 1946 the Palmach blew up ten of the eleven bridges connecting Palestine to its neighbouring countries.

Fourteen Palmach members were killed during the attack on Achziv Bridge. [10][7] The alliance was never completely under Haganah control and the Irgun launched a series of ever more ruthless attacks[11] culminating in the King David Hotel bombing. This attack was the Irgun's response to a British crackdown, "Black Sabbath", launched on 29 June 1946. A combination of the crackdown and the Jewish civilian leadership's outrage at the King David attack led Ben-Gurion to call off further Palmach operations. [12] Retaliation raids[edit] Main article: 194748 Civil War in Mandatory Palestine After a gap of over ten months the Palmach resumed operations.

The one weapon of which there was no shortage was locally produced explosives. [13] On 20 May 1947 they blew up a coffee house in Fajja, specifically in retaliation for the murder of two Jews in nearby Petah Tikva. [14][15] Following the escalation of violence after the UN Partition Resolution the scale of the retaliation operations increased. On 18 December 1947, in an operation approved by Palmach commander Yigal Allon, several houses were blown up in al-Khisas, near the Lebanese border; a dozen civilians were killed.

[16][17] On 31 December 1947 170 men from the Palmach launched an attack on Balad al-Sheikh, Haifa, in retaliation for the killing of 47 Jews at the Haifa oil refinery. Several dozen houses were destroyed and 60 villagers left for dead. [18][19] Around Jaffa, Palmach units destroyed houses in Yazur and Salama. An order dated 3 January 1948 said The aim is... To attack northern part of the village of Salama... To cause deaths, to blow up houses and to burn everything possible. [20] In the Upper Galilee, the Palmach's third Battalion commanded by Moshe Kelman, attacked Sa'sa', 15 February, and blew up ten houses, killing 11 villagers. [21][citation needed] Further north, they raided al-Husayniyya, 16 March 1948, in retaliation for a land mine, they blew up five houses and killed "30 Arab adults". [22][23] In the Northern Negev, 4 April 1948, a Palmach unit in two armoured cars destroyed "nine bedouin lay-bys and one mud hut" after a mine attack on a Jewish Patrol. [24] During this period, in the event known as the Convoy of 35, the Palmach lost 18 men (along with 17 other Haganah fighters) on their way to reinforce the garrison at Kfar Etzion after they were attacked by hundreds of Arab locals and militias.

[25][26] The bodies of the Palmach and Haganah fighters were mutilated to the point that some of them could not be recognized. [27] A change in objectives[edit] This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. Find sources: "Palmach" news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (August 2014) (Learn how and when to remove this template message) Palmach sappers in the ruins of a village, 1948 On 20 February 1948 the Palmach launched an operation in Caesarea, North of Tel Aviv, in which they demolished 30 houses, six were left standing due to lack of explosives.

[citation needed] The objective was to prevent them being occupied by British troops as a base against illegal immigrants. [citation needed] Yitzhak Rabin opposed the attack. Although occupied by Arabs the buildings were Jewish owned. [28][failed verification] With the activation of Plan D and its sub-operations Palmach units were used to demolish villages[citation needed] with the objective of preventing them being used by Palestinian irregulars or the ALA as bases. [citation needed] Operation Nachshon[edit] This section needs additional citations for verification.

Find sources: "Palmach" news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (August 2014) (Learn how and when to remove this template message) Main article: Operation Nachshon Following the attempt to clear the road to Jerusalem, Palmach units "more or less systematically leveled the villages of al-Qastal, Qalinya, Khuda and largely or partly destroyed Beit Surik, Biddu, Shu'fat, Beit Iksa, Beit Mahsir and Sheikh Jarrah (Jerusalem)". [29][30] On 9 April a Palmach unit with mortars took part in the Irgun attack on Deir Yassin. [31][32] Mishmar Ha'amek[edit] Main article: Battle of Mishmar HaEmek Following the failed ALA attack on the Haganah base at Mishmar Ha'amek, and the Haganah's refusal of an offer of a truce, Haganah and Palmach troops counterattacked. Between 8 and 14 April ten villages came under Palmach control. Within two weeks they were leveled. [33][34] Operation Yiftach and the conquest of Safad[edit] Main article: Operation Yiftach Palmach soldier on guard According to Walid Khalidi, the objective of this operation, under the command of Yigal Allon, was to clear upper Galilee of its Arab population. [35] The operation log book, 4 May 1948, states "blow up the houses and burn all the bedouin tents". [36] Typical of the attacks was that on Mughr al-Khayt whose residents fled after a night of bombardment on 2 May 1948. [37] Also on 2 May, the Palmach 3rd Battalion, commanded by Moshe Kelman, attacked Ein al-Zeitun with a Davidka, two 3-inch mortars and eight 2-inch mortars.

During the following two days Palmach sappers blew up and burned all the houses. [38][39] In the aftermath of the capture of this village Battalion Commander Kelman ordered the execution of seventy prisoners. [40] On 6 May the Palmach launched an attack on Safad. It failed to capture the citadel and the Palmach had to withdraw. The defenders offered a cease-fire, which Allon refused.

A second attack was launched on 9 May. This was preceded by a "massive concentrated barrage" using mortars and Davidkas.

The empty Arab quarter of Safad was occupied on 11 May. Between 12,000 and 15,000 refugees had been created.

[41] The Palmach suffered 69 killed during Operation Yiftah. [42] In May 1948 the Palmach had 2,200 permanently mobilised members. [43][44][45] A different source puts the size of the Palmach as 3,000 at the end of November 1947, and, following the mobilization of 3,000 reserves, five battalions were formed by May 1948, consisting of 5,000 fighters of whom 1,200 were women. [46] Palmach units took a major part in the 1948 ArabIsraeli War. At the beginning of the war, Palmach units were responsible for holding Jewish settlements (such as Gush Etzion, Kfar Darom and Revivim) against Arab militias.

Although inferior in numbers and arms, Palmach soldiers held out long enough to allow the Haganah to mobilise the Jewish population and prepare for war. The creation of the Israeli Army[edit] A Palmach patrol in the Negev The Palmach's last operation as an independent unit was against the Irgun, in the Altalena Affair. On 22 June 1948 the Irgun moored the Altalena, loaded with weapons, off Tel Aviv.

Ben-Gurion ordered the Palmach to prevent the arms being landed. One member of the Palmach and fourteen members of the Irgun were killed. [47][48] After the establishment of the Israeli army, the Palmach was reorganised into three IDF brigadesthe Negev Brigade, the Yiftach Brigade, and the Harel Brigade.

The Negev and Yiftah Brigades fought in the Negev against the Egyptian army and managed to stop and later repulse it into the Gaza Strip and Sinai. The Yiftah Brigade was later transferred to the north. The Harel Brigade was centered on Jerusalem. The merging of the Palmach into the Israeli army involved a series of power struggles with Ben-Gurion, known as The Generals' Revolt. In 1949 many senior members of the Palmach resigned from the army. In total, the Palmach lost 1,187 fighters during the war of independence and in the years prior to Israel's creation. [49] Casualties[edit] Palmach M4 Sherman tank leading a convoy The Palmach memorial site records 37 deaths of Palmach members between May 1941 and May 1945. Thirty-one are described as killed in action, six were killed while serving in the British Army and six were killed in the "Struggle against the British Government". A further 39 members of the Palmach died between the May 1945 and November 1947. Twenty-one are recorded as killed in action and one killed in battle, fourteen being killed during the attempt to blow up the Achziv Bridge during the Night of the Bridges.

Twenty-eight died in the struggle against the British. Between the beginning of December 1947 and the end of May 1948, when the Israeli army was created, 574 deaths are listed, of whom 524 were killed in action or in battle; 77 while on convoy duty or securing roads; 59 during Operation Yevusi, including 34 at Nabi Samuel; 20 during Operation Nachshon, all at al-Qastal; 68 during Operation Yiftach; 12 at Mishmar HaEmek.

By district 171 members of the Palmach were killed in Jerusalem and the surrounding area, 104 in and around Gush Etzion, 103 in the Galilee and 81 in the Negev. From June 1948 to December 1949, during which time the Palmach was absorbed into the army, 527 members died, 452 killed in action or in battle; 101 were killed during Operation Danny, including 45 at Khirbet Kurikur; 53 during Operation Yoav; 44 in Operation Horev and 22 during Operation Death to the Invader. By district 234 died in the Negev and Southern Plain; 62 in Jerusalem and surrounds; 44 around Latrun; 42 in the Gaza Strip and 41 in the Central Plain and Coastal Strip. By Brigade, 313 members of the Harel Brigade were killed, 312 from the Negev and 274 from the Yiftach. One of the dead is listed as also being a member of the Lechi. The Palmach memorial site records the death of 34 female members, seventeen killed in action or in battle. Around 520 of the fatalities had been born in Palestine; of whom 117 were from Tel Aviv, 97 from Jerusalem and 56 from Haifa. Over 550 had been born in Europe and Russia; with 181 from Poland, 99 from Germany and 95 from Romania. Another 131 of the dead originated from Arab and Muslim countries; 32 from Turkey, 23 from Syria and 21 from the Yemen.

Of the remainder 13 had been born in the USA. Of the dead, 633 were aged between 18 and 22 years, 302 were between 22 and 25, 138 were 26 and over, and 91 were under 18 years of age. Military organization[edit] The Palmach was organised into regular companies (six in 1943), and five or six special units.

Palmach special units included: The German squad Palmach sapper preparing explosives under bridge in Wadi Serer, 1948. Negev Beasts Ha-Machlaka Ha-Germanit: the "German Platoon" (aka the Middle East Commando) performed covert operations and sabotage operations against Nazi infrastructure in the Middle East and the Balkans. Ha-Machlaka Ha-Aravit: the "Arab Platoon" performed covert operations and espionage missions against Arab militias, which frequently attacked Jewish settlements. It was the base for the Israeli Defense Forces's and the Israeli Border Police's Mista'arvim units. Palyam (Sea Companies): the naval force of the Palmach was formed in 1943, attached to the Palmach's Staff Battalion (the 4th Battalion). They were in charge of underwater demolition and maritime activity units.

The majority of their activities were related to the escorting of ships of Aliyah Bet, immigration ships (66 of them in all) bringing Jewish refugees from Europe by boat, despite the British White Paper of 1939, which introduced restrictions on Jewish immigration to Palestine. Palavir (The Air Companies): made up of Jewish pilots, the Palmach air force was incorporated into the Sherut Avir (predecessor of the Israeli Air Force) upon the Sherut's foundation in late 1947. First delivered late Feb 1948, these were used by the Palavir's, Tel Aviv, Galilee and Negev Squadrons for supply, reconnaissance and light attack roles. Sabotage Units: explosives experts who became the basis for the Israeli Engineering Corps in the IDF.

The Palmach put an emphasis on training field commanders and formed the basis for the Israeli army. During the 194849 War of Independence the Palmach was expanded to form three infantry brigades commanded by Yigal Allon: Yiftach, with three battalions operating in Eastern Galilee (1st and 3rd and later 2nd) Harel, with three battalions operating (4th, 5th and 10th) in the Jerusalem area commanded by Yitzhak Rabin (then age 26) Negev, with four battalions (2nd, 7th, 8th and 9th), one of which was the jeep mounted "Negev Beasts" The Command Battalion controlled naval, air and commando companies. The battle cry of the Palmach commander was! " (Aharai), which literally means "after me! It refers to the commander leading his troops instead of sending them out and staying behind.

In politics and culture[edit] Yigal Allon, Commander of Southern Front, watches the bombardment of Iraq Suwaydan, 9 November 1948 Members of 3rd Battalion gathered in Safed prior to the dissolution of the Palmach in 1949 The Palmach was a broad spectrum left-wing nationalist organisation, associated with socialist parties. Its members trained and lived in kibbutzim.

The political tendencies of its leaders such as Yigal Allon and Yitzhak Sadeh was towards Mapam, a left-wing party in opposition to David Ben-Gurion and the Mapai ruling party. In 1944 a major split had occurred in Palestine's Jewish community's dominant party, Mapai, led by David Ben-Gurion. The breakaway group, which evolved into Mapam, were inspired by Stalin's regime in the Soviet Union, and had a strong following in the kibbutz movement. Since most of the Palmach's members came from the kibbutzim, the Mapam dominated the Palmach, with a majority of its officers being members. [50] After 1948 Ben-Gurion, Prime Minister and Minister of Defence of the new state, had a series of confrontations with leaders of the Haganah and the Palmach.

In a process that Ben-Gurion described as de-politicizing the army, the three Palmach brigades were disbanded and in 1950 most of the Mapam officers resigned. Those Palmach members who had been in Mapam and remained in the army had to endure several years on the margins.

The effect of the de-politicizing was that all senior army posts were held by Mapai members or Ben-Gurion loyalists. [51] After demobilization many Palmach members founded new kibbutzim. Palmach members were not, however, a unified, homogeneous collective with a single ideology. In the early years of the state of Israel they could be found in all political parties.

Yigal Allon, considered by many to be the representative of the Palmach generation, never reached a position of national leadership although he was Prime Minister for a few days between Eshkol's death and Meir's appointment in 1969. Besides military contributions, the Palmach had great influence over the Israeli "Tzabar" culture. Palmach activities included "Kumzitz" (sitting around a fire at night, eating, talking and having fun), public singing and cross-country walking trips.

These often took on mythical proportions and have become favorite activities for Israelis. The Palmach also contributed many anecdotes, jokes, "chizbat" (short funny tales, often based on exaggerations), songs and even books and stories.

Notable Palmach cultural figures include: Yehuda Amichai poet Dahn Ben-Amotz writer, journalist Netiva Ben-Yehuda journalist, writer, radio host Haim Hefer poet, writer Haim Gouri poet, writer Shaike Ophir actor Moshe Shamir writer, playwright Hannah Szenes (Senesh) poet Vidal Sassoon British hairdresser Palmach song[edit] Full text of the song:[52][53] First Stanza , , , . Though the storm is ever mounting Still our heads remain unbowed.

We are ready to obey all commands, The Palmach will win - we've vowed. From Metulla to the Negev, From the desert to the plain, All our youth defend the homeland, Till we bring it peace again. In the eagle's path we follow, Over mountain tracks we go, Among stony heights and caverns We are seeking out the foe.

When you summon us to battle, We will be there first by day or night, We are ready when you give the command, The Palmach will march in might. Notable Palmachniks[edit] High command Eliyahu Golomb general commander of Haganah Yitzhak Sadeh first general commander of Palmach Yigal Allon second general commander of Palmach (19451948) Giora Shanan lieutenant general deputy commander of the Palmach David Nameri lieutenant general commander of the Palmach Yohanan Ratner strategy officer Moshe Bar-Tikva training officer Yitzhak Rabin brigade commander; Allon's second in command Moshe Kelman 3rd Battalion commander Special units commanders Shimon Avidan commander of the "German Department" Israel Ben-Yehuda commander of the "Arab Department" Yigal Allon commander of the "Syrian Department" Company commanders (as of 1943) Yigal Allon, Zalman Mars Pluga Aleph commanders Moshe Dayan, Meir Davidson, Uri Brenner Pluga Beth commanders Uri Yafeh Pluga Gimel commander Benjamin Goldstein Tzur Pluga Dalet commander Abraham Negev Pluga Hey commander Israel Livertovski, Shimon Avidan Pluga Vav commander Yehuda. Ben-Tzur Palyam commander Shmuel Tankus Shmuel Yanai Palyam commander Rafael Eitan 4th Battalion, Company A.

Visitors to the museum join the group of young Palmach recruits from its establishment, and advanced through the story of the Palmach until the end of the War of Independence. The Israeli Declaration of Independence, [note 1] formally the Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel (Hebrew:), was proclaimed on 14 May 1948 (5 Iyar 5708) by David Ben-Gurion, the Executive Head of the World Zionist Organization, [a][2] Chairman of the Jewish Agency for Palestine, and soon to be first Prime Minister of Israel. [3] It declared the establishment of a Jewish state in Eretz-Israel, to be known as the State of Israel, which would come into effect on termination of the British Mandate at midnight that day.

[4][5] The event is celebrated annually in Israel with a national holiday Independence Day on 5 Iyar of every year according to the Hebrew calendar. Contents 1 Background 1.1 Drafting the text 1.2 Minhelet HaAm Vote 1.3 Final wording 1.3.1 Borders 1.3.2 Religion 1.3.3 Name 1.3.4 Other items 2 Declaration ceremony 2.1 Signatories 3 Context and aftermath 4 Status in Israeli law 5 The scroll 6 Official translation 7 See also 8 Notes 9 References 10 External links Background The possibility of a Jewish homeland in Palestine had been a goal of Zionist organizations since the late 19th century. In 1917, the then British Foreign Secretary, Arthur Balfour, stated in a letter to British Jewish community leader Walter, Lord Rothschild, that: His Majesty's government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country. [6] Through this letter, which became known as the Balfour Declaration, British government policy officially endorsed Zionism.

After World War I, the United Kingdom was given a mandate for Palestine, which it had conquered from the Ottomans during the war. In 1937 the Peel Commission suggested partitioning Mandate Palestine into an Arab state and a Jewish state, though the proposal was rejected as unworkable by the government and was at least partially to blame for the renewal of the 193639 Arab revolt. The UN partition plan In the face of increasing violence after World War II, the British handed the issue over to the recently established United Nations.

The result was Resolution 181(II), a plan to partition Palestine into Independent Arab and Jewish States and the Special International Regime for the City of Jerusalem. The Jewish state was to receive around 56% of the land area of Mandate Palestine, encompassing 82% of the Jewish population, though it would be separated from Jerusalem. The plan was accepted by most of the Jewish population, but rejected by much of the Arab populace. On 29 November 1947, the resolution to recommend to the United Kingdom, as the mandatory Power for Palestine, and to all other Members of the United Nations the adoption and implementation, with regard to the future government of Palestine, of the Plan of Partition with Economic Union was put to a vote in the United Nations General Assembly. [7] The result was 33 to 13 in favour of the resolution, with 10 abstentions. Resolution 181(II): PART I: Future constitution and government of Palestine: A.

TERMINATION OF MANDATE, PARTITION AND INDEPENDENCE: Clause 3 provides: Independent Arab and Jewish States and the Special International Regime for the City of Jerusalem... Shall come into existence in Palestine two months after the evacuation of the armed forces of the mandatory Power has been completed but in any case not later than 1 October 1948. The Arab countries (all of which had opposed the plan) proposed to query the International Court of Justice on the competence of the General Assembly to partition a country, but the resolution was rejected. Drafting the text The first draft of the declaration was made by Zvi Berenson, the legal advisor of the Histadrut trade union and later a Justice of the Supreme Court, at the request of Pinchas Rosen.

A revised second draft was made by three lawyers, A. Baker, and was framed by a committee including David Remez, Pinchas Rosen, Haim-Moshe Shapira, Moshe Sharett and Aharon Zisling. [8] A second committee meeting, which included David Ben-Gurion, Yehuda Leib Maimon, Sharett and Zisling produced the final text. [9] Minhelet HaAm Vote On 12 May 1948, the Minhelet HaAm Hebrew: , lit.

People's Administration was convened to vote on declaring independence. [10][11] Three of the thirteen members were missing, with Yehuda Leib Maimon and Yitzhak Gruenbaum being blocked in besieged Jerusalem, while Yitzhak-Meir Levin was in the United States.

The meeting started at 1:45 in the afternoon and ended after midnight. The decision was between accepting the American proposal for a truce, or declaring independence. The latter option was put to a vote, with six of the ten members present supporting it: For: David Ben-Gurion, Moshe Sharett (Mapai); Peretz Bernstein (General Zionists); Haim-Moshe Shapira (Hapoel HaMizrachi); Mordechai Bentov, Aharon Zisling (Mapam).

Against: Eliezer Kaplan, David Remez (Mapai); Pinchas Rosen (New Aliyah Party); Bechor-Shalom Sheetrit (Sephardim and Oriental Communities). Chaim Weizmann, the Chairman of the World Zionist Organization, [a] and soon to be first President of Israel, endorsed the decision, after reportedly asking What are they waiting for, the idiots? [8] Final wording The draft text was submitted for approval to a meeting of Moetzet HaAm Hebrew: , lit. People's Council at the JNF building in Tel Aviv on 14 May. The meeting started at 13:50 and ended at 15:00, an hour before the declaration was due to be made, and despite ongoing disagreements, with a unanimous vote in favour of the final text.

During the process, there were two major debates, centering on the issues of borders and religion. Borders See also: Borders of Israel On the day of its proclamation, Eliahu Epstein wrote to Harry S.

Truman that the state had been proclaimed "within the frontiers approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations in its Resolution of November 29, 1947". The borders were not specified in the Declaration. However, its 14th paragraph included a commitment to implement the UN Partition Plan: THE STATE OF ISRAEL is prepared to cooperate with the agencies and representatives of the United Nations in implementing the resolution of the General Assembly of the 29th November, 1947 The original draft had declared that the borders would be that decided by the UN partition plan. While this was supported by Rosen and Bechor-Shalom Sheetrit, it was opposed by Ben-Gurion and Zisling, with Ben-Gurion stating, We accepted the UN Resolution, but the Arabs did not. They are preparing to make war on us. If we defeat them and capture western Galilee or territory on both sides of the road to Jerusalem, these areas will become part of the state. Why should we obligate ourselves to accept boundaries that in any case the Arabs don't accept? [8] The inclusion of the designation of borders in the text was dropped after the provisional government of Israel, the Minhelet HaAm, voted 54 against it. [9] The Revisionists, committed to a Jewish state on both sides of the Jordan River (that is, including Transjordan), wanted the phrase "within its historic borders" included, but were unsuccessful. Religion The second major issue was over the inclusion of God in the last section of the document, with the draft using the phrase "and placing our trust in the Almighty". The two rabbis, Shapira and Yehuda Leib Maimon, argued for its inclusion, saying that it could not be omitted, with Shapira supporting the wording "God of Israel" or "the Almighty and Redeemer of Israel". [8] It was strongly opposed by Zisling, a member of the secularist Mapam. In the end the phrase "Rock of Israel" was used, which could be interpreted as either referring to God, or the land of Eretz Israel, Ben-Gurion saying Each of us, in his own way, believes in the'Rock of Israel' as he conceives it.

I should like to make one request: Don't let me put this phrase to a vote. Although its use was still opposed by Zisling, the phrase was accepted without a vote. Name The writers also had to decide on the name for the new state. Eretz Israel, Ever (from the name Eber), Judea, and Zion were all suggested, as were Ziona, Ivriya and Herzliya. [12] Judea and Zion were rejected because, according to the partition plan, Jerusalem (Zion) and most of the Judean mountains would be outside the new state.

[13] Ben-Gurion put forward "Israel" and it passed by a vote of 63. [14] Official documents released in April 2013 by the State Archive of Israel show that days before the establishment of the State of Israel in May 1948, officials were still debating about what the new country would be called in Arabic: Palestine (Filastin), Zion (Sayoun) or Israel (Eesrail). Two assumptions were made: "That an Arab state was about to be established alongside the Jewish one in keeping with the UNs partition resolution the year before, and that the Jewish state would include a large Arab minority whose feelings needed to be taken into account". In the end, the officials rejected the name Palestine because they thought that would be the name of the new Arab state and could cause confusion so they opted for the most straightforward option: Israel. [15] Other items At the meeting on 14 May, several other members of Moetzet HaAm suggested additions to the document.

Meir Vilner wanted it to denounce the British Mandate and military but Sharett said it was out of place. Meir Argov pushed to mention the Displaced Persons camps in Europe and to guarantee freedom of language. Ben-Gurion agreed with the latter but noted that Hebrew should be the main language of the state. The debate over wording did not end completely even after the Declaration had been made. Declaration signer Meir David Loewenstein later claimed, It ignored our sole right to Eretz Israel, which is based on the covenant of the Lord with Abraham, our father, and repeated promises in the Tanach.

It ignored the aliya of the Ramban and the students of the Vilna Gaon and the Ba'al Shem Tov, and the [rights of] Jews who lived in the'Old Yishuv'. [16] Declaration ceremony A celebratory crowd outside the Tel Aviv Museum, located in 16 Rothschild Boulevard, to hear the Declaration The invitation to the ceremony, dated 13 May 1948.

David Ben-Gurion declaring independence beneath a large portrait of Theodor Herzl, founder of modern Zionism The ceremony was held in the Tel Aviv Museum (today known as Independence Hall) but was not widely publicised as it was feared that the British Authorities might attempt to prevent it or that the Arab armies might invade earlier than expected. An invitation was sent out by messenger on the morning of 14 May telling recipients to arrive at 15:30 and to keep the event a secret. The event started at 16:00 (a time chosen so as not to breach the sabbath) and was broadcast live as the first transmission of the new radio station Kol Yisrael. [17] The final draft of the declaration was typed at the Jewish National Fund building following its approval earlier in the day.

Ze'ev Sherf, who stayed at the building in order to deliver the text, had forgotten to arrange transport for himself. Ultimately, he had to flag down a passing car and ask the driver (who was driving a borrowed car without a license) to take him to the ceremony. Sherf's request was initially refused but he managed to persuade the driver to take him.

[8] The car was stopped by a policeman for speeding while driving across the city though a ticket was not issued after it was explained that he was delaying the declaration of independence. [14] Sherf arrived at the museum at 15:59.

[18] At 16:00, Ben-Gurion opened the ceremony by banging his gavel on the table, prompting a spontaneous rendition of Hatikvah, soon to be Israel's national anthem, from the 250 guests. [14] On the wall behind the podium hung a picture of Theodor Herzl, the founder of modern Zionism, and two flags, later to become the official flag of Israel. After telling the audience "I shall now read to you the scroll of the Establishment of the State, which has passed its first reading by the National Council", Ben-Gurion proceeded to read out the declaration, taking 16 minutes, ending with the words "Let us accept the Foundation Scroll of the Jewish State by rising" and calling on Rabbi Fishman to recite the Shehecheyanu blessing. [14] Signatories Ben Gurion (Left) Signing the Declaration of Independence held by Moshe Sharet As leader of the Yishuv, David Ben-Gurion was the first person to sign. The declaration was due to be signed by all 37 members of Moetzet HaAm.

However, twelve members could not attend, eleven of them trapped in besieged Jerusalem and one abroad. The remaining 25 signatories present were called up in alphabetical order to sign, leaving spaces for those absent.

Although a space was left for him between the signatures of Eliyahu Dobkin and Meir Vilner, Zerach Warhaftig signed at the top of the next column, leading to speculation that Vilner's name had been left alone to isolate him, or to stress that even a communist agreed with the declaration. [14] However, Warhaftig later denied this, stating that a space had been left for him (as he was one of the signatories trapped in Jerusalem) where a Hebraicised form of his name would have fitted alphabetically, but he insisted on signing under his actual name so as to honour his father's memory and so moved down two spaces. He and Vilner would be the last surviving signatories, and remained close for the rest of their lives. Of the signatories, two were women Golda Meir (Meyerson/Myerson) and Rachel Cohen-Kagan. [19] When Herzl Rosenblum, a journalist, was called up to sign, Ben-Gurion instructed him to sign under the name Herzl Vardi, his pen name, as he wanted more Hebrew names on the document. Although Rosenblum acquiesced to Ben-Gurion's request and legally changed his name to Vardi, he later admitted to regretting not signing as Rosenblum. [14] Several other signatories later Hebraised their names, including Meir Argov (Grabovsky), Peretz Bernstein (then Fritz Bernstein), Avraham Granot (Granovsky), Avraham Nissan (Katznelson), Moshe Kol (Kolodny), Yehuda Leib Maimon (Fishman), Golda Meir (Meyerson/Myerson), Pinchas Rosen (Felix Rosenblueth) and Moshe Sharett (Shertok). Other signatories added their own touches, including Saadia Kobashi who added the phrase "HaLevy", referring to the tribe of Levi. [20] After Sharett, the last of the signatories, had put his name to paper, the audience again stood and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra played "Hatikvah". Ben-Gurion concluded the event with the words The State of Israel is established! Neighbouring Arab states and the Arab League were opposed to the vote and had declared they would intervene to prevent its implementation. In a cablegram on 15 May 1948 to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States claimed that "the Arab states find themselves compelled to intervene in order to restore law and order and to check further bloodshed". [21] Over the next few days after the declaration, armies of Egypt, Trans-Jordan, Iraq, and Syria engaged Israeli troops inside the area of what had just ceased to be Mandatory Palestine, thereby starting the 1948 ArabIsraeli War. A truce began on 11 June, but fighting resumed on 8 July and stopped again on 18 July, before restarting in mid-October and finally ending on 24 July 1949 with the signing of the armistice agreement with Syria. By then Israel had retained its independence and increased its land area by almost 50% compared to the 1947 UN Partition Plan. [22] Following the declaration, Moetzet HaAm became the Provisional State Council, which acted as the legislative body for the new state until the first elections in January 1949. [citation needed] Many of the signatories would play a prominent role in Israeli politics following independence; Moshe Sharett and Golda Meir both served as Prime Minister, Yitzhak Ben-Zvi became the country's second president in 1952, and several others served as ministers. David Remez was the first signatory to pass away, dying in May 1951, while Meir Vilner, the youngest signatory at just 29, was the longest living, serving in the Knesset until 1990 and dying in June 2003. Eliyahu Berligne, the oldest signatory at 82, died in 1959. [citation needed] Eleven minutes after midnight, the United States de facto recognized the State of Israel.

[23] This was followed by Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi's Iran (which had voted against the UN partition plan), Guatemala, Iceland, Nicaragual, Romania, and Uruguay. The Soviet Union was the first nation to fully recognize Israel de jure on 17 May 1948, [24] followed by Poland, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Ireland, and South Africa. [citation needed] The United States extended official recognition after the first Israeli election, as Truman had promised on 31 January 1949.

[25] By virtue of General Assembly Resolution 273 (III), Israel was admitted to membership in the United Nations on 11 May 1949. [26] In the three years following the 1948 Palestine war, about 700,000 Jews immigrated to Israel, residing mainly along the borders and in former Arab lands. [27] Around 136,000 were some of the 250,000 displaced Jews of World War II. [28] And from the 1948 ArabIsraeli War until the early 1970s, 800,0001,000,000 Jews left, fled, or were expelled from their homes in Arab countries; 260,000 of them reached Israel between 1948 and 1951; and 600,000 by 1972.

[29][30][31] At the same time, a large number of Arabs left, fled or were expelled from, what became Israel. In the Report of the Technical Committee on Refugees (Submitted to the United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine in Lausanne on 7 September 1949) A/1367/Rev. 1, in paragraph 15, [32] the estimate of the statistical expert, which the Committee believed to be as accurate as circumstances permitted, indicated that the refugees from Israel-controlled territory amounted to approximately 711,000. [33] Status in Israeli law Independence Hall as it appeared in 2007 Paragraph 13 of the Declaration provides that the State of Israel would be based on freedom, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel; it will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex. However, the Knesset maintains that the declaration is neither a law nor an ordinary legal document.

[34] The Supreme Court has ruled that the guarantees were merely guiding principles, and that the declaration is not a constitutional law making a practical ruling on the upholding or nullification of various ordinances and statutes. [35] In 1994 the Knesset amended two basic laws, Human Dignity and Liberty and Freedom of Occupation, introducing (among other changes) a statement saying the fundamental human rights in Israel will be honored... In the spirit of the principles included in the declaration of the establishment of the State of Israel. The scroll Although Ben-Gurion had told the audience that he was reading from the scroll of independence, he was actually reading from handwritten notes because only the bottom part of the scroll had been finished by artist and calligrapher Otte Wallish by the time of the declaration (he did not complete the entire document until June). [16] The scroll, which is bound together in three parts, is generally kept in the country's National Archives.

Official translation Translation of the Declaration by the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Land of Israel was the birthplace of the Jewish people.

Here their spiritual, religious and political identity was shaped. Here they first attained to statehood, created cultural values of national and universal significance and gave to the world the eternal Book of Books.

After being forcibly exiled from their land, the people kept faith with it throughout their Dispersion and never ceased to pray and hope for their return to it and for the restoration in it of their political freedom. Impelled by this historic and traditional attachment, Jews strove in every successive generation to re-establish themselves in their ancient homeland. Pioneers, ma'pilim [(Hebrew) immigrants coming to Eretz-Israel in defiance of restrictive legislation] and defenders, they made deserts bloom, revived the Hebrew language, built villages and towns, and created a thriving community controlling its own economy and culture, loving peace but knowing how to defend itself, bringing the blessings of progress to all the country's inhabitants, and aspiring towards independent nationhood.

In the year 5657 (1897), at the summons of the spiritual father of the Jewish State, Theodore Herzl, the First Zionist Congress convened and proclaimed the right of the Jewish people to national rebirth in its own country. This right was recognized in the Balfour Declaration of the 2nd November, 1917, and re-affirmed in the Mandate of the League of Nations which, in particular, gave international sanction to the historic connection between the Jewish people and Eretz-Israel and to the right of the Jewish people to rebuild its National Home. The catastrophe which recently befell the Jewish people the massacre of millions of Jews in Europe was another clear demonstration of the urgency of solving the problem of its homelessness by re-establishing in Eretz-Israel the Jewish State, which would open the gates of the homeland wide to every Jew and confer upon the Jewish people the status of a fully privileged member of the comity of nations. Survivors of the Nazi holocaust in Europe, as well as Jews from other parts of the world, continued to migrate to Eretz-Israel, undaunted by difficulties, restrictions and dangers, and never ceased to assert their right to a life of dignity, freedom and honest toil in their national homeland.

In the Second World War, the Jewish community of this country contributed its full share to the struggle of the freedom- and peace-loving nations against the forces of Nazi wickedness and, by the blood of its soldiers and its war effort, gained the right to be reckoned among the peoples who founded the United Nations. On the 29th November, 1947, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution calling for the establishment of a Jewish State in Eretz-Israel; the General Assembly required the inhabitants of Eretz-Israel to take such steps as were necessary on their part for the implementation of that resolution. This recognition by the United Nations of the right of the Jewish people to establish their State is irrevocable. This right is the natural right of the Jewish people to be masters of their own fate, like all other nations, in their own sovereign State. ACCORDINGLY WE, MEMBERS OF THE PEOPLE'S COUNCIL, REPRESENTATIVES OF THE JEWISH COMMUNITY OF ERETZ-ISRAEL AND OF THE ZIONIST MOVEMENT, ARE HERE ASSEMBLED ON THE DAY OF THE TERMINATION OF THE BRITISH MANDATE OVER ERETZ-ISRAEL AND, BY VIRTUE OF OUR NATURAL AND HISTORIC RIGHT AND ON THE BASIS OF THE RESOLUTION OF THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY, HEREBY DECLARE THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A JEWISH STATE IN ERETZ-ISRAEL, TO BE KNOWN AS THE STATE OF ISRAEL.

WE DECLARE that, with effect from the moment of the termination of the Mandate being tonight, the eve of Sabbath, the 6th Iyar, 5708 (15th May, 1948), until the establishment of the elected, regular authorities of the State in accordance with the Constitution which shall be adopted by the Elected Constituent Assembly not later than the 1st October 1948, the People's Council shall act as a Provisional Council of State, and its executive organ, the People's Administration, shall be the Provisional Government of the Jewish State, to be called "Israel". THE STATE OF ISRAEL will be open for Jewish immigration and for the Ingathering of the Exiles; it will foster the development of the country for the benefit of all its inhabitants; it will be based on freedom, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel; it will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex; it will guarantee freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture; it will safeguard the Holy Places of all religions; and it will be faithful to the principles of the Charter of the United Nations. THE STATE OF ISRAEL is prepared to cooperate with the agencies and representatives of the United Nations in implementing the resolution of the General Assembly of the 29th November, 1947, and will take steps to bring about the economic union of the whole of Eretz-Israel. WE APPEAL to the United Nations to assist the Jewish people in the building-up of its State and to receive the State of Israel into the comity of nations. WE APPEAL in the very midst of the onslaught launched against us now for months to the Arab inhabitants of the State of Israel to preserve peace and participate in the upbuilding of the State on the basis of full and equal citizenship and due representation in all its provisional and permanent institutions.

WE EXTEND our hand to all neighbouring states and their peoples in an offer of peace and good neighbourliness, and appeal to them to establish bonds of cooperation and mutual help with the sovereign Jewish people settled in its own land. The State of Israel is prepared to do its share in a common effort for the advancement of the entire Middle East. WE APPEAL to the Jewish people throughout the Diaspora to rally round the Jews of Eretz-Israel in the tasks of immigration and upbuilding and to stand by them in the great struggle for the realization of the age-old dream the redemption of Israel.

PLACING OUR TRUST IN THE "ROCK OF ISRAEL", WE AFFIX OUR SIGNATURES TO THIS PROCLAMATION AT THIS SESSION OF THE PROVISIONAL COUNCIL OF STATE, ON THE SOIL OF THE HOMELAND, IN THE CITY OF TEL-AVIV, ON THIS SABBATH EVE, THE 5TH DAY OF IYAR, 5708 (14TH MAY, 1948). The The Bren gun is a series of light machine guns (LMG) made by Britain in the 1930s and used in various roles until 1992. While best known for its role as the British and Commonwealth forces' primary infantry LMG in World War II, it was also used in the Korean War and saw service throughout the latter half of the 20th century, including the 1982 Falklands War. Although fitted with a bipod, it could also be mounted on a tripod or be vehicle-mounted. The Bren gun was a licensed version of the Czechoslovak ZGB 33 light machine gun which, in turn, was a modified version of the ZB vz.

26, which British Army officials had tested during a firearms service competition in the 1930s. The later Bren gun featured a distinctive top-mounted curved box magazine, conical flash hider, and quick change barrel. The name Bren was derived from Brno, the Czechoslovak city in Moravia, where the Zb vz. 26 was designed (in the Zbrojovka Brno Factory) and Enfield, site of the British Royal Small Arms Factory. The designer was Václav Holek, a gun inventor and design engineer.

In the 1950s, many Bren guns were re-barrelled to accept the 7.62×51mm NATO cartridge and modified to feed from the magazine for the L1 (Commonwealth version of the FN FAL) rifle as the L4 light machine gun. It was replaced in the British Army as the section LMG by the L7 general-purpose machine gun (GPMG), a heavier belt-fed weapon.

This was supplemented in the 1980s by the L86 Light Support Weapon firing the 5.56×45mm NATO round, leaving the Bren gun in use only as a pintle mount on some vehicles. The Bren gun was manufactured by Indian Ordnance Factories as the "Gun Machine 7.62mm 1B"[3] before it was discontinued in 2012. [4] Contents 1 Development 2 Service 2.1 Second World War 2.2 Post-war 3 Variants 3.1 Mark 1 3.2 Mark 2 3.3 Mark 3 3.4 Mark 4 3.5 L4 3.6 Taden gun 3.7 Semiautomatic Bren guns 4 World War II production 5 Users 6 Gallery 7 See also 8 Notes 9 References 10 External links Development[edit] At the Battle of Ortona, December 1943 Australian assault on a pillbox at Giropa Point, January 1943 A member of No. 9 Commando at Anzio, equipped for a patrol with his Bren gun, 5 March 1944 A Bren gunner of the Norwegian Brigade takes aim during training at Dumfries, Scotland, 27 June 1941. At the close of the First World War in 1918, the British Army was equipped with two main automatic weapons; the Vickers medium machine gun (MMG) and the Lewis light machine gun (LMG). The Vickers was heavy and required a supply of water to keep it in operation, which tended to relegate it to static defence and indirect fire support. The Lewis, although lighter, was still heavy and was prone to frequent stoppages; its barrel could not be changed in the field, which meant that sustained firing resulted in overheating until it stopped altogether. In 1922, to find a replacement for the Lewis, the Small Arms Committee of the British Army ran competitive trials between the Madsen, the Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR), the Hotchkiss, the Beardmore-Farquhar, and the Lewis itself.

Although the BAR was recommended, the sheer number of Lewis guns available and the difficult financial conditions meant that nothing was done. Various new models of light machine gun were tested as they became available, and in 1930, a further set of extensive trials commenced, overseen by Frederick Hubert Vinden. [5] This time the weapons tested included the SIG Neuhausen KE7, the Vickers-Berthier and the Czechoslovak ZB vz.

The Vickers-Berthier was later adopted by the Indian Army because it could be manufactured at once, rather than wait for the British Lewis production run to finish; it too saw extensive service in World War II. [6] Following these trials, the British Army adopted the Czechoslovak ZB vz. 26 light machine gun manufactured in Brno in 1935, although a slightly modified model, the ZB vz.

27, rather than the ZB vz. 26 which had been submitted for the trials. The design was modified to British requirements under new designation ZGB 33, which was then licensed for British manufacture under the Bren name. The major changes were in the magazine and barrel and the lower pistol grip assembly which went from a swivelling grip frame pivoted on the front of the trigger guard to a sliding grip frame which included the forward tripod mount and sliding ejection port cover. The magazine was curved in order to feed the rimmed.

303 SAA ("Small Arms Ammunition") cartridge, a change from the various rimless Mauser-design cartridges such as the 8mm Mauser round previously used by Czech designs. These modifications were categorised in various numbered designations, ZB vz. 32, and finally the ZGB 33, which was licensed for manufacture under the Bren name. The Bren was a gas-operated weapon, which used the same. 303 ammunition as the standard British bolt-action rifle, the LeeEnfield, firing at a rate of between 480 and 540 rounds per minute (rpm), depending on the model.

Propellant gases vented from a port towards the muzzle end of the barrel through a regulator (visible in the photo, just in front of the bipod) with four quick-adjustment apertures of different sizes, intended to tailor the gas volume to different ambient temperatures smallest flow at high temperature, e. Summer desert, largest at low temperature, e. The vented gas drove a piston which in turn actuated the breech block. Each gun came with a spare barrel that could be quickly changed when the barrel became hot during sustained fire, though later guns featured a chrome-lined barrel, which reduced the need for a spare. To change barrels, the release catch in front of the magazine was rotated to unlock the barrel.

The carrying handle above the barrel was used to grip and remove the hot barrel without burning the hands. The Bren was magazine-fed, which slowed its rate of fire and required more frequent reloading than British belt-fed machine guns such as the larger. The slower rate of fire prevented more rapid overheating of the Bren's air-cooled barrel, and the Bren was much lighter than belt-fed machine guns, which typically had cooling jackets, often liquid filled. The magazines also prevented the ammunition from getting dirty, which was more of a problem with the Vickers with its 250-round canvas belts.

The sights were offset to the left, to avoid the magazine on the top of the weapon. The position of the sights meant that the Bren could be fired only from the right shoulder. [7] Service[edit] Second World War[edit] Indian troops man a Bren gun on an anti-aircraft tripod, Western Desert April 1941 In the British and Commonwealth armies, the Bren was generally issued on a scale of one per rifle section.

[8] An infantry battalion also had a "carrier" platoon, equipped with Universal Carriers, each of which carried a Bren gun. [9] Parachute battalions from 1944 had an extra Bren in the AT platoon. [10] The 66-man "Assault Troop" of British Commandos had a nominal establishment of four Bren guns. Realising the need for additional section-level firepower, the British Army endeavoured to issue the Bren in great numbers, with a stated goal of one Bren to every four private soldiers. [11] The Bren was operated by a two-man crew, sometimes commanded by a Lance Corporal as an infantry section's "gun group", the remainder of the section forming the "rifle group".

The gunner or "Number 1" carried and fired the Bren, and a loader or "Number 2" carried extra magazines, a spare barrel and a tool kit. [12] Number 2 helped reload the gun and replace the barrel when it overheated, and spotted targets for Number 1. Generally, the Bren was fired from the prone position using the attached bipod. [13] On occasion, a Bren gunner would use his weapon on the move supported by a sling, much like an automatic rifle, and from standing or kneeling positions.

Using the sling, Australian soldiers regularly fired the Bren from the hip, for instance in the marching fire tactic, a form of suppressive fire moving forward in assault. A Victoria Cross was awarded to Private Bruce Kingsbury for such use at Isurava, New Guinea, in 1942, during the Australians' fighting retreat from Kokoda. Bren gunner of the Royal Scots in North Brabant, the Netherlands, 1944 Each British soldier's equipment normally included two magazines for his section's Bren gun. The large ammunition pouches on the 1937 Pattern Web Equipment were designed around the Bren magazine. Every soldier would be trained to fire the Bren in case of an emergency, though these soldiers did not receive a Bren proficiency badge. [citation needed] The Bren had an effective range of around 600 yards (550 m) when fired from a prone position with a bipod. [11] For a light machine gun of the interwar and early World War II era, the Bren was about average in weight. On long marches in non-operational areas it was often partially disassembled and its parts were carried by two soldiers. The top-mounted magazine vibrated and moved during fire, making the weapon more visible in combat, and many Bren gunners used paint or improvised canvas covers to disguise the prominent magazine. [14] The 30-round magazine was in practice usually filled with 27 or 28 rounds to prevent jams and avoid wearing out the magazine spring. Care needed to be taken when loading the magazine to ensure that each round went ahead of the previous round, so that the. 303 cartridge rims did not overlap the wrong way, which would cause a jam. The spent cartridge cases were ejected downwards, which was an improvement on the Lewis gun, which ejected sideways, since the glint of them flying through the air could compromise a concealed firing position. [15] Bren carried by a Canadian soldier in 1945 In general, the Bren was considered a reliable and effective light machine gun, though in North Africa it was reported to jam regularly unless kept very clean and free of sand or dirt.

[11] It was popular with British troops, who respected its reliability and combat effectiveness. The quality of the materials used would generally ensure minimal jamming. When the gun did jam through fouling caused by prolonged firing, the operator could adjust the four-position gas regulator to feed more gas to the piston increasing the power to operate the mechanism.

The barrel needed to be unlocked and slid forward slightly to allow the regulator to be turned. It was even said that all problems with the Bren could simply be cleared by hitting the gun, turning the regulator or doing both. It was "by general consent the finest light machine gun in the world of its period, and the most useful weapon provided to the (French) "maquis... Accurate up to 1,000 meters, and (it) could withstand immense maltreatment and unskilled use. "Resistants" were constantly pleading for maximum drops of Brens.

[16] Bren with 100 round detachable pan magazine. With the magazine fitted, the original sights cannot be used. This became a greater issue when it was discovered that only 2,300 of the 30,000 Bren guns issued to the British Expeditionary Force came back to Britain after the defeat of France. As the result, cost savings and increased rate of production became two main goals for subsequent variant designs. The Bren Mk II design simplified production by replacing the drum rear sight with a ladder design, making the bipod legs non-adjustable, simplifying the gun butt, reducing the use of stainless steel, among other steps that reduced the cost by 20% to 25%; Mk II was approved in September 1940 and entered production in 1941.

While the Bren Mk III design also aimed at reducing cost, it also had the concurrent goal of being lightened for jungle warfare; the final product weighed 19 pounds and 5 ounces (3 pounds lighter than the original Bren Mk I design); it was standardised in July 1944 and saw a production of 57,600. Also standardised in July 1944 was the Bren Mk IV, which was further lightened to 19 pounds and 2 ounces; however, it did not enter production until July 1945, and only 250 were built before the end of the war. While Enfield was able to produce only 400 Bren Mk I guns each month, with the various simplification efforts production numbers rose to 1,000 guns per week by 1943. Among the variant designs were two speciality prototypes that never entered production: The belt-fed Taden gun for stationary defence use, and the ultra-simplified Besal gun to be produced in case a German invasion of Britain actually took place (which would hinder British production efforts).

Later designs of production Bren guns featured chrome-lined barrels that offered less resistance, preventing overheating and reducing the need for quick changes of barrels. [18] Bren guns were produced outside of Britain as well. In Canada, the John Inglis plant in Toronto began tooling its facilities for production in 1938; the first of 186,000 examples was completed in Mar 1940. Some of the Inglis-built Bren guns were chambered for the 7.92-millimeter Mauser ammunition; these were destined for export to Nationalist Chinese forces rather than for British and Commonwealth forces. In Australia, the Lithgow Small Arms Factory in New South Wales began building Bren guns in 1940; a total of 17,249 were built.

In India, the factory at Ishapore began building Bren guns in 1942 (it had produced Vickers-Berthier machine guns prior to this time), and would continue producing them for decades long after the end of WW2. Many of the Bren guns produced at Ishapore went to Indian troops, who had lost a great number of automatic weapons during the disastrous campaigns against the Japanese in Malaya and Burma; 17th Indian Infantry Division, for example, found itself with only 56 Bren guns after fleeing out of Burma in 1942. [18] A complicated tripod mount was available to allow the Bren to be used as an indirect-fire weapon, but this was rarely used in the field. The Bren was also used on many vehicles, including on Universal Carriers, to which it gave the alternative name "Bren Gun Carrier", and on tanks and armoured cars. It could not be used as a co-axial weapon on tanks, as the magazine restricted its depression and was awkward to handle in confined spaces, and it was therefore used on a pintle mount only.

The belt fed Vickers or Besa, the latter being another Czechoslovak machine gun design adopted by the British, were instead used as co-axial weapons. An unfortunate problem occurred when the Bren was fired from the Dingo Scout Car; the hot cartridge cases tended to be ejected down the neck of the driver, whose position was next to the pintle.

A canvas bag was designed to catch the cartridges and overcome the problem, but it seems to have been rarely issued. [15] Bren gun mounted on a tripod, 2010 The Bren was also employed in the anti-aircraft role. The tripod could be adjusted to allow high angle fire.

There were also several designs of less-portable mountings, including the Gallows and Mottley mounts. A 100-round pan magazine was available for the Bren for use in the anti-aircraft role. [19] The Bren's direct ancestor, the Czechoslovak ZB vz.

26, was also used in World War II by German and Romanian forces, including units of the Waffen SS. Some ex-Chinese Czech ZB weapons were also in use in the early stages of the Vietnam War. Production of a 7.92 mm round model for the Far East was carried out by Inglis of Canada. The Bren was also delivered to the Soviet Union as part of the lend-lease program[20] Post-war[edit] The British Army, and the armies of various countries of the Commonwealth, used the Bren in the Korean War, the Malayan Emergency, the Mau Mau Uprising and the IndonesiaMalaysia confrontation, where it was preferred to its replacement, the belt-fed GPMG, on account of its lighter weight. In the conflict in Northern Ireland (19691998), a British Army squad typically carried the L4A4 version of the Bren as the squad automatic weapon in the 1970s. [21] During the Falklands War in 1982, 40 Commando Royal Marines carried one LMG and one GPMG per section. Its final operational deployment with the British Army, on a limited scale, was to the First Gulf War in 1991. [22] When the British Army adopted the 7.62 mm NATO cartridge, the Bren was re-designed to 7.62 mm calibre, fitted with a new bolt, barrel and magazine. It was redesignated as the L4 light machine gun (in various sub-versions) and remained in British Army service into the 1990s. A slotted flash hider similar to that of the contemporary L1 rifle and L7 general purpose machine gun replaced the conical flash hider. The change from a rimmed to rimless cartridge and nearly straight magazine improved feeding considerably, and allowed use of 20-round magazines from the 7.62 mm L1A1 Self-Loading Rifle. The 30-round magazine from the L4 also fitted the L1A1 rifle, but the magazine spring was not always strong enough to provide enough upward pressure to feed rounds correctly, this being remedied by stretching the magazine springs. Completion of the move to a 5.56 mm NATO cartridge led to Army removing the Bren/L4 from the list of approved weapons and then withdrawing it from service. The Mark III Bren remained in limited use with the Army Reserve of the Irish Defence Forces until 2006, when the 7.62 mm GPMG replaced it. The Bren was popular with the soldiers who fired it (known as Brenners) as it was light and durable, and had a reputation for accuracy. The most notable use of the Bren by Irish forces was in the Congo Crisis during the 1960s, when the Bren was the regular army's standard section automatic weapon. Bren guns were in service with the Rhodesian Security Forces during the Rhodesian Bush War, including a substantial number re-chambered for 7.62 mm cartridges similar to those examples in the British Army.

[23] The Rhodesian Bren guns continued to see frequent action until the 1970s, when they were largely replaced by the FN MAG. [24] A few were captured and re-issued by the Zimbabwe People's Revolutionary Army (ZIPRA). [25] Some examples were still in service with reservists of the British South Africa Police in 1980, and were inherited by the Zimbabwe Republic Police upon the country's internationally recognised independence. [26] Zimbabwean policemen continued to deploy Bren guns during operations against ZIPRA dissidents throughout the early 1980s. [26] The South African Defence Force deployed Bren guns during the South African Border War alongside the more contemporary FN MAG as late as 1978.

[27] Variants[edit] L4 Mark 1[edit] Introduced September 1937; the original Bren, based on the Czechoslovak gun. Overall length 45.5 inches, 25 inch barrel length. Features: Drum-pattern rear aperture sight Buttstrap for use over-the-shoulder when firing Rear grip under butt Telescoping bipod Folding cocking handle An Enfield-made.

303 Bren Mk 1 was converted to 7.92mm BESA in 1938 due to the suggestion of a possibility of a British Army change over to a rimless cartridge for machine guns being mooted. [i] Mark 2[edit] Introduced 1941. A simplified version of the Mk1 more suited to wartime production with original design features subsequently found to be unnecessary deleted.

[ii] Produced by Inglis of Canada and the Monotype Group through a number of component manufacturing factories. Sometimes known as the "Garage hands" model. Weight 23 lb, 3 oz. Features: Folding-leaf rear sight Buttstrap deleted Rear grip deleted Fixed height bipod Fixed cocking handle The Bren Mk2 was much simplified in the body, which although still being milled from a solid billet of steel, required significantly fewer milling operations than the Mk1, resulting in a much cleaner appearance. The bipod was simplified in design as well as not having extending legs.

Most Mk2 bipods resembled a simple A-frame and were more'soldier proof'. The Mk2 also featured a slightly higher rate of fire than the Mk1. The woodwork on the Mk2 was simplified by being less ornate and ergonomic, which sped up the manufacturing process.

The barrel was also simplified by means of a non-stepped removable flash hider and, in some cases, a barrel fore-end that was matte instead of highly polished. The buffered buttplate of the Mk1 was omitted and replaced with a sheet metal buttplate.

A small number of Inglis-made. 303 Bren Mk 2 were converted post-war to fire the. 280 7 mm Mk 1Z round used by the EM-2 rifle. The Inglis version of the Bren Mk 2 chambered for the 30-06 cartridge and known as the M41 was also manufactured in Formosa in 1952.

Mark 3[edit] A shorter and lighter Bren made by Enfield from 1944 for the war in the East and for Airborne Forces. This was similar to the Mk2 but with the light weight features of the early Mk1. With the main distinguishing feature being a shorter barrel and serrated area in front of the barrel nut. Overall length 42.9 inches, 22.25 inch barrel length.

Weight 19 lb, 5 oz. Mark 4[edit] As with the Mk3 but this was a conversion of a Mk2. Weight 19 lb, 2 oz.

L4[edit] L4 or Machine Gun 1B in Indian service A conversion of the Bren to 7.62mm NATO from 1958. Indian Army variants may be new-build, not conversions. L4 Brens can easily be identified by their different magazine.

The British-issue L4 magazine is of 30-round capacity and has a slight curve. The L4 magazine was interchangeable with the L1A1 SLR magazine, so the L4 Bren also can be seen fitted with straight 20-round magazines from the SLR or with the straight 30-round magazine from the Australian L2A1 or Canadian C2A1 heavy-barrel SLR.

The flash suppressor was changed from the cone type of. 303 variants to a slotted type similar in appearance to that used on the SLR and L7 GPMG.

All L4s are chambered for 7.62×51mm NATO rimless ammunition. Assam Police constable manning Indian version of Bren LMG Designation Description L4A1 Bren Mk3 conversion originally known as X10E1, with Mk1 bipod and two steel barrels. [iii] L4A2 Bren Mk3 conversion originally known as X10E2, lightened bipod and two steel barrels. L4A3 Bren Mk2 conversion, one chromium-plated steel barrel.

[iv] L4A4 L4A2 variant with one chromium-plated steel barrel L4A5 L4A3 with two steel barrels for Royal Navy L4A6 L4A1 variant with one chromium-plated steel barrel L4A7 Conversion of MK1 Bren. 280 British intermediate round proposed to replace the.

The Taden was belt-fed with spade grips and would have replaced both the Bren and the Vickers machine gun. Although reliable[citation needed] it was not accepted due to the US-driven standardization within NATO on the larger 7.62×51mm NATO round. [28] Semiautomatic Bren guns[edit] Many nations' militaries have disposed of their Bren guns as surplus to their needs.

Surplus Brens have been imported to the United States for sale to collectors, but due to US gun laws restricting the importation of automatic weapons such guns must be legally destroyed by cutting up the receivers. A number of US gunsmiths have manufactured new semiautomatic Brens by welding the pieces of destroyed receivers back together, with modifications to prevent the use of full automatic parts, and fitting new fire-control components capable of only semiautomatic fire. The balance of the parts are surplus Bren parts. Such "semiautomatic machine guns" are legally considered rifles under US Federal law and the laws of most states. World War II production[edit] "Ronnie, the Bren Gun Girl", poses with the finished product at the John Inglis plant, Toronto, 1941 RSAF Enfield, UK: 400 per month.

1943: 1,000 per week. John Inglis and Company, Canada: A contract was signed with the British and Canadian governments in March 1938 to supply 5,000 Bren machine guns to Great Britain and 7,000 Bren machine guns to Canada. Both countries shared the capital costs of bringing in this new production facility.

Production started in 1940, and by 1943 Inglis was producing 60% of the world output of Bren machine guns. Kanpur, India: The first Indian-made Bren was made in.

303 British in 1953 before it was later rechambered to fire 7.62 NATO ammo in 1964. [29][30] Lithgow Small Arms Factory, Australia.

Users[edit] Watched by two small boys, a member of the FFI (French Forces of the Interior), poses with his Bren at Châteaudun, 1944. Algeria: National Liberation Army received 500 Brens from Egypt[31] Australia: during World War II and Korean War. [32] Continued in limited service until about the time of the general introduction of the F88 Steyr (ca 1990). [citation needed] Bangladesh[33] Barbados[33] Belize[33] Belgium: post-war[34] Biafra[35] Botswana[33] Kingdom of Bulgaria: received Czech-made Brens in 8×56mmR, designated kartnice 39[36] Canada[37] Chadian FROLINAT[38] Central African Republic: used by Gendarmerie and Republican Guard[39] Croatia: Mark 2 version known to be used in the Croatian War of Independence. [40] People's Republic of China: Many guns captured from Kuomintang.

[41] Some converted to fire 7.62x39 caliber ammunition from ammo supplied by their Soviet allies. They used regular AK-47 magazines. [42] Republic of China (19121949): used by National Revolutionary Army[43] 43,000 guns produced in 7.92×57mm Mauser by Inglis in Canada. 30-06 Springfield version of Bren Mk II, the Type 41 (1952). [45][42] Democratic Republic of Congo[33] Central African Republic[46] Cyprus[47][48] Denmark: post-war[49] Egypt[50] France Free France: Used by the Free French Forces and French Resistance.

[51][52] Vichy France: Captured Brens were issued to the Milice. [53] French Far East Expeditionary Corps[54] Gambia[33] Ghana[33] Greece[55][56] Grenada[57] Guyana[33] India: manufactured by the Ordnance Factories Board[3][33] Phased out of Indian military service in 2012. [4] Indonesia[58][59] Ireland: Irish Defence Forces, replaced by the FN MAG in 1960s. [60] Remained in use with Irish military reserve forces until the early 2000s.

Israel: During its war of independence and for some time thereafter by the Haganah and the Israeli Defense Forces. [61] Italy: airdropped to partisans and also issued to the Italian Co-Belligerent Army in the latter part of WWII. It continued to see post-war use with the Italian Army. [62] Also used by the Italian Police in. [42] Jamaica[4] Japan: captured weapons. [63] Jordan: Arab Legion[64] Kenya[33] North Korea[65] Lesotho[33] Libya[21] Luxembourg[citation needed] Malaysia[66] Myanmar[67] Mauritius[33] Nazi Germany: used captured examples[68] under the designation 7.7 mm Leichtes MG 138(e)[60] Nepal:[33] Bren L4[69] Netherlands: post-war[70] New Zealand: WWII and L4 post war[71] Nigeria[72] Norway: post-war[73] Pakistan[4] Papua New Guinea[74] Poland: Used by the Polish Underground State[citation needed] and Polish Armed Forces in the West[75] during World War II.

Portugal: m/43[76] Rhodesia[77] Seychelles[33] Sierra Leone[78] South Africa[27] Sri Lanka: Used by Ceylon Defence Force in World War II[79] and thereafter by the Sri Lanka Army until the late 1970s. [81] Tonga[33][82] Trinidad and Tobago[33] Uganda[33] United Kingdom: British and Commonwealth forces, and cadet forces until the introduction of the L98 Cadet Rifle State of Vietnam[54] Vietnam: used by Viet-Minh[83] South Yemen[84] Soviet Union: Supplied by the United Kingdom during the Lend-Lease program.

[85] Yugoslavia: Yugoslav Partisans and Chetniks during World War II[86][87]; some remained in stockpiles until the Yugoslav Wars[citation needed] Zimbabwe: [33]BREN Light Machine Gun (LMG) / General Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG) Based upon an excellent Czechoslovakian design, the equally-excellent BREN Light Machine Gun was adopted into service with the British Army in the late 1930s. 10/11 Credit: 11/11 Credit: The BREN Light Machine Gun was the standard light machine gun of the British Army and Commonwealth forces throughout World War 2 and beyond. The type's existence was actually owed to the 1920's-era Czech ZB vz/26 Light Machine Gun brought to the British Army's attention prior to adoption of other types during a long-lasting, years-long search.

The simple-yey-excellent ZB vz/26 was adopted by the Czech Army in 1924 with production out of the storied Brno facility. Chambered for the 7.9mm rimless cartridge, it operated from a top-fed, straight detachable box magazine through a gas-operated action featuring a tilting breechblock. Prior to World War 2, the British Army sought to find a viable and improved replacement for their existing Lewis Light Machine Gun line which proved a limited light machine gun design at best.

A visit to Czechoslovakia alerted authorities to a locally-designed, well-rounded system in the ZB vz/26. With examples delivered to Britain for further testing in 1930, several other competing designs were entertained well into 1934.

The ZB vz/26 evolved into the vz/27 and this begat the vz/30, vz/32 and vz/33 marks in time. All preceding marks up to the vz/30 were modified to fire the original 7.92mm Mauser cartridge which was of little value to the British need. It was the vz/30 that adopted the.

303 British cartridge as the "ZGB vz/30" prototype of 1930 and underwent trials from 1931 to 1932. The following ZGB vz/33 development of 1933 became the official basis for the finalized British design.

It was soon settled to adopt the Czech system for the Army with the British-centric changes to suit requirements. Design work continued into 1935, affording the design the official designation of "BREN" which paid homage to the weapon's true origin (BR = "Brno") and its place of main manufacture (EN = "Enfield Lock" through the Royal Small Arms Factory). The primary (and most major) change to the Czech design was in the chambering - the Czech version utilized the German 7.92mm Mauser rimless rifle cartridge. For the sake of logistics and familiarity, the British instead opted for their. 303 British rimmed rifle cartridge which was already in widespread circulation.

This then forced changes to the Czech design's internals and a new curved magazine was developed to house the rimmed cartridges (giving the BREN its very defined and highly recognizable profile). The end result was largely faithful to the original Czech offering with its gas-operated, tilting bolt repeat-fire action retained.

The overall design was highly linear in its general form with the rectangular receiver capped at one end by a solid shoulder buttstock and at the other end by the usual barrel and gas cylinder arrangement. The gas cylinder was fitted under the barrel in a traditional way and tapped expelled high pressure gas from exiting rounds for use in each subsequent round by converting the gas into required pressure to work the internal action.

The weapon featured a standalone pistol grip with integrated trigger group slung under the rear portion of the receiver. A carrying handle was affixed to the barrel roughly at the midway point of the design. The barrel was capped by a conical flash hider and a folding bipod was fitted at the tip of the gas cylinder. The charging handle was set to the right side of the receiver and the new curved magazines were inserted through a top-mounted gate. Spent shell casings were ejected cleanly through the bottom of the receiver.

Production was assigned to the fabled Royal Small Arms Factory at Enfield Lock and set to begin in 1937. First deliveries began to reach frontline units in 1938. As British and Commonwealth involvement ramped up, so too did production of the BREN and eventually involved Canadian (Inglis and Long Branch), Australian (Lithgow) and Indian (Ishapore) factories. With the Chinese caught in its own bitter war against the Empire of Japan in Asia, BREN guns were also competed in their original 7.92mm Mauser chambering and sent overseas in support of Nationalist Chinese forces.

In practice, the BREN gun met nearly all expectations as a reliable, combat-friendly portable weapons system. Its sheer simplicity in design allowed for quick repair and maintenance in-the-field where gunners could quickly assemble and field-strip the weapon in minutes. The action also proved highly sound so as to produce a minimum number of stoppages. The type's overall weight - approximately 22.5lbs - made the BREN very portable in long marches and when relocating the gun to more advantageous positions. It featured a sound effective target range of 600 yards and a maximum area range out to 1,850 yards with a firing rate of 500 to 520 rounds per minute - the seemingly low rate-of-fire accounting for more effective cooling of the barrel between bursts, and thusly lowering the chance of a fractured barrel being encountered. An overheated barrel could also very quickly be addressed by the two-man crew in minutes. 303 British cartridge gave good penetration value at range with its 2,400 feet per second muzzle velocity. Sighting was through iron arrangements standardized on the design from the beginning. If the BREN held any limitations, it was in its 30-round magazine which allowed for limited bursts of firing before reloading was required. However, as a light machine gun, use of magazines made for a highly portable weapon not requiring belted ammunition which could misfeed without proper attention.

An operator not use to the downward ejection of casings could also be caught by surprise. Nevertheless, BREN machine gunners enjoyed their weapon and considered it a very accurate ranged system. A typical issue in British ranks was one gun per section with a crew of two assigned to each weapon - ammunition dispersed across the section. BREN use was not only limited to its defined light machine gun, squad-level role.

Several mounting types soon appeared which broadened the tactical role of the weapon considerably. Specialized tall tripod mountings allowed for the weapon to be used as a low-level anti-aircraft defensive system (complete with an empty casings soft bag) to help defend airfields and the like.

The BREN was also a standard fixture across many British and Commonwealth military vehicles of the war when fitted on trainable mounts, able to engage cleanly around the vehicle and over it. A heavy duty tripod (weighing some 26.5lbs) was developed with applicable sighting optics and this made the BREN an effective defensive system when used in a fixed position while protecting vital areas and camps. The BREN LMG appeared in several notable marks throughout its storied career.

Initial versions were the Gun, Machine, Bren. 303in Mark 1 introduced in 1938. These closely followed the lines of the original prototypes and were fielded with a rather complicated drum-pattern rear sighting device. The butt sported a hinged grip handle that could be folded down for use by the support hand.

A sling system was also fitted which allowed the operator to carry the weapon across the shoulder and effectively wield the machine gun with both hands when "firing from the hip". A telescoping bipod was added under the gas cylinder and the cocking handle was of a foldable design intended to reduce snagging. However, in practice, the butt grip handle proved less than efficient and was dropped from further production in time. By 1940, there existed over 30,000 BREN examples in circulation, embedding itself as the standard British Army light machine gun. A hefty number of examples were lost in the miracle that was Dunkirk between May 26th, 1940 into June 4th, 1940.

The resulting captured examples were then reconstituted by the advancing Germans and placed back into service as the "Leichte MG 138(e)". With Britain fully committed to war, the Gun, Machine, Bren. 303in Mark 2 was introduced in June of 1941. An adjustable leaf-type rear sighting device was brought about to help simplify production and general operation - particularly in light of the equipment losses experienced at Dunkirk.

The bipod was further simplified to a fixed design type as was the folding cocking handle. Surfaces were also simplified (lacking lightening grooves) for the sake of speedier production and lower procurement costs - though at the expense of a slightly heavier end-product. As the war raged on, the BREN system adapted to changes along the varied fronts. This produced the "Gun, Machine, Bren, 303in Mark 3" in July of 1944. This mark was generally similar to the Mark 1 of 1938 but given a shortened barrel assembly and cleaner production lines to simplify manufacture. The "Gun, Machine, Bren, 303in Mark 4" was nothing more than a late-war conversion of BREN Mark 2 guns to the BREN Mark 3 standard complete with modified buttstocks. In 1948, there proved a new Cold War-era offering of the BREN in the "Gun, Machine, Bren, 303in, Mark 2/1".

This mark was broadly similar to the wartime Mark 2 though with a new slide assembly and cocking handle. In the post-war years, and based on the NATO adoption of the 7.62mm cartridge as a standard rifle/machine-gun caliber round, there began the modernized "L4 LMG" series that began with the "L4A1".

L4A1 models were based on wartime BREN Mark 3 production models with changes instituted as required of the new 7.62mm cartridge. This included new straight magazines, barrel assemblies, a slotted flash suppressor, new breechblock and extractor and various other more subtle changes to the original design. The L4A1 was then improved in the upcoming L4A2 mark. Wartime BREN Mark 2 models were then upgraded through a similar process in the L4A3 modification. Barrels were now lined with chromium to help extend the service lives of the guns for a time longer.

BREN Mark 3s were then upgraded with chromium-lined barrels to produce the L4A4 designation. The L4A5 models did not feature chrome-lined barrels but two barrels were issued to be changed as the situation called. The L4A6 mark sported a chromium-lined barrel and were upgraded L4A1 production models. The L4A7 was intended for use by the Indian Army but this endeavor fell to naught. All told, the BREN gave a good account of itself in the most dire of circumstances and conditions.

It fought through mud and blood, desert and jungle in attempting to preserve the world from the tyranny brought about by the Axis powers and Cold War foes. This machine gun truly began a symbol of national pride and endured decades of formal use through seemingly countless conflicts. It no doubt deserves its standing amongst the best automatic small arms ever developed - and one of the best machine guns of all of World War 2 proper.

Its use spanned beyond standard-issue forces of the conflict as well, being air-dropped to partisans in Italy, featured by Free French forces and appearing across various former colonies. Israelis operated the type during their War of Independence and Irish Defence Forces adopted the type to replace their FN MAGs in the 1960s. The Netherlands adopted the BREN in the post-war years for lack of anything better appearing at the time. The BREN proved popular in many African nations in the post-war years. The BREN gun was produced by the Royal Small Arms Factory of Enfield Lock in Britain, John Inglis and Company of Canada, the Long Branch Company of Canada, Ishapore of India and the Lithgow Small Arms Factory of Australia. The last of the BREN-related L4 light machine gun systems were retired from British service in the 1990s - some 60 years after its introduction. Bren machine gun WRITTEN BY: The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica See Article History Alternative Title: ZB Bren machine gun, British adaptation of a Czech light machine gun. Its name originated as an acronym from Brno, where the Czech gun was made, and Enfield, where the British adaptation was made.

Gas-operated and air-cooled, the Bren was first produced in 1937 and became one of the most widely used weapons of its type. During World War II it was produced in. 303 calibre for British use, and it was manufactured in Canada as a 7.92-mm weapon for Chinese Nationalist troops. Bren machine gun Bren machine gun.

Robert DuHamel Acclaimed as one of the best light machine guns of World War II, the Bren appeared in four models that varied principally in barrel length and total weight. The Mark 4 model had an overall length of 42.9 inches (109 cm), with a 22.25-inch (56.5-cm) barrel. It had a cyclic rate of fire of 520 rounds per minute, weighed 19 pounds (9 kg), and had an effective range of about 2,000 feet (600 metres). Easy to load, clean, and operate, it had variable-length bipods and a curved magazine. Its barrel could be changed quickly when it overheated in sustained-fire situations.

After the war the Bren gun was modified to fire the standard 7.62-mm NATO rifle round. By the end of the 20th century it had been replaced in first-line British service by the L7 series of 7.62-mm general purpose machine guns and by light support weapons firing NATOs 5.56-mm assault rifle round.

Nevertheless, a version of the 7.62-mm Bren gun was produced by the Indian Ordnance Factories into the 21st century. Meet the Bren Gun: The Best Machine Gun of World War II? One of the most iconic British WW2 weapons today, the Bren Gun was in short supply in 1939 but quickly became the backbone of the British infantry.

By Warfare History Network Arnold Blumberg While all the combatant nations engaged in World War I fielded machine guns during the conflict, the British Armys Vickers was arguably the best medium machine gun of the war, while their Lewis gunan American design but perfected by the Englishwas the most effective light machine gun. However, both weapons had their problems. The Vickers Machine Gun was a heavy Maxim-type weapon. Water-cooled and belt-fed, it was very reliable. But it was also a very complex war tool requiring a specially-trained crew, and the weight of the gun and the prodigious amount of water and ammunition it required meant the Vickers was restricted to a purely static defensive role.

The Lewis gun had been adopted during the Great War to provide close support for advancing troops. It had an air-cooled barrel and fired.

303 caliber bullets from a 47-round pan magazine mounted on the top of the piece. Unfortunately, the Lewis gun was still relatively bulky, complicated, suffered from a high rate of stoppages, and could not maintain sustained rates of fire due to its barrel overheating, causing the gun to simply stop working. Replacing the Vickers & Lewis Faced with the shortcomings of their standard medium and light machine guns, the British Army sought to replace both in the 1930s. That year, a contender to replace the Lewis gun appeared in the form of the Zb 26: a light, air-cooled, magazine-fed weapon produced by the Brno Firm of Czechoslovakia.

Modified to shoot the standard British Army infantry and machine gun. 303 caliber ammunition (or 7.7x56mm), the gunnow designated the Zb 30, with a 30 round curved magazinecaught the attention of the Small Arms Committee.

After a few minor alterations, the Czech fire arm-called the ZBG 34, was adopted by the Army. Referred to as the BREN, from Brno and Enfield, assembly lines were set at the Royal Small Arms Factory in 1935, with the first finished product appearing in September 1937. SPONSORED CONTENT Introducing the Bren Gun The original Bren gun was designated the Mark 1. It was capable of semi or fully automatic fire from a distinctive curved top-mounted 30-round magazine.

It was 45.5 inches in overall length, and employed a quick-change 25-inch barrel, which could be replaced in seconds, allowing it to keep up a sustained rate of fire. The Bren gun used a magazine rather than the better belt-fed system due to the theory (proved incorrect by the Germans with their MG 34 and MG 42s) that the former made the weapon more portable. The piece weighed 22 pounds and 3 ounces, and fired 500 rounds per minute. 10 SECONDS Do You Know What Happened Today In History?

May 2 1920 The first game of the Negro National League baseball is played in Indianapolis. The European Central Bank is founded in Brussels in order to define and execute the European Union's monetary policy.

The British ocean liner Queen Elizabeth 2 departs on her maiden voyage to New York City. The world's first ever jet airliner, the De Havilland Comet 1 makes its maiden flight, from London to Johannesburg. Throughout the Second World War, the Mark 1 Bren was modified three times to include the models Mark II, Mark III, and Mark IV.

303 caliber ammunition as the Mark 1 was used, so the differences between these patterns were a few pounds of weight and inches shaved off the later models overall length and barrels. In mid-1944, the Bren was standardized as the Mark III with a full length of 42.9 inches, barrel length 22.25 inches, and weighing 19 pounds and 5 ounces. Its effective range was 600 yards. It was essentially a lightened Mark 1, but fitted with a simpler ladder back sight of the Mark II, a shorter and lighter barrel (which reduced accuracy) and simpler butt.

Over 57,600 Mark IIIs were produced during the war. Backbone of the British Infantry During World War II, the Bren gun became the backbone of the British infantry.

Every infantry section of ten men (equivalent to an American rifle squad) and its combat tactics were built around the Bren light machine gun, with the sections riflemen tasked with augmenting the firepower of the Bren. Each infantry section contained a seven-man Rifle Group, and a three man Bren gun Group.

In addition to carrying extra Bren gun ammunition, the Rifle Group would provide security and replacements for the Bren gun crews, while the Bren gunners provided the main killing power of the infantry section. In addition to the Bren in each infantry section, every infantry battalion included a carrier platoon made up of 13 Universal Carriers(unofficially called Bren Gun Carriers) in four sections of three vehicles each. Each conveyance carried a Bren gun and a three-man crew. Supply, artillery carried on their rosters Brens for close defense and anti-aircraft protection.

Bren guns were integral in anti-tank warfare. Although not able to knock a tank out with their small arms ammunition, their fire would cause the enemy tank crews to button up, limiting their fields of vision, and dispersing opposing infantry supporting the tanks. Anti-tank weapons could then be brought to bear on the steel monsters with less risk to the attackers.

Useful in the Far East and Western Front When war broke out on September 1, 1939, the Bren had only been recently adopted by the British Army and was in short supply. After the British evacuation of France in June 1940, only 2,300 Bren guns were available for service. A chronic shortage of the weapon persisted until late 1942, when production of the gun by the UK, Canada, and Australia made up the shortfall.

By wars end Bren guns were in plentiful numbers with all British combat divisions: 1,262, 1,376, and 966 in infantry, armored, and airborne, respectively. In the Far East, Commonwealth soldiers appreciated the Brens portability, as much of the fighting took place in swamps and the jungle and where the armaments heavy caliber rounds could easily penetrate the thick vegetation. The Australians took to the Bren very quickly, using it as a heavy automatic rifle rather than a machine gun.

When the Allies landed in Italy in 1943, and then in France the next year, the Bren was not affected by the bitter winters found in those theaters of the war. More importantly, it allowed the British infantry, still equipped with bolt-action Enfield Rifles, to maintain a respectful rate of fire compared to the Americans use of the semi-automatic Garand Rifle, and the Wehrmachts employment of the excellent MG-42 Light Machine Gun. The Bren gun, in its last incarnationthe post-World War II L4A4was effectively removed from active service in the mid-1980s being replaced by the L86 Light Support Weapon. While never completely replacing the Vickers, the Bren did serve as the primary support arm for British and Commonwealth troops through World War II and Korea, and set the British small-unit infantry tactics on a path they would follow until the 1980s.

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