Israeli Defense Force



DESCRIPTION : This UNIQUE , EXTREMELY RARE and ONE OF ITS KIND book , Being a FIGHTING combat MANUAL - GUIDE BOOK was published by the newly born ISRAEL DEFENSE FORCES (ZAHAL - IDF) in 1949 (DATED) shortly 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 Guide book " THE BAYONET" was originaly published in 1949 Eretz Israel - Palestine. An illustrated Jewish - Judaica - Hebrew book (Namely - manual) , a guide book for the usage of BAYONET for the Jewish-Israeli-Hebrew IDF SOLDIERS as well as the members of the "PALMACH" and "HAGANAH", The Jewish-Hebrew members of the pre IDF - ZAHAL military UNDERGROUND GROUPS during the British Mandate period in Eretz Israel (Then also refered to as PALESTINE).

The original Hebrew MANUAL - GUIDE book was published in Eretz Israel in 1949 by the "IDF - ZAHAL" for the usage of the SOLDIERS - WARRIORS. This UNIQUE edition is dated 1949 and it was published by the newly established IDF Israel Defence Forces shortly after the establishment of the INDEPENDENT STATE of ISRAEL and its formal and official ARMY - Namely the IDF - ZAHAL. A profusion of Illustrations of armed IDF Jewish-Hebrew SOLDIERS with their service rifles LEE ENFIELD training BAYONET FIGHTING in various methods and COMBAT SITUATIONS. The SERVICE RIFLES at the time which were used with the BAYONETS were the British LEE-ENFIELD.

Somewhat darkened areas on front cover. Very nicely preserved ULTRA RARE copy.

(Pls look at scan for accurate AS IS images) Will be sent inside a protective rigid packaging. AUTHENTICITY : This is an ORIGINAL vintage 1949 (dated) MANUAL - GUIDE book for BAYONET FIGHTING , 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 packaging. The LeeEnfield is a bolt-action, magazine-fed, repeating rifle that served as the main firearm used by the military forces of the British Empire and Commonwealth during the first half of the 20th century. It was the British Army's standard rifle from its official adoption in 1895 until 1957.

[10][11] The WWI versions are often referred to as the "SMLE", which is short for the common "Short, Magazine LeeEnfield" variant. A redesign of the LeeMetford (adopted by the British Army in 1888), the LeeEnfield superseded the earlier MartiniHenry, MartiniEnfield, and LeeMetford rifles.

It featured a ten-round box magazine which was loaded with the. 303 British cartridge manually from the top, either one round at a time or by means of five-round chargers. The LeeEnfield was the standard issue weapon to rifle companies of the British Army and other Commonwealth nations in both the First and Second World Wars (these Commonwealth nations included Australia, New Zealand, Canada, India and South Africa, among others).

[12] Although officially replaced in the UK with the L1A1 SLR in 1957, it remained in widespread British service until the early/mid-1960s and the 7.62 mm L42A1 sniper variant remained in service until the 1990s. As a standard-issue infantry rifle, it is still found in service in the armed forces of some Commonwealth nations, [13] notably with the Bangladesh Police, which makes it the second longest-serving military bolt-action rifle still in official service, after the MosinNagant. [14] The Canadian Rangers unit still use Enfield rifles, with plans to replace the weapons sometime in 20172018 with the new Sako-designed Colt Canada C19. [15] Total production of all LeeEnfields is estimated at over 17 million rifles. [8] The LeeEnfield takes its name from the designer of the rifle's bolt systemJames Paris Leeand the factory in which it was designedthe Royal Small Arms Factory in Enfield. Contents · 1Design and history o 1.1Models/marks of LeeEnfield rifle and service periods · 2Magazine LeeEnfield · 3Short Magazine LeeEnfield Mk I · 4Short Magazine LeeEnfield Mk III o 4.1Pattern 1913 Enfield · 5Pattern 1914/US M1917 · 6Inter-war period · 7LeeEnfield No. 1 Mk V · 8Rifle No.

5 Mk Ithe "Jungle Carbine" · 10LeeEnfield conversions and training models o 10.1Sniper rifles o 10.2.22 training rifles o 10.3Muskets and shotguns o 10.4Civilian conversions and variants o 10.5L59A1 Drill Rifle · 11Special service LeeEnfields: Commando and automatic models o 11.1Charlton Automatic Rifles o 11.2De Lisle Commando carbine o 11.3Ekins Automatic Rifle o 11.4Howard Francis carbine o 11.5Howell Automatic Rifle o 11.6Rieder Automatic Rifle · 12Conversion to 7.62×51mm NATO o 12.1Ishapore 2A/2A1 · 13Production and manufacturers o 13.1List of manufacturers § 13.1.1Australian International Arms No. 4 Mk IV o 13.2Khyber Pass Copies o 13.3Armalon · 14The LeeEnfield in military/police use today · 15The LeeEnfield in civilian use · 16Variants · 17Users · 18See also · 19Notes · 20References · 21External links Design and history[edit] The LeeEnfield rifle was derived from the earlier LeeMetford, a mechanically similar black-powder rifle, which combined James Paris Lee's rear-locking bolt system that had a barrel featuring rifling designed by William Ellis Metford. The Lee action cocked the striker on the closing stroke of the bolt, making the initial opening much faster and easier compared to the "cock on opening" i. The firing pin cocks upon opening the bolt of the Mauser Gewehr 98 design. The bolt has a relatively short bolt throw and features rear-mounted lugs and the bolt operating handle places the bolt knob just rearwards of the trigger at a favourable ergonomic position close to the operator's hand.

The action features helical locking surfaces (the technical term is interrupted threading). This means that final head space is not achieved until the bolt handle is turned down all the way.

The British probably used helical locking lugs to allow for chambering imperfect or dirty ammunition and that the closing cam action is distributed over the entire mating faces of both bolt and receiver lugs. This is one reason the bolt closure feels smooth.

The rifle was also equipped with a detachable sheet-steel, 10-round, double-column magazine, a very modern development in its day. Originally, the concept of a detachable magazine was opposed in some British Army circles, as some feared that the private soldier might be likely to lose the magazine during field campaigns. Early models of the LeeMetford and LeeEnfield even used a short length of chain to secure the magazine to the rifle. [16] To further facilitate rapid aimed fire the rifle can be cycled by most riflemen without loss of sight picture. These design features facilitate rapid cycling and fire compared to other bolt-action designs like the Mauser.

[11] The Lee bolt-action and 10-round magazine capacity enabled a well-trained rifleman to perform the "mad minute" firing 20 to 30 aimed rounds in 60 seconds, making the LeeEnfield the fastest military bolt-action rifle of the day. The current world record for aimed bolt-action fire was set in 1914 by a musketry instructor in the British ArmySergeant Instructor Snoxallwho placed 38 rounds into a 12-inch-wide (300 mm) target at 300 yards (270 m) in one minute.

[17] Some straight-pull bolt-action rifles were thought faster, but lacked the simplicity, reliability, and generous magazine capacity of the LeeEnfield. Several First World War accounts tell of British troops repelling German attackers who subsequently reported that they had encountered machine guns, when in fact it was simply a group of well-trained riflemen armed with SMLE Mk III rifles. [18][19] Standard Mk VII. 303 inch cartridge for LeeEnfield rifle The LeeEnfield was adapted to fire the. 303 British service cartridge, a rimmed, high-powered rifle round.

Experiments with smokeless powder in the existing LeeMetford cartridge seemed at first to be a simple upgrade, but the greater heat and pressure generated by the new smokeless powder wore away the shallow, rounded, Metford rifling after approximately 6000 rounds. [10] Replacing this with a new square-shaped rifling system designed at the Royal Small Arms Factory (RSAF) Enfield solved the problem, and the LeeEnfield was born. [10] Models/marks of LeeEnfield rifle and service periods[edit] This section does not cite any sources.

Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (January 2018) (Learn how and when to remove this template message) Model/Mark In service Magazine LeeEnfield 18951926 Charger Loading LeeEnfield 19061926 Short Magazine LeeEnfield Mk I 19041926 Short Magazine LeeEnfield Mk II 19061927 Short Magazine LeeEnfield Mk III/III 1907present Short Magazine LeeEnfield Mk V 19221924 (trials only; 20,000 produced) Rifle No. 1 Mk VI 1930 (trials only; 1,025 produced and leftover parts assembled into rifles early in WWII) Rifle No.

4 Mk I 1931present (2,500 trials examples produced in the 1930s, then mass production from mid-1941 onwards) Rifle No. 4 Mk I 1942present Rifle No 5 Mk I "Jungle Carbine" 1944present (produced 19441947) BSA-Shirley produced 81,329 rifles and ROF Fazakerley 169,807 rifles. 4 Mk 2 1949present Rifle 7.62 mm 2A 1964present Rifle 7.62 mm 2A1 1965present Magazine LeeEnfield[edit] The LeeEnfield rifle was introduced in November 1895 as the.

303 calibre, Rifle, Magazine, LeeEnfield, [10] or more commonly Magazine LeeEnfield, or MLE (sometimes spoken as "emily" instead of M, L, E). The next year, a shorter version was introduced as the LeeEnfield Cavalry Carbine Mk I, or LEC, with a 21.2-inch (540 mm) barrel as opposed to the 30.2-inch (770 mm) one in the "long" version. [10] Both underwent a minor upgrade series in 1899 (the omission of the cleaning / clearing rod), becoming the Mk I. [20] Many LECs (and LMCs in smaller numbers) were converted to special patterns, namely the New Zealand Carbine and the Royal Irish Constabulary Carbine, or NZ and RIC carbines, respectively.

[21] Some of the MLEs (and MLMs) were converted to load from chargers, and designated Charger Loading LeeEnfields, or CLLEs. [22] Short Magazine LeeEnfield Mk I[edit] A shorter and lighter version of the original MLEthe famous Rifle, Short, Magazine, LeeEnfield, or SMLE (sometimes spoken as "Smelly", rather than S, M, L, E)[14]was introduced on 1 January 1904.

[23] The barrel was now halfway in length between the original long rifle and the carbine, at 25.2 inches (640 mm). The new rifle also incorporated a charger loading system, [24] another innovation borrowed from the Mauser rifle'[25] and is notably different from the fixed "bridge" that later became the standard, being a charger clip (stripper clip) guide on the face of the bolt head.

The shorter length was controversial at the time: many Rifle Association members and gunsmiths were concerned that the shorter barrel would not be as accurate as the longer MLE barrels, that the recoil would be much greater, and the sighting radius would be too short. [26] Short Magazine LeeEnfield Mk III[edit] Short Magazine LeeEnfield No. III Israeli female soldiers equipped with the SMLE Mk III during the 1948 ArabIsraeli War.

Magazine cut-off on an SMLE Mk III rifle. This feature was removed on the Mk III rifle. The iconic LeeEnfield rifle, the SMLE Mk III, was introduced on 26 January 1907, along with a Pattern 1907 bayonet and featured a simplified rear sight arrangement and a fixed, rather than a bolt-head-mounted sliding, charger guide.

[14] The design of the handguards and the magazine were also improved, and the chamber was adapted to fire the new Mk VII High Velocity spitzer. Many early model rifles, of Magazine LeeEnfield (MLE), Magazine LeeMetford (MLM), and SMLE type, were upgraded to the Mk III standard. These are designated Mk IV Cond.

With various asterisks denoting subtypes. [25][27][28][29] The windage adjustment of the rear sight was also dispensed with, and the cocking piece was changed from a round knob to a serrated slab. [29] Rifles with some or all of these features present are found, as the changes were implemented at different times in different factories and as stocks of existing parts were used. [30] The magazine cut-off was reinstated after the First World War ended and not entirely dispensed with in manufacturing until 1933 and some cut-offs remained on rifles so-equipped into the 1960s.

[29] The inability of the principal manufacturers RSAF Enfield, The Birmingham Small Arms Company Limited and London Small Arms Co. Ltd to meet military production demands, led to the development of the "peddled scheme", which contracted out the production of whole rifles and rifle components to several shell companies. [31] The SMLE Mk III renamed Rifle No.

1 Mk III in 1926 saw extensive service throughout the Second World War as well, especially in the North African, Italian, Pacific and Burmese theatres in the hands of British and Commonwealth forces. Australia and India retained and manufactured the SMLE Mk III as their standard-issue rifle during the conflict, and the rifle remained in Australian military service through the Korean War, until it was replaced by the L1A1 SLR in the late 1950s. [32] The Lithgow Small Arms Factory finally ceased production of the SMLE Mk III in 1953. [27] The Rifle Factory Ishapore at Ishapore in India produced the MkIII in.

303 British and then upgraded the manufactured strength by heat treatment of the receiver and bolt to fire 7.62×51mm NATO ammunition, the model 2A, which retained the 2000 yard rear sight as the metric conversion of distance was very close to the flatter trajectory of the new ammunition nature, then changed the rear sight to 800 m with a re-designation to model 2A1. Manufactured until at least the 1980s and continues to produce a sporting rifle based on the MkIII action. The rifle became known simply as the "three-oh-three". [33] Pattern 1913 Enfield[edit] Main article: Pattern 1913 Enfield Due to the poor performance of the. 303 British cartridge during the Second Boer War from 18991902, the British attempted to replace the round and the LeeEnfield rifle that fired it.

The main deficiency of the rounds at the time was that they used heavy, round-nosed bullets that had low muzzle velocities and poor ballistic performance. The 7mm Mauser rounds fired from the Mauser Model 1895 rifle had a higher velocity, flatter trajectory and longer range, making them superior on the open country of the South African plains. Work on a long-range replacement cartridge began in 1910 and resulted in the. A new rifle based on the Mauser design was created to fire the round, called the Pattern 1913 Enfield. 276 Enfield had better ballistics, troop trials in 1913 revealed problems including excessive recoil, muzzle flash, barrel wear and overheating. Attempts were made to find a cooler-burning propellant, but further trials were halted in 1914 by the onset of World War I. This proved fortunate for the LeeEnfield, as wartime demand and the improved Mk VII loading of the. 303 round caused it to be retained for service. [34] Pattern 1914/US M1917[edit] Main articles: Pattern 1914 Enfield and M1917 Enfield The Pattern 1914 Enfield and M1917 Enfield rifles are based on the Enfield-designed P1913, itself a Mauser 98 derivative and not based on the Lee action, and are not part of the LeeEnfield family of rifles, although they are frequently assumed to be. [35] Inter-war period[edit] LeeEnfield No. 4 Mk I Long Branch aperture sights In 1926, the British Army changed their nomenclature; the SMLE became known as the Rifle No. 1 Mk III or III, with the original MLE and LEC becoming obsolete along with the earlier SMLE models.

[36] Many Mk III and III rifles were converted to. 22 rimfire calibre training rifles, and designated Rifle No.

The Pattern 1914 became the Rifle No. [36] The SMLE design was a relatively expensive long arm to manufacture, because of the many forging and machining operations required.

In the 1920s, a series of experiments resulting in design changes were carried out to help with these problems, reducing the number of complex parts and refining manufacturing processes. The SMLE Mk V later Rifle No. 1 Mk V, adopted a new receiver-mounted aperture sighting system, which moved the rear sight from its former position on the barrel. [37] The increased gap resulted in an improved sighting radius, improving sighting accuracy and the aperture improved speed of sighting over various distances. In the stowed position, a fixed distance aperture battle sight calibrated for 300 yd (274 m) protruded saving further precious seconds when laying the sight to a target.

An alternative developed during this period was to be used on the No. 4 variant, a "battle sight" was developed that allowed for two set distances of 300 yards and 600 yards to be quickly deployed and was cheaper to produce than the "ladder sight". The magazine cutoff was also reintroduced and an additional band was added near the muzzle for additional strength during bayonet use. [37] The design was found to be even more complicated and expensive to manufacture than the Mk III and was not developed or issued, beyond a trial production of about 20,000 rifles between 1922 and 1924 at RSAF Enfield. 1 Mk V[edit] Long before the No.

4 Mk I, Britain had obviously settled on the rear aperture sight prior to WWI, with modifications to the SMLE being tested as early as 1911, as well as later on the No. 1 Mk III pattern rifle. These unusual rifles have something of a mysterious service history, but represent a missing link in SMLE development.

The primary distinguishing feature of the No. 1 Mk V is the rear aperture sight. 1 Mk III it lacked a volley sight and had the wire loop in place of the sling swivel at the front of magazine well along with the simplified cocking piece.

The Mk V did retain a magazine cut-off, but without a spotting hole, the piling swivel was kept attached to a forward barrel band, which was wrapped over and attached to the rear of the nose cap to reinforce the rifle for use with the standard Pattern 1907 bayonet. Other distinctive features include a nose cap screw was slotted for the width of a coin for easy removal, a safety lever on the left side of the receiver was slightly modified with a unique angular groove pattern, and the two-piece hand guard being extended from the nose cap to the receiver, omitting the barrel mounted leaf sight. 1 Mk V rifles were manufactured solely by R. Enfield from 19221924, with a total production of roughly 20,000 rifles, all of which marked with a "V".

1 Mk VI also introduced a heavier "floating barrel" that was independent of the forearm, allowing the barrel to expand and contract without contacting the forearm and interfering with the'zero', the correlation between the alignment of the barrel and the sights. The floating barrel increased the accuracy of the rifle by allowing it to vibrate freely and consistently, whereas wooden forends in contact with barrels, if not properly fitted, affected the harmonic vibrations of the barrel. The receiver-mounted rear sights and magazine cutoff were also present and 1,025 units were produced in the 1930 period. 4 Mk I LeeEnfield No. 4 Mk 2 with the ladder aperture sight flipped up and 5-round charger In the early 1930s, a batch of 2,500 No. I rifles were made for Trials. These were similar to the No. VI but had a flat left side and did away with the chequering on the furniture. Observed examples are dated 1931 and 1933. Roughly 1,400 of these were converted to No. I (T) sniper rifles in 19411942 at RSAF Enfield. By the late 1930s, the need for new rifles grew and the Rifle, No. 4 Mk I was officially adopted in 1941. 4 action was similar to the No.

1 Mk VI, but stronger and most importantly, easier to mass-produce. [40] Unlike the SMLE, that had a nose cap, the No 4 LeeEnfield barrel protruded from the end of the forestock. For easier machining, the charger bridge was no longer rounded. The iron sight line was redesigned and featured a rear receiver aperture battle sight calibrated for 300 yd (274 m) with an additional ladder aperture sight that could be flipped up and was calibrated for 2001,300 yd (1831,189 m) in 100 yd (91 m) increments.

This sight, like other aperture sights, proved to be faster and more accurate than the typical mid-barrel open rear sight elements sight lines offered by Mauser, previous LeeEnfields or the Buffington battle sight of the 1903 Springfield. 4 rifle was heavier than the No. III, largely due to its heavier barrel. A new bayonet was designed to go with the rifle: a spike bayonet, which was essentially a steel rod with a sharp point and was nicknamed "pigsticker" by soldiers. [40] Towards the end of the Second World War, a bladed bayonet was developed for the No.

Post-war versions were made that would fit No. 4 rifles and were designated No. [41] During the course of the Second World War, the No. 4 rifle was further simplified for mass-production with the creation of the No.

4 Mk I in 1942, with the bolt release catch replaced by a simpler notch on the bolt track of the rifle's receiver. [42] It was produced only in North America, by Small Arms Limited at Long Branch in Canada and Stevens-Savage Firearms in the USA.

4 rifle was primarily produced for the United Kingdom, Canada and some other Commonwealth countries such as New Zealand. [43] In the years after the Second World War, the British produced the No. 4 Mk 2 (Arabic numerals replaced Roman numerals for official designations in 1944) rifle, a refined and improved No.

4 rifle with the trigger hung forward from the butt collar and not from the trigger guard, beech wood stocks with the original reinforcing strap and centre piece of wood in the rear of the forestock on the No. 4 Mk I/Mk I being removed in favour of a tie screw and nut and brass gunmetal buttplates during World War II, the British, Americans and Canadians replaced the brass buttplates on the No. 4 rifles with a zinc alloy (Zamak) type to reduce costs and to speed up rifle production. Near the end of the war and post-war, Canada made blued steel buttplates. [44] With the introduction of the No.

4 Mk 2 rifle, the British refurbished many of their existing stocks of No. 4 rifles and brought them up to the same standard as the No. 4 Mk 1 rifles so upgraded were re-designated No. 4 Mk I/2, whilst No. 4 Mk I rifles that were brought up to Mk 2 standard were re-designated No.

5 Mk Ithe "Jungle Carbine"[edit] Rifle No 5 on display at the Parachute Regiment and Airborne Forces Museum. Main article: Jungle Carbine Later in the war, the need for a shorter, lighter rifle forced the development of the Rifle, No. 5 Mk I (the "Jungle Carbine"). [46] With a cut-down stock, a prominent flash hider, and a "lightening-cut" receiver machined to remove all unnecessary metal, reduced barrel length of 18.8 in (478 mm) the No. 5 was shorter and 2 lb (0.9 kg) lighter. 303 round produced excessive recoil due to the shorter barrel. It was unsuitable for general issue and production ceased in 1947, due to an "inherent fault in the design", often claimed to be a "wandering zero" and accuracy problems. 5 iron sight line was similar to the No. 4 Mark I and featured a rear receiver aperture battle sight calibrated for 300 yd (274 m) with an additional ladder aperture sight that could be flipped up and was calibrated for 200800 yd (183732 m) in 100 yd (91 m) increments.

5 Mk I was popular with soldiers owing to its light weight, portability and shorter length than a standard LeeEnfield rifle. 5 was first issued to the British 1st Airborne Division and used during their liberation of Denmark and Norway in 1945. BSA-Shirley, Birmingham produced 81,329 rifles and ROF Fazakerley, Liverpool 169,807 rifles. It was equipped with a No. I blade bayonet which had a large muzzle ring to fit over the flash hider.

I/L bayonet, which has a rotating handle and a large ring on the cross-guard was not for the No. I rifle as many collectors believe.

An Australian experimental version of the No. 5 Mk I, designated Rifle, No. 6, Mk I[49] was also developed, using an SMLE MK III as a starting point as opposed to the No.

4 Mk I used to develop the No. The Australian military were not permitted to manufacture the No. 4 Mk I, because the Lithgow Small Arms Factory was producing the SMLE Mk III. 6 Mk I never entered full production and examples are rare and valuable to collectors.

[46] A "Shortened and Lightened" version of the SMLE Mk III rifle was also tested by the Australian military and a very small number were manufactured at SAF Lithgow during the course of the Second World War. [50] The term "Jungle Carbine" was popularised in the 1950s by the Santa Fe Arms Corporation, a U.

Importer who refurbished many surplus rifles, converting many of the No. 4 marks, in the hope of increasing sales of a rifle that had little U. It was never an official military designation but British and Commonwealth troops serving in the Burmese and Pacific theatres during World War II had been known to unofficially refer to the No.

5 Mk I as a "Jungle Carbine". 5 rifles served in Korea as did the No. 1 Mk III SMLE and sniper'T' variants, mostly with Australian troops. [14] LeeEnfield conversions and training models[edit] Sniper rifles[edit] Canadian sniper Sergeant Harold Marshall carries a No.

L42A1 sniper rifle chambered in 7.62×51mm NATO. During both World Wars and the Korean War, a number of LeeEnfield rifles were modified for use as sniper rifles. The Australian Army modified 1,612[51] Lithgow SMLE No.

III rifles by adding a heavy target barrel, cheek-piece, and a World War I era Pattern 1918 telescope, creating the SMLE No. (HT standing for Heavy Barrel, Telescopic Sight), [14] which saw service in the Second World War, Korea, and Malaya and was used for Sniper Training through to the late 1970s. [52] During the Second World War, standard No.

4 rifles, selected for their accuracy during factory tests, were modified by the addition of a wooden cheek rising-piece, and telescopic sight mounts designed to accept a No. 32 3.5× telescopic sight. [53] These rifles were designated as the No. The accuracy requirement was ability to place 7 of 7 shots in a 5 inches (12.7 cm) circle at 200 yards (183 m) and 6 of 7 shots in a 10 inches (25.4 cm) circle at 400 yards (366 m).

The wooden cheek-piece was attached with two screws. The rear "battle sight" was ground off to make room to attach the No. 32 telescope sight to the left side of the receiver. 32 and its bracket (mount) were matched and serial numbered to a specific rifle.

[54] In British service, the No. 32 telescope progressed through three marks with the Mk. I introduced in 1942, the Mk. II in 1943 and finally the Mk. A transitional model the No.

The Canadian scopes made by Research Enterprises Limited and were prefixed with a letter C and went through C no. I A (a transitional model), Mk. 3 standard were later modified for use with the 7.62×51mm NATO L42A1 Sniper Rifle.

They were then known by the designation Telescope Straight, Sighting L1A1. Initial production was 1,403 conversions of 19311933 troop trials No. I rifles at RSAF Enfield and a few others including Stevens-Savage No. These were converted in late 1941 and into the later part of 1942. Then, the work was assigned to Holland & Holland, the famous British sporting gun manufacturers, which converted about 23,000 No.

The Holland & Holland conversions usually have the contractor code "S51" on the underside of the buttstock. BSA Shirley undertook 100 conversions to. James Purdey and Sons fitted special buttstocks later in the war. About 3,000 rifles, mostly Stevens-Savage, appear to have been partially converted by Holland & Holland but never received brackets, scopes of the final "T" mark. Canada converted about 1,588 rifles at Small Arms Limited (to the end of 1945) and, in 1946, at Canadian Arsenals Limited.

Both were located at Long Branch, Ontario. Most of the Canadian made No. I (T) sniper equipments went into British service. 4 (T) rifles were extensively employed in various conflicts until the late 1960s. The British military switched over to the 7.62×51mm NATO round in the 1950s; starting in 1970, over 1,000 of the No.

4 Mk I (T) and No. I (T) sniper rifles were converted to this new calibre and designated L42A1. [44] The L42A1 sniper rifle continued as the British Army's standard sniper weapon being phased out by 1993, and replaced by Accuracy International's L96. 22 training rifles[edit] Numbers of LeeEnfield rifles were converted to. 22 calibre training rifles, [56] in order to teach cadets and new recruits the various aspects of shooting, firearms safety, and marksmanship at a markedly reduced cost per round. Initially, rifles were converted from obsolete Magazine LeeMetford and Magazine LeeEnfield rifles[57][58] but from the First World War onwards SMLE rifles were used instead.

22 Pattern 1914 Short Rifles[59] during The First World War and Rifle, No. IV[60] from 1921 onwards.

[61] They were generally single-shot affairs, originally using Morris tubes chambered for cheap. 22L cartridge and some larger types, circa 1907.

Some were later modified with special adaptors to enable magazine loading. In 1914, Enfield produced complete. 22 barrels and bolts specifically for converting. 303 units, and these soon became the most common conversion. 22 cal'Parker-Hiscock' magazine was also developed and in service for a relatively short period during the later period of the First World War, but was subsequently withdrawn from issue due to reliability problems with its quite complicated loading and feeding mechanism. IV rifles are externally identical to a. 303 calibre SMLE Mk III rifle, the only difference being the. 22 calibre barrel, empty magazine case, bolthead and extractor which have been modified to fire.

[64] After the Second World War, the Rifle, No. 22 rimfire trainers and/or target rifles based on the Lee action, were adopted or in use with Cadet units and target shooters throughout the Commonwealth, the No. 8 as of 2017 has been replaced among cadet forces due to obsolescence.

[65][66] In Britain, a. 22RF version of the No. 5 Rifle was prototyped by BSA and trialled with a view to it becoming the British Service training rifle when the. 5 was initially mooted as being a potential replacement for the No.

22 single shot, manually fed, training version of the No. 4 Mk I rifle manufactured at Long Branch. [68] Production of this model was 19441946 and a few in 1950 to 1953. [69] Muskets and shotguns[edit] Conversion of rifles to smoothbored guns was carried out in several locations, at various times, for varying reasons.

SAF Lithgow, in Australia, produced shotguns based on the MkIII action under the "Slazenger" name, chambering the common commercial. [70] Commercial gunsmiths in Australia and Britain converted both MkIII and No4 rifles to. These conversions were prompted by firearms legislation that made possession of a rifle chambered in a military cartridge both difficult and expensive.

Smoothbored shotguns could be legally held with far less trouble. RFI, in India, converted a large number of MkIII rifles to single shot muskets, chambered for the. These conversions were for issue to police and prison guards, to provide a firearm with a much-reduced power and range in comparison to the. A further likely consideration was the difficulty of obtaining replacement ammunition in the event of the rifle's theft or the carrier's desertion.

While British and Australian conversions were to the standard commercially available. 410 shotgun cartridge (though of varying chamber lengths) the Indian conversions have been the source of considerable confusion. The Indian conversions were originally chambered for the. 410 Indian Musket cartridge, which is based on the. 303 British cartridge, and will not chamber the common. Unmodified muskets require handloading of ammunition, as the.

410 Indian Musket cartridge was not commercially distributed and does not appear to have been manufactured since the 1950s. Numerous attempts have been made to convert the various single-shot. 410 shotgun models to a bolt-action repeating model by removing the wooden magazine plug and replacing it with a standard 10-round SMLE magazine. None of these is known to have been successful, [71] though some owners have adapted 3-round magazines for Savage and Stevens shotguns to function in a converted SMLE shotgun, or even placing such a magazine inside a gutted SMLE magazine. Civilian conversions and variants[edit] From the late 1940s, legislation in New South Wales, Australia, heavily restricted.

303 British calibre (and other "military calibre") rifles, [72] so large numbers of SMLEs were converted to "wildcat" calibres such as. 303/270 and the popular 7.7×54mm round. [73] 303/25 calibre sporterised SMLEs are very common in Australia today, although ammunition for them has been very scarce since the 1980s. [72] The restrictions placed on "military calibre" rifles in New South Wales were lifted in 1975, and many people who had converted their LeeEnfields to the "wildcat" rounds converted their rifles back to. [72] Post-Second World War, SAF Lithgow converted a number of SMLE rifles to commercial sporting rifles- notably the. 22 Hornet model- under the "Slazenger" brand. [74] In the early 1950s Essential Agencies Ltd. , of Toronto, Ontario, produced a run of several thousand survival rifles based on the No.

4 action, but lightened and shortened, chambered in. Serial numbers below 6000 were for civilian sale, serial numbers 6000 and higher were built under contract to the Canadian government. The Royal Canadian Air Force also used these as a survival rifle in the remote parts of Canada. [citation needed] L59A1 Drill Rifle[edit] This section needs additional citations for verification.

Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Find sources: "LeeEnfield" news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (January 2017) (Learn how and when to remove this template message) The L59A1 was a conversion of the No4 Rifle (all Marks) to a Drill Purpose Rifle that was incapable of being restored to a firing configuration. It was introduced in service in the 1970s. A conversion specification of No. 1 rifles to L59A2 Drill Purpose was also prepared but was abandoned due to the greater difficulty of machining involved and the negligible numbers still in the hands of cadet units.

The L59A1 arose from British government concerns over the vulnerability of Army Cadet Force and school Combined Cadet Forces' (CCF) stocks of small arms to theft by terrorists, in particular the Irish Republican Army following raids on CCF armouries in the 1950s and 1960s. Previous conversions to Drill Purpose (DP) of otherwise serviceable rifles were not considered to be sufficiently incapable of restoration to fireable state and were a potential source of reconversion spares. L59A1 Drill Rifles were rendered incapable of being fired, and of being restored to a fireable form, by extensive modifications that included the welding of the barrel to the receiver, modifications to the receiver that removed the supporting structures for the bolt's locking lugs and blocking the installation of an unaltered bolt, the removal of the striker's tip, the blocking of the striker's hole in the bolt head and the removal of most of the bolt body's locking lugs. Most bolts were copper plated for identification. A plug was welded in place forward of the chamber, and a window was cut in the side of the barrel. The stock and fore end was marked with broad white painted bands and the letters "DP" for easy identification. Special service LeeEnfields: Commando and automatic models[edit] Charlton Automatic Rifles[edit] Main article: Charlton Automatic Rifle Charlton Automatic Rifle. Small numbers of LeeEnfield rifles were built as, or converted to, experimental automatic loading systems, such as the British Howell and South African Rieder and the best-known of which was the Charlton Automatic Rifle, designed by a New Zealander, Philip Charlton in 1941 to act as a substitute for the Bren and Lewis gun light machine guns which were in chronically short supply at the time. [75][76] During the Second World War, the majority of New Zealand's land forces were deployed in North Africa. When Japan entered the war in 1941, New Zealand found itself lacking the light machine guns that would be required for local defence should Japan choose to invade, and so the New Zealand Government funded the development of self-loading conversions for the LeeEnfield rifle. [77] The end result was the Charlton Automatic Rifle (based on the obsolete MLE), [78] which was issued to Home Guard units in NZ from 1942. Over 1,500 conversions were made, including a handful by Electrolux using Lithgow SMLE Mk III rifles. [79] The two Charlton designs differed markedly in external appearance (amongst other things, the New Zealand Charlton had a forward pistol grip and bipod, whilst the Australian one did not), but shared the same operating mechanism.

[80] Most of the Charlton Automatic Rifles were destroyed in a fire after the Second World War, [81] but a few examples survive in museums and private collections. De Lisle Commando carbine[edit] Main article: De Lisle carbine The initial wooden-stocked De Lisle with a fitted suppressor. The Commando units of the British military requested a suppressed rifle for killing sentries, guard dogs and other clandestine operational uses during the Second World War. The resulting weapon, designed by W. De Lisle, was effectively an SMLE Mk III receiver redesigned to take a.

45 ACP cartridge and associated magazine, with a barrel from a Thompson submachine gun and an integrated suppressor. [28] It was produced in very limited numbers and an experimental folding stock version was made.

Ekins Automatic Rifle[edit] The Ekins Automatic Rifle was one of the numerous attempts to convert a LeeEnfield SMLE to an automatic rifle. [77] Similar developments were the South African Rieder and Charlton of Australian/New Zealand origin. Howard Francis carbine[edit] Howard Francis Self-Loading Carbine Type Carbine Place of origin United Kingdom Production history Designer Howard Francis Specifications Mass 3.7 kg (8.2 lb) Length 812 mm (32.0 in) Barrel length 324 mm (12.8 in) Cartridge 7.63×25mm Mauser Rate of fire Semi-automatic Feed system 12-round box magazine Sights Iron sights The Howard Francis Self-Loading Carbine was a conversion of a No. 1 Mk III to the 7.63×25mm Mauser pistol cartridge.

[82] It fired in semi-automatic only and suffered some feeding and extraction problems and, despite meeting accuracy and soundness of design concept, never made it past the prototype stage. Howell Automatic Rifle[edit] Main article: Howell Automatic Rifle The Howell Automatic Rifle was the first attempt to convert the LeeEnfield SMLE into a semi-automatic rifle. Rieder Automatic Rifle[edit] Main article: Rieder Automatic Rifle The Rieder Automatic Rifle was an automatic (full automatic only) LeeEnfield SMLE rifle of South African origin. The Rieder device could be installed straight away without the use of tools.

Conversion to 7.62×51mm NATO[edit] During the 1960s, the British Government and the Ministry of Defence converted a number of LeeEnfield No. 4 rifles to 7.62×51mm NATO as part of a programme to retain the LeeEnfield as a reserve weapon. 4 series rifles that were converted to 7.62×51mm NATO were re-designated as the L8 series of rifles with the rifles being refitted with 7.62×51mm NATO barrels, new bolt faces and extractor claws, new rear sights and new 10-round 7.62×51mm NATO magazines that were produced by RSAF Enfield to replace the old 10-round. [84] The appearance of the L8 series rifles were no different from the original No. 4 rifles, except for the new barrel which still retained the original No.

4 rifle bayonet lugs and magazine. [85] The L8 series of rifles consisted of L8A1 rifles converted No. 4 Mk2 rifles, L8A2 rifles converted No. 4 Mk1/2 rifles, L8A3 rifles converted No. 4 Mk1/3 rifles, L8A4 rifles converted No.

4 Mk1 rifles, and L8A5 rifles converted No. Sterling Armaments of Dagenham, Essex produced a conversion kit comprising a new 7.62mm barrel, magazine, extractor and ejector for commercial sale. The main difference between the two conversions was in the cartridge ejection arrangement; the Enfield magazine carried a hardened steel projection that struck the rim of the extracted case to eject it, the Sterling system employed a spring-loaded plunger inserted into the receiver wall. The results of the trials that were conducted on the L8 series rifles were mixed and the British Government and the Ministry of Defence decided not to convert their existing stocks of LeeEnfield No.

4 rifles to 7.62×51mm NATO. Despite this, the British learned from the results of the L8 test program and used them in successfully converting their stocks of No. 4 (T) sniper rifles to 7.62×51mm NATO, which led to the creation of the L42A1 series sniper rifles. [86] In the late 1960s, RSAF Enfield entered the commercial market by producing No. 4-based 7.62×51mm rifles for sale.

The products were marketed under alliterative names e. Enfield Envoy, a rifle intended for civilian competition target shooting and Enfield Enforcer, a rifle fitted with a Pecar telescopic sight to suit the requirements of police firearms teams.

Ishapore 2A/2A1[edit] Main article: Ishapore 2A1 rifle Ishapore 2A1. At some point just after the Sino-Indian War of 1962, the Rifle Factory Ishapore in India began producing a new type of rifle known as the Rifle 7.62 mm 2A, which was based on the SMLE Mk III[87] and was slightly redesigned to use the 7.62×51mm NATO round. Externally the new rifle is very similar to the classic Mk III, with the exception of the buttplate (the buttplate from the 1A SLR is fitted) and magazine, which is more "square" than the SMLE magazine, and usually carries twelve rounds instead of ten, [88] although a number of 2A1s have been noted with 10-round magazines.

Ishapore 2A and Ishapore 2A1 receivers are made with improved (EN) steel (to handle the increased pressures of the 7.62×51mm round)[89] and the extractor is redesigned to suit the rimless cartridge. From 1965 to 1975 (when production is believed to have been discontinued), the sight ranging graduations were changed from 2000 to 800, and the rifle re-designated Rifle 7.62 mm 2A1. [90] The original 2,000 yards (1,800 m) rear sight arm was found to be suitable for the ballistics of the 7.62×51mm, which is around 10% more powerful and equates to a flatter trajectory than that of the. 303 British MkVII ammunition, so it was a simple matter to think of the'2000' as representing metres rather than yards.

It was then decided that the limit of the effective range was a more realistic proposition at 800 m. The Ishapore 2A and 2A1 rifles are often incorrectly described as. The 2A/2A1 rifles are not conversions of. 303 calibre SMLE Mk III rifles.

Rather, they are newly manufactured firearms and are not technically chambered for commercial. However, many 2A/2A1 owners shoot such ammunition in their rifles with no problems, although some factory loaded. 308 Winchester cartridges may appear to generate higher pressures than 7.62×51mm NATO, even though the rounds are otherwise interchangeable this is due to the different systems of pressure measurement used for NATO and commercial cartridges.

Production and manufacturers[edit] In total, over 16 million LeeEnfields had been produced in several factories on different continents when production in Britain shut down in 1956, at the Royal Ordnance Factory ROF Fazakerley in Liverpool after that factory had been plagued with industrial unrest. 4 rifle was continued from 1957.

[91][92] Also contributing to the total was the Rifle Factory Ishapore (RFI) at Ishapore in India, which continued to produce the SMLE in both. 303 and 7.62×51mm NATO until the 1980s, and is still manufacturing a sporting rifle based on the SMLE Mk III action, chambered for a. 315 calibre cartridge[93] the Birmingham Small Arms Company factory at Shirley near Birmingham, and SAF Lithgow in Australia, who finally discontinued production of the SMLE Mk III with a final'machinery proving' batch of 1000 rifles in early 1956, using 1953-dated receivers. During the First World War alone, 3.8 million SMLE rifles were produced in the UK by RSAF Enfield, BSA, and LSA. [94] The wristguard markings on a 1918-dated Short Magazine LeeEnfield Mk III rifle manufactured by the London Small Arms Co. " under the crown stands for "George Rex and refers to the reigning monarch at the time the rifle was manufactured. Ltd United Kingdom Lithgow Lithgow Small Arms Factory Australia GRI Rifle Factory Ishapore British India RFI Rifle Factory Ishapore India (Post-Independence) Note 1: "SSA" and "NRF" markings are sometimes encountered on First World War-dated SMLE Mk III rifles. These stand for "Standard Small Arms" and "National Rifle Factory", respectively.

Rifles so marked were assembled using parts from various other manufacturers, as part of a scheme during the First World War to boost rifle production in the UK. Only SMLE Mk III rifles are known to have been assembled under this program. Note 2: GRI stands for "Georgius Rex, Imperator" Latin for "King George, Emperor (of India)", denoting a rifle made during the British Raj. RFI stands for "Rifle Factory, Ishapore", denoting a rifle made after the Partition of India in 1947.

For example, BSA Shirley is denoted by M47C, ROF(M) is often simply stamped "M", and BSA is simply stamped "B". Note 2: Savage-made LeeEnfield No. 4 Mk I and No. 4 Mk I rifles are all stamped "US PROPERTY". They were supplied to the UK under the Lend-Lease programme during the Second World War.

[95] Australian International Arms No. 4 Mk IV[edit] AIA M10-B2 Match Rifle The Brisbane-based Australian International Arms also manufactured a modern reproduction of the No. 4 Mk II rifle, which they marketed as the AIA No. The rifles were manufactured by parts outsourcing and were assembled and finished in Australia, chambered in 7.62×51mm NATO and fed from modified M14 magazines. 4 Mk IV was designed with the modern shooter in mind, and has the ability to mount a telescopic sight without drilling and tapping the receiver.

[96] AIA also offered the AIA M10-A1 rifle, a Jungle Carbine-styled version chambered in 7.62×39mm Russian, which uses AK-47 magazines. [98] Khyber Pass Copies[edit] A number of British Service Rifles, predominantly the MartiniHenry and MartiniEnfield, but also the various LeeEnfield rifles, have been produced by small manufacturers in the Khyber Pass region of the Pakistani/Afghan border. [99] "Khyber Pass Copies", as they are known, tend to be copied exactly from a "master" rifle, which may itself be a Khyber Pass Copy, markings and all, which is why it's not uncommon to see Khyber Pass rifles with the "N" in "Enfield" reversed, amongst other things. [100] The quality on such rifles varies from "as good as a factory-produced example" to "dangerously unsafe", tending towards the latter end of the scale. Khyber Pass Copy rifles cannot generally stand up to the pressures generated by modern commercial ammunition, [100] and are generally considered unsafe to fire under any circumstances. [14] Khyber Pass Copies can be recognised by a number of factors, notably: · Spelling errors in the markings; as noted the most common of which is a reversed "N" in "Enfield" · V. (Victoria Regina) cyphers dated after 1901; Queen Victoria died in 1901, so any rifles made after 1901 should be stamped E. R" (Edwardius RexKing Edward VII or King Edward VIII) or "G. R (Georgius RexKing George V or King George VI). · Generally inferior workmanship, including weak/soft metal, poorly finished wood, and badly struck markings.

[100] Armalon[edit] British company Armalon Ltd[101] developed a number of rifles based on the Lee Enfield No 4. The PC Gallery Rifle is a carbine in pistol and revolver calibres, the AL42 a 5.56 mm rifle and the AL30C, a carbine in.

The LeeEnfield in military/police use today[edit] An Afghan mujahid carries a LeeEnfield in August 1985 Canadian Rangers, photographed in Nunavut, June 2011 The LeeEnfield family of rifles is the second oldest bolt-action rifle design still in official service, after the MosinNagant. [14] LeeEnfield rifles are used by reserve forces and police forces in many Commonwealth countries, including Malawi. 22 models are being phased out [2016].

Indian police officers carrying SMLE Mk III and Ishapore 2A1 rifles were a familiar sight throughout railway stations in India after Mumbai train bombings of 2006 and the November 2008 Mumbai attacks. They are also still seen in the hands of Pakistani and Bangladeshi second-line and police units. However, the LeeEnfield was mainly replaced in main-line service in the Pakistani Police in the mid-1980s by the AK 47, in response to increasing proliferation of the Kalashnikov in the black market and civilian use. In Jordan, the LeeEnfield was in use with the Police and Gendarmerie until 1971, and with the Armed Forces until 1965.

In Iraq and Egypt, the LeeEnfield was replaced by the Kalashnikov as the standard issue rifle in the Armed Forces by the late 1950s, and in Police Forces by the late 1970s. In the UK, the single-shot. 8 is in regular use with UK Cadet Forces as a light target rifle. [102] Enfields continue to be used as drill weapons by the National Ceremonial Guard of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF).

[103] Many Afghan participants in the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan were armed with LeeEnfields. [104] The CIA's Operation Cyclone provided hundreds of thousands of Enfields to the Mujahideen, funneling them through Pakistan's ISI. CIA officer Gust Avrakotos later arranged for the Egyptian Ministry of Defence to set up production lines of Enfield.

303 ammunition specifically for the conflict. [105] An SMLE owned by Maoist rebels in Nepal, 2005.

Khyber Pass Copies patterned after the LeeEnfield are still manufactured in the Khyber Pass region, as bolt-action rifles remain effective weapons in desert and mountain environments where long-range accuracy is more important than rate of fire. [14] LeeEnfield rifles are still popular in the region, despite the presence and ready availability of more modern weapons such as the SKS-45, the AKM, the Chinese Type 56 assault rifle, and the AK-74. [14][106] As of 2012, LeeEnfield rifles (along with MosinNagants) are still being used by the Taliban insurgents against NATO/Allied forces in Afghanistan. [91] During the recent civil war in Nepal, the government troops were issued LeeEnfield rifles to fight the Maoist rebels, and the Maoists were also armed with SMLE rifles, amongst other weapons.

Nepalese Police constables may also be usually seen equipped with SMLE rifles. [107] LeeEnfield rifles have also been seen in the hands of both the Naxalites and the Indian police in the ongoing Maoist insurgency in rural India. Police forces in both the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu continue to operate and maintain stocks of No.

[108] The Tongan security forces also retain a substantial number of No. 4 rifles donated from New Zealand's reserve stocks. [108] Lee Enfield rifles are used by the Jamaica Constabulary force for training recruits during field-craft exercises and drills. The LeeEnfield in civilian use[edit] LeeEnfields are very popular as hunting rifles and target shooting rifles. [14] Top-notch accuracy is difficult to achieve with the LeeEnfield design, [40] as it was intended to be a battle rifle rather than a sharpshooter's weapon, [40] and thus the Enfield is nowadays overshadowed by derivatives of Paul Mauser's design as a target shooting arm.

They did, however, continue to be used at Bisley up into the 1970s with some success, and continue to perform extremely well at Military Service Rifle Competitions throughout the world. [14] Many people still hunt with as-issued LeeEnfield rifles, with commercial. 303 British ammunition proving especially effective on medium-sized game.

303 ammunition is widely available for hunting purposes, though the Mark 7 military cartridge design often proves adequate because its tail-heavy design makes the bullet yaw violently and deform after hitting the target. [109][110] The LeeEnfield rifle is a popular gun for historic rifle enthusiasts and those who find the 10-round magazine, loading by charger clips, and the rapid bolt-action useful for Practical Rifle events.

LeeEnfields are also popular with competitors in service rifle competitions in many Commonwealth countries. The LeeEnfield series is very popular for service rifle shooting competitions in the UK and Australia due to the prohibitions on the legal ownership of semi-automatic centrefire rifles in Great Britain and restrictions on the legal ownership of semi-automatic centrefire rifles in Australia.

[111][112] For more information see Gun politics in the United Kingdom and Gun politics in Australia. 45 ACP conversion kits for the LeeEnfield action using M1911 pistol magazines. [113] The LeeSpeed Sporter was a higher quality British made version of the LeeEnfield. Rifle Factory Ishapore of India still manufactures an sporting/hunting rifle chambered in. 315 with a LeeEnfield action. [114] Variants[edit] · Magazine LeeEnfield (MLE). [115] · LeeEnfield Cavalry Carbine Mk I (LEC).

[116] · Magazine LeeEnfield Mk I. [117] · LeeEnfield Cavalry Carbine Mk I. [116] · New Zealand Carbine. 303 · Royal Irish Constabulary Carbine.

303 · Short Magazine LeeEnfield Mk I (SMLE). · Short Magazine LeeEnfield Mk II. · Charger Loading LeeEnfield (CLLE). 1 Short Magazine LeeEnfield Mk III. 1 Short Magazine LeeEnfield Mk III (HT).

303, "Heavy Barrel, Telescopic Sight" Australian sniper rifle. 1 Short Magazine LeeEnfield Mk V. 1 Short Magazine LeeEnfield Mk VI.

303 SMLE Mk III and Mk III. 303, sniper rifle converted from No. 4 Mk I, introduced 1941. 303, Sniper rifle converted from No. 4 Mk I to No.

5 Mk I, Jungle Carbine. 303, Australian experimental version of the No. 22 · L8A1, 7.62mm, converted from No. 4 Mk 2 · L8A2, 7.62mm, converted from No.

4 Mk I/3 · L8A3, 7.62mm, converted from No. 4 Mk I/3 · L8A4, 7.62mm, converted from No. 4 Mk I · L8A5, 7.62mm, converted from No. 4 Mk I · L39A1, 7.62mm · L42A1, 7.62mm · L59A1, Drill Rifle, converted from No. · BA 93, a rifle grenade launcher made from surplus LeeEnfield parts, which consist of stocks and receiver with a rifle grenade launcher in the chamber and a sheet metal buttstock while attaching a G3-type pistol grip.

[118] 303 Lee Enfield Rifle and Manual The bolt action, Caliber. Magazine Lee-Enfield, MLE, held two columns of 5 cartridges each. A skilled soldier could fire the 8.8 lb rifle's deadly 174 grain bullet at from 20 to 30 aimed rounds per minute, making British Commonwealth infantry as effective as any in the Korean War. Rifle Manual: Lee Enfield Rifles No.

5 Mk I TM9-2200 (html): Technical Manual for WWII Small Arms British Commonwealth Occupation Forces Japan photo. 3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, armed with Number 4 Mark I SMLE rifles, distinguished itself in Korea in a number of engagements. In its first fight the Aussies, using mainly only Enfield rifles and 18 in.

Bayonets, routed a North Korean regiment. In three years of some of the worst fighting of the Korean War, 3RAR was never forced from a position. 303 caliber Lee-Enfield rifle, November 1895, usually called the Magazine Lee-Enfield, or MLE. The next year a shorter version was introduced as the Lee-Enfield Cavalry Carbine Mk I, or LEC, with a 21.2-inch barrel as opposed to the 30.2-inch "long" version.

After modifications, in 1899 they became the Mk I. Some of the MLEs (and MLMs) were modified to load from chargers, "Charger Loading Lee-Enfields", or CLLEs. Rifle, Short, Magazine Lee Enfield (SMLE) Mark 1 The SMLE, January 1904, is a shorter and lighter version of the MLE.

Barrel length was halfway 25.2 inches, halfway between the original long rifle and the carbine. There was concern at the time that the shorter barrel would not be accurate, with greater recoil, and too short a sighting radius. The most noticeable characteristic of the SMLE was its blunt nose, with only the bayonet boss protruding a small fraction of an inch beyond the nosecap.

The SMLE included charger loading, borrowed from the Mauser rifle. Rifle, Short, Magazine Lee Enfield Mark 3 -- 1907, different sights The SMLE Mk III, 26 January 1907, featured a simplified rear sight arrangement and a fixed charger guide, and was chambered to fire the Mk VII High Velocity spitzer. During WWI, many changes were made to simplify manufacture and help meet production requirements, resulting in the SMLE Mk III redesignated Rifle No. The SMLE was manufactured in Australia and India, and the old faithful 4 mk1. 303 was standard-issue for the Royal Australian Regiment in the Korean War, helping to make them at least as effective as any infantry in that miserable war. Rifle, Short, Number 4 Mark 1, Short, Magazine Lee Enfield - 1941 Top shown mounting Bayonet Number 9, bottom blow-up mounts "Pig-Sticker" bayonet.

Interesting to some American Korean War veterans, the Enfield wasn't issued a flash protector. Quoting one of my Aussie Mates, Vince Gilligan (note the cone suppressor on his Bren in this link): The cone type flash eliminators were standard on the Bren Gun and the Jungle. 303 Carbine but I was a Infantry instructor and never came across one for the old faithful 4 mk1.

Another Aussie mate, Keith Hasler adds: Hi Bert... I agree with Vince that our Lee Enfield Rifles had no flash suppressors, but our trusty Bren Gun had a cone shaped'flash eliminator. The remaining ammunition used was 9mil in the Owen sub machine gun (with no suppressors). Our Vickers belt fed and water cooled machine gun also a.

303 user and equiped with a form of cone shaped suppressor, was used by specialist gunners in their own unit as opposed to the former three weapons used by the infantry troops in section, platoon and company sized operations.... Flash suppressors reduce the flash by rapidly cooling the gases as they leave the barrel, reducing the gas density and temperature and correspondingly the brightness of the flash. Obviously this is entirely to protect night vision of the shooter, not try to hide him from the shootee. M1 QD Flash Hider Cone suppressor T-37 prong flash suppressor. The M1 Garand The Mosin Nagant - Mark 1 Mark 3 No. 4 Mark 1 - Barley Corn foresight Tangent Leaf Rear Blade foresight Tangent leaf Rear Blade foresight Vertical leaf Rear Operation Bolt Action Caliber. 303 in, Rimmed cartridge, 2.15in case length Muzzle velocity 2060 fps 2440 fps 2440 fps Ammunition Mark 6 ball, 215 grain bullet, 33 gr charge Mark 7 ball, 174 grain bullet, 36.5 gr charge Capacity detachable box magazine, holding 10 rounds in two columns Normally loaded from stripper clips Weight 8.12 lbs, unloaded 8.62 lbs, unloaded 8.8 lbs, unloaded Overall length 44.57 in overall, 25.2 in barrel Rate of fire 20 aimed rounds per minute Corporal Donald Breyard Davie gives covering fire for "B" Company, 3RAR, during their advance on a spur near Hill 614.

Corporal Davie had loaded his stripper clip the usual over-and-under method which alternates the rims of succeeding cartridges in front of then in back of, the rim of the previous cartridges. That's the way the clip on the left is loaded.

In another method, the rim of each cartridge overlaps the rim of the previous cartridge. The M1 Garand was the weapon of choice for US infantry. The M2 Carbine, half the weight and with a less powerful cartridge, was the weapon of choice for support troops, and others not primarily involved in infantry combat.

It was designed to meet combat needs less demanding than the M1 Rifle, but more than can be met by the M1911A1 pistol. When the Short Magazine Lee-Enfield was first introduced into British service, it met with a storm of criticism -- though little from the troops whom it served well during two World Wars, Korea, and beyond.

British Commonwealth forces used the Lee Enfield Mark 4 as their main rifle. Although bolt action, its locking mechanism made it the fastest bolt action rifle in the world.

Its long service also permitted its design to be optimized over time to make it very rugged and reliable. The trained soldier could fire 30 aimed rounds at a target 200 meters in one minute (known as "the mad minute").

Ron Cashman, 3RAR As one vet, Vince Gilligan, 3rd Battalion Royal Australian Army said:... 303 rifle our mob(Australians) used in Korea. The brits used a later version with the pig sticker bayonet. It was a very effective weapon.

At least if you hit something, it stayed Hit. And after all, that's the idea. The bluing process creates a protective layer of treated metal on the surface of the steel, by immersing the metal in a solution of salts that chemically alter the surface.

The chemical reaction discolors the surface of the metal to a blue color, sometimes a vivid blue, sometimes more gray or black. I now own one and some of your information is a little off. Rear Sights are flip-up adjustable aperature micrometer sights, not vertical leaf Weight unloaded is Nine pounds even I weighed it! Not 8.8 Barrel length is 25 1/4 inches, not 25 2 inches Case length is actually 2.222 inches (Chamber size) and not 2.15 And, as for the aimed shot capacity, it's actually more along the lines of 15 rounds per minute.

Because of the way the Lee action is set up, rapid fire is very easy to do. As long as you've got some charger clips handy, you can manage 3in. Groups on a rapid fire string. In British military rifle qualification with the SMLE the minimum passing score was 15 hits on a siluette target at 200 yards in 1 minute. This was required of any cook or clerk.

Combat soldiers averaged 20 to 30 hits in 1 minute. The all time aimed fire record with a bolt action rifle was by Sgt. Snoxall of the British army, 38 hits on a 12in. Bull at 300 yards in 1 minute. The Lee-Enfield series of rifles was born in 1895 as a marriage between the James Paris Lee designed magazine and bolt action, and Enfield pattern rifling.

Contents [show] OverviewEdit In general, the SMLE was one of the best bolt action military rifles to see service. It was rapid firing, accurate and reliable. While being less suitable for "sporterizing" than Mausers, they are still popular among civilians as a hunting and plinking weapons, and also as a part of the history. The key deficiencies of the SMLE were probably the rimmed ammunition and non-interchangeability of bolts, but the advantages of this design were much bigger and Lee-Enfields in all its guises served Britain and the British Commonwealth for more than 60 years in front line service and much longer as a specialized sniping weapon. HistoryEdit Lee-Metford Lee-Enfield SMLE Early Lee-Enfield rifles, officially known as a. And, unlike some other Empires, Brits were quick lo learn.

In 1903, they introduced a new design, which improved over the older Lee-Metfords and Lee-Enfields in some important respects. The main improvements was the introduction of the "universal" rifle idea.

The common thinking of the period was to issue the long rifle for infantry and the carbine for cavalry, artillery and other such troops. The Brits decided to replace this variety of sizes with one, "intermediate" size, that will fit all niches. This "one size fits all" rifle was called.

303 caliber, Rifle, Short, Magazine, Lee-Enfield, Mark 1, or, in short SMLE Mk. I, where "short" referred to the length of the rifle. This rifle passed some improvements during the following pre-WW1 years, finalizing in the 1907 as a SMLE Mk.

WWIEdit Royal Irish Constabulary Lee Enfield Lee-Enfield No4 Sniper Development and introduction into service of this rifle was accompanied with constant complaints of some "theorists", which stated that this rifle would be no good neither for infantry, nor for cavalry, so RSAF was set do design another rifle, patterned after the German Mauser, which also should be more suitable for mass production, than the SMLE. This rifle finally appeared in 1914 as an. 303 caliber Enfield Pattern 1914 rifle, or simply a P-14. With the outbreak of the WWI, British troops were still armed with the "poor" SMLE Mk.

III rifles, which soon turned far from any "poor", giving some hard time to the Germans. In fact, the SMLE Mk. III was a really good rifle, quite accurate, reliable and suitable for rapid and accurate firing. British soldiers were rigorously trained for both individual and volley fire marksmanship, and were routinely capable of firing 30 aimed shots per minute, which was quite a rate of fire for any non-automatic rifle.

There were times when advancing Germans were impressed that they were under the machine gun fire, when Tommie used their salvo-firing techniques. During the war time the basic Mk. III design was slightly simplified to better suit the mass production needs, with omission of "volley" sights and magazine cutoffs, and with some production shortcuts. When the World War One was over, there were no questions of quality of basic SMLE design, but some improvements were suggested and introduced in later patterns, such as peep-hole, receiver mounted sights. These "interwar" patterns were not issued in any significant quantities until the 1941.

In 1926, Brits were quite confused with numerous'Marks' and'Marks with stars' of their weaponry, decided to adopt a new numbering system, so the SMLE Mark III became the Rifle, No. 2 was a training version of the SMLE No.

3 was assigned to the P-14 rifle, which was used in limited numbers. 4 Mark 1, widely known as a No. 4 Rifle, appeared in 1941.

1 MkIII and MkIII's are the SMLE. Post-WWIIEdit Ishapore 2A1, 7.62x51mm NATO L42A1 By the end of the World War 2, when British and Commonwealth troops also armed with No. 1, MKIII SMLEs & the No. 4 Rifle started to fight in jungles of the South-East was still not short enough for the jungle combat, so a carbine version of the No. 4 Rifle was adopted late in the 1944 in the form of the No.

The last, and by some opinions the finest "general issue" version of the Lee-Enfields was the No. 2 rifle, which appeared in 1949.

But some Lee-Enfields were left in military service, as a training, target and, especially, sniper rifles, known as Enfield L39 and L41, rechambered to the new standard 7.62 mm NATO ammunition, and served well until the late 1980s, when there were replaced by the Accuracy International L96 sniper rifle. It should be noted, that SMLE rifles were produced and used not only in the UK. Australian, Canadian and Indian factories turned out more than million of the No. 1 rifles with various improvements, which were used during both World wars and thereafter.

During the WW2, Britain also acquired quantities of SMLE No. 1 made under contract at the Savage Arms company in USA. In the 1950s, Indian Isaphore arsenal turned out some SMLEs rechambered to the 7.62mm NATO. 303 caliber rifles by the more squared outline of the magazine. Total numbers of all'Marks' and'Numbers' of the SMLE made during the 60 years in various countries is not less than 5,000,000 (yes, five millions) rifles.

Mad MinuteEdit Mad minute was a pre-World War I term used by British riflemen during training to describe firing 15 aimed bullets into a target at 300yd within one minute using a bolt-action rifle (usually a Lee-Enfield or Lee-Metford rifle). [1] It was not uncommon during the First World War for riflemen to beat this feat by an excessive amount.

Many riflemen could average 25 shots, while others yet could make 40 shots. Various claims are attached to this high rate of fire: a particularly persistent one tells of a retreating German unit in WW1 claiming every British soldier was armed with a machine gun. Annually, a group of British owners meet for a mad minute competition.

[2] VariationsEdit Lee-Enfield Jungle Carbine SMLE No. 1 MkIIIEdit The sights of the Mark III / No.

III SMLEs were a combination of the barleycorn front (an inverted V-shape) and V-notch adjustable rear sights, mounted on the barrel, graduated to 2000 yards. The front sights were protected by the two "ears" on the stock nose-cap. Latter the front sight were changed to post type, and the rear - to the U-notch type, and since the introduction of the No. 4 rifle the barrel-mounted open rear sight was replaced with peep-hole one, mounted on the receiver, which made the sighting line much longer and improved the long-range accuracy.

1Edit This was an improved and strengthened SMLE design, with heavier and stronger receiver, which also was faster and easier to machine, and with a heavier freefloating barrel to increase accuracy. The stock shape was shortened at the front part and did away with the distinctive nose cap.

It was replaced by a protruding muzzle, to accept the new No4 pattern bayonet. The barrel-mounted open rear sights were replaced with the receiver-mounted peep-hole sights, which were micrometer-adjustable. However, No4 MkI rifles were equipt with a flip-style non-adjustable rear sight, the first being set for ranges up to 300 yards, the other for up to 600 yards. 1(T) rifles, made during the WW2, were equipped with detachable optical scope mounts at the left side of the receiver. The scope, often a No.

32 scope, was carried in the separate box when not in use. 4 rifle was produced in England and North America Canada and by Savage Arms, U. The Indians and Aussies continued to produce the No.

4 rifle was produced in three "MK"'s (Marks) and reworked into two more. The MK1 had a sliding bolt catch on the right side of of the receiver, just behind the charger bridge, that had to be held down against spring tension with the middle finger of the left hand while the right hand fingers lifted the bolthead up for bolt removal. The MK1, developed at the Long Branch Arsenal, Toranto, Canada, had a small section of boltway removed, about a half inch rear of the forward end. The bolt was unlocked and moved to the rear until the head was over this area. The bolthead was then "popped" up 90 degrees and the bolt was then removed. The charging bridge was made higher to allow the upright bolthead to pass. 2Edit It was made by higher peacetime standards of fit and finish, than a wartime No. Is, and served with British army until the mid-1950s, when the self-loading L1 SLR (semi-auto copy of the Belgian FN FAL) rifle in 7.62 mm NATO was introduced into general service. The No4 MkII entered service in 1949, its most noticeable difference was the trigger, which was hung from the mechanism itself and not the trigger guard, to increase accuracy. Many war production Mk1's and MK1's were Factory Through Repair F. Fazakerley, Liverpool, and brought up to MK2 configuration, The MK1's were overstamped MK1/2 and the MK1 was overstamped MK1/3. I had reworked rifles from England , Canada, and American production in my collection, that were F. R'd to MKII configuration. 1Edit This carbine is a substantially shorter and lighter (approximately 2lbs and 4.5) version of the No.

4 rifle, and was primarily developed for use in the Pacific Island campaigns in dense tropical canopy; hence the colloquial name Jungle Carbine. " It was reported to have suffered "wandering zero" problems, " which meant that the point of impact changed during either climate changes or long strings of fire.

Many theories have been postualated, including blaming this on the lightening cuts on the receiver causing springiness or stretch, the thinner free-floating barrel, or tropical humidity swelling the wooden furniture. The muzzle flash and recoil were also increased due to the 5.3 shorter barrel, lighter weight, and decreased surface area of the butt, despite the latter's (non-recoil attenuating) rubber composition. Production ceased in 1947, and its approximately three-year official service record make it the shortest-serving rifle in British history. 6, MKI This carbine had limited production in Australia, approximatley 100 each of both Marks. Basically, it was a "Jungle Carbine" version of the No.

The Aussies took a Lithgow No. 1 MKIII, shortened the barrel, added a flash reducer to the muzzle and a recoil pad to the butt. The rear sights were still fixed on the barrel.

6, MKII The difference was that the rear sight is now a 2 positon flip sight, mounted on the reciever. (Aeroplnut 8/7/15) Volley Sights Pre-1916 Lee-Enfields were also equipped with interesting device, called the "volley" sights.

This device was mounted at the left side of the stock, ahead of the magazine, and was used to provide an indirect fire capability at the ranges from 2 000 and up to an astonishing 3 900 yards (1800 3550 meters). While individual marksmanship at such ranges with rifle was impossible, the salvo firing by large squads at the distant and large targets (such as massed infantry or cavalry formations), in theory, can do some damage to the enemy. This was, obviously, an idea of the pre - machine gun and pre - light artillery period, and these sights were dropped during WW1 when the British adopted the simplifed No. Special Service Lee-Enfields: Commando and Automatic modelsEdit A series of specially modified Lee-Enfield rifles: De Lisle carbineEdit De Lisle Carbine The De Lisle carbine or De Lisle Commando carbine was a British carbine used during World War II. The primary feature of the De Lisle was its very effective suppressor which made it extremely quiet in action.

The designer was William De Lisle. It was based on a Short, Magazine, Lee-Enfield Mk III converted to. 45 ACP by modifying the receiver, altering the bolt/bolthead, replacing the barrel with a modified Thompson submachine gun barrel, and using modified magazines from the M1911 pistol. The primary feature of the De Lisle was its extremely effective suppressor, which made it very quiet in action. So quiet, in fact, that working the bolt to chamber the next round makes a louder noise than firing a round. The De Lisle carbine was used by the British Commandos and other special forces. It was accurate to 250 metres (820ft).

The De Lisle was made in very limited numbers; 129 were produced during the period of 1942 to 1945 in three variations (Ford Dagenham Prototype, Sterling production and one Airborne prototype). Thompson submachine gun barrels were modified to provide the. 45 calibre barrel, which was ported to provide a slow release of high pressure gas. The suppressor, 2inches (5.1cm) in diameter, went all the way from the back of the barrel to well beyond the muzzle (the suppressor makes up half the overall length of the rifle), providing a very large volume of space to contain the gases produced by firing. This large volume was one of the keys to the effectiveness of the suppressor.

The Lee-Enfield bolt was modified to feed the. 45 ACP rounds, and the Lee-Enfield's magazine assembly was replaced with a new assembly that held a modified M1911 magazine. Because the cartridge was subsonic, the carbine was extremely quiet, possibly one of the quietest guns ever made.

The De Lisle was used by special military units during World War II and the Malayan Emergency. Howell Automatic RifleEdit Howell Automatic Rifle The Howell Automatic Rifle was the first attempt to convert the Lee-Enfield SMLE into a semi-automatic rifle.

The Howell Automatic Rifle was used by the British Home Guard as an anti aircraft weapon. Charlton automatic rifle (New Zealand and Australian versions)Edit Charlton Automatic Rifle (Australian) Charlton Automatic Rifle (New Zealand) The Charlton Automatic Rifle was a fully automatic conversion of the Lee-Enfield rifle, designed by New Zealander Philip Charlton in 1941 to act as a substitute for the Bren and Lewis gun light machine guns which were in chronically short supply at the time. [3] The original Charlton Automatic Rifles were converted from obsolete Lee-Metford and Magazine Lee-Enfield rifles dating from as early as the Boer War, and were intended for use as a self-loading rifle with the full-automatic capability retained for emergency use.

It used the 10-round Lee-Enfield magazines. There were two versions of the Charlton: the New Zealand version, as designed and manufactured by Charlton Motor Workshops in Hastings, and a version produced in Australia by Electrolux, using the SMLE Mk III for conversion. The two designs differed markedly in external appearance amongst other things, the New Zealand Charlton had a forward pistol grip and bipod, whilst the Australian lacked this making it lighter and cleaner in appearance, but shared the same operating mechanism. Approximately 1,500 Charlton Automatic Rifles were manufactured in New Zealand, and nearly all of them were destroyed in an accidental fire at the Palmerston North service storage facility shortly after World War II. An example of the New Zealand-manufactured Charlton Automatic Rifle is known to survive in the Imperial War Museum in London, along with a handful elsewhere one is on display in the Waiouru Army Museum in New Zealand, and another at the Army Museum (Bandiana) in Australia.

Rieder automatic rifleEdit Reider Automatic Rifle The Reider Automatic Rifle was a semi-automatic Lee-Enfield SMLE rifle of South African origin. The Reider device could be installed straight away without the use of tools.

Howard Francis machine carbineEdit The Howard Francis Self-Loading Carbine was a conversion from a No. 1 Mk III SMLE to the 7.63x25mm Mauser pistol cartridge. It fired in semi-automatic only and suffered some feeding and extraction problems and, despite meeting accuracy and soundness of design concept, never made it past prototype stage. Very light and very short carbine. Elkins automatic rifleEdit The Elkins Automatic Rifle was one of the numerous attempts to convert a Lee-Enfield SMLE to an automatic rifle.

DesignEdit Designed by James Paris Lee, and the new pattern of barrel rifling, designed at the Royal Small Arms Factory (RSAF) at Enfield. Originally known as Lee-Metford, this design was adopted by British army in 1888 and used a Metford pattern polygonal rifling with shallow groves, intended to be used with ammunition loaded with black powder. The polygonal rifling was intended to produce tighter tolerances and easier cleaning, with less fouling. Introduction of the smokeless powders in the form of the Cordite showed that the Metford rifling was very short-living, so it was soon replaced with Enfield rifling, with 5 traditional land and grooves and left hand pitch. The SMLE is a manually operated, bolt action magazine fed rifle. The Lee-designed SMLE magazine is a first easily distinguishable feature. It holds 10 rounds of ammunition in a double stacked magazine, and while the magazine itself is detachable, it is not intended to be reloaded when detached from rifle, but from two charger clips, each holding five rounds of. Early Lee-Enfields (Long Lee-Enfields and SMLEs prior to Mark III) were loaded only by single rounds via the top receiver opening.

Latter, the clip (charger) loading was introduced, and a rear receiver bridge with charger clip guides was added to the design. Some of the earlier marks were then retrofitted with charger loading ability during the 1907 - 1910. To load the magazine, one must use two standard 5-rounds clips.

Loading by loose rounds was still available, but some care must be taken when loading cartridges into clips or in the magazine, due to the rimmed ammunition cases. Prior to the 1916, all SMLEs (and earlier Long Lee-Enfields) were issued with so called "magazine cut-off" - a simple device, located at the right side of the receiver and intended to cut off the cartridge supply from magazine to the action when engaged, so rifle could be used as a single-loader, and ammunition in the magazine could be saved for the hottest moments of combat. This was an outdated idea even when it was first introduced, so it was easily discarded when the need to speed up production arose. The magazine itself should be detached only for cleaning, maintenance and repair, and every rifle was issued with only one magazine. The magazine catch is located inside the triggerguard.

The bolt action, another invention of the James Paris Lee (along with magazine), is the other most famous feature of the SMLE. The rotating bolt has two lugs that lock into the receiver walls at the rear part of the bolt, thus saving some part of the bolt length and bolt pull, when comparing to the forward lugs locking. This shorter bolt pull, along with charging handle, located at the rear part of the bolt and bent down, lent itself to quick reloading. Add a relatively high capacity magazine with fast clip reloading and here you have one of the fastest practical rates of fire along with contemporary designs.

The SMLE was a striker fired gun, with cocking on the bolt close action and a dual-stage trigger. The bolt head with the extractor was a separate, non-rotating unit, screwed into the bolt body. The safety was located at the rear left side of the receiver and was easily operated by the firing hands' thumb finger. One notable feature of the Lee bolt action was that the bolts were not interchangeable between different rifles of the same mark Each bolt must have been fitted to its respective action, thus making the production and in-field bolt replacement more complicated. The insufficient headspace problem on the pre-No.

4 SMLEs was solved my manual sandpapering the respective bolt-head, and since the No. 4 rifle, there were 4 standard sizes of the bolt heads, from which armourer could select one, most suitable for the particular action. The famous by its distinguishable shape stock of the SMLE featured a semi-pistol grip, a steel buttplate with a trapdoor and a compartment in the butt for tools and cleaning equipment.

The "flat-nosed" forend covered the barrel up to the muzzle, and has a small stud, protruding forward under the muzzle for bayonet mounting. Most SMLEs have a small brass disc inset into the right side of the butt, which was used for regimental markings (unlike the German Mausers, where the similar steel disc was used as a bolt unit disassembly tool). The conventional sling swivels were mounted on the frond handguard band and under the butt. (T) sniper rifles also featured an additional wooden cheek rest on the top of the butt for more comfortable sighting while using the scope. The Short Magazine Lee-Enfield Rifle S.

For definitive detail of this rifle, read the 1929 Textbook of Small Arms notes on the SMLE For the uninitiated, it should be mentioned that the terminology officially used for this rifle is rather ambiguous. It could easily be understood that the rifle has been designed with a'short magazine' when, in fact, it is the rifle that is short rather than the magazine. Below: the original rifle, latterly known as the No. 1" Mark 1 The terminology of the day used by the military was " Rifle, Short, Magazine, Lee-Enfield ; the punctuation applied illustrating that the rifle, as shown above, was a shortened version of the original Magazine-fed Lee-Enfield M. E which preceded it, an example of which is shown below in the form of a. 22RF conversion fitted with the rare Hiscock-Parker magazine This former rifle is now more commonly known, in its various marks, as the'Long' Lee-Enfield, and the latter shortened successor, first introduced in 1903, as the'Short Magazine Lee-Enfield' or S. The initials have, unsurprisingly, been modified both in use in military and civilian circles to the colloquial term "Smellie", by which this famous British service rifle is fondly (or otherwise) described, particularly by those who had been required to carry it in one or other of two World Wars or the many arenas of conflct and policing World wide between those wars. Indeed, the later marks of this rifle are still to be found in occasional use in some parts of the World, and have been the mainstay of some Asian countries, notably in India, until superseded by the No. 4 rifle when the Britain introduced the FN SLR (Self Loading Rifle) The introduction of the original SMLE No. 1 Mark 1 was on the 23rd.

December 1902, when it was approved and entered into the List of Changes for materiél - Reference Number 11715. That entry is copied below, and affords the most detailed description of the rifle and its modification from the previous "Long" Rifle.

23 Dec 1902 (Mark I) C 3 Jul 1903 1 Jul 1903 A pattern of the above-mentioned rifle, as shown in the accompanying drawing, has been sealed to govern future manufacture. The cross-sectional drawing is of the 1907 Mark III rifle The rifle is about one-and-a-quarter lb. Lighter, and 5 inches shorter than the Rifle, M.

The magazine will hold 10 rounds, and is filled by cartridges carried in chargers (LoC 11753); guides to hold the latter are provided on the bolt head and body, while the five cartridges held in the charger are swept out of it by the thumb into the magazine. The bolt and cocking piece may be locked in the "full cock" and "fired" positions by a safety catch, and locking bolt, situated on the left side of the body, between it and the aperture sight; they are held in position by the aperture sight spring.

Barrel The barrel is smaller in diameter externally, and 5 inches shorter than that of the L. It is fitted with a band which carries the block foresight, this is keyed and pinned to the barrel, and is dovetailed to carry the adjustable barleycorn foresight (three heights of which will be provided, known as high, normal and low, and marked "H", "N", and "L", respectively), to enable variations in shooting to be corrected before the rifle is issued to the Service. The heights of the high and low barleycorns differ from the normal by. Backsight The backsight is fitted with a leaf pivoted to the bed at the front end; at the rear end is a cap in which the V is cut. Elevation is given by moving the slide, which rests on curved ramps on each side of the bed.

The leaf is graduated by lines for every 100 yards from 200 to 2,000, the even numbers being marked by figures. The slide can be set at any 100 yards graduation or intermediate 50 yards elevation, and is held in position by means of catches engaging in notches on each side of the leaf. To set the slide, these catches are disengaged from the notches by pressing the bone studs at each side of the slide. The cap is joined to the leaf by a vertical dovetail, and it can be given a fine adjustment for intermediate ranges between the 50 yards elevation afforded by the slide by means of a vertical screw underneath the cap of the backsight; a small vernier scale divided to give a vertical movement of.

0106 inch being provided on the left edge of the cap and leaf. Each division on the vernier represents 2 inches elevation per 100 yards. By raising the slide to its highest limit, 2,050 yards elevation can be obtained. The dial sight for long ranges is graduated from 1,600 to 2,800 yards. The following particulars show the principal differences in detail between the short rifle and the M. Rifles Body The body is made with charger guide on the left to receive the charger by which the magazine is loaded, and a stop on the right which forces the charger guide on the bolt head forward when the bolt is drawn fully back; it is also arranged to receive the locking bolt and safety catch to lock the bolt and cocking piece; the cut-off slot is left in the body for the insertion of a cut-off if required. The left side of the body is cut away to afford clearance for the thumb of the right hand when pressing the cartridges from the charger into the magazine. A cut-off will be supplied for naval service only. Bolt The bolt rib is lower, and the handle is set closer to the body; the bolt cover and extension for the safety catch is omitted.

Bolt head The bolt head is made with a slide for the bolt head charger guide, and has a slot cut in the screwed end of the bolt head, which acts as a key when stripping and assembling the striker and cocking piece. Cocking piece The cocking piece is shorter, and is locked by a locking bolt, the point of which, when the thumb piece is turned back, enters recesses on the left side of the cocking piece and locks it in the full cocked and fired positions. The screw keeper striker is replaced by a nut keeper striker, this is screwed on to a screw, round the shank of which is a spiral spring, contained in a recess in the cocking piece. The nut keeper striker may be pulled to the rear and slightly turned by the finger and thumb, the striker can then be unscrewed from the cocking piece by unscrewing the bolt head; the bolt is thus completely stripped without the aid of tools.

Trigger The trigger is provided with two ribs, which bear in succession on the lower arm of the sear, and produce a double pull off. The strength of the first pull is 3 to 4 lb. And of the second, 5 to 6 lb. Butt plate The sheet steel butt plate is lighter, the butt trap, pin, spring, spring screw, strap and strap screw being omitted.

Magazine The magazine is slightly deeper in the rear to give more room for the 10 cartridges, and so facilitate loading the second five cartridges from a charger. It is provided with a zigzag platform spring and auxiliary spring.

It has a stop clip to keep the right hand cartridge in position, and to enable the platform and spring to be easily removed for cleaning. Band, inner The inner band, which encircles the barrel at the centre with. 002-inch freedom, is fitted inside the fore-end, and is held in position by a screw, spiral spring, and washer, so that it supports the barrel, without holding it rigidly, or preventing ex¬pansion.

Band, outer The outer band encircles the fore-end and hand-guard and inner band; it is jointed at the top, and held together by a screw underneath, which also carries the sling swivel. The swivel screws for the butt, band and nosecap, are interchangeable.

Nosecap The nosecap is considerably larger than that of the L. Rifle; its front end is flush with the muzzle of the barrel, and has an extension in front on which the crosspiece of the sword-bayonet fits, and a bar underneath the rear end to hold the pommel of the sword-bayonet; it is also provided with lugs to carry the swivel and screw, and has high wings to protect the foresight; the muzzle of the barrel has. 002 inch freedom in the barrel hole. Swivels There are two swivels, one attached to outer band and one to butt, the latter swivel can be attached to lug on nosecap for use in slinging rifle on back when mounted. For Naval Service only, a piling swivel will be attached in this position.

Handguard The handguard completely covers the barrel, ex¬tending from the body to the nosecap; it is in two pieces, being divided diagonally at the centre of the sight bed; the front portion is held in position by the outer band, and its front end fits in a recess in the nosecap; the rear portion is held in position by a spring gripp¬ing the barrel; both portions rest upon the shoulders of the fore-end, being quite free of the barrel throughout. In stripping, the rear hand-guard must be first removed, the front handguard can be pushed back clear of the nosecap after the outer band has been removed. The rear portion is fitted with a backsight protector, consisting of two upstanding ears, which protect the cap of the backsight when the latter is adjusted for short ranges.

Stock, fore-end The stock, fore-end, extends to within 1/8-inch of the muzzle of the barrel; it is free in the barrel groove throughout, excepting about 1/2 inch in front and rear of the inner band, and under the knoxform at the breech end. It is fitted with a keeper plate let into the breech end, into which the squared end of the stock bolt fits, to prevent the stock bolt turning and the stock butt becoming loose. Stock, butt The stock, butt, is issued in three lengths, one 1/2 inch shorter and one 1/2 inch longer than the normal, and marked respectively S and L. It is fitted with a sheet steel butt plate without butt trap, as the oil bottle and pull-through are not carried in the butt. It is bored longitudinally with four holes for lightness, and is provided with a marking disc screwed into the right side. The stock bolt is shorter, and is squared at the front end to fit the keeper plate. In stripping the rifle it is necessary that the fore-end should be first removed before turning the stock bolt. Particulars relating to rifling, sighting, weight, &c.

Length of barrel 25 3/16 inches. Rifling Enfield Grooves, number 5 depth at muzzle.

Depth at breech, to within 14 inches of muzzle. Twist of rifling, left-handed 1 turn in 10 ins. Sighting system Adjustable barley corn front sight, radial back sight. Distance between barleycorn and back sight, V 1 ft. Length of rifle 3 ft.

Length of rifle with sword-bayonet 4 ft. Length of sword-bayonet (over all) 1 ft. Length of sword-bayonet blade 1 ft. Weight of rifle, with magazine empty 8 lb.

Weight of sword-bayonet 1 lb. Weight of sword-bayonet scabbard 0 lb. Ammunition same as for M.

The following components are special to this rifle Components Barleycorn foresight Guard, trigger Normal Guard, hand, front High Guard, hand, rear Low Guard, hand, front cap Barrel Guard, hand, rear sight Block, band, foresight protector Body Head, with catch, slide, Bolt sight leaf (2) Bolt head Key, block, band, foresight Bolt head charger guide Leaf, sight, back Butt plate Locking bolt Band, outer Locking bolt stop pins (2) Band, inner Locking bolt safety catch Bed, sight, back Magazine case Bolt, stock Nosecap Clip, stop, magazine Nut, keeper, striker (with pin) Cocking piece Nut, screw, back, nosecap Cut-off t Extractor t In rifles for naval service only. Pin, axis, leaf, sight, back Screw, fine adjustment, sight Pin, fixing, bed, sight, back leaf Pin, fixing, block, band, Screw, keeper, slide, fine foresight adjustment, leaf, sight, back Pin, fixing, stud, head, catch, Screws, nosecap slide, sight, back Back Pin, joint, band, outer Front Plate, dial, sight Screw, nut, keeper, striker Platform, magazine Screw, spring, aperture sight Rivets, handguard, rear, sight Screw, spring, sight, back protector, side Screw, stop, charger guide Rivets, handguard, cap and Sear sight protector, top (3) Slide, sight, back Spring, aperture sight Slide, fine adjustment, leaf, Springs, catch, slide, sight, back sight leaf (2) Striker Spring, nut, keeper, striker Stem, swivel, butt Spring, platform, magazine Stock, butt Spring, auxiliary, platform, Normal magazine Long Spring, screw, band, inner Short Spring, sight, back Stock, fore-end Strew, band, outer, and Stud, clip, stop, magazine swivels, butt and piling Trigger Screw, band inner Washer, spring, band, inner Screw, guard, back Washer, pin, axis, sight, back Screws, bed, sight, back Washers, rivet, fore-end; cap, Front spring, and sight protector, Back handguard (7) Screw, dial sight, fixing The pattern 1903 sword-bayonet (LoC 11716, 11717), is used with this rifle. Of the major modifications, from the Long rifle to the Short, at least three required patents, namely the safety catch, the barrel ring and the rear-sight, the latter illustrated above. These consecutive patents were applied for in 1902, on behalf of the Enfield factory, by Messrs. Relates to back sights, in which the leaf is gradually elevated for range by a slide which travels down the leaf and along the top of a curved bed. 1 shows a side elevation, and Fig.

The leaf h is hinged at i, and consists of a graduated bar having teeth along its edges to engage with spring catches on the slide m, which rests on the top surfaces of the curved bars d. The leaf bar h is graduated for hundreds of yards range, the necessary ad¬justments for intermediate ranges being effected by the screw v1 which moves the notched bar f on the bar h. Relates to means for attaching the barrel to the stock, and consists in the employ¬ment of rings a, Figs.

1, 2, passing over the barrel and hiving flats e to grip the barrel as soon as the rings are drawn towards the stock by the spring-supported screws d. Relates to safety devices for bolt guns.

3 shows the gun in elevation, Fig. 4 the breech-bolt and hammer detached, Figs.

5, 6, the hammer safety, Below: A Birmingham Small Arms Company drawing of their "GreatWar" (1914-18) No. This rifle was approved and entered into the List of Changes on 26th. 1, in its various marks, subsequent to the introduction of a new system of nomenclature, in May 1926, in which succeeding rifle designs were designated by number.

And a photograph taken at that time of the component parts with, for the definitive component nomenclature, the associated numbered parts list below To view the complete Small Arms drawings S. By way of comparison, we illustrate the parts diagram and listing of the preceding "Long Lee-Enfield" - more properly notated as the C. Or Rifle, Charger Loading, Magazine, Lee-Enfield. The'charger loading' refers to the "loading-bridge" later added to the rear of the action of the original Lee-Enfield Magazine Rifle shown at the head of this article, which weapon could not be clip-loaded.

A vertically machined T-slot in the bridge of the modified rifle - as above - permitted the use of the now familiar 5-round loading clip. The clip, itself loaded with five. 303 cartridges, was fed down into the slot in the bridge until it rested on the rear of the magazine. The rounds were then pressed down into the magazine by the thumb. A curved cut-out, in the LHS of the action body side, allowed the thumb to press the cartridges sufficiently low into the magazine to lock the last round in place.

On closing the bolt and chambering the top round, the now empty clip was thrown clear of the rifle. The design was highly problematic for the left-handed firer and, in common with such every-day tasks as writing and using scissors, recruits were obliged to use these weapons right-handed.

The strictness of such teaching, in all walks of formative life, led to many apparently ambidexterous people. Truthfully, all those with master left hands were presented with little alternative but to conform, and their resultant capabilities with both hands led to their, for all practical purposes, effective ambidexterity. My own father could pen the most beautiful copper-plate writing with either hand, either both left to right, or even as a mirror image on one piece of paper at the same time.

Such discipline can lead to almost unlimited attainment. 22RF training version of the No. I rifle shown on this page and the Mk.

22RF training Lee-Enfield equivalent to the. 303CF model illustrated on this page An interesting addition to literature on the S. Are the relevant pages from the 1940 German manual on British small-arms.

If you read German you will obtain the greatest benefit, but enough text is effectively English that it is worthwhile illustrating. For the true scholar, there is no more authoritative source of definition and history of the S.

Than the notes on the rifle in the 1929 British Textbook of Small Arms. We therefore include these here. CHAPTER ISECTION 3 THE BRITISH SERVICE RIFLE The short, magazine, Lee-Enfield rifle was approved on 23rd December, 1902, to take the place of the magazine Lee-Metford and magazine Lee-Enfield (familiarly known as the " long rifle "), various marks of which had been the service weapon since 1888. There are six marks, Marks III, III, and IV now being in use.

A conversion from long rifle. Superseded before being produced in quantity. All the above marks have the Lee bolt action, similar to that approved in 1888 for the Lee-Metford magazine rifle, Mark I. Details of the Mark III and Mark III are as follows. The bolt (1) is simple in construction.

The shape and position of the lever are very convenient for rapid manipulation. On the right side of the bolt cylinder is formed a solid rib (2), which works in a slot in the rear of the body and acts as a guide when the bolt is worked backwards and forwards. On the opposite side to the rib, and having its rear face level with the rear face of the rib, is a solid lug (3). The lug and the rear face of the rib engage against appropriate bearings when the bolt is locked and support the bolt on firing. The disadvantages and advantages of having the lugs so far removed from the face of the bolt-head have been discussed in the previous chapter.

The rear faces of the rib and lug are cut on a screw pitch corresponding to the slope of their seatings on the body. On turning down the bolt this gives the necessary leverage to force the cartridge home. The lug working in its screw-pitched recess in the body provides the leverage for primary extraction on turning up the bolt. The bolt-cylinder is bored out to take the striker (4) and mainspring. The rear part of the boring is constricted to the diameter of the striker, to form a seating for the rear of the mainspring and to act as a guide for the striker.

Underneath the rear end of the bolt-cylinder is a recess (5) formed by a long groove on the right and a short groove on the left, connected together in front by a cam-shaped face and separated by a stud (6). On raising the bolt lever the cocking-piece stud (7), which is resting in the right-hand or long groove, is forced backwards by the cam-shaped face until it rests in the left-hand or short groove, thus partially compressing the mainspring and withdrawing the point of the striker from the face of the bolt-head. This is necessary to prevent the striker point from firing the cap of the next cartridge as it is fed upwards from the magazine and pushed forward into the chamber. The bolt-head (8) has a tenon which screws into the bolt-cylinder. On it is a solid projection which has a hook (9) on its right side which engages with a rib on the right side of the body and prevents the bolt-head from turning with the bolt-cylinder.

On the side of the bolt-head is a hole to allow for the escape of gas in event of a blow-back or burst case. The projection on the bolt-head is slotted to take the extractor, which is a short steel bar with the usual claw at the end. It is pivoted on a screw at the rear of the slot and is kept up to its work by a small V-spring let into the slot above it. The striker is in one piece and has a collar (10) against which the front end of the mainspring bears. The front face of the collar seats against the rear end of the bolt-head tenon in the fired position and thus limits the protrusion of the striker. Originally there was, in front of the collar, a small stud which fitted into a recess cut for it in the rear of the bolt-head tenon. This stud was later discarded, but both the modified and unmodified types of striker are still in use in the service. The end of the striker is screw-threaded for attachment to the cocking-piece (11). The mainspring (12) is of coiled steel wire set to a length of 32 inches. The cocking-piece has a long tongue projecting to the front and lying against the under side of. The bolt when it is assembled. The front end of the tongue forms the full bent (13) and a groove cut across it the half bent (14).

A stud (7) on the upper side of the tongue works in the two grooves already mentioned in the rear of the bolt-cylinder. On the left side the tongue is recessed in two places for the locking-bolt to engage in. The rear of the cocking-piece was originally formed with a circular projection, cut away on the left-hand side and roughened to serve as a grip for finger and thumb when cocking without operating the bolt.

The Mark III rifle was fitted, as an alternative to facilitate manufacture, with a cocking-piece which had its rear end formed as a flat piece, grooved on each side to give a grip for finger and thumb. Both these types of cocking-piece are now interchangeable in the Marks III and III. The bolt may be easily stripped for cleaning and examination.

The striker keeper screw (15), which retains the striker in position in the hole drilled and tapped for it in the rear portion of the cocking-piece, having been removed, the bolt-head is unscrewed. Those strikers which are fitted with a stud on the front face of the collar can be unscrewed by means of the bolt-head, but to avoid the possibility of damage to the bolt-head tenon this method should not be employed, and the special tools with which armourers are provided should be used. The body is cut away on the right side for the greater part of its length to allow the projection on the bolt-head to work backwards and forwards. The hook on the projection of the bolt-head engages in a slot or rib, which is cut away at the rear end just sufficiently to allow the hook on the bolt-head to be free. There is a small retaining catch forming a continuation of the rib at this point. When the bolt is drawn back as far as possible the hook can be forced up over this catch and the bolt removed from the body. The retaining catch is a small spring secured by the rear axis screw on the right side of the body.

The rear of the body does not form a complete cylinder but is slotted out at the top to afford passage for the rib on the bolt and at the bottom for the bolt lug and cocking-pieces. The right-hand side of the rear of the body forms the right resistance shoulder for the rib on the bolt, and opposite this on the left side is the slot into which fits the bolt-lug, the rear face of the slot forming the resistance shoulder on this side of the body. It is cut on a screw pitch to assist in forcing the cartridge home in the chamber and in the final compression of the mainspring when the bolt is turned down into the locked position for firing. The recess for the lug is at the rear end of the body, opposite the resistance shoulder, the entrance to it is cut on an incline in the usual way to give the leverage necessary for primary extraction.

In front of the resistance shoulder, at a sufficient distance to give clearance for the bolt-head projection when the bolt is being removed, a charger-guide, in the form of a bridge (16) is riveted to the left and right sides of the body. Immediately in front of the charger-guide, the left side of the body is cut away in a semi-circle to allow the thumb to sweep the cartridges out of the charger into the magazine. The front end of the body is a complete cylinder into which the barrel screws. As no space has to be provided for the lug recesses the bolt-head enters a little distance only into this cylinder, which is not much recessed and is readily cleaned.

Beneath the barrel chamber the action body is sloped off (17) to provide a way or guide for the cartridges entering the chamber from the magazine. The right side of the body is slotted to take the cut-off. There is no tang as in Continental actions. The place of the tang is taken by a socket (18) which is part of the body and projects downwards.

Into it the butt fits and in the centre of it is a hollow, threaded boss (19) for the stock-bolt (2). The rear end of the body, including the upper surface of the socket, is grooved to allow passage for the lug and cocking-piece tongue. The usual opening beneath the body is provided for the magazine. At the rear end, on the left of the body, two holes are drilled for the locking-bolt (21) and locking-bolt safety-catch (22). The locking-bolt is a stem, fitted with a roughened thumb-piece by which it may be actuated.

The stem fits into a hole in the body leading into the groove for the cocking-piece tongue. The end of the stem is cut away so that when the thumbpiece is in the forward position the cut-away portion is level with the floor of the groove for the cocking-piece tongue and the cocking-piece can pass over it. When the thumbpiece is drawn to the rear the solid portion of the stem rises in the groove and engages an one of two recesses cut in the cocking:piece tongue, according to whether the latter is in the cocked or fired position. The bolt can thus be locked fired, or cocked.

When the stem of the locking-bolt engages in the front, or cocked position recess, it draws back the cocking-piece slightly, removing the bent from contact with the nose of the sear. On the stem of the locking-bolt, close to the thumbpiece, is cut a steep-pitched thread (23). On this thread works the arm of the safety-catch.

On the end of this arm is a short stem which fits in the hole entering the bolt-way of the body. When the thumbpiece of the locking-bolt is in the forward position this stem is within its hole and clear of the bolt in the bolt-way. When the thumbpiece is drawn to the rear, the threads on the locking-bolt stem and safety-catch arm push the stem forward so that its end enters the short groove on the end of the bolt and prevents the latter from being rotated and drawn back. By the combined action of locking-bolt and safety-catch both cocking-piece and bolt are positively locked against any possibility of accidental opening or discharge. The ejector is a small screw which projects slightly into the bolt-way on the left side. On drawing back the bolt the back edge of the rim of the cartridge case catches against the end of this screw and is thrown out of the rifle to the right. In practice this action only take s place in the case of a bulletted round, when the case is held on the bolt face until the bullet is clear of the breech. An empty case, being shorter and therefore being clear of the barrel sooner, is normally thrown out to the right by the action of its rim frictioning against the sloping portion of the groove hollowed out in the left side of the body immediately behind the breech. The trigger mechanism is on the double-pull system already described in the account of Continental rifles, but differs from them in most particulars, save for the provision of two ribs (24) on the upper part of the trigger. The sear (25) is a two-armed, bell-cranked lever, pivoted to the projection beneath the body on the same screw which holds the retaining catch.

It is pressed to the rear and upwards by a U-shaped spring (26) which also serves to keep the magazine-catch up to its work. The long, upper, arm passes through a hole in the body into the groove for the cocking-piece tongue, and engages with the full-bent on the latter when the bolt is pushed forwards. The short arm projects downwards. The trigger is pivoted on a pin which passes through the trigger guard (27). The two ribs are on the front surface of the upper part of the trigger.

On pressing the trigger the lower of the two ribs engages with the short arm of the sear and causes the latter to revolve on its axis until the end of the long arm has come close to the edge of the bent. The pull during this movement is light as the rib is close to the trigger pivot and great leverage is obtained. The fulcrum is then transferred to the upper of the two ribs which, being further from the pivot, affords less leverage, and a stronger pull is therefore necessary to make the sear move the small remaining distance which releases the cocking-piece and allows it to fly forward. The motion imparted to the sear by the motion of the trigger acting through its upper rib is, however, more rapid, and the sear is thus drawn smartly off the bent. The action of the bolt mechanism has already been indicated in the description of the parts. The complete sequence is as follows :- On raising the bolt-lever the cocking-piece is prevented from turning with the bolt by the fact that the tongue is engaged in the groove in the body. The bolt-head is prevented from turning by its hook engaging with the rib on the right side of the body.

As the bolt is turned the cam-face at the end of the two grooves on the rear of the bolt forces back the stud on the upper side of the tongue of the cocking-piece. This draws the end of the striker clear of the end of the bolt-head and partially compresses the mainspring. As the turning movement continues the sloping face of the lug working against the sloping face of the recess in the body causes the whole bolt to move to the rear, effecting primary extraction. When the bolt has been turned as far as it will go the rib touches the left side of the body and is opposite the gap in the rear of the body. The lug is now in the groove for the cocking-piece.

The bolt can be drawn back until the projection on the bolt-head strikes against the resisting shoulder. This acts as a retaining arrangement. The stud on the cocking-piece tongue has now fallen into the recess in the front end of the short groove on the bolt and the cocking-piece cannot revolve and is retained in position for entering its groove in the body. On pushing forward the bolt the full bent of the cocking-piece engages the end of the sear and the mainspring is further compressed. As the bolt is driven forward the stud between the long and short grooves on the bolt passes the stud on the now stationary cocking-piece.

On turning down the bolt, the bolt is forced forward by the action of the sloping faces on the rear of the lug, and the rib working against their bearings on the body. In the complete action of closing the bolt the free forward travel is 3 inches, the travel after the sear has engaged with the bent when the pressure of the mainspring has to be overcome, is ½-inch, and the final forward movement, on turning down the lever, finch. When the action is cocked the stud on the cocking-piece tongue lies in the long groove in the body and the cocking-piece and striker are free to fly forward when the sear is released from the bent by pressing the trigger. Should the trigger be pulled when the bolt is not completely closed the stud on the cocking-piece tongue strikes against the stud between the two grooves on the bolt and either causes the bolt to.

Close, automatically, before the striker point reaches the cap of the cartridge, or else the two studs meet full face and the striker is prevented from flying forward. If the action is then closed by hand the sear falls into the half-bent and the action is locked owing to the two studs lying side by side, preventing the rotation of the bolt.

It is possible to cock the action fully by drawing back the cocking-piece. The magazine (28) is a detachable sheet-steel box, strengthened by two flutings on either side. It contains ten cartridges in two columns which are fed up as required by the action of a zig-zag ribbon steel spring (29).

The platform (30) is so formed that the left side is higher than the right. The left-hand column of cartridges is thus presented to the bolt first and then the right-hand column, cartridges being pushed forward alternately from each column until the magazine is empty. The sides of the rear end of the box are extended slightly upwards and turned in to retain the cartridges. In (stamped with the figure 4) magazine there are small inturning projections made by turning over the top of the sides of the box in front.

These serve to keep the platform in position when the magazine is empty. In earlier marks of magazine a stop clip is pivoted on the right side of the box, in front, which helps to keep the platform in position when the magazine is empty and keeps the bullet of the upper cartridge of the right-hand column in position when the magazine is full. This clip can be drawn down to the front when the magazine has been detached from the body, and the platform and spring can be withdrawn for examination and cleaning.

The spring is secured to the No. 3 platform by a tongue of metal turned over on the right-hand side and by two rivets.

In earlier marks it is secured by two tongues of metal on each side. Downward turned tongues of metal on the front and on the left-hand side at the rear of the platform serve as positioning guides. A small turned down tongue on the right side at the rear serves the same purpose. At the back of the box is a rib in which is cut a tooth (31) to engage in the magazine retaining spring catch.

1A and 1B (stamped 3 and 4) magazines there is also a small auxiliary spring which bears against the front of the trigger guard. Into the front of the box is hooked and secured the magazine platform auxiliary spring (32) which serves to keep the front end of the platform at a proper angle when the magazine is full and also protects the front of the box from being dented by the points of the bullets. The cut-off is pivoted to a vertical screw in the projection on the right side of the body. It works in a slot parallel to and below the rib on the body for the bolt-head hook. It is provided with a cylindrical thumbpiece, bored out for lightness and ribbed on top for the thumb to grip.

It is spring-tempered and set to press upwards, a small projecting flat on the upper surface acting as a catch against the side of the body and holding the cut-off open or shut. In the shut position the cut-off holds down the cartridges in the magazine out of the path of the bolt and acts as a platform for single loading.

The hole in the rear of the cut-off is for convenience in manufacture only. In the Mark III rifle there is no cut-off. In none of the marks is any provision made to indicate that the magazine is empty, as is provided in the United States rifle and in some Continental arms. The trigger guard is attached to the body by a screw (33) passing up through a collar (34) let into the fore-end in front of the magazine, and by a small transverse screw (35) passing through ears on the bottom of the socket of the body. The barrel, which screws into the body in the usual manner, is strongly reinforced at the breech end, which is formed into a flat on its upper surface known as the Nock's or " Knox " form (36), from an old-time gunmaker named Nock, who first devised this method of ensuring the correct breeching up of barrel to body necessary to bring the sights vertical. It is 25.1 inches long overall and weighs 2 lbs. This is the lightest barrel used in any service arm. The rifling is of the Enfield figure with five grooves of -0065 inch mean depth. The width of the lands between the grooves is -0936 inch. The twist of the rifling is one turn in 10 inches left hand. The left-handed twist was originally adopted in order to compensate for the drift due to the rotation of the earth in the Northern hemisphere.

It also has the effect of twisting the butt of the rifle away from the firer's cheek instead of against it. The foresight (37) is of the " blade " pattern and consists of a plate dove-tailed into the foresight block (38) at right angles to the axis of the barrel. It is capable of lateral adjustment. The foresight block is formed with a band which fits the barrel and is kept in position by a key and cross-pin.

It is set approximately 015 inch left to counteract the lateral throw of the rifle due to vibrations set up on firing. The backsight (39) is attached to a bed (40) which encircles the barrel, to which it is fixed by a cross-pin in the middle.

It is also supported by the sight spring screw. The sides of the bed are raised to form a ramp (41).

The leaf (42) is a solid piece of steel pivoted to the bed in front and kept in position by a spring fitted into the bed. It can be turned over on to the hand guard and rebounds into correct position when it is brought past the vertical.

It is graduated from 200 to 2,000 yards. On the top left side of the leaf are lines representing every 25 yards. On the top right side the lines represent every 100 yards. The odd figures from 300 to 1,900 yards are omitted.

A slide (43) fitted with a spring catch and a fine adjustment worm-wheel (44) enables the sight to be set at any elevation. The right side of the leaf is cut with screw-thread notches, and in these the fine adjustment worm-wheel engages.

By pressing a catch on the left side of the slide the fine adjustment is released, and the slide may be moved quickly along the leaf by the action of the thumb only. The periphery of the worm-wheel is divided by 10 thumb-nail notches, the distance between each notch representing 5 yards in range, i. 5 notches equal 25 yards, or one division on the left side of the leaf. One complete revolution of the fine adjustment worm-wheel moves the slide 50 yards. A wind gauge was originally fitted on the rear end of the leaf, but has been discarded.

It was held in position by the wind-gauge screw. The scale was marked in divisions representing 6 inches deflection on the target at 100 yards. Each quarter-turn of the wind-gauge screw represented 1 inch of deflection for every 100 yards of range at which the sight was set. At each quarter-turn a friction spring engaged in a nick inside the head of the screw, checking its rotation.

A U-shaped notch was cut in the top edge of the slide, and the face was roughed to prevent the reflection of light. In the Mark III and in the later Mark III rifle there is no wind gauge.

Its place is taken by a cap which is attached to the leaf by means of a screw. It is provided with a U-notch and roughened on the face. There are two patterns of backsight cap which differ slightly in form. Long-range sights were provided in the earlier Mark III, giving elevations from 1,700 to 2,800 yards. The backsight consisted of an aperture attached to the left side of the body. It was carried on a bar terminating at the upper end in a cup-shaped button through which a peep-hole was bored. It was pivoted on the stem of the locking bolt and kept in position by a spring. The foresight, known as the dial sight, was attached to the left side of the fore-end, and consisted of a dial on which the ranges were marked, a pointer, and a bead which acted as a foresight. No long-range sights are fitted to the Mark III rifle or to the later Mark III.

The stock is in two pieces. The fore-end (45) is held to the barrel by a nose cap (46) and outer band (47), which are fitted with swivels. The swivel of the nose-cap is a piling swivel, i. Cut away in the centre. A swivel is also fitted on the butt.

Naval service swivels are made slightly larger than for land service. The barrel being comparatively light, accuracy is liable to be detrimentally affected by a badly fitting fore-end. In the assembled rifle there are three important metal-on-wood bearing points where even bearings must be ensured. They are as follows :- (1) The thrust of recoil is received by the stock, through the medium of the sear lugs on the body, on the resistance shoulders formed a little in front of its rear end. It is essential that the thrust should be taken up evenly on both sides.

(2) The barrel must be held firmly down on the fore-end at the reinforce. This is effected by the fore-trigger-guard screw, which is fitted with a collar which limits the amount of " crush " which can be obtained on the wood by tightening. It must be noted that in the case of a shrunk fore-end there is a danger of the screw being screwed up tightly against the collar without pulling the barrel down tightly on the fore-end. Careful fitting is therefore necessary.

It is also important to remember that, since the trigger is mounted on the trigger guard, a loose fore trigger-guard screw may affect the " pull-off " of the rifle by allowing the front end of the trigger guard to drop, and thus slightly affecting the relative positions of the trigger and the tail of the sear. (3) The barrel is caused to bear lightly on the woodwork z inch in rear of the inner band (48) by means of a spring acting through the medium of the latter. Between (2) and (3) the woodwork is hollowed out so as to be clear of the barrel, and from the inner band forwards the barrel is held away from the fore-end by the fore-end spring stud, the hole in the nose-cap being slightly oval in form to give the necessary clearance. The foregoing is a brief description of the service stocking. For match shooting under N.

Conditions, with private rifles, certain other methods have been evolved. These other methods have for their object the stiffening of the barrel and the damping of the vibrations set up on firing in order to attain a relatively high standard of accuracy for the special conditions of target shooting. They consist, briefly, in adopting some means of packing the barrel between the fore-end and fore-hand guard.

The service stocking was evolved with the object of ensuring a consistently satisfactory standard of accuracy under service conditions. A backsight protector formed with two upstanding ears, roughened on top so as not to reflect the light, is let into the fore-end and secured by a vertical screw and nut. The nose-cap completely encircles the barrel at the muzzle and is provided with a tang which projects backwards under the fore-end and carries the piling swivel at its rear end.

Immediately in front of the piling swivel is a sword bar for the attachment of the pommel of the bayonet and in front below the muzzle is a boss on which the ring of the bayonet cross-piece fits. The sword bayonet is thus fixed underneath the rifle to the nose-cap only and does not touch the barrel.

The nose-cap is provided with high wings roughened on top, which protect the foresight. It is pierced on either side beneath the wings for lightness. The hand-guard (49) extends the full length of the barrel and is divided into two parts by a saw cut opposite the backsight bed. This is for convenience in fitting and removing.

The rear portion fits over the barrel and is held in position by means of a spring riveted on to it. The front end of the hand-guard is strengthened by a sheet steel cap which fits under a recess in the nose-cap.

A groove is cut in the correct position for the jointed outer band, a slot being formed to give clearance to the hinge. The hand-guard does not touch the barrel as the groove is of greater diameter than the barrel. An inner band is carried permanently on the barrel ; it is grooved out so as to touch the barrel in two places. And is fixed in the groove of the fore-end in rear of the lower band by means of a screw, the head of which bears against a strong spiral spring. The butt is attached to the socket on the action body by means of a stock bolt (20) that is inserted through a hole drilled longitudinally from the butt end. It is made in three ordinary lengths, long and short butts being marked by the letter L or S stamped on the wood on the top of the butt.

For special use during the Great War, butts shorter than the ordinary short butt were made. These were termed " bantams, " and stamped with the letter B. The butt plate is of brass, forgeable alloy or malleable iron. It is finished polished or zinc electro-plated according to the materials employed in manufacture.

It is fitted with a trap for the insertion of oil bottle and pull-through. A marking disc is fixed with a screw to the right side.

The " grip " is of a special " semi-pistol " shape. The Rifle, Short, Magazine, Lee-Enfield Mark V was an improvement on the Mark III, but although a certain number were produced in 1925 none were issued, and it was later discarded in favour of the more fully developed Mark VI.

The Mark V differed from the Mark III in several particulars, the chief of which were (1) the adoption of an aperture backsight located on a specially-designed bed on the body behind the bridge charger guide ; (2) the making of the hand guard in one piece completely covering the barrel. The Mark VI is the outcome of experiment, since the Great War, but as yet has not been produced in quantity. At the present juncture a detailed description cannot be given, but the essential features in which it differs from the Mark III are as follows : 1. The aperture backsight of the Mark V has been retained in a modified form. The nose-cap is of very much lighter design than that of the Mark III.

The method of stocking has been simplified. The barrel is considerably heavier.

The bayonet is much shorter and lighter than that used with the Mark III, and fits directly on to the muzzle of the barrel, which projects a short distance in front of the fore-end. As in the Mark V, the hand guard is in one piece.

Without the bayonet the rifle is about 8 ozs. Lighter than the Mark III.

The weight of the bayonet is about 1 lb. Less than that of the bayonet of the Mark III. Fry wrote in his famous sporting and social magazine of the "New" rifle being introduced. 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. 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.


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). A bayonet (from French baïonnette) is a knife, sword, or spike-shaped weapon designed to fit on the end of the muzzle of a rifle, musket or similar firearm, allowing it to be used as a spear.

[1] From the 17th century to World War I, it was considered the primary weapon for infantry attacks. Today, it is considered an ancillary weapon or a weapon of last resort.

Contents 1 History 1.1 Plug bayonets 1.2 Socket bayonets 1.3 Sword bayonets 1.4 Multipurpose bayonets 1.5 "Reach" controversy 1.6 Reversal in opinion 2 Bayonet charge 2.1 Napoleonic wars 2.2 American Civil War 2.3 Going over the top 2.4 Banzai charges 2.5 Human wave attack 2.6 Last hurrahs 3 Contemporary bayonets 3.1 Russian Federation 3.2 United States 3.3 People's Republic of China 3.4 Belgium 3.5 United Kingdom 3.6 Germany 3.7 Austria 3.8 France 3.9 Photo gallery 4 Linguistic impact 5 Badges and insignias 6 See also 7 References 8 Further reading 9 External links History[edit] Depiction of a 16th century Chinese breech-loading musket with a plug bayonet attached. The weapon's instructional manual and specifications is shown above.

The term bayonette itself dates back to the second half of the 16th century, but it is not clear whether bayonets at the time were knives that could be fitted to the ends of firearms, or simply a type of knife. For example, Cotgrave's 1611 Dictionarie describes the bayonet as "a kind of small flat pocket dagger, furnished with knives; or a great knife to hang at the girdle". Likewise, Pierre Borel wrote in 1655 that a kind of long-knife called a bayonette was made in Bayonne but does not give any further description. [2] Plug bayonets[edit] 17th-century plug bayonet The first recorded instance of a bayonet proper is found in the Chinese military treatise Binglu [zh] published in 1606.

It was in the form of the Son-and-mother gun [zh], a breech-loading musket that was issued with a roughly 57.6 cm (22.7 in) long plug bayonet, giving it an overall length of 1.92 m (6 ft 4 in) with the bayonet attached. It was labelled as a "gun-blade" (traditional Chinese: ; simplified Chinese:) with it being described as a "short sword that can be inserted into the barrel and secured by twisting it slightly" that it is to be used "when the battle have depleted both gunpowder and bullets as well as fighting against bandits, when forces are closing into melee or encountering an ambush" and if one "cannot load the gun within the time it takes to cover two bu (3.2 meters) of ground they are to attach the bayonet and hold it like a spear". [3][4] Early bayonets were of the "plug" type, where the bayonet was fitted directly into the barrel of the musket. [5] This allowed light infantry to be converted to heavy infantry and hold off cavalry charges. The bayonet had a round handle that slid directly into the musket barrel. This naturally prevented the gun from being fired. The first known mention of the use of bayonets in European warfare was in the memoirs of Jacques de Chastenet, Vicomte de Puységur. [6] He described the French using crude 1-foot (0.30 m) plug bayonets during the Thirty Years' War (16181648). [6] However, it was not until 1671 that General Jean Martinet standardized and issued plug bayonets to the French regiment of fusiliers then raised. They were issued to part of an English dragoon regiment raised in 1672, and to the Royal Fusiliers when raised in 1685. Socket bayonets[edit] Socket of a bayonet Early 19th-century offset spiked socket bayonet The major problem with plug bayonets was that when attached they made it impossible to fire the musket, requiring soldiers to wait until the last possible moment before a melee to fixing bayonets. The defeat of forces loyal to William of Orange by Jacobite Highlanders at the Battle of Killiecrankie in 1689 was due (among other things) to the use of the plug bayonet. [5] The Highlanders closed to 50 metres, fired a single volley, dropped their muskets, and using axes and swords quickly overwhelmed the loyalists before they had time to fix bayonets. Shortly thereafter, the defeated leader, Hugh Mackay, is believed to have introduced a socket bayonet of his own invention. Soon "socket" bayonets would incorporate both socket mounts and an offset blade that fit around the musket's barrel, which allowed the musket to be fired and reloaded while the bayonet was attached. An unsuccessful trial with socket or zigzag bayonets was made after the Battle of Fleurus in 1690, in the presence of King Louis XIV, who refused to adopt them, as they had a tendency to fall off the musket. Shortly after the Peace of Ryswick (1697), the English and Germans abolished the pike and introduced socket bayonets.

The British socket bayonet had a triangular blade with a flat side towards the muzzle and two fluted sides outermost to a length of 15 inches (38 cm). However it had no lock to keep it fast to the muzzle and was well-documented for falling off in the heat of battle.

[5] By the 18th century, socket bayonets had been adopted by most European armies. In 1703, the French infantry adopted a spring-loaded locking system that prevented the bayonet from accidentally separating from the musket. A triangular blade was introduced around 1715 and was stronger than the previous single or double-edged models, creating wounds which were harder to treat due to the propensity of healing scar tissue to pull apart the triangular incision. Sword bayonets[edit] Baker Rifle with sword bayonet The 19th century introduced the concept of the sword bayonet, a long-bladed weapon with a single- or double-edged blade that could also be used as a shortsword. Its initial purpose was to ensure that riflemen could form an infantry square properly to fend off cavalry attacks when in ranks with musketmen, whose weapons were longer.

A prime early example of a sword bayonet-fitted rifle is the British Infantry Rifle of 18001840, later known as the "Baker Rifle". The hilt usually had quillons modified to accommodate the gun barrel and a hilt mechanism that enabled the bayonet to be attached to a bayonet lug. A sword bayonet could be used in combat as a side arm. When attached to the musket or rifle, it effectively turned almost any long gun into a spear or glaive, suitable not only for thrusting but also for slashing.

Chassepot bolt-action rifle and sword bayonet. While the British Army eventually discarded the sword bayonet, the socket bayonet survived the introduction of the rifled musket into British service in 1854. The new rifled musket copied the French locking ring system. [5] The new bayonet proved its worth at the Battle of Alma and the Battle of Inkerman during the Crimean War, where the Imperial Russian Army learned to fear it. [5] Bayonet assembly system of the Chassepot From 1869, some European nations began to develop new bolt-action breechloading rifles (such as the Chassepot) and sword bayonets suitable for mass production and for use by police, pioneer, and engineer troops. [7] The decision to redesign the bayonet into a short sword was viewed by some as an acknowledgement of the decline in importance of the fixed bayonet as a weapon in the face of new advances in firearms technology. [8] As a British newspaper put it, the committee, in recommending this new sword bayonet, appear to have had in view the fact that bayonets will henceforth be less frequently used than in former times as a weapon of offence and defence; they desired, therefore, to substitute an instrument of more general utility. [8] Multipurpose bayonets[edit] British Pattern 1875 Snider saw-backed bayonet (with scabbard) for artillery carbine One of these multipurpose designs was the'sawback' bayonet, which incorporated saw teeth on the spine of the blade. [7] The sawback bayonet was intended for use as a general-purpose utility tool as well as a weapon; the teeth were meant to facilitate the cutting of wood for various defensive works such as barbed-wire posts, as well as for butchering livestock. [1][8][9][10] It was initially adopted by the German states in 1865; until the middle of WWI approximately 5% of every bayonet style was complemented with a sawback version, for example in Belgium in 1868, Great Britain in 1869 and Switzerland in 1878 (Switzerland introduced their last model in 1914). [1][8][9][10][11] The original sawback bayonets were typically of the heavy sword-type, they were issued to engineers, with to some extent the bayonet aspect being secondary to the "tool" aspect.

Later German sawbacks were more of a rank indicator than a functional saw. The sawback proved relatively ineffective as a cutting tool, and was soon outmoded by improvements in military logistics and transportation; most nations dropped the sawback feature by 1900. [1] The German army discontinued use of the sawback bayonet in 1917 after protests that the serrated blade caused unnecessarily severe wounds when used as a fixed bayonet. Bayonet Model 1873 trowel The trowel or spade bayonet was another multipurpose design, intended for use both as an offensive weapon as well as a digging tool for excavating entrenchments. [12][13] From 1870, the US Army issued trowel bayonets to infantry regiments based on a design by Lieutenant-Colonel Edmund Rice, a US Army officer and Civil War veteran, which were manufactured by the Springfield Armory.

[14] Besides its utility as both a fixed bayonet and a digging implement, the Rice trowel bayonet could be used to plaster log huts and stone chimneys for winter quarters; sharpened on one edge, it could cut tent poles and pins. [14] Ten thousand were eventually issued, and the design saw service during the 1877 Nez Perce campaign. [15] Rice was given leave in 1877 to demonstrate his trowel bayonet to several nations in Europe. [15] One infantry officer recommended it to the exclusion of all other designs, noting that the intrenching [sic] tools of an army rarely get up to the front until the exigency for their use has passed. [14] The Rice trowel bayonet was declared obsolete by the US Army in December 1881. [15] "Reach" controversy[edit] German soldiers at bayonet practice in 1914 Six sailors with LeeEnfield rifles, standing in the'On Guard' position during rifle and bayonet drill on board the battleship HMS Rodney.

From 1899 to the end of the Pacific War, the Japanese used the very long, 15.75 inches (25.4 cm), Type 30 sword-bladed bayonet on the already very long Arisaka rifle. Prior to World War I, bayonet doctrine was largely founded upon the concept of "reach"; that is, a soldier's theoretical ability, by use of an extremely long rifle and fixed bayonet, to stab an enemy soldier without having to approach within reach of his opponent's blade. [1][16][17] A combined length of rifle and bayonet longer than that of the enemy infantryman's rifle and attached bayonet, like the infantryman's pike of bygone days, was thought to impart a tactical advantage on the battlefield.

[1][17][18][19] In 1886, the French army introduced a 52-centimetre-long (20.5 in) quadrangular épée spike for the bayonet of the Lebel Model 1886 rifle, the Épée-Baïonnette Modèle 1886, resulting in a rifle and bayonet with an overall length of six feet (1.8 m). Germany responded by introducing a long sword bayonet for the Model 1898 Mauser rifle, which had a 29-inch barrel. The bayonet, the Seitengewehr 98, had a 50 cm (19.7-inch) blade. [18] With an overall length of 5 feet 9 inches (1.75 m), the German army's rifle/bayonet combination was second only to the French Lebel for overall'reach'.

[18] After 1900, Switzerland, Britain, and the United States adopted rifles with barrel lengths shorter than that of a rifled musket, but longer than that of a carbine. [1][20] These were intended for general use by infantry and cavalry.

[20] The "reach" of the new short rifles with attached bayonet was reduced. [1] Britain introduced the shortened LeeEnfield rifle, the SMLE, in 1904.

[1][20] The German M1898 Mauser rifle and attached sword bayonet was 20cm (eight inches) longer than the SMLE and its P1903 bayonet, which used a twelve-inch (30cm) blade. [1][21] While the British P1903 and its similar predecessor, the P1888, was satisfactory in service, criticism soon arose regarding the shortened reach.

[1][18][20][22] One military writer of the day warned: The German soldier has eight inches the better of the argument over the British soldier when it comes to crossing bayonets, and the extra eight inches easily turns the battle in favour of the longer, if both men are of equal skill. [18] In 1905 the German Army adopted a shortened 37-centimetre-long (14.5 in) bayonet, the Seitengewehr 98/06 for engineer and pioneer troops, and in 1908, a short rifle as well, the Karabiner Model 1898AZ, which was produced in limited quantities for the cavalry, artillery, and other specialist troops. [23] However, the long-barreled 98 Mauser rifle remained in service as the primary infantry small arm. [24] Moreover, German military authorities continued to promote the idea of outreaching one's opponent on the battlefield by means of a longer rifle/bayonet combination, a concept prominently featured in its infantry bayonet training doctrines.

[19] These included the throw point or extended thrust-and-lunge attack. [25] Using this tactic, the German soldier dropped into a half-crouch, with the rifle and fixed bayonet held close to the body. [25] In this position the soldier next propelled his rifle forward, then dropped the supporting hand while taking a step forward with the right foot, simultaneously thrusting out the right arm to full length with the extended rifle held in the grip of the right hand alone.

[25] With a maximum'kill zone' of some eleven feet, the throw point bayonet attack gave an impressive increase in'reach', and was later adopted by other military forces, including the U. [25][26] In response to criticism over the reduced reach of the SMLE rifle and bayonet, British ordnance authorities introduced the P1907 bayonet in 1908, which had an elongated blade of some seventeen inches to compensate for the reduced overall length of the SMLE rifle.

Authorities in turn adopted a long 16-in. Blade bayonet for the M1903 Springfield short rifle, the M1905 bayonet; later, a long sword bayonet was also provided for the M1917 Enfield rifle.

[22] Reversal in opinion[edit] US military bayonets; from the top down, they are the M1905, the M1, M1905E1 Bowie Point Bayonet (a cut down version of the M1905), and the M4 Bayonet for the M1 Carbine. The experience of World War I reversed opinion on the value of long rifles and bayonets in typical infantry combat operations.

[21][28][30][31] Whether in the close confines of trench warfare, night time raiding and patrolling, or attacking across open ground, soldiers of both sides soon recognized the inherent limitations of a long and ungainly rifle and bayonet when used as a close-quarters battle weapon. [21][28][30][31] Once Allied soldiers had been trained to expect the throw point or extended thrust-and-lunge attack, the method lost most of its tactical value on the World War I battlefield. [25] It required a strong arm and wrist, was very slow to recover if the initial thrust missed its mark, and was easily parried by a soldier who was trained to expect it, thus exposing the German soldier to a return thrust which he could not easily block or parry. [25][32][33] Instead of longer bayonets, infantry forces on both sides began experimenting with other weapons as auxiliary close-quarter arms, including the trench knife, pistol, hand grenade, and entrenching tool. [30][34] Soldiers soon began employing the bayonet as a knife as well as an attachment for the rifle, and bayonets were often shortened officially or unofficially to make them more versatile and easier to use as tools, or to maneuver in close quarters.

[1][28][30][31] During World War II, bayonets were further shortened into knife-sized weapons in order to give them additional utility as fighting or utility knives. [1] The vast majority of modern bayonets introduced since World War II are of the knife bayonet type. [1] Bayonet charge[edit] The development of the bayonet in the late 17th century led to the bayonet charge becoming the main infantry tactic through the 19th century and into the 20th.

As early as the 19th century, military scholars were already noting that most bayonet charges did not result in close combat. Instead, one side usually fled before actual bayonet fighting ensued. The act of fixing bayonets has been held to be primarily connected to morale, the making of a clear signal to friend and foe of a willingness to kill at close quarters. [35] Napoleonic wars[edit] A bayonet charge during the Battle of Großbeeren (1813) The bayonet charge was a common tactic used during the Napoleonic wars. Despite its effectiveness, a bayonet charge did not necessarily cause substantial casualties through the use of the weapon itself. Detailed battle casualty lists from the 18th century showed that in many battles, fewer than 2% of all wounds treated were caused by bayonets. [36] Antoine-Henri Jomini, a celebrated military author who served in numerous armies during the Napoleonic period, stated that the majority of bayonet charges in the open resulted with one side fleeing before any contact was made. Combat with bayonets did occur, but mostly on a small scale when units of opposing sides encountered each other in a confined environment, such as during the storming of fortifications or during ambush skirmishes in broken terrain. [37] In an age of fire by massed volley, when compared to random unseen bullets, the threat of the bayonet was much more tangible and immediate guaranteed to lead to a personal gruesome conclusion if both sides persisted. All this encouraged men to flee before the lines met.

Thus, the bayonet was an immensely useful weapon for capturing ground from the enemy, despite seldom actually being used to inflict wounds. American Civil War[edit] A bayonet charge during the American Civil War During the American Civil War (18611865) the bayonet was found to be responsible for less than 1% of battlefield casualties, [38] a hallmark of modern warfare.

The use of bayonet charges to force the enemy to retreat was very successful in numerous small unit engagements at short range in the American Civil War, as most troops would retreat when charged while reloading (which could take up to a minute with loose powder even for trained troops). Although such charges inflicted few casualties, they often decided short engagements, and tactical possession of important defensive ground features. Additionally, bayonet drill could be used to rally men temporarily discomfited by enemy fire. [39] While the overall Battle of Gettysburg was won by the Union armies due to a combination of terrain and massed artillery fire, a decisive point on the second day of the battle hinged on a bayonet charge at Little Round Top when the 20th Maine Volunteer Infantry Regiment, running short of musket ammunition, charged downhill, surprising and capturing many of the surviving soldiers of the 15th Alabama and other Confederate regiments.

Going over the top[edit] French infantry bayonet charge during the First World War. The men are carrying 1886 Lebel rifles. The popular image of a World War I combat is of a wave of soldiers with bayonets fixed, "going over the top" and charging across no man's land into a hail of enemy fire. Although this was the standard method of fighting early in the war, it was rarely successful. British casualties on the first day of the Battle of the Somme were the worst in the history of the British army, with 57,470 British casualties, 19,240 of whom were killed. [40][41] During World War I, no man's land was often hundreds of yards across. [42] The area was usually devastated by the warfare and riddled with craters from artillery and mortar shells, and sometimes contaminated by chemical weapons.

Heavily defended by machine guns, mortars, artillery and riflemen on both sides, it was often covered with barbed wire and land mines, and littered with the rotting corpses of those who were not able to make it across the sea of bullets, explosions and flames. A bayonet charge through no man's land often resulted in the total annihilation of entire battalions. A stretch of no man's land in Flanders Fields, France, 1919 Banzai charges[edit] The advent of modern warfare in the 20th century made bayonet charges dubious affairs. During the Siege of Port Arthur (190405), the Japanese used suicidal human wave attacks against Russian artillery and machine guns, [43] suffering massive casualties.

[44] One description of the aftermath was that a "thick, unbroken mass of corpses covered the cold earth like a [carpet]". [45] Dead Japanese troops lie where they fell on Attu Island after a final banzai charge against American forces on May 29, 1943 during the Battle of Attu.

However, during the Second Sino-Japanese War, the Japanese were able to effectively use bayonet charges against poorly organized and lightly armed Chinese troops. "Banzai charges" became an accepted military tactic where Japanese forces were able to routinely rout larger Chinese forces. [46] In the early stages of the Pacific War, a sudden banzai charge might overwhelm small groups of enemy soldiers unprepared for such an attack. But, by the end of the war, against well organized and heavily armed American forces, a banzai charge inflicted little damage while its participants suffered horrendous losses. At best, they were conducted as a last resort by small groups of surviving soldiers when the main battle was already lost. At worst, they threw away valuable resources in men and arms in suicidal attacks, which only hastened defeat. Some Japanese commanders, such as General Tadamichi Kuribayashi, recognized the futility and waste of such attacks and expressly forbade their men from carrying them out. Indeed, the Americans were surprised that the Japanese did not employ banzai charges at the Battle of Iwo Jima.

[47][48] Human wave attack[edit] The term "human wave attack" was often misused to describe the Chinese short attack[49] a combination of infiltration and the shock tactics employed by the PLA during the Korean War. [50] A typical Chinese short attack was carried out at night by sending a series of small five-men fireteams to attack the weakest point of an enemy's defenses. [50] The Chinese assault team would crawl undetected within grenade range, then launch surprise attacks with fixed bayonets against the defenders in order to breach the defenses by relying on maximum shock and confusion.

[50] If the initial shock failed to breach the defenses, additional fireteams would press on behind them and attack the same point until a breach was created. [50] Once penetration was achieved, the bulk of the Chinese forces would move into the enemy rear and attack from behind. [51] Due to primitive communication systems and tight political controls within the Chinese army, short attacks were often repeated until either the defenses were penetrated or the attackers were completely annihilated.

[50] This persistent attack pattern left a strong impression on UN forces that fought in Korea, giving birth to the description of "human wave". [52] The term "human wave" was later used by journalists and military officials to convey the image of the American soldiers being assaulted by overwhelming numbers of Chinese on a broad front, which is inaccurate when compared with the normal Chinese practice of sending successive series of small teams against a weak points of the line. [53] It was in fact rare for the Chinese to actually use densely concentrated infantry formations to absorb enemy firepower.

[54] Last hurrahs[edit] A life size diorama at the US Army Infantry Museum, Fort Benning, Georgia, depicting Millett's charge up Hill 180 during the Korean War that resulted in his receipt of the Medal of Honor. During the Korean War, the French Battalion and Turkish Brigade were not averse to using bayonet charges against their enemy. [55] United States Army officer Lewis L. Millett led soldiers of the US Army's 27th Infantry Regiment in taking out a machine gun position with bayonets.

Marshall described the attack as "the most complete bayonet charge by American troops since Cold Harbor". Out of about 50 enemy dead, roughly 20 were found to have been killed by bayonets, and the location subsequently became known as Bayonet Hill. [56] This was the last bayonet charge by the US Army. For his leadership during the assault, Millett was awarded the Medal of Honor. The medal was formally presented to him by President Harry S. [57] He was also awarded the Army's second-highest decoration, the Distinguished Service Cross, for leading another bayonet charge in the same month. [58] In 1982, the British Army 2nd Battalion, Scots Guards mounted bayonet charges during the Falklands War at the Battle of Mount Tumbledown. For the courage displayed in the attack, they were awarded one Distinguished Service Order, two Military Crosses, two Distinguished Conduct Medals (one posthumously), and two Military Medals. Men from 9 Para Squadron, Royal Engineers, were awarded two Military Medals and Captain Sam Drennan, the Army Air Corps Scout pilot who had picked up the injured soldiers under fire and a former Scots Guards NCO, received the Distinguished Flying Cross. In 1995, during the Siege of Sarajevo, French Marine infantrymen from the 3rd Marine Infantry Regiment carried out a bayonet charge against the Serbian forces at the Battle of Vrbanja bridge. [59] Actions led by the regiment allowed the United Nations blue helmets to exit from a passive position due to a first time engagement in hostile responses. Two casualties resulted from this event with seventeen others wounded. During the Second Gulf War and the war in Afghanistan, the British Army units mounted bayonet charges.

[60] In 2004 in Iraq at the Battle of Danny Boy, the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders bayonet-charged mortar positions filled with over 100 Mahdi Army members. The ensuing hand-to-hand fighting resulted in an estimate of over 40 insurgents killed and 35 bodies collected (many floated down the river) and nine prisoners.

Sergeant Brian Wood, of the Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment, was awarded the Military Cross for his part in the battle. [61] In 2009, Lieutenant James Adamson of the Royal Regiment of Scotland was awarded the Military Cross for a bayonet charge while on a tour of duty in Afghanistan: after shooting one Taliban fighter dead, Adamson had run out of ammunition when another enemy appeared.

He immediately charged the second Taliban fighter and bayoneted him. [62] In September 2012, Lance Corporal Sean Jones of The Princess of Wales's Regiment was awarded the Military Cross for his role in a bayonet charge which took place in October 2011.

[63] Contemporary bayonets[edit] Today the bayonet is rarely used in one-to-one combat. [64][65][66] Despite its limitations, many modern assault rifles (including bullpup designs) retain a bayonet lug and the bayonet is still issued by many armies. The bayonet is still used for controlling prisoners, or as a weapon of last resort. [64] In addition, some authorities have concluded that the bayonet serves as a useful training aid in building morale and increasing desired aggressiveness in troops. [67][68] Today's bayonets often double as multi-purpose utility knives, bottle openers or throwing knives. [69][70] Also, issuing one modern multi-purpose bayonet/knife is obviously more cost effective than issuing separate specialty bayonets, field knives and combat knives. Russian Federation[edit] The original AK-47 has an adequate but unremarkable bayonet. However, the AKM Type I bayonet (introduced in 1959) was a revolutionary design. [71] It has a Bowie style (clip-point) blade with saw-teeth along the spine, and can be used as a multi-purpose survival knife and wire-cutter when combined with its steel scabbard. [71][72] This design was copied by other nations and formed the basis of the US M9 bayonet.

[71][73] The AK-74 bayonet 6Kh5 (introduced in 1983) represents a further refinement of the AKM bayonet. It introduced a radical blade cross-section, that has a flat milled on one side near the edge and a corresponding flat milled on the opposite side near the false edge.

[71] The blade has a new spear point and an improved one-piece moulded plastic grip, making it a more effective fighting knife. [71] It also has saw-teeth on the false edge and the usual hole for use as a wire-cutter. [71] The wire cutting versions of the AK bayonets each have an electrically insulated handle and an electrically insulated part of the scabbard, so it can be used to cut an electrified wire. United States[edit] The American M16 rifle used the M7 bayonet which is based on earlier designs such as the M4, M5 and M6 models, all of which are direct descendants of the M3 Fighting Knife and have a spear-point blade with a half sharpened secondary edge. The newer M9 has a clip-point blade with saw-teeth along the spine, and can be used as a multi-purpose knife and wire-cutter when combined with its scabbard.

It can even be used by troops to cut their way free through the relatively thin metal skin of a crashed helicopter or airplane. The current USMC OKC-3S bayonet bears a resemblance to the Marines' iconic Ka-Bar fighting knife with serrations near the handle.

People's Republic of China[edit] The AK-47 assault rifle was copied by China as the Type 56 assault rifle and include an integral folding spike bayonet, similar to the SKS rifle. [74] Some Type 56s may also use the AKM Type II bayonet. [74][75] The latest Chinese rifle, the QBZ-95, has the multi-purpose knife bayonet similar to the US M9. Belgium[edit] The FN FAL has two types of bayonet. The first is a traditional spear point bayonet.

The second is the Type C socket bayonet introduced in the 1960s. [76] It has a hollow handle that fits over the muzzle and slots that lined up with those on the FALs 22 mm NATO-spec flash hider. [76] Its spear-type blade is offset to the side of the handle to allow the bullet to pass beside the blade. [76] United Kingdom[edit] The current British L3A1 socket bayonet is based on the FN FAL Type C socket bayonet with a clip-point blade. [77] It has a hollow handle that fits over the SA80/L85 rifle's muzzle and slots that lined up with those on the flash eliminator. The blade is offset to the side of the handle to allow the bullet to pass beside the blade. It can also be used as a multi-purpose knife and wire-cutter when combined with its scabbard. [64] The scabbard also has a sharpening stone and folding saw blade.

[64] Germany[edit] The H&K G3 rifle uses two types of bayonets, both of which mount above the G3's barrel. [78] The first is the standard G3 bayonet which has a blade similar to the American M7. [78] The second is an EICKHORN KCB-70 type multi-purpose knife bayonet, featuring a clip-point with saw-back, a wire-cutter scabbard and a distinctive squared handgrip. [78] For the H&K G36 there was little use of modified AKM type II blade bayonets from stocks of the former Nationale Volksarmee (National People's Army) of East Germany. The original muzzle-ring was cut away and a new, large diameter muzzle ring welded in place.

The original leather belt hanger was replaced by a complex web and plastic belt hanger designed to fit the West German load bearing equipment. [79] Austria[edit] The Steyr AUG uses two types of bayonet. The first and most common is an Eickhorn KCB-70 type multi-purpose bayonet with an M16 bayonet type interface.

The second are the Glock Feldmesser 78 (Field Knife 78) and the Feldmesser 81 (Survival Knife 81), which can also be used as a bayonet, by engaging a socket in the pommel (covered by a plastic cap) into a bayonet adapter that can be fitted to the AUG rifle. [80][81][82] These bayonets are noteworthy, as they were meant to be used primarily as field or survival knives and use as a bayonet was a secondary consideration.

They can also be used as throwing knives and have a built-in bottle opener in the crossguard. [69][70] France[edit] The French use a more traditional spear point bayonet with the current FAMAS bayonet which is nearly identical to that of the M1949/56 bayonet. [83] The new French H&K 416F rifle uses the Eickhorn "SG 2000 WC-F" a "tant"-style multi-purpose combat knife/bayonet (similar to the KM2000) with a wire cutter.

[84] It weighs 320 g (0.7 lb), is 30.0 cm (11.8 in) long with half serrated 17.3 cm (6.8 in) blade for cutting through ropes. [84] The synthetic handle and sheath have electrical insulation that protects up to 10.000 volts.

The sheath also has a diamond blade sharpener. Photo gallery[edit] Russian AK-47 bayonet and scabbard. Soviet AKM type II bayonet, multi-purpose knife and wire-cutter when combined with its scabbard.

Multi-purpose AKM Type I bayonet of the Nationale Volksarmee shown cutting a wire Soviet AKM type II bayonet and scabbard in wire-cutter configuration. Afghan policeman with AKM and AKM Type II bayonet. The US M5 bayonet and scabbard used with the M1 Garand The US M6 bayonet and scabbard used with the M14 rifle M7 Bayonet and M8A1 Sheath used with the M16 rifle Adopted in 1986, the US M9 bayonet and scabbard used with the M16 rifle and M4 carbine. M9 bayonet and scabbard in wire-cutter configuration. M9 bayonet fitted M4 carbine firing during secondary target drills. The USMC OKC-3S Bayonet US Marines at bayonet practice Folding an SKS-type bayonet A Chinese sailor with a Type 56 in 1986. Note the integral folding spike bayonet. Chinese soldier with QBZ-95 rifle and multi-purpose knife bayonet. Indian Army Gurkha with L1A1 (FN FAL) and traditional bayonet Brazilian Army SOF.

Note FN FAL type rifles with Type C socket bayonets. Bayonet attached to a British L85A2 rifle. Note the barrel to the left and slot in the blade to attach the wire-cutter scabbard. A British soldier from the Royal Regiment of Scotland with a fixed bayonet on an SA80 rifle, in July 2006.

Palace guard at the royal palace, Oslo. Note the G3 type rifle with bayonet over the barrel. Glock field knife/bayonet and its scabbard. The upper crossguard is bent forward and can be used as a bottle opener.

Note Steyr AUG with EICKHORN KCB-70 type multi-purpose bayonet Royal New Zealand Navy Guard of Honour. Note Steyr AUG with American M7 bayonets. French Legionnaire with FAMAS and fixed bayonet. The Royal 22nd Regiment of Canada fixing their bayonets. Marines from Marine Barracks Washington D. Fix their bayonets during rehearsals for the presidential inauguration. Linguistic impact[edit] The push-twist motion of fastening the older type of bayonet has given a name to: The "bayonet mount" used for various types of quick fastenings, such as camera lenses, also called a "bayonet connector" when used in electrical plugs. Several connectors and contacts including the bayonet-fitting light bulb that is common in the UK (as opposed to the continental European screw-fitting type).

One type of connector for foil and sabre weapons used in modern fencing competitions is referred to as a "bayonet" connector. In chess, an aggressive variation of the King's Indian Defence is known as the "Bayonet Attack". The bayonet has become a symbol of military power. The term "at the point of a bayonet" refers to using military force or action to accomplish, maintain, or defend something cf. Undertaking a task "with fixed bayonets" has this connotation of no room for compromise and is a phrase used particularly in politics.

Badges and insignias[edit] The Australian Army'Rising Sun' badge features a semicircle of bayonets. The Australian Army Infantry Combat Badge (ICB) takes the form of a vertically mounted Australian Army SLR (7.62mm self-loading rifle FN FAL) bayonet surrounded by an oval-shaped laurel wreath.

[85] The US Army Combat Action Badge, awarded to personnel who have come under fire since 2001 and who are not eligible for the Combat Infantryman Badge (due to the fact that only Infantry personnel may be awarded the Combat Infantryman Badge), has a bayonet as its central motif. The shoulder sleeve insignia for the 10th Mountain Division in the US Army features crossed bayonets.

The US Army's 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team's shoulder patch features a bayonet wrapped in a wing, symbolizing their airborne status. The brigade regularly deploys in task forces under the name "Bayonet". The insignia of the British Army's School of Infantry is an SA80 bayonet against a red shield. It is worn as a Tactical recognition flash (TRF) by instructors at the Infantry Training Centre Catterick, the Infantry Battle School at Brecon and the Support Weapons School in Warminster. The vocation tab collar insignia for the Singapore Armed Forces Infantry Formation utilizes two crossed bayonets.

The bayonet is often used as a symbol of the Infantry in Singapore. The item "1949 Hebrew MANUAL BOOK Israel STATE Independence WAR BAYONET -LEE ENFIELD IDF" is in sale since Friday, August 21, 2020. This item is in the category "Collectibles\Religion & Spirituality\Judaism\Books". The seller is "judaica-bookstore" and is located in TEL AVIV.

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  1. Country of Manufacture: Israel
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