Based on the he.wikipedia page, originally viewed 29 APR 2018

The Armored Corps of Israel (חיל השריון הישראלי)

The Israeli Armored Corps (acronym: HASHAN חש״ן) is the main maneuvering force in the ground forces of the Israel Defense Forces and is built on a core force of main battle tanks.

The color of the beret is black, while the colors of the armored corps are green and black. There is a metal badge with the symbol of the corps found on the berets featuring a Cromwell tank - one of the first tanks to be used by the corps. The motto of the armor corps is "the man in the tank will win." [1] האדם שבטנק ינצח

The current Armored Corps commander is Brig. Gen. Guy Hasson.


  1. The Role of the Armored Corps
  2. Armored Fighter Course
  3. The Beret of the Corps
  4. History
  5. Armored Corps Brigades
    1. Disbanded Units
  6. Weapons
  7. Force Commanders
  8. See also
  9. Further reading
  10. External Links
  11. Footnotes

The Role of the Armored Corps

The Armored Corps is the decisive arm of the ground force that bases its power on a combination of mobility, durability and firepower. The force operates mostly main battle tanks, but also platoon, platoon and mobile patrol units.

In combat the Armored Corps has two main tasks. One is to lead the attacking forces on the first line and purge the area of enemy forces, and the other is to stop the enemy's armored forces and destroy his tanks.

In times of peace, the Armored Corps provides backup to the infantry when they are carrying out ongoing security missions, where the tanks serve as a "mobile outpost" that constitutes a force multiplier for the security forces. [2]

Armored Fighter Course

The tank soldiers undergo training for Rifle 04 where they undergo basic training for about 8 weeks which includes mainly light weapons training, field training, first aid and physical fitness. [3] After the basic training stage, the soldiers are assigned to one of the three professions of the team (artillery, loader, driver) and go through a six-week course in which the three subjects are taught theoretically and in combination with practical exercises. The subjects are given to the soldiers and they go to the advanced training stage, which is called a training unit (short for a team, a platoon, a company). During the 10-week period, the soldiers train to fight and function as a unit unit in a tank and as part of a departmental and company framework. After the Armored Corps stage, some of the soldiers are given the opportunity to leave for the Tank Commander Course, while the rest of the soldiers are dispersed among the operational companies. [5] In addition, there is another route in the IAF, which is the Palmach Company (the auxiliary company), when the soldier goes through basic training for about three and a half months, after which the soldier moves to advanced training where he learns the field to which he belongs. A fighter called Palmson.

The tank commanders' course lasts about three and a half months during which the trainees learned the two additional tank subjects that they had not learned during the course of the professions and the principles of command, control, navigation and assessment of the situation. At the end, the soldiers receive insignia insignia and a pin from the tank commander. [6] The outstanding soldiers receive the opportunity to go to the Armored Corps Officers Course while the rest of the commanders are entwined with the Armored Corps. [6] At the same time, the SAS has a squad commanders' course that helps the beam in Shimshon, And the outstanding officers are sent to officers' course.

The Armored Corps course lasts 7 months (3 months of the Land Officers Course and 4 months of supplementary training), during which the students learn to command a tank division in close cooperation with other IDF field units (infantry, artillery, engineering ), And at the end of which the soldiers are awarded the rank of second lieutenant. [7] [8]

The combat course, except for three months of the Land Officers Course, is held at the Armored Corps School (BISLASH ביסל״ש ), which belongs to the 460th Brigade.

The Beret of the Corps

As mentioned above, the color of the beret is black. This tradition adopted from the British army where the color was chosen for technical reasons: British soldiers were dirty when dealing with tanks, and so that the oil and grease stains would not be seen on the berets it was determined that soldiers would receive a black beret. This decision was inherited by the IDF. [9] The emblem of the Armored Corps is on the beret.


The Israeli Armored Corps began its career in the War of Independence as the armored vehicles of the Palmach, which was established on 24 February 1948. Yitzhak Sadeh was appointed head of the service. On May 24, Yitzhak Sadeh was appointed commander of the 8th Brigade, the first armored brigade of the Israeli Defense Forces, that recruited from various sources: British army personnel, foreign volunteers, new immigrants, Haganah and Palmach members and fighters from other units. The corps consisted of 10 old Czech Army tanks, two Cromwell tanks stolen from the British Army, and a single Sherman tank that had also been stolen from the British Army. In the first armored attack, the 82nd Battalion captured Lod Airport.[2] Later in the war, additional Sherman tanks were purchased in Italy and two of them participated in Operation Horev in December 1948.

The 7th Brigade (under the command of Shlomo Shamir) was established not as a tank division but as an armored brigade. At the end of the War of Independence, it was the only regular armored brigade that remained, which included the original battalions of the armored corps, the 79th Battalion and the 9th Battalion of the Negev Brigade as well as the 82nd battaion of the 8th Brigade. [2] The brigade, the Armored Corps School, and the reserve units were then subordinated under the command of a chief corps officer with the rank of colonel. After a period of time, the battalions were deployed and served as armored personnel carriers, and in 1954 it was decided to return to a brigade structure, and then armored brigades were established: the 27th Brigade and the 37th Brigade, and the Air Force Headquarters became the Armored Corps headquarters under the command of Major General Haim Laskov. Until the establishment of the factory, and then the role of a chief armored officer (Kashanar) was restored.

However, initially considered armored corps whose function is to assist infantry, which is perceived as the main corps of the ground forces. In the IDF, the Armored Corps proved its importance on the battlefield and then became the main maneuvering force. [10]

The importance of the corps for the outcome of the campaign has been expressed over the years, When the corps was a decisive factor in achieving victory against the Arab armies, which enjoyed a numerical advantage and sometimes also an advantage in the quantity and quality of weapons in a series of wars: In the Sinai Campaign infantry systems were established in an open area, in the Six Day War, armored infantry and armored vehicles were established, and in the Yom Kippur War armor-armor battles were taking place, which are considered the greatest that have occurred since World War II. Israeli armor generals were highly regarded for their brilliant maneuvers in the Sinai Peninsula and the Golan Heights. Israel Tal and Moshe Peled ("Musa") were also honored with the wall "The Best Armored Forces in History" at the Armored Corps Museum in Fort Knox.

Along with the achievements of the Armored Corps, As part of the IDF's achievements, There are those who [require clarification] criticize his doctrine of warfare. They claim that the Armored Corps' combat doctrine has in fact failed again and again. As examples of these claims, they bring the Sinai Campaign in which the 7th Brigade suffered dozens of casualties in the division of simple infantry systems, Or the Rafah Valley in the Six-Day War, Which cost many dead and succeeded only thanks to the order of general withdrawal issued by the Egyptian army on June 6, 1967. On the other hand, there are those who claim [clarification is needed] that the Israeli armor not only did not fail, But was able to defeat armor in many ways.

The armor's greatest failure in the Yom Kippur War was to deal with anti-tank missiles, especially the sagger. Although these have been known since 1968, the armored corps did not develop an appropriate response to the threat they posed. The missiles, supplied to Arab countries by the Soviet Union, caused heavy losses to the Israeli armor, especially on the southern front.

During the battles of the Yom Kippur War in the Golan Heights, the 7th Brigade and the 188th Brigade to block two armored divisions and three infantry divisions of the Syrian army, and thus reached an extraordinary achievement, thanks in part to the heroic actions of small forces (such as the Zvika force) who managed to repel hundreds of Syrian tanks. Corps commanders such as Avigdor Kahalani received medals and medals for their battles against the Syrians.

As a lesson from the Armored Corps during the Yom Kippur War, several steps were taken: First and foremost, opens the first Merkava tank, which, unlike other tanks in the world, his plan emphasized the survivability of the tank crew. Another development was the reactive protection (ERA Blazer) that reduced the threat posed to tank tanks with hollow cargo (HEAT), night vision goggles were introduced for tank crews, in order to ease the fighting at night and purchased combat helicopters, such as the Cobra (AH-1) and the Dipper (MD 500), which were later integrated into the Armored Corps. [2]

(photo caption) Operation Tzuk Eitan: An armored column of the 401th Brigade, including Merkava Mark 4 tanks and armored D9 bulldozers.

The Merkava tank took an active part in the First Lebanon War and all the aforementioned measures, Made it easier for the fighting and tilted the scales in favor of the IDF. As an example of the great contribution of technology to the survival of the tank crews in this war, [2] one can mention a case in which a Merkava tank crew survived at least four anti-tank missiles.

Armored forces also participated in the Second Lebanon War. Prior to the war, Hezbollah equipped itself with advanced anti-tank missiles such as Mets-M (9K115-2) and Kornet (9M113), which caused damage to the IDF's Merkava tanks. The lessons learned after the war indicate that the lack of use of smoke tanks [11] and the manner in which armored forces operated, not in accordance with the IDF's combat doctrine, [12] were the causes of tank damage. It was further argued that due to budget limitations, training was reduced and thus impaired the fitness of the fighters before the war. [11] Yet, of the 51 anti-tank missiles hit by tanks, only 24 penetrated into the fighting cell - the lowest percentage in all of Israel's wars. [12]

The Armored Corps also participated in Operation Cast Lead and Operation Tzuk Eitan, in which only a few casualties were lost, as opposed to many terrorists killed by the tanks. The Merkava Merkava Mark 4, with its active "windbreaker" active defense system, took part in Operation Tzuk Eitan. The system was very successful when it intercepted all the threats - anti-tank rockets (including standard RPG-7 rockets) and anti-tank missiles (including the advanced Russian Kornet missile) - which were fired at the tanks. The digital control and surveillance system and the artillery shells and artillery shells enabled the effective destruction of enemy targets and the killing of hundreds of terrorists by the tanks. Thanks to these technologies, Armor has become one of the leading forces in ground maneuvers, when it is used in brigade combat teams combined with combat engineering forces and infantry fighters. [13]

Armored Corps Brigades

Regular Brigades
EmblemNameNumberParent UnitCommandRemarks
Sa'ar m'Golan736th DivNorthern CommandThe brigade is equipped with Merkava Siman 4M tanks.
Barak/Lightning 18836th DivNorthern CommandThe brigade is equipped with Merkava Siman 3D BaZ tanks.
Ikvot ha-Barzel/Tracks of Iron401162nd DivSouthern CommandThe brigade is equipped with Merkava Siman 4M tanks.
Bnei Or/Sons of Light 46080th DivSouthern CommandThe brigade is equipped with Merkava Siman 3 and Siman 4 tanks. This brigade also serves as the School of the Armored Corps (BISLASH).
Reserve Brigades
Kiryati4319th DivNorthern CommandThe brigade is equipped with Merkava Siman 4 tanks.
Old Man891st DivNorthern CommandThe brigade is equipped with Merkava Siman 3 Ramaqh tanks
Harel10252nd DivSouthern CommandThe brigade is equipped with Merkava Siman 2 tanks.
Bison14252nd DivSouthern CommandThe brigade is equipped with Merkava Siman 3 tanks.
Ram37162nd DivSouthern CommandThe brigade is equipped with Merkava Siman 3 BaZ tanks.
Iron Fist205319th DivNorthern CommandThe brigade is equipped with Merkava Siman 3 BaZ tanks.
Yiftach434210th DivNorthern CommandThe brigade is equipped with Merkava Siman 3 BaZ tanks.
Merkavot ha'Plada847340th DivCentral CommandThe brigade is equipped with Merkava Siman 2 tanks and is being converted to Merkava Siman 4M tanks. [14]

Disbanded Units

Throughout the years of the Corps many armored divisions have been disbanded or sometimes merged into existing units.

Historic Disbanded Armored Corps Brigades
Yiftach11The unit was re-established as the 576th Brigade, an infantry brigade based on the veterans of the Egoz unit.
Fist and Spear27Brigade 264, brigade 60 and brigade 204.
130Brigade 767
217Brigade 520, Brigade 645, Brigade 277
274Brigade 691
278Merged with Brigade 14 in 2014
330Given the name and number of Brigade 14 in 1990
454Brigade 844
600Brigade 177, Brigade 519
670Brigade 130
767Brigade 130
896Merged with Brigade 14 in 2004

Disbanded Divisions:

Div 440 (Halamish)


Main article: IDF Tanks.

In the beginning, The IDF did not purchase tanks in a systematic way but instead assembled a force of old and obsolete tanks using a variety of methods. This was the result of both policy limitations and black of experience of an army that had just been born. As a result, there was a problematic situation of multiple tank models. The many different types of tanks made them difficult to maintain and arm, causing problems in the cooperation of all of the tools of battle.

Until the time of the Kadesh operation, the only tank type of the Armored Corps was the Sherman tank (Later upgraded to Super Sherman) with a crew of five (commander, gunner, loader, driver and bow gunner). Just before the Sinai Campaign, the French AMX-13 light tanks were acquired and aided the paratroopers in the Battle of Mitla. These two tank models emerged from service after the Six-Day War. Before the Six-Day War, the American M48 Patton tanks and the British Centurion were absorbed.

After the Six-Day War, the IDF introduced the Magach tank (* an Israeli-modified version of the M47, M48 and M60 Patton tank) which was already considered obsolete against the T-62 tanks the Arab armies had begun acquiring.

Captured Soviet T-54 and T-55 tanks from the Six-Day War were put into service in the IDF and were called "Tiran."

An attempt to purchase the Chieftain tank from Britain was not implemented because of Arab pressure on Britain and as a result it was decided to develop a tank made in Israel. In 1970 the Ministry of Defense began developing the Merkava tank and its first model, the Merkava Siman 1, entered service in 1980. The tank had its baptism of fire during the Lebanon War, during which engineering failures were discovered in its fire control system [source required] But nevertheless it was considered a success. As a result, it was decided to continue the development of the Merkava series, which became the main battle tank of the IDF in the 2000s. During the Second Intifada, Magach tanks 6 and 7 operated alongside Merkava Siman 2 and Merkava Siman 3, which were converted into built-up warfare. (LIC versions???) In 2003-2004, the Magach tanks were removed from regular service and replaced by Merkava Siman 4 tanks, which proved their effectiveness in the fighting in the Gaza Strip. In 2009, the Armored Corps began absorbing Merkava Siman 4 tanks with the "windbreaker" active protection system (APS). At the end of 2012 all 401 Brigade tanks were converted to Merkava Siman 4 tanks. In 2014, the 7th Brigade began converting from Merkava Siman 2 tanks to Merkava Siman 4 tanks, a process which ended in 2016.

Today, the Armored Corps operates armored vehicles that are only the Merkava series: two regular divisions of Merkava Siman 4M (The most advanced tank in the corps and one of the most advanced in the world), and one section of Merkava Siman 3 BaZ, while the reserve brigades operate Merkava Siman 2, Merkava Siman 3 BaZ (an upgrade of the Merkava Siman), and Merkava Siman 4. The tanks are armed with L7 caliber 105mm cannons and 120mm IMI cannon, which fire a variety of shells including Arrow-H, Cyclamen 105 mm (multi-purpose), An anemone 120 mm (multi-purpose) and a 120 mm mortar (against fortified structures and infantry). In addition, the tanks are armed with MAG 7.62 mm machine guns, Browning M2 heavy machine guns and 60 mm mortars.

Reconnaissance companies (armored infantry platoon palsar shirion) and the auxiliary companies (Palmas/Palmach, the Armored Corps mesaya'at shirion, assisting armor?? armor support??) they employ additional weapons, including the M16 and M4A1 rifles, Negev and Magg machine guns, HMWWV vehicles, armored personnel carriers and mortars including 120 mm arc mortars.

T-54 Shot Kal M50 Super Sherman Cromwell

Merkava Siman 4M Merkava Siman 3D Merkava Siman 1 Magach 6

Force Commanders

Major General Yitzhak Sadeh Feb 1948-May 1948
Major General Shaul Yoffe 1950-1950
Colonel Moshe Mundak Bar-Tikva 1951-1953
Colonel Yitzhak Pundak 1953-1956
Major General Haim Laskov 1956-1956
Major General Meir Sorea 1956-1956
Colonel Uri Ben Ari 1956-1957
Major General Haim Bar Lev 1957-1961
Major General David Elazar 1961-1964
Major General Israel Tal 1964-1969
Colonel Menachem (Mendy) Meron 1967
Major General Avraham Adan 1969-1974
Brig Gen Mordechai Tzippori 1973
Maj Gen Moshe Peled 1974-1979
Maj Gen Amnon Reshef 1979-1982
Maj Gen Moshe Bar Kokhba 1982-1983
Brig Gen Ami Morag 1981-1982
Brig Gen Amos Katz 1983-1986
Brig Gen Yossi Ben-Hanan 1986-1990
Brig Gen Yitzhak Rabin 1990-1993
Brig Gen Amit Plant 1993-1995
Brig Gen Dubik Tal 1995-1997
Brig Gen Meir Gehtan 1997-2000
Brig Gen Udi Shani 2000-2001
Brig Gen Avigdor Klein 2001-2004
Brig Gen Sami Turjeman 2004-2005
Brig Gen Halutzi Rudoi 2005-2008
Brig Gen Agai Yehezkel 2008-2010
Brig Gen Yigal Slovik 2010-2012
Brig Gen Ofer Zafrir 2012-2013
Brig Gen Shmuel Olansky 2013-2016
Brig Gen Guy Hasson 29 June 2016-

In the years 1954-1983, the Armored Corps Command also served as the designated command headquarters responsible for the armored formations in the IDF, the armored corps units, and units of other corps that formed an organic part of the armored corps. The commander of the Armored Corps at that time served as bot the command of the designated command and also as the chief armor officer in charge of combat doctrine, weapons, organization and training of manpower in the corps. With the establishment of the Field Forces Command in 1983 the roles were separated.

During the Six-Day War, the Yom Kippur War and the First Lebanon War, emergency appointments were made to allow the armored corps commanders to concentrate on their primary role. (???)

See Also

Palsar Armored Corps

Armored Corps Memorial and Museum - Yad La Shiryon

IDF Tanks

Further Reading

Amiad Barzner, Nitzanei Hashiryon, "The History of the Establishment of the IDF Armored Corps", Systems Publishing, 1995.

External Links