7th Armored Brigade


Accessed 19 MAY 2018

The 7th Brigade, also known as the "Sa'ar Golan Formation," is a regular armored brigade under the command of the 36th Division (Ga'ash Formation) of the Northern Command of the Israeli Defense Force. The brigade was establish on May 16, 1948, immediately after the declaration of the state and has participated in all of Israel's wars.

In the second decade of the 21st Century the brigade employs Merkava Siman 4M tanks with the "windbreaker" (מעיל רוח) active protective system. As of August 2017, the brigade commander is Colonel Roman Goffman.

Contents

7th Brigade Units


77th Battalion

82nd Battalion

75th Battalion

603rd Battalion

353rd Battalion

7 Palsar

71st Battalion during the Yom Kippur War - 1973

The battalion had two phases of operation:
- under the command of Lt. Col. Meshulam Ratz, until he was killed in the battle to contain the assault.
- under the coomand of Lt. Col. Amos Katz, beginning Tuesday, 9 Oct. 1973, as a reserve battalion that carried out the advance into the Syrian border enclave and captured the town of Mazra'at Beit Jann.

75th Battalion

The 75th Battalion was established in August of 1948 as part of the 7th Brigade and an attempt was made to fill it with soldiers from France and North Africa who volunteered but the attempt failed. A group was formed into a company-sized unit which was called the 'French Commandos' and it was attached to the Negev Brigade until it was disbanded in November. [1]

The 75th Battalion (the Romach/Spear battalion) was established as a new battalion in 1971 this time as an infantry battalion of recruits that also provided the brigade's reconnaissance company. During the Yom Kippur War they fought together with a tank battalion in the Valley of Tears, the counter-attack, the occupation of the enclave and the war of attrition on the Syrian Front.

During the First Lebanon War, the battalion led the brigade's advance into Lebanon and during the operation 3 soldiers from the battalion were killed and 7 tanks hit. The battalion destroyed 14 Syrian T-62 tanks. The battalion commander, Ziv Halevi, was awarded with a citation by the divison commander for his actions.

During the Second Lebanon War, the 75th battalion led by Lt. Col Dan Neumann, participated in the fighting with their main activity being in the western sector where they fought many battles. The commander of company C in the conflict, Capt. Ihsan Daksa, was awarded a medal by the commanding officer of Northern Command for his part in the fighting in the city of Aita al-Shaab. At the end of a long period of combat the battalion did not suffer any casualties.

At the end of October 2014, the battalion converted to the Merkava Siman 4M, the first battalion in the 7th Brigade to receive the newest tank in the Merkava series. [2]

In 2017 the battalion destroyed several Hamas positions along the border with the Gaza Strip as part of operations on the Hobbes Axis.(TRANS NOTE: the security road and fortifications around it that surround the Gaza Strip perimeter fence from the Mediterranean in the north to the Philadelphia Route in the south, the northern section Beit lahia.) [3]

The battalion's home base is located at the top of Gamla on the Golan Heights.

Battalion Commanders

NamePeriodComments
Teddy EitanFirst battalion commander in 1948
David RonFirst commander of new battalion in 1971
Yosef EldarWent on to become Chief Education Officer
Yossi MelamedLater became head of Southern Command HQ
Avner Ze'iri
Itzhaki Chen
Ziv Halevy
Shmuel RosenthalLater head of the Northern Command
Yoel Lavi
Dani Bass
Gershon Hacohen1987-1988General of the General Staff
Eyal Zamir1994-1996Future commander of Southern Command
Amnon Eshellater became 7th Brigade commander
Tamir HeimanLater became commander of the Military Colleges and the Northern Corps
Amir Eshel1999-2001Later commanded 600th Brigade
Jacob Banjo2001-2003Future commander of Ga'ash battalion
Nadav Lotan2003-2005Commander of 319th Brigade
Dan Neumann2005-2007Became a brigade commander
Amir Avstein2007-2009Commander of 10th Brigade
Hovav Vardi2009-2011Future commander of 8th Brigade
Roman Goffman2011-2013Current brigade commander
Idan Morag2013-2015Brigade Deputy Commander
Tal David2015-2016died following a fatal training accident[4]
Bnei Aaron2016-2017
Rady AzmehJuly 2017-

82nd Battalion

The 82nd Battalion (the "Ga'ash" Battalion) was established as the second battalion in the 8th Brigade and hence its number. The regiment was made up of combat units of diverse backgrounds, members of MACHAL, Gadna, and veterans of Etzel and Lehi. The battalion commander was Felix Battus. During the War of Independence, the battalion fought in Operation Horev, Operation Dani and Operation Yoav. In August 1949, it transferred with the 9th Battalion to the 7th Brigade.

Before the Sinai Campaign, the battalion, under the command of Avraham Adan, participated in Operation Jonah to unload French arms ships. During the war it included a company of Super Sherman tanks, and the Sherman M-50 company with the Armash company and the Armand company the battalion participated in the battles of the Ruifa Dam and the encirclement of Abu Ageila. At the end of the fighting Company A of the battalion was awarded a unit citation by the commander of the Armored Corps. In 1965 a platoon from the battalion was awarded a brigade citation during the Battle for Water. During the Six Day War the tank battalion commanded by Gabi Amir participated in the conquest of Khan Yunis and the Rafah Junction, the Jiradi compound and reached the Suez Canal. In 1968 the battalion participated in Operation Karameh.

During the Yom Kippur War the battalion was commanded by Haim Barak with the battalion in small-unit training in the Sinai. His two operational companies were sent before the war started to reinforce the Golan Heights, A company under the command of Eli Geva trained to drag the rolling Galilee Bridge, and C company commanded by Meir Zamir which was assigned to the 77th Batallion of the brigade and during the conflict came to be called 'Tiger Force'. (כוח טײגר) When the fighting broke out the rest of the battalion's fighter were flown to the north where they were equipped with tanks and the battalion was attached to the 188th Brigade. Battalion D was sent to reinforce the 53rd Battalion of the 188th Brigade in the southern sector where it participated in the containment battles at the Tapline oil pipeline and Tel Saki (or Tel Eski) with 12 soldiers killed in the fighting. Three of its members were captured by the Syrians. During the containment battles the battalion commander was wounded and the deputy commander killed. In total, 28 were killed in action.

The battalion participated in both Operation Litani and the First Lebanon War.

During Operation Defensive Shield the battalion was awarded a unit citation for their part in the fighting in the areas under the command of the Golani Brigade.

During the Second Lebanon War the battalion was under the command of Oded Basik. The battalion was assigned to the Avivim area and reacted immediately to the kidnapping of IDF soldiers. Responding to the kidnapping a tank from one of the comapnies commanded by Sgt. Alex Kushnirski entered Lebanon but set off an explosive (IED??) which killed the crew. A small force led by the battalion commander stayed in the area in the open and under fire until the bodies could be retrieved. The battalion continued to fight until the last day of the war and at its end the two company commanders received a medal for valor and a citation from the Northern Command commander.

In 2014 the battalion participated in Operation Eitan Tzuk and lost Dimitry Levitas the commander of the Golan company.

In the summer of 2016 this battalion was converted to the Merkava Siman 4M. [5]

Battalion Commanders
NamePeriodComments
Felix Battus1948
Shaul YaffeOct 1948-??Later a chief armored officer
Bar-LevLater became head of Central Command and IDF attache in Uganda
Avraham AdanLater became the IDF attache in the USA
Benjamin Oshri
Menachem MeronLater became IDF attache in USA
Amos Benin
Hertz Yisraeli
Elhanan Sela
Asher Levi1957Later became head of Southern Command HQ
Shmuel GonenLater became commander of southern Command
Kalman MagenLater commanded the Sinai Division
Baruch Harel1965-1966future commander of Sinai Division
Gabriel AmirBecame battalion commander during Six Day War, later commander of Idan Division
Avraham Rotemwill head Training Department
Uri Orlater the OC of Central Command and Northern Command
Amram Mitznalater became commander of Central Command
Haim Barak1973Later commander of 211th Brigade
Meir Zamirlater commander of National Center for Land Training
Ephraim Laorlater the brigade commander
Emmy Planet1980-??Later chief armor officer
Nitzan Sela
Ido Mazursky
Dor Moselled battalion during First Lebanon War
Yaakov Ayash1990-??later IDF Attache in US and Canada
Hillel Kobrinskylater commanded Yiftach brigade
Noam Levit
Guy Bar-Levlater became chief combat officer
Lior Hochman2001-??later led 460th Brigade
Erez Lev-Ran2003-2005later commanded 8th Brigade
Oded??later commanded the Steel Division
Chaim Idolater commanded the 14th Brigade
German Giltmanlater the IDF attache in Russia
Hisham Ibrahim2010-2012former commander of Iron Fist Brigade and currently Deputy Commander of Galilee Division
Neria Yeshurun2012-2014currently Deputy Commander of 188th Brigade
Hanoch Daube2014-2016commander of 532nd Battalion of 460th Brigade
Ihsan Daksa2016-received medal awarded by Chief of Command or Arms Commander

77th Battalion

The 77th Battalion ("Ouz" ) was established in 1969 within the 7th Brigade as the tsamep (team - company - platoon) battalion - to train the soldiers in acting as a group and not just as individuals (team training is different from company training, which is different from training as a platoon). The first tanks used by the battalion were the Sh'ot tanks (NB: Centurion) which were also the tanks they used to fight the first war in which they took part, the Yom Kippur War. The first battalion was commanded by Shimon Ben Shushan.

During the Yom Kippur War the battalion was led by Avigdor Kahalani and participated in the battle of the Valley of Tears, the battalion's most difficult battle that later took on the name Battle of the Valley of Tears where the soldiers of the unit exhibited courage and resourcefulness, blocking the advance of some 160 Syrian tanks and later the battalion pierced the syrian border to aid in the capture and holding of an enclave on Syrian soil. For this, many of the battalion commanders recieved medals and awards for their actions.

During the First Lebanon War the battalion operated in a different division. Following that the battalion took an active part in routine security operations BATASH[6] and in other brigade operations in various sectors to secure the Security Zone until the withdrawal from Lebanon. It later performed various combat operations in various combat zones participating in Operation Defensive Shield, the Intifada, and in Operation Cast Lead, Operation Cloud Page and Tzuk Eitan.

At peresent (NB: May 2018) the battalion carries the burden of activity in all sectors assigned to the brigade. The battalion is based on the Golan Heights near the Nahaf Base. There are three companies in the old building: two operational companies of Merkava tanks with the names Vulcan and Hermon (װלקן חרמון ) and an auxiliary company named Jaguar (יגואר). There is also a reserve armored infantry company (AFVs) and an HQ company. Today the organizational structure is two regular army tank companies - Vulcan and Hermon - an auxiliary company and another company that are part of the regular army with another tank company - Ziv (NB: problematic) - and another company that are part of the reserves. During the March 15 mobilization this battalion was converted to Merkava Siman 4 tanks.

Battalion Commanders
NamePeriodComments
Shimon Ben Shushan1969first commander of the battalion
Amir Yaffe1969-1971later commanded 14th Brigade
David Israel1971-1973fell in the Yom Kippur War serving as Deputy Commander of 188th Brigade
Avigdor Kahalani1973battalion commander and later commander of POM (NB: Interdisciplinary College for Command and Staff)
Yosef Eldar1974
Uri Yaron
Ilan Manor1976-1978commander 847th Brigade, Deputy speaker of the Knesset and Deputy Minister of Education
Mendel Shaked
Benny Lidor1981-1982later commanded Ga'ash formation (NB: 36th Div)
Dubik Tal1982-1983led battalion during First Lebanon War, later served as Chief Armored officer
Moshe Hajabi1983-1984
Uzi Zaguri1984-1985
Eli Hadar "Kosks"1985-1987
Moshe Hagar1987-1988
Moshe Kenan1988-1990
Eyal Malis1990-1991
Giora Segal1991-1993Deputy Commander of a Divison and Commander of the Perceptual Laboratory at the Center for the Study of Operation and Building the Force at the Military Academy
Ofer Segal1993-1994
Moti Chidor1994-1996later led the 401st Brigade
Gadi Meiri1996-1998
Rami Amadi1998-2000
Shay Shilo2000-2002
Itzik Ronen2002-2004commanded Harel Brigade and 7th Brigade
Yair Valensky2004-2006commanded Kiryati Brigade and 401st Brigade
Meir Bar-Meir2006-2008commanded battalion during the Second Lebanon War
Amichai Yudenfreund2008-2010later led the Chariots of Steel Division (NB: 847th Brigade )
Ofir Levy2010-2012
Yair Orr2012-2014commnded 4th Brigade
Shmuel "Molly" Cohen2014-2015former officer in Operations branch, later commanded Iron Fist Brigade (NB: 514th Brigade)
Yiftach Norkin2015-2017
Shaul Israeli2017-

79th Battalion

The First Period - up to 1964

The first armored battalion was established in the beginning of May 1948 with the name Hamash A within the Armored Service SHAMASH שמ״ש (שירות המשורײנים later changed to Armored Corps). The battalion had nine half-tracks and a number of homemade armored wagons. With the establishmend of the 7th Brigade (mid-May 1948) the battalion was transferred to and and called the 73rd Battalion. It fought in the battles for Latrun. Later it was changed to 79th Battalion, which fought in Operation Hiram and captured, among other places, Jish (Gush Halav). In October 1949 as part of the IDF reorganization following the War of Independence, the battalion was organized as a regular infantry battalion in the 7th Brigade. At the end of 1953 the regular 79th Battalion was disbanded and in order to preserve the name the nickname 79 was given to one of the armored infantry battalions in the 27th Brigade. As such it participated in the Sinai Campaign. In order to preserve the legacy of the former battalion the name 79 was transferred in 1964 to a battalion of Magach tanks which was being formed at that time as part of the 7th Brigade.

1965 - The First Battalion - the Sufa (סופה) Battalion

In 1964 a delegation of some forty IDF officers traveled to Germany to study and acquaint themselves with the American Patton tanks. With the return of the trainees from Germany, at the beginning the battalion was established in the Natan camp as a M48A1 battalion. In the IDF the tanks were given the name Magach. The battalion operated as part of the 7th Brigade and served as the nucleus for the absorption of the Magach tank by the IDF. From it came the officers and enlisted men who established and served, as of 1967, in battalions (such as 46, 195 and 52) in established brigades (the 401st Brigade, 600th Brigade and 14th Brigade).

The Six Day War

Served as a regular battalion of Patton M48A2 tanks as part of the 7th Brigade under the command of Ehud Elad. The battalion consisted of four companies of Magach tanks under the command of Aviram Gilad, Ben-Zion Carmeli, Yom-Tov Tamir and Avigdor Kahalani (NB: respectively? alef, bet, gimel, dalet companies?? ) At the beginning of the war Yom-Tov Tamir's company was transferred to the command of the 9th Battalion, the armored infantry battalion of the 7th Brigade. It was joined by a Magach company from the Reserve 46th Batallion (the construction battalion of the 401st Brigade), under the command of Shalom Engel [7] which in retrospect was the spearhead of the 7th Brigade during the war.

The battalion fought initially in the Gaza Strip at Khan Younis-Rafah toward Sheikh Zowaid and Jiradi (ג׳יראדי). The battalion commander was killed in the fighting in Jiradi and his deputy, Haim Erez, assumed command. The battalion then went on to advance to El Arish in the Sinai and then to the Canal.

A detailed description of the battles fought by the battalion appears in Shabtai Tevet's book "Exposed in the Turret". The name of the battalion in the book is Q14 (14 ש).

The battle took place during the Six Day War near Jiradi in northern Sinai. The battle was fought June 5-6 1967 between soldiers of the 7th Egyptian Division and soldiers from the 7th Brigade.

Battalion Commanders
NamePeriodComments
Haim Laskov1948Commander during the Latrun battles, later became the 5th Chief of Staff
Joe Wiener1948commander during Operation Dekel, first commander fo the Armored Corps School
Baruch Erez1950-1951led the unit during Operation Hiram
Aharon Nachson
Yaakov Even1965-1966First command of the Magach battalion, later became a general
Ehud Elad1966-1967Fell on the first day of the Six Day War
Chaim Erez1967-1968He commanded the battalion and later became a general

In 1968 the battalion was transferred to the 401st Brigade and then with the outbreak of the Yom Kippur War it was transferred to the 14th Brigade.

7 PALSAR

7 PALSAR is the reconnaissance company of the 7th Brigade. The company was established in 1948 because of the need for a reconnaissance unit that would meet the real-time intelligence needs of the 7th Armor Brigade and would function similar to infantry patrols. 7 PALSAR play an essential role in all of Israel's wars especially Operation Kadesh and the Six Days War for which the unit received 9 citations, the highest number of citations of any company in the war, for its participation in numerous battles among them the Battle of Rafah which saw the reconnaissance unit lead an entire brigade to surround the Egyptians in a crushing victory.

During the Yom Kippur War the unit was equipped with "Cheetah" M113 APCs and fought in the Golan Heights. There the company sustained heavy losses in a battle with a Syrian commando battalion in the area of har Hermon on 9 October 1973 with 24 killed. After the battle and the death of Uri Kar-Shani (Fishman) the company commander and Itzik Mevorach the Deputy company commander and three other platoon commanders it was decided to disband the unit. At the site of the battle a monument to 7 PALSAR was erected in memory of the 24 casualties the unit suffered.[8]

In 1988 Gvaram Galili and the Golani Brigade were given the task of rebuilding the unit and an elite military formation - armored patrol (sayeret ha'shiryon ), in a permanent separate from the brigade and in the Golan Heights (Tyssen Camp).[9] At first they were equipped with Cheetahs and Jaffs (the M151 Jeep 1/4-ton 4x4 utility truck). At first the soldiers were chosen from other brigades and battalions and filtered through fitness and tests of endurance the best known of which was the "Aliyah to the Unit" a journey in full gear from the Sea of Galilee to the mother base going through the Eagle's Dome (via Ma'ale Gamla). After the unit was formed additional soldiers were drawn from volunteers from paratrooper units.

In 1992 after the success of the unit in Lebanon and the need for an additional unit in time of warm the armored patrol unit was split into two: PALSAR 500 and PALSAR 7.

During the Second Lebanon War the unit, under the command of Major Ehud Tzur, carried out a large number of operations deep inside of Lebanon including patrols, raids, ambushes and firefights, surveillance of artillery and tanks [10] in cooperations with other units and constituted an attacking patrol force.[11]

During Operation Tzuk Eitan the reconnaissance unit under the command of Major Imrei Yoren[12] hit the terrorists and destroyed tunnels and infrastructure used by Hamas.[13]

Among the unit's commanders are Uri Orr, Shlomo Baum, Yehuda Geller, Yossi Melamed, Uri Kar-Shani, Gvaram Galili,[9] Ya'akov Banjo, Udi Zur, Amit Gattak, Yiftah Norkin, Omer Levin, Amery Yoren, Idan Goldstein and Itamar Michaeli.

Training

The reconnaissance course lasts for a year and two months (14 months): six months of basic training and advanced training with the Egoz unit where the soldiers are qualified on "Rubai 07" (Rifle 07) followed by eight months of courses that continue in the unit where special training programs are given that include a field observation course.(?) After this the soldiers arrive at their unit. At the end of the course some of the team go on to take a course for armored personnel carriers which takes place at BISLACH (NB: the Infantry Training School). (NOTE: the remainder of the paragraph is inscrutable.) PALSAR recruits enlist in the Armored Corps. Their infantry training starts with the Egoz Unit (NB: special forces commando unit, Unit 621, once part of the Golani Brigade now assigned to the Oz Brigade.) At the end of the advanced training period there is a final 'beret' hike from the Sea of Galilee through Ma'aleh Gamla and the Eagle's Dome to their home base.[15]

Functions of the Military Intelligence Unit during Wartime

603rd Battalion

The Lahav Battalion (603) is a combat engineering corps battalion that is subordinated to the 7th Brigade. The battalion includes PLAS companies that operate PUMA and NAMER engineering combat engineering APCs and a company that operates D-9 bulldozers and other bridging equipment. The role of the battalion in time of war is to make a path for the brigade's tanks through minefields, anti-tank trenches, dirt embankments, explosive devices (NB: IEDs) and more. In addition the battalion builds firing positions and an assembly area (NB: garden ?? מגנן as well as extracting tanks and vehicles that are damaged or stuck with the assistance of the Ordnance Corps.

The Lahav battalion was created in 1993 to help maintain the Security Zone in southern Lebanon. It replaced a reserve battalion the operated in the Southern Command to address a lack of engineering units in the area. During the Second Intifada the battalion fought in Judea and Samaria (until the start of Operation Defensive Shield) and later took up a position in the Gaza Strip where it was responsible for the killing of more than 70 terrorists in the area. In addition, the battalion's engineers helped to fortify and protect the settlements in the sector. The battalion excelled in its role in the war on terrorism and in addition to the battalion liquidating dozens of terrorists, its APCs were used to demolish roadblocks and structures that were used by the terrorist network. The battalion also took part in the Second Lebanon War and there broke up roads and destroyed the Hezbollah infrastructure. The battalion participated in Operation Cast Lead and Operation Tzuk Eitan in the Gaza Strip During Operation Tzuk Eitan, three of the battalion's soldeiers received combat medals. in 2017, when the battalion took up positions in Judea and Samaria it significantly increased the number of weapons seized from Palestinian terrorists through the improvised use of a mine detector.[16]

At the start of the 21st Centur it was transferred from the Southern Command to the 7th Brigade. In 2016 it became the first HAN (NB: Combat Engineering Corps) unit to receive the NAMER Engineer vehicle

Battalion Commanders
NamePeriodComments
Ilan Sabaglater became Chief Engineering Officer
Ari Jose
Eran Paukerled battalion during Second Lebanon War
Eran Krisi
Shahar Beck2010-2012later commander of the Yahalam (NB: Special Tasks Engineering Unit)
Roy Zilberberg
Max Nudelmanlater became Engineering Officer of the Central Command
Ido Jorno

History


The War of Independence

The 7th Brigade was established during the War of Independence as a reserve for the General Staff in mid-May of 1948 as the other Haganah and Palmach brigades were tied down on the various fronts. The initial brigade commander was Shlomo Chamir, who during the war was assigned the task of creating the unit in a week. The brigade had one mechanized battalion - the 73rd Battalion (later known as the 79th Battalion) under the command of Chaim Laskov with infantry traveling on a variety of vehicles: jeeps, home-made armored vehicles and half-tracks. There were to infantry battalions as well, the 71st Battalion under the command of Yehuda Verber and the 7nd Battalion under Zvi Horowitz. In addition the 32nd Battalion commanded by Zvi German of the Alexandroni Brigade was transferred to the 7th Brigade in preparation for Operation Ben-Nun A to conquer Latrun.

The brigade failed to take Latrun in Operation Ben-Nun A even with the aid of the 32nd Battalion from the Alexandroni Brigade. After a brief period of reorganization and this time reinforced by the 52nd Battalion of the Givati Brigade, commanded by Yakov Perry, another assault on Latrun, Operation Ben-Nun B was attempted which also failed. Although the brigade was unable to capture the Latrun area defended by the Jordanian Arab Legion, they did manage to secure the Burma Road and break the siege of Jerusalem. In all of these battles the brigade suffered severe losses with 139 killed.

In June 1948 the brigade was transferred to the northern front and reorganized at Ein Shemer. In July of 198 Ben Dunkelman, a MACHAL volunteer from Canada, replaced Shamir as the brigade commander. Yehuda Ben David was given command of the 71st Battalion. Through the course of the War of Independence the brigade for most of the period to field three battalions: 71st and 72nd Infantry and the 79th Mechanized during the battles in Galilee: Operation Dekel in the middle of July Shfaram and Nazareth were captured, and in Operation Hiram in late October Meron was captured, Jish (Gush Halav), Malchia and Sas. In 1949 following the reorganization if the IDF after the war, 7th and 8th Brigades were merged and given the name of the former. After the Six Day War a memorial monument was erected on the hill of Latrun commemorating the 7th Brigade's first battle, follow the blood, which took place there during the War of Independence.[17]

The Sinai Campaign

After the War of Independence the first tanks were purchased and armor warfare doctrine began to crystallize. On January 1, 1954 the brigade was disbanded and the troops transferred to direct Armored Corps control. However, they returned as an armored brigade in late October of 1955.[18]

During the Sinai Campaign the brigade was commanded by Colonel Uri Ben Ari and included three battalions: the 82nd Battalion under the command of Lt. Col. Avraham Eden, the 52nd Battalion under the command of Lt. Col. Uri Rom, and the 9th Battalion under the command of Maj. Israel Hadar. The brigade was also reinforced with the 61st Infantry Battalion from the 16th Brigade under the command of Maj. Shimshon Ofer. The brigade operated in the Abu Agila area in the Sinai. The battles there changed the perception of armor in the IDF and transformed it from an auxiliary corps to the decisive element in the ground forces. Company A of the 82nd Battalion commanded by Brill received a citation for the battle at the Ruafa Dam. (סכר הרואיפה Ruyafa Dam )

Six Day War

During the Six Day War the brigade was commanded by Col. Shmuel Gonen and had three battalions: 82nd Battalion - Centurion tanks under the command of Gabriel Amir, 79th Battalion - M48 Patton Tanks commanded by Ehud Elad (who was killed and replaced by Hain Erez), and 9th Battalion - armored infantry under the command of Maxi Avigad. The brigade broke through the Gaza Strip and continued on the Khan Yunis-Rafah axis into the Sinai. After taking Rafah Junction, the brigade continued west through Sheikh Zuwaid and the Jiradi crossings. At the end of the battle and the brigade was victorious, brigade commander Shmuel Gorodish (NB: another name for Gonen) delivered his speech, "My glorious brothers" in which he spoke his famous words: "We looked straight at death - and he lowered his eyes".

The War of Attrition

During the War of Attrition the brigade took part in battles in the areas of the Suez Canal, the Jordan Valley, and Operation Karameh. The brigade also participated in Operation Raviv - an armored raid on the western shore of the Red Sea which also included Tiran tanks.

Yom Kippur War

In the summer of 1973 the brigade was deployed to the Sinai Peninsula. At the end of September 1973 it was decided to transfer the 77th Battalion to the Golan Heights front at the request of the Northern Command Commander Yitzhak Hofi who feared that the Syrian forces that faced the Golan Heights were being strengthened as the Command Intelligence Officer Haggai Mann was reporting despite the opinion of Military Intelligence who felt that the likelihood of a conflict developing was quite low. With the indications that war was near increasing it was decided to send additional forces to the Golan Heights and on the eve of Yom Kippur the soldiers of the two remaining battalions of the 7th Brigade in Sinai were quickly transported to the Golan Heights. The battalions' tanks remained in the Sinai and the two units were equipped with tanks from two of the three battalions of the 179th Brigade, a rapid response unit of the Northern Command at the Pilon camp.[19] (NB: The 7th was equipped with Sh'ot tanks - Centurions.)

During the Yom Kippur War the brigade fought under the command of Col. Avigdor Ben-Gal in the northern sector of the Golan Heights. The 77th Battalion, led by Lt. Col. Avigdor Kahalani, together with tanks from other brigades was successful in one of the main battles - the battle of the Valley of Tears, stopping the Syrian onslaught. For this Kahalani received the Medal of Valor. At the same time the 82nd Battalion was engaged in combat in the southern sector of the plateau.

During the battles that saw Israel advance into Syria and establish an enclave there, from 11 OCtober 1973 the brigade fought in the northern sector of the attack and reached the village of Mazra'at Beit Jann on the slopes of Mount Hermon. Other units from the brigade were part of those advancing into the southern sector of the enclave.

The brigade is permanently stationed in the Golan Heights starting from the time of the Yom Kippur War up to the present.

The First Lebanon War

During the First Lebanon War the brigade was under the command of Col. Eitan Keinan and from the slopes of the Hermon, along the route of the villages of Ein Ata and Yatta, the brigade was composed of three battalion combat teams: the 75th Battalion under the command of Ziv Halevy, the 82nd Battalion under the command of Dor Mosel, and an improvised battalion (which included a company from the 75th battalion and a company from the 82nd) commanded by Nitzan Sela and Gershon Hacohen, additionally the 9264th Paratrooper Brigade under the command of Yitzhak Nudelman was attached to the brigade. The 77th Battalion commanded by Dubik Tal was comprised of two operational companies and a company of small-unit trainers (career path ??), a company of armored infantry with APCs and two engineering platoons which all fought under the command of other units in the central sector of Lebanon. On the eve of the Lebanon War the battalion was assigned to the 769th Brigade commanded by Shaul Mofaz. When the fighting began the battalion was operating in the western sector of the Bekaa where it took control of the villages of Aysheya, Reihan, Aramata and Ein a-Tina. During the fighti8ng the battalion was transferred to the Dani Vardi and Yossi Peled Task Force which operated in the area of Lake Karoun.

The Second Lebanon War

Main article - The 7th Brigade during the Second Lebanon War

On the eve of the war the 7th Brigade was led by Col. Amnon Eshel. On the day the Second Lebanon War started it was the 82nd Battalion that led the initial response to the kidnapping of soldiers along the border with Lebanon. As part of the response a combined force entered Lebanon and part of that force was a tank from Company A. The tank ran over a mine and the entire crew was killed. The battalion, led by Lt. Col. Oded Basik, responded against the Hezbollah posts deployed along the border fence.

The 7th Brigade was the first unit assigned to the 91st Division to provide assistance in the events of the first days of the conflict. The division along with units assigned to it (601st Battalion, 299th Battalion (Harav Battalion), and 52nd Battalion) had responsibility for the coastal area while carrying out missions to destroy Hezbollah strongholds in the ares as well as the clearing of forested areas to prepare them for fighting. In the early days of the war the brigade headquarters was located in Hanita and from there managed the coastal zone. The 77th Battalion which had been transferred to the Gaza Strip following the abduction of Gilad Shalit, remained and fought there during the Second Lebanon War.

After a few days and the realization that the conflict in Lebanon was expanding, the brigade commander's mission was changed and expanded with responsibility for the area between Malkia and Dovev. As part of a plan to occupy Bint Jbail, the 7th Brigade, together with the Golani Brigade and the (35th) Paratroopers Brigade, had responsibility for Maroun a-Ras-Jabel to Jabel Kahil and Shaked. After the events in Bint Jbeil, a decision was made to remove the forces from the area while the brigade remained to defend the areas it had been deployed to.

In preparation for a second attempt to enter Bint Jbail the composition of the force changed significantly and now included: the brigade HQ, three armored battalions - 82nd Bn., 75th Bn. and 673rd Bnn.; three infantry battalions - 299th Bn., 2nd Bn. and 435th Bn. from the Givati Brigade (they joined during the fighting), the 603rd Combat Engineering Bn, 7th PALSAR and the direct support of an artillery battalion. The second attempt included many more forces. The brigade carried out its plan and encircled the town of Bint Jbail during a surprise attack and cut it off.

The 82nd Bn. continued to fight in the area of Maroun al-Ras and the Shaked Valley while continuing to control Avivim. During the fighting the unit fought in the areas of Maroun al-Ras, Jabal Kahil and the Karakhbun Ridge and it was this armored unit that advanced rapidly in its sector in one night, an advance led by the commander of Company B and a member of the Sword Battalion who remained alone in the field. Two company commander received medals for their actions in these battles, the first was Capt. Idan Morag who was awarded the Medal of Honor (Idan's father, Brig. Gen. Ami Morag also received this decoration) and the command of Company A, Elad Tzuri, also won a Commander's Citation for his fight.

The 82nd Bn. fought continuously starting from the first day of the battle until the ceasefire and even some after that. On 21 July following the government's decision to expand the fighting on the northern border, the 75th Bn. was flown from the operational zone it held at the Israeli-Egyptian border to join the fighting. Most of the activities of the 75th Bn. were in the western sectors, and it took part in the fighting with the towns of Bint Jbail, Mis a-Jabel, Aita a-Sha'ab and even on the outskirts of the city of Tyre, deep inside of Lebanon. Capt. Ihsan Daksa of the 75th Bn. (then commander of Kfir Company) was awarded a citation from the Northern Command for his part in the battle of the town of Aita a-Sha'ab and assisting in the rescue of the troop of paratroopers that were severly wounded and killed in the action, Capt. Ihsan completed the rescue while aiming for contact with the enemy and with no further casualties.

Throughout the course of the war The 7th Brigade fought as part of the 91st Division and was the last brigade to leave Lebanon. The last soldiers to leave where those of 299th Bn. (the Harav Battalion) which spent most of the war under the command of the brigade. During the conflict none of the soldiers under the brigade's command were killed even though when the brigade was deep inside of Lebanon with thousands (at the height of the fighting some 4,500) along with hundreds of APCs traveling in the combat zone. The brigade recommended that the 299th Bn. receive a commendation in light of its achievements during the action. About 20 of the brigade's fighters received decoratons during the war for their courage, heroism, professionalism and excellence in carrying out their duties.

The Second Decade of the 21st Century

In 2014 the 7th Brigade began its conversion from the Merkava Siman 2 tank to the Merkava Siman 4M tank equipped with 'Windbreaker' APS.[20][2] In July of 2016 the coversion was complete when the 82nd Bn., the first armored battalion in the IDF, was finally converted to the Merkava Siman 4M.[5]

7th Brigade Tanks Through History


M50 Super Sherman

Centurion

M48 Patton

Sh'ot Kal (improved Centurion)

Merkava Siman 1

Merkava Siman 2

Merkava Siman 4M equipped with Windbreaker APS (current)

The Emblem of the Brigade


The brigade symbol incorporates many elements of its history. The upper part is done using the colors of the Israeli flag, the red arrow symbolizes the Burma breakthrough by the unit, the star is yellow in memory of the Ma'apilim who were drafted into the brigade immediately upon their arrival in Eretz Israel during the War of Independence and fell in the battles for control of Latrun, the rifle with bayonet symbolizes the infantry battalions while the lightning bolt symbolizes the armor battalion (the 7th Brigade was originally a brigade of armored forces and not an armored brigade as it is now in the 2000s), and the crossed lightning bolt and rifle symbolizes the cooperation between infantry and armor. The elements also combine to form the number 7 using the red arrow and the flag. The emblem is also the only one to contain a barbershop/hair. (NB: I am sorry but I just do not see it.)

7th Brigade Team


(NB: עװת הװי can also mean a music group, the meaning here.)

During the sixties and the early seventies the brigdae had a team that was considered to be one of the oldest and best among the armor units. During the years of its existence the team recorded two commercial albums, the first, on the Polydor label, was "Bold in the Turret" and the second as one of a number of songs composed by members of the Armored Corps after the Yom Kippur War. "Bold in the Turret" included songs such as "You'll Wait for Me and I'll Be Back", "Leora", "Go to the Balcony Elvira", "What Will You Bring Me" and "Zamar Aviv" - an original performance of the song "Yam Hagibulim" by the band "Gevatron". Among the memebers of the team were Andrei Zweig (soloist and team leader) and Zehava Gutman.

Monuments Division and its Units


Brigade Commanders


Brigade Commanders
NamePeriodComments
Shlomo ShamirMay 1948 - July 1948later the Commander of the Air force and Commander of the Navy
Ben DunkelmanJuly 1948 - July 1949MACHAL volunteer from Canada
Yosef EitanJuly 1949 - July 1950
Shmuel GoderOctober 1950 - August 1953later a Brig. Gen.
Yitzhak PundakApril 1954 - October 1955
Uri Ben AriOctober 1955 - December 1956commanded the brigade during the Sinai Campaign
Aharon NachshonDecember 1956 - March 1958
David (Dado) ElazarDecember 1958 - April 1959later served as the 9th Chief of Staff
Israel Tal (Telik)April 1959 - April 1960headed the Merkava tank project, later Deputy Chief of Staff
Arie ShacharJune 1960 - July 1961
Avraham (Bren) AdanJuly 1961 - January 1963later GOC Southern Command
Herzl ShafirJanuary 1963 - December 1964later GOC Southern Command and Inspector General
Shlomo (Chich) LahatJanuary 1965 - May 1966later head of Personnel Division
Shmuel Gonen (Gorodish)June 1966 - June 1969commanded the brigade during the Six Day War, later GOC of Southern Command
Yaakov EvenJune 1969 - June 1971later Commander of National Security College
Gabriel AmirJune 1971 - September 1972later GONDAR (NB: prison service)
Avigdor (Janusz) Ben-GalSeptember 1971 - February 1974commanded the brigade during Yom Kippur War, later GOC Northern Command
Uri OrrFebruary 1974 - December 1975later OC Central Command and Northern Command
Avigdor KahalaniDecember 1975 - October 1977Medal of Honor and Medal of Valor, later Brig Gen and Minister
Yossi Ben-HananOctober 1977 - June 1979Medal of Valor, later Commander of National Security College
Nati GolanJune 1979 - March 1981Medal of Heroism from Six Day War
Eitan KenanMarch 1981 - September 1982commanded brigade during First Lebanon War, late a Brig. Gen.
Meir ZamirSeptember 1982 - February 1984Medal of Valor, later commander of National Center for Land Training
Rafi NoyMay 1984 - September 1985Medal of Honor, later Brig. Gen.
Emmy PlanetSeptember 1985 - May 1987Medal of Valor, later Chief Armored Officer
Efraim LaorMay 1987 - November 1988
Dubik Tal (Rosenthal)November 1988 - July 1990later Chief Armored Officer
Zvi GendelmanJuly 1990 - January 1992future mayor of Hadera, Brig. Gen. in command of 36th Division
Yitzhak (Haki) HarelJanuary 1992 - October 1993later head of Planning Division
Gershon HacohenOctober 1993 - August 1995later Commander of Northern Corps
Dani BitonAugust 1995 - August 1997later head of IDF
Shmuel RosenthalAugust 1997 - April 1999later Brig. Gen.
Yaakov AyashApril 1999 - July 2001later the IDF Attache in the USA and Canada
Halutzi RudoiJuly 2001 August 2003later Chief Armored Officer
Eyal ZamirAugust 2003 - September 2005later Commander of Southern Command
Amnon EshelSeptember 2005 - August 2007commander of the brigade during the Second Lebanon War
Roy ElkabetzAugust 2007 - May 2009later commander of Red formation (80th Div.)
Yaakov BanjoMay 2009 - July 2011later commanded Ga'ash formation (36th Div.)
Oded Visiuk (??)July 2011 - June 2013later commanded Steel formation (162nd Div)
Nadav Lotan[22]June 2013 - July 2015later commanded Explosion formation (319th Div)
Dan Neumann[23]July 2015 - 2 August 2017
Roman Goffman2 August 2017 -

Further Reading


Danny Asher, 7 The Brigade, The Story of the 7 Armored Brigade in the Storm of the Wars 1948 - 2006, published by the Brigade. Moshe Givati, "Lonely on the Tell - Battle of Tel a - Ski in the Yom Kippur War", Reut Press, 2009. Shaked Torm, "This Seven Brigade in Operations in the Gaza Strip, in the Second Lebanon, a Division of the State of Israel is a Symbol" Interview with Brigade Commander 7, Col. Nadav Lotan, May 10, (In Hebrew), Michael (Mickey) Cohen, Teddy Eitan, 75th Battalion and the French Commando, in: Jews and Arabs in the struggle for the Land of Israel, Issues in the Security History of the Yishuv and the State of Israel, The Israel Galili Defense Force Research Institute and the Ministry of Defense, 2006. Ilan Sahar, to the end of the ability - 7th Brigade in the Yom Kippur War, Systems Publishing / Modan, 2013. The episode describes the brigade's fighting on June 5 and June 6 in the Six-Day War on the Egyptian front.

External Links


Green Globe.svg The 7th Brigade on the IDF website Amir Buhbut, "We were ready for the type of fighting in Lebanon," nrg website, August 26, 2006 Ron Ben Yishai, better late: The Armored Corps makes history, Ynet website, July 4, 2008 The 7th Brigade at the Armored Corps site Even number 20: Lahav Engineering Battalion - 603 Brig. Gen. (res.) Eitan Keinan, 7th Brigade in the Peace for Galilee War - Highlights of the Brigade Commander, Armored Corps, December 27, 2007, pp. 35-33, Lahav Battalion 603, on the website of the Combat Engineering Corps The memorial site of the 7th Brigade on the "Go" website. Testimony of Avigdor Ben-Gal, commander of the Brigade during the Yom Kippur War, before the Agranat Commission, on the IDF and Defense System archive Videos Avigdor Ben-Gal converses with Avigdor Kahalani in the brigade communications network during the Battle of the Valley of Tears, a film on the YouTube channel of the Israel Defense Forces The 7th Brigade's Paralympic Assembly: Video links from the rally, Yad Hachiryon, January 24, 2013 Noam Vitman, 7 th Brigade: Tankers will be equipped with a Mark 4 vehicle on the IDF website (via the Internet Archive), February 9, 2014 Videos of Oz 77 - A film by Avigdor Kahalani and Elitzur Reuveni, a video on YouTube Rotem Kliger, 7 Things You Did not Know About the 7th Brigade, IDF Website (via the Internet Archive), January 13, 2015 Shmul Algozi, videos Presentation of the capabilities of the 603th Battalion of the Combat Engineering Corps, a video on YouTube Video clip 7 - Video from the soldier 's rally 2013, YouTube Video file Neta Ciechanovsky, IDF website, prepared ear plugs: A glimpse into the capabilities of the Lahav Battalion, IDF website (via the Internet archive), December 10, 2015 Noam Amir, End of Idan: The 77th Battalion of the Armored Corps departs from "Merkava Mark 2" and inaugurates a new and powerful tank on the Ma'ariv website this week, November 12, 2015 A video file that destroyed the Hamas position on the Gaza border, IDF website, February 27, 2017 January 11, 2018: 7-77 in an exercise with Mark 4, Armored Corps journal, Yad Hachiryon, January 11, 2018 Shimon Cohen 's video file, locate, approach and neutralize, on the Channel 7 website, January 9, 2018

Footnotes


^ "Mordechai Cohen," Teddy Eitan, 75th Battalion and the French Commando ", in: Jews and Arabs in the Struggle for the Land of Israel, Issues in the Security History of the Jewish Yishuv and the State of Israel, Studies and Documents, Israel Galili Defense Force Research and the Ministry of Defense, 2006. ^ 2.0 2.1 After "Tzuk Eitan": 7th Brigade in the Armored Corps will use Merkava tanks "Mark 4", Nana 10, 28 October 2014. ^ Thus, the Armored Corps destroyed the Hamas position on the Gaza border at the IDF website, February 27, 2017. ^ Yoav Zeitun: "Serious Professional Failure" in the Tze'elim Disaster ^ 5.0 5.1 The First Hebrew Tank Battitions Switches to Merkava Mk 4 Tanks, Jerusalem Post, July 2016. ^ Battalion 77 at the Armored Corps site ^ The heroism of Shalom Ein Gal, who did not receive an official medal, at the site of heroism ^ Yotam Knispel and Li-Tal Thayer, Plasar, Siman 7, Hebrew edition, September 7, 2008 ^ 9.0 9.1 Hanan Greenberg, every mother will know: the commander who improved safety, nrg website, November 8, 2011. ^ Amir Buhbut, "We Were Prepared for the Type of Fighting in Lebanon," Ma'ariv, 26 August 2006, as it was posted on the Yad LaShiryon website. ^ Amir Buhbut, "In the salt of Lebanon we were very close to our mission," on NRG website, February 17, 2007 ^ "Lilach Shoval," There is no day passing without finding another shaft, "Israel Today, 01.08.2014. ^ Aviram Zino, PFLP 7 fighters return to the horrors of the war, on the Maariv website this week, August 8, 2014 ^ Michal Danieli, Armored Corps platoon commander: The infantry soldiers advance before the tanks, on mako website, July 4, 2011. ^ Naama Becker, Pillar of Fire in Front of the Camp: This is how we became Combatants 7, on mako website, June 17, 2012. ^ The tool to upgrade the exposure of weapons in Judea and Samaria, IDF website, November 12, 2017. ^ In 2017, the monument was dismantled and transferred to the 'Formation Park' at the nearby Armored Corps site. ^ Amichai Brezner, did you know? The 7th Brigade was canceled and re-established, Armored Corps, October 36, 2010, pp. 48-46, on the "Yad LaShiryon" ^ Ilan Kfir, Syrians on their way to fences, at the Alexon site, September 11, 2013 ^ Forty years later - the war on the Golan front and the Egyptian front, the site of Kibbutz Beit Hashita ^ Noam Witman, 7th Brigade Upgrades: The tankers will be equipped with a Mark 4 vehicle on the IDF website (via the Internet archive), February 9, 2014. ^ Division 7 Saar, yadlashiryon.com ^ Matan Galin, Col. Nadav Lotan was appointed commander of the 7th Brigade on the IDF website (via the Internet Archive), June 28, 2013 ^ Colonel Dan Neumann was appointed commander of the "Saar Golan" formation on the Arutz 7 website