Raw Data collected on IDF
The Israeli Defense Forces
Israeli Armored Units
1936 Haganah (Defense) - the underground Jewish defense force that fought
with the Arab communities. The period 1936-1939 was one of intense communal
warfare marked by violent riots. When WW2 started the Jews asked the British
to train them to fight the German but they declined the offer not wanting to
arm and train those they had fought with in the Mandate. But many European
Jews did volunteer to serve in the British armed forces.
In the Mandate the British did agree to train the three Pal'mach Strike
companies of the Haganah to act as a guerilla force if the Germans should
break into Egypt and then Palestine. One platoon of Arabic speakers operated
in Vichy controlled Lebanon and Syria as commandos and intelligence officers,
a German speaking unit operated behind enemy lines in the western desert and
also in German POW camps, while a Balkan platoon of native speakers were
dropped into Europe to assist the OSS and SOE. Yitzhak Sadeh was the
Haganah commander of these Pal'mach units. They trained and fought with the
knowledge that they would be fighting the British when the war ended.
(Katz - Fire & Steel also https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palmach and
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haganah. The account by Katz does not match up
with that in the Wikipedia entries. The British did field a brigade of Jews
from Palestine that served in Italy which Katz mentions later in his narrative.
The Jewish Brigade formed in 1944 so maybe what Katz means is that Britain did
not support the idea of fielding a unit of Jews from Palestine early in the
war but changed their minds later.)
1948 Arab-Israeli War and the Founding of Israel
twelve infantry and armored brigades were created and formed the basis of the
Israeli Defense Forces (IDF). The force had its roots in the organizations set
up by Haganah and other Zionist organizations to pursue political and military
operations in the British Mandate.
1st Golani Inf Brig
2nd Carmeli Inf Brig
3rd Alexandroni Inf Brig
4th Kiryati Inf Brig
5th Givati Inf Brig
6th Etzioni Inf Brig
7th Armored Brig
8th Armored Brig
9th Oded Inf Brig
10th Harel Inf Brig
11th Yiftach Inf Brig
12th Negev Inf Brig
Maps of Arab Israeli Wars
1948 Arab-Israeli War
1956 Suez Crisis
1967 Six-Day War
1967-1970 War of Attrition
1973 Yom Kippur War
Lebanese Civil War - Operation Litani
1982-2000 Lebanon War
1987-1993 First Intifada
2000-2005 Second Intifida
Operation Defensive Shield
- 14-21 Nov 2012 Operation Pillar of Defense
- 8 July 26 Aug 2014 Operation Protective Edge
List of IDF Operations
T-54 - Tiran 4
T-55 - Tiran 5
T-62 - Tiran 6
Merkava Program Office (MPO also called Manta'k)
Merkava I began development in 1973 and entered service 1978
300 built (osp p.10)
7th ARM brigade, col. kahalani, first unit to receive the Merkava mk1
and stationed on the Golan along the Purple Line (osprey p.21)
First units given Merkava Mk.I in April of 1979. (various)
Merkava Mk.I first displayed on Israel Independence Day, 2 May 1979.
(For date of this holiday in 1979 see: https://www.timeanddate.com/calendar/?year=1979&country=34 )
turret bustle added in 1981 (osp p.46)
first deployed in combat in Operation Peace for Galilee crossing into
southern Lebanon on 6 June 1982. (Osprey pp.21-22)
211th arm brig col eli geva
following the Operation Peace for Galilee a decision was made to add a
chain and ball assemply to the bottom of the turret bustle (osp p.34)
that was given the name se'arot Shulamit the hair of Shulamit.
Mk I Hybrid (Meshupar)
received updates after Mk II entered service replacing the Mk Is that were
rebuilt and then assigned to reserve units - new sideskirts, smoke grenade
launchers, next cmdrs turret hatch, rear baskets, laser detector
Merkava II entered service in April 1983
- incremental improvements
- entered production Aug 1983 continued until 1989 (osp pp.36-37)
- 60 mm mortar added
- se'arot shulamit
- added mount points for mine plow/mine rollers
- about 600 built
Mk IIB thermal optics and improved FCS
Mk IIC armor added to turret top
MK IID mod composite armor added to chassis and hull
Merkava III entered service in Dec 1989, construction ended in 2003
- over 800 built
first Mk III went to 188th Barak Brigade, "Receive" BN (Osprey p.44)
- enters service in 1990
Mk III BaZ (Barak zoher) - improved FCS, NBC protection
Mk IIID Dor-dalet - improved tracks, R-OWS (Rafael Overhead Weapons Station)
Low Intensity Conflict - remotely operated 12.7 mm turret; optics, exhaust
ports and ventialtors protected by wire mesh; pole markers with LED tips and a
rear camera for better all-round visibility and night vision.
Merkava Mk III 25 years in service
Merkava Mk IV entered
- announced 2002
the insignia are from the 7th AR BG, 188th AR BG, 401st AR BG
First public showing on Israeli Independence Day 2002
Entered service in 2004
First tank battalion to receive Merkava Mk 4
- Oct 2014 75th BN, 7th AR BG equipped - 1 BN wings-replaces Mk II from 1980s
- 2015 77th BN, 7 AR BG
- 2016 88th BN, 7 AR BG
82nd BN 7th Arm Brig receives Merkava Mk IVm tanks
Mk IVm Windbreaker - Trophy APS
Merkava Mk IV order increased
IMI IDF Droid ATMD EWRS Pod
Gimel 1 0 3rd BN no spinning Vee
No spinning v
Tanks in the IDF
se'arot shulamit - Shulamit's hair
IDF to replace M109
corps - gayis
division - ugda אוגדה mifaked ugda מפקד
brigade - chativa חטיבה mifaked ?? chativa מפקד
battalion - gdud גדוד mifaked gdud מפקד גדוד abbr migad מג״ד
commando - sayeret סיירת
art batt - solil-l'ah
company - plugah פלוגה (mifaked plugah) מפקד
platoon - machlekah מחלקת (mifaked machlekah) מפקד
squad/section - kita כיתה (mashak kita)
fire team - chulia חוליה (mashak chulia) מש״ק חוליה
2-3 arm battn
3-4 tank Co
1 Recon Co
1 Comm Co
1 Arm Eng Bn
CO HQ - 2 tanks
3 platoons of 3 or 4 tanks each
Yom Kippur OOB
Israel Military Blog
Chinese Farm OOB
Yom Kippur Pt 2
Yom Kippur Order of Battle Discussion
Yom Kippur OB
ISRAELI ARMY OOB, YOM KIPPUR WAR, OCTOBER 1973
Northern Command, General Hofi
36th Mechanised Ugda, General Eitan.
188th "Barak" Armoured Brigade
74th Tank Battalion, Lt. Col. Yari Notshi (33 Centurions)
53rd Tank Battalion (32 Centurions)
? Mech Infantry Battalion.
7th Armoured Brigade General Avigdor Ben-gal:
77th Tank Battalion, Col. Kahalaric (33 Centurions);
82nd Tank Battalion (33 Centurions);
75th Armoured Infantry Battalion;
Armoured School Tank Battalion (Centurion).
1st "Golani" Infantry Brigade.
31st Airborne Brigade.
146th Armoured Ugda, General Peled.
9th Armoured Brigade.
19th Armoured Brigade (Super Sherman).
20th Armoured Brigade.
70th Armoured Brigade.
240th Armoured Ugda, General Laner.
679th Reserve Armoured Brigade, Col Uri Orr (Centurion).
19th Armoured Brigade (ex 146th Ugda).
20th Armoured Brigade (ex 146th Ugda).
79th Armoured Brigade.
17th Armoured Brigade, Col. Sarig.
14th Infantry Brigade.
Southern Command, General Gonen
252nd Armoured Ugda, General Mendler/Magen.
401st Armoured Brigade, Col. Dan Shomron, (M60?? maybe post-Yom Kippur) (created 1966 from elements of 14th Arm Brig)
46th Arm BN
195th Arm BN
34th Inf BN
52nd Inf BN
Reserve Infantry Brigade.
143rd Armoured Ugda, General Ariel Sharon
600th Armoured Brigade, Col. Baram (Col Tuvia Raviv).
BGD HQ - 3 M60A1
409th - 36 M60A1
407th - 36 M60A1
410th - 36 M60A1
87th Recon BN - 24 M60A1 - 36 M113 APCs
3 companies @8 tanks 12 APCs
gdud ha'shion 87 גדוד הסיון 87
14th Armoured Brigade (ex 252nd Ugda) Col Amnon Reshef
14th Armoured Brigade, Col. Amnon Reshev.
Haim Brigade Col Haim Erez
421st Armoured Brigade (Includes at least some M48 Patton)
55th Airborne Brigade, Col. Matt
: 416th Battalion
; 564th Battalion
; 565th Battalion.
162nd Armoured Ugda (Division), General Avraham Bren Adan.
217th Armoured Brigade, Col. Natan 'Natke' Nir (Centurion).
460th Armoured Brigade, Col. Gabi Amir, (Patton 47/48/60 & Centurion).
(??) 460th Armoured Brigade (ex 252nd Ugda) Col Gabi Amir.
500th Armoured Brigade, Col. Karem. (Magach )
429 BN Romach
2nd 430th Armor BN Se'ara Storm
433 BN Gur
202nd Airborne Brigade
11th "Koach Gonen" Armoured Brigade, Col Yoel Gonen
(Ti-67, Recon companies in BTR50/OT62 & PT76).
Additional Southern Command forces:
146th Composite Ugda (ex Syrian Front?)
440th Composite Ugda
Three Infantry Brigades.
Other Southern Command formations:
35th Paratroop Brigade, Col Uzi Yairi (likely under command of Ugda Adan)
247th Paratroop Brigade
formations using Tiran
274th Brigade - fought in Yom Kippur in Sinai
after Yom Kippur
265th 320th 889th added
440th Arm Div - 265th 274th 889th Southern Command
320th - assigned to Northern Command
from page 19, "Centurion vs T-55 - Yom Kippur War 1973" by Simon Dunstan
published by Osprey, 2009 - Duel 21
36th Armor Div Ga'ash "Rage"
- 1st Inf Bg
- 7th Armor Brigade Sa'ar "Storm"
- 1 - 82nd Armor Battalion Ga'ash "Rage"
- 1st Company Alon "Oak"
- 1 Platoon
- 2nd CO Barak "Lightning"
- 3rd CO Golan "Golan"
- 2 - 77th AR BN Oz "Courage"
- 1st CO "Vulcan"
- 3rd Platoon
- 2nd CO Zohar "Aurora"
- 3rd CO Hermon
- 3 - 75th AR BN Romach "Lance"
- 1st CO
- 2nd CO
- 3rd CO Mahatz "Shock"
- 603rd AR ENG BN Lahav "Blade"
- Sayeret 7 AR RECON CO
- Palhik 7 353rd Commo CO Hanit "Spear"
- 188th arm bg Barak "Lightning"
- 1 - 53rd AR BN Sufa "Storm"
- 1 CO Alon "Oak"
- 2 CO
- 3 CO Golan
- 2 - 74th AR BN Sa'ar "Tempest"
- 1 CO "Venus"
- 2 CO
- 3 CO
- 3 - 71st AR BN Reshef "Flash"
- 1 CO
- 2 CO Ze'evim "Wolves"
- 3 CO
Mahatz "Shock" (Osprey p.31 plate F, p.43 picture)
- 605th AR ENG BN - Ha'Mahatz "Breakthrough"
- Sayeret 188 AR RECON CO
- ATGM CO
Gimel-20 brigade cmdr tank
Mk III Barak Div
- 609th Alexandroni Inf Brigade (R)
- 847th Merkavot Ha'Esh "Chariots of Fire" Arm Brig (R)
-282nd Golan Art Regt
- 334th Art BN Ra'am "Thunder" MLRS
- 405th Art BN Namer "Tiger" (M109A5)
- 411th Art BN Keren "Horn" (M109A5)
- Target Acquisition CO
- 389th Sion Signal BN
former reserve 210th Bashan Div - new unit TO/E fewer tanks, light mobile units
162nd Division Utzvat Ha'Barzel
- 401st Armor Brigade Ikvot Ha'Barzel "Tracks of Iron"
- 1 - 46th Armor Battalion Shalaqh "Sword"
- 1st CO
- 2nd CO Barkan "Thorn"
- 1st platoon
- 3rd CO Ha'Bachurim "The Boys"
- 2 - 52nd Armor Battalion Ha'Bokeem "The Breachers"
- CO Chad Ha'Chanit "Spearhead"
- CO Za'am Batotachim "Angry Guns"
- CO "Vampire"
- 3 - 9th Armor Battalion Eshet "Hard Steel"
- 1st CO Kfir "Young Lion" \/
- 2nd CO Lahav "Blade" <
- 1st platoon
- 2nd platoon
- 3rd CO Magen "Shield" /\
- 1st platoon
- 2nd platoon
- 3rd platoon
601st AR ENG BN Asaf
Sayeret 401 Arm Recon CO
298th Comm CO Eyal
366th Arm Div Amud Ha'Esh "Pillar of Fire"
- 460th arm bg Bnei Or "Sons of Light"
- 1 - 195th Training Battalion (Merkava 2) Adam
- 1st CO
- 2nd CO
- 2nd platoon
- 3rd CO Kineret "Sea of Galilee"
- 2 - 198th Training Battalion (Merkava 3) Eezuz "Brave"
- 532nd Training Battalion (Merkava 4) Shelah
- 3rd platoon
- 2 - 196th Tank Cmdr Training Battalion Shahak
- Tank Instr Training Battalion Magen "Shield"
143rd Arm Div (R)
319th Arm Div (R)
609th Inf Bg (R)
List of IDF Brigades
10th arm bg "Harel" Mountain of God
14th arm bg "Machatz" Bison
37th arm bg Ram
205th arm bg Iron Fist
211th arm bg "Yishai" Guardians of Jerusalem
263rd arm bg "Merkavot Ha-Esh" Chariots of Fire
600th arm bg Paths of Fire "Hetivey haEsh" est 1971 M60 tanks
679th arm bg "Yiftah"
847th arm bg "Merkavot Haplada" מרכבות הפלדה Steel Chariots or Chariots of Steel
500th arm bg "Kfir" Young Lion
active from 1972 to 2003
500th Arm Bgd
18th Brigade then 45th Arm Brigade then 188th Arm Brigade
South Lebanon Merkava
AlJazeera Pt 1
AlJazeera Pt 2
Merkava and Israeli Tank colors and markings
initially accomplished using comparisons with color samples, an inherently
inexact and subjective process
Six Day War
1956 Sinai War olive drab UA-003
1967 Six-day War Israeli sand grey UA-020 FS30372
RGB: 171 155 132
1973 Yom Kippur War Israeli sand grey UA-020 FS30372
1982 Lebanon Israeli sand grey UA-035 FS36134
RGB: 103 104 101 HEX:#676865
Israeli sand gray 1963-73 FS30372 182 166 144
Israeli sand gray 1982-?? FS36134 103 104 101
77 81 76
for 1973 Yom Kippur War
Italieri 7720 acrylic FS30475 198 169 136 #C6A988
Lifecolor UA-020 1963-73
Lifecolor UA-035 1982-
Vallejo 70-614 Israeli sand grey 1961-73
Vallejo 71-142 Israeli sand grey '82
MIG 067 Israeli sand grey 1961-73
MIG 066 Israeli sand grey 1982-??
From these three examples the colors for '82 Sinai Grey from MIG, Lifecolor and
Vallejo appear to be similar:
Model Master 2138 enamel 133,121,081 Israeli armor sand grey Model master 4814 acryl 125,114,069 Israeli armor
Merkava MK IV Reviews
suspension springs painted black
radio antenna bases painted white
markings are found on vehicles from the beginning of the state of Israel
over time they evolved to provide more information and increase visibility
battalion - stripes on gun barrel, number on left front right rear
company - spinning V on vehicle side, lines on right front, left rear
platoon - number right front, left rear, sides and rear of bustle
the platoon cmdr just has the number and no tank letter
tank - letter right front, left rear, boths sides and rear of bustle
alef (א), bet (ב) gimel (ג) and dalet (ד)
חוד החנית chod ha'chanit
הבוקעים ha'bokeem/the breachers
כפיר kfir/young lion
כנרת kineret/Sea of Galilee
עֹז מגולן oz m'golan/courage of the Golan
שחק shachak/sky or heaven
דובי doobi/"bear" or "teddy bear"
פס יאנוש pas Yanush/"Yanush stripe"
חט״פ - חוליא טכנית פלוגתית CHATA"P/"Technical Company"
שערות שולמית se'arot shulamit/"Shulamit hairs"
p'um - acronym for pikud u'mateh - command and staff college, also beit sefer le-pikud u-mateh.
Establish in 1951 to educate IDF officers who had reached the rank of major and
lieutenant colonel in the art of large unit operations and staff work. (Google search)
ma'hat - mefaked hativa - brigade cmdr
ma'tak - mefaked ??? - tank cmdr
tzava haganah le'yisrael - IDF
battalion - ID number on front left and right rear, also barrel stripes
company - horizontal bars on right front and left rear fenders, one for first, two for second, etc.
Chevrons on front section of side armor skirts,
platoon - number on right front and rear left fender also number on turret bustle banners
tank number - hebrew letters right front and left rear
usual sequence on fenders is from left to right, tank then platoon then company
armored brigade - often omitted for OPSEC during operations
There is photographic evidence that some units (eg 188th Arm Brigade) do not follow these practices. One photo of a 188th Brigade Merkava III shows the front fender signs reversed with battalion marking on right side and tank-platoon-company on the left.
IDF Armored Corps
IDF Armor Blog
Meng Merkava Mk.3D/BaZ
M60A1 Blazer Walkaround
IDF Armor 1/72 scale Models
Sherman M4A1(76)Trumpeter 07222
Magach 6 Italieri 7073
Merkava Mk I - ESCI 8323
Merkava Mk II AMT/ERTL 8641
Merkava Mk III Revell MkIII 03134
HobbyBoss MkIIID 82916 -> 82441
MkIIID(LIC) 82917 -> 82476
Trumpeter MkIII 07103
MkIII BAZ 07104
Merkava Mk IV HobbyBoss MkIV 82915 -> 82429
ESCI Merkava Mk1
Trumpeter Merkava Mk3
ACE Merkava Mk3 Part 1
ACE Merkava Mk3 Part 2
HobbyBoss Merkava Mk3D Part 1
HobbyBoss Merkava Mk4 part 1
Conversion of M60 Blazer into Magach 6B
Brief History of IDF Armor and Tanks-by TankNutDave
M60 during Yom Kippur War
Identifies 600th Brigade as the unit that received the majority of US M60A1 tanks
(600th Brigade 407th,409th,410th BN, BN=36 tanks + 3 brigade HQ = 111 tanks TOE,
the 600th was also equipped with M113 APVs. 87th Arm Recon BN also received M60A1s)
M60 = Magach 6 (?? round turret M60s)
M60A1 = Magach 6A
This is a very informative piece.
1,000 Centurions (standard and upgraded Sh'ot)
800 upgraded M48/M60 - M48 is Magach 3, M60 is Magach 6
150 M60A1 Magach 6A
200 captured T-54/55 renamed Tiran 4/5
300 Sherman M50/51
401st Armor Brigade Tracks of Iron
|battn ||Co||Plat||tank||barrel||RF||LF||skirt||LR||RR||Call ID||
|1|| 1 ||1 ||cmdr || ||| 1 _|| || \/||1 _||1
|1|| 1 || 1||alef|| | ||alef 1 _||\/
|1||1 || 1 ||bet|| | ||bet 1 _||\/
|1||1 || 1||gimel|||||gimel 1 _|| ||\/
|1|| 1 ||2 ||cmdr || ||| 2 _|| || <||2 _||2
|1|| 1 ||3 ||cmdr || ||| 3 _|| ||/\||3 _||3
NEEDS A PAGE:
|Mk I ||AVDS-1790-5AR 900 HP||CD850-6A|
|Mk II ||AVDS-1790-5AR 900 HP||RK304A |
|Mk III||AVDS-9A/N 1200 HP||RK304A|
|Mk IV ||MTU883 1500 HP||RK325|