Jewish Brigade החטיבה היהודית

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Insignia Sleeve patch. Jewish Brigade . Part of the British Armed Forces from Palestine (now Israel). - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


  • Jewish Brigade

    Part of the British Armed Forces from Palestine (now Israel)Insignia Sleeve patch

  • In 1940, the Jews of Palestine were permitted to enlist in Jewish companies attached to the East Kent Regiment (the "Buffs"). These companies were formed into three infantry battalions of a newly-established "Palestine Regiment". The battalions were moved to Cyrenaica and Egypt, but there, too, as in Palestine, they continued to be engaged primarily in guard duties. The Jewish soldiers demanded to participate in the fighting and the right to display the Jewish flag.It was not until September 1944, however, that the British government agreed to the establishment of a Jewish Brigade. It consisted of Jewish infantry, artillery, and service units. After a period of training in Egypt, the Jewish Brigade Group - approximately 5,000 soldiers - took part in the final battles of the war on the Italian front. In May 1945, the Brigade was moved to North East Italy where, for the first time, it encountered survivors of the Holocaust. In the summer of 1946, the British authorities decided to disband the Brigade. Jewish Agency for Irael, Dept for Jewish Zionist Education

    Palestine RegimentDespite the efforts by the British to enlist an equal number of Jews and Arabs into the Palestine Regiment, three times more Jews volunteered than Arabs. As a result, on August 6, 1942, three Palestinian Jew battalions and one Palestinian Arab battalion were formed. At this time, the Regiment was principally involved in guard duties in Egypt and North Africa..

    After early reports of the Nazi atrocities of the Holocaust were made public by the Allied powers, the Prime Minister Winston Churchill sent a personal telegram to the US President Franklin D. Roosevelt suggesting that "the Jews... of all races have the right to strike at the Germans as a recognizable body." The president replied five days later saying: "I perceive no objection..."After much hesitation, on July 3, 1944, the British government consented to the establishment of a Jewish Brigade with hand-picked Jewish and also non-Jewish senior officers. On September 20, 1944, an official communique by the War Office announced the formation of the Jewish Brigade Group of the British Army. The Zionist flag was officially approved as its standard. It included more than 5,000 Jewish volunteers from Palestine organized into three infantry battalions and several supporting units.

    Out of some 30,000 Jewish volunteers from Palestine who served in the British Army during WWII, more than 700 were killed during active duty.