Without a doubt, the most world-famous unit of the Israel Defense Forces is the Golani Brigade, founded in 1948.
The soldiers of the Golani Brigade have a brown beret as their distinctive garment, and their flag is yellow and green, evoking the place of its creation: Galilee. The unit's emblem shows a green olive tree on a yellow background. Its first soldiers were farmers and immigrants. The unit functions largely as a mechanized infantry brigade, using Namer infantry fighting vehicles (below these lines we can see one from its 13th Battalion).
Traditionally stationed in northern Istael, the Golani Brigade is closely tied to their country's own military history. It was the first Brigade of the Israeli Army (that is why its official name is 1st Golani Brigade) and its baptism of fire took place in the Israeli War of Independence (1947-1948) strong>, fighting against the Syrian Army. It was then that this infantry unit began to gain enormous prestige.
The Brigade also fought in the Six Day War (1967) and in the Yom Kippur War (1973), being surprised by the attacking Arab forces precisely in the sector it defended: the Golan Heights . The unit also participated in the two wars in Lebanon and in the fight against Palestinian terrorism. In 2008 and 2009 it took part in Operation Cast Lead against Hamas terrorists in Gaza, a mission that it repeated in Operation Protective Edge in 2014.
Currently, the Golani Brigade is made up of three infantry battalions (the 12th Barak Battalion, the 13th Gideon Battalion and the 51st HaBokim HaRishon Battalion), a reconnaissance battalion (the 631st Gadsar Golani Battalion) and a transmission company (the Palhik Golani). The Gadsar Golani has an engineer company, an anti-tank company and a special reconnaissance unit. In addition, the training of a special operations unit, Sayeret Egoz or Unit 621, is carried out in its ranks, currently attached to the Oz Brigade.
During the Hamas terrorist attack on October 7, 2023, this Brigade suffered significant casualties, after being attacked by surprise by Hamas terrorists who infiltrated dozens of points along the border barrier between Israel and Gaza: 72 soldiers from the 13th Gideon Battalion and the 51st HaBokim HaRishon Battalion were killed during the attack (their worst combat losses since 1951), and an unknown number were captured by Hamas. The The 13th Gideon Battalion took the worst part, with 41 dead and 91 wounded, suffering more casualties than in the Yom Kippur War, when it had 23 dead.
Despite the damage suffered, the Golani Brigade has joined the Israeli counterattack against Hamas to avenge its dead and free Israeli citizens kidnapped by terrorists. The Golani Brigade has penetrated Gaza together with the 53rd Battalion of the 188th Armored Brigade, participating in several combats against Palestinian terrorists and managing to destroy the infrastructure of the Sabra-Tel al-Battalion. Hawa, Hamas's elite, including its tunnels, rocket launchers, weapons depots and observation posts.
Yesterday, the Israeli media Ynet News reported that the Golani Brigade has managed to kill 300 terrorists from the Sabra-Tel al-Hawa Battalion, putting them to flight. "Most of the terrorists in the battalion withdrew or hid in a hospital," said an Israel Defense Forces officer. One more feat to add to the history of one of the most decorated units of the Israel Defense Forces.
+ UPDATED 13.11.2023 20:46h: Soldiers of the Golani Brigade take a photograph at the "Legislative Assembly" of Hamas in Gaza. On the left we see the green and yellow flag of this Brigade.
Photos: Israel Defense Forces. Archival images of the Golani Brigade.
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