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Used Ice Breakers & Commandos:
An Operational History of the Israeli Navy in the 1948 War of Independence
By Patrick S. Baker
The Israeli Defense Forces Navy (IDFN), along with the rest of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), was created on 28 May 1948 when David Ben-Gurion—Israel’s first prime minister—signed the Defense Army of Israel Ordinance Number 4. This ordinance established a “defense Army of Israel comprised of land forces, a navy and an air force.”
On 14 May 1948, Ben-Gurion declared the establishment of the State of Israel. The next day the Arab states of Egypt, Jordan (then Transjordan), Syria, as well as troops from Iraq invaded the new state. The Jews had already been fighting local Arabs from the paramilitary Palestine Liberation Army (PLA) for months. While the land and air forces struggled to hold the line and build and train new units, the navy was busy getting its first ships operational. Work on the ships that would later be called “The Big Flotilla” had begun earlier when three former blockade runners that had started life as military ships were selected and clandestinely made seaworthy while the British Mandate was still in effect.
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· World War Africa: With the end of the Cold War, Africa shifted higher in strategic importance for its resources and developing economies. Despite efforts at democratization, the Congo became a focal point for tribal and regional conflict. This article examines the 1996–2003 period.
· Used Ice Breakers and Commandos: An Operational History of the Israeli Navy in the 1948 War of Independence: At the outset of the new Israeli state, a navy was created from scratch. Often outnumbered, the navy scored significant victories off the coast in defending Israel and delivering commandos for raids.
· The Battle of Fire Support Base Illingworth: Fire Support Base (FSB) Illingworth, like several of the Vietnam era, was supposed to be an enticing target to draw the NVA out for an attack that would be responded to with overwhelming firepower. Unfortunately, too much “bait” was put in the trap in the form of 8-inch howitzers and tons of ammunition leading to a climactic explosion.
· The Present and Future of Drones & Autonomous Weapons: Autonomous weapons have been used on the battlefield for centuries and in more previous wars than most people realize. This article examines the current and potential uses of drones and other current and potential autonomous weapons.
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