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Palestine Regiment
Country Flag of the United Kingdom.svg United Kingdom
Branch Army
Service history
Active 1942-1944
Size 2,800 volunteers
Commanders
Insignia

The Palestine Regiment was a regiment of the British Army that was formed in 1942.[1] During World War II, the regiment was deployed to Egypt and Cyrenaica, but most of their work consisted of guard duty.[2] Some Palestine Regiment members were killed in Benghazi, where they fought heavy battles against the Germans.[3]

BackgroundEdit

In 1940, Jews and Arabs living under the British Mandate for Palestine were allowed to form separate companies, known as Palestine Infantry Companies, and join the Royal East Kent Regiment, known as the "Buffs". [1][2] The establishment of the first Jewish Infantry Company was completed in September, 1940, within the framework of the "Buffs" and 14 more Jewish Companies were raised, in which about 5,300 men served. Their missions included security, guarding installations and escorting convoys in Palestine. Their training exercises were extremely limited. The arms they were given were from World War I surplus. The declared intent of the British to recruit an equal number of Jews and Arabs did not occur. [4]

Formation and ServiceEdit

The Palestine Regiment was formed in 1942 with the Palestine Infantry Companies that were attached to the Buffs.[1] The regiment was divided into separate Jewish and Arab battalions.[5] According to historian Ashley Jackson the regiment consisted of 1600 Jews and 1200 Arabs[1] but according to writer Howard Blum, Jews outnumbered Arabs by a more than three to one ratio.[4]

The Jewish companies were then formed into three battalions, which became the new Palestine Regiment.[2]

Personnel of the Palestine Regiment later formed the core of the Jewish Brigade.[1]

ReferencesEdit

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