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Shimon Avidan

Shimon Avidan (Hebrew: שמעון אבידן; February 7, 1911 – September 11, 1994), born Siegbert Koch (Hebrew: זיגברט קוך), was an Israeli soldier and officer, the commander of the Givati Brigade during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war. Born in Germany in 1911,[citation needed] in 1934 he moved to Kibbutz Ayelet HaShahar and then Ein HaShofet in Palestine.[1] He fought with the International Brigades during the Spanish Civil War.[2]

Avidan is also known for his activities in the Palmach in World War II. He led the "German Unit" of the Palmach, which was responsible for conducting guerilla operations against the Axis powers.[1] In 1945 he commanded the Saison operation against the Irgun and Stern Gang.[3]

During the 1948 war he was the operational commander of Operation Nachshon, Operation Barak, Operation Pleshet and Operation An-Far. His troops also fought at Nitzanim as well as joining Operations Death to the Invader and Yoav.

He resigned from the army after, according to Chaim Herzog, "His extreme left-wing philosophy proved to be irreconcilable with David Ben-Gurion's policies."[4] In 1975, he was appointed as the internal comptroller of the Ministry of Defense by the minister Shimon Peres.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Ayalon, Avraham (1982). "Givati". IDF in Its Corps: Army and Security Encyclopedia. Volume 11. Revivim Publishing. p. 148.  (Hebrew)
  2. Chaim Herzog (1982), The Arab-Israeli Wars. ISBN 0-85368-367-0. Page 69. 'A slight, fair-haired, determined man, with a toothbrush like mustache, He was a natural leader.'
  3. Eric Silver, "Begin, A Biography". 1984, ISBN 0-297-78399-8. Page 51.
  4. Herzog (1982), p. 70

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