Memorial day 1982

  • Issue: April 1982
  • designer: D. Cohen
  • Stamp size: 20 x 51.4 mm
  • Plate no.: 37
  • Sheet of 15 stamps Tabs: 5
  • Printers: E. Lewin-Epstein Ltd.
  • Method of printing: Photolithography

The traveller on the Safed highway in the Galilee cannot miss the steel monument, situated at the side of the road near En Zetim, that stands as a memorial to the men of the Armoured Brigade (Reserves) who fought and died in the Sinai campaign, the Six-Day War and the Yom Kippur War.

The site chosen for the memorial was the entrance to the wood which had served as the Brigade assembly point during the long waiting period that preceded the outbreak of the 1967 war. It was from there that the troops set out in their tanks and half-tracks to cross the "Green Line" south of the Jezre'el Valley and make a dash for the heart of Jordanian Samaria. The monument was designed by the sculptress Dma Even-Toy, the widow of Oded Even-Toy a member of the kibbutz of Sha'ar Ha-Amaqim who fell in the battle around Nablus while serving in the Brigade reconnaissance unit.

The Brigade when originally formed, consisted almost entirely of members of the reserve forces who served in the armoured units created at the time of the War of Independence. It consisted of motorized infantry in their half-tracks and a number of ancient

Sherman tanks. Just before the Sinai campaign ("Kadesh") the Brigade was reinforced by the addition of a Reconnaissance Unit and a batallion of French MX tanks.

The Brigade scarcely had time to reform and absorb its new French equipment before they were sent to do battle in the Sinai. In the course of bitter fighting in the Sinai desert and the Gaza strip they suffered heavy casualties and their Commanding Officer fell in action.

The Six-Day War found the Brigade fully prepared and organized. It penetrated deep into the West Bank and after the capture of Tubas, its armour spearheaded the attack on Nablus. After successfully completing its mission, the Brigade was ordered to double back on its tracks and move north for a frontal assault on the almost unassailable defence fortifications of the Golan Heights.

The Brigade fought its way to the Heights via Gonen and Wasit, spread out to the north and south and took control of the area. In the six days of fighting in Samaria and on the Golan Heights the Brigade lost 27 men.

It was on the morning of the 6th October 1973 (Yom Kippur) that the Brigade's armour was mobilised and its tanks advanced to the area of Nafah on the Golan Heights to join up with the remnants of the force that had been severely mauled in absorbing the firstwave of attack of the Syrian tanks. One of the Brigade's battalions succeeded, unaided, in halting the progress of the Syrian advance force which was moving south from El Al in the direction of the Kinneret. In the ensuing battles the Brigade's second-in-command was killed and most of its senior officers injured. They then attacked the Syrian forces in the Huseiniya area, drove them back across the "Purple Line" and began moving east into Syrian territory.

Its mission on the Golan Heights completed, the Brigade was ordered to move south to the Sinai desert and the Suez Canal. On the 20th October they crossed the canal and joined the armoured Group facing the Egyptian Third Army. One of the Brigade's units advanced westwards along the Cairo road and was halted at kilometer 101 - a map reference which later became front page news.

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Memorial day 1982