2nd Brigade - Carmeli

The Carmeli Brigade was formed by David Ben-Gurion in February 1948 to be one of nine elite fighting units, The Carmeli Brigade was initially responsible for operations in Haifa and western Galilee. Two months later, the Carmeli Brigade engaged in fierce fighting with several waves of Arab Druze forces, but succeeded in repelling the assault on the city of Haifa and then moved on to capture Arab positions in Acre. In late May and early June of 1948, the Carmeli Brigade faced Iraqi forces battling for the city of Jenin and although Israeli forces captured to town, they soon had to withdraw from it due to ineffective defenses. Throughout the Israeli war for independence, the Carmeli Brigade served as one of the primary units in the Israeli army. The 22ed Battalion was part of the Carmeli Brigade among other units,this blog is to honor the brave fighters and to be a memory for those who died during the war of 1948! If you have pictures or information to add to this site or for any demand or remarks please write to you may kindly sign our guest book


קרב משמר העמק תש"ח 1948

Battle of Mishmar Ha'emek (Mishmar Ha'emeq)

ב-4 באפריל 1948 לפנות ערב, בימי מבצע 'נחשון', החלו תותחי 'חיל הירמוך' של 'צבא ההצלה' להרעיש את משמר העמק, בפיקודו של פאוזי אל קאווקג'י (שכזכור עמד בראש כנופיות פורעים גם במאורעות 1939-1936).
קאווקג'י תכנן לכבוש במהירות את הנקודה - ששכנה בתוך סביבה ערבית ובקרבת בסיסי צבאו, לחסום את כביש ואדי מלח, שדרכו עברה אז התחבורה היהודית לחיפה, ואולי אף לכבוש את חיפה בהתקפה ממזרח. לראשונה במלחמת העצמאות הופעלו כאן תותחים, שגרמו נזק רב לבנייני הקיבוץ ולרכושו ואף פגעו בנפש; אולם הסתערות חיל הרגלים של קאווקג'י שהגיעה עד גדר המשק נהדפה. ה'הגנה' החישה תגבורת לנקודה המותקפת ובתוכה הגדוד הראשון של הפלמ"ח.
יצחק שדה פיקד על גזרת קרבות זו. למחרת נתחדשה ההתקפה, ונפסקה בהתערבות הצבא הבריטי; בשעת הפסקת האש פונתה הנקודה מהנשים והילדים. לאחר מכן פתחו כוחות ההגנה בהתקפת נגד. המערכה נמשכה למעלה מעשרה ימים, שבמהלכם עברו עמדות מחוץ לנקודה מיד ליד; לאחר סידרה של מהלכים טקטיים מוצלחים של כוחות הפלמ"ח והחי"ש, כמו תפיסת משלטים מדרום מזרח למשק, נאלצו קאווקג'י וצבאו לסגת לעבר ג'נין

יומן אירועים
4.4.48 - גדודי חי"ר של קאוקג'י ו-7 תותחי שדה פותחים בהתקפה על משמר העמק.
4-5.4.48 - פלוגה מחטיבת גולני מגיעה בלילה דרך השדות למשק.
5.4.48 - הרעשת המשק נמשכת יום שלם; קאוקג'י תופס את המשלטים מסביב; קולונל בריטי מגיע ומסדיר הפוגה של 24 שעות, בחסותה מוּצאים הפצועים, הנשים והילדים ומוכנסים פועלים לביצורים.
6.4.48 - קאוקג'י מציע באמצעות הבריטים המשך ההפוגה (כדי להעביר כוח וארטילריה לפרוזדור ירושלים בגלל מבצע 'נחשון'). ה'הגנה' אינה מסכימה.
8.4.48 - תוספת של פלוגה מחטיבת 'כרמלי', פלוגה מ'אלכסנדרוני' והגדוד הראשון של הפלמ"ח (גדוד העמק).
8-15.4.48 - פעולות פלמ"ח וחי"ש באיזור.
15.4.48 - הערבים נסוגים מן הגזרה

מגינים בשער הקבוץ

Mishmar Ha'emek (Mishmar Ha'emeq - Hebrew "Guardian of the Valley") is a Kibbutz   founded in 1922 and populated in 1926 on land purchased from the Sursuq family in the Valley of Yizrael (Jezreel).  The kibbutz established the first regional kibbutz high school, Shomria, in 1931. 
Mishmar Ha'emek was located in the area of the Galilee allocated to the Jewish state by UN General Assembly Resolution 181 - the Palestine Partition plan. The Arab Liberation Army*led by Fawzi El Qaukji had been allowed into the country in  connivance with the British and was attempting to reach Haifa and remove the Galilee from Jewish control. Throughout the first period of the war, Jewish forces had been outgunned and outmanned, and had steadily lost ground to the Arabs. The ALA had been outfitted in Syria by the the Arab League, who appointed an official commander, replaced eventually by another commander who was more politically reliable. In practice, the real commander was Qaukji. Qaukji (Or Kawkji, Qawqji etc) who had been involved in the Arab Revolt of the 1930s, and later had helped to instigate the pro-Nazi coup in Iraq along with the Grand Mufti Hajj Amin El Husseini. When that failed, he fled to Nazi Germany, where he collaborated with the Nazis along with the  Mufti Hussieni He was, however, a rival of the Mufti among Palestinians. The Arab Liberation Army numbered about 6,000 troops, and had, at least initially, Druze allies in the Galilee The first forces crossed over into Mandatory Palestine in January 1948. The British may have let them in as part of an intentional plan to foil the creation of a Jewish state and to implement instead a greater Syrian state that would be ruled from Iraq, as revealed in recently declassified documents. 
Mishmar Ha'emek was located on the main road from Jenin to Haifa and controlled other crossroads as well. It was therefore a prime strategic objective. In a meeting at the beginning of April, Qaukji had told Yehoshua Palmon of the Palmach that he would be launching a big attack in the valley of Jezreel, following a failed attack at Tirat Tzvi. Palmon passed the warning on to Jewish settlements who were put on alert. 2 
Qaukji concentrated over a thousand men including the Kadisia battalion and parts of the 1st Yarmuk Battalion under Muhamad Safa and the Hittin Battalion under Madlul Abas. The Syrians supplied artillery - the first in the war, consisting of seven 75 mm cannon and three 105s.
Qaukji concentrated over a thousand men including the Kadisia battalion and parts of the 1st Yarmuk Battalion under Muhamad Safa and the Hittin Batallion under Madlul Abas. The Syrians supplied artillery - the first in the war, consisting of seven 75 mm cannon and three 105s. The photo shows Qaukji planning the battle from the village of Mansi.
First Arab-Israel War, Battle of Mishmar Haemeq - Fawzi al Qaukji at the village of Mansi, planning the attack
Qaukji's artillery pounded Kibbutz Mishmar Ha'emek for many hours beginning on the eve of April 4. The photo at right shows some of the damage. His infantry attempted to advance. They got to the perimeter fence, but were repelled by small arms fire from the Kibbutz. At night, a company of the Golani brigade infiltrated from Kfar Baruch, across the fields.
At the end of the following day (April 5), British Colonel Gordon Macmillan intervened however, and was able to impose a truce to evacuate wounded. The defenders had managed to stand with little reinforcement against a vastly superior enemy.
The truce was exploited to prepare a counter-attack under the command of Yitzhak Sadeh. Qaukji wanted to extend the truce but the Jewish side refused. The Palmach was reinforced by units of the Carmeli and Golani Brigades. On April 8, the Jewish forces tried to attack from the rear and capture the artillery batteries. They did not succeed, but they did panic some of the ALA which began retreating.  

First Arab-Israel War, Map Battle of Mishmar Haemeq
Subsequently, the battle continued for several days, with strongpoints and villages changing hands repeatedly. On the 12th and 13, Qaukji renewed the attack. By the 13th it was evident that Qauqji's ALA had been defeated. The Jewish forces had captured villages in his rear and were threatening to cut off his retreat.  Qaukji headed back to his headquarters in the village of Jabba. Northwest of Mishmar Haemek, Druze allies of the ALA were defeated in Ramat Yohanan. The Druze soon changed sides and joined the Jews. As a result of the battles, all the Arab villages in the area that had supported and housed the ALA soldiers were emptied of their inhabitants. They had either fled or been expelled.


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