Hotchkiss tank

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After the world war 2 some Hotchkiss tanks were used by French security forces in the colonies . Ten "H 39s" were sold to Israel and sent to the 8th Brigade.

The 8th Armored Brigade was an Israeli mechanized brigade headquartered near Jerusalem. It was the Israel Defense Forces' first brigade which possessed tanks, jeeps and APCs, whereas all other IDF units at the time were entirely infantry-based.

The brigade was called armored for moral reasons, although in reality it only had a single tank company (later in the war, two companies), and a single APC company (these companies became the brigade's armoured battalion), and an assault battalion composed of jeeps.

The Brigade's first commander was Yitzhak Sadeh. Moshe Dayan was appointed commander of one of the brigade's battalions known as the 89th Mechanized Assault Battalion.The 89th consisted of four companies each made up from different groups: from kibbutz and Moshavs, from Tel Aviv, from Lehi and veterans from South Africa. They were stationed at Tel Litvinsky near Tel Aviv.

On 11 July 1948 the 89th Battalion was involved in the attack on Lydda.

Following the 1948 war, the brigade served as the backbone of the IDF's armoured forces.


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