Friday, July 6, 2018

Blue Star Anxiety

The other day a friend asked about Israeli orders of battle during Operation Peace for Galilee, the 1982 invasion of Lebanon.

Naturally this led us to a conversation about Israel's OOB today. The IDF has only ten active army brigades. These are:

1st Infantry 'Golani'
7th Armoured 
35th Paratroopers
84th 'Nahal'
89th 'Oz'
188th Armoured 'Barak'
401st Armoured
460th 'Bnei Or'
900th 'Kfir'
933rd 'Givati'

All of these are elite, as good as say, a Marine MEU, Britain's 3 Commando, or the old 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment.

We got to talking about the 2nd Lebanon War. The Israelis learned the hard way that Hezbollah possesses a serious military. Worse, the IDF's own reserves had decayed in terms of training and readiness.

That war was a huge shock to the Israeli psyche, probably as traumatizing as the 73 Yom Kipur War. Everything the Israeli government and IDF have done since 2006 is in response to what happened in Lebanon. This includes wonder weapons like Trophy and Iron Dome, but also training. The Israelis built a full scale mockup of an Arab town in which they train their regular and reserve units for the inevitable war with Hezbollah. The last three wars with Hamas, in 2009, 2012, and 2014, are merely previews. 

The Israelis view wars in Gaza as periodic necessities, 'mowing the lawn' they call it. 

The real war lies to the north.



  1. Does the IDF have larger than a brigade size units or command or do they need the flexibility that smaller units may allow them?

  2. They have higher echelon divisions for organizational purposes. During the 82 war they crammed six brigades into a division. But the brigade is the primary unit of maneuver these days. During the 73 war the division was more important.

  3. Was watching a youtube documentary about both 73 and the war in the 60's. Swore I saw division names.

  4. Yeah, On the Sinai those were the primary unit of maneuver. At the moment I can't think of a single division number though.