Barak Armored Brigade

Barak Armored Brigade

Infobox Military Unit
unit_name=Barak Armor Brigade

caption=Insignia for Barak Brigade
command_structure=Northern Command
battles=Operation Hiram, Yom Kippur (1973)
The 188th "Barak"/"Lightning" Armor Brigade is an Israeli regular armor brigade, under command of the Northern Command. The symbol of the Barak Armor Brigade is a shield with a red border, blue and white Haifa coastline background and a sword on it. The brigade has a long history and was part of the Yishuv's forces in Palestine before the foundation of the state of Israel.

In the mid-1990s, the brigade became the first to adopt the Merkava mark-III main battle tank and the older Centurion tanks were phased out.


During the 1948 Arab-Israeli war the brigade was known as the Carmeli Brigade because it was led by Moshe Carmel. It was an infantry brigade which fought in the northern part of Palestine. The brigade played an important role in Operation Hiram.

After IDF was created the Carmeli Brigade became the 18th Brigade.

During the Sinai Campaign in 1956 the brigade was stationed along the Jordanian border, in case the Jordanians decided to open a second front, and was thus not involved in combat.

It was then added with armored units and became the 45th Armored Brigade, known as the "Barak Armored Brigade". It consisted of one tank battalion, two armored infantry battalions, a mortar battalion and reconnaissance units. The changeover was completed in 1962.

During the Yom Kippur War, it played an important role defending Israel's border against the Syrian attack in the southern Golan Heights. 112 soldiers were killed in action there, including the brigade commander. The brigade was almost completely destroyed.

During the battle, Lieutenant Zvika Greengold, who had arrived unattached to any unit, fought off attacks with his single tank until help arrived. "For the next 20 hours, Zvika Force, as he came to be known on the radio net, fought running battles with Syrian tanks—sometimes alone, sometimes as part of a larger unit, changing tanks half a dozen times as they were knocked out. He was wounded and burned but stayed in action and repeatedly showed up at critical moments from an unexpected direction to change the course of a skirmish."" [ Shattered Heights: Part 1] ," "Jerusalem Post", September 25, 1998 (accessed June 9, 2005).]

In the 1982 Lebanon War, it fought in Beirut and participated in the capture of the airport.


* 53rd "Sufa"/"Storm" Armor Battalion (Merkava Mk.3)
* 71st "Reshef"/"Spark" Armor Battalion (Merkava Mk.3)
* 74th "Saar"/"Tempest" Armor Battalion (Merkava Mk.3)
* 605th "ha-Mahatz"/"The Crush" Armored Engineer Battalion
* Sayeret 188 Armored Reconnaissance Company
* Anti-Tank Guided Missile Company

List of Carmeli Brigade operations in the 1948 Arab-Israeli war

* Operation Dekel (one battalion)
* Operation Hiram
* Operation Misparayim

List of villages and town battles the Carmeli Brigade fought

* Al-Nahr
* Al-Ghabisiyya
* Al-Sumayriyya
* Al-Tall
* Al-Kabri
* Al-Mansura
* Haifa (the Arab quarters)
* Umm al-Faraj


External links

* [ IDF]

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