Arab-Israeli War of 1948

Date: 11 May 1948 - 7 November 1948

Location: Palestine, Syria, Sinai, Jordania


  • Alliance strategic victory
  • Collapse of Arab armies
  • Czech-Israeli Trade and Friendship Treaty
  • Israel expansion to Gaza, Syria and Sinai
  • Nasserist Revolution


Alliance (Czech Republic and State of Israel)




Palestinian insurgents


Commander-in-Chief David Ben-Gurion

Commander of Haghana Mordechai Zabotinsky

Commander of NGCZ colonel Slanka

General Husni al-Zaim (Syria) (K.I.A.)

Fawzi al-Qawuqji (Egypt)


Israeli Alliance Forces:

65,000 - 80,000

Czech Alliance Forces:

10,000 (1st Expeditionary Corps)

Arab Armies

125,000 - 150,000

Casualties and losses


2,162 killed

10,812 wounded or captured

Arab Armies

49,199 killed

66,897 wounded or captured

Arab-Israeli War of 1948


During Spring 48, Israeli-Palestinian Jews decided to proclaim independence of State of Israel. In this time, government of Jan Antonin Bata in Czech Republic wanted to find new allies and declare their national independence on West and East. Because of that, Bata government in Prague, decided to help newly-formed State of Israel, despite Czech oil interests in Saudi Arabia and Libya.

Minister of national defense, general Ludvik Svoboda, created 1st Expeditionary Corps from 7th Paratroopers Regiment, 4th Tank Brigade and 1st Infantry Battalion of National Guard, at the end, 10,000 well trained, good equipped and because of war veterans also experienced soldiers, officers and volunteers.

In exchange of full support - State of Israel declared will to grant Czech citizens dual-citizenship, free trade treaty, scientific cooperation and investment potential for Czech enterprises.

Arrive to Israel

Way to Israel for Czech Expeditionary Corps was difficult because of Communist regime in Austria. CEC had to use airplanes to transport war material and units to Yugoslavia People Republic which had more friendly relations with Czech Republic and then, from yugoslavian ports in Adriatic Sea, CEC went to Palestine-Israel.

During transport, when they carried thousands of tons of weapons and ammunitions, include whole German tank division equipment, main cargo ship SS Masaryk was under attack of Egyptian-Syrian Joint Navy Forces. Because of cutting-edge missile technologies, private and electronic-missile specialist Stanislav Beranek was able to use radar-guided missiles Hs117 from German missile stockpiles. One Egyptian heavy cruiser and fregate was destroyed by radar-guided missiles. Two Syrian frigates were sunk by another missiles. Meanwhile, radar-guided missiles also shot down soviet Mig-15 supporting Arab forces in encirceled Haifa. Before arrive to Haifa Port, Czech Navy was able to use unguided missiles to destroy Haifa Town Hall where was Arab Armies Staff Command Center. General Husni al-Zaim was killed during missile attack and encirclement of Haifa collapsed.

Kibuttz-Urban Warfare Phase

During next three months, Czech military supported local kibbutz militia units, repelled Arabian attacks on these agriculture and industrial communes and joined Israel Defense Forces in their urban warfare fight. Haifa was liberated on 22nd May when last remnants of 2nd Army of Egypt surrendered to Czech units.

Attack of elite 4th Tank Brigade with deep-inside-enemy-territory airborne attacks of 7th Paratroopers Regiment led to liberation of Kirjat Tivon (24th May), Naharija (29th May), Nazareth (30th May), Bejt Sean (7th June) and Jenin (15th June). In all city battles, CEC used similar tactics - tank units secured important streets, divided enemy forces in two halfs and then, paratroopers or national guardsmen secured whole city house-by-house. This tactic led to low casualties on Alliance side and Alliance forces gained many experiences in this battles.

Battle of Jerusalem

In Battle of Jerusalem (8th July - 16th July), Czech involvement was secondary. Czech mortar teams and few small specialized anti-tank squads participated under command of Moshe Dayan in 46th Infantry Battalion of Israel Defense Forces.

Battle of Jerusalem was short, bloody but in long-term strategic battle and victory of Israel. During battle was destroyed Stone Dome and partially Western Wall of Jerusalem. In battle was wounded Moshe Dayan and heavily wounded Syrian President Husni al-Zaim. Radio communication of Arab forces was disrupted by suicide air-attack of Czech pilot Lt. Romansky. He crashed with his Spitfire to Central Radio communication Facility of Syrian Army at eastern Jerusalem and cut-off whole chain of command of Arab forces. Large groups of Arab soldiers soon surrendered to Israeli forces and 15th July, most of Arab forces fled from Jerusalem. Last unit of Jordan Army was destroyed 16th July near Citadel of Jerusalem.

Last phase

Last phase of war was during September to November 1948 when joint Czech-Israeli Alliance Forces penetrated through Egyptian defense at Gaza and captured whole Gaza. Young Egyptian army officer, Gamal Abdel Nasser, led retreat of Egyptian forces and soon proclaimed monarchic systems of Arab countries as main factor of Arab losses in Arab-Israeli War of 1948.


At December 1948, Czech Republic signed mutual cooperation, trade and scientific treaties with State of Israel. Czech enterprises started large investment to Israel and new trade. Israel granted full access for Czechs to their territory and also gave part of Haifa Port as gift for Czech Republic.

In Egypt, Gamal Abdel Nasser established Egyptian Socialist Party and with military support overthrew king Farouk at 7th December 1948 and proclaimed Egyptian Socialist Democratic Republic. Later, Nasserist Revolution spread to Syria (1949), Lebanon (1950), Jordan (1952), Iraq (1955), Yemen and Oman (1956) and Libya and Sudan (1959). Later formed Federation of Arab Republics declared friendly relations in June 1967 with Israel.

For Czech Republic, situation had negative impact. After Libyan Socialist Revolution in 1959 led by Nasserists officers, new libyan government nationalized Czech oil industry in Libya. Czech oil industry and interests in Saudi Arabia was not harm by Nasserist Revolution.

After war, 197 members of Expeditionary Corps was declared as Hero of Czech Republic, 6125 were promoted to higher rank and government of Czech Republic granted 100 million Czech Crowns (25 million dollars) for new military infrastructure.

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