Below is another article in Michael Gladius’s excellent series on Counter-Revolutionary Case Studies.
If you haven’t read any of his previous ones, click on the above hyperlink on his name and you can access them.
They are analyses of prior conflicts and extrapolation of lessons from those conflicts that would be valuable to know in the event of a future, hypothetical civil war or breakdown of society in Europe or the US.
And, lest anyone accuse Mr. Gladius and myself of intellectual LARP-ing, I would bring up the current situation in Spain, where Catalan leaders are being imprisoned for seeking independence; the situation in Sweden, where the police forces are falling apart and the rape rate is the second highest on earth; and the situation in South Africa, where white South Africans are 6000% more likely to be killed than were soldiers in Vietnam.
With all that being the case, here is the article!
The First Arab-Israeli War (Blood and Sand)
How the Israelis fought
The Israelis operated under a number of severe disadvantages. First, they were outnumbered when the fight began. Second, their paramilitary units and militia had only rudimentary training. Third, their logistics were a mess compared to the Arab/British forces facing them.
Their advantages lay in unity of command, initiative among their junior leaders, tactical superiority over their Arab opponents, and their ability to capture and hold fortified villages.
When the conflict began, the Jews were a minority in the region, although they were the majority in specific localities. This local superiority ultimately drew the lines between Arab and Jewish territory, and much fighting involved connecting the territories together to ensure none were isolated.
As the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem demonstrated, keeping isolated settlements supplied left convoys open to ambushes, and the cost in lives and resources was very high. The British also sought to placate the Arabs by restricting Jewish immigration to the region.
Once the Mandate expired, however, and Israel became a nation, the waves of Jewish immigrants were allowed to enter, and Israel’s manpower grew. Ultimately, they outnumbered the Arab armies when the ceasefire came into effect, enabling them to end the war in a stronger, rather than a weaker, position when compared to where they started.
Both Jewish and Arabic paramilitaries existed in the region, but the British openly allowed the Arabs free reign, while monitoring the Jews’ activity, and occasionally feeding information to the Arabs. The Jewish paramilitaries were small and had little to no formal training; but like the Boers, their individual skills were higher than those of the Arabs.
These paramilitary units performed far better than hastily cobbled-together units, as they had time to practice working together and rehearse actions before launching attacks. The newer units comprised of off-the-boat arrivals (many of whom were Holocaust survivors) normally had less than a week of training before being sent into combat, due to time constraints. Their performance was valiant, but generally poor unless they were on the defensive.
Prior to the war, the Jewish leadership fortified Jewish villages and towns to protect against Arab attacks. During the war, many small battles were fought to hold or capture these. These also proved to be some of the hardest fighting the Israelis experienced, as well as providing several costly defeats.
The fortress at Latrun and the fighting in Jerusalem both demonstrated that even poorly trained units could be effective in defense, while poorly trained and lightly armed troops had little chance of success in capturing them.
At the same time, the army which could capture and hold towns and villages from the enemy was the more successful army. Even though the Israelis won plenty of maneuver battles in the open, capturing towns was far more permanent and decisive.
Logistics were a constant problem for the Jewish forces. Convoys supplying isolated settlements were prone to being ambushed, and arms and ammunition were always in short supply. The Jews had set up several clandestine arms manufacturing depots (which came out of hiding and became IMI Systems when Israel became a state) in 1933, and these proved invaluable.
Most of the weapons and ammunition manufactured in these clandestine armories were submachine guns (SMGs), and 9mm pistol ammunition. SMGs were more cost-effective to produce and easier to conceal than rifles, and were well-suited for the close-quarters urban combat that took place in the larger, high-density cities.
For heavier weapons, the international market offered plentiful obsolete weaponry, and Czechoslovakia was a prime seller. The Israelis were also able to acquire a number of aircraft, which they parked in Greece in the months leading up to independence day. These departed Greece the night prior, and timed their arrival to land a few hours after the British mandate expired, in order to not violate international laws.
A key Israeli advantage lay in their unity of command. The five major paramilitary movements all had a high degree of independence but worked together to ensure that their actions were coordinated, and not piecemeal.
When the war ended, some of these were merged to form the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), while others were disbanded. Having a common vision and agreed-upon end goal in mind was crucial, and the paramilitaries’ established command structure smoothed out the process.
Equally important were the initiative and tactical skill of junior officers.
Initiative from junior officers is inherently limited in its effects. A single platoon or company can only accomplish so much, yet the Jewish tactical superiority over the Arabs had an overwhelmingly decisive effect upon the course of the war. This is in part due to the small theater of operations. Israel is only 9 miles (15 km) wide at its narrowest point, and 71 miles (114 km) at its widest point.
If the Arabs had triumphed tactically, then they would have had little difficulty in overrunning the entire country. Without tactical victories, the Arabs’ operational advances were blunted, and rapidly ground to a halt.
The Kingdom of Jordan was the only Arab nation to show comparable tactical skill, as they had been trained by the British, but King Abdullah’s war goals were limited to seizing the west bank and Jerusalem, rather than seeking total victory over Israel.
When the war began, there were a few larger offensive actions by both sides, and numerous small clashes. Due to Jewish manpower limitations, individual units and garrisons could not always expect timely reinforcements.
Small groups of Israeli soldiers, often fewer than 100 in total, were frequently required to defend their fortified hamlets for days by themselves. Some of these held out long enough to be saved. Others were forced to retreat, but delayed their enemies’ advance. Plenty fought to the last man, and died in a Thermopylae-style last stand.
On the offensive, the Israelis used battalion- to brigade-sized forces. Much of the offensive operations revolved around capturing towns/counties and launching counterattacks against Arab thrusts.
Much like the German Army of WWI and WWII, the Israeli Army developed a cult of the counterattack (albeit a more primitive version compared to their performance in 1968). The Israelis would keep as many men in reserve as possible, partly to simplify logistics, but primarily to have a maximum number of fresh units ready to exploit an enemy vulnerability.
If the Arabs had a weak spot in their defense, probing units would seek to penetrate, and then the reserves would be sent to flood the gap and try to dislocate, envelop, and encircle the line. If the Arabs were attacking, the Israelis would hold back their reserves until an opportunity appeared to strike a devastating counterblow. Caught in an exposed position, and without the protection of fortifications, the Arabs’ attacks were broken up and any attempts to rally/re-form for defense or launch counterattacks of their own were too late to save the battle.
These tactics worked well in the open, where fluid maneuver battles were ideal, but had less success in built-up areas. Fortifications with all-around defenses were immune to encirclement, and could hold out for as long as their supplies lasted.
Latrun, in particular, was impossible for the Israelis to isolate completely, and so supplies and men flowed in freely, while the Jews in Jerusalem were cut off almost completely from their own supply lines until the Burma Road was completed.
How the Arabs Fought
(reference: Arabs at War by Kenneth M. Pollack. Highly recommended.)
The Arab paramilitaries gave similar performances to the Arab armies that invaded from Egypt, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan.
All of them performed poorly tactically, and operational gains were nonexistent. Their logistics were far superior to the Israelis, so the failure is solely a combat failure.
The Arab armies that invaded Israel had months to plan the invasion. However, King Abdullah of Jordan had ulterior motives for the invasion, in particular his desire to annex the West Bank. These political intrigues undermined political unity among the Arabs, and affected their operational movements more than their tactical ones.
In combat, the Arab armies fought well when defending towns and fortifications, but poorly elsewhere.
Their officers, from top to bottom, showed little to no initiative, and exaggerated reports of Israeli strength in order to save face when tactically beaten. This endemic lying meant that other Arab units had a false picture of the battlefield, and made bold moves which left them vulnerable, and the Israelis took full advantage of these vulnerabilities.
In the open, the Arabs’ movements were sluggish, and their attacks were usually nothing more than frontal assaults with guns blazing.
The Arabs also seemed incapable of responding effectively to Israeli counterattacks and flanking maneuvers, choosing instead to rigidly press onwards and allowing themselves to be blindsided. However, their ability to hold forts enabled them to retain several key areas until the ceasefire came into effect, leaving thorns embedded in Israel’s side. The Israelis dedicated substantial resources to isolating and reducing these strong points when the ceasefire expired because of how threatening they were.
How it’s relevant for us,
The Israelis in 1948 were in a similar situation as Europe today. In 2020, the 25-35 demographic in many countries will be majority non-European. We will be a minority, and opposed by the UN and major nation-states of the world.
The situation in other occidental countries like Canada (as Black Pigeon Speaks just did a video about) will be similar.
So what can we do now, and what can we do when the fighting breaks out?
Right now, organizing is critical. Establishing alliances, brotherhood, tribe, and chain of command is a lot easier now than during an emergency. Don’t worry about the lazy neutrals yet, but focus on the few who are serious and motivated (http://www.thisblogisdangerous.com/a-brotherhood-for-the-modern-age/). Make contingency plans together and add members organically. Quality, rather than quantity, matters here.
I personally favor Generation Identitaire and other groups that focus on local, rather than national, identity. I would not advise Americans to network with separatist movements, but European separatists are a different story, as are monarchists.
I would also highly recommend networking with local veterans and reservists, and encourage Europeans to join their respective nation’s reserves. Imitate Switzerland. The easiest way to test your organizational preparedness in this question: If the war began this instant, who would you call in the next five minutes?
Even if your group chooses to not join a larger group like the Identitaires, forge alliances and offer them your support when they act. Then, when you need aid or assistance, they will have a legitimate reason to help your group in return.
Families are also critical to the fight. Without family, Europe is doomed (https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?recnum=11051).
The Islamists are marrying their women young, forbidding them to have abortions, and reproducing like rabbits on Viagra.
Westerners are putting careers before family, and producing illegitimate children who end up in prison, or convert to Islam.
Guess who wins 30 years from now? (http://www.thisblogisdangerous.com/the-real-consequences-of-women-in-the-military/#more-364)
Secondly, it is also possible to begin fortifying our towns and villages today. The state is placing concrete barriers everywhere, so why can’t we build beautiful barricades that are (coincidentally) bulletproof? Why can’t we have walkways along rooftops that (coincidentally) give us commanding view over the Islamic ghettos? Can you navigate your defenses in the dark, without lighting? Do you have plans in case of an evacuation?
Thirdly, preparing supplies and maps will be important. Stockpiles of food are good for the short-term, but what about the long-term? Where will you get your water? How will you control sanitation and prevent the spread of disease? Can you grow food on your property? You can easily test this by turning off your water and electricity for a week.
And if you want a checklist, check this list out, courtesy of Mason-Dixon Tactical: (https://masondixontactical.wordpress.com/2017/10/05/a-survivalist-self-assessment/)
Maps will be important, not only for you but for others who may come to your area. These may be soldiers, refugees, family members… you get the point. If you need to seize the guns from the local armory, or evacuate to a safer area, what are your primary and secondary routes to get there? Rehearsals and dry runs are the best tests possible; do them as often as possible.
When the war starts, it probably won’t start everywhere simultaneously, unless it’s deliberately planned. Some areas will have no warning, others will have several days’ warning. The state’s resources will be mobilized, but will not be able to stop the spread. Reservists will be re-activated, martial law will be declared, but the state will still be unable to hold back the pressure.
The bankers, politicians, and wealthy will fortify themselves inside their mansions, and attempt to lead from afar.
Some may even flee the country entirely, and still expect obedience.
If reservists are called up, then their home communities will be largely undefended. Non-activated reservists, retired former soldiers, police, and volunteers will be forced to pick up the slack. Thankfully, this can be sufficient for defense, and free up the professional army for offensive operations.
Fortifications save lives, but if we’re forced to give up ground, we can always come back and re-capture it later. Lives, not soil, matter most. Keep defensive plans flexible, and be willing to adapt to changes. Coordinate plans with activist groups and neighbors so that our actions are cohesive, and not piecemeal.
If the state ceases to be, or simply becomes irrelevant, then local governments may attempt to assert control over their lands. Know which of your local politicians are pro-globalism and those who aren’t.
Only in the most extreme cases will individual towns become isolated and be forced to fend for themselves. Larger cities will be divided, smaller towns and rural villages can be secured more easily. If the resistance controls the countryside, we can starve the big cities.
This all presumes that there are no foreign invasions by nation-states. The Visegrad 4 may play a role in reconquering Europe, but they may also fear Russian or Turkish encroachment on their territories. We don’t know how the balance of power will play out when it happens, so we must be mindful of it. Like the Jews who feared Arab militias and Arab armies invading at the same time, we must not be caught by surprise if it does happen.
And lastly, remember those in these conflicts who fought to the last man and didn’t get to see the war end. Many of us will die in the war to come. We may die on the first day, or we may die 3 weeks into it. Remind yourself daily that one day you will die, and prepare accordingly.
Editor’s Note: Big thanks to Michael for another excellent article. I am not a big fan of either side in the never-ending Israeli-Palestinian struggle, but there is much value to be gleaned from the study of it.
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