4th Infantry Brigade (Lebanon)

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The 4th Infantry Brigade (Lebanon) was a Lebanese Army unit that fought in the Lebanese Civil War, being active from its creation in September 1982 to its destruction in September 1983, in wake of the Mountain War.

Origins[edit]

In the aftermath of the June–September 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon, President Amin Gemayel, convinced that a strong and unified national defense force was a prerequisite to rebuilding the nation, announced plans to raise a 60,000-man army organized into twelve brigades (created from existing infantry regiments), trained and equipped by France and the United States. In late 1982, the 4th Infantry Regiment was therefore re-organized and expanded to a brigade group numbering 2,000 men, most of whom were Christians from the Mount Lebanon region and Druzes from the Chouf.

Structure and organization[edit]

The new unit grew from an understrength battalion comprising three rifle companies to a fully equipped mechanized infantry brigade, capable of aligning an armoured battalion equipped with Panhard AML-90 and Staghound armoured cars, AMX-13 light tanks and twenty-one M48A5 main battle tanks (MBTs), three mechanized infantry battalions issued with M113 and AMX-VCI armored personnel carriers (APC) and an artillery battalion fielding US M114 155 mm howitzers and FH-70 155mm Howitzers.

Combat history[edit]

The Mountain War[edit]

After linking up at Khalde with their Shiite Amal allies, the Druze PSP militia forces drove the mixed Fourth Brigade 3½ miles south to the vicinity of Damour, in the Iqlim al-Kharrub coastal enclave, as they attempted to create a salient from Aley to the coast at Khalde, south of Beirut. Surrounded and badly mauled, the Brigade disintegrated when approximately 900 Druze enlisted men, plus 60 Officers and NCOs, deserted the Brigade to join their coreligionists of Jumblatt’s PSP or SSNP militias. The remainder 1,000 or so Christian Maronite Officers’and men fled south across the Awali River, seeking protection behind Israeli lines while leaving behind some US-made Tanks and APCs, Jeeps, trucks, Howitzers and ammunition.[1] After reaching Sidon, the soldiers were evacuated by sea to East Beirut, where they enrolled in the 10th Airmobile Brigade[2] and other Christian-dominated army units.

Most of the 4th Brigade equipment was shared by several Lebanese militias, namely the Lebanese Forces (LF), the Druze PSP and the South Lebanon Army (SLA). The LF salvaged seven M48A5 MBTs,[3] five AMX-13 light tanks, twelve Panhard AML-90 armoured cars, some M113 APCs[4] and a number of FH-70 155mm Howitzers, while the Druze militias seized several Staghounds, M-113s and seven M48A5 tanks and the SLA captured a few AMX-VCIs and also seven M48A5 tanks. The LF and the PSP also seized all the Brigade's liaison and transport vehicles such as US M151 ‘Mutt’ jeeps and US M35 2½-ton (6x6) military trucks.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Laurence I. Barrett, Failure of a Flawed Policy, TIME Magazine, February 27, 1984. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,921522,00.html
  2. ^ Micheletti and Debay, La 10e Brigade Heliportée, RAIDS magazine (1989), p. 21 (box).
  3. ^ Zaloga, Tank battles of the Mid-East Wars (2) (1998), pp. 63-64.
  4. ^ Katz and Volstad, Arab Armies of the Middle East wars 2 (1988), p. 47, Plate H4.

References[edit]

  • Denise Ammoun, Histoire du Liban contemporain: Tome 2 1943-1990, Fayard, Paris 2005. ISBN 978-2-213-61521-9 (in French)
  • Edgar O'Ballance, Civil War in Lebanon, 1975-92, Palgrave Macmillan, 1998 ISBN 0-333-72975-7
  • Éric Micheletti and Yves Debay, Liban – dix jours aux cœur des combats, RAIDS magazine n.º41, October 1989 issue. ISSN 0769-4814 (in French)
  • Ken Guest, Lebanon, in Flashpoint! At the Front Line of Today’s Wars, Arms and Armour Press, London 1994, pp. 97–111. ISBN 1-85409-247-2
  • Matthew S. Gordon, The Gemayels (World Leaders Past & Present), Chelsea House Publishers, 1988. ISBN 1-55546-834-9
  • Moustafa El-Assad, Civil Wars Volume 1: The Gun Trucks, Blue Steel books, Sidon 2008. ISBN 9953-0-1256-8
  • Rex Brynen, Sanctuary and Survival: the PLO in Lebanon, Boulder: Westview Press, 1990.
  • Robert Fisk, Pity the Nation: Lebanon at War, London: Oxford University Press, (3rd ed. 2001). ISBN 0-19-280130-9
  • Samer Kassis, 30 Years of Military Vehicles in Lebanon, Beirut: Elite Group, 2003. ISBN 9953-0-0705-5
  • Samer Kassis, Véhicules Militaires au Liban/Military Vehicles in Lebanon 1975-1981, L’Echo des Cedres, Beirut 2011. ISBN 978-1-934293-06-5
  • Samuel M. Katz, Lee E. Russel, and Ron Volstad, Armies in Lebanon 1982-84, Men-at-Arms series 165, Osprey Publishing, London 1985. ISBN 0-85045-602-9
  • Samuel M. Katz and Ron Volstad, Arab Armies of the Middle East wars 2, Men-at-Arms series 194, Osprey Publishing, London 1988. ISBN 0-85045-800-5
  • Steven J. Zaloga, Tank battles of the Mid-East Wars (2): The wars of 1973 to the present, Concord Publications, Hong Kong 1998. ISBN 962-361-613-9

External links[edit]