Operation Danny

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Operation Danny
Part of 1948 Arab–Israeli War
LyddaAirportCapture.png
The strategically important airport at Lydda following its capture by the IDF in July 1948
Date July 9–19, 1948
Location West of Tel Aviv
Result IDF succeed in capturing Ramle, Lydda and surrounding villages.
Failed to capture Latrun
Belligerents
 Israel (IDF) Jordan Transjordan (Arab Legion)
Commanders and leaders
Yigal Alon
Yitzhak Rabin
Glubb Pasha
Strength
6,000
Yitzhak Sadeh (left) and Yigal Allon, 1948
8th Armoured Brigade capture Lydda airport (1948)

Operation Danny (Hebrew: מבצע דני‎, Mivtza Dani) was an Israeli military offensive launched at the end of the first truce of the 1948 Arab–Israeli War. The objectives were to capture territory east of Tel Aviv and then to push inland and relieve the Jewish population and forces in Jerusalem. The main forces fighting against the IDF were the Arab Legion and Palestinian irregulars [1]

It was launched at the end of the first truce, July 9–19, 1948. On 10 July, Glubb Pasha ordered the defending Arab Legion troops to "make arrangements...for a phony war"[2] The operation was named after Danny Mass, the commander of the "Convoy of 35". The operation commander was Yigal Allon and his deputy was Yitzhak Rabin. The total force numbered around 6,000 men.[3]

Objectives[edit]

The first phase of Operation Danny was to capture the cities of Lydda and Ramle, located on the road to Jerusalem, southeast of Tel Aviv. Ramle was one of the main obstacles blocking Jewish transportation.[4] From the start of the war, Lydda and Ramle militiamen had attacked Jewish traffic on nearby roads.[5] Ramle became a focal point for blocking Jewish transportation, forcing traffic from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv to a southern bypass.[6]

The second phase was to capture the fort at Latrun and break through Ramallah. The operation was carried out under Palmach command using the Yiftach Brigade, the Harel Brigade, the 8th Armored Brigade and two battalions from the Kiryati and Alexandroni brigades.

Lydda and Ramle[edit]

Palmach (Yiftach brigade) soldiers with a (just destroyed by a PIAT) captured Jordanian army armored car, Operation Danny . 15 July 1948

On 9 July units from the Yiftach Brigade began approaching Ramle from the south. At the same time troops from the other brigades began attacking villages north of Lydda. Caught in a pincer movement and with only a token Arab Legion presence the two towns were captured the following day. This put Lydda airport and the strategic railway station at Ramle in Israeli hands. Two days after the capture of Lydda and Ramle only a few hundred of the 50,000 to 70,000 residents remained in the two towns.

Latrun[edit]

Road from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

The second phase of the operation failed after several costly attacks on Arab Legion positions at Latrun and the threat of a UN-imposed cease-fire.[7]

Casualties[edit]

The Palmach record the names of ninety-one of its members killed during this Operation. Forty-four were killed at Khirbet Kurikur on 18 July 1948. Seven were killed in the capture of Lydda.[8]

Palestinian communities captured[edit]

(Most of the villages were systematically destroyed shortly after capture)

Name Date Defending forces Brigade Population
Dayr Tarif 9 July 1948 Arab Legion Armoured Brigade
Kiryati Brigade
1,750
Al-Tira 10 July 1948 n/a Alexandroni Brigade
8th Armoured Brigade
1,290
Daniyal 10 July 1948 n/a Yiftach Brigade 410
Kharruba 10 July 1948 n/a Yiftach Brigade 170
al-Barriyya 9–10 July 1948 n/a n/a 510
'Innaba 10 July 1948 200 villagers Yiftach Brigade
8th Brigade
1,420
Jimzu 10 July 1948 n/a Yiftach Brigade 1,150
Rantiya 10 July 1948 n/a 8th Armoured Brigade
3rd Battalion, Alexandroni Brigade
590
Lydda 11 July 1948 n/a 3rd Battalion, Yiftah Brigade see Ramle
Al-Jura 11 July 1948 n/a n/a 420
Al-Muzayri'a 12 July 1948 n/a n/a 1,160
Ramle 12 July 1948 Arab Legion withdrew Kiryati Brigade 50-70,000 combined with Lydda
including 15,000 refugees from Jaffa
Majdal Yaba 12 July 1948 Iraqi army 2nd Battalion, Alexandroni Brigade 1,520
Al-Haditha 12 July 1948 n/a n/a 760
Abu al-Fadl 12–13 July 1948 n/a n/a 510
Suba, Jerusalem 12–13 July 1948 "bloodless" Har'el Brigade 620
Khirbat al-Lawz 13–14 July 1948 n/a Har'el Brigade 450
Sar'a 13–14 July 1948 Egyptian forces 4th Battalion Har'el Brigade 340
Sataf 13–14 July 1948 n/a Har'el Brigade 540
al-Maliha 14–16 July 1948 Egyptian irregulars
Palestinian militia
Irgun
Palmach Youth
1,940
al-Burj 15 July 1948 Arab Legion n/a 480
Kh al-Buwayra mid July 1948 n/a n/a 190
Salbit 15–16 July 1948 Arab Legion 2nd Battalion, Kiryati Brigade 510
Bayt Nabala 15–16 July 1948 Arab Legion
150-200 men
n/a 2,310
Bir Ma'in 15–16 July 1948 Arab Legion Yiftach Brigade
1st & 2nd Battalions
510
Barfiliya 15–16 July 1948 n/a Givati and Kiryati Brigades
8th Armoured
730
Kasla 16 July 1948 n/a Har'el Brigade 280
Dayr 'Amr Boys Farm 16 July 1948 none 4th Battalion Har'el Brigade 10
Ishwa' 16 July 1948 n/a 4th Battalion Har'el Brigade 620
Artuf 17–18 July 1948 Palestinian militia
under Egyptian command
4th Battalion Har'el Brigade 350
Islin 18 July 1948 n/a n/a 260
Shilta 18 July 1948 Arab Legion 1st Battalion, Yiftach Brigade
lost 44 men withdrawing
100

Sources:

Units[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Chaim Herzog, 'The Arab-Israeli Wars' ISBN 0-85368-367-0 (1982). page 80: 'A blow against the Arab Legion was the essence of Operation 'Danny' planned as the main Israeli offensive to be mounted on the resumption of hostilities.'
  2. ^ 1948: A History of the First Arab-Israeli War, by Benny Morris
  3. ^ Kimche, Jon and David (1960) A Clash of Destinies. The Arab-Jewish War and the Founding of the State of Israel. Frederick A. Praeger. Library of Congress number 60-6996. Page 225:"largest force yet assembled under one Israeli."
  4. ^ Golan, Arnon. "Lydda and Ramle: from Palestinian-Arab to Israeli towns, 1948-67," Middle Eastern Studies, October 1, 2003
  5. ^ Morris 2004, p. 424
  6. ^ Lydda and Ramle: from Palestinian-Arab to Israeli towns, 1948-67. by Golan, Arnon
  7. ^ Herzog, page 82.
  8. ^ http://www.palmach.org.il/show_item.asp?itemId=8519&levelId=42855&itemType=0
  9. ^ Herzog, page 80.
  10. ^ Moshe Dayan, 'My Life.' ISBN 0-688-03076-9 (1976). Page 103.