Fosh (Haganah unit)

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A Fosh unit passes through Yasur, Gaza

The Fosh (Hebrew: פו"ש‎, an abbreviation for Plugot Sadeh (Hebrew: פלוגות שדה‎), lit. Field Companies) was an elite Jewish strike force established as the commando arm of the Haganah in 1937, during the 1936–1939 Arab revolt in Palestine under the British Mandate of Palestine. Its members were hand-picked by Yitzhak Sadeh, commander of the Jewish Settlement Police.

Their purpose was to protect the Jewish localities from Arab bands that attacked them during the riots. Fosh units were pioneers in "getting out of the fence" – launching into open areas and fields, beyond the barbed wire fences of the settlements, to greet the attackers and patrol in the Arab villages to locate and damage the attackers' bases.

By March 1938 the Fosh had 1,500 trained fighters divided into 13 regional groups. They were armed with stolen British SMLEs, grenades, rifles and some small arms, and operated in swift raids under Charles Orde Wingate's Special Night Squads, taking full advantage of their mobility.

The Fosh was disbanded in 1939 to create a larger force known as the Hish (Heil Sadeh, "Field Corps"). During World War II Fosh veterans were trained by the British for commando night raids.

References[edit]

  • Katz, Sam (1988). Israeli Elite Units Since 1948. Osprey Publishing.
  • Oring, Elliott (1981). Israeli Humor: The Content and Structure of the Chizbat of the Palmah. SUNY Press. ISBN 0-87395-512-9