Talk:Mickey Marcus

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Ironically, as a mostly assimilated English-speaking American Jew, Marcus knew very little Hebrew. A few hours before the cessation of hostilities on June 11, 1948 he left his position late at night near Jerusalem, and was confronted by a nervous young Israeli soldier who spoke no English who demanded that Marcus reveal his identity. In the confusion, the sentry shot Marcus and killed him, in what must surely be one of history's great ironies.

One use of irony is OK, but two? The first use, yes, but I think the second is out of place. Is friendly fire ironic? --Feitclub 04:20, Sep 10, 2004 (UTC)

Request references for Israeli military career[edit]

There is much unsourced material in this article but can someone please provide references for the following:

... the United States War Department granted leave to Colonel Marcus, who was a reservist, provided Marcus disguised his name and rank to avoid problems with the British Mandate of Palestine.
Under the name "Michael Stone" in keeping with the understanding of the U.S. government ...

Thanks. --DieWeibeRose 06:43, 19 February 2006 (UTC)

Add 'citation needed' templates to article.--DieWeibeRose 02:44, 23 February 2006 (UTC)

Mickey Marcus appears, slightly fictionalized, in the historical novel The Hope, by Herman Wouk. Erudil 15:58, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

I think most of this article draws from the film "Cast a Giant Shadow" (1966). Not the best historical source, I think...

The article is evidently based on the History Net article that it cites (since moved - I fixed the reference), which is based on the book, Cast a Giant Shadow it seems. The movie departed from the truth for sure. I have toned down a few things based on my own article that uses Israeli sources. No Israeli source states that Marcus initiated or actually supervised the Burma road, and he did not personally command the attacks on Latrun because he knew no Hebrew. He had no staff who could track events in the field and evidently no way of communicating with the commanders while the battles were in progress. He was involved in planning them according to Yitzhak Levi. It is also not generally stated in any Israeli sources I found that Marcus was responsible for many of the other things attributed to him in that history net article. An Israeli historian was very surprised when I asked him about these claims RE Marcus. Caveat Lector. Those dubious claims motivated my changes. The account of Marcus, the attacks etc. is in Yitzhak Levi, "Tisha Kabin" page 277 ff. (in Hebrew) and is reflected in part in the article I cited. It is known that he used the name Michael Stone, but reason is unclear. U.S. Citizens who aided Israel in this period risked losing their citizenship. Al Schwimmer was fined $10,000 and lost his civil rights. It is not too likely that he asked anyone's permission under those circumstances. [[Mewnews (talk) 01:55, 18 September 2008 (UTC)]]

Request reference for US military career[edit]

It's doubtful that a Staff Judge Advocate Officer would be a "Commandant" of a US Army Ranger School that didn't exist in 1942. -- (talk) 16:13, 15 December 2007 (UTC)John Simpson

The Berkman book explicitly identifies Marcus as serving as the Commandant of a ranger school established in the Pacific (and includes a photograph while he was so serving). Given the apparent ad hoc nature of the school, assigning an available officer, particularly a West Point graduate known for his athleticism, is not unreasonable. Moreover, judge advocates are not limited duty officers and can command, and have on rare occasions. See History of the Judge Advocate General's Corps, 1775-1976, U.S. Army (1976). 12/25/08 Samad4 01:14, 26 December 2008 (UTC)—Preceding unsigned comment added by Goldenshepherd (talkcontribs) 01:09, 26 December 2008 (UTC)

That's fine, but every official history I've ever found shows that in WW2 there was only one Pacific Theater Ranger Battalion and that was the 6th which was activated 26 September 1944. There is no other evidence that there was anything referred to as a "Ranger School" at the period of time in question other than the Commando Depot at Achnacarry in the European Theater (which didn't go by that name). Ranger training outside of Scotland was a unit affair and certaintly didn't call for a Commandant. John Simpson

With just a bit of research on Mickey Marcus one will find he was quite a character, and could never seem to stay still long. I have read about the "ranger" school, though do not know if it was officially called that yet. He also parachuted into Normandy on D-day, where he managed to organize several men to free allied POW's and just made such a ruckus on the ground doing things that the Commander in the field had him brought in, only to discover it to be Mickey Marcus, who at the time was supposed to be working at The Pentagon or something. Although he had not broken any official rules by partaking in D-day, he did return to The Pentagon when told to do so by that same field Commander. Anyone who knows about the initial Nuremberg trials know Mickey Marcus was running the show.Bugatti35racer (talk) 03:46, 2 February 2015 (UTC)

Impressive, but irrelevant to this discussion. In 1942 at Fort Shafter, Hawaii there was a local Training Center which is described in this document as "In late 1942, the Jungle Training Center (later called the Ranger Combat Training School) was established at Schofield Barracks to provide troop training in techniques of unarmed defense to combat Japanese infiltration tactics." My original objection was to an earlier poster's breathless description of this stage of his career as "Commandant of the U.S. Army Ranger School" Regardless of what it was called, simply by being a graduate of that school a soldier isn't eligible to join the US Army Ranger Association as a full member. Looking at the list of eligible candidates the Hawaii School is conspicuous by its absence: Regular Membership

USARA accepts application for membership from individuals who have been awarded the Ranger Tab by the Department of the Army; or who have served in a combat arms capacity, in a recognized U. S. Army Ranger unit, for at least one year, or, if less, were awarded the CIB (Combat Infantryman Badge) or the CMB (Combat Medical Badge) while serving in that unit. The following organizations comprise the definition of “Ranger Unit:”

   Any of the World War II Ranger Battalions,
   The 5307th Composite, “Merrill’s Marauders” during WWII,
   The Alamo Scouts during WWII,
   The 29th Ranger Battalion during WWII,
   Any of the Ranger Infantry Companies (Airborne) during the Korean War,
   The Eighth Army’s “8000 Series” units during the Korea War,
   Any of the lettered Ranger companies of the 75th Infantry, or their immediate LRRP predecessor units, during the Vietnam War,
   Any Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) Ranger Unit (Biệt Ðộng Quân). 
   Any officially designated U. S. Army Ranger unit, to include E/65th Inf (PRNG), D/151st   INF (IN NG), A/75th and B/75th Ranger (V and VII Corps LRP), or their immediate LRP predecessor units.
   The 1st or 2nd Ranger Battalion, during the period 1974 to 1984, the 75th Ranger Regiment, since 1984.

Page at

If you look at film of the training going on it was in line with Infantry training at the time

Maybe Marcus organized and commanded this training, but bottom line; the Commandant of the US Army Ranger School has his office at Fort Benning, GA and it's never been anywhere else. — Preceding unsigned comment added by John Simpson54 (talkcontribs) 20:01, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

I don't know where Berkman came up with his info but the Hawaiian Ranger Training Center was NOT for training people in special operations. I cited a historical reference that actually stated the mission of the Center as I indicated previously. I still haven't seen any documentation that proves Marcus was the organizer and first commandant of the center. I've seen a graduation certificate signed by a LTC Francois d'Eliscu on 19 March 1943. In fact, it seems to me that everyone with the exception of Berkman credits d'Eliscu with starting and running the school. If you check this out you'll see that he organized and ran the same Ranger Combat Training at Fort Meade, MD before transferring to Hawaii. John Simpson54 (talk) 21:28, 4 April 2016 (UTC)

To try and put this to rest I purchased a copy of Marcus's biography 'Cast A Giant Shadow' to read what was actually said and as I suspected the author doesn't know what he's talking about. This quote here proves it: "As "Roger the Ranger," the nickname given him by General Smith, Mickey trained some eight thousand men. Later, operating as regimental combat teams at Makin and Kwajalein, and in division strength during the landings at Saipan, the Rangers earned a reputation for tough resourcefulness rivaled only by that of the British Commandos..." And then the reference to hoping to get a field command with "his Rangers" is nonsense as well. There were no Ranger Regimental Combat Teams in WW2 much less in "division strength". As I stated previously the only Ranger formation in the Pacific theater was the 6th Battalion and that had been trained in 1944 by LTC Henry Mucci who had formerly been on the cadre of the Hawaii School when D'Eliscu was running it. The book is poorly sourced and the author's note at the end lists four "Key informants" on Marcus' WW2 service: MG John H. Hilldring, Generals Lucius D. Clay and Maxwell Taylor, and Major General C. Coudert Nash. Of these, only the last one Nash actually served in the Pacific theater on the staff of the 27th Infantry Division. Given all the factual flaws in the narrative and the evidence in support of the school being created by LTC Francois D'Eliscu I have to discount any stories that Mickey Marcus designed and ran a Ranger Training Center without further documentation than a single book by BerkmanJohn Simpson54 (talk) 17:03, 18 July 2016 (UTC).


Proof that my spelling of Machal, written out long form, is the correct spelling. [1]. It is toward the bottom in the letterhead. -NYC2TLV 10:47, 24 April 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for the link — but could you be more specific? I've searched the document, and can't find it (either your version, or the one that was in the article before...). --Mel Etitis (Talk) 21:41, 24 April 2007 (UTC)
Look at the letter head at the bottom addressed to Pres. Katzav. It says the words around the World Machal logo. You can look there or the actual article on Wikipedia about Machal. You can also just take the word from someone who speaks fluent Hebrew. -NYC2TLV 03:39, 25 April 2007 (UTC)

I'm afraid that the image is too low-quality for me to be able to make out much, though it doesn't seem to have a transliteration at all, just the English translation; I've taken your advice, though, and copied over the transliteration from Machal. --Mel Etitis (Talk) 20:29, 25 April 2007 (UTC)

Official spelling is certainly Machal as you can find in various Web sites (eg ). Strictly speaking the correct transliteration should be "Ma'hal" since the letter in question is a 'het. But older Hebrew transliteration used ch for both 'het and chaf. Transliteration of certain words and names have become more or less coventionalized, though it is "incorrect" - eg Chanuka, Chaim Weizmann etc. The Wikipedia "Mahal" article is almost alone in using this spelling in the title - but in the URL it is spelled "Machal." [[Mewnews (talk) 03:14, 18 September 2008 (UTC)]]


According to interview with former member of the Hagana who knew the lady, MM was having an affair with a Hagana women. Her former lover was a Hagana commander who according to the interview became jealous and was involved in killing MM. He then made up the story about the sentries challenge. The element of the official story that is consistent with the interviewee's story is that M was dressed in a sheet. This is verbal history and the interviewee is now dead. I don't suggest putting this in the main article, but it should remain in the comments as a possible explanation of a suspicious death. Saltysailor (talk) 17:39, 17 April 2008 (UTC)

Unofficial Israeli version is that he went to relieve himself. That explains the sheet, as he probably slept nude. A conspiracy theory says that he was killed by supporters of USSR for being an agent of US imperialism. [[Mewnews (talk) 03:00, 18 September 2008 (UTC)]]

Please see my changes regarding the official post-mortem investigation that Dan Kurzman reports having personally reviewed. 12/25/08. Samad4 01:14, 26 December 2008 (UTC)


"In 1947, David Ben-Gurion asked Marcus to recruit an American officer to serve as military advisor to the nascent Jewish army,

the Haganah. He could not recruit anyone suitable, and Marcus volunteered himself. In 1948, the United States War Department
informally acquiesced in Colonel Marcus, still a reservist, undertaking the mission provided Marcus disguised his name and rank
to avoid problems with the British Mandate of Palestine."

"His is the only grave in the West Point Cemetery at the United States Military Academy for an American killed fighting under the flag of another country." (talk) 01:06, 15 August 2009 (UTC)

Desecration after ethnic cleansing[edit]

"the abandoned Monastere Notre Dame de la Nouvelle Alliance in Abu Ghosh"

After all, only synagoues are acceptable as places of worship. (talk) 01:06, 15 August 2009 (UTC)

Ethnocentrism and racism[edit]

"Colonel David Marcus — a Soldier for All Humanity". Because he killed for Judaism? Ergo, Gentiles aren't human. (talk) 01:06, 15 August 2009 (UTC)

Schmaltz and hypocrisy[edit]

"Killed in action in the hills of Zion while leading Israeli forces as their supreme commander in the struggle for Israel's freedom

- Blessed is the match that is consumed in kindling flame/ Blessed is the flame that burns in the secret fastness of the heart/
Blessed is the heart with strength to stop its beating for honor's sake/ Blessed is the match that is consumed in kindling flame
- Dedicated by his fellow members of Union Temple of Brooklyn December 9, 1949."

Freedom from what? The best land had been bought up and the Palestinians were being ethnically cleansed.

"Blessed is the match that is consumed in kindling flame" - Ode to an arsonist?

"Dedicated by his fellow members of Union Temple of Brooklyn" who weren't that enamoured of sand and Arab savages that they wanted to move to Palestine. Better to stay in the Western liberal democracies where one can easily complain of imaginary victimisation.

L'chaim! (talk) 01:06, 15 August 2009 (UTC)

Generals of Israel[edit]

Correct me if I'm wrong, but "Israel" has been around for thousands of years, right? Israelites date back to 3,600 BCE or something, and I'm sure their armies had leaders with a rank we would call a "General". In the movie Cast a Giant Shadow Marcus is called "Israel's first general", which gives the impression that Israel never had armies or land ever.

Or is this just a context problem, and were they speaking of the "fledgling State of Israel" being established in the 1940s? Kind of like speaking of "China" when speaking of the regime since Mao, and ignoring the Middle Kingdom's previous existence of over 3 millienia.

Just a history question, bearing on a "famous first". Do we have a Wikipedia:Superlatives rule? Like "first black man to hold a cabinet-level position in the USA"? --Uncle Ed (talk) 04:22, 24 January 2012 (UTC)


Wow. What a distortion and coverup this article is. This Jew was one of the most important people at the war crimes trials of Germans after WW II. While several American leaders were decrying that Jews dominated the ranks of the prosecutors, it has been established beyond any doubt that this Zionist Jew oversaw the brutalization and torture of German prisoners to extract "confessions". One of his principal methods was to continuously kick the Germans in their testicles. The article says "Marcus was placed in charge of planning how to sustain the starving millions in areas liberated by the Allies." Another lie. At this time hundreds of thousands of German were being deliberately starved to death. (talk) 06:18, 28 December 2012 (UTC)

Grave marker[edit]

His grave marker can be found at I don't think it can be used for the article, but some here may want to see it. (talk) 13:35, 11 July 2014 (UTC)