Palestine Regiment

Palestine Regiment

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The Palestine Regiment was a regiment
A regiment is a major tactical military unit, composed of variable numbers of batteries, squadrons or battalions, commanded by a colonel or lieutenant colonel...

 of the British Army that was formed in 1942. During World War II, the regiment was deployed to Egypt and Cyrenaica
Cyrenaica is the eastern coastal region of Libya.Also known as Pentapolis in antiquity, it was part of the Creta et Cyrenaica province during the Roman period, later divided in Libia Pentapolis and Libia Sicca...

, but most of their work consisted of guard duty.

In 1940, Jews and Arabs living under the British Mandate for Palestine were allowed to form separate companies
Company (military unit)
A company is a military unit, typically consisting of 80–225 soldiers and usually commanded by a Captain, Major or Commandant. Most companies are formed of three to five platoons although the exact number may vary by country, unit type, and structure...

, known as Palestine Infantry Companies, and join the Royal East Kent Regiment, known as the "Buffs." The British had intended to recruit an equal number of Jews and Arabs, but this proved unsuccessful.

The Palestine Regiment was formed in 1942 with the Palestine Infantry Companies that were attached to the Buffs. The regiment was divided into separate Jewish and Arab battalions. According to historian Ashley Jackson
Ashley Jackson (historian)
Dr Ashley Jackson is a historian and senior lecturer at Kings College London . Jackson specialises in British Imperial and military history and has a regional interest in sub-Saharan Africa and the Indian Ocean region....

 the regiment consisted of 1600 Jews and 1200 Arabs and according to writer Howard Blum
Howard Blum
Howard Blum is an American author and journalist.In 1986, Blum began working as a reporter for the New York Times, where he earned two Pulitzer Prize nominations. Since 1994, Blum has been a contributing editor to Vanity Fair....

, Jews outnumbered Arabs by a more than three to one ratio.

The Jewish companies were then formed into three battalion
A battalion is a military unit of around 300–1,200 soldiers usually consisting of between two and seven companies and typically commanded by either a Lieutenant Colonel or a Colonel...

s, which became the new Palestine Regiment.

Personnel of the Palestine Regiment formed the core of the Jewish Brigade
Jewish Brigade
The Jewish Infantry Brigade Group was a military formation of the British Army that served in Europe during the Second World War. The brigade was formed in late 1944, and its personnel fought the Germans in Italy...