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STATE MEDAL 5764/2004
12th in the “Tanks that Made History” Series
Just as the Israeli Air Force controls the skies of the country and protects from above, the Armored Corps ensures ground protection. This series of medals is dedicated to the Armored Corps and salutes “the soldier in the tank” – the tens of thousands of men and women who have served and fought in the Armored Corps since the establishment of the State of Israel.
The mechanized infantry, assisted by armored personnel carriers and motorized forces have been an active part of the IDF since the War of Independence. Half-tracks and jeeps serve as their primary tools and the forces have fought along all of Israel’s fronts. The 73rd Battalion, the first of Israel’s mechanized battalions, was established in May 1948 and took part in the Battle of Latrun, aided by 13 half-tracks that had been smuggled into the country. Additional half-tracks were purchased from countries in Europe and the United States during the War of Independence. Some served as armored personnel carriers while others were used as anti-tank fighting vehicles. Half-tracks have served the military in a wide variety of roles, including command cars, mortar and ammunition carriers, for reconnaissance operations and for the evacuation of wounded. Since the 1970’s, improvements such as a diesel engine and power steering have been added.
The first jeeps were purchased from the United States in 1948 and they were equipped with machine guns, communication equipment and other makeshift necessities. Following the War of Independence, the jeeps were used primarily for reconnaissance missions, navigating, observation and patrol. Because of its advantages on the field of battle – being both small and speedy – the reconnaissance jeep is the only combat vehicle that has been in active operation continuously, since the War of Independence to date.
A half-track and combat jeep in motion; the words “MECHANIZED INFANTRY” appear in Hebrew and English along the bottom section of the medal.
A war chariot from the period of Israel’s Kings with the words and source in Hebrew and English “Chariots of Salvation”, “Habakkuk 8”; the Armored Corps emblem appears in the lower part of the medal.
State emblem with the words "STATE OF ISRAEL" inscribed in Hebrew on the right and in English on the left; serial number and metal.
Hecht Ltd., Israel.
*Silver Medal - no longer on sale. Final mintage yet to be published.
**Copper Medal – still on sale.
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