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1st Brigade - Golani

The Golany infantry brigade is the IDF northern oriented infantry brigade.

Formed as the Golani Brigade under David Ben-Gurion in February 1948, the 1st Mechanized Brigade is one of Israel's original fighting units. The Golani Brigade was responsible for operating in the Jordan valley and eastern Galilee during Israel's war for independence. As one of nine elite units known as the Palmach, the Golani Brigade and the other Palmach units made up the core of the Haganah army that was instrumental in Israel's initial victories over its surrounding neighbors.

During the Sinai Campaign of 1956, the Golani Brigade was commanded by Infantry Colonel Benjamin Gibli who had previously served as Director of Military Intelligence. In the battle for Rafah, the Golani Brigade worked closely with the 27th Armored Brigade to move through a mine field and capture Egyptian positions.

The Golani Brigade also played an important role in the Six Day War of 1967, once again cooperating with other armored brigades. During the Six Day War, Colonel Yona Efrat commanded the Golani Brigade through an assault on Syrian positions in the Golan Heights and succeeded in capturing positions around Tel Azaziat, from which they moved on to capture the remaining portions of the Golan Heights.

The Yom Kippur War of 1973 was another success for the Golani Brigade, in which members of the unit conducted night raids destroying almost two dozen enemy tanks. Near the end of the war, the Golani Brigade worked with a parachuting unit in an assault on Syrian positions at Mount Hermon. The Golani Brigade started from below and worked their way up, but in the dark, the Syrians had an initial advantage and ended up killing several commanders in the Golani Brigade. Members of the unit persevered and succeeded in taking Mount Hermon, but not before suffering over fifty casualties and one hundred wounded.

Golani had endured a long tradition of being the unit to which all rejects from other IDF echelons had been sent. In the years preceding the Yom Kippur War, the brigade had demonstrated a remarkable ability to "pull itself up by its own bootstraps" and by 1975 was recognized as an elite unit.

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