'Etzel' training manual: "Drill Exercises", a rudimentary, type-written booklet of drills and exercises for instilling discipline into soldiers; anonymous and undated (circa. 1946-48 - during the height of the 'Hebrew Revolt' against the British Mandate). This is a 36-page manual with thick paper covers, double-sided pages and some basic sketches of troop movements in aid of making formations.
On the surface, what makes this a fascinating publication is its corner-stone content which is intended "to instill discipline, for the purpose of developing the habit to operate instinctively, without hesitation" - it is on the basis of these procedures that the modern-day Israeli military is based. The booklet is neatly divided into 14 lessons, including instruction on various stances, turns, marches, poise during movement and movement of formations.
Though the booklet does not identify its origins, it came from a former member of the National Military Organization (also called the 'Etzel' or 'Irgun'), and unlike 'Haganah' or early IDF training manuals, it does not identify its author or parent body (other manuals in this series do quote Jabotinsky and so reveal their orientation). The significance in this regard is not only that the manual formed part of the discipline of the right-wing underground 'Irgun' organization, it is also testament to that organization's ability to have transformed from an underground force to a standing, field fighting force, whose contribution during the War of Independence included the liberation of Jaffo and Tsfat, and the struggle to protect the Jewish quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem.
Formed in 1931, and led from 1943 to 1948 by the future Prime Minister, Menachem Begin, the Eztel numbered around 3,000 men at its peak (probably 10,000 in all). The formation was highly organized and involved in smuggling illegal immigrants to Eretz Israel, clandestine weapons manufacture and acquisition, and it waged war against German, British and Arab forces. Spearheading the 'revolt' against the British Mandatory authority, the formation carried out around 200 notable operations between 1936 and the eve of Independence, the intensity of which caused the British to station over 100,000 troops in post-war Palestine. The Etzel lost 431 members in all of its existence, and was integrated into the new Israel Defense Forces in Summer 1948. A rare and remarkable document.
מילות מפתח: מיליטריה מיליטאריה מסמכים ניירת תעודות תעודה אישורים צבאית צה"ל ספרים חוברת חוברות אצ"ל לח"י