804: The South African Volunteers in Israel’s War of Independence
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The Second World War was over, the United Nations voted to create a Jewish State in Palestine, and the British colonists were scheduled to evacuate the Holy Land. War was imminent, but 804 South Africans left the comfort of their homes to fight for the survival of Israel against the six Arab armies that had invaded the fledgling state, threatening to drive the Jews into the sea.
Men and women, doctors and nurses, artillery and air force, radar and infantry, these South Africans became known as the 804 heroes of the Machal, the volunteer corps of foreigners fighting in Israel’s War of Independence.