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The Jewish Legion during the First World War

The Jewish Legion during the First World War by Martin Watts
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In September 1917 the British government established three battalions of infantry for the reception of non-nationalized Russian Jews: the 38th, 39th and 40th Royal Fusiliers. These were recruited, in the main, from Britain, the United States and Palestine respectively. The Jewish Legion was founded in response to a two-year agitation led by Vladimir Jabotinsky, and among its ranks were several future leaders of Israel, including David Ben-Gurion, Izaak Ben-Zvi and Levi Eshkol. In this book, Jabotinsky's efforts are reviewed against a background of intra-communal difficulties raised by the questions of military service, citizenship and anti-Semitism in Britain and the United States. The testimonies of over 600 veterans, supported by other sources, have been used to analyse the make-up, personal experiences, military performance and treatment of the Legion. This review and analysis of a unique British army unit, within its political and social context, provides fresh insights into Anglo-Jewish relations during the early twentieth century.
Palgrave Macmillan; October 2004
306 pages; ISBN 9780230514546
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Title: The Jewish Legion during the First World War
Author: Martin Watts