1944 September 20, THE JEWISH BRIGADE GROUP (Eretz Israel)
Was formed by the British High Command. After a long battle by Chaim Weizmann and Moshe Sharret, Britain agreed to the establishment of a Jewish unit to fight alongside British troops. Their brigade commander was Ernest Frank Benjamin, a Canadian-born Jew serving in the Royal Engineers. The brigade, also known as "Chi'l" Chativa Yehudit Lohemet (Jewish Fighting Brigade) had its own flag consisting of a gold star of David with a blue and white striped background. In all, over 5000 people enlisted from pre-state Israel, including many who had fled from Europe. Seven hundred of them lost their lives. After the war they formed the basis for the illegal immigration efforts and served as one of the foundations of the IDF. Two chiefs of staff, M. Makleff and H. Laskov, were trained in the brigade.