British Soldier Who Gave Israel Its First Tanks Dies


idf-mike-flanagan-tankMike Flanagan, a former British soldier who smuggled two Cromwell tanks to the Haganah in 1948, passed away on Friday at the age of 85.

“We owe Flanagan a debt of honor,” said Lt. Col. Michael Mass, vice president of the IDF Armored Corps Memorial Site and Museum. “The two Cromwells helped us greatly in the battles of the War of Independence and he himself fought bravely in our ranks.”

Flanagan, an Irishman, fought in the British army during World War II and participated in the liberation of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in 1945. After the war, he was stationed in British Mandate Palestine.

On June 29, 1948, Flanagan, alongside his friend and tank commander Harry McDonald, stole the two tanks from a military base near the Haifa airport and drove them to Tel Aviv where they formed the basis of Israel’s Armored Corps.

{ Israel News Bureau}


  1. flanagan flourished in a bygone era of real patriots and men of uncommon valor even though their acts lacked the expedience normally motivating the smaller man.