Jewish Legion

AZL flag holder TransparentThe Jewish Legion (1917–1921) is an unofficial name used to refer to five battalions of Jews, the 38th to 42nd (Service) Battalions of the Royal Fusiliers, raised in the British Army to fight against the Ottoman Empire during the First World War. Prior to 1917 Palestine was territory of the Ottoman Empire, a Sunni Islamic state. It served the long term Jewish Zionist agenda to remove the Ottoman Turks from Palestine so Ze’ev Jabotinsky and Joseph Trumpeldor proposed a plan to augment the British effort against the Ottoman Empire with Jewish ‘volunteers’. In February 1915 the Jews and near sighted Britons approved this plan and a military unit was formed from militant Jewish Zionists from Russia occupying Palestine that would participate in relieving the Ottoman Empire of Palestine. Originally formed into a volunteer transport Mule Corps calling themselves the Zion Mule Corps by August 1917, the formation of a Jewish battalion was officially announced. The unit was designated as the 38th Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers and included Jewish volunteers from the British army, as well as members of the former Zion Mule Corps and a large number of Jews from Russia. In April 1918, it was joined by the 39th Battalion, raised at Fort Edward, Nova Scotia, which was made up almost entirely of Jews who were resident in the United States and Canada.

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