- Sadeh (Landsberg), Yitzhak
- (1890–1952)Founder of the Palmach. Sadeh gained his first-hand knowledge of military affairs in the czarist army, in which he was decorated during World War I, and later in the Red Army. He went to Palestine in 1920 when he heard of the death in an Arab attack of his friend and hero, TRUMPELDOR.Sadeh was a colourful figure in the Labour Brigade in the 20s. After the brigade’s demise he worked as a stone quarrier and was out of public sight until the Arab rebellion of 1936–9. He then brought forward the proposal that the Haganah should not merely defend Jewish settlements from inside when these were attacked, but should seek out and engage the Arab bands in the open - ‘break out of the perimeter’. He became commander of the plugot sadeh (‘field units’) which successfully carried out his idea. It was from them that he took his Hebrew surname.In 1941 the danger of a German-Italian invasion of Palestine led the Haganah to set up a permanently mobilized striking force, the Palmach, under Sadeh’s command, with the job of carrying out sabotage operations against the occupiers. From 1945 to 1948 Sadeh was acting chief-of-staff of the Haganah itself. When the War of Independence broke out in 1948, he fought in several critical battles; for instance he commanded the successful defence of Mishmar ha-Emek which led to the rout of Kaukji’s Liberation Army. Sadeh was the teacher of a whole generation of Israel soldiers. One of his sayings which they remembered was ‘love your rifle and hate war’. His chief disciple, Yigal ALLON, described him as ‘possessed of limitless personal courage and endowed with a rare quality of leadership’. According to the same source Sadeh was a great lover ‘of country, of women and of the implacable logic of history’. In addition to his military talents he was a poet and writer.
Who’s Who in Jewish History after the period of the Old Testament. Joan Comay . 2012.