The 100th anniversary of Zion Mule Corps celebrated by Israel Post

April 13th, 2015 got to know that Israel Post has prepared for releasing a special stamp on the 100th anniversary of the founding of Zion Mule Corps. The stamp is scheduled to be issued and put into circulation on the 14th of April.

Vladimir Jabotinsky proposed that a Jewish legion be formed to join the British in liberating Palestine from the Turks during World War I, but the British resisted the idea of Jewish volunteers fighting on the Palestinian front. Instead, they suggested the Jews serve as a detachment for mule transport at another location along the Turkish front. Joseph Trumpeldor subsequently formed the 650-strong Zion Mule Corps, of whom 562 were sent to the Gallipoli front.

In April 1915, a large British military force landed on the shores of the Gallipoli peninsula, not far from the city of Istanbul, the capital of the Ottoman Empire. On April 16, 1915, after only a brief twoweek training period, the Mule Corps joined the main force which had landed on the southern shore of Gallipoli. The stamp is adapted from a photo of the Mule Corps soldiers as they came ashore in Gallipoli. It quickly became apparent that the British action on the Gallipoli peninsula was a failure. The Turks fought fearlessly and the invading forces suffered heavy casualties.

The Mule Corps soldiers, who transported ammunition and supplies to the troops on the front line, executed their difficult and wearing job very well. Despite the danger and the terrible conditions, the Jewish volunteers persevered under fire, in the mountainous terrain of the peninsula, until the British withdrawal and departure from Gallipoli on the night of January 1, 1916. During this period the Corps suffered nine casualties and approximately 50 of its men were wounded.

Ninety men were present at the final parade before the British departure, approximately 25% of the original force, and only 11 of them were among the volunteers who had come ashore on April 27, 1915. The End of the Mule Corps A few months after returning to Egypt, the Mule Corps was disbanded on May 26, 1916. At Trumpeldor's initiative, some 120 members of the corps reenlisted. They were sent to Britain, where they served as the core of the newly formed 38th Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers, the first Jewish combat unit within the framework of the British military.

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