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The Zion Mules Corps

Photo of the WWI-era Zion Mule Corps, the precursor to the Jewish Legion (Photo: wikicommons/הצלם אברהם סוסקין)

On February 19, 1915, one of the most infamous battle of World War I began. The Battle of Gallipoli would prove to be a great loss of men on both sides, but it began as British and French forces bombed Ottoman artillery on the Gallipoli Peninsula in what is now Turkey. But the battle would also be the debut of the Zion Mule Corps, a group of Jewish men from the Holy Land under the command of an Irish Protestant, John Henry Patterson, the famed hunter and Christian Zionist who PM Netanyahu has called "the godfather of the IDF."

The Zion Mule Corps served at Gallipoli before being disbanded a year later and officially forming the Jewish Legion, many of whose members would return to the Holy Land after WWI and form the beginnings of the Israel Defense Forces.

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