The Father of Israeli Submarines was actually born in Mexico. Yosale Dror came to Palestine as a child and became an underground fighter in the Jewish pioneer naval militia, the Palyam. He specialized in diving and help sink several British ships that were being used to deport Jews. Dror became convinced the the submarine platform was vital to Israel's military interests and began to urge for the creation of the IDF Submarine Force. After several years of persuasive lobbying, his efforts paid off. (Incidentally, he also help found the Shayetet 13, the Naval Commandos.)
|Israeli Naval Commando Badge|
Israel sent 28 volunteers to Toulon, France to be trained as Submariners. Israel was then able to acquire British S & T Class Boats. One the T Boats, the Dakar, never made it to Israel. It was lost somewhere off the coast of Cyprus. The next step was the creation of the Gal Class Boat based on the the German 206A Class Submarine. The current hulls being used by the IDF are the German built Dolphin Class.
The Israeli Submarine Force has had extensive use during Israel's wars with its Arab neighbors with numerous covert insertions of troops. During the Six Day War in 1967, the INS Tannin launched an attack on targets in Egypt's Alexandria harbor using torpedoes and embarked naval commandos. As a result of that action, crewmen of the Tannin we authorized to use a red background with their submarine qualification badge while the rest of the fleet use a blue background.
Today's Israeli Submarines may also pack a bit more heat than their neighbors. There are rumors to the effect that Israel possesses nuclear strike capabilities. (The Israelis will neither confirm nor deny their nuclear capabilities but, let's just say, a betting man would take the odds.) It is also rumored that these nuclear capable subs are on patrol off of the Iranian coast thus, giving Israel both first strike and second strike capabilities.
Today's Sub fleet includes:
INS Leviathan ("Whale")
INS Tekumah ( "Revival")
INS Tannin ("Crocodile")
INS Rahav ("Dragon")
with another possible boat to be delivered in the the near future.
Israeli Submarine Qualification Badges are unique in that each badge is numbered so that each Submariner is known by his number. With 10 years service, the badge is upgraded to the Senior Submariner Badge which has a Star of David and wreath added to the top.
Should you want to get your own Israeli Submarine Badge just click the banner below: