The Palmach organized its men in companies, then in battalions and finally in three brigades: Harel, Yiftach and Hanegev.

The Hagana Headquarters decided on the 15th of May 1941, to set up Plugot Hamahatz (the crushing companies) the Palmach. It was to be the national recruited force of the Hagana. Its foundation required a complete recruiting plan that would enable the recruitment of the appropriate men for command and instruction, and the manning of nine companies which would comprise 120 men each. It was soon made clear that there were not enough resources to set up nine companies; thus initially only six were assembled.
The companies (named from One to Nine) were manned from the Hagana members, mainly from the agricultural settlements (Kibbutzim and community settlements). Many of them veterans of the Posh (Field Companies) such as Plugut Halayla (the Nocturnal Companies). Yitzhak Sade who formerly set up the Nodedet (the Mobile Unit) and commanded over the Posh, was appointed by the national headquarters to be the staff officer in charge of the companies training, and in fact the acting commander of the Palmach. Towards the end of the summer of 1944 it was decided that it was time to organize the units into battalions rather than companies. The intention was to make the Palmach more efficient, organized and manageable.
This decision was gradually implemented during the first half of 1945; Four Battalions were set up, each comprising two to three companies and a small staff. This enabled the promotion of young commanders that acquired their military education in the Palmach to replace the senior members as company commanders, while they in turn could be promoted and appointed battalion commanders.
The organizational structure of four battalions existed in the Palmach until the outburst of the War of Independence, in the course of which new battalions were recruited and eventually arranged in three brigades: Harel, Hanegev and Yiftach.
The Palmach also set up Special Units in the framework of the Fourth Battalion which was the Staff Battalion. Among them were Company Zain Scouts, Company Yud (Palyam) Marines, the Air Platoon, the Mistaarvim Unit, the Balkan Unit, the Syrian Unit and the German Unit.


The Palmach Headquarters - departments, services and activities
The Palmach Special Units
The Palmach Brigades
The Palmach Battalions
The Palmach Companies

Information Archive
The Beginning of the Palmach
Struggle against the British
The War of Independence
Dismantling of the Palmach
Palmach and the Settlements
The Palmach's Military Thinking
Units and Organizational Structure
Female Palmach Members
Culture and Folklore
Palmach Contribution and Legacy