> The War of Independence and the different fronts > The Central Front > Burma Road Breakthrough
> The War of Independence > The War of Independence and the different fronts > The Central Front > Burma Road Breakthrough

Preparing the Burma Road

Solel Boneh was asked to take over the (specialised) professional area of work. For the difficult part engineers were brought from Haifa and from Jerusalem, with their equipment, to boost the hewing rate, to clear the boulders and make the road suitable for traffic.

Solel Boneh was asked to take over the (specialised) professional area of work. For the difficult part engineers were brought from Haifa and from Jerusalem, with their equipment, to boost the hewing rate, to clear the boulders and make the road suitable for traffic. Using a compressor the workers drilled holes in the boulders, set up explosives and blew them up. The work was completed by a bulldozer which levelled the area. Civilian workers too were brought from Jerusalem to prepare the section of the road from Hartuv to Beit Mahsir.
On the evening of 7 June the 3rd Battalion (of Yiftach Brigade) was brought by bus to Beit-Susin and from there they went on foot to Shaar HaGai to deploy for Operation Yoram.
On 9 June the Arabs attempted to take over the road. They attacked the area of Beit-Susin and throughout the day there were battles at the Positions. The attack was repelled but the IDF suffered losses: 8 killed and 20 wounded.
Just before the cease-fire, which was due to come into force on 11 June 1948, the IDF planned a number of engagements intended to attack (the) enemys (strengths) concentrations and gain the advantage before the cessation of fighting. One of them was an additional attack on Latrun, Operation Yoram, (on the night of 9 June) which also ended in failure.
On 11 June 1948 the first phase of preparing the road was concluded and, on the same day, a number of lorries carrying sacks of flour used it. A heavy tractor assisted them by (in) towing and pushing on the ascents and placing steel grids on the descent. (we heard the lorries skidding). In fact the road (Road 7) was completed on 14 June and on the same day a U.N. inspector drove along it and confirmed its existence. According to the agreement it was forbidden to (surface) build new roads and to take arms to Jerusalem during the cease-fire. When the U.N. verified the existence of the Burma Road this gave the go-ahead to use it to carry crucial equipment throughout the cease-fire.



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