Avraham Adan

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Avraham "Bren" Adan
Adan near the Suez Canal; October 27, 1973
Adan near the Suez Canal; October 27, 1973
Native name אברהם "ברן" אדן
Born (1926-10-05)October 5, 1926
Kfar Giladi, British Mandate Palestine
Died September 28, 2012(2012-09-28) (aged 85)
Ramat HaSharon, Israel
Allegiance  Israel
Years of service 1943–1977
Rank IDF aluf rotated.svg Aluf
Commands held
Adan (seen on the pole) raising the Ink Flag

Avraham "Bren" Adan (Hebrew: אברהם "ברן" אדן‎, 5 October 1926[1] – 28 September 2012) was an Israeli Major General former Head of Southern Command who served in the military between 1947 and 1973.


Adan was born in Kfar Gileadi, British Mandate Palestine, in 1926 as Avraham Eidelson.[2] He joined the Palmach in 1943.[2] During the 1948 Arab–Israeli War he was a company commander in the 8th Battalion of the Negev Brigade, and participated in Operation Uvda, in which the brigade captured the Jordanian outpost of Umm Rashrash, now known as Eilat, at the southernmost tip of the newly created country.[3] It was he who raised the Ink Flag claiming the territory for Israel, as depicted in the famous photograph of the event. The iconic image has been compared to Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima.[4]

Adan joined the Armored Corps in 1949 and founded the first Sherman tank unit in the IDF. During the 1956 Suez War, Lieutenant Colonel Adan commanded the 82nd battalion of the 7th Armored Brigade in the Sinai, defeating several Egyptian forces in the region. After the war he became the operations officer of the corps, then the commander of the 7th Brigade and the Armored Corps School.[3] During the June 1967 Six-Day War, Adan was the deputy commander of the Armored Corps and of the 31st Armored Division, fighting again in the Sinai. On 10 March 1969, he became the commander of the Armored Corps.

Major General Adan was defending the northern portion of the Israeli defense along the Suez Canal when the October 1973 Yom Kippur War broke out.[4] As the commander of the 162nd Division, his division suffered severe losses from 6 to 8 October, in repeated attempts to stop the Egyptian attack and push it back across the canal. Later on during the war he led his unit across the canal into Egyptian territory just north of the Great Bitter Lake, during Operation Stouthearted Men. He then maneuvered his unit southward to Suez City, where his unit surrounded the Egyptian Third Army.

From 1974 to 1977 he served as the Armed Forces Attaché at the Israeli embassy in Washington, DC.[2]

Adan was among the founders of Kibbutzim Nirim and Gevulot.[4]

Published works

  • On Both Banks of the Suez (1979). Idanim Publishing.
  • Up to the Ink Flag (1984). Ministry of Defense Publishing.


  1. Most sources give his birth year as 1926: (Jerusalem Post; YNetNews; The Independent); but this Ha'aretz article has it as 1925.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Levy, Elior (28 September 2012). "General Avraham 'Bren' Adan passes away". YNet News. Retrieved 30 September 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. 3.0 3.1 Hashavia (1981), p. 124
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Aderet, Ofer (September 29, 2012). "Former IDF general Israeli icon Avraham Adan dies at 86". Haaretz. Retrieved 1 October 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>


  • Hashavia, Aryeh (1981). "Armored Corps". IDF in its Corps: Army and Security Encyclopedia (in עברית). Vol. 7. Revivim Publishing.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>