Having just captured the police fortress at Samakh two days earlier, Colonel Abdel Wahab Bey al-Hakim redeployed his forces to assault the kibbutzim on the southern edge of Lake Tiberias. His goals were to capture the bridge over the Jordan river just north of Degania A and clear a path to link up with other Arab forces on their drive on Haifa. However, the Jews were putting up stiffer resistance than he expected. Still, he had tanks on his side. As the Syrian AFVs advanced to the perimeter of Israelís oldest kibbutz, and home of Major Moshe Dayan, the Israeli Commander of Lower Galilee, the leading tank was hit with multiple Molotov Cocktails. Other tanks and armored cars were now under assault as a PIAT team joined the fray. The infantry was too far behind to assist the armor effectively and the attack was repulsed with heavy Syrian losses. Wahab then turned his force south toward Degania B but was again turned back. Shortly thereafter, the Israelis brought up their first artillery pieces of the war, two old French 65mm field guns, and began shelling the Syrian positions in the valley. This forced Wahab to withdraw to safer ground. A burned out hulk of an R35 from that day still remains where it was lost at Degania A as a tribute to the defenders.
Attacker: Syrian (Elements of the Syrian 1st Brigade)
Defender: Israeli (Kibbutz defenders, Haganah troops of the Golani Brigade and Palmach troops of the Yiftach Brigade)
Turns: 6.5 Players: 2 OBA: Syrian Night: No
Degania A, Israel 1948-05-20
Squads: A:11.0 D:7.0
AFVs: A:6 R35 x 2 R35(L) x 1 AMD 50 AM x 1 AMD 20 cv TOE x 1 Staghound I (a) x 1
Guns: A:0 D:0 OQF 20mm AA x 1 OML 2-in. Mortar x 1