Marcus, David Daniel

(1902–48)
   American officer in Israel War of Independence. ‘Micky’ Marcus was born in Brooklyn, graduated from the West Point Military Academy in 1924 and then qualified as a lawyer. He served as a legal official in New York, and during World War II saw active service in Europe and the Pacific, ending with the rank of colonel. After the war he was with the military government in Germany and the War Crimes Branch in Washington, before resuming private law practice. In January 1948 he was invited by BEN-GURION to advise on the needs of the Israel armed forces, then emerging from the underground. He promptly travelled to Palestine, where his professional expertise, practical sense and enthusiasm won the confidence of Ben-Gurion and the military leaders. In May he was given command of the vital central front, where the Jordan Arab Legion was blocking the road to Jerusalem at Latrun. He was the first person in the Israel forces to carry the rank of aluf (brigadier-general). His men failed to break through but meanwhile a rough secret ‘Burma road’ was cut through the hills as a supply route for besieged Jerusalem. He was accidentally shot by an Israel sentry while making an inspection round in the dark, outside the camp perimeter.
   Mishmar David, a housing development for Israel army veterans, was named after Marcus. A biography, Cast a Giant Shadow, was published in 1962. and was the basis for the film of the same name, starring Kirk Douglas as Marcus. MARCUS, Ralph 1900–56. US scholar. Marcus was the leading American authority on the Hellenist period of Judaism, and taught at the universities of Columbia and Chicago. He translated and annotated the editions of JOSEPHUS and PHILO in the Loeb Classical Library series.

Who’s Who in Jewish History after the period of the Old Testament. . 2012.

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