British major general, 84 fought in 48 for Israel

LONDON — Monty Green, the last surviving major general from Israel's 1948 War of Independence, died earlier this month at the age of 84.

Born in the East End of London in 1914, Green was managing the family tobacco business in India when World War II began. He joined the Indian army and held the rank of lieutenant colonel when he was selected to attend a course at the British Staff College in Haifa.

In late 1947, the Haganah, the precursor to the Israel Defense Force, asked Green to help create the structural organization that would transform the underground Jewish defense movement into a full-fledged, conventional army. Green moved to Tel Aviv.

When the state was established in May 1948 and Israel was attacked by its Arab neighbors, Green was invited to join the general staff of the Israel Defense Force at the rank of major general.

Green was seriously wounded in an Egyptian bombing raid on Ramat Gan in June 1948 and, after the War of Independence, he returned to Britain, where he resumed work in his family's business, which by then had diversified into property development.

Green was a frequent visitor to Israel during the past 50 years. He had returned to London from a visit just 10 days before he suffered a fatal stroke last weekend.