Moretta-class Yacht, INS Palmach (M-19)

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​Hello everyone! Today I’ve got another smoll Israeli boat to suggest.

This is the Moretta-class Yacht, INS Palmach (M-19)

Source: File:Palmach.jpg - Wikimedia Commons



The history of this boat, or any other small guard ship of the early Israeli navy are quite obscure and uneventfull. But I will try my best to put as much information as I can in here.

INS Palmach was a British 80-ton yacht, formerly the HMS Moretta. While Moretta was not part of a class and was just a single unique ship, I am using it’s name to say Moretta-class Yacht. This makes it easier to identify which ship we’re talking about. The ship was left behind by the British in the port of Haifa and so it was purchased by Israel and added to the coastal guard fleet with the number M-19.

The ship took part in “Operation David” which was a raid done by the Israely navy to sink the ship “Igris” in the port of Beirut. It was thought the Egyptian navy might try to arm the large yacht for their own use. Palmach was used to bring a few men close to the port, so they could then use a rubber boat to get to the “Igris” and place mines on it.

The operation was a succes and the mines exploded which created a 1,5 by 2,5 meter wide hole in the ship and it was no longer rendered usefull and was later sold for scrap.

The last thing we know of Palmach is that she was sunk during a heavy storm near the port of Yaffo, somewhere at the start of 1950.

As a guard ship Palmach was equipped with two 20mm autocannons for use against other small boats or light targets. Something that is interesting about these 20mm guns is that they are Oerlikon autocannons, but not the variant used by the allied forces of WW2. No instead of those, Israel can be seen using the surplus of 20mm Flak 29 Oerlikon guns left over from Germany after they lost the war.

They are ofcourse identical in performance to the Allied variants. But their mounting is slightly different and it’s a cool little detail I thought I point out.



Displacement: 80 tons
Length: Unknown
Breadth: Unknown
Draught: Unknown
Machinery: 2 x Diesel engines
Max speed: 14 knots (26 km/h)
Complement: Unknown

2 x 1 20 mm Oerlikon Flak 29
Sources say it had two guns, but on the photos it’s hard to make out what is and isn’t a gun

Well that is all for this little boat. Many more suggestions like these to come in the future!

See you on the battlefield!

Source: File:MLMoretaPalmach.png - Wikimedia Commons



Main source:

Secondairy source:
PALMACH patrol boat (1940s/1948)

Category:INS Palmach M-19 - Wikimedia Commons