The Israeli navy had no submarines when it was founded in March 1948. The thought of acquiring and operating submarines did not ripen until a few years later. It was a bold and innovative step for the teams slated to operate these submarines as well as the technical personnel who would maintain them. Submarines personnel are selected meticulously, as they must be extermely level-headed and professional, and beyond all else must be able to work and live as a team.
S Class Submarine, 1959
The navy's flotilla of submarines was established in 1959 and included two outdated submarines purchased from the British navy's surplus. These submarines, with all their limitations, served as a first step for Israel's young navy. One of them, the INS (Israeli Naval Ship) Tanin, participated in a daring operation during the Six Day War.
T Class Submarine, 1967
Based on its experience to that point, it was decided that the navy should acquire newer submarines, the T Class, which were also British-made. The first in the series, the INS Dakar, sank en route to Israel with its entire crew of 69 onboard. The cause remains a mystery to this day. The navy subsequently decided not to purchase any more used submarines, but rather to order new ones.
Gal Class Submarines, 1975
The Gal Class Submarines were manufactured in Britain to the Israeli navy's specifications. The first in the series arrived in Israel in 1975. The submarines in this series were very stealthy and reliable.
Today, the Israeli navy operates new, sophisticated submarines. Some of the most innovative parts are manufactured in Israel. The navy has made great strides since the initial decision to incorporate submarines into its fleet, largely thanks to the first generations of visionary divers who forged the way.
Description of the Stamps
The stamps in this set feature three submarine models. The tabs show a submariner working on the submarine. The photographs are courtesy of the Clandestine immigration and Naval Museum in Haifa. The First Day Cover shows the Gal Submarine as it ceremoniously enters the Haifa Port in the 1970's.