The Davidka (Yiddish: דוידקה‎, "Little David") was a homemade Israeli mortar used in Safed and Jerusalem during the early stages of the 1948 Israeli War of Independence. Its bombs were reported to be extremely loud, but very inaccurate and otherwise of little value beyond terrifying opponents; they proved particularly useful in scaring away both Arab soldiers and civilians. It is nominally classified as a 3 inch (76.2 mm) mortar, although the bomb was considerably larger.

Country Name Origin Year
Israel 1948
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
Israel 1948 View

The mortar was designed at the Mikveh Israel agricultural school in Holon in the winter of 1947–1948. It was first used in combat on March 13, 1948, in the attack on the Abu Kabir neighborhood of Jaffa. The greatest victory attributed to the Davidka was the liberation of the Citadel, a strongpoint in the center of Safed, on the night of May 9–10 1948.

Six Davidkas were manufactured in all, and two were given to each of the Palmach's three brigades (Harel, Yiftach, and HaNegev). One was used by the Yiftach Brigade in the battle for Safed, and now stands in a square in Safed. Another stands in Jerusalem's Davidka Square, memorializing the Harel Brigade's participation in the battle for Jerusalem. The Hebrew inscription on the monument ("?????? ??-???? ????, ???????") is from 2 Kings 19:34, meaning "For I will defend this city, to save it" (where God miraculously saves Jerusalem in honor of King David, the namesake of the weapon).

Type Mortar
Place of origin Israel
Service history
In service 1948
Used by Palmach
Wars 1948 Arab–Israeli War
Production history
Designer David Leibowitch
Designed 1947–48
Produced 1948
Number built Six
Shell Explosive grenade
Shell weight 40 kilograms (88.2 lb)
Caliber 3 inches (7.62 cm)
Filling TNT
Filling weight 60 pounds (27.2 kg)

End notes