Saturday, March 30, 2013
Moshe Dayan (20 May 1915 – 16 October 1981) was an Israeli military leader and politician. The fourth Chief of Staff of the Israel Defense Forces (1953–58), he became a fighting symbol to the world of the new State of Israel. He went on to become Defense Minister and later Foreign Minister of Israel.
Moshe Dayan became one of Israel’s most famous men. Moshe Dayan found fame as a military leader associated with victories that were seemingly impossible within the Middle East conflicts. Dayan developed the aura of a military ‘superman’. Dayan’s friendship with Ben-Gurion had elevated him to a high military/political status in Israel. From 1953, aged 38, Dayan was appointed as Chief of Staff. He held the post until 1958. It was Dayan who held military sway in the 1956 Suez Crisis. He attacked Egypt and reached the Suez Canal and the mouth of the Gulf of Aqaba in less than one week. Such military success earned him legendary status in Israel. His skill in organising and preparing the army for speedy attacks was seen again in 1967 in the Six-Day War. In this war, Dayan assumed that the Arab nations would attack Israel. Rather than wait to be attacked, he attacked them.
On Monday June 5th, 1967, Israel attacked her neighbours. By June 11th, their military power had been severely weakened. Days prior to the attacks of June 5th, Dayan had been appointed Minister of Defence. The success of the Six-Day War was such that he held this political position until 1974. He oversaw the attacks by the Egyptian forces in the Yom Kippur War of 1973. Initially, Israel was taken by surprise. Such was the skill of Dayan, that the war ended in what was an effective stalemate (though many had believed Egypt would be victorious after the success of their initial attacks).
Thank you Merja for this FDC. I have been an admirer of Moshe Dayan ever since the 6 day war of '67, when I was a young Lieutenant in the Navy.