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Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Yom Kippur War: Dayan wanted wounded troops to surrender

According to minutes of a cabinet meeting on the first day of the 1973 Yom Kippur War, which were released on Monday, Defense Minister Moshe Dayan advocated having wounded troops who could not be evacuated surrender to Egyptian troops.
The minutes are of conversations between [Golda] Meir and [Moshe] Dayan about the initial catastrophic battles in the Sinai Peninsula, how it was not possible to evacuate all of the wounded soldiers, and that those who cannot be evacuated should surrender.

Later in the document, Meir said (of the attacking Arab armies), "They have no reason not to continue. They smelled blood." Dayan added, "to conquer Israel, finish off the Jews."

Speaking of the dire situation Israel was faced with, Dayan said that "our moral advantage is not enough in the face of such [an amount of weapons]." Reflecting the desperation felt in the room, he concluded, "Perhaps there are other ideas as to how we should operate in this situation."
I'd love to know what those 'other ideas' were. Maybe we'll find out when more papers are released on Tuesday.

Don't count on it being something strong like using a nuclear weapon. Dayan was Defense Minister in 1967, and begged the Arabs of Jerusalem's Old City and of Hebron not to flee.

The picture is Egyptian troops crossing the Suez Canal on the first day of the war, Yom Kippur, October 6, 1973.


At 2:46 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

I wonder how in the face of such weak and indecisive leaders, Israel managed to survive. Thank G-d the soldiers never listened to the defeatism that clung to the top levels of the Israeli government like a miasma. How was it the same people who won the Six Day War were unable to respond to the surprise Arab attack upon Israel in 1973?

Here almost a half a century later, there still are more questions than answers surrounding the Yom Kippur War.

At 3:43 AM, Blogger Bartender Cabbie said...

The IDF was caught off guard on that one. It will become even more dangerous for you folks as the enemies of freedom gain further expertise.


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