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On War and Leadership by Owen Connelly

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XV

Moshe Dayan

(1915–1981)

“MOSHE DAYAN was born to the battlefield,” says his biographer, Robert Slater; “He found war exciting, he could not get enough of it.”1 This rings true. After “starring” in the Israeli war of independence (1948–49) and presiding over two more Arab-Israeli wars in 1956 and 1967,he went to see the war in Vietnam as a newspaper correspondent, and slogged into the battle areas with American GIs. As defense minister in 1973,he was surprised by the Yom Kippur War, but the army he had built won it handily.2 Not only was he a fine soldier, he was remarkably literate, and thus his autobiography is full of lessons (by example) in the art of leadership.

Dayan was born in 1915 of Russian-Jewish settlers at Deganiah, on the first ...

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