צדק מאוחר

לילך שובל ישראל היום, 6 באוקטובר 2011 05.10.2011 23:39
מימין: האלוף טל רוסו, גיורא נאור וסלו שושון נציגי לוחמי פלוגה י'

מימין: האלוף טל רוסו, גיורא נאור וסלו שושון נציגי לוחמי פלוגה י'


פלוגה י' של השריון, שבלילה הראשון של המלחמה כמעט חדלה מלהתקיים, זכתה רק כעת להכרה • הסיבה: ספר של אחד החיילים חשף את גבורת הלוחמים



דף העיתון בקובץ המצורף למטה , הכתבה באנגלית לאחר העברית
צדק מאוחר 

BELATED JUSTICE
by Lilac Shoval

The Armored Corps’ J platoon, which on the first night of the war nearly wiped out of existence, has, only now, received official tribute   l   The reason: a book by one of the soldiers revealed their heroism.

It is a circle closed.  Years of waiting, of the soldiers of the J platoon in the Armored Corps 79th battalion, 18 of whose men were killed in the Yom Kippur War, ended when the General of the Southern Command, Tal Rousseau, in a moving ceremony, awarded the platoon a Certificate of Appreciation.

With the outbreak of the war on October 6 1973, the platoon was ordered to converge to the 9th battalion in the northern sector of the Suez Canal.  While in motion, the platoon formed three detachments, charged with halting the advance of Egyptian forces there and to break through and release surrounded forces.  The platoon commander’s detachment was dispatched to Qantara where it encountered fierce fighting which killed 11 soldiers.  The deputy platoon commader’s detachment advanced northward and came upon an Egyptian ambush.  The deputy platoon commander and two of his soldiers were killed.  The third detachment, led by one of the company commanders [one platoon is comprised of several companies -L], also came upon Egyptian forces and several men were injured.

The company commander regrouped his remaining fighters and joined the Shaked battalion in an effort to break through an Egyptian siege on one of the outposts and free the entrapped soldiers there.  One of the charges developed into a difficult battle in which the company commander was killed and several of his soldiers were injured.

“On the first night of the war, the platoon basically ceased to exist,” recounts one of the soldiers, Opher Drori (56), author of the book J Platoon in the Storm, which was the impetus for awarding the Certificate of Appreciation.  “Each of the surviving soldiers attached himself to a different unit, not only under command of an officer but independently as well.  It was a kind of war of individuals, each armored personnel carrier on its own” he added.  In 2003, Drori requested of Micah Bar’am, a photographer, photos of his platoon for an article he had written and Bar’am asked in return that Drori agree to be interviewed in a movie he produced about the war.  “The day after the movie was broadcast on TV I got a call from someone I hadn’t spoken to since our military service who told me that he had watched the movie and the memorial website, and that he feels that we hadn’t done enough for the fallen soldiers.  That was my feeling exactly,” Drori continued.  “In the war we were dispersed and we had no stage of conclusion when everyone would be gathered up, be thanked and sent each his own way.  And then we decided to put the platoon’s story on one web page, and we got the page to General Rousseau.  A few weeks later we were notified that the General decided to award the platoon a Certificate of Appreciation.”

And, indeed, on September 26 [2011] the platoon soldiers, their families and the families of the fallen soldiers were assembled for a ceremony.  “It was very meaningful for the people to feel remembered,” Drori says.  “People live out this war to this very day, but there is relief in knowing that a thank you was said.  That’s what we were missing.”
 



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