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Sharon, the major general who never went to officers school

As Sharon’s casket makes its way from the state memorial at the Knesset to the military ceremony at Latrun, our military correspondent Mitch Ginsburg recalls Sharon’s unusual path to command.

Sharon never went to an officers school. He served in a Haganah platoon early in the War of Independence, and when, during one nighttime raid on a village near his home of Kfar Malal, on a very rainy night, no one gave the order to charge, Sharon, 20, stepped forward and assumed command.

Sharon accompanying Israel's first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, on a tour of the southern front (Photo credit: GPO/ Flash 90)
Sharon accompanying Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, on a tour of the southern front (Photo credit: GPO/ Flash 90)

It is worth noting that the man who would become known as Israel’s greatest battlefield commander barely passed his squad leader training in Kibbutz Ruchama, near the location of his future Sycamore Farm, where he will be buried Monday afternoon. At the time, he was made a squad leader on a probationary basis, before slowly advancing up the ranks to major general.

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