Moshe Dayan

Moshe Dayan

Letters by Israeli war hero and military leader Moshe Dayan asking to fight and recounting how he lost an eye to a sniper’s bullet are set to go under the hammer in the United States, with a guide price of $75,000.

Dayan, a prominent Israeli general in the Six Day War in 1967 and the 1973 Yom Kippur War, famously wore a black patch over his left eye, which he lost in 1941 while fighting in Syria alongside Australian troops during World War II.

Auctioneers Nate B. Sanders are inviting offers until midnight on Thursday for a collection of papers, including Dayan’s request to British commanding officer Lt. Gen. Sir Henry Maitland Wilson that he be returned to the front, following treatment.

“I wish to beg of you to help me to be received to the Cadre Squad of the Palestinian Forces in Sarafend,” he wrote. “I do not wish to ask any special favours except that I shall be allowed to pass the medical examination. The rest I shall try and fulfil to my abilities.”

The letters, written in English and Hebrew, include a typed letter signed by an unidentified British officer on 29 October 1941, addressed to Dayan, accepting him as a student in an officer’s cadre course in Jerusalem.

In another, Dayan recalls how, on 7 June 1941, he lost his eye while fighting Vichy France troops at a bridge in Iskandaroun for the Australian 7th Division of the British army.

“The Australian Officers and their men opened fire over the stone wall…and I, together with two of my men, jumped over to the balcony…located about 11z2 meters above ground level…I threw a bomb into the building through one of the open doors. After it exploded, we stormed the building.”