Haim Laskov Writes to His Future Wife during WWII
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“Night after night I watch (the stars) and read your regards.” HAIM LASKOV.
Autograph Letter Signed, to Shulamith Chen. Italy, Nov. 19, 1943. 2 pp. Heading in English, body in Hebrew.
Written as young Lieutenant in the 2nd Jewish Battalion of the Palestine Regiment, while commanding a machine gun platoon on the Italian Front.
Haim Laskov (1919-1982) was the fifth Chief of General Staff of the Israel Defense Forces. He was born in Byelorussia and immigrated to Palestine in 1924 with his family. They settled in Haifa, where his father was killed by Arabs in 1930. Laskov joined the Haganah (underground army) as a teenager, and in 1940 he enlisted in the British Army to serve in Europe.
In 1948, during Israel’s War of Independence, Laskov led the tank battalion that broke the Arab siege of Jerusalem. After the war, he was promoted to colonel and set up the army’s training and reserve programs. In 1951, Laskov became head of the Israeli Air Force despite the lack of any flying experience.
Laskov left his position to begin studying at Oxford University but was recalled to serve as deputy chief of general staff. In 1956, he commanded the armored corps and was a divisional commander in the Sinai War. Two years later, he became Chief of Staff of the Israel Defense Force. After Laskov retired from the military in 1961, he directed the Israeli national Port Authority. He remained involved in military affairs, serving as Soldier’s Ombudsman until his death.