Back in August of 2015 we had linked to an article describing the actions of Zvika Greengold, an Israeli Medal of Valor recipient who was said to have single-handedly destroyed numerous Arab tanks during the Yom Kippur War. A new article in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz is making the claim that Greengold’s story was a tall tale spun to boost unit morale.
A senior Israeli army officer who fought in the Yom Kippur War says he made up one of the most famous tales of Israeli heroism in that war, in an effort to boost morale.
In a report broadcast Friday night on Channel 2, Israel Defense Forces Brig. Gen. (res.) Yair Nafshi said he concocted the story about how IDF tank commander Lt. Zvika Greengold single-handedly destroyed dozens of Syrian tanks in the Golan Heights in October 1973, holding off the Syrian advance.
Nafshi, a battalion commander in the 188th Brigade in which Greengold also served, said he created the story in order to improve morale in the unit, which had lost a large number of troops in the war.
“We had to rebuild [the unit] from nothing. What did you want? We needed some kind of story,” said Nafshi.
Another officer interviewed for the report, Col. (res.) Amnon Sharon – who fought with Greengold and was taken prisoner by the Syrians – said that when he finally met up with him, Greengold made no mention of destroying the tanks. “The public needs to know the truth, so I can’t remain silent any longer,” said Sharon.