P. 77

    On the left: The day the IDF senior command was sworn in, June 1948. Ratner sat in the middle row, second from the right, between Yigal Alon and Yisrael Galili. On the right: Aluf Ratner, 1948. Those were the rank insignia of a Major-General in that period
justified this by telling Ben-Gurion that he disagreed with some of the General Staff's operating methods and that if he took the position, he would need to replace a large share of the senior commanders, which would be unthinkable in the middle of a war. He remained in his position as Ben-Gurion's military advisor and as the Head of the Planning Department of the first General Staff of the IDF.
Ratner was an introverted, modest person who did not flaunt his status or ranks. His son Micha attests that all of his activities in the "Haganah" and in the beginning of the IDF were done without pomp and ceremony. In the young IDF he dealt, as stated, in planning and assisting the Science Corp (HEMED). When he was appointed as one of the first five Major Generals of the IDF, his two sons, David (14) and Micha (10), knew nothing about it. Micha tells us that his surprise was boundless when he came to class and his friends showed him the front page of "Haaretz" newspaper with a photograph of his father in a Major General's uniform.
The Ratner Family was in for another surprise shortly afterwards. One day in the summer of 5708- 1948, the father of the family informed them that they are about to travel to Moscow for a lengthy period, as he was appointed the IDF's first military attaché to the Soviet Union, with the rank of a Major General. For about a year and a half, the family resided in Moscow. The first Israeli Minister Plenipotentiary to the Russian capital was Golda Meir, who was later replaced by Mordechai Namir. Major General Ratner forged close ties with his fellow foreign attachés and with the Russian generals who were in charge of the communication with the military attachés. During the first meeting with the Russian general who handled the foreign attachés, the general spoke to him in French, the lingua franca of those days. Ratner replied that the French was unnecessary, as he grew up speaking Russian. The general was unaware of his past in the Red Army at first and brought for

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