Saving the IDF’s Code Map – with a Playboy Magazine
This is under the heading of “life in Israel” and has nothing to do with me being a freelancer, but its a story that must be told. This is an event that will never be confirmed or denied by anyone in my army unit, (while sober).
Many many years ago my friend Jon in the States would send me a Playboy Magazine before my reserve service. He usually outlined the particular articles that were of particular interest to me. And this tradition went on for many years, those in my unit always enjoyed when I read the articles to them. 🙂
This time it was to be different, I would not get a chance to read those articles, fate had something else in store for us
As we finished up our short training period we went to our various positions on the border, soon a call came out over the radio to bring “Steve’s Material” to a certain outpost. No details in the message, but it was clear something “serious” had occurred and we all knew what he meant by “Steve’s Material”. What it was we couldn’t possibly imagine.
After some brief searching, (it seems that some guys were anxious to read the articles and took the magazine even before I had a change to read anything), the magazine was found. Apparently as the soldiers at this outpost were doing their duty and learning the area using their map, a gust of wind blew it over the border to the Egyptian outpost a few meters away. A coded map is pretty serious stuff and the office in charge, calm as he was, wanted his map back. He tried his best to get it back but nothing seemed to work. Finally he had an idea, the Playboy. The call went out over the radio.
The Playboy was soon delivered by our second in command to the outpost. The centerfold was opened up as proof of the material, a deal was made and an international incident was prevented. I was saddened by the fact that I would not have a chance to read such wonderfully written articles, but I understood that sometimes we have to make sacrifices for our country and if Ms June could prevent an international incident, then I can only be glad that I could be a part of that.
This was not written up in any “incident” report, but there are those who will swear by it and some of the officers involved remain active today.