|Years of service||1950–1976|
|Commands held||Commander of the destroyer INS Yaffo, Commander of the Israeli Navy|
Six Day War
War of Attrition
Yom Kippur War
|Other work||Assistant to the Ambassador to South Africa, CEO of Israel Military Industries|
Early life and education
Born Benjamin Blumenthal in Dessau, Germany, in 1928, Telem immigrated to Haifa, Palestine, as a child in 1933. He attended the Haifa Naval School, joining the Palyam shortly after graduation. Later on in his career Telem would complete officer courses in England.
In 1956, during the Suez Crisis, Telem served as head of branch operations of the Navy, and shortly after the war, in 1957, was appointed commander of the destroyer INS Yaffo, a position he held for two years.
Yom Kippur War
Telem's skill as Commander was quickly tested by the 1973 Yom Kippur War. Contrary to the opinion of others in the IDF intelligence, Telem insisted on preparing for the war, the outbreak of which came as a surprise to most in the Israeli establishment. Although the war as a whole did not result in outright victory for either side, the Israeli Navy did not lose a single ship (while sinking multiple enemy ships) and only suffered three casualties.
In 1979 he left government service, and served as CEO of Israel Military Industries from 1980 until his retirement in 1991.
Telem died on June 16, 2008. An autobiography, "תלם בים" (A Trail ("Telem") at Sea), was published posthumously.
- Uri Dromi (June 29, 2008). "הוליך את חיל הים לגדול בניצחונותיו" [Navy leader to grow victories]. Haaretz (in Hebrew). Retrieved August 13, 2014. Obituary.
- Lerner, Adi (7 October 2011). "The Untold Story of Naval Heroism in the Yom Kippur War". Maariv (in Hebrew). Retrieved 7 October 2011.
- Oren, Amir. "First in war, last in peace". Haaretz. Retrieved 2009-10-07.[dead link]