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Historical Israel-Arab wars Discuss the strategies and the situation of the historical Israeli-Arab wars from 1948-1982 and it's implications on Israel.

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Old 08-22-2013, 12:40 PM
David of Galilee's Avatar
David of Galilee David of Galilee is offline
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Galilee
Posts: 1,481
David of Galilee is on a distinguished road

Haber, Eitan; Schiff, Ze'ev; Asher, Dani
Tel Aviv, 2013 [1st published 2003]
Yediot Books & Chemed Books

A local publisher has reprinted a number of Hebrew language Yom Kippur war classics, on the 40th anniversary of that conflict, and is selling them at great prices. My local Stiematzky Agency is selling any two for the price of one.

I picked up YOM KIPPUR WAR LEXICON, and Chaim Hertzog's JUDGEMENT DAY WAR, which was published in English I believe as THE YOM KIPPUR WAR.

The Lexicon I am going through now, as I do not believe that it was ever published in English, although I'll stand corrected. Hopes this helps to give insight into Israeli military works not available in English.

So far, just one example of what I really like is that it goes division by division, brigade by brigade, and even battalion by battalion, listing deployment and equipment. Very useful in working out the complicated battlefields of that war.

Commanders are also highlighted, as is equipment. If you look up 7th Armoured Brigade, and follow up cross references, you know who commanded what, where deployed, and how they were armed. This was a Centurion brigade, and you learn that these British tanks were 1960 output, what modifications were made, and how they were used compared to other tanks.

Because the 6-Day war was only six years earlier, the biography entries give the relatively recent previous war experience of the 1973 commanders.

One of the authors, General Dani Asher, was decades in military intelligence with the IDF, and has a PhD in military history and middle east studies from University of Haifa.

When I spend more time with it, I'll update. And I'd love to know if anyone has seen this book in English, or perhaps published articles based on the chapters.

So far it appears to be a great accompaniment to full narrative histories of the war, as a quick reference. I tend to also just like to browse such books by themselves.

I very much believe that the 1973 war is a classic of warfare, and even if equipment and ideas have moved on, it is a very important war for the study of commanders under stress, and how even comparatively low ranking officers can be very independent and innovative when they have no choice. (Not to mention General Ariel Sharon's infamous battlefield independence (or subordination, depending on one's view), much to the chagrin of his commanding officers.)

A classic confrontation between Soviet-style massed formations with rigid orders of battle, and strict delineation of duty and responsibility up and down the line, as opposed to resilient, flexible Israeli bounce-back from balagan and fashla (ie confusion and screw-up), and why commanders need to be allowed to assess the real-life situation in front of them, and have the authority (or khutzpah) to make decisions on the spur of the moment.

Last edited by David of Galilee; 08-22-2013 at 12:51 PM..
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