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Yom Kippur: No Peace, No War, October 1973

By Peter Baxter
Comments:  Softcover, 128 pages, 125 black-and-white and 8 color photos, 6 color plates with maps and illustrations



Pen & Sword

From the publisher:
It has been 25 years since the end of the Cold War, now a generation old. It began more than 75 years ago, in 1944 — long before the last shots of World War II had echoed across the wastelands of Eastern Europe — with the Greek Civil War. The battle lines are no longer drawn, but they linger on in conflict zones such as Iraq, Somalia, and Ukraine. In an era of mass-produced AK-47s and ICBMs, one such flashpoint was the Middle East …

On the afternoon of October 6, 1973, the Israeli Defense Forces was awakened by a wave of airstrikes followed by an artillery bombardment along the Suez Canal that preceded a meticulously planned Egyptian invasion of the Israeli-held Sinai. Simultaneously, a massive Syrian armored assault bore down on Israeli positions on the Golan Heights. The day was Yom Kippur, the most holy day on the Jewish religious calendar — and it the commenced a war that would bring the young state of Israel to the very brink of defeat.

In the aftermath of the Six-Day War of 1967, a stunning Arab reversal at the hands of the untested Israeli Defense Forces, Israel occupied and held Arab territory on the West Bank, the Sinai Peninsula, and the Golan Heights. These were for the most part territorial buffer zones, retained to protect Israel against future wars, but their ongoing occupation remained an open diplomatic wound. In the meanwhile, a mood of complacency came to affect the Israeli military machine in the belief that air and armored dominance of the battlefield would, as had been the case in 1967, guarantee a quick victory in conflict.

The Yom Kippur War proved the fallacy of this belief, revealing critical weaknesses in Israeli intelligence capability and battlefield strategy. The ferocity and effectiveness of the combined invasion pushed the much-storied Israeli armed forces almost to the point of collapse. Only the rapid resupply of arms and equipment by the United States, and a display of extraordinary reliance and determination by the fighting forces of Israel, rescued the young state from annihilation. The story of the Yom Kippur War is an object lesson in the dynamism of military thinking, the evolution of battlefield technology, and the uneasy alliance of East and West during the Cold War era of détente. Yom Kippur was both a military and political maneuver that adjusted the balance of power in the Middle East and set the tone for the ideological stand-off that continues in the region to this day.

FSM says: Deep background and a photo record of the armor, aircraft, and equipment of the time.


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