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Posted July 7, 2003
The title caught my attention in reference to the time the war started. In reading the book I was surprised at the impact the airlift had in saving Israel. It was a close call on the modern battle field. Israel was asleep at the switch and was too full of themselves after the 6-Day War. They let their guard down. Also reminded how NATO countries refused to help with overflight permission for fear of affect on oil prices which happened anyway. A few key leaders in the US and then Soviet Union are credited by the author with getting a cease fire before it was too late for either side. There is also discussion of the nuclear war close call between US and USSR this war caused. It was also interesting to learn that at the highest level of government and military authorities in Israel many of key players really hated each other during the war. Sometimes the Jews were their own worst enemy. The author provides an overview of the major battle engagements and the political issues at stake. One wonders how the world would be today if Israel had lost in 1973.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 24, 2003
This is a very interesting, well written account and in depth study of events not only surrounding the 1973 Yom Kippur War, but indeed covering much of what occurred on the battlefields of this conflict which was launched against the Jewish state during the most Holy period of it's calendar by Egypt, Syria and contingents from other Arab nations. Much mention is made during this study of the failures of Israeli intelligence and the alleged `arrogance' of Israeli forces which prevented Israel from being totally prepared for the Arab onslaught, but I feel that some matters have not been given the attention that they deserve in relation to these issues. The Sunday Times Insight Team in it's own study of the Yom Kippur War, reveals that shortly before the shooting began, the US told Israeli leaders (who were clearly aware of the Arab military build up and the potential of such an attack) in no uncertain terms that if Israel launched a pre-emptive strike against the assembled Arab forces, then the US would feel unable to supply fresh equipment which would surely be needed during the conflict's course. The Sunday Times book includes the quote of US diplomatic sources that '...if Israel refrained from a pre-emptive strike, allowing the Arabs to provide irrefutable proof that they were the aggressors, then America would feel morally obliged to help...' -To make such a pivotal & formidable diplomatic statement and then blame Israel for allowing the Arab advance to occur sticks in my throat somewhat. I cannot also agree with the comments about the Egypt & Syrian forces together with the other Arab contingents only intending to reach a certain boundary and then stop. I personally find this approach to be in ignorance of the Arab/Islamic mindset which existed not only at the time, but prior to the conflict and even to this day. At the time concerned no Arab national entity even acknowledged the mere right of the Jewish state to exist. This in itself should speak volumes. I am also uncomfortable with the emphasis placed upon the assumption that without the US assistance, Israel would not have survived. Indeed, if as sections of the book imply, the Arab forces had only intended advancing to a predetermined area, then this possibility should not have even entered the equation. Maybe Israel would have struggled to survive by conventional means and may have needed the nuclear option. This we will never know, but there seems to be some disregard of the parallel Russian airlift to the Arab nations and the massive military support provided by the Russians without which the Arabs would not have been able to pursue such an agenda in the first instance. To make assumptions and allegations about Israel in the midst of what seems to have been a political/diplomatic chess game of immense proportions seems unfair. Others might disagree. Having said that, this is still an excellent study of the conflict. The examination of the intense diplomatic process in itself is commendable, as is the detail included in so many other areas. History will indeed show that the US was indeed the only nation not prepared to see the Jewish state `go under' at this crucial time in history, for which immense and eternal credit should be paid to the US for it's help and assistance. Being British and having served in the British military at the time concerned, this does not make me proud of my own nation's stance. Despite having taken issue with some of the matters in this book I still highly recommend this as a valuable study to those interested in the Middle East. Thank you.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 10, 2003
After reading "Six Days of War: June 1967 and the Making of the Modern Middle East" by Michael Oren, an excellent book about the Six Day War, I was looking for a similarly detailed, behind-the-scenes military account of the Yom Kippur War. Unfortunately, this was not the book. While "The Two o'Clock War" does give a good overview of the major players and general history of the Yom Kippur War, it lacks the in depth analysis and coverage that I was hoping to get. Furthermore, it is important to note that this book concentrates heavily on the American airlift and its role in the war rather than on the detailed strategic military decisions, actions, and maneuvers that determined the outcome of this war. Again, I was simply looking for a different perspective. Overall the book is well written and somewhat interesting, but it left me with little additional insight on this extremely important period of time.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 4, 2002