A page-turning, headline-making narrative on the Yom Kippur War that is, all at once, a war drama, a political history, as well as an espionage story.
The Yom Kippur War of October 1973 is a turning point in the history of the Middle East - and a conflict that continues to influence and shape Israeli-Arab relations and the prospects for peace.
Well-trained and inventive Arab armies caught Israel by surprise. More than 80,000 Egyptian troops crossed the "impregnable" Suez Canal in a daring attack that overran the Israeli forts and penetrated deep into the Sinai Peninsula.
In the north, Syrian tank brigades rushed through the weak Israeli lines and were poised to storm into major cities. And the vaunted Israeli Air Force was shattered by the sophisticated missile defense systems that protected the Syrian and Egyptian lines: one third of all its fighter jets were shot down in the first two days of the war.
By the end of the third day of the fighting, as an Israeli counter-attack in the Sinai fails totally, the leaders of Israel are convinced that not only is defeat imminent, but also the end of the Jewish state. Prime Minister Goida Meir, after the terms of surrender are outlined in a cabinet meeting, purchases the poison she will soon swallow.
Defence Minister Moshe Dayan tells the cabinet that "the destruction of the Third Temple is at hand". He orders Jericho missiles armed with atomic warheads prepared for launching: If Israel is no longer to exist, he will destroy the Arab world too.
Yet even as Israel is on the verge of being annihilated, it begins to fight back. In a series of dramatic battles on the land, sea, and air, Israel turns the tide. In the north, 7 tanks hold off 178 Syrian tanks for two days - and when Israeli reinforcements finally arrive they push on to the outskirts of Damascus. While in the south, the largest tank battle in history takes place - and after three days of constant brutal fighting Israeli forces recross the canal and penetrate into Egypt.
Clearly, this is a big, sprawling and important tale - and one that has never before been told in a popular book. It is story that will attract attention because of the news it will reveal - the account, for example, of a daring Egyptian double agent who fooled the Mossad. And it will be of interest because the events in this war continue to influence how both Arabs and Jews think about peace today.
But most compellingly is the way bestselling author Howard Blum tells this story. He has written a self-contained dramatic narrative about Arabs and Jews: a story about love, war, and courage and the possibility of peace.
- Publication Date:
- 01 / 11 / 2003
- 153 x 234mm