SIX DAYS IN JUNE by Eric Hammel


How Israel Won the 1967 Arab-Israeli War
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 Another tour de force from military historian Hammel (Ambush Valley, 1990, etc.). This time around, Hammel focuses on the so-called Six-Day War, during which Israel vanquished a clutch of Arab foes in a series of swift assaults along three perilous fronts. He sets the stage with background information on the Jewish state's postindependence struggle for survival against hostile neighbors and on the development of its defense force in battle (notably, the 1956 Suez- Sinai campaign) as well as in border skirmishes. The author also provides big-picture perspectives on Nasser's ill-advised saber- rattling, the proximate casus belli. Getting down to business, Hammel offers a harrowing, gut-level record of the preemptive air strikes and improvisational small-unit actions that routed the Egyptian army, wrested Jerusalem's Old City from its Jordanian protectors, and dislodged Syrian troops from the Golan Heights. But while the 1967 conflict ended in a great triumph for Israel, it was no walkover. As Hammel makes clear, the victors paid a high price in blood for their conquests, which owed much to the flexible doctrines of the nation's high command and to the uncommon valor of its soldiery. By the same token, he argues, Arab troops could, with better leadership, have given far better accounts of themselves. A vivid retrospective, rich in tactical and strategic detail. (Eleven maps.)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1992
ISBN: 0-684-19390-6
Page count: 480pp
Publisher: Scribner
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 1992


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