THE TANKS OF TAMMUZ by Shabtai Teveth


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A scrapbook of the Israeli Army's Armored Corps, retrospectively including a twenty-year history of its accomplishments and a close account of its role in the June War. (Tammuz is June.) There are novelistic vignettes of commanders and soldiers--especially Israel Tal, who has headed the Corps since 1964. The Army first realized the tanks' potential in the 1956 Sinai campaign. During the June War they fought the crucial vanguard ground battle, breaking into Sinai again without direct air cover, then pushed the Egyptian Army back toward the Canal and cracked the Syrian frontier. Teveth, a prominent journalist, rode with the tanks; one can see how an inch-by-inch eyewitness report would become a best-seller in Israel, but fewer American readers will want this degree of military detail. Teveth begins the book with the May 1967 mobilization in Israel, pressing the prevalent view that war was imperative. He uses General Tal, among others, as a vehicle for his further messages: Jewish nationalism may be philosophically questionable, but Israel must survive in a world of nation-states; Israeli militarism may be regrettable, but Jews must survive in a region of powerful enemies. . . and at least the army is as democratic as discipline will permit. The book comes with Dayan's recommendation.

Pub Date: May 19th, 1969
Publisher: Viking