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Duel for the Golan: The 100-Hour Battle That Saved Israel [Kindle Edition]

Jerry Asher , Eric Hammel
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Duel for the Golan
The 100-Hour Battle That Saved Israel
Jerry Asher with Eric Hammel

The first Saturday in October 1973: A traditional Jewish Sabbath in Israel. It is also Yom
Kippur, and the Israeli Defense Force is preparing to observe the holiest of the Jewish holy days.

Meanwhile the Syrian army, the greatest achievement of the modern Syrian state, is
massed on the Golan Heights. Together with newly arrived Soviet-made equipment,
1,200 main battle tanks, 1,000 armored personnel carriers, 1,000 artillery pieces, and
more than 100 mobile antiaircraft missile carriers are ready to strike in a lightning-swift
offensive that will drive to the sea and cut Israel in two.

Duel for the Golan, the first book to be written on this aspect of the Yom Kippur War, is
based on interviews with the participants from both sides of the fighting. As such it
remain a compelling and powerful account of one of the greatest tank battles fought
since World War II. It also provides the first in-depth analysis of exactly how and why an
inferior number of Israeli defenders was capable of inflicting one of the greatest defeats
in modern military history upon awe-inspiring Arab armored forces.

Here are the intimate details of tank-against-tank fighting, whether it be during retreats,
in ambushes, or on the attack. Here are the stories of incredible courage and individual
initiative as the Israeli defenders strive to contain the unexpected Syrian assault. During
the 100-hour battle that saved Israel, every Israeli tank that was committed to the Golan
fighting was hit by hostile fire at least once, and some commanders had five or six tanks
shot out from under them.

By the end of the war only a few days later, Israeli forces had counterattacked and
advanced to where their artillery could hit the Damascus International Airport and other
strategic targets with pinpoint accuracy. The Syrian army was virtually destroyed in the
field, as were contingents from other Arab states such as Iraq and Jordan. How these remarkable turns of battle occurred is deftly laid out. This revealing account of a battle
that changed the history of the Middle East is especially relevant today as tensions in the
region increase once again.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This is the story of the largest tank battle since World War II: Syria and its Iraqi and Jordanian allies lost some 1450 tanks in the struggle for the Golan Heights in October 1973. The Israelis lost 250 and won the battle in four days. The combat scenes are well done, but the most interesting aspect of the book is the description of the emergency mobilization of the Israeli army amidst Yom Kippur observances and the improvisations necessary as the high command thrust units helter-skelter into battle. There is new information here about the Syrian buildup and the uneasy alliance between President Assad and Egyptian President Sadat. Asher (an Israeli) and Hammel (author of several military books) argue that despite Assad's assumption that his forces would be able to roll over Israeli positions before significant reinforcements arrived, the Syrian grand strategy was doomed from the start because of the planners' fears of possible political repercussions. Photos.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

A riproaring story of the role of the Israeli defenders on the Golan Heights during the Arab-Israeli war of 1983. Rich in detail of battles, units, and weapons, the book is a treasure trove for the military historian. It also provides a new political perspective, giving more weight to Syrian influence in the decision to initiate a combined effort with Egypt against Israel in 1973. A theme that may cause dispute is that the Golan was saved essentially because of the efforts of the Israeli armor, rather than the air force or the infantry. A good guide to be read along with Avigdor Kahalani's The Heights of Courage ( LJ 11/1/84). Well suited for a wide range of readers. Sanford R. Silverburg, Political Science Department, Catawba College, Salisbury, N.C.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • File Size: 987 KB
  • Print Length: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Pacifica Military History (July 18, 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002I61ALM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #331,102 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
72 of 80 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent study of often ignored battle during 1973 war. November 23, 2002
Little is heard about the fighting on the Golan Heights between Israeli & Syrian forces during the Yom Kippur war, but those familiar with the terrain & environs of the Golan Heights & the Galilee region as a whole, can have little doubt as to the difficulties facing the combatants on both sides and the very harshness of the campaign.
This excellent book is about the conflict here during the 1973 war, where the Syrian Army massed on the Golan Heights, attempted to strike in a lighting offensive drive towards the Mediterranean Sea, thereby cutting Israel in two during the most Holy period in the Jewish calendar, with the Israeli military at it's most vulnerable.
This outstanding study details the make-up of the Syrian forces which consisted of a vast amount of new Soviet equipment/weaponry & comprising of some 1,200 main battle tanks, 1,000 armoured personnel carriers & some 1,000 artillery pieces, not to mention the vast numbers of infantry.
The book presents a number of interviews taken over a five year period from participants of both sides during the fighting and covers one of the greatest tank battles fought anywhere since World War 2, even detailing many �intimate' accounts of �tank against tank' battles during the combat.
We are provided with remarkable accounts of incredible courage and an analysis of how an inferior number of Israeli troops inflicted one of the greatest defeats in military history upon considerably greater Arab armoured forces. Notably, every single Israeli tank engaged in combat, being numerically inferior, was hit by hostile fire.
An exploration is provided into how the end of this conflict resulted in the Syrian Army being virtually destroyed in the field (including largely ignored or forgotten Iraqi & Jordanian contingents) and with Israeli artillery within range of striking Damascus, the Syrian capital.
A highly recommended, excellent account of yet another pivotal battle in this turbulent region.
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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Kindle buyers beware! April 22, 2011
By Abby
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I am only about 10% of the way through this book (according to my Kindle meter), and have already found seventy (70) typos. It looks like whatever program they used to turn the book into an e-book randomly cut words in half (about 3 per Kindle page, sometimes more, sometimes less).

I haven't read enough to give a full review of the content, but so far the author has impressed me with details and history of the region. I will come back and edit this review when I finish the book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Good January 27, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Very informative, well written account of the battle. It describes both Syria and Israel's strategy's I believe in an unbiased way. I visited the Golan in 1999 and seeing the terrain where these forces fought drives home the difficulty's and extreme courage of the two army's. I fully recommend this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars What awful maps. February 1, 2015
Full Disclosure: I was a member of Kibbutz Merom Golan, the first settlement built after the 6-Day War. I lived there for seven years, including the period covered in this book. The military aspects of this book are right on, they cover the fighting well and as far as I am familiar, accurately. Why three stars? The maps are awful, the arrows pointing to lines of advance and retreat are accurate, however the geography, that part of a map one may rely on, is just horrible, Neither Kibbutz Marom Golan or Ein Zivan are shown, and only a few of the kibbutzim and moshavim in the south are shown.He has representation of hills where there are no hills and leaves out the hill that are there. Map 7 is a perfect example, the split arrows just north of Kuneitra are shown going around a hill that is almost a mile back from where it is shown. Kibbutz Marom Golan is behind that hill and my apple orchard was right in front of it. In addition the font size of the lettering on the map indicates that Kuneitra is a fair sized city and indeed, it once was. Having been sniped at one time too many from the ruins, we pretty much destroyed most of it...after we had looted it of anything of value. The population that was there in 1967 fled so quickly there was still clothes on the line and food on the plates.. Got to Google maps and focus down to maximum exposure, there is no there, there.
The prologue is both wrong and misleading. It is common knowledge that the Syrians fired artillery at the settlers in the Huleh Valley, what is not common knowledge is the those settlers were farming the area directly below the Golan, an area the Israelis and Syrians had agreed would be left untended, the prologue plays into the myth of constant shelling of the Huleh Valley settlements.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting book June 21, 2014
By a-i
The book is interesting and informative. Provides a lot of information about the tank battles; doesn't deny Israel's overwhelming victory, like some other books on the subject do. My only criticism would be that except the Hermon battle, the authors don't discuss the role of infantry. It's true that it was mostly a tank battle; however, there is a lot to be said about the fortifications along the Purple Line manned by infantry and paratroopers, whose tiny garrisons exhibited great skills, courage and resourcefulness, and held the outposts against repeated attacks of enemy tanks and motorized infantry. But overall, a good book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lots of Action April 23, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Really good behind the scenes look as to how the Israelis were able to pull it together, come from behind and defeat the Syrian thrust into the Golan.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
To many misspellings
Published 3 months ago by Nis H. Hoff
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good read
Very good read and account of the battles for the Golan
Published 3 months ago by Eugene Choong
3.0 out of 5 stars obviously good research. A little hard to follow without maps ...
obviously good research. A little hard to follow without maps etc and I got entirely lost in the names, but a very good book. Read more
Published 3 months ago by David Cole
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent, very exciting history of courage and victory against ...
An excellent, very exciting history of courage and victory against great odds
that was the 1973 Yom Kipur war.
Published 4 months ago by Vladimir Pilar
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 10 months ago by Positive Works
5.0 out of 5 stars Stark account of a miraculous victory of passion and skill ...
Stark account of a miraculous victory of passion and skill overcoming monstrous numbers and technology. Read more
Published 10 months ago by nussman
4.0 out of 5 stars A complete history of the Golan portion of the Yom Kippur War
The book is well researched with quotes from both Syrian commanders and Israelis alike. It becomes difficult to follow. A map would have helped immensely.
Published 11 months ago by Paul J. Schonbrun
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read, really gave a closer view regarding the fight for the...
Very detailed and attention holding reading. I really appreciated seeing the combat at this level, I usually have read the larger scale history which does not allow for the more... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Keith Murray
4.0 out of 5 stars Good.
Enjoyed the book. Quite well done, concise rendering of a truly close call for Israel. I would have rated the book higher but for the never-ending typos.
Published on February 23, 2013 by Charles Sudds
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