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The Crossing of the Suez, Revised Edition Paperback – October, 2003
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a victory,the most outstanding feat of Arab arms in modern times and the most audacious stoke by any army.. -- The Economist, January 7, 1981
critical insider's account of the planning and execution of the Egyptian army's momentous crossing of the Suez Canal -- Armor, january-february 1982
From the Publisher
The Crossing of the Suez has been praised by the international press as thought provoking necessary reading. (See Book Reviews.)
The consequences of this publication cost Shazly dearly. He was court marshaled in absentia and received a three year prison sentence. He was denied legal representation, stripped of his political rights and had his property sequestered. All without a single witness, save a captain serving in military intelligence.
Two charges were brought against Shazly. The first was publishing a book without prior approval. A charge Shazly admits to. The second was divulging military secrets in his book. A charge Shazly vehemently denies, claiming the so-called secrets were government secrets rather than military secrets. Shazly maintains the government was trying to hide the facts.
In 1992 Shazly returned to Egypt after 14 years in exile in Algeria for criticizing the policies of President Anwar Sadat. He was arrested in the airport upon his return. No trial ever took place and Shazly was forced to serve his prison term, despite the rule of law according to the Egyptian Constitution that sentences received in absentia must be retried. During his time in prison Shazlys legal team succeeded in obtaining a ruling from the highest civilian court which stated that the prior military conviction was illegal, and declared the military ruling unconstitutional. The court ordered Shazlys immediate release. None took place. Shazly served the remainder of his sentence.
The Crossing of the Suez, and Shazlys later book, The Arab Military Option, were never published in Egypt. They were however published in English French and Arabic and sold in many countries. The book has been reviewed by major publications including the Economist, the New York Times, the Christian Science Monitor, and others. The book is currently in its second printing.
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Top Customer Reviews
The main appeal is the precise operations briefing feel of the bulk of the book. The author falters only when he addresses the period following Egyptian deep penetration into the Sinai. It was at this point that political factors and personal agendas began to conflict with tactical objectives. When it occurred that the Egyptians might be able to achieve even greater success than their plan envisioned both the plan and Egyptian senior leadership reached their limits.
The narrative not-too subtly shifts to an extended argument explaining why it was everyone else's fault that tactical and ultimately strategic gains realized by brilliant and faithful execution of an almost faultless plan were lost. Even this portion is valuable though, providing as it does, insight into the non-military challenges facing any military planner. The General's sometimes plaintive comments about the political in-fighting that interfered with and ultimately, in his view, cost Egypt the victory ring true.
In summary, this is a book that is valuable for the professional and amateur military strategist alike. It will be treasured for its detailed description of one of history's most successful large scale special operations as well as its insight into the manifest difficulty inherent in managing the tension between military and political objectives.
The author's military career and charisma can be felt through his style of writing, which greatly simplifies complex situations. He is clear and organized. He carefully lists military hardships faced before the war and the necessary equipments and training the Egyptian army lacked. Then, he goes on explaining the political implications. He continues then listing the war details, day by day. The most amazing thing is the book is still banned in Egypt and the man was exiled from Egypt and sentenced to jail, which he actually partly served after returning. So sad to see such a war hero be humiliated instead of received with honor.
I highly recommend it to anyone interested in the operations itself, or interested in the planning of an operation based on your capabilities.
This book is an excellent work, well worth the effort to find a copy. It's too bad that many of the typos of the original edition were not eliminated in the 2003 edition. But, it's good history as well as a good example of military philosophy.
The late Lieutenant General Saad El Shazly; the chief of Staff of the Egyptian Armed Forces and the author of "The Crossing of Suez" provides a comprehensive account of what actually happened on the Egyptian front during the October 1973 war. The author details the spectacular events that followed the initial crossing of the Suez Canal on October 6, including the storming of the infamous Bar Lev line, absorbing the initial counter enemy blows, inflicting heavy losses on the attacking troops both in the Air and on the ground, establishing a bridgehead on the West Bank of the Canal with two armies and their heavy equipment in less than 15 hours. The book highlights the military battles that took place on both banks of the Canal and until the final cease fire went into effect. The author also provides a fascinating account of his relations with the Egyptian President, the Commander in Chief prior to and during the war.
General Shazly answered many questions, especially for those readers who didn't follow that war. He explains the daring and brilliant Egyptian war plan and troop preparations to cross the Suez Canal to reclaim Sinai. This was a formidable operation for the Egyptian army, given the enemy fortifications and the Suez Canal topography. Indeed, military professionals regard the Suez crossing by the Egyptian Army as a military/ engineering miracle. The reader can't help but admire the Egyptian General Shazlie, his staff officers, and the corps of military engineers of the Egyptian Army, for their leadership, vision, dedication, ingenuity and attention to detail in order to ensure that the Suez Canal crossing would be successful with minimum losses of men and material.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Reading military memoirs can be akin to clearing a mine field in my opinion. I write this because too many of them either gloss over events or are an exercise in excuse making. Read morePublished 24 months ago by Ryan
Awesome book! After reading numerous books on the subject of the Yom Kippur War (Israel side), this was a refreshing view that was provided in a straight forward manner and... Read morePublished on January 29, 2014 by D and M Driver
Brilliant Egyptian General who was the only officer to evacuate from Sinia with his unit entact after 1967 Israel sneak attack. Read morePublished on July 17, 2013 by bruno
My disappointment was the book Crossing the Suez by Saad Shazly is the same book of October War in Arabic by the same Auther, I have October War and when ordered Crossing the... Read morePublished on May 2, 2011 by Santana
This is a fantastic book about The October War 1973 from the Arab's point of view. So many book have been written thus far, mostly from the Israeli perspective but reading this... Read morePublished on May 15, 2008 by Muhammad