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Raid on the Sun: Inside Israel's Secret Campaign that Denied Saddam the Bomb Paperback – March 1, 2005
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From Publishers Weekly
This gripping account of Operation Babylon, the Israelis' 1981 raid on the Iraqi nuclear reactor at Osirak, is the first to draw on planners' and pilots' own memories. The raid was planned to follow a long campaign of espionage, sabotage and outright assassination by the Mossad, which had failed to prevent the French-built reactor from being about ready to produce weapons-grade plutonium in the summer of 1981. Then the Israeli air force, taking its new F-16s on their first combat mission and one far beyond their designed performance, struck, obliterating the reactor with no losses, few misses and only one civilian casualty. Tactics, technology and weapons are all presented in a clear manner that does not slow the pace. L.A.-based journalist Claire's group portrait of the eight superlatively skilled and trained pilots includes Zeev Raz, the squadron leader and now a general; the ace, Iftach Spector, who missed his target because he suffered a blackout induced by the flu; and Ilan Ramon, who became Israel's first astronaut and was lost on the Columbia.The final result reads like a techno-thriller that is difficult to put down once the mission gets airborne.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From interviews the Israeli government allowed the author to conduct with the pilots who destroyed Iraq's nuclear reactor in 1981, journalist Claire dramatically reconstructs the origin and execution of the attack. Structurally splicing scenes of the pilots' preparations on the day of the attack with flashbacks to the espionage and intelligence activity that preceded it, Claire relates how carefully the Israelis watched the French sale and shipment of the reactor during the 1970s. Sabotage, most likely by the Israelis, failed to stop the project--obviously intended to produce plutonium for a nuclear bomb, not electricity, as Saddam Hussein proclaimed. Vowing never to allow a second Holocaust, Menachem Begin ordered the raid. The operation-- which is the heart of Claire's account-- faced an obstacle when it was determined that the distance to the target exceeded the range of the F-16 warplane. When that problem is ultimately solved, Claire proceeds to render the actual flight and attack in true pulse-pounding detail. An intense read that will carry military-affairs readers from cover to cover. Gilbert Taylor
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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