UNCATEGORIES

ῴ Early reader series ´ By Steven Pressfield ‖

ῴ Early reader series ´ By Steven Pressfield ‖ ῴ Early reader series ´ By Steven Pressfield ‖ Lenart with his F4U Corsair at the battle for Okinawa, 1945.A NOTE ON HYBRID HISTORYBefore I address what this book is, let me state what it is not.It is not a comprehensive history of the Six Day War Entire battles have been left out Critical contextual material such as the international diplomatic and political state of affairs prior to the war, the point of view of the Arabs, even the history of the Jewish people, has been included only as it touches upon the testimony of the central personalities of this piece, the war veterans themselves Even within the Israel Defense Forces IDF , units whose contributions to victory were essentialthe Golani Brigade, Ugda Yoffe, the Harel and Jerusalem Brigades, the Sayeret Matkal, the navy, and many othersreceive only passing mention. The Lions Gate tracks the experiences of a limited number of IDF unitsMirage Squadron 119 of the air force, the 7th Ard Brigade in particular its Reconnaissance Company , Helicopter Squadron 124, Paratroop Battalion 71, and several others Even within these formations, only a limited number of individuals are profiled The books primary material comes from sixty three interviews I conducted in Israel, France, and the United States, totaling about 370 hours The focus is deliberately personal, subjective, and idiosyncratic.Nor does this book pretend to document the facts of the war The meat of this narrative is the testimony of soldiers and airmen It is their memories Memory can be a tricky animal Is it truth Is it history Is it fact I am less concerned with these questions, which are ultimately unanswerable, than with the human reality in the moment What fascinates me is the subjective immediacy of the event I want to be in the cockpit, inside the tank, under the helmet What is important to me is the event as the man or woman experienced it.Memory, we know, is notoriously unreliable Memory can be self serving, self glorifying, self exonerating Memory fades People forget Memory contains gaps and blank spots.Then there is the Rashomon effect The attentive reader will discover instances in this book where three individuals present three different versions of the identical event in which all three participated This phenomenon happened during the interviews themselves When I spoke with than one person at a time, one friend would often contradict another No, that happened before dark Dont you remember The reader must keep these considerations in mind when evaluating the accounts presented in these pages.A word, too, about the treatment of material within the interviews In some instances the interviewees speech is transcribed verbatim In others, I have edited, inverted order, altered tense, used time compression, and employed other narrative devices The interviews were conducted in English For most participants, English is a second or third language Several interviews involved translation on the spot by my colleague Danny Grossman In configuring the material for use in this book, I have sometimes retro imagined the interviewees prose as if it had been spoken in his or her primary language.Books A number of the individuals interviewedYael Dayan, Ruth Dayan, Eliezer Cheetah Cohen, Uzi Eilam, Ran Ronen, Giora Romm, Morele Bar On, Avigdor Kahalani, and othershave themselves written works in full or in part about the Six Day War I have, with these writers permission, interpolated material from their published works into these spoken narratives.One unit featured in this book is the Reconnaissance Company of the 7th Ard Brigade Members of this group produced a documentary, We Looked Death in the Eye , about their experiences in the 1967 War I have employed the same practice with this film as I have with books, taking certain quotes spoken on camera and integrating them into the individual speakers narrations I must alert the reader to another intentional violation of the conventions of history writing Moshe Dayan died in 1981 I conducted my interviews during 2011 and 2012 Clearly I could not have spoken with Dayan Yet I have written his chapters in the first person, as if in his own words.Why am I calling this book hybrid history Because I have elected in its composition to employ techniques from a number of disciplinesfrom journalism and academic history, from conventional nonfiction and narrative nonfiction, and from New Journalism.The Dayan chapters must be considered the latter Dayan did not dictate these sentences into my tape recorder They are not his testimony or his recounting of events However, I have made every effort to be as true to the historical Moshe Dayan as my limitations of knowledge and imagination permit.Fortunately Dayan left an autobiography, a diary of the Sinai Campaign of 1956, an extraordinary personal testament titled Living with the Bible, and a number of other published works In addition, many excellent biographies exist, penned by his colleagues and contemporaries I was privileged as well to interview a number of individuals who were extremely close to Dayan his first wife, Ruth his daughter, Yael his nephew Uzi as well as associates and fellow officers Neora Matalon Barnoach, Shlomo Gazit, Morele Bar On, Michael Bar Zohar, Aharon Yadlin, and Zalman Shoval That being said, the reader should bear in mind while reading the Dayan chapters that I have at some points crossed the line into pure speculation.On my office shelves sit 107 books about the Six Day War and its antecedents Why write another The answer is I wanted to tell the subjective story, the on the ground and in the air saga, in a way I have not seen it told before, even if it meant taking liberties with academic and journalistic conventions.The swift passage of the years is a factor as well Many of the veterans interviewed for this book are in their late sixties no few are in their seventies, eighties, or nineties They may not tell their stories on the record again.I am a Jew I wanted to tell the story of this Jewish war, fought by Jews for the preservation of the Jewish nation and the Jewish people I dont pretend to be impartial At the same time, I have tried, despite license taken, to tell the story straight.I alone am responsible for the structure, theme, and editorial choices in this book I chose what to put first and what to put last, what to leave in and what to leave out The veterans honored me by telling me their stories, but responsibility for the final shape and content of this work rests with me alone.STEVEN PRESSFIELD 2014BOOK ONETHE WAITING1.TWO BROTHERSThree weeks before the war, I went to visit my brother Nechemiah in Jerusalem He and I were born there The city is our home.Major Eliezer Cheetah Cohen is a pilot and commander of Squadron 124, Israels first and leading helicopter formation.Nechemiah was twenty four years old then, a captain in the Sayeret Matkal, Israels special forces Along with Ehud Barak, the future prime minister, he was the most decorated soldier in the army Nechemiah had been awarded five medals for valorone Medal of Distinguished Service and four Chief of Staff Citations.Nechemiah had been promoted from lieutenant four months earlier, transferred to the elite 35th Paratroop Brigade, and made a company commander This was to give him experience commanding formations larger than the twelve man teams of the special forces.The date of our visit was May 15, Independence Day My wife, Ela, and I had gone with our children to the parade in West Jerusalem Nechemiah phoned and invited us to come out to his command post for a visit Its safe, he said Bring the kids.Nechemiahs outpost was at Abu Tor, in the middle of no mans land Abu Tor is the highest hill immediately south of the Old City The site controls access by road from Jordan and dominates the southern approach to Old Jerusalem.Nechemiah had about fifty paratroopers in posts along the armistice line, four or five in each He had set up his headquarters in a beautiful old red stone villa, which had been abandoned for almost twenty years, since the fighting in 1948 All around the house were barbed wire, barricades, machine gun posts Signs read DANGERMINES It was a gorgeous spot in the middle of a junkyard.Down the hill were posts and fortifications of the Arab Legion These were King Husseins elite troops, British trained, wearing their famous red and white checked keffiyehs My kids were thrilled to see enemy soldiers so close.Nechemiah and I spent two hours together We went up on the villas high, flat roof The site looked like any other field outpost occupied by young soldierssandbags and high powered binoculars, cases of combat rations, bedrolls tucked into corners, a half circle of rucksacks with weapons and helmets ready for action.You must understand that Nechemiah and I come from a very humble family We grew up playing in alleys and side streets and on the stony hillsides of a city we could not claim as our own Jerusalem was under British rule then There was no Israel We Jews had no country.When the state was founded in 1948, the army of Jordan won the battle for Jerusalem The Arab Legion drove our forces out of the Old City, burned over fifty synagogues, killed every Jew they could find.Nechemiah and I understood this and hated it, even as boys When we grew up we became soldiers and officers We ceased talking like angry children and began planning like military professionals Nechemiah is a paratrooper, I am a pilot Its up to us We have to do the job.This is how we saw the situation, Nechemiah and I, on the roof of the villa above no mans land We both knew that war was coming Does it frustrate you, brother, I asked, to be stuck here in Jerusalem when the fighting will surely be in Sinai or Syria Our understanding in that moment was that war would not come to the Holy City Jordan wouldnt risk attacking Israel she might lose And Israel could not make the first move The outside world would never let her.From our rooftop, my brother and I could see the poplar grove above the Western Wallour peoples most sacred siteso close it seemed we could almost touch it, yet cut off from us by barbed wire and minefields and the combat posts of the Arab Legion.Look there, brother, I said I can spit and reach Mount Moriah, where Abraham bound Isaac There you see Davids Tower and what is left of the Jewish Quarter of the Old City All this is ours What is stopping us from taking it, ahuyah I employed the Arabic word for brother, which we all used in our family Are we waiting for the United Nations or the world powers to give us permission The Jordanians dont hold the Old City by ancient right It was never part of their country They seized it by force in 1948 I asked Nechemiah what he thought the Americans would do in our place Would their army sit still for one minute if a foreign power occupied Pennsylvania Avenue Would the British stand idly by if another nation held even one lane of London What would the Russians do I can hear my brothers answer as if he were standing before me now Ahuyah, he said, if war comes, it will come to Jerusalem too We are going to liberate the Old City.I didnt believe him I thought to myself, This is only a dream Every combat alert at the time was against the Egyptians, the Syrians, the Iraqis Never against the Jordanians.It will happen, my brother said You will see.We embraced then and took our leave That was the last time I saw Nechemiah alive.My younger brotherI am older by eight yearswas ordered with his company to join the main body of the 35th Paratroop Brigade along the frontier with Egypt He was killed in Gaza on the first day of the war.My helicopter squadron was assigned that day to fly medevac missions in northern Sinai and the Gaza Strip The emergency call came over my own squadron radio net Mass casualties near Gaza City.I dispatched one of my pilots, Reuven Levy, to handle the evacuation It never occurred to me that my brother could be among the dead He was too good, too smart Nothing could happen to him.Levy was ordered by an officer on site to say nothing to me about Nechemiahs death Cheetah is a critical squadron commander, Levy was told The nation needs him operating at full capacity.So I flew night and day throughout the war, in Gaza and Sinai, in the West Bank and Jerusalem and on the Golan Heights, and knew nothing of what had happened to my brother.On the last day, when all Israel was flooding into liberated Jerusalem to touch the stones and behold the miracle that many had believed would never come to pass, I was in the office of the base commander at Tel Nof Air Base, being informed at last that my brother had not survived to witness this day In that hour, my world ended.2.THE VOICE OF THUNDERThe state of Israel is the size of New Jersey The combined landmass of its twenty Arab enemy states is than a million square miles larger than the rest of the United States.In 1967, the population of Israel was 2.7 million Many were immigrants recently evicted from Arab countries of North Africa and the Middle East These newcomers possessed few skills that could be used in the defense of the nation Most could not even speak Hebrew The state of Israel existed within a sea of 122 million Arabs, outnumbered by than forty to one.Lieutenant Zeev Barkai is the twenty three year old operations officer of Paratroop Battalion 71 He is a kibbutznik from Kibbutz Kinneret on the Sea of Galilee He will be awarded the Itur HaOz, Israels second highest decoration for valor, for his actions during the Six Day War.In 1967, there was no TV station in Israel We had only one radio station, Kol Israel, the Voice of Israel But we could see Arab TV There was a station in Jordan and one in Egypt, along with the Voice of Thunder out of Cairo, an all day radio broadcast in occasionally laughable Hebrew whose normal propaganda had been cranked up now to crisis hysteria level, seeking to terrify the Israeli populace.Jews, the Arab people have decided to rid Palestine of your presence Therefore pack your bags and flee before death overtakes you Tel Aviv will be a ruin Our bombs will hit their targets Where will you run to, Zionists You tried to laugh this stuff off, but it got to you Remember the song The End, by Jim Morrison and the Doors It was popular then There was a line that said something like This is the end, my friend, this is the end Thats what those weeks felt like.Cairo TV played endless footage of Arab mobs in the streets, carrying banners and chanting, Kill the Jews and Death to the Zionists The Voice of Thunder quoted Azzam Pasha of the Arab League from 1948 This will be a war of extermination and a momentous massacre, which will be spoken of like the Mongolian massacres and the Crusades.The Arab world had a leader thenGamal Abdel Nasser, the president of Egyptsuch as it had not had in the modern era before or since Egypt was then still officially the United Arab Republic, though its partner, Syria, had withdrawn from the union in 1961 Nassers vision was pan Arabism one state stretching from Central Asia across the Middle East and Africa to the Atlantic He wanted a modern Arab world, secular, socialist, armed with the latest weapons and equipped with the newest technology To that end, Egypt and Syria had allied themselves with the Soviet Union, which was then at the peak of its wealth and power.President Gamal Abdel Nasser, left, with army chief Abdel Hakim Amer and Egyptian pilots a few days before the war.Nassers Russian supplied air force possessed 480 combat aircraft, all jets, including 180 MiG 17s and MiG 15s, 80 MiG 19s, and 130 of the latest MiG 21s, capable of flying at twice the speed of sound In addition, the EAF had 20 Sukhoi 7 fighter bombers and 70 Tupolev 16 and Ilyushin 28 bombers, plus 90 Ilyushin and Antonov transport planes and 60 helicopters Israel had no bombers at all The Syrian Air Force augmented Egypts with 120 Soviet built planes, including MiG 19s and MiG 21s The Iraqis could contribute 200 .Egyptian armor consisted of roughly 1,200 tanks, including 300 new Soviet T 54s and 200 of the even newer T 55s These were the same tanks the Russian Army used Syria possessed 550 Soviet tanks, and Iraq added 630, for a total of 2,400, not counting Lebanons pledged 130 and 100 from Saudi Arabia Against this, Israels ard brigades could put into the field only 800 tanks250 British Centurions, 200 American M48 Pattons, plus 150 light AMX 13s and 200 Super Shermans, World War II tanks up gunned and reconfigured for desert fighting.Into Sinai over the past month Nasser had poured 950 tanks, 1,100 ard personnel carriers, 1,000 artillery pieces, and 100,000 troops The Egyptian and Syrian air forces were trained by Soviet instructors Air defense radar was Soviet built and Soviet installed in many cases it was Soviet manned Egypts ground defenses in Sinaiminefields, artillery boxes, and bunker emplacementswere built by and designed by Soviet engineers according to the latest Soviet military doctrine.The bone in Nassers throat was us At the Arab League Summit in 1964, thirteen nations under Nassers leadership had created the United Arab Command, a military entity pledged to eradicate the Zionist entity The word Israel appeared on no Arab maps.My unit was called up on May 21 The way it works in Israel is you belong to the reserves Israels standing army then consisted of only three brigades The IDF is a reservist army For the force to reach full strength, reserve units are mobilized, meaning their men must leave their civilian jobs and report for military duty The whole economy grinds to a halt.My friend Yoram Zamosh, our A Company commander, was driving a tractor when a taxi came to mobilize himthe army sent cabs for officers Zamoshs radioman, Moshe Milo, was plowing a field too, on his Caterpillar D4 He was a sergeant a bus collected him along with the other enlisted men on the kibbutz Yoram and Moshe both had to run for home, with no time even to say good bye Just grab a toothbrush, leave a note, and go.Our battalion assembled at a place called Camp Israel next to Lod airfield, outside Tel Aviv Paratroop units need to be near airfields for obvious reasons Tel Nof Air Base was the main facility for paratrooper training A fence divided the base into two parts On one side were the swimming pool, the cinema, and the ice cream shop That was the pilots side On the other side were the jump towers, the obstacle course, and the barracks That was our side Three quarters of the men in our battalion came from kibbutzim or moshavim im is a suffix indicating plural in Hebrew A kibbutz is a communal farm where all land and goods are held in common A moshav is similar, except individual families are permitted to possess and farm their own piece of land.On kibbutzim in those days children were raised not by their parents but communally They lived in a Childrens House and grew up, supervised by their teachers and caretakers, among the other children The pioneer ideals were still very much in practice then All kibbutz members were equals No one got a salary Meals were taken in the communal dining hall.Some kibbutzim had only one telephone The idea of owning your own car was unheard of The typical kibbutz might possess a couple of old clunkersa Peugeot or Deux Chevaux or an Israeli made Studebaker Lark If you needed to drive somewheresay, into the city to see a doctoryou put your name on a list and hoped the committee gave you the keys We rode buses or bicycles or walked Everybody walked.A kibbutz could be tough sometimes When our battalion commander, Uzi Eilam, was twenty years old and had completed his first army service, he wanted to study at the Technion, the Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa Uzi was already an outstanding leader Clearly he was destined for big things The kibbutz took a vote and turned him down They wanted him at home, working the land.People think that Israelis of that era were religious Thats not true On the kibbutz in those days the ethic was socialist, communal, Zionistnot antireligious but definitely nonreligious Moshe Dayan, who was born on Israels first kibbutz, Deganiah Alef, had never had a bar mitzvah Many of us were like that We could light a candle, but we knew only a handful of prayers.In Israel the fifties and early sixties were called Tekufat HaTzena, the period of austerity The economy was struggling to absorb hundreds of thousands of immigrants, many of whom had been expelled from Arab countries These were often poor and lacking Western skills or education On the kibbutz, at least we had enough to eat You can tell someone who grew up during the Austere Period because their teeth have no cavities No one could afford such luxuries as sugar or candy.Israel, as I said, is small On the kibbutz farms where I and Zamosh and Milo and others of our battalion grew up, you felt like you were living in Kansas Yet Tel Avivour Manhattanwas only an hour and a half away.At our base near Lod, the brigade began training in earnest We were so new, we had never even jumped as a brigade Soon we would be jumping in combat, the rumors said, in Sinai We lived in shelter halvestwo man tentsin orchards under orange and lemon trees and listened at night on our transistors to the Voice of Thunder The news was full of stories of Nassers troop and tank buildup in Sinai The UN had a peacekeeping force in the desert Would they stop him On May 18 Nasser ordered them out and they went By May 22 he had closed the Straits of Tiran, sealing off our port of Eilat.Would there be war On May 24 we were ordered to stand ready D day would be the next morning That order was rescinded, then repeated on May 25, 26, and 27, and again on May 29 and 30 Each time we stood down, the politicians gave a different excuse They were seeking a negotiated settlement or exhausting all diplomatic options Mostly they were trying to get the Russians to tell Nasser to back off or to convince the Americans or the British and the French to come in on our side.When youre a twenty three year old lieutenant, you care nothing for any of this All you know is that every day that passes without the government making a decision gives the enemy time to prepare, time to bring up tanks and guns, time to dig in and fortify Every twenty four hours means of us will die.I remember getting a twelve hour pass to go home because my mother had taken sick I hitchhiked but got left off about fifteen kilometers short as darkness was falling From the road I could look east down the valley toward Jordan King Husseins army had 176 new American Patton tanks from the border they could reach my kibbutz in under an hour Syrian armor could roll down from the Golan Heights and be overrunning our defenses even sooner.Where I stood was only a few kilometers past the ruins of ancient MegiddoArmageddon of the Bible I tried not to think of it, but that song by the Doors kept playing in my head.3.DOWN IN THE DESERTI was living in Athens when I got a cable from my father asking me to come home at once It was understood that no Israeli would wish to be elsewhere when the nation was in danger For my father, who understood the political and military dynamics of the Middle East as well as any man, to write such a note could mean only one thing war was imminent.Yael Dayan is the twenty seven year old daughter of former army chief of staff Moshe Dayan She has published two well received novels, as well as essays and journalism, and has acquired a measure of celebrity in the European press She is also a segen mishne , a second lieutenant, in the reserve forces of the IDF.I flew back on BEA to Lod, the British built airfield that would become Ben Gurion International My mother picked me up The date was May 25, 1967 We drove to the mobilization center in Tel Aviv, where I presented my military identification and requested to be sent south, to the Egyptian front The desk sergeant smiled And where do you think everyone else wants to go But my request was approved.Driving home, my mother and I listened to Nassers latest radio harangue, in which the Egyptian president declared that our ultimate objective will be the destruction of Israel.Nasser announced that the armies of Egypt and Syria were now under unified command He invited Jordan to join Egypts president was, he said, in daily contact with the leaders of a dozen other Arab states, every one of which had pledged troops, arms, or money.I had dinner with my father that night He had been visiting the fighting units at the front and was in high spirits He joked that I had achieved in two hours what he had been unable to accomplish in two weeks the acquisition of an actual job.I asked him in what capacity he had been touring the forward units.As a uniformed soldier, accompanied by a conducting officer, he said Ezer Weizman, who was IDF chief of operations and my fathers brother in law Ezers wife, Reumah, was my mothers sister , had gotten my father mobilized, though without rank or authority I show up as a simple pain in the neck.He had met with Ezer that morning, my father said, and later with his dear friend Meir Amit, who was Israels chief of intelligence Egypt now had nearly a thousand tanks in Sinai, threatening our southern border If you were offered a post, Amit had asked my father, would you take it Dayan gave him this note for Prime Minister Levi Eshkol Dear Eshkol,I have asked Ezer Weizman to arrange my formal mobilization for active service so that my presence in an army unit will be legal and proper If you or the chief of staff consider that I may be of help in this war by being given a specific task, I shall, of course, accept If not, I shall continue in the meantime to be attached to combat units so that I may see developments at close quarters and be able to express practical views on the strength of the army and on what may be done.Moshe Dayan25.5.67.We talked about my assignment I had been detailed as a correspondent to the ugda of General Ariel Sharon, which was dug in now at Nitzana on the Egyptian frontier.An ugda is a formation unique to the Israeli Army Approximately the size of a division, it is configured of independent brigades for the purpose of accomplishing a specific objective or confronting a particular foe An ugda is a onetime formation It takes its name from its commander On the Sinai border, the army had mobilized three In the north, Ugda Tal No 84 under General Israel Tal in the center, Ugda Yoffe No 31 under General Avraham Yoffe in the south, Ugda Sharon No 38 under General Arik Sharon An independent ard brigade, the 8th, under Colonel Albert Mendler, was positioned farther south, opposite Kuntilla.My father had been out of the army for ten years, but in the public mind he remained the hero of the 56 Sinai Campaign and the paragon of the Israeli fighting commander While we dined, guests continually approached the table, no few in obvious states of agitation.When will the government call you, Moshe Will they make you minister of defense The people are behind you, General Dayan.I asked my father if he expected to be given a command by Prime Minister Eshkol.Yael Dayan.He will call you before he calls me My father spoke of the distinction between intent and objective In any military order, intent is inscribed above and supersedes objective.The issue with Eshkol, he said, was that his intent was to preserve Israel at any cost To that end, the prime minister set the nation at the beck and call of the Western powers, specifically the United States, while stalling and refusing to make a decision based on our strength alone.But the prime ministers intent, my father said, cannot be to preserve Israel at the price of sacrificing her fighting spirit and independence of action. To bang on the powers doors is to cut off our own balls We know it and Nasser knows it What has kept Israel safe for ten years is our enemies fear to strike us The prime ministers intent must be to preserve the nation by destroying the forces arrayed against it.We are being bullied, my father said, and the only way to handle a bully is to punch him in the face What would you do I asked.Strike now As soon as possible Meet the enemy straight up and destroy him There is no other way.Outside, my fathers car was waiting The hour was nearly midnight He was leaving for the headquarters of Southern Command in Beersheba.The prime minister will address the nation in a couple of days, I said At the mobilization offices, I had heard of a radio speech planned for the evening of May 29 Will you listen Yes, Moshe Dayan said But without relish.4.THE DEATH BURSTThe last thing on my mind was Eshkols speech I supposed I would listen when it came on But my job was to kill MiGs, not to worry about politics I was so deeply absorbed in my own flying and training that nothing could penetrate the bubble.Lieutenant Giora Romm is a twenty two year old fighter pilot with Squadron 119 based at Tel Nof Air Base He will become the first and only ace of the Six Day War, shooting down five MiGs.Every fighter squadron, and probably every operational unit in the world, breaks down into two generations the old guysthe captains and majors at the top of the food chainand the young lieutenants at the bottom.The captains and majors are the senior pilots, the squadron commander and his deputies In Squadron 119, these are the fliers with operational experience They had fought in the Sinai Campaign of 56 They had flown reconnaissance missions over Egypt and Syria and Jordan They had experienced triple Aantiaircraft artillery They had engaged in dogfights They had made kills.We young guys had done none of that We tried to imagine what war was like, but the feat was beyond us To us, war was a cinematic mash up of Pierre Clostermann memoirs and old Battle of Britain movies.The old guys were married and had families they lived in the colony of bungalows in the administrative part of the base They had cars and washing machines Their wives took care of everything for them I was twenty two I was six feet two and weighed 154 pounds I shared a room in the bachelor officers quarters with another pilot, Avramik Salmon I had no wife My car was at home with my parents in Tel Aviv I rode a bicycle I did my laundry at Ran Ronens house, our squadron commander His wife, Heruta, helped all of us She hung our socks and flight suits on the line out back and folded them up in neat piles, which we collected later.Every pilot thinks his squadron is the best I did and still do Heres a story that will tell you about our commander, Ran Ronen In training for air to air combat, a kill is awarded based on the film in the gun camera You must have one full second with your pipperthe gunsightzeroed on the body of the plane youre competing against But at that time a practice called demonstration shots was permitted You were allowed to cite gun camera film even if you were not in a sure kill position and you had not held your sights on the target for a full second The purpose of this practice was simply to demonstrate at the end of the day, in the briefing room with Ran and the other pilots, that you had been on the other guys tail and not the other way around.One day Ran called the squadron together This is bullshit he said in that voice that could make you jump six inches out of your chair From now on, Ran declared, pilots would be allowed to activate the gun camera only when the competing plane was dead center in our sightsa certain kill And we had to keep that plane in the bulls eye for a full second, sixteen consecutive frames of film.The pilots groaned when they heard this Do you know how hard it is to keep an enemy in your gunsights for a full second I have no compassion for you, declared Ran The sure kill, sixteen frame standard would now be called the death burst If you wanted to be credited with a kill, you had to produce the death burst.The next day, when the squadron went up to practice dogfighting, skill levels elevated by 40 percent It was amazing Every pilot raised his game You had to There was no other way to achieve the death burst.When I was fifteen, I applied for and was accepted into a new military boarding school associated with the Reali School in Haifa The Reali School was the elite high school in Israel The military school was a secondary school version of West Point We attended classes at Reali in the morning and underwent our military training in the afternoon.I dont believe there is an institution in Israel today that can measure up to the standards of that school Why did I want to go there I wanted to test myself At that time in Israel the ideal to which an individual aspired was inclusion as part of a serving elite The best of the best were not motivated by money or fame Their aim was to serve the nation, to sacrifice their lives if necessary At the military boarding school, it was assumed that every graduate would volunteer for a fighting unit, the elite, the better We studied, we played sports, we trekked We hiked all over Israel We were unbelievably strong physically But what was even powerful were the principles that the school hammered into our skulls.First Complete the mission.The phrase in Hebrew is Dvekut baMesima. Mesima is mission dvekut means glued to The mission is everything At all costs, it must be carried through to completion I remember running up the Snake Trail at Masada one summer at 110 degrees Fahrenheit with two of my classmates Each of us would sooner have died than be the first to call, Hey, slow down Second Whatever you do, do it to your utmost The way you tie your shoes The way you navigate at night Nothing is academic.Third En brera No alternative.We are Jews we are surrounded by enemies who seek our destruction and the extermination of our people There is no alternative to victory.In Squadron 119, Ran led us according to these principles Complete the mission Perform every action to perfection Follow through at any cost.Then there was one final principle, which was, and remains to this day, the secret weapon of IAF fighting doctrine Here is how it was taught to me I was talking with an older pilot He asked me what I considered to be Ezer Weizmans most important contribution to the air force Ezer was the IAFs boldest and most flamboyant commander.Thats easy, I said He got us seventy two Mirages Meaning the magnificent French built warplanes that we flew in our squadron.No, Giora, the veteran said Ezer introduced the culture of the ruthlessly candid debriefing.At the end of each training day, the squadron met in the briefing room Ran stood up front He went over every mistake we had made that daynot just those of the young pilots, but his own as well He was fearless in his self criticism, and he made us speak up with equal candor If you had screwed up, you admitted it and took your medicine Ego meant nothing Improvement was everything.An operational squadron flies only one type of plane In the IAF of 67 these were all French made twin engined Vautour fighter bombers single engine Ouragans that looked like American F 84 Thunderjets the subsonic Mystres and supersonic Super Mystres and the pride of the air force, the Dassault Mirage IIIC fighter interceptor.How do I feel about the Mirage Ill tell you a story After the war, when the Mirage was replaced by the American F 4 Phantom, I moved on to a Phantom squadron One day the ground crew was pushing my plane into its cell when we accidentally dinged one wingtip As punishment my squadron commander grounded me I phoned a friend, the commander of a Mirage squadron He invited me to come and fly.When I settled into the Mirage cockpit, tears welled in my eyes.The Mirage is an aircraft like no other You sit up front and high You can see everything The controls are close, and they respond to a touch You fly a Mirage with your fingertips.A Mirage is fast When you light the afterburner, the aircraft leaps And its beautiful It has that Coca Cola body Delta wings Silver The engine may be prone to flameouts and compression stalls, and you had to land with your nose so high you could barely see the runway, and without flaps the delta wings had none , but in the vertical dimension the Mirage was untouchable Nothing in the sky was a match for her.We were training to attack Egypt The enemy had fourteen major fields in Sinai, the Nile delta, and the south Each IAF squadron had its target listprimaries and secondaries You had to know them all The planes would attack in formations of four In ours and the two other Mirage squadronsthe 101 at Hatzor and the 117 at Ramat Davideach aircraft would be armed with two 500 kilogram 1,100 pound bombs The bombs would be dropped at specific points on specific runways at an hour and minute that was calculated precisely to coincide with attacks by every other squadron in the air force on every other Egyptian field.The bombing runs would be followed by three passes of strafing in a 270 degree pattern, alternating the turning direction twice Meaning you struck first from, say, the north, then the east or west, then the south or north With our 30 millimeter cannons we would attack enemy aircraft on the ground We knew where every plane was parked and at what hours the pilots returned from their early morning patrols.Every squadron in the Israel Air Force would participate in the attack Only 12 planes out of 202 would be held back to defend the nations skies Every machine that could fly would participate, including the ancient Fouga Magisters from the flight school The Fougas would be outfitted with rockets to attack ground targets and to provide close air support for the infantry and armor.How do you turn 202 planes into 404 By the skill of the maintenance crews on the ground In most air forces 75 percent would be a spectacular combat readiness figure, meaning that seventy five out of a hundred planes were fit to fly On 5 June 67 the IAF had 100 percent of its aircraft ready for takeoff Our ground crews could turn a plane around in minutes They could squeeze four or five sorties out of every plane every day On paper the enemy may have had aircraft, but we could put planes into the air.By mid May Nasser had closed the Straits of Tiran Egypt was sending and tanks into Sinai Squadron 119 was ordered to move onto the base full time Training hours went from ten to twelve to fourteen When we werent flying, we were briefing or debriefing or studying our tasks and our assignments.For me, this was heaven.What had motivated me to become a fighter pilot To seek single combat in the sky To test myself at what was, to my mind, the pinnacle of skill, resourcefulness, and daring.There was only one moment during the waiting period when I felt fear News came that the Egyptian 4th Ard Division had been deployed to Sinai The 4th, we all knew, was Nassers crack division, equipped with the heaviest and most modern Soviet tanks I was at a military dinner and found myself for a moment beside Motti Hod, the air force chief.Motti, I saidonly in Israel can a twenty two year old lieutenant address the commander of the air force not just by his first name but by his nickname What do you think about the Egyptian 4th Division moving forward in Sinai Should we be frightened Giora, this is news I have prayed for Let Nasser bring all his divisions forward The he brings, the we will destroy.I thought, Wow, that is an interesting way of looking at things It turned me around completely.So as the evening of the prime ministers address approached, I was worried about my laundry than about what Levi Eshkol had to say to the nation Would Rans wife have time to get my socks and skivvies into the washing machine I was really concerned about this.Let the rest of the country agonize over politics and diplomacy and whether or not the Americans were going to ride to our rescue I refused to lose sleep over this I had my Mirage I knew how to fly it and with luck I was going to get the chance That was all I knew and all I cared to know.5.PALSAR SEVENThe waiting goes on Our company is stationed among rolling dunes near Kerem Shalom, a kibbutz on the Gaza Strip Egypt frontier Its hot A hundred Fahrenheit by nine in the morning.Eli Rikovitz is a twenty one year old lieutenant, a platoon commander in the Recon Company of the 7th Ard Brigade He will be awarded the Itur HaMofet, the Medal of Distinguished Service, for his actions during the Six Day War.An ard brigade in ready position spreads out over miles Each morning at 03 30 the entire formationhundreds of tanks, half tracks, and support vehiclesis awake and at full alert, helmets on, chin straps buckled, all engines roaring, all radio nets open We are waiting for the Egyptians to attack at dawn When they dont, we stand down.If there is a formula for driving young soldiers nuts, this is it.A reconnaissance companys job is to find the enemy and to lead our tanks We drive American CJ 5 jeeps, souped up to our own standards What this means is we steal from other units all the extra fuel, ammo, and rations we can load onto the makeshift racks that weve welded onto our jeeps When the tires start sinking into the sand, we know weve put on too much.Across the border from us waits the Egyptian 7th Division, with four divisions behind it in central Sinai In the Gaza Strip, a few kilometers northeast of our position, is another enemy division, the Palestinian, as well as a near division size task force, the Shazli Force, named after its commander, General Saad Shazliof nine thousand men and two hundred tanks and guns.We are one division, Ugda Tal, with two othersSharons and Yoffesto our south.Our company, Palsar Seven, will be the first to cross the border We will lead the tanks of the 7th Ard Brigade The plan is for the brigades two ard battalions to strike north from Kerem Shalom on the Israeli side toward Rafiah Junction on the Egyptian There the main road turns west toward El Arish in Sinai El Arish is our ultimate objective.Can we do it We are full of confidence.We are all young in the Recon Company because were regular army Reserves are oldertwenty two to fifty To be in a regular outfit means youre serving your compulsory service Youre a kid You went in at eighteen The oldest guy in Palsar Seven is our company commander, Ori Orr Hes twenty eight Im twenty one.Palsar is an acronym for Plugat Siyur, which simply means reconnaissance company Seven means were part of the 7th Ard Brigade The guys in my platoon are so young that we dont have wives Only a few have girlfriends When we send postcards home, we write to our parents.My mom and dad live in Zahala, a suburb of Tel Aviv built for army and defense ministry personnel Yitzhak Rabin, the army chief of staff, is our neighbor Growing up, my friends and I would catch rides to school with him Hes a good guy I used to swim at night in the Zahala pool Rabin would be there doing laps Moshe Dayans house is two streets over.My mother sends me articles from the newspapers, Haaretz The Land and Maariv Evening The editorials are full of calls for Prime Minister Eshkols resignation, or at least for him to give up his post as minister of defense People are demanding a unity government Here in the desert we dont give a damn about such stuff Let us fight Were young and we believe were bulletproof.Every few days, word comes that were going to attack Tomorrow is D day, we are told There have been eight D days so far, maybe nineI cant remember Each time we are told the attack code and the time of H hour New plans are issued, based on the positions to which the Egyptian forces have moved during the previous night.Our job in Recon is to guide the tanks to their new ready positions This is done after dark, to avoid observation by the enemys air force or by his long range observation posts A tank alone in the dark will nosedive into the first ditch it comes to Our jeeps guide them It usually takes till two or three in the morning We snooze under blankets in the sand or in our vehicles The three thirty wakeup comes every engine fires up, every soldier runs through whatever mental stuff he does to get himself ready to face his own death.Then the word comes Stand down.I have two guys in my outfit who are natural comics Gabi Gazit and Benzi Zur Theyre both about twenty To Gabi and Benzi, I am an old man They ask me for advice about sex and marriage What do I know They ask about death You tell me, I say.We are all friends in Recon.Sergeant Miriam Lamm atop a communications vehicle during a reserve training exercise.Miriam Lamm is pilot Giora Romms fiance She is a sergeant, twenty two years old, a code specialist in the headquarters group of Ugda Tal I am among the few women with the combat troops My fianc, Giora, is a fighter pilot in Mirage Squadron 119 Im a coder decoder, part of General Tals command group I will ride in an ard half track when and if war comes and we cross the border.Our sections half track, unlike those of the combat troops, is enclosed I dont like it I know I should feel safe inside this ard box, but Id rather see whats going on outside I feel like Im in a coffin.My father is in the reserves Hes fifty one Men love being in the reserves it makes them feel proud Three weeks ago, two officers in uniform came to our door with a notice, Call up Order No 8 This is the hottest, most urgent category of mobilization order My father hurried to grab his gear But the officers said, We are here for your daughter, Sergeant Miriam Lamm.My dad was crestfallen.Call up Order No 8 meant you had to leave right that moment You went with the officers.I said good bye, feeling so bad for my father, and went to join Tals division.Menachem Shoval is a nineteen year old trooper in the Recon Company of the 7th Ard Brigade, part of Ugda Tal In Israel when you turn eighteen the army takes you and puts you wherever it needs you or wherever your tests say you will do best But you can volunteer before then, if you want, for special units like the paratroops or the Sayeret Matkal I have always wanted Recon.The Recon company of an ard brigade is an elite unit Youre supposed to pass a battery of physical and intelligence tests, which, of course, you must But the real selection process is chaver mayvee chaver, a friend brings a friend.I have not yet completed my training This worries me a little Our company may be in action soon I wish I had had time to learn everything Im supposed to know.In the American army, I understand, a recruit goes through basic training, then advanced training in his military specialty Only after that is he assigned to a unit.Thats not how it works in Israel In the IDF you go straight to your actual outfit The outfit trains you from scratch Our formation, the Recon Company of the 7th Ard Brigade, has been training all over Israel We learn how to operate on foot and in jeeps, day and night, in all types of weather You live rough Camps have no cooks, no laundry, no hot showers The team whips up its own chow and washes its own clothes Youre trained by the same guys youll be serving with You live in tents or trailers that are like hobo jungles than military bases.Navigation exercises are the meat of Recon training Night nav Have you ever seen a blind map It shows topography only No roads, no cities, no landmarks.The object of a night navigation march is to trek from one prescribed point to another in a sequence that may include ten or twelve stations This is the hardest thing I have ever done One station may be a rock Just a rock You have to find it in the dark in the middle of nowhere and then write in your notebook what you have discovered A white X, say, painted on the underside of the rock The next station may be a kilometer away, or ten kilometers You have to complete the circuit before the sun comes up.To observe a great navigator like Eli Rikovitz or Amos Ayalon, the Recon platoon commanders, is like watching Beethoven These guys read a map like you or I read a book They dont scratch their heads, they dont furrow their brows They look and see This is amazing to me.Will we use any of these skills when we cross the Egyptian border I dont know Nobody does Will war come Can we win Intelligence reports keep coming in saying that the Egyptians have brought up Stalin tanks, a whole brigade, to block the approaches south of Rafiahthe very area our outfit is slated to attack Stalin tanks are the heaviest Russian armor from World War II A Stalin tank packs a 122 millimeter main gun The cannons on our Pattons are 90 millimeters and on our Centurions 105 millimeters Stalin tanks were designed by the Russians to knock out the heaviest German tanks, the huge Tigers and Panthers I cant imagine what damage a 122 millimeter gun can do.6.NAOMIS TRENCHMy husband is mobilized on May 21 The unit he commands, Paratroop Battalion 71, is one of the last to get orders, though clearly the call up is imminent Uzi has been meeting with his company commanders in our living room all week I serve coffee and sweet rolls, while the officers spread maps on the floor and on top of the piano.Dr Naomi Eilam is a pediatric physician serving in the department of health Her responsibilities include two villages of new immigrants, Yemenite Jews, to which she commutes under armed guard because of fedayeen incursions from Jordan She is twenty nine years old and has been married to her husband, Uzi, since 1954.I have been an army wife for almost thirteen years and have come to hate the word operational It means that my husband is somewhere across the border, usually at night on a reprisal operation, or in some other position where he may be wounded or killed Uzi has already been shot twice, once by our own forces Not even Israeli wives get used to that.Uzi fought in the Sinai Campaign in 56, the victory that all of Israel believed had bought us a decade or of peace Even when our forces were compelled by the Americans and the Russians to withdraw from Sinai in 1957, Israelis acceded to the necessity with cautious optimism UN peacekeepers took over our soldiers posts in Sinai The desert became a demilitarized zone, a buffer between us and the Egyptians Nasser could no longer move bombers or tanks close to our border The Great Powers guaranteed it They would hold their shield over Israel Beneath this, we dared to feel safe.Suddenly in 67 everything changed.On May 15, Israels Independence Day, the radio reported Egyptian divisions moving into Sinai Neighbors and friends reacted with shock Nasser cant do that, can he The UN is supposed to stop him.But each day brought further Egyptian incursions.On May 18, Nasser ordered the United Nations out of Sinai entirely Our ambassadors appealed to the Security Council Surely Secretary General U Thant will stand up to these Egyptian provocations But two days later UN peacekeepers were packing up their equipment and pulling out.More Egyptian divisions rolled into Sinai Nasser had long since nationalized the Suez Canal now he sent paratroopers to seize Sharm el Sheikh, closing the Gulf of Aqaba to Israeli shipping Our port of Eilat had been cut off by this clear and flagrant act of war.The Arab world exploded with joy Nassers boldness ignited anti Israeli passions across North Africa and the entire Middle East Mobs filled the streets in a dozen Arab nations, chanting, Kill the Jews and Death to the Zionists Syria, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia pledged troops to Nasser So did Lebanon, Libya, Tunisia, and Morocco.How could this be happening Where were our allies The Americans, mired in Vietnam, dilated and demurred The State Department claimed to have literally lost the 1956 letter in which Secretary of State John Foster Dulles had guaranteed Israels territorial integrity.France, after her costly war in Algeria, had adopted a strategy of befriending the Arabs When our foreign minister, Abba Eban, called upon Charles de Gaulle to honor Frances post Sinai pledge to stand by Israel, the French president rebuffed him with contempt That was 1957, he said This is 1967.That same night, France cut off all arms shipments to Israel.As for Great Britain, the hearts of her people may have been in the right place, but the nations politicians had tied their hopes for Middle East oil and influence to their former client states Jordan, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia Whitehall was not keen to shed British blood in defense of a couple of million pain in the neck Jews who had last made headlines in London in 1946 when their underground fighters blew up British military headquarters in Jerusalems King David Hotel.In the suburb of Yehud, where Uzi and I lived, homes started emptying as husband after husband was called up for war I drove into Tel Aviv one morning and found Allenby Street so deserted that I could walk across at midblock, an act that would have been suicidal two weeks earlier.Families were leaving the country I knew two in our neighborhood The airport at Lod was so busy with outbound flights that a grim joke began circulating Will the last one out please turn off the lights Along Dizengoff Street in Tel Aviv, shopkeepers were shuttering their businesses Doorways had been sandbagged, windows taped or shielded by roll down iron gates I had been nine years old during the War of Independence in 1948 I remember Egyptian Spitfires attacking Tel Aviv unopposed Israel had not even a single antiaircraft gun , dropping bombs and making strafing runs down civilian streets.This time would be far worse Nasser had Soviet bombers, Ilyushins and Tupolevs If the city started to burn, who or what could stop it Half the fire trucks had been mobilized Even the city buses were gone Almost all had been activated as transport for the troops Taxis had been called up as well, along with bread vans, milk trucks, even dump trucks and panel vans The one truck I saw from the Tnuva Dairy was carrying reservists.City parks and soccer fields were being consecrated as graveyards There seemed to be blood drive tables in every office building Hotel lobbies had been made over into casualty collection centers In a drugstore I was handed a mimeographed sheetinstructions for the identification and burial of the dead.Uzi dug a trench in our backyard He is an engineer so he did it exactly per specifications, with a zigzag at the halfway point so that if a bomb or mortar shell landed at one end, the blast wouldnt kill you at the other.Digging trenches at Gan Shmuel.The first morning when the sirens sounded, I was alone in the kitchen with the baby I grabbed her, in her diaper, and dashed out to the trench in my robe I had left the coffee percolator going I remember thinking, Do I dare go back inside to turn it off Finally, after about fifteen minutes sitting there in the trench, just me and the baby, I decided it was silly and went back into the house Later we learned that the civil defense people had not yet figured out that they were supposed to blow the all clear siren when the air raid alert was over.Our quiet suburb was only seven or eight kilometers from the international airport, but the surrounding fields and hills were wilderness The armistice line was so close that Jordanian raiders crossed almost every night My medical responsibilities included two Yemenite villages, Bareket and Tirat Yehuda These were settlements for Jews from Yemen who had been expelled from their home country by Muslim pogroms, airlifted to Israel by our own pilots and planes, and settled on land belonging to the state Poverty was extreme but the newcomers bore it with patience and dignity I was the only Western person providing medical aidand the first woman physician my patients had ever seen The most common injury I treated was burns, inflicted on the flesh of ailing villagers by their native healers as a means of driving out dybbuks, or evil spirits This, so close to the airport that we could see planes passing close overhead, bearing our countrymen evacuating to London or New York.My superiors at the health department had determined that it was too risky for me to drive to these villages alone, because of the fedayeen who would cross from Jordan, so each morning two soldiers picked me up in a jeep and provided an armed escort These soldiers had now been returned to active duty So I drove myself in our old Peugeot.Every morning the newspapers said we were going to war Then they said we werent This went on day after day The state of suspense became unbearable Every twenty four hours that passed without a decision produced greater stress on the nations already struggling economy, not to mention its collective sanity.So we citizens very much wanted to hear what Prime Minister Eshkol had to say in his address to the nation We were anxious We were frightened We wanted our minds set at ease, one way or the other.A Jews worst enemy is often himself We think too much Will we now second guess ourselves into annihilation As a physician I knew that decisions must often be made without perfect knowledge I wanted to scream to the politicians Do something Make up your minds 7.ZAHALAWhat Americans speak of as the IDFthe Israel Defense Forceswe Israelis call Zahal The word is an acronym for Zva Haganah LIsrael In the early 1950s the government built a colony of housing outside Tel Aviv exclusively for officers of the army The settlement is called Zahala My house is at 11 Joab Street In the Bible, Joab was King Davids nephew and commander of his army.General Moshe Dayan achieved worldwide renown in 1956 with Israels spectacular victory over Egypt in what became known as the Sinai Campaign As chief of staff, Dayan was considered the architect of this triumph Now, in May 1967, he has been out of the army for ten years He is a civilian, a member of the Knesset from a small, out of power opposition party.The combat arms of Israel are constituted, organized, and commanded according to a doctrine different from that of other nations The Israel Defense Forces include as essential elements that other militaries consider unnecessary, and deliberately do without components such as medium or long range bombers that other armed forces view as indispensable The reason is that the IDF was created for, and has evolved to wage, a very specific type of war, to be fought in a very specific place, against a very specific enemy.In 1962, when the first French built Mirage IIICJ fighters arrived in Israel designated by their builders J for Juif, the French word for Jew , they had been modified at air force chief Ezer Weizmans insistence to suit the IAFs unique combat mission.Gone was the rocket booster engine designed to catapult the interceptor into the stratosphere Relegated to auxiliary use was air to air missile armament Ezer and his chief test pilot, Danny Shapira, demanded guns two DEFA 30 millimeter cannons Also added were hangers for two 500 kilogram bombs.Why these alterations Because high altitude interception is not a priority in a nation whose enemies military runways lie within twenty five minutes flying time of her population centers Our air force instead needed jets that could bomb and destroy enemy airfields, strafe ard columns and troop concentrations, and take on opposing fighters in old fashioned dogfights in the sky.Israel possesses none of the strategic geographical advantages of, say, the United States Our nation does not have a 3,000 mile wide body of water on one coast and a 5,000 mile wide ocean on the other She does not enjoy friendly relations with states along her borders, nor does she possess military alliances upon which she can depend.Israels frontiers are not borders, recognized by her neighbors and by the international community, but armistice lines, which may be declared null and void and overthrown arbitrarily at any hour.I was military commander of the Jewish controlled half of Jerusalem in 1948, when the Green Line was drawn, separating the infant state of Israel from her enemy Jordan I drew the line in concord with Lieutenant Colonel Abdullah al Tell, my counterpart from the Arab Legion The instrument we used, a chinagraph pencil, happened to be green Where the line chanced to pass along neighborhood streets, one side became Israeli, the other Jordanian When the pen passed over a house, one half of that dwelling fell under the jurisdiction of the Hashemite kingdom, the other half under that of the Israeli military command In effect the home had to be abandoned It became, inevitably, one of scores of blockhouses and bricked up strongpoints lining the corridor of minefields and barbed wire entanglements that divided Jerusalem.A strategy of defense in depth is not possible in a nation that is only nine miles wide at its waist and whose commercial concentrations and population centers lie within artillery range of its enemies Offense is the only effective posture War, if war comes, must be fought on the enemys territory, not our own.The IDF and IAF have been built upon the principles of speed, aggression, and audacity An Israeli lieutenant or captain in the field does not expect the luxury of being able to appeal for instructions to higher command He is on his own and has been trained to fight that way To the commander of an Israeli unit, I wrote in Diary of the Sinai Campaign,I can point on a map to the Suez Canal and say Theres your target and this is your axis of advance Dont signal me during the fighting for men, arms, or vehicles All that we could allocate youve already got, and there isnt Keep signaling your advances You must reach Suez in forty eight hours I can give this kind of order to commanders of our units because I know they are ready to assume such tasks and are capable of carrying them out.I arrive home from visiting units of the Southern Command late on the afternoon of May 28 Prime Minister Eshkol will address the nation this evening I have no clue what he will say Will he announce a resolution to the crisis Will he proclaim an accord guaranteed by the United Nations or the Great Powers Will he declare war My wife, Ruth, is preparing dinner I tell her I have spoken with our daughter, Yael, and ask about our two sons, Assi and Udi, both of whom have been mobilized with their reserve units, and about my nephews Uzi and Jonathan Jonathan, the son of my sister Aviva, is in the navy Uzi is the son of my brother Zorik, who was killed in the War of Independence he is an officer in the Sayeret Matkal, Israels special forces.I myself have been in the field with the troops for the past five days On Friday I visited Avraham Yoffes division, facing Sinai, and reviewed battle plans with him and two of his brigade commanders, Colonel Yissachar Yiska Shadmi and Colonel Elhanan Sela A message came for me that morning from Prime Minister Eshkol I flew back from Beersheba and met him at the Dan Hotel in Tel Aviv He said he wanted to form a committee, Ministerial Defense and Foreign Affairs, on which I would serve.I refused I will accept no advisory position I insist upon a combat command If none can be found for me, I will drive a tank or a truck I will not permit Eshkol or his government to neutralize my voice by sidelining me into a ceremonial role.What I hate most about the dallying and dithering of the cabinet is that they stem from lack of faith in our fighting men and commanders Our troops are young lions It is catastrophic in terms of spirit and morale for the nation to be overtaken by hysteria and go beating at the doors of the Powers, begging to be rescued.At the level of statemeaning the deliberations of the prime minister and the cabineta clear and decisive intention must be agreed upon This must be beyond tactical and strategic, beyond local or regional, and beyond the time frame of the present.It must answer the question Where does the country need to be at the end of this crisis Remember, we can destroy the army of Egypt to the last man and last tank, and that force will be reconstituted within eighteen months, by draft or conscription from that nations limitless manpower and by resupply of weaponry and training from its sponsor, the Soviet Union.Egypt and Syria are client states of the Russians, whose interests in the Middle East are in their view essential and permanent.For us, victory, in the sense that the Allies achieved over the Axis in World War II, is not possible We cannot defeat the Arabs There are too many of them and their sponsor states are too powerful.Within such limitations, then, what is possible The prime minister and the cabinet must answer this I despair of Eshkol because he is not thinking in these terms In his view, the issue is How can Israel be preserved This is the wrong question to ask, because it permits such an answer as By a negotiated settlement imposed by the Powers Such an outcome will save Israel for the moment, but it will do so at the expense of deterrence, which is the only true basis for security for a nation of 2.7 million surrounded by enemies whose numbers are greater than 120 million.At the same time Chief of Staff Rabin, whom I respect, is thinking in penny packets, proposing to seize the Gaza Strip and use it as a bargaining chip in dealing with Nasser Bargaining chip for what Egypt knows that Gaza, with its quarter of a million refugees, is a nest of hornets She wants it even less than we do.The proper question to ask is not How can Israel be preserved at any cost but How can Israel be preserved into the future To this question at this time, no reply is possible except by the sword The enemy must be dealt such a blow that he will be deterred from striking again, or threatening to strike, for as long as possible.Therefore our objective cannot be mere seizure of land or the swapping of territories of dubious value It must be the destruction of the Egyptian Army, not in part and not in detail, but totally and in a straight up fighttank against tank, plane against plane, man against man.There are jacks for ten telephones in my house, from my days as army chief of staff, but only two are hooked up now, and those are manned by Ruth, between household chores and affairs of business, and whatever helpful neighbor happens to have stopped by.I sit with my wife now for a light supper of salad, fish, and bread with olive oil The radio on the counter is already tuned to Kol Israel, over which Levi Eshkols speech to the nation will be broadcast, but I check it again, twice, to be sure the dial is right.How much longer till the prime minister speaks asks Ruth.I check my watch.Twenty minutes.8.A SECOND SHOAHIn May of 67 when a reservist was called up, his car was also recruited The army didnt have enough vehicles I was in seventh grade then The strangest part of that whole strange month was the way cars kept disappearing Youd walk out each morning and the street would be emptier than it was the night before.Haim Koren is a thirteen year old in the working class neighborhood of Bat Galim in Haifa He will earn his PhD in Middle Eastern studies from Ben Gurion University in 1993 In 2012 he will be appointed Israels ambassador to South Sudan.Throughout the waiting period, we listened to Kol HaRaam, the Voice of Thunder, out of Cairo The stations leading announcer, respected throughout the Arab world, was Ali Ahmad Said Said did not rant or bluster His broadcasts were frightening because they were delivered in a reasonable and unemotional tone He spoke as if he were reporting the news.Your time is over, Jews The experiment in nationhood that the Zionist entity has managed to sustain for nineteen years is due to expire.Ahmad Said explained, in Hebrew with an accent, how Egyptian heavy bombers would devastate Tel Aviv and Haifa He advised his Israeli listeners to get away while they still could To remain was folly Save yourselves and your families At thirteen, you are not too young to grasp the significance of events unfolding around you Naturally you ask your parents to explain what is going on How serious is it that every young man from our building has left for the army, or that all the taxis and buses are gone How much should we believe of what were hearing on the radio Many in our neighborhood were Holocaust survivors Our parents never spoke of this We children grew up knowing nothing of the Shoah Our mothers and fathers were protecting us We were sabras, Israel born, brave and independent When our parents answered our questions, their replies were confident and positive But their voices betrayed them.In seventh grade I already had a serious interest in Arab history and culture I was fluent in Arabic I read Arab newspapers and listened to Arab radio It was clear to me that Nasser spoke not only for Egypt but for the entire Arab world His broadcasts were greeted with as much enthusiasm in Damascus and Baghdad as they were in Cairo and Alexandria.The qadis of Egypts mosques had been ordered to declare jihadholy waragainst the Jews Radio Damascuss number one song was Cut Their Throats Mobs marched in the streets thousands chanted for Israels destruction.Nasser preached the concentric community of the Arab world, with Egypt and himself at its epicenter His voice called 122 million Arabs to unity and summoned them to loose their rage upon our two and a half million Jews.How would our government respond to these threats In Israel then, the prime minister was also the minister of defense He commanded the army When would Eshkol give Nasser his answer May 28.I remember my mother telling me over breakfast, Tonight Eshkol will speak This evening the prime minister will address the nation.In our part of the country, Levi Eshkol was revered He was from the north, as we were He had been a farmer and an engineer And he had steered the state successfully through a number of crises in the economy, immigration, and agriculture.Finally tonight Eshkol would speak Finally Nasser and Ali Ahmad Said would get their answer I couldnt wait to hear.9.THE STUTTERING SPEECHMy first reaction was to laugh I thought it was a joke This couldnt really be happening.Lieutenant Giora Romm hears Eshkols speech at the home of his squadron commander, Major Ran Ronen, at Tel Nof Air Base, along with the other pilots of Squadron 119.I had a friend at Kol Israel, the radio station, who told me later that the prime minister had read through the text of his speech twice in rehearsal and hadnt flubbed a word.What happened apparently, when the program went live, was that Eshkols aide Ady Yoffe substituted a revised version of the text at the last minute Some of the changes were handwritten The prime minister was taken by surprise For a few seconds, he forgot he was sitting before an open microphone He turned to his aide and asked, What is this word We could all hear it.Haim Koren, thirteen, is listening at home in Bat Galim with his mother and father He was stuttering We could hear the prime minister stammer The air went dead For a moment it seemed like the whole broadcast was going to be cut off.I thought I could hear in the background the engineer, or whoever controls such things, trying to shut down the program in midspeech.Lieutenant Avigdor Kahalani is a tank company commander with the 7th Ard Brigade, stationed opposite Gaza in a forward position along the Egyptian frontier Voice is everything when you command As a company commander in a tank battalion, you have fourteen four man crews listening to you through their headsets Many times in combat, when I have been frightened or unsure, I have deliberately paused to be certain that I had my voice under control You dont want your men to hear that chicken voice.Yael Dayan is with General Arik Sharons headquarters on the Egyptian border I had driven with my friend Dov Sion from the front to Beersheba to file a story Dov is a colonel, General Sharons liaison with the General Staff He and I heard the prime ministers speech on the car radio, driving back from Beersheba.Much has been made of Eshkols stumbling over the text But the problem was the text itself People were desperate for decisiveness Instead they heard a call for patience Wait for the Powers Give diplomacy a chance.I thought of the troops in the trenches listening to this mess Some wept, I heard The speech was a turning point After that, the people took over The need for decisiveness overrode all other concerns.Itzik Barnoach listens from Burgata in the Sharon Plain, where he and his mobilized reserve unit have been training for four weeks I had a transistor and I said, My God, this schmuck is not only talking nonsense, hes stuttering We were not afraid, but we were anxious The whole world is against us, we dont know what will happen We hoped this speech would declare war So this was even worse It was a disaster A disaster.Dr Naomi Eilam is the wife of Major Uzi Eilam, commander of Paratroop Battalion 71 Next day the editorials clad for action Either Eshkol had to go or he must cede the defense portfolio to someone else After two interminable weeks of crisis, it was clear to all that the nations political leadership remained paralyzed by indecision and irresolution.BOOK TWOEN BRERA10.NORSEMENThe year 1967 was not the first time that Israels survival had hung by a thread Nineteen years earlier, before the nation had even declared its independence, the armies of five Arab nationsEgypt, Syria, Iraq, Jordan, and Lebanonhad massed on its borders, preparing to invade Their intention was to wipe out the state of Israel before it could even be born.Few histories of this critical war peel back the layers of elation and tension running through the six days of battle like The Lions Gate The Wall Street JournalDeeply reported and compellingly told The Los Angeles TimesI was in awe of The Lions Gate. Huffington PostThis story from the Israeli air force is one of the greatest management lessons youll read ForbesA brilliant look into the psyche of combat Where he once took us into the Spartan line of battle at Thermopylae, Steven Pressfield now takes us into the sands of the Sinai, the alleys of Old Jerusalem, and into the hearts and souls of soldiers winning a spectacularly improbable victory against daunting odds.General Stanley McChrystal, U.S Army, ret author of My Share of the Task Lionsgate Lionsgate and Nordisk Film Announce New Multi Year Output Deal in Scandinavia Universal Music Group The Lion s Gate On the Front Lines of Six Day War The Steven Pressfield on FREE shipping qualifying offers thrilling true story one most unlikely astonishing military victories history June Lions Bridge Wikipedia Lions Bridge, opened , officially known as First Narrows is a suspension bridge that crosses first narrows Burrard Inlet connects City Vancouver, British Columbia, to North Shore municipalities District West VancouverThe term refers Lion Pines Lodges Interval Owners Association Lodge Association Welcome website located Winter Park, Colorado Bloomsburg University Housing Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania apartments off campus student housing Apartments Solstice Sacred drawing close, Wave Light Codes Energy was released at reaches Hospital Foundation million campaign has launched campaign build new Medical Surgical Centre Distinctive Destinations, Exceptional Vacation Homes Rentals Oregon Wine Country Gate, Lake House Vineyard Ridge Kona coffee macadamia nuts Kona Coffee Since we have proudly offered direct from our family farmLions ten acres heirloom trees are over eighty years old Deep roots rich soil produce wonderful bean Jerusalem Old Gates Jewish Virtual Library Zion Located south, this main gates used by Israel Defense Forces enter capture stones surrounding gate still pockmarked weapons fire LIONSGATE CLOSES STARZ ACQUISITION PR Newswire SANTA MONICA, Calif ENGLEWOOD, Colo Dec PRNewswire NYSE LGFA, LGFB Starz today announced closing transaction under which acquired Buddhist Priory Priory branch Order Contemplatives OBC Our practice Serene Reflection Meditation S t Zen emphasizes basic meditation keeping Precepts within training everyday life Rev K Benson, Prior since Dharma Heir Master Jiyu Kennett, Manor Lava Hot Springs, ID Home for its luxurious beautifully themed suites, magnificent mountain views, friendly accommodating staff, delicious hot breakfast Come place where activities friends abound called homeCome home Kings retirement living never been better Golf Course Den Restaurant open public adult community lion Panthera leo species Felidae it muscular, deep chested cat with short, rounded head, reduced neck round ears, hairy tuft end tailThe sexually dimorphic males larger than females typical weight range kg lb former LGFAAbout Pressfield I wrote before earned my penny option screenplay produced got novel Art Winning Inner Creative Battle Pressfield, George Guidall Internationally bestselling author Last Fire Tides Comment Name Email will not be published Website Warrior Ethos Marine Corps What warrior ethos Is born Can taught Might apply civilian world also Author takes these questions his newest book Break Through Blocks Win Your love Pressfeild accurately describes inner voice resistance hear chattering away me daily, telling all sorts lousy, unkind things Gates An Epic Novel Thermopylae brings battle brilliant life, he does war what Charles Frazier did Civil Cold Mountain Pat Conroy of The Lion's Gate: On the Front Lines of the Six Day War

 

    • The Lion's Gate: On the Front Lines of the Six Day War
    • 1.4
    • 90
    • ReliĆ©
    • 448 pages
    • 1595231196
    • Steven Pressfield
    • Anglais
    • 25 July 2016

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