After the Arab Spring began, I wanted to know more of the history of conflict in that area of the world. I have paid careful attention to the news, but news is a snapshot of what is happening now. Without historical context, the “why” is elusive.
“Six Days of War” is a detailed history of The 1967 Six Day War/The June ’67 War and the 1973 Yom Kippur/October War. It gives the historical context that gave rise to the long running Arab-Israeli dispute that started even before Israel became a nation. Orem follows with a comprehensive, but brief discussion of conflict until 2002, when he wrote his book.
Syria triggered the 1967 war by a series of border skirmishes, and firing on an Israeli farming outpost. Six weeks later, after the Israelis and the Arabs gathered munitions; tried to convince the United States (Israel) and the Soviet Union (Egypt) to provide artillery and planes; nominally tried to resolve the situation peacefully at the United Nations; and mustered public support, the war began.
Oren avoids easy stereotypes about the military prowess – or lack thereof –on either side. It would be easy to minimize the Arab military preparations and tactics because they were completely overwhelmed in combat, but Oren pays careful attention to the factors that caused that. Those included Soviet military equipment unsuited for desert warfare; an overriding Arab distrust of Jordan’s King Hussein; Syria’s failure to fight until 4 or 5 days into the war; nepotism and cronyism in the Egyptian army that meant incompetent men were making battle decisions; and an overarching communications problem.
The Israelis had different problems and some spectacular failures. Because of mistaken identity, the Israelis bombed the USS Liberty, an American ship in international waters 25 miles off the coast of Egypt, killing 34 Americans. The USS Saratoga had planes in the area on a training exercise carrying nuclear armed missiles. Identities were established and resolved shortly before an accidental nuclear war started.
The book is light on the actual armaments used in the war, which was a bit of a disappointment. Tanks and artillery are covered pretty well. External fuel tanks were a real issue, and what happened to those tanks and crews is as obvious as it was unfortunate.
I liked the narrator’s voice, but he mispronounced words, which was annoying. He did well with the Yiddish and Egyptian, but he was hit-and-miss with the Arabic. Occasionally, some English words were wrong, which was jarring – it sounds like he is a native English speaker.
I am glad I listened to the book. I now have a much better understanding of what is happening now, and why.
This is the first Audible book I have finished. The history is captivating and well written with interesting and helpful anecdotes. I am looking forward to reading Ally, which I was looking for when I found this volume.
I throughly enjoyed the book. Thought I was familiar with the events of 1967 I still learned a tremendous amount of the inside story to the war.
The performance was good.
No B.S. reviews. I'll never soft-pedal bad writing or inept narration.
This book is an important recounting of the Six Day War, and also of the historical events leading up to it. The writing is slightly biased toward the Israeli point of view, yet this is understandable, given the magnitude of the Israeli victory in the conflict.
Personally, I chose to pair my listening of this book with "The Palestine-Israel Conflict" by Dan Cohn-Sherlock and Dawoud El-Alami, to gain a more up-to-date and hopefully more balanced perspective. This remains a sensitive and difficult issue, and hopefully listening to these books will serve to break down existing prejudices and pave the way to greater understanding and compassion.
Robert Whitfield is ideal as the narrator of this account.
Definitely! Well-written and excellently narrated
The fact that it is based almost entirely on contemporary accounts from people who were there from their letters and official documents and then is enhanced by their later accounts.
The stunning effectiveness and overwhelming success of the initial battles.
If you want to have an informed understanding of this pivotal event in modern Middle Eastern history this is the book. The author doesn't gush over either side but simply gives the facts of what was happening and how things developed.
A very deep study of this important war, which is the foundation of much of the current Middle East situation.
I'm sure that it's hard to find a narrator who's a native English speaker and can pronounce both Arabic and Hebrew correctly. The Arabic sounds correct to my untrained ear, but the pronunciation of the Hebrew names is so poor that it makes certain scenes difficult to follow.
This is a tough topic to take in. Especially, when you're giving info from both sides of the conflict. The author is obviously very knowledgeable in this topic, but I don't think he went into enough detail on "who is who". Tough topic coupled with a boring narrator really put me to sleep.
I don't mean any disrespect to either the author or the narrator. I'm hoping this comes across as constructive criticism.