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Publisher's Summary

From the earliest days of his dictatorship, Saddam Hussein had vowed to destroy Israel. So, when France sold Iraq a top-of-the-line nuclear reactor in 1975, the Israelis were justifiably concerned. The reactor formed the heart of a huge nuclear plant situated twelve miles from Baghdad, 1,100 kilometers from Tel Aviv. By 1981, the reactor was on the verge of becoming "hot," and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin knew he would have to confront its deadly potential. He turned to Israeli Air Force commander General David Ivry to secretly plan a daring surgical air strike on the reactor, a never-before contemplated mission that would prove to be one of the most remarkable military operations of all time.

Written with the full and exclusive cooperation of the Israeli Air Force high command, General Ivry (ret.), and all of the eight mission pilots (including Ilan Ramon, who became Israel's first astronaut and tragically perished in the shuttle Columbia disaster), Raid On the Sun tells the extraordinary story of how Israel plotted the unthinkable: defying its U.S. and European allies to eliminate Iraq's nuclear threat. In the tradition of Black Hawk Down, journalist Rodger Claire re-creates a gripping tale of personal sacrifice and survival, of young pilots who trained in America on the then-new, radically sophisticated F-16 fighter-bombers, then faced a nearly insurmountable challenge: how to fly the 1,000-plus-kilometer mission to Baghdad and back on one tank of fuel; he recounts Israeli intelligence's incredible "black ops" to sabotage construction on the French reactor and eliminate Iraqi nuclear scientists; and he gives readers a pilot's-eye view of the action on June 7, 1981, when the planes roared off a runway on the Sinai Peninsula for the first successful destruction of a nuclear reactor in history.

©2004 Rodger W. Claire (P)2004 Simon & Schuster, Inc. AUDIOWORKS is an imprint of Simon & Schuster Audio Division, Simon & Schuster, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"A stunning eye-opener, shocking you with the realization of the enormous service the Israeli Air Force rendered the free world with its 1981 attack on Saddam Hussein's nuclear facility. Claire went right to the source, the Israeli pilots who flew the mission, to tell in colorful detail the full story of this historic strike. (Walter Boyne, author of Operation Iraqi Freedom: What Went Right, What Went Wrong and Why)

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Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jonnie
  • Panama City, FL, United States
  • 09-20-09

A real thriller

The book was too short. I wanted another two or three hours with more details about the mission and the pilots' lives. I felt like I was flying with the pilots as they flew the mission. Give us the unabridged version.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Ella
  • toronto,, Ontario, Canada
  • 11-20-05

Absolutely fascinating

I knew very little about the destruction of the nuclear station Osiraq but this book brought history to life. The Israeli's didn't want to take a chance with their security and took matter into their own hands. It was incredible to understand the intelligence and chain of command and desperation involved in these maneuvers.
What I really didn't know till after listening to this book was that Ilan Ramon who was one of the pilots on this mission was one in the same as the Ilan Ramon that was killed in Space Shuttle Columbia in Feb/03. The description of each of the men and their superiors who were involved in this very delicate operation was truly enlightening. It was hard to put the ipod down. The narrator Adam Grupper read very well too. I came across this book because I was looking for something he read after I heard him read The Lincoln Lawyer. Although he didn't need to use different accents in this book, he reads with conviction and excitment in his voice. This book was an excellent retelling of history. A must listen!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Adam
  • United States
  • 11-13-04

Historical techno-thriller

This has been my favorite audible book. It has historical detail, adventure, technical details and has excellent narration and sound quality. It's also a good length for an audio book--not overly wordy.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Kevin
  • Huntington Beach, CA, USA
  • 04-27-04

Fascinating detail of a historic strike

Is it hypocritical for Israel to have its own nuclear weapons and deny the Arab world the same, as they did when they destroyed the Osirak nuclear center in the early 1980's? Only through the lens of moral relativism. This strike was an early blow in the global war on terror, a wildly brave tooth-pulling of a brutal dictator by the region's only liberal democracy, an absolute victory of right over wrong.

Still, it was harshly condemned at the time. All that is here, along with the details of the mission preparation and an inside look at the political to-and-fro that accompanied it within Israel. Great reading.

13 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • David
  • Las Vegas, NV, USA
  • 04-15-10

Amazing History!

great story telling. military channel aired a one hour program called "Raid on the Reactor" a few days ago (approx. april 9th, 2010.) it was about this very event. it included interviews of the author and many of the surviving pilots. the book of course is much more detailed, but the program is a nice adendum to anyone who enjoyed the book and would like to see the men who pulled off this incredible mission talk about it in their own words. Don't mess with Israel.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Eunice
  • Harrodsburg, KY, United States
  • 07-25-08

Fascinating!!!!!!

My husband and I both loved this book. No one could make this up! The book is well narrated, the account rivetting. I've listened twice, and wouldn't mind listening again...a true story of courage, training, and skill.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Short, but what a story!

What did you love best about Raid on the Sun?

It's hard to believe this is a true story. It reads like a cloak and dagger / action movie. The book is well written, and it plays back and forth between the day of the mission and the events of years earlier leading up to that point.

Any additional comments?

After reading this book, I thought this would be a great premise for a movie. It's exciting and amazing enough that they wouldn't (and shouldn't) need to embellish any part of it.

Then I realized that they did make a move out of it... in a way. One of the pilots recorded extended segments in his HUD camera during the mission. This and the video from the other pilots during the raid are available online. It was really interesting to read the book, then later see the actual footage (including the one pilot who missed).

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing story and background information

Really very good story , easy to listen to, fast moving and great brackground information on this historic event

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Johannes
  • SibrandabuorrenNetherlands
  • 02-18-09

excellent book

The book tells the story of the raid on the Osirak reactor in Iraq in 1982.
The story itself reads like a thriller. The build up of the suspens is very good. You know the outcome but still you want to read the whole story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jessica
  • Quinton, VA, USA
  • 03-17-08

Great Book

Totally grasps your attention and keeps you listening, you may find yourself listening for the entire length of the book in one sitting (I did).

1 of 1 people found this review helpful