The Two O'Clock War by Walter J. Boyne
The 1973 Yom Kippur Conflict and the Airlift That Saved Israel

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It's usually called the Yom Kippur War. Or sometimes the October War. The players that surround it are familiar: Sadat and Mubarak, Meir and Sharon, Nixon and Kissinger, Brezhnev and Dobyrnin. It was a war that brought Arab and Jew into vicious conflict. A war in which Israel almost unleashed her nuclear arsenal and set two superpowers on a treacherous course of nuclear escalation.

And a war that eventually brought peace. But a peace fraught with delicate tensions, disputed borders, and a legacy of further bloodshed.

The Two O'Clock War is a spellbinding chronicle of the international chess game that was played out in October 1973. It is a story of diplomacy and military might that accounts for many of the dilemmas faced in the present-day Middle East.

This is a war that Israel never thought was possible. Surprised by the fury and excellent execution of the Arab onslaught, and perhaps more than a little complacent, Israel suddenly found itself on the point of losing a war because of a lack of ammunition, planes and tanks. The United States, after much vacillation, finally elected to help Israel, beginning a tremendous airlift (code name: Operation Nickel Grass) which incurred the wrath of the Arab states, and their sponsor, the Soviet Union.

Fortunately the airlift came just in time for Israeli ground forces to stabilize their positions and eventually turn the tide in the Sinai and Golan Heights. And it was all made possible by an operation that dwarfed the Berlin Airlift and the Soviets' simultaneous efforts in Egypt and Syria.

The Two O'Clock War is bound to become the definitive history of a war that quite literally approached Armageddon.


About Walter J. Boyne

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Walter J. Boyne is the former director of the National Air & Space Museum of the Smithsonian Institution. Boyne's books have made both the fiction and the nonfiction bestseller lists of The New York Times. His novels Roaring Thunder and Supersonic Thunder cover the first forty-four years of jet aviation. His critically acclaimed nonfiction book, Dawn Over Kitty Hawk, recounts the story of the Wright Brothers. A retired Air Force Colonel, Boyne was enshrined in the National Aviation Hall of Fame class of 2007.
Published September 14, 2002 by Thomas Dunne Books. 320 pages
Genres: History, War. Non-fiction

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Boyne's skills as a battlefield analyst will make this of interest to military professionals, as well as to students of the Cold War and Middle Eastern affairs.

Sep 20 2002 | Read Full Review of The Two O'Clock War: The 1973...

Kirkus Reviews

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A brow-moistening tale of nuclear brinksmanship, high-level diplomacy, and an all but forgotten war.

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of The Two O'Clock War: The 1973...

Publishers Weekly

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Boyne's focus on Israel's initial defeats after being surprised by Egypt and Syria in the fall of 1973 establishes the key scenario of his book: a near-ultimatum to U.S. Secretary of State

Jul 01 2002 | Read Full Review of The Two O'Clock War: The 1973...

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