Sunday, February 27, 2022

Review of "Arab Armies of the Middle East Wars 1948-73," by John Laffin and Mike Chappell

 Review of

Arab Armies of the Middle East Wars 1948-73, by John Laffin and Mike Chappell ISBN 0850454514

Five out of five stars

Excellent distillation of many wars

 World War II spilled over into the Middle East when Allied forces defeated the Vichy forces to take control of Lebanon and Syria. The destruction of Jews in Europe led to the movement for a Jewish state in Palestine, which was established in 1948. It took only a short time before the armies of the Arab nations attacked the new state in an attempt to destroy it. From that date until the publication of this book in 1982, there has been almost a constant state of war between Israel and the Arab states.

 This book is a synopsis of those wars with an emphasis on the performance of the Arab armies. Fraught with organizational deficiencies and incompetence, from the information in this book, it is easy to understand why the Arabs were consistently defeated. Officers were assigned on the basis of privilege rather than talent and almost never led from the front. One of the most telling facts was that when the Israelis overran Syrian positions, they found some of the artillery gunners chained to their guns.

 Vastly outnumbered since 1948, Israel has managed to retain military superiority over her Arab enemies. This book does a great deal in explaining why. Furthermore, the authors also point out the times when an Arab unit performed exceptionally well. This even balance is key in establishing credibility.

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