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At the Decisive Point in the Sinai

Generalship in the Yom Kippur War

Jacob Even, IDF (Ret.) and Simcha B. Maoz, IDF (Ret.)

The Yom Kippur War pitted Israel against Syria in the north and Egypt in the south in October 1973. Caught by surprise and surrounded by enemies, Israel relied on the flexibility and creative thinking of its senior field commanders. After Israeli forces halted the Egyptian troops on the Sinai Peninsula, Major General Ariel Sharon seized the opportunity to counterattack. He split the Egyptian army and cut off its supply lines in a maneuver known as Operation Stouthearted Men. Sharon's audacious, controversial decision defied his superiors and produced a major victory, which many believe helped win the war for Israel.

At the Decisive Point in the Sinai is a firsthand account of the Yom Kippur War's most intense engagement by key leaders in Sharon's division. Jacob Even, deputy division commander of the 143rd Division, and Simcha Maoz, a staff officer, recount the initial stages of the Suez crossing, examine the Israel Defense Forces' (IDF) response to Egypt's surprise attack, and explain Sharon's role in the transition from defense to offense. They detail Sharon's struggle to convince his superiors of his plan and argue that an effective division commander is revealed not only by his leadership of subordinates, but also by his ability to influence his senior officers.

The strategic failure of the Israeli high command during the Yom Kippur War has been widely studied, but At the Decisive Point in the Sinai is one of the few works to examine the experiences of field-level commanders. Even and Maoz challenge students of military leadership by offering a case study on effective generalship.

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Blueprints for Battle

Planning for War in Central Europe, 1948-1968

edited by Jan Hoffenaar and Dieter Krüger. edited by David T. Zabecki

While scholarship abounds on the diplomatic and security aspects of the Cold War, very little attention has been paid to military planning at the operational level. In Blueprints for Battle, experts from Russia, the United States, and Europe address this dearth by closely examining the military planning of NATO and Warsaw Pact member nations from the end of World War II to the beginning of d?tente. Informed by material from recently opened archives, this collection investigates the perceptions and actions of the rival coalitions, exploring the challenges presented by nuclear technology, examining how military commanders' perceptions changed from the 1950s to the 1960s, and discussing logistical coordination among allied states. The result is a detailed study that offers much-needed new perspectives on the military aspects of the early Cold War.

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Hitler's Wehrmacht, 1935--1945

Rolf-Dieter Müller. translated by Janice W. Ancker

Since the end of World War II, Germans have struggled with the legacy of the Wehrmacht -- the unified armed forces mobilized by Adolf Hitler in 1935 to ensure the domination of the Third Reich in perpetuity. Historians have vigorously debated whether the Wehrmacht's atrocities represented a break with the past or a continuation of Germany's military traditions. Now available for the first time in English, this meticulously researched yet accessible overview by eminent historian Rolf-Dieter Müller provides the most comprehensive analysis of the organization to date, illuminating its role in a complex, horrific era.

Müller examines the Wehrmacht's leadership principles, organization, equipment, and training, as well as the front-line experiences of soldiers, airmen, Waffen SS, foreign legionnaires, and volunteers. He skillfully demonstrates how state-directed propaganda and terror influenced the extent to which the militarized Volksgemeinschaft (national community) was transformed under the pressure of total mobilization. Finally, he evaluates the army's conduct of the war, from blitzkrieg to the final surrender and charges of war crimes. Brief acts of resistance, such as an officers' "rebellion of conscience" in July 1944, embody the repressed, principled humanity of Germany's soldiers, but ultimately, Müller concludes, the Wehrmacht became the "steel guarantor" of the criminal Nazi regime.

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Inside Israel's Northern Command

The Yom Kippur War on the Syrian Border

edited by Brigadier General Dani Asher, IDF (Ret.). with contributions by Yitzhak Hofi, Uri Simchoni, Avraham Bar David, and Hagai Mann

On October 6, 1973, Israel's Northern Command was surprised by the thunder of cannon fire and the sight of dense, black smoke. A Syrian force of 1,400 tanks supported by artillery and air power had attacked from the north while the Egyptian military invaded the Sinai Peninsula in the south. Syria sought to avenge its devastating loss of the Golan Heights in the 1967 Six-Day War -- a conflict that not only resulted in territorial gain for Israel but also cemented the nation's reputation as the region's preeminent military power. Although Israel ultimately prevailed, the Yom Kippur War (or Ramadan War, as it is known in Arab countries) shattered the illusion of Israel's invincibility.

In Syrians at the Border , Israel's foremost scholar of the war, Dani Asher, and an eminent group of experts provide the definitive history of this key conflict. The contributors -- Major General Yitzhak Hofi, the Northern commander in chief; Major General Uri Simchoni, head of Command Operations; Brigadier General Avraham Bar David, head of Artillery; and Colonel Hagai Mann, the command's intelligence officer -- all held key positions during the fighting. Together, they offer fresh insight into the prewar debate that raged between the Israeli Northern Command and intelligence officers who believed that Syria would not instigate conflict.

This seminal study also examines the pivotal battles that changed the course of the war, as well as the disastrous effects of a flawed postwar evaluation that adversely affected the careers of several high-ranking intelligence officials and the course of defense strategic planning thereafter. The contributors' incisive analyses contribute significantly to our understanding of this troubled region.

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Jutland

World War I's Greatest Naval Battle

edited by Michael Epkenhans, Jörg Hillmann, and Frank Nägler

During the first two years of World War I, Germany struggled to overcome a crippling British blockade of its mercantile shipping lanes. With only sixteen dreadnought-class battleships compared to the renowned British Royal Navy's twenty-eight, the German High Seas Fleet stood little chance of winning a direct fight. The Germans staged raids in the North Sea and bombarded English coasts in an attempt to lure small British squadrons into open water where they could be destroyed by submarines and surface boats. After months of skirmishes, conflict erupted on May 31, 1916, in the North Sea near Jutland, Denmark, in what would become the most formidable battle in the history of the Royal Navy.

In Jutland, international scholars reassess the strategies and tactics employed by the combatants as well as the political and military consequences of their actions. Most previous English-language military analysis has focused on British admiral Sir John Jellicoe, who was widely criticized for excessive caution and for allowing German vice admiral Reinhard Scheer to escape; but the contributors to this volume engage the German perspective, evaluating Scheer's decisions and his skill in preserving his fleet and escaping Britain's superior force. Together, the contributors lucidly demonstrate how both sides suffered from leadership that failed to move beyond outdated strategies of limited war between navies and to embrace the total war approach that came to dominate the twentieth century. The contributors also examine the role of memory, comparing the way the battle has been portrayed in England and Germany. An authoritative collection of scholarship, Jutland serves as an essential reappraisal of this seminal event in twentieth-century naval history.

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Lossberg's War

The World War I Memoirs of a German Chief of Staff

Fritz von Lossberg. edited by David T. Zabecki and Dieter J. Biedekarken. foreword by Holger H. Herwig

General Fritz von Lossberg (1868--1942) directed virtually all the major German defensive battles on the Western Front during the First World War. Hailed as "the Lion of the Defensive," he was an extremely influential military tactician and, unlike many other operations officers of his era, was quick to grasp the changes wrought by technology.

Now available for the first time in English, Lossberg's memoir explains how he developed, tested, and implemented his central principles -- flexibility, decentralized control, and counterattack -- which were based on a need to adapt to shifting conditions on the battlefield. Lossberg first put his theory of elastic defense combined with defense-in-depth into practice during the Battle of Arras (April--May 1917), where it succeeded. At the Battle of Passchendaele (June--November 1917), his achievements on the field proved the feasibility of his strategy of employing a thinly manned front line that minimized the number of soldiers exposed to artillery fire. Lossberg's tactical modernizations have become essential components of army doctrine, and Lossberg's War: The World War I Memoirs of A German Chief of Staff will take readers inside the mind of one of the most significant military innovators of the twentieth century.

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The Myth and Reality of German Warfare

Operational Thinking from Moltke the Elder to Heusinger

Gerhard P. Gross. edited by David T. Zabecki. foreword by Robert M. Citino

Surrounded by potential adversaries, nineteenth-century Prussia and twentieth-century Germany faced the formidable prospect of multifront wars and wars of attrition. To counteract these threats, generations of general staff officers were educated in operational thinking, the main tenets of which were extremely influential on military planning across the globe and were adopted by American and Soviet armies. In the twentieth century, Germany's art of warfare dominated military theory and practice, creating a myth of German operational brilliance that lingers today, despite the nation's crushing defeats in two world wars.

In this seminal study, Gerhard P. Gross provides a comprehensive examination of the development and failure of German operational thinking over a period of more than a century. He analyzes the strengths and weaknesses of five different armies, from the mid--nineteenth century through the early days of NATO. He also offers fresh interpretations of towering figures of German military history, including Moltke the Elder, Alfred von Schlieffen, and Erich Ludendorff. Essential reading for military historians and strategists, this innovative work dismantles cherished myths and offers new insights into Germany's failed attempts to become a global power through military means.

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Order in Chaos

The Memoirs of General of Panzer Troops Hermann Balck

Hermann Balck. Edited and Translated by Major General David T. Zabecki, USA (Ret.) and Lieutenant Colonel Dieter J. Biedekarken, USA (Ret.). foreword by Carlo D'Este

German general Hermann Balck (1897--1982) was considered to be one of World War II's greatest battlefield commanders. His brilliantly fought battles were masterpieces of tactical agility, mobile counterattack, and the technique of Auftragstaktik, or "mission command." However, because he declined to participate in the U.S. Army's military history debriefing program, today he is known only to serious students of the war.

Drawing heavily on his meticulously kept wartime journals, Balck discusses his childhood and his career through the First and Second World Wars. His memoir details the command decision-making process as well as operations on the ground during crucial battles, including the Battle of the Marne in World War I and his incredible victories against a larger and better-equipped Soviet army at the Chir River in World War II. Balck also offers observations on Germany's greatest generals, such as Erich Ludendorff and Heinz Guderian, and shares his thoughts on international relations, domestic politics, and Germany's place in history. Available in English for the first time in an expertly edited and annotated edition, this important book provides essential information about the German military during a critical era in modern history.

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Rückzug

The German Retreat from France, 1944

Joachim Ludewig. edited by David T. Zabecki

The Allied invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944, marked a critical turning point in the European theater of World War II. The massive landing on France's coast had been meticulously planned for three years, and the Allies anticipated a quick and decisive defeat of the German forces. Many of the planners were surprised, however, by the length of time it ultimately took to defeat the Germans.

While much has been written about D-day, very little has been written about the crucial period from August to September, immediately after the invasion. In R?ckzug, Joachim Ludewig draws on military records from both sides to show that a quick defeat of the Germans was hindered by excessive caution and a lack of strategic boldness on the part of the Allies, as well as by the Germans' tactical skill and energy. This intriguing study, translated from German, not only examines a significant and often overlooked phase of the war, but also offers a valuable account of the conflict from the perspective of the German forces.

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The Schlieffen Plan

International Perspectives on the German Strategy for World War I

edited by Hans Ehlert, Michael Epkenhans, and Gerhard P. Gross. English translation edited by David T. Zabecki, USA (Ret.)

With the creation of the Franco-Russian Alliance and the failure of the Reinsurance Treaty in the late nineteenth century, Germany needed a strategy for fighting a two-front war. In response, Field Marshal Count Alfred von Schlieffen produced a study that represented the apex of modern military planning. His Memorandum for a War against France, which incorporated a mechanized cavalry as well as new technologies in weaponry, advocated that Germany concentrate its field army to the west and annihilate the French army within a few weeks. For generations, historians have considered Schlieffen's writings to be the foundation of Germany's military strategy in World War I and have hotly debated the reasons why the plan, as executed, failed.

In this important volume, international scholars reassess Schlieffen's work for the first time in decades, offering new insights into the renowned general's impact not only on World War I but also on nearly a century of military historiography. The contributors draw on newly available source materials from European and Russian archives to demonstrate both the significance of the Schlieffen Plan and its deficiencies. They examine the operational planning of relevant European states and provide a broad, comparative historical context that other studies lack. Featuring fold-out maps and abstracts of the original German deployment plans as they evolved from 1893 to 1914, this rigorous reassessment vividly illustrates how failures in statecraft as well as military planning led to the tragedy of the First World War.

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