Power Line notes the 40th anniversary of the Six Day War, a war that nearly ended the state of Israel, but ended up being one of the most decisive victories in modern military history.
One of the best military histories I’ve ever read is Michael Oren’s Six Days of War which covers every aspect of the Six Day War in vivid detail without being didactic or losing the frantic nature of the conflict.
Oren finds that the Arab armies were weakened by poor communications and training, but that Israel’s victory was often in spite of the Israeli’s constant self-doubt and over-analysis. Those same factors were in play in the recent war between Israel and Hizballah in Lebanon — and while Israel’s victory in 1967 is unquestionable, the Israel-Hizballah conflict was far less decisive. The lessons that can be learned from 1967 haven’t necessarily been learned by either side in that conflict.
Oren’s history reads like a Tom Clancy novel, but remains a balanced and objective look at what happened in the Six Day War and how close Israel nearly came to destruction. Anyone wanting to understand more about one of the most pivotal moments in Middle Eastern history would do well to add it to their summer reading list.