Middle East Studies

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Israel in the 1973 Yom Kippur War

Diplomacy, Battle, and Lessons

David Rodman is the author of Defense and Diplomacy in Israel's National Security Experience: Tactics, Partnerships, and Motives, Arms Transfers to Israel: The Strategic Logic Behind American Military Assistance, and Sword and Shield of Zion: The Israel Air Force in the Arab—Israeli Conflict, 1948—2012, all Sussex Academic Press books. He has also published numerous articles on the Arab−Israeli conflict in various professional journals.

The State of Israel faced one of its most difficult challenges during the 1973 Yom Kippur War. Though the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) eventually emerged as the clear victor in the war, it suffered serious reverses at the outset of hostilities, as well as substantial losses in men and equipment. This book revisits the Yom Kippur War by exploring a number of issues that have not previously received the attention they deserve or that would benefit from a fresh evaluation. Among the issues examined are: the American—Israeli and Jordanian–Israeli relationships during the war; the roles of Israeli nuclear weapons and airpower; the IDF's practice of combined arms warfare; the reasons why the IDF turned the tide of the war more quickly on the Golan front than on the Sinai front; the impact of American arms transfers; and the lessons derived from the war by the United States Army and the IDF.

This book, which relies heavily on government documents and other primary sources of information, fills important descriptive and analytical gaps in the academic literature about the Yom Kippur War. No other book compares to it in respect of content and interpretation. It is, in short, essential reading

Hardback ISBN: 978-1-84519-832-9
Hardback Price: £35.00 / $50.00
Release Date: November 2016
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-84519-951-7
Paperback Price: £22.95 / $29.95
Release Date: September 2018
Page Extent / Format: 172 pp. / 229 x 152 mm
Illustrated: No


List of Abbreviations
List of Illustrations

Introduction: The Historiography of the Yom Kippur War

Part I: Diplomacy

Chapter 1: The American‒Israeli Relationship in the Yom Kippur War

Chapter 2: The Israeli‒Jordanian Relationship in the Yom Kippur War

Chapter 3: Nuclear Arms, Deterrence, Compellence, and the Yom Kippur War

Part II: Battle

Chapter 4: Israeli Combined Arms Warfare in the Yom Kippur War

Chapter 5: Israeli Resurgence on the Golan Versus in the Sinai in the Yom Kippur War

Chapter 6: Israeli Airpower in the Six-Day and Yom Kippur Wars

Part III: Lessons

Chapter 7: The Impact of American Arms Transfers to Israel on the Yom Kippur War

Chapter 8: The American Assessment of the Yom Kippur War

Chapter 9: The Israeli Response to the Yom Kippur War

Conclusion: From Defeat to Victory in the Yom Kippur War


This book fills a genuine need – and in the masterly fashion that we have come to expect from this expert in the field. It provides an excellent and concise survey of both the diplomatic and military dimensions of a pivotal clash of arms, and a balanced and up-to-date assessment of previous writings on the subject. Will be indispensable to students and researchers of Israel and her armed forces and will engross all interested in the complexities of one of the most important chapters in the history of the modern Middle East.
Stuart Cohen, author of Israel and her Army

A brilliant re-examination of one of the most traumatic events in Israel's history by a leading scholar of the Arab-Israeli conflict. A must read.
Professor Efraim Karsh, King's College London and Bar-Ilan University

The author's study will easily find a prominent place in the literature on Israel's military history and that of the Yom Kippur war. His writing is clear and the style uncomplicated, making this book an excellent reference for anyone, layman or expert, seeking both an overview of Israel in the 1973 war and insight into several highly salient facets of that round of fighting.
Zach Levey, author of Israel and the Western Powers, 1952‒1960

A fascinating account, which will be of interest both to experts and the general public. Relying on primary sources, Rodman provides important new insights into a war that transformed Israel's history.
Chuck Freilich, author of Israeli National Security: A New Strategy for an Era of Change

Written in plain language for general readers, yet enough detailed for scholars, this history concentrates on neglected issues related to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) during Yom Kippur War, investigating the reasons behind the IDF’s losses and failures during the war. The section on diplomacy delves into relationships between America and Israel, as well as Israel and Jordan. The section on battles of the war shed light on Israel’s combined arms warfare and airpower. The final section looks at lessons learned from the war, with discussion of the impact of American arms transfers to Israel. Historical b&w photos are included. Author David Rodman has written three previous books on Israel.

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