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The concept of the Main Battle Tank emerged from the Centurion Universal tank that was developed at the end of World War II. Development of its successor began as early as 1951. The Chieftain incorporated significant innovations including a reclining driver position and two-piece ammunition for greater survivability. The tank entered service in 1967 and was the heaviest armed and armoured MBT within the NATO alliance. The Chieftain saw combat during the Iran-Iraq War, with the Kuwaitis during the 1990 Iraqi invasion and with the British Army during the Gulf War of 1990-91 as special-purpose variants. This book explores the design, development and operation of one of the most influential vehicles used in modern warfare.
At the outbreak of World War II, Fort Eben Emael in Belgium was the strongest fortress in the world, and it lay exactly across the German invasion route of Belgium and France. The fort's elimination was essential for the success of Hitler's invasion of the West. Deemed impregnable to conventional attack, Hitler himself suggested the means for its capture with the first glider-borne assault in military history. On 10 May 1940, ten gliders carrying just 77 paratroopers landed on top of the fort. Using top-secret hollow-charge weapons for the first time in warfare, the assault pioneers of Sturmgruppe Granit subdued Fort Eben Emael within just 30 minutes, and the fortress surrendered within 30 hours. It remains one of the greatest raids in the annals of Special Forces.
The Bar Lev Line along the Suez Canal was born out of the overwhelming victory of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) in the Six Day War of 1967. Devastated by their defeat, the Egyptian army began a prolonged campaign of artillery bombardments of Israeli positions causing many casualties. Accordingly, the IDF Chief of Staff, General Haim Bar-Lev, ordered the construction of a series of fortified positions and observation posts that were named the Bar Lev Line by the Israeli press, thanks to its inevitable association with the heavily fortified Maginot Line.This book examines the original 23 positions of the Bar Lev Line, known as Moazims (Moaz is 'castle keep' in Hebrew), each of which were between five and 15 kilometers apart and surrounded by barbed wire and minefields. With rare photographs and cutaway artwork, the design of these positions is described. Finally, the author analyzes the effectiveness of these positions when the Egyptians launched an offensive on Yom Kippur 1973. Manned by just 436 reservists the Moazims were quickly cut off and the Israeli defenders paid a high price with a casualty rate of almost 50 percent. Although widely criticized, the Bar Lev Line proved a success during the war of attrition, and in 1973 it was the political and military failures which allowed the Moazims to be surrounded, rather than the failure of the defensive line itself.
The Israeli Special Forces' operation at Entebbe goes down in history as one of the most audacious counter-terrorist assaults ever conducted. On 27 June 1976, four terrorists - two of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and two of the German Baader-Meinhof terrorist group - highjacked a passenger jet and forced a landing in Entebbe, Uganda. Here they were met by reinforcements, and - although releasing a few hostages - transferred all the Jewish and Israeli prisoners to the terminal building. As Idi Amin's assistance to the terrorists became increasingly clear, the Israeli government began preparations for a military assault. The element of surprise was crucial; never before had such a large-scale raid at such a long distance been successfully undertaken. This is the incredible story of how the Israeli Special Forces defied radar for over 2,000 miles, masqueraded as a tyrant in a Mercedes and captured uniforms, and defeated an army in brutal combat, in a triumph of sheer audacity and nerve. A compelling book chronicling an incredible moment in history.
Osprey's examination of Jordan and Syria's involvement in the Six Day War (1967). Following the lightning destruction of the Egyptian forces at the outbreak of the Six Day War, Israel turned to the forces of Jordan and Syria, with whom Egypt had signed a mutual-defence pact, and who had now entered the war. Jordan's army moved against West Jerusalem and central Israel, while Syria began shelling Israeli towns from the seemingly impregnable Golan Heights. The IDF's invasion of the Golan was as daring and successful as its more famous Egyptian victory, but its success in Jordan - taking the West Bank - sowed the seeds of its future troubles. Comprehensively illustrated with artwork, maps and battlefield views, this new history brings one of the most important of 20th century campaigns to life.
In May 1967, Egypt expelled the United Nations peacekeeping forces stationed in the Sinai desert and deployed its army along its border with Israel, its moves coordinated with those of Jordan and Syria. By June, Israel realized that the international community would not act, and launched a pre-emptive strike against the combined Arab forces. The ensuing Six Day War (June 5-10, 1967) was a crushing defeat for the Arab world, one that tripled the area controlled by Israel and which sowed the seeds for the Yom Kippur War of 1973 and the continuing strife in the region. Written by the author of Osprey's Yom Kippur War, this volume covers the background to the war and the campaign against the Egyptians in the Sinai Peninsula, including the initial devastating air assault that showed the world how vital air supremacy was in modern combat.
Osprey's first title in the study of the Yom Kippur War (1973). At 1345hrs on 6 October 1973, Israeli spotters in the observation post atop Mount Hermon saw Syrian gunners below them removing the camouflage nets from their guns. Ten minutes later shells began to rain down on Israeli positions all along the Golan Heights - The Yom Kippur War had begun. The shock Syrian attack caught the Israelis by surprise and by the afternoon of 7 October a Syrian brigade was less than 10km from the Sea of Galilee. Simon Dunstan describes in detail how amid desperate and bitter fighting the Israeli forces managed to turn the tide on the Golan Heights.
Osprey's second title in the study of the Yom Kippur War (1973). Israel's victory in the 1967 'Six Day War' sowed the seeds of the 1973 Yom Kippur War. At 1400hrs on 6 October 1973 the Egyptian army launched an assault crossing of the Suez Canal. The carefully co-ordinated attack achieved complete tactical surprise. The sand embankments of the Israeli Bar-Lev Line were breached and an Israeli counterattack thrown back with heavy losses. In the second of his two-volume analysis of the Yom Kippur War, Simon Dunstan details the fighting in the Sinai, culminating in Operation Gazelle, the Israeli counterattack across the Suez Canal. Although defeated militarily Egypt did ultimately succeed in forcing the Israelis back to the negotiating table.