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The Making of Israel’s Army by Yigal Allon (101,000 words, 29 illustrations)

“Allon recounts the growth of the Israeli army from its inception in the 1880’s, when Jewish communities in Palestine formed their first small self-defence groups, through the Haganah’s clandestine period in the 1920’s and 30’s and the fighting after 1945 when army and state together achieved legality, to the Sinai Campaign of 1956 and the Six-Day War in June 1967 when the army reached maturity... His precise, economical narrative, interspersed with brief passages of analysis, is supplemented by extensive documentation, which is especially interesting in the way it traces the development of attitudes and doctrine in the Israeli forces. The work is a valuable contribution... It tells us a great deal about the organization, in its various stages, that fought the wars, and helps explain why these assumed the forms that they did, and why they succeeded... a study that is more than a history of a military organization.” — Peter Paret,
Middle Eastern Studies

“Allon has contributed an extended essay concerned with the Israeli Government’s military philosophy, policy, and strategy rather than an administrative and technical history... half the book contains several important reports and policy statements, not easily available in English, describing military actions undertaken between 1941 and 1967. Allon... was an important contributor to the development of the Israeli Defense Forces... a rather breathtaking sweep in which hardly a word is wasted.” — Gerald E. Caiden,
The American Political Science Review

“Allon seeks to explain in concise format, the development of Israel’s military doctrines of defense. The author... was former Palmach commander, one of the architects of the IDF, and a commander of various military units and on several battlefronts during Israel’s War of Independence.” — Bernard Reich,
Middle East Journal

“The development of Israel’s armed forces and military doctrine in the context of that country’s unique strategic needs... Especially interesting are the criticisms of some of [the Israeli] government’s decisions taken just before and during the Six Day War.” —
Foreign Affairs

“[A]n account, authoritative in content, modest in tone, of the growth and character of the Israeli army by one of its principal creators and leaders.” — S. C. Leslie,
International Affairs

“Allon... gives a short historical and technical account of the evolution of an Israeli fighting capability over the past 70 years. The exploits of this army are significant and should be analyzed... No less interesting are the book’s descriptions of individual actions by participants in the first and second of Israel’s wars... The value of the book stems partly from a continuity of perspective on Israel’s strategic problems from 1948 to August, 1969... [a] useful book.” — Howard C. Reese,
Military Affairs