The June 1967 Arab-Israeli War

Volume 2: The Southern Front

Tom Cooper, Efim Sandler

This book looks at the background to the conflict which no-one wanted but, like Topsy in Uncle Tom's Cabin, ‘just growed.' It shows how President Nasser's attempt to regain prestige in the Arab world led to a catastrophic defeat for the Arab cause.
Date Published :
February 2023
Publisher :
Helion and Company
Series :
Middle East@War
Illustration :
90 b/w photos, 3 maps, 21 color profiles
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Paperback
ISBN : 9781804510339
Pages : 96
Dimensions : 11.75 X 8.25 inches
Stock Status : Not Yet Published. Available for Pre-Order


In June 1967 Israel, which seemed on the verge of being annihilated by its Arab neighbors, took six days to redraw the Middle Eastern strategic map in one of the most dramatic reversals of fortune in modern times.

The success was almost a decade in the making following the Suez Crisis of 1956 with the Israeli forces being radically changed under the direction of the Magi. These changes created an army and air force upon which the country would rely when it became obvious the international community would take no action to implement guarantees made after the Suez Crisis.

The Israeli forces were honed in low-level clashes during the 1960s, notably the Water Wars which the Israelis did so much to provoke. By contrast the Arab forces became complacent, usually due to supplies of arms from the Warsaw Pact, but – with proper training – this complacency could have been turned into military effectiveness. The Arab forces were, however, plagued by the fact that command too often depended upon political reliability rather than military effectiveness.

In the case of the Egyptian forces their effectiveness was further undermined by their commitment to the debilitating Yemen Civil War which meant they were in no condition to confront Israel. Syria and Jordan, whose forces alone could not fight the Israelis, complained loudly about President Nasser’s lack of action against Israel. In the spring of 1967 Nasser decided to regain the prestige he had lost since the heady days of the Suez Crisis with a demonstration in the Sinai Peninsula. This was interpreted by the Israelis as preparations for an invasion and Nasser did nothing to persuade them otherwise. When it was clear the international community would do nothing, the Israelis decided to strike.

Initially Israel aimed to attack only Egypt, but Syria and Jordan then provoked attacks upon their territory. The Israeli campaign was heralded by a massive surprise air attack first on the Egyptians and then on the other neighboring states. Ground offensives then followed in succession as the war, like Topsy in Uncle Tom’s Cabin ‘just growed.’ These campaigns were not always examples of military perfection, as will be scene, and the general post-war back-slapping drowned out serious questions about the future of Israel’s army.

About The Author

Tom Cooper is an Austrian aerial warfare analyst and historian. Following a career in worldwide transportation business – during which he established a network of contacts in the Middle East and Africa – he moved into narrow-focus analysis and writing on small, little-known air forces and conflicts, about which he has collected extensive archives. This has resulted in specialization in such Middle Eastern air forces as of those of Egypt, Iran, Iraq, and Syria, plus various African and Asian air forces. Except for authoring and co-authoring more than 30 books - including about a dozen of titles for Helion’s @War series - and over 1000 articles, Cooper is a regular correspondent for multiple defense-related publications.

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