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Osprey Combat Aircraft 23 : Arab-Israeli Air Wars 1947-1982

In November 1947 the UN called for the end of the British mandate and the partition of Palestine into two independent states, Jewish and Arab. The RAF immediately found itself under attack from both sides. The Israeli Air Force, a cobbled-together fleet of hastily converted light planes, suffered initial setbacks against the Spitfires, Ansons, C-47s and T-6s of Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon. But the IAF soon built its own fighter force, firstly with Avia S-199 fighters, then with an assortment of aircraft including B-17s, Spitfires and Beaufighters. A year later Israel won its War of Independence against its Arab neighbours, but round two was inevitable. The 1956 Suez Crisis offered an opportunity to inflict damage on Egypt and thus Israel found itself an unlikely ally of England and France. The Arab nations rebuilt their forces with Soviet help, and by the time of the Six Day War in 1969 the supersonic age had arrived and the battle was between Mirages, Super Mystres and MiGs. Israel's pre-emptive strikes on Arab airbases gave them unprecedented victory, air supremacy and vast territorial buffer zones: the Sinai Peninsula, the Gaza Strip, the Golan Heights and the West Bank of Jordan. Israel then held off the surprise Arab attack of October 1973 (the Yom Kippur War). In spite of the 1977 peace treaty with Egypt, hostilities did not cease and Israel invaded Lebanon in 1982. Text by Sholmo Aloni with illustrations by Mark Rolfe.

    Contents
  • The Underground Air Force
  • Arab Offensives
  • Israeli Offensives
  • The Sinai Campaign
  • Operation Focus
  • Air Supremacy in Six Days
  • Preserving the Status Quo
  • Attrition
  • Soviet Intervention
  • Three Year Pause
  • The Missile Bends the Aircraft
  • Victory After All
  • The Aircraft Bends the Missile

 

Osprey Combat Aircraft


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