Sunday, August 9, 2015

Book Review: Fighters Over Israel

Lon Nordeen
Fighters Over Israel
New York: Orion Books, 1990
Category: Israel Air Force - History

Rating: 4-Stars

Lon Nordeen's book covers the history of the Israeli Air Force from its beginnings in Israel's War of Independence in 1948, through the tumultuous years of the Sinai Campaign, Six Day War, War of Attrition and Yom Kippur War, before finally closing with the 1980s and the first Lebanon War.  Drawing on extensive interviews and meticulous research, Nordeen's book covers a broad sweep in Israel's air force history.

Many of us will remember Lon Nordeen as a consultant on the History Channel's "Dogfight" series, where his clearly articulated descriptions and technical explanations were an integral part of the episodes featuring the Israeli Air Force.  A former manager of communications at McDonnell Douglas Aircraft, Nordeen was one of the first authors to obtain broad access to Israel's leading pilots as well as to the commanding Air Force officers who led many of these campaigns.  Although Nordeen's book came out slightly earlier and was less expansive than the later works by Ehud Yonay and Eliezer Cohen, it still contains details and insights that are not found elsewhere.  I particularly appreciated his appendices, which tabulate many of the important trends in modern air combat - such as the transition from guns-only to missile-based kills.

Definitely a worthwhile addition to any Israel Air Force library.

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