Sunday, November 8, 2015

Book Review: Israeli Fighter Aces

Peter Mersky
Israeli Fighter Aces
North Branch, MN: Specialty Press, 1997
Category: Israel Air Force - History

Rating: 4-Stars

Peter Mersky's book traces the history of the Israeli Air Force from the latter 1940s through the early 1980s, utilizing a combination of archival resources and first-hand interviews.  Where Mersky's book truly stands out, however, is in its vivid, first-hand accounts from Israeli fighter pilots.  There is nothing that can compare to this kind of from-the-cockpit perspective.  Mersky's accounts from such pilots as Rudy Augarten, Aharon Yoeli, Yiftach Spector, and Giora Rom are what make this collection such an exceptional treat.

There have of course, been a variety of first-hand accounts published from Israeli pilots over the years, including individual biographies, as well as the many interviews collected by Shlomo Aloni.  The vast majority of these accounts focus on the 1967 Six Day War and 1973 Yom Kippur War, with occassional accounts from the 1948 War of Independence and 1956 Sinai Campaign.  One of the elements that makes Mersky's collection stand out, therefore, is his inclusion of accounts from the 1982 Lebanon War, to help round out the volume.

Added to this is a collection of photographs, most of them in black-and-white, that add to the historical picture.  Taken together, a slim, but well rounded account from the front lines of the Israeli Air Force.  Well worth adding to any Israel Air Force collection.

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