Ariel Sharon on the Sinai in 1973
I am currently reading a Biography on Ariel Sharon which is not bad but not excellent either. It has more of a narration about what happend than of an analysis of why it happend. However, Arik Sharon has accompanied the State of Israel's history since its very beginning and he will have left a sustainable mark on the region's overall political condition. Although he will have been a man of contradictions and sometimes of cruelty, I believe he will rightly be seen as one of the greatest military and political leaders Israel has seen so far.
On that occasion, I would like to indicate a site with (unfortunately) short radio recordings made at the beginning of the Yom Kippur-war in 1973 when the Egyptian forces invaded the eastern part of the canal of Suez, until then held by Tsahal since 1967. The Israeli army was completely run over but it was Sharon's tank division which later managed to cross the canal to the west and to nearly crush the entire Egyptian third army, thus leading the path to another (yet difficult) Israeli military victory. However, on the day of the Egyptian invasion, Sharon's troops were under heavy fire. At a particular moment General Sharon took the radio microphone and started to speak with one of the soldiers in the bunkers on the canal. The man saw the Egyptian troops approaching and anxiously called for reinforcements. Sharon was probably reminded of his own painful experience as a young man during the war of Independence when he was himself wounded and nearly killed by Arab fighters. Max Maman, the young soldier on that day of October in 1973 who desperately called for help and fire support was also afraid to die. General Sharon is heard as he speaks to this man while explosions and gunfire occur in the back. Max Maman later died in battle.