Volume 2: The First Month

Dr. Uri Milstein is one of Israel's most famous military historians. He is a Senior Lecturer at Bar Ilan University. His history series on Israel's War of Independence is translated by Alan Sacks, a Philadelphia lawyer with a long and distinguished history of translation of Hebrew into English. Volume 2 is highly recommended for all persons interested in Israeli history.

Sixty years ago, the State of Israel was founded. The establishment of Israel as a nation is one of the most important developments in Jewish and world history. How did this come about? If you wish to know the answer to this question, read Dr. Milstein's Volume 2, "The First Month" which is a comprehensive treatise on the political, diplomatic and military background to Israel's War of Independence. These historical books are meticulously researched and thoroughly documented and footnoted. They are considered "the authentic history" of Israel in the years leading up to 1948 and have been identified by Time Magazine as the "definitive" books on pre-1948 Israel. Volume 2 is written in a flowing style that will fascinate the expert, the educated, the curious reader, the high school student and the university and graduate school student and professor. Volume 2 deals with the first 30 days of Israel's War of Independence. In the time leading up to the outbreak of war there was "terror" and "anti-terror" between Jewish, Arab and British forces with the British military actually trying to prevent the establishment of an independent Jewish state in the Middle East and the Arabs continuing with a stage in the family tree of "Universal Islamic Jihad" which also aimed to prevent the establishment of the State of Israel and to drive the Jews from their Homeland. In Volume 2, Dr. Milstein describes the early days of the war, including the "Cities War" in the cities of Jerusalem, Haifa and Tel-Aviv-Jaffa. In this "Cities War", Arabs attacked their neighbors, local Jews, and killed many innocent civilians. In return, the Jewish military arms of Haganah, Palmach, Irgun and Lehi responded and the war grew and expanded from there. With the failure of the Arab forces to defeat the Jews in the cities, the Arabs then moved their "Islamic Jihad" to the Jewish border settlements and smaller settlements outside of the cities. Dr. Milstein covers the problems that arose in early pre-Israel days with several different Israeli military forces operating under different military theories, with the Irgun under Mehachen Begin and the Lehi or F.F.I., initially known as the"David Stern Gang", using different strategic methods than the Haganah and Palmach in their "same-objective-efforts" to protect the Jewish people from death, destruction and elimination and to establish the nation of Israel as a Homeland for the Jews. These internal frictions within the Jewish military commands arose prior to David Ben-Gurion assuming supreme command over a unified Jewish military force just prior to 1948. Dr. Milstein also discusses in detail the early successes of the Arab forces, local Arabs back by Arab forces compiled in neighboring Arab states, and how these early results affected the American government causing it to hesitate in providing the necessary intelligence and support needed for the establishment of the Jewish State of Israel. Volume 2 comes to an end with a detailed description of the battle in Gush-Etzion, not far from Hebron close to the Father's Grave in the Cave of Machpelah. In this heroic battle, just 10 Jewish warriors drove off an attack by 2,500 Arabs resulting in the death of 300 Arabs and a large loss of Arab arms and weapons which were left behind for the Jewish defenders by the fleeing Arabs. Dr. Milstein conducted thousands of interviews with actual participants in the War of Independence, many of whom have now passed on leaving these interviews as unique original primary source material for the War as it actually occurred. In addition, further thousands of documents were analyzed, many of which are detailed in this book's voluminous footnotes. Volume 2 is a documented historical record of the first 30 days of the War of Independence unparalleled in any other treatise or book on Israel before or since published.The research in Dr. Milstein's book is outstanding and brilliant, it is history at its very best, a masterpiece. Although exceptionally free flowing and easy to read, it is a book that deals with "facts and footnotes" so that the reader is left with a clear understanding and comprehension of Israel's early history. Dr. Milstein writes as a true historian, without personal biases or prejudices, he presents the history of early Israel in an organized manner and lets the reader understand the factual reasoning behind all conclusions presented. This book should be required reading today for all persons interested in the history of Israel and the world of the Middle East as it is at the start of the 21st Century.

Dr. Milstein is not only one of the most famous of all military historians in Israel, he is also a security analyst and philosopher, an expert on security matters, who is loved by many Israelis for his refusal to compromise the facts of history for personal political or financial gain. Many of his followers see him as a genius and one of the key fighters for academic truth in Israel today.

Volume 2: The First Month
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