The aim of this section is to provide some basic bibliography on the military history of the Middle East. Just some remarks before we start. The bibliography is organized in sections, starting with general studies, then proceeding chronologically. The main focus is on military history studies, although at the end there is also a 'modelling' section with reference books on purely technological aspects.
This bibliography by no means purports to be in any way complete. I have for example left out the substantial literature on Israeli Military History in Hebrew, and I readily confess that I have only a very rudimentary insight into Arab literature. As a consequence, this selection may be slightly one-sided. Please bear that in mind.
1. J. L. Wallach, Israeli Military History. A Guide to the Sources. New York/London 1984
This bibliography covers the time from 1300 BC to the early 1980s. It is probably fairly complete as far as Hebrew and English literature is concerned. It tends, however, to leave out reference works in other languages. Nevertheless it should be the first stop if you are beginning research work on Israeli Military History
Highly recommended if you are interested in Israeli Military History.
The following studies give general overviews on the development of the IDF:
2. Y. Allon, Shield of David. The Story of Israel's Armed Forces Jerusalem 1970
3. E. Luttwak/D. Horowitz The Israeli Army Cambridge (Mass.) 1975
4. G. E. Rothenberg, The Anatomy of the Israeli Army. The Israeli Defence Force 1948-1978, New York 1979
5. S. Teveth The Tanks of Tammuz New York 1969
A very readable account on the development of the armoured forces of the IDF.
6. J. N. Westwood, The History of the Middle East Wars, London 1984
A general overview on the 1948 to 1982 period. The text is rather shallow, which is more than compensated by the excellent pictures. Especially the colour shots of the Arab Legion from 1948 are highly impressive.
7. I. V. Hogg, Israeli War Machine, London 1983
Hogg's book on history and structure of the IDF gives not only a good overview on the period from 1948 to 1982, but is also well illustrated, offering pictures as well as artwork.
1. N. Lorch, Israel's War of Independence. First ed. New York 1961
In my eyes one of the best histories of the War of Independence - very competent yet very readable and surprisingly unbiassed.
A must for all those interested in the War of Independence
1.a) Second ed. Hartford 1968
If possible try to get this second edition, as it features revised maps, more illustrations and appendices with documents. Some of the pictures are highly interesting for the modeller (between p. 320 and 321 there is a picture of an armoured unit clearly showing at least two captured Humber ACs, the one in the foreground definitely being an Mk II).
2. M. Pearlman, The Army of Israel, New York 1950
Although lacking the depth of Lorch's masterly account, Pearlman's book is very interesting as it is very close to the actual events and focusses on the structure of the IDF which was at the time at it's very beginning. Also some very interesting illustrations in here.
1. E. O'Ballance, The Sinai Campaign, London 1959
In my humble opinion still one of the best accounts of Operation Kadesh, with great attention to detail, yet very readable.
1. M. Bar-On, Israel Defence Forces - The Six Day War 5.6.67-10.6.67, Tel Aviv 1968
This volume, which was published by the Israeli MoD, is the most comprehensive pictorial history of the Six Day War known to me. While the text suffers - understandably, though, it's official material! - from being apparently heavily edited in order to leave out any sensitive information, the wealth, variety and quality of the photographic material is absolutely outstanding. For the modeller looking for reference pictures this is the place to go.
A must for all those interested in the Six-Day-War
1. D. Eshel, The Yom Kippur War, Tel Aviv 1978.
A short pictorial history on the Yom Kippur War, being a good first stop for photographic reference.
1. S. M. Katz, Battleground Lebanon, Hong Kong 1990
Photographic reference and high-quality artwork on the civil war, the operations in 1982 and the period from that onwards.
Let's start with the easiest: Reference on vehicles of US origin. You cannot do better than look into R.P. Hunnicutt's exhaustive accounts. I have not yet seen his latest book on half tracks, but it is most probably as good as the other ones. The main disadvantage of his books is the price - those which are still in print (I don't know whether you can still get the Sherman book) apparently have a hefty price, so try to get them via interlibrary loan to have a look at. All sport 1/48 scale drawings that are a joy to work with if you are into Braille Scale modelling.
On IDF vehicles and equipment, S. M. Katz has published several shorter reference works.
1. S. M. Katz, Merkava I, II, III, Hong Kong 1992
Very helpful if you want to build Italeri's Merkava (Hope it comes out soon...!!!), featuring extensive photographic material and interesting detail shots.
The following booklets are from the widely known Concord series; no text in here, just pictures and artwork together with short captions:
2. isdem, Israel's Armor Might, Hong Kong 1987
Good photographic reference from the 1982-onwards period. Focusses on the Merkava, other vehicles are slightly underrepresented.
3. isdem, Tools of the Trade 1991
Comparable to the booklet above, centering mainly on uniforms and other equipment in use by the IDF. Again focussing on the 1982-onwards period.
still under construction!!