By Trevor Dupuy & Paul Martell
There was a time when Lebanon was seen as the Switzerland of the Middle East: democratic, an island of economic stability and social progress-in short, a delightful land. But in fact since the days of its modern inception in 1920, and for centuries before, Lebanon has been a feudal country torn by religious, communal, and ethnic conflicts.
This very readable book traces Lebanon’s history and shows how it became a cauldron of hate and war in modern times. The significance of the influx of some 450,000 Palestinians between 1948 and 1972 and the Civil War and the foreign interventions of the 1970s are shown as the background of the more recent tragedies.
But it is the war in 1982, in the context of the wider Arab-Israeli conflict, that is the main focus of the account.
The 1982 military operations-the Southern Lebanon Israeli invasion, the fighting in the Bekaa Valley, and the siege of Beirut-are described in highly readable factual. The Palestinian guerrilla operations against Israel, and the Israeli responses, are documented thoroughly, as well as many little known incursions by the PLO. The roles of Major Haddad of the so-called “Free Lebanese Army”, of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon, and the Multi-national Peace Force are clarified.
This in-depth study is objective, scholarly and complete; it is important reading for all persons interested in what took place in Lebanon and concerned as to how that conflict may affect the future of the Middle East.
Paul Martell was born in Poland and graduated from the University of Warsaw with a degree in international relations. He has published numerous articles in professional journals. He was co-author for the book Great Battles of the Eastern Front as well as World Military Leaders. As a specialist in East-bloc and Middle Eastern developments he had a profound interest and knowledge of the events in Lebanon that were heightened by his extensive travels in the area.
Trevor N. Dupuy is one of the leading military historians in the world today. He is the author or co-author of over 80 published books and of numerous articles in leading military journals. Colonel Dupuy has written extensively on the Arab-Israeli conflicts, most notably his book Elusive Victory, which is a military history of the Arab-Israeli wars from 1947 to 1974. Colonel Dupuy is perhaps best known as the co-author, with his father, of the classic Encyclopedia of Military History.