Sunday, March 07, 2010

Tears & Books

I remember quite well the first movie which made me cry. I was 6 or 7 years old when my Nonnou & Nonna let my sister and I watch Raid on Entebbe, starring Peter Finch and Charles Bronson. When Yoni died near the movie's climatic end, my sister and I started crying. I was devastated. "Why Yoni?" I kept on asking my grandparents. That movie left its mark on me - and since then, I've watched all 3 Entebbe movies too many times to remember (and my "Oh no, you're not watching it again" family are my witnesses!), and read as many books about the operation as possible (From Yoni's Letters to Yoni's Last Battle).

Two years ago, I found another book on the subject, Sayeret Matkal in Entebbe (The book seems to only be available Hebrew, סיירת מטכ"ל באנטבה). The 700+ page book is interview after interview with figures, be it the Minister of Defense (Shimon Peres) or the receptionist at the Chief of Staff's office, who found themselves around Sayeret Matkal during the hectic 3 day (Thursday - Saturday / July 1st - 3rd, 1976) period that gave us one of the most daring rescue attempts history has ever known. While I'm only on the 'Friday' so far, I've learned a lot of new information about the planning of the raid (for example, the Mercedes idea was raised on Thursday evening during the first few hours of planning, and the Ugandan flags on the car were actually drawn by a few soldiers as there were no authentic ones available). What has impressed me the most so far is the incredible speed Yoni and his team developed a plan and how they continually improved it before any dry runs. Tough book to put down ...

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