The Heights of Courage: A Tank Leader's War on the Golan

The Heights of Courage: A Tank Leader's War on the Golan

The Heights of Courage: A Tank Leader's War on the Golan

The Heights of Courage: A Tank Leader's War on the Golan

Synopsis

Kahalani, commander of a tank battalion on the Golan Heights during the Yom Kippur War, describes this experience in The Heights of Courage. Beginning with a description of the initial Syrian offensive, he recounts the personal endeavors of his men, their fears and their ambitions, as well as their emotional and physical hardships. His stark account traces the efforts of the Israel Armored Corps as they struggle to overcome extreme difficulties and setbacks. The author describes their ultimate penetration into enemy territory and their approach to within forty kilometers of Damascus.

Excerpt

Ten years have passed since the outbreak of the Yom Kippur War, one of the most difficult, if not the most difficult, in the history of modern Israel.

Since 1973, many accounts have been written about the struggle but none from the vantage point of the men fighting in the line. It is from that aspect--from my own experiences and those of my comrades-in-arms--that I have written this memoir. In so doing, I have tried to shed light on the remarkable courage and skill these men displayed as they stopped the Syrian attempt to conquer the Golan Heights.

As I wrote the pages that follow, I had always before me the faces of the men with whom I fought side by side and, especially, of those who fell. It was important to me to communicate our emotions to the readers, particularly to the bereaved parents, widows and orphans, as we battled to keep the enemy at bay. I hoped that I could impart to the families some sense of their men's devotion to duty and of the price they were willing to pay to safeguard their nation and their people. Those on the home front have every right to feel proud of their fighting fathers, husbands and sons.

In focussing on these men, I could not deal at any length with the larger story of our division, brigade or 175 other battalions. Essentially, this is the story of one battalion at war. Nevertheless, it should in no way detract from the heroism shown by the men of these units.

Our brigade was well trained and was therefore well prepared for the war when it broke upon us. Thanks for that must go to the brigade commanding officer, Col. Avigdor "Yanosh" Ben- Gal.

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