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The Sword of David — all you ever wanted to know about the Israeli Air Force

5 June 2014

The Sword of David — all you ever wanted to know about the Israeli Air Force

The Sword of David: the Israeli Air Force at war, Donald J. McCarthy Jr., 2014, ISBN 978-1-62873-731-8, 152 pp.

The Sword of David: the Israeli Air Force at War by Donald J. McCarthy Jr. with jacket design by Jon Wilkinson

The Sword of David: the Israeli Air Force at War by Donald J. McCarthy Jr. with jacket design by Jon Wilkinson

This book is thoroughly enjoyable and fills a niche describing the history, organization, aces, equipment and battles of the Israeli Air Force (IAF). The artwork on the cover is stunning and the plethora of photographs are primarily from private collections (i.e. IAF personnel) — these are not publicity photos, these are photos which have been taken by those who have the mission’s perspective and a keen awareness.

The writing is easy and informative as only an expert can write. Perhaps McCarthy’s prose is so pleasing, as well as unique, as it is with its insightful description laced with expert analysis because of his 32 years experience as a criminal investigator? He is also an author of several previous aviation books.

The book is a source of unit names as well as histories. Additionally, the IAF’s aviation assets as well as weapons are accurately described and summarized, with emphasis on the modern. It is no accident that the emphasis has been placed on the modern as the author’s final chapter and epilogue give his overview of the current military situation faced by the IAF. This fact of life frighteningly brings home why most of the IAF’s fighter and attack aircraft sit ready for combat at a moment’s notice fully fueled and with complete war loads.

McCarthy goes into detail as few have done in that past by describing career highlight of IAF commanders, detailing the photo captions of particular aircraft, and the telling of the aftermath of successful airstrike operations made famous by the IAF (Operation Mole Cricket 19, Operation Opera and Operation Orchard).

The Sword of David is a unique book, finally filling a too long empty niche, about the Israeli Air Force. Though this book lacks an index the chaptering makes most information easy to locate. However, the glossary for terms and acronyms is outstanding.

Israeli Air Force Aircraft described in

The Sword of David

Dassault Mirage IIICJ Shahak IAI Nesher (Vulture) IAI Kfir (Lion Cub)
Douglas A-4 Ahit (Eagle) McDonnell Douglas F-4E Kurnass (Sledgehammer) Bell A-1F Modernized Cobra
F-15A/B/C/D Baz (Falcon) F-15I Ra’ am (Thunder)[deep strike] Boeing AH-64A/D Longbow
F-16A/B Netz (Sparrowhawk) F-16C/D Barak (Lightning) F-16I Sufa (Storm)[deep strike]
Boeing 707 Re’ em (Antelope) Sikorsky CH-53 Yas’ ur (Petrel) Sikorsky UH-60 Yanshuf (Owl)
Gulfstream V Nachshon (Initiator)[Special Electronic] Gulfstream V Shavit [SIGINT] Gulfstream G550 Aitam [Early Warning & Command]
IAI Heron Shoval [UAV] Elbit Hermes 450 [UAV] IAI Heron TP Eitan [UAV]
Lockheed C-130J Karnaf (Rhinoceros) [IAI stands for Israel Aerospace Industries][other aircraft as well as weapons are also addressed]

 

The Sword of David: the Israeli Air Force at War by Donald J. McCarthy Jr. with jacket design by Jon Wilkinson (back cover)

The Sword of David: the Israeli Air Force at War by Donald J. McCarthy Jr. with jacket design by Jon Wilkinson (back cover)

 

 

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As is the publishing business custom, Skyhorse Publishing provided a copy of this book for an objective review.

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