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1948: A Soldier's Tale - The Bloody Road to Jerusalem by Uri Avnery, Christopher Costello

By Uri Avnery, Christopher Costello

The first eye-witness account ever released of the 1948 Israeli struggle of Independence, this riveting memoir of a tender Israeli soldier grew to become an speedy bestseller on booklet in 1949, and remains to be well-known because the remarkable e-book of that struggle, within the culture of Erich Maria Remarque’s All Quiet at the Western Front. First becoming a member of the Givati Brigade and later volunteering for "Samson’s Foxes", the mythical commando unit, Avnery took half in just about all the most important battles at the Jerusalem and southern fronts. Written from the trenches, and from an army clinic mattress, he deals an awfully distinctive account of the conflict, of fast paced battles, and acts of utmost bravery, in addition to the camaraderie and off-duty exploits of younger women and men thrust into front line. this can be a gripping, delicate, and every now and then deeply poignant account of the day by day brutalities of 1 of the main major wars of our times.

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Our real task was to disrupt any Arab traffic between Latrun and Wadi Sarar, and to defend the road to Jerusalem in a southerly direction. In the evening the “Cameri Theater” 15 came to us. After the performance I and some other comrades volunteered to accompany the actors to Rehovot. They needed this escort, since the village of Akir was still in the hands of the Arabs. Before the actors left us, I asked them to write their names on the stock of my rifle. And so for several weeks the bleached wood shimmered with the names of Batyah, Chanah, and Rosa … Around two in the morning we arrived back in a good mood.

Our orders are to bring him back to Naan. I will never forget the next two hours, even if my memory is a little hazy. ” The dead weigh a lot more than the living. We are carrying the stretcher in addition to our rifles and equipment. We walk, stumble, 28 BAPTISM OF FIRE slip, and can’t think at all. We have only one desire: to throw away the damned stretcher together with our rifles and equipment, to lie down on the wet ground and sleep, sleep, sleep. We are alone. A platoon of infantry soldiers and a corpse.

31 1948 Our platoon is at the head. In front of me our platoon leader, Joske the redhead. I keep my eyes on him. The thing I am most afraid of is to lose touch in the dark. I have heard the most terrifying stories about people who lost contact and wandered around the whole night, till the next morning they found themselves in the middle of an Arab area. I make a note of anything conspicuous – the shape of the hill on the horizon to the left, white stones beside the path, the direction of the Pole Star.

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