The Soviet-Israeli War at Sea
By Isabella Ginor and Gideon Remez
The naval front was a central element of the direct clash between Soviet and Israeli forces in the 1960s and '70s, when the USSR's Mediterranean squadron also challenged the US Sixth Fleet for mastery of this strategic sea. Russia's forceful re-entry into the Middle Eastern arena, and the accentuated continuity of Soviet policy and methods of the 1960s and '70s, highlight the topicality of this groundbreaking study, which confirms the USSR's role in shaping Middle Eastern and global history.
This lecture will cover the peak of the USSR's direct military involvement in the Egyptian-Israeli conflict. The head-on clash between US-armed Israeli forces and some 20,000 Soviet servicemen with state-of-the-art weaponry turned the Middle East into the hottest front of the Cold War. The Soviets' success in this war of attrition paved the way for their planning and support of Egypt's cross-canal offensive in the 1973 Yom Kippur War.
Ginor and Remez challenge a series of long-accepted notions as to the scope, timeline and character of the Soviet intervention and overturn the conventional view that détente with the US induced Moscow to restrainthat a US-Moscow détente led to a curtailment of Egyptian ambitions to recapture of the land it lost to Israel in 1967.
Isabella Ginor and Gideon Remez are associate fellows of the Truman Institute, Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She was formerly the Soviet/Russian affairs specialist for the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, he the head of foreign news at Israel Radio. Their previous book, Foxbats over Dimona: The Soviets' Nuclear Gamble in theSix-Day War (Yale, 2007) won the Silver Medal of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and was named a book of the year by Foreign Affairs.More on Knox Lecture Series