Between intuition and professionalism: Israeli military leadership during the 1948 Palestine war

Tal, David (2004) Between intuition and professionalism: Israeli military leadership during the 1948 Palestine war. Journal of Military History, 68 (3). pp. 885-910. ISSN 0899-3718

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Abstract

Despite its achievements in the 1948 Palestine War, the military performance of the Israeli army was less impressive than is usually assumed. Attacks by the Israel Defense Force (IDF) on the regular Arab armies (Syrian, Jordanian, Iraqi, and Egyptian) ended in most cases in Israel's defeat. Israeli victories, which allowed the extension of the territories under its control, were gained in the fighting against the unorganized Palestinians and the semi-military Arab Liberation Army. The only significant military achievement in the war was the victory of Yigal Allon's forces over the Egyptians in southern Palestine. This success was gained at the conclusion of a debate between Allon and another IDF senior commander over the best way to conduct of offensive operations, a debate that provides a key to understanding the reason for Allon's remarkable achievement compared to the lesser performance of other IDF commanders. However, Allon's brilliant military leadership was the result of intuition and not of professional military education, a factor that had a negative effect on some of his decisions.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of History, Art History and Philosophy > History
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D031 Political and diplomatic history
Depositing User: David Tal
Date Deposited: 24 Oct 2014 11:49
Last Modified: 24 Oct 2014 11:49
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/50714
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