Operation Thunderbolt: Flight 139 and the Raid on Entebbe Airport, The Most Audacious Hostage Rescue Mission in History, by Saul David

The definitive account of one of the greatest Special Forces missions ever, the Raid of Entebbe, by acclaimed military historian Saul David.

On June 27, 1976, an Air France flight from Tel Aviv to Paris was hijacked by a group of Arab and German terrorists who demanded the release of 53 terrorists. The plane was forced to divert to Entebbe, in Uganda — ruled by the murderous despot Idi Amin, who had no interest in intervening.

Days later, Israeli commandos disguised as Ugandan soldiers assaulted the airport terminal, killed all the terrorists, and rescued all the hostages but three who were killed in the crossfire. The assault force suffered just one fatality: its commander, Yoni Netanyahu (brother of Israel’s Prime Minister.) Three of the country’s greatest leaders — Ehud Barak, Shimon Peres and Yitzhak Rabin — planned and pulled off one of the most astonishing military operations in history.

operation thunderbolt book cover

“This is a ­minute-by-minute narrative of that week by a scrupulous and thorough historian, who has written what will most likely be the definitive work on the subject… the achievement of a masterly, first-rate historian.”

The New York Times

“Meticulously researched, skilfully constructed, carefully balanced and absorbing”

The Guardian

“A brilliant, breathless account that reads like the plot of an action movie

The Telegraph

“Gripping… Neatly marshalled into the eight days of the action, the narrative shifts between the sweltering heat of Entebbe airport, frosty cabinet meetings in Jerusalem and tense moments at various altitudes in international airspace. As the hours tick down towards the threatened bloody denouement, tension mounts and the atmosphere thickens”

The Spectator

“It reads like a movie script… The climax of the rescue itself is brilliantly told; nearly 40 years on, you still heave a sigh of relief when the last Hercules lifts off from the Entebbe runway and lumbers off into the night and a new dawn for the hostages – and for Israel”

Jewish Chronicle

“The story of this ever more dramatic story…has been told many times on page and screen. But never better than British historian Saul David does in this meticulously researched, vivid account. He has a knack for making the reader feel he is right there, sharing the feelings of everyone from the hapless passengers to the brave, disciplined commandos and the agonized government leaders back home who had to take the leap of faith and courage to authorise a mission they knew could so easily go awry… The raid was one of history’s truly stirring and awe-inspiring events, and Mr David’s gripping book truly does it justice.”

Washington Times

“Better than fiction can ever hope to be and true to Saul David’s characteristically authentic style, this breathtakingly tense and incredibly moving account of history’s most audacious Special Forces operation is one of the best true stories I’ve ever read. Gritty, visceral and edge-of-the-seat dramatic, Operation Thunderbolt ticks all the boxes and is destined to be one of the military history classics of the decade.”

Chris Hunter, author of ‘Eight Lives Down’.

“A stunning piece of research based on newly-released classified documents and interviews with the participants. And it is so compelling that, having been reading it in a bath that had gone cold, I got out and sat with my hair dripping because I couldn’t bring myself to put it down.”

Suzannah Lipscomb “The Best History Books to Take on Holiday”.

Operation Thunderbolt – Book

$30

By Saul David The definitive account of one of the greatest Special Forces missions ever, the Raid of Entebbe, by acclaimed military historian Saul David. On June 27, 1976, an Air France flight from Tel Aviv to Paris was hijacked by a group of Arab and German terrorists who demanded the release of 53 terrorists.…

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