By Christopher Miskimon

As Amir Bega prepared to go on leave for the Yom Kippur holiday, Egypt and Syria attacked Israel, plunging him into war before his training was finished. His tank battalion is destroyed at the beginning of the war, torn to pieces by new Soviet-supplied anti-tank weapons such as the Sagger missile. Surviving the defeat, Amir joins a reserve unit to continue the fight and hold the line against the Egyptian advance. He joins the crews of one tank after another as each is destroyed or damaged, but he begins to acquire a reputation for bad luck. Hounded by feelings of guilt at having survived, Amir volunteers for a dangerous mission to rescue a trapped Israeli unit surrounded by Egyptian commandos.

This fascinating memoir recounts the experiences of Amir as a young soldier, caught up in the chaos and violence of the Yom Kippur War of October 1973. It vividly retells the constant fighting throughout the entire war as the initially overconfident Israeli military learns hard lessons and regains its balance to take the fight to its enemies.

Undercurrent: Tank Commander Cadet in the Yom Kippur War (Amir Bega, Casemate Books, Havertown PA, 2023, 177 pp., maps, photographs, appendix, $34.95, hardcover)