A link to order a paperback or Kindle version (in amazon.com) or e-book of " In the Sands of Sinai- A physician's Account of the Yom Kippur War."

Watch Dr Brook's presentation about his experiences in the Yom Kippur War on YouTube.

Dr. Brook is a speaker on the Yom Kippur war for the Israeli Embassy in Washington DC, USA.

The Yom Kippur War was launched in 1973 in a surprise attack by Syria and Egypt. This Arab-Israeli war posed the most serious threat to the existence of Israel in modern history. Even though Israel was eventually able to achieve a military victory, the country paid a steep price, both in lives lost and in the citizenry’s confidence in their leaders and themselves. Deep within the psyche of the nation, this conflict shattered conventional wisdom that the country was invincible.

This book recounts the author’s personal experiences as a battalion physician during that time. Expecting to heal his soldiers’ physical combat wounds, Brook unexpectedly must address his soldiers’ psychological battlefield trauma (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). It describes how he coped with his soldiers’ medical and psychological issues, the daily struggle of survival in the battle zone, and everyone’s growing anxiety. Through the lens of one participant, the reader can experience the resourcefulness exhibited during the time of war and the struggle to preserve one’s humanity in the midst of it all. In unvarnished details from the mundane to the catastrophic, he describes his perspective of a war that shaped his own life, and his nation's fragile identity.

Pictures of the events described in the book are shown below.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Introduction to the book

Over thirty-eight years have passed since the Yom Kippur War took place in October of 1973, but its impact on me has not faded. I still think about the war and relive my experiences again and again. This war posed the most serious threat to the existence of Israel in modern history and shattered conventional wisdom about the country’s strengths and lack of vulnerability throughout the psyche of Israeli society. It came as a surprise to everyone involved and the army’s lack of preparation and consequent delay in calling up the military reservists inflicted a heavy toll on the entire population. The only thing that saved the country was the bravery of the Israeli soldiers who sacrificed their lives in many cases to compensate for the lack of equipment and supplies. What also helped the country to regroup and turn the tide of the war was the buffer provided by the Sinai desert and the Golan Heights which delayed the advances of the Egyptian and Syrian armies. The weapons supplied by the United States to replenish the dwindling stocks of the Israeli army were also instrumental in Israel’s ability to turn an initial defeat into a painful and costly victory.

This book recounts my personal experiences as a supply battalion physician during that time. It describes my personal experiences, struggles, fears and challenges. One of the most important lessons I learned was that war is both ugly and challenging and boasts no glory. My experience firmly convinced me that war should be avoided at all costs and should be the option of last resort. Yet, in the end, it is manifestly and sadly true that, when the survival of a nation is at stake, war may be the only choice.

I want to dedicate this book to the soldiers of my battalion who stuck it out during this horrific war. They overcame the many difficulties we faced and performed their mission, despite constant danger, as they heroically conquered their fears and anxieties. Some of them paid the ultimate price to do that. May their memories be blessed.

Enclosed are pictures taken before and during the Yom Kippur War showing events described in the book.

A drawing by Itzhak Brook MD entitled "The Yom Kippur War" (1980)


 A column of Israeli tanks and an Israeli jet during the Yom Kippur War

  Evacuation of wounded Israeli soldiers during the Yom Kippur War


         Evacuation of wounded Israeli soldiers during the Yom Kippur War

             Wounded Israeli soldiers in Sinai during the Yom Kippur War

Israeli armor personal carrier serving as a medical care unit during the Yom Kippur War

Israeli tanks crossing the Suez Canal to Egypt in the Yom Kippur War

 Israeli tank in Sinai during the Yom Kippur War

The medical team [ left to right; Dr Brook, Avner, Zvika, and Yossi (Morano)] of the supply battalion of the "Steel Formation" Division (1972)


The medical team of the supply battalion of the Steel Formations division during the Yom Kippur War ( From left: Ehud, Dr Brook, Avner, Yossi, and Zvika


Dr Itzhak Brook during divisional maneuvers in Sinai 10 months prior to the Yom Kippur War



                           Graduation of IDF medical officers course, 1971.
In middle front is Dr. Achikam Avni (Feinstein) who fell in 1974 evacuating wounded soldiers in Mt. Hermon. Dr. Brook is in the 2nd row, 2nd from right.

The supply battalion of the "Steel Formation" division in action refueling trucks in Sinai during the 1973 Yom Kippur War

Convoy of Israeli  tank transporter and supply trucks in Sinai during the Yom Kippur War

Israeli armor personal carrier carrying supplies in Sinai during the Yom Kippur War

Israeli convoy in Sinai during the Yom Kippur War


Israeli troops convoys during the Yom Kippur War

Golani Brigade soldiers carry their dead and wounded comrades after recapturing Mount Hermon

An Israeli officer praying during the Yom Kippur War

An Israeli military cemetery for soldiers who died during the Yom Kippur War


Israeli military Independence Day parade in Jerusalem five month before the Yom Kippur War


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