Operation Thunderbolt

  • by Saul David
  • Narrated by Peter Ganim
  • 14 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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 current 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.

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What the Critics Say

"This book is an enthralling, minute-by-minute retelling of the hijack and the dramatic rescue using new sources and material." (Max Hastings, author of Inferno)
"Totally thrilling, totally poignant. Bringing the greatest special forces operation of modern times blazingly to life, David's book, full of new revelations, written with the excitement of an action movie, the authority of a historian, is great drama, superb storytelling - and yet tells us much about the Middle East today." (Simon Sebag Montefiore, author of Jerusalem)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Lots of detail

I liked the meticulous detail about the hijacking and raid. I learned that the hostages were a mixed bag in terms of rising to nobility in the face of evil. Fascinating to hear of some (non-Israeli primarily) cheering idi Amin. The pilot does not come off well. Yoni Netanyahu also comes off in a mixed way.

The one thing that I didn't understand is how the paratrooper shot in the spinal cord was found and rescued. Spoiler alert: I loved the PostScript about Haddad's chocolate... Karma.

Overall this is a great exposition of a watershed moment.
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- w4y35y

A story of true courage and political resolve

The Israeli rescue of the hostages in Uganda is a nearly mythical story which this book does a remarkable job telling. I was enthralled with the hour by hour description of the hijacking as well as the events leading up to the rescue. I was completely captivated during the actual rescue and couldn't stop listening until it was done.

I was also impressed with the way the politicians both within and across parties came together to support such a dangerous and high risk strategy.

It was disappointing (though unfortunately not surprising) to hear that many in the UN tried to condemn Israel for rescuing its civilian hostages and yet remained silent in their condemnation of the terrorists as well as their Ugandian coconspirators.

Overall, it was a quick and enjoyable listen and one which I highly recommend!
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- Amanda Rudolph

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-01-2015
  • Publisher: Hachette Audio