Today's Arab-Israeli conflict, ever-present in the news, is merely the latest episode in an unending history of violence in the Holyland, a region that is unsurpassed as witness to a kaleidoscopic military history involving forces from across the world and throughout the millennia.Holy Wars describes 3,000 years of war in the Holyland with the unique approach of focusing on pivotal battles or campaigns, beginning with the Israelites' capture of Jericho and ending with Israel's last full-fledged assault against Lebanon. Its 17 chapters stop along the way to examine key battles fought by the Philistines, Assyrians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Crusaders, and Mamluks, the latter clash, at Ayn Jalut, comprising the first time the Mongols suffered a decisive defeat.The modern era saw the rise of the Ottomans, and an incursion by Napoleon who only found bloody stalemate outside the walls of Akko. The Holyland became a battlefield again in World War I when the British fought the Turks. The nation of Israel was forged in conflict during its 1948 War of Independence, and subsequently found itself in desperate combat, often against great odds, in 1956, 1967, and when it was surprised by a two-pronged assault in 1973. By focusing on the climax of each conflict, while carefully setting each stage, Holy Wars allows the reader to examine an extraordinary breadth of military history, glimpsing in one volume the evolution of warfare over the millennia as well as the enduring status of the Holyland as a battleground.

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