Friday, October 7, 2011

The Memoirs of October War by Gnr.Saad El-Din El-Shazly - مذكرات حرب أكتوبر للواء سعد الدين الشاذلي


"This is a military memoir: my record as Chief of Staff of The Egyptian Armed Forces, during The Arab-Israeli War of October 1973. It is to the best of my knowledge, unique, being the only memoir of its kind by a contemporary Arab commander. I have written it with reluctance, with sorrow and with anger. When I say that my anger is directed primarily, at The President of Egypt, Anwar El Sadat, it will be understood why I, after a lifetime as a soldier serving my country and my people, was reluctant to take up a pen, and felt sorry that in the end it became an inescapable duty.

This memoir, I dedicate to the soldiers and officers of the Egyptian Armed Forces. It is their story; it tells at last, the truth about their triumph. I am proud of every single day I spent as Chief of Staff. I am proud that during my tenure, the first successful Arab offensive against Israel, was planned and executed.

I pay tribute to every officer and man, who took part in it, and in doing so, restored the pride of the Egyptian soldier. They are witnesses to the truth of what I write. Some parts of the story are known by thousands, some by hundreds, some aspects shared by only a handful. May God help and guide us, and give us the courage to say the truth, whatever may be the consequences." 
A very expensive cost: 

 In 1978, General Shazly, sharply criticized The Camp David Agreement, and publicly opposed it. As a result, he was dismissed from his position and was forced into exile. There, he wrote this book, his account of the war.
The consequences of this publication cost Shazly dearly. He was court marshaled in absentia, and received a three years prison sentence. He was denied legal representation, stripped of his political rights and had his property sequestered. All without a single witness, save a captain serving in Military Intelligence. Two charges were brought against Shazly. The first was publishing a book without prior approval. A charge, Shazly admits to. The second was divulging military secrets in his book. A charge Shazly vehemently denies, claiming the so-called "secrets" were government secrets rather than military secrets. Shazly maintains the government was trying to hide the facts.

In 1992, Shazly returned to Egypt after 14 years in exile, in Algeria; for criticizing the policies of President Anwar Sadat. He was arrested in the airport upon his return.

No trial ever took place, and Shazly was forced to serve his prison term, despite the rule of law, according to The Egyptian Constitution, that sentences received in absentia, must be retried. During his time in prison Shazly's legal team, succeeded in obtaining a ruling from The Highest Civilian Court, which stated that the prior military conviction was illegal, and declared the military ruling was unconstitutional. The court ordered Shazly's immediate release. None took place. Shazly served the remainder of his sentence.

The Crossing of The Suez, and Shazly's later book, The Arab Military option, was never published in Egypt.
They were however; published in English, French and Arabic and sold in many countries. The book has been reviewed by major publications including The Economist, The New York Times, The Christian Science Monitor, and others. The book is currently in its second printing.

El Shazly died on 10 February 2011 at the age of 88.

To download the book in Arabic, click here   لإنزال الكتاب باللغة العربية, اضغط هنا

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