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Fire in the Night: Wingate of Burma, Ethiopia, and Zion

by Bierman, John

  • ISBN: 9780375500619
  • ISBN10: 0375500618

Fire in the Night: Wingate of Burma, Ethiopia, and Zion

by Bierman, John

  • List Price: $29.95
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Random House Trade
  • Publish date: 12/28/1999
  • ISBN: 9780375500619
  • ISBN10: 0375500618
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Description: Orde Charles Wingate was born in India in 1903 into a family of professional soldiers, but his parents were part of an austere fundmentalist Protestant sect, and, from earliest childhood, he was drilled in Old Testament lore with its tales of the prophets and warrior kings of ancient Israel.

In the mid 1930's, his sympathies first lay with the British rulers of the mandated Palestine who were predominantly pro-Arab, but soon Wingate, burgeoned by a passionate conversion to the Zionist cause, became an obsessed defender of Israel's interests -- and forged personal friendships with people like Moshe Shertok and Chaim Weizmann. His night squads became the nursery from which emerged future leaders of the Israeli Army -- such as Moshe Dayan, Yigal Allon and Yitzhak Rabin.

With the start of World War II, he was sent to Khartoum and then to Ethiopia, where Wingate, ever the fervent Old Testament scholar, never forgot that the Ethiopian monarch styled himself "Conquering Lion of Judah." By bluff and daring, he managed to force the Italians to capitulate, but his abrasive and outspoken nature once more left him in disgrace -- and, indeed, his spirits became so low that, in despair, he tried to commit suicide.

Within weeks of Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor, both America and Britain suffered some of the most painful defeats of their history. Now, Wingate's talent for irregular warfare was once more in demand, and Wingate went to work in Burma with a rag-tag crew of British volunteers, units from India, and a small Royal Air Force contingent. They were more than a match for the Japanese, and Wingate finally emerged from the jungle a national hero, though je died before the war's end.

A fewyears after Wingate's death, as the first Arab-Israeli war raged, Wingate's widow flew over a besieged Jewish settlement named Yemin Orde after her husband and dropped them his Bible, "May it be a covenant between you and him, " she had written on the flyleaf, "in triumph or defeat, now and always."

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Large Octavo. Biography one of Britain's most controversial but most
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Illus. 434pp. 8vo, cloth, d.w. New York: Random House, (1999). Near Fine. Biography of Orde Wingate.
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434, [2] p. Illustrations. Map. Sources. Bibliography. Index. This biography
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