- Paperback: 240 pages
- Publisher: Corgi Childrens (July 1976)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0552101907
- ISBN-13: 978-0552101905
- Package Dimensions: 17.4 x 10.4 x 1.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,362,914 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
90 Minutes of Entebbe Paperback – 1 Jul 1976
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About the Author
William Stevenson was born in Britain in 1925. He served as an aircraft pilot in Her Majesty's Royal Navy during World War II and later moved to Canada where he worked for the Toronto Star. Stevenson traveled the globe, operating as the Star's one-man foreign service and covering conflicts in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. Stevenson is the author of nine books, including international bestseller A Man Called Intrepid. He died in 2013 in Toronto, Canada. Uri Dan was born in 1935. A veteran Israeli journalist, he served as the chief correspondent of Maariv, an Israeli newspaper, and as the Israel correspondent for the New York Post. Dan gained fame as the spokesman and confidante of Israel's former prime minister Ariel Sharon. He died in 2006. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
There can be few readers who are not already familiar with the spectacular rescue by Israeli forces at Entebbe Airport, Uganda during July 1976. A rescue that has been committed to both film, documentary and the written page.
This captivating book by William Stevenson records in minute detail the hour by hour events throughout the period of this critical event, beginning with the actual in-flight hijacking of Air France Flight 139 en route from Athens to Paris, carrying over 262 passengers and crew.
A hijacking endorsed and supported by the then President of the Republic of Uganda, Idi Amin. Possibly the first time that any modern nation and it's leader actually became the protector and spokesman for terrorists and political blackmailers. The writer taking time to document the 'behind the scenes' sponsorship and relationship between the hijackers, Uganda, Libya and Palestinian terrorist groups towards this methodically planned and carefully executed act of air piracy by Palestinian terrorists.
The book continues at a rapid pace and is difficult to put down. It may appear dated but it's relevancy to our day is unquestionable.
From the outset, the book shows in alarming clarity the political climate of the time in that no country other than Israel was prepared to do little other than negotiate with the terrorists. What is meant by this is that no other country was prepared to take on the responsibility of a rescue mission of any description.Read more ›
There was certainly something obscene 31 years after the Holocaust about Germans shouting orders at Jewish hostages and waving guns over their heads, while engaging in 'selektzia' - selection of the prisoners of terror, with all those with Israeli names ordered into a different section of the building.
The Arab terrorists of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine were were led by a German man and woman from the Marxist German terrorist group the Baader Meinhof Gang. Their behaviour reminded at least one hostage, himself bearing tattooed numbers from a concentration camp of Nazis.
The terrorists who hijacked the Air France Flight 139 were executing a meticulously conceived plan by an international terrorist network controlled by the Soviet Union and directed by terrorist regimes such as that of Libyan mass murderer Muammar Gaddafi. The terrorist operation was endorsed by the then President of Uganda, Idi Amin Dada, who hosted the terrorists and their operation and gave it every assistance.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)
I do remember this happening. But not very well. It was when terrorism was a problem most in Europe, not America. The author foretells of a time when terrorism will be an international problem. As we know now, he is right on the money there.
The writing gets a little jumbled when it comes to reading as there are so many characters. I think part of is just me. A list of characters at the front of the book would have been a great addition.
Also, there is little or no historical context before the hijacking begins. I think that even though it is not directly part of the story, it would be helpful. Some of the context is introduced as you read along. This is used to explain feelings and motivations. But knowing a little more fully about the current state of terrorism at that time would be helpful. And adding information about the murder of the Israeli Olympic Athletes would help fill in the background of the world in which the Israelis found themselves.
From the reading of this story, what we see here is the gritty determination of the national political leadership acting in a cause for the common good of the nation. Their unity of purpose, their determination to take a rescue against all of the perceived odds stands as a picture of pure courage and backbone. In our fractured politics of today, perhaps we can learn a lesson here in taking action, regardless of the political calculation, in the national interest.
If there is one down side to the book, it kind of stretched out a bit too long at the end with the transcripts of the UN hearings, etc. Of course to an historian this would be valuable reader, but to a casual reader of history this was a little too much information.
On the other hand, I bet that the account of this raid is standard reading for any special ops warriors and counter-terrorism forces world-wide.
For me the most powerful parts of the book are the accounts of the victims, like the one of Julie Oiserant who described the behavior of the two German terrorists. The woman (Brigitte Kuhlmann) acted Nazi-like whereas the man (Wilfried Böse) tried to be friendly. The Palestinian terrorists obviously did not talk to the hostages, at least there are no discussions mentioned in the book. However Wadi Haddad, the mastermind of the terrorists, gets a short biographical sketch. I also found interesting the incident Stevenson reminds his readers of about the other German terrorist in Haddad's service, Bernard Hausmann, who carried a bomb in his suitcase on the flight to Tel Aviv and blew himself up together with the Israeli officer while opening his luggage. The name of this woman security officer is not given.
It would have been nice for the author to provide an index. For this reason and for the lack of giving more background on the hostage takers I can't give it more than four stars.
For those who want to know more about this amazing little part of history It is worth your time to read about it here.