Lebanon's Armed Forces and the Arab-Israeli War, 1948-49


In military histories of the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, Lebanon's role, however minor, is almost entirely missing. This article seeks to fill this gap with a detailed examination of the involvement in the war not only of Lebanon's army but also of the irregular forces-notably the Arab Liberation Army-operating separately from its territory. The analysis-which covers the military and political constraints affecting both actors, their military performance, and the implications of their performance-is located within the historiographical debate on the 1948 war, and more specifically within the context of the Israeli "new history" approach of debunking the David versus Goliath argument.


Matthew Hughes is Senior Lecturer in History at Brunel University. In 2004, Dr. Hughes was a British Academy funded Visiting Fellow at the American University in Beirut. For help with the article, he wishes to thank Ms. Joane Chaker, Professor Fred Halliday, Professor Walid Khalidi, Ms. Diala Khasawneh, Dr. Eugene Rogan, Dr. Helen Sader, and Dr. Yigal Sheffy.

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