Book Review

Travel to War Days

Mahya Hafezi
Translated By: Zahra Hosseinian

2023-8-16


Travel to War Days is the memoirs of Amir Brigadier Genera Sayed Hesam Hashemi, fellow warrior of Martyr Ali Sayad Shirazi. Under the title of the book, the word "Commanders" can be seen in silver color and the shape of a stamp. The author of the book is Saeed Alamian and it was edited by Mehdi Oghabi.

The first edition of Travel to War Days was published in 2023 by Khat-e Moghadam Publishing House (Qom) in 320 pages, 1000 copies, and the price of 120,000 Tomans.

The book started with the author's foreword and the narrator's notes and immediately continued with the narrator's first-person memories. At the beginning of each chapter, the chapter number can be seen on the left side, and it continues to chapter 18. At the end, there are colour pictures with explanations.

Sayed Hesam Hashemi is known more with Martyr Ali Sayad Shirazi. Together, they spent the revolution, defence in Kurdistan, and eight years of imposed war. Their friendship continued up to April 10, 1999, the day of Sayed Shirazi's martyrdom. Martyr Sayad Shirazi established the Board of War Studies in the army. On the day of his martyrdom, they were supposed to meet each other at 9 am, but at 8:00 Am, Hashemi was informed of Sayad Shirazi's martyrdom by phone.

In his note, the narrator explained about writing part of his memoirs in the hospital. Once, at the Tehran Clinic Hospital, he wrote his memoirs from birth to injury in August 1979 in a forty-page notebook, but has filed it in his home library. Also, the interviews have been conducted several times but have not been followed up; until the fall of 2020, when the friends of Martyr Sayad Shirazi who asked for an interview at the War Studies Board. The narrator has collected and rewritten all the previous material and handed it over to Saeed Alamian. Finally, the author wrote the memoirs from birth to the end of the war.

Brigadier General Hashemi is from Amol. He spoke about his interest in the uniform of Amol Police Chief and his motivation to become an officer. Of course, the narrator’s uncle also played a role in this interest and explained to him about military academy. People who entered military academy, in addition to receiving a monthly salary, had a chance to be admitted to an officer's university. In the same year, the narrator came to Tehran to get a diploma at the suggestion of uncle Yousef. He passed the exam and his classes would start from October 1966. After obtaining a mathematics diploma from military academy in June 1967, he participated in entrance exam for officer’s university. Then he flashed back to his childhood and spoke about his parents, enrolment in primary school and his birth on July 02, 1947. He briefly narrated his childhood memories until reaching the seventh grade in Amol, as well as peddling and working in the rice fields, and then backed to the officer's university.

After recounting the memories of his studies at the officer’s university, the narrator talked about his marriage in April 1974. He got the Captain Rank in 1977. After completing the higher education program and map reading course, whose teacher was Captain Ali Sayad Shirazi, he got to know him more. After that, he attended the revolution demonstrations, and listened to the tape of Imam Khomeini's speech.

Around noon on Monday February 11th, the army chiefs declared neutrality and the revolution won. People came to the barracks and threw flowers from behind the wall. They gave chocolates and candies to the soldiers. (p. 71)

In most of the narrator's memoirs, the name of martyr Sayad is mentioned. His memories of the events after the revolution covers the war and the operation to liberate the road from Sanandaj to Marivan and how he was injured. He was hospitalized in the 502 Army Hospital. Seventy-Five percent of the bones in his right leg had been broken.

During this time, he followed the news through the radio, and the army issues through his friends. He was discharged from the hospital after one month. He settled in the organizational house related to the joint headquarters in Lavisan. When the narrator returned from Mashhad, he visited the army headquarters on September 22, 1980. They had just performed the midday prayers, when the alarm sounded and the news of Iraqi planes attacking the airport was spread. An unwanted war had started. He talked about the war years up to the Mersad operation. The Mersad operation ended with the major destruction of the forces of the hypocrites and the eight-year war. After the war, he tried to fulfil his missions successfully.

On the back cover of the book, it can be read:

With the start of the FAW operation, we were asked to have an operation in the Sulaymaniyah region of Iraq as soon as possible to support the Operation Dawn 8. On behalf of Sayad Shirazi, I went to Tehran to brief and meet Mr. Hashemi Rafsanjani. I gave him a report using the map. Mr. Hashemi thanked and said: "Colonel Hashemi, we are under the pressure of the enemy's tanks, especially the heavy air bombardment, in FAW. If you can do something in the northwest to draw Iraq's attention to that area, even to drag a few Iraqi planes to the northwest, you will do a great job for the southern front! Go and start this operation as soon as possible."

 



 
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