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  • Arab-Israelis wars

    Watched a good documentary on the Yom Kippur war. How could Israel get caught off guard with only a few days warning about an impeding attack? And why did the Syrian army retreat as it was about to break through the Israeli tank brigade defending the Golan Heights? Did the Israel army ever come close to use a nuclear weapon? Would they have used it to save their country?
    http://canadiangenealogyandresearch.ca

    Soviet and Canadian medal collector!

  • #2
    The IAF loaded nukes on planes thinking it would come to that. Scary huh? Would they have used it? That depends, does rational thought win out over the desire to 'take your enemies with you' as they roll into your capital? Good thing it never came to that.
    If voting could really change things, it would be illegal.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by chrisvalla
      The IAF loaded nukes on planes thinking it would come to that. Scary huh? Would they have used it? That depends, does rational thought win out over the desire to 'take your enemies with you' as they roll into your capital? Good thing it never came to that.
      An eye for an eye and all that.


      I'd probably have done it. But then...I am insane. :crazy:

      Dr. S.
      Imagine a ball of iron, the size of the sun. And once a year a tiny sparrow brushes its surface with the tip of its wing. And when that ball of iron, the size of the sun, is worn away to nothing, your punishment will barely have begun.

      www.sinisterincorporated.co.uk

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      • #4
        Re: Arab-Israelis wars

        Originally posted by dannybou
        Watched a good documentary on the Yom Kippur war. How could Israel get caught off guard with only a few days warning about an impeding attack? And why did the Syrian army retreat as it was about to break through the Israeli tank brigade defending the Golan Heights? Did the Israel army ever come close to use a nuclear weapon? Would they have used it to save their country?
        After 1967 Israel got cocky and complacent and it bit them on the ass when the Arabs attacked them on the Jewish Holy Day of Yom Kippur in 1973.

        The Arabs, particularly the Egyptians under Anwar Sadat had a plan to succeed politically where they could not push militarily. Thier end objective was the retaking though political means the Sinai Peninsula, which was occupied by Israel since 1967.

        The Egyptians decided to achieve this through a general plan that entailed political deception of Israel, and her ally the United States. Sadat wanted to create the impression that he wanted to seek a peaceful settlement with the Israelis. The Egyptians sent their diplomats throughout the Middle East on supposedly frantic and desperate initiatives to patch up problems they had. Sadat and his generals wanted to create a picture of disunity and continual problems with co-ordination of military actions. In fact the diplomats were sent to bring unilateral political support for Y-Day, the impending attack on Israel in Yom Kippur.

        Another method used in the plan called for escalations of tensions between Israel and Egypt, through frequent Egyptian military mobilisations. This forced Israel to begin full or partial mobilisations of her armed forces, which were very expensive and put a huge dent in her small economy. Because the frequent enemy mobilisations amounted to nothing and because mobilising the IDF was expensive, the senses were dulled and before long the Israelis did not get too much concerned. Also career-minded intel officers did not want to cry wolf too often. Needless to say the growing desensitisation and economic factors that became part of the intel officers thinking actually began to warp it, therefore compromising the intel product that was given to the end customers. This was not helped by the post 1967 attitude senior military and political leaders had which was the Arabs can't fight.

        This idea that the Arabs can't fight was known derisively as "The Concept" and it was this view that was used as a yardstick to measure intel information and general observations concerning the Middle East. Generally the Israelis had failed to utilise effectively their vast network of well-placed and well-informed sources, especially in a timely manner and or when the need arose. Chaim Herzog was very critical of the intel establishment in the run up to the war in 1973, stating that "Eyes they have, but they see not"

        Amidst all this both the Egyptians and Syrians steadily rearmed with more modern and effective weapons. The choice of weapons was the result of a deep analysis of Israel's military strengths and weaknesses. This is what they concluded:

        1)Strike first
        2)Massive force on wide front to disperse Israeli attempts on counter-attack
        3)Have AA Unbrella to blunt IDF/AF attacks on the troops
        4)Force Israel to disperse resources between widely separated geographical areas
        5)Blunt counter-attacks emphasising defensive weapons and defensive equipment
        6)Force heavy Casualties on Israel
        7)Equip own forces with the latest technologically advanced equipment to match Israeli weapons systems.

        The secrecy was so infused in the plan that Egyptians captured by Israel could not give their captors any worthwile information, as they truly never knew anyway.

        Kissinger also got sucked in, believing that no attack was imminent despite the (as it turned out) accurate prediction by the State Department's own Itelligence and Research Bureau.

        Though the Egyptians eventually could not completely hide the extent of weapons procurement and preparation from Israeli Intelligence Analysts, they made concerted efforts to kepp up diplomatic pretenses in the United Nations, just one month before the war began.

        On the Syrian front in mid-September the IDF/AF and the Syrian Air Force had a dogfight which ended with Israel shooting down 13 Migs for the loss of 2 aeroplanes. So after this the Syrians started to be more open in their mobilisations. The IDF intel officers at this point made an assumption that it was just a show of force, nothing to worry about. Keep in mind the Syrians were also in on the plan but did not do too many mobilisations like the Egyptians.

        There was one intel officer in Israeli Military Intelligence that guessed correctly the Arab intentions. Lt Binyamin Siman Tov did what he was trained to do and came to the conclusion that the Arabs were going to attack. His CO and others higher than him, with their judgement already clouded and compromised, did not agree. His CO actually suppressed the young Lt's report. Why, you may ask? Well simple. jealousy and ambition on the part of his superiors. Unforgivable and unprofessional!

        After the war when this was found out, Siman Tov immediately got a promotion and had free choice of duty.

        Now if you look at how intel services of allies feed of from each other then it is worthy to note that because the Israelis did not feel concerned about what they saw was just relatively normal, they in turn downgraded thier assessment. This is known as the "Daisy Chain Effect". Everyone therefore, with the exception of a few individuals got suckered by the Syrian-Egyptian maskirovka, which was also reinforced by the Russians.

        On the morining of 6 October the Director General of Israeli Military Intelligence, General Ziera, got a phone call from one of his sources reporting the Arab Intention to attack. Ziera then passed the message to the IDF Chief of Staff General David Elazar who called Defense Minister Dayan, who also had another source, a deep cover operative in the US DIA, that finally confirmed the Attack was imminent.

        Yet Dayan called for a small mobilisation. Elazar was furious and disobeyed this order, instead calling for full mobilisation, and lucky for him he was right in judgement as the Arabs attacked at 1400 HRS instead of the 1800 Hrs previously reported.

        The rest was history...

        PM Golda Meir, Dayan and others were blamed and either were kicked out or resigned.

        General Elazar was unfairly blamed and was forced to step down as well.

        There was alot of hell to pay...
        "To know the weapons the enemy has is already to beat them!"

        http://www.anft.net/f-14/f14-photo-vf213-01l.jpg

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        • #5
          Re: Arab-Israelis wars

          Originally posted by dannybou
          Watched a good documentary on the Yom Kippur war. How could Israel get caught off guard with only a few days warning about an impeding attack? And why did the Syrian army retreat as it was about to break through the Israeli tank brigade defending the Golan Heights? Did the Israel army ever come close to use a nuclear weapon? Would they have used it to save their country?
          To answer the question about what happened on the Golan Heights, you must remember that this is mountainous, restrictive terrain. What the Israeli's had in a disadvantage in size they made up for in knowledge and excellent use of terrain and their exemplary training and motivation.

          Israel had attop the Golan Heights area the 1st (Golani) Infantry Brigade and two armored brigades, the 7th and the 188th.

          The 7th was responsible for the north while the 188th guarded the south.

          Facing this division were 5 divisions of the Syrian Army. In the initial attack Syria assaulted with 900 tanks, with another 500 on the way, against 250 Israeli Tanks.

          Now the goal of the standing Israeli army is to buy time so that the reserves could be mobilised and battle-ready. A common figure was between 48 to 72 hours. Thier orders were to hold at all costs and thats what they did attop the Golan.

          The 188th put up a heroic defense which lead to its total destruction. It's commander Colonel Ben Shoham and deputy commander and most of the officers and men died, fanatically holding the line against the onslaught. The last acts some of these soldiers did before they died was to ram their tanks against the enemy's when they ran out of ammo. They did not die in vain as a fresh reserve tank brigade reached their position and took on and pushed back the now exhausted Syrian attacker.

          The 7th also put up a heroic defence stopping cold repeated syrian mass armored thrusts. Out of the 105 tanks the 7th started with two days later when they finally stopped the Syrian offensive they had 22 left. The Syrians could not comprehend the level of resistance put up by these units and were thinking that a much larger force was present attop the Golan. Either that or they thought the Israeli reserves were already there. Anyways the tankers and infantrymen, knowing fully well that there was nothing to stop the Syrians if they crumbled held their ground.

          Interestingly enough the Syrians missed a big opportunity since they didn't know the Israeli tankers were running out of fuel and ammo. In fact they stopped when most of the Israeli force of 22 tanks did run out of fuel and ammo.
          "To know the weapons the enemy has is already to beat them!"

          http://www.anft.net/f-14/f14-photo-vf213-01l.jpg

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          • #6
            Re: Arab-Israelis wars

            Originally posted by dannybou
            Watched a good documentary on the Yom Kippur war. How could Israel get caught off guard with only a few days warning about an impeding attack? And why did the Syrian army retreat as it was about to break through the Israeli tank brigade defending the Golan Heights? Did the Israel army ever come close to use a nuclear weapon? Would they have used it to save their country?
            Now to answer the question of whether Israel was prepared to go nuclear...well...

            I will not confirm that Israel has nuclear weapons, even though everyone knows they do.

            I will say that YES they were. Israeli Jericho missile units were put on alert and deployed out of their cave hideouts and about a dozen F-4E Phantoms were put on aerial and ground alert, armed with nuclear gravity bombs.

            Moshe Dayan, upon looking at the near hopeless situation made a telling, chilling remark: "This is the end of the Third Temple."

            They were not going to use it to save their country if the Arabs were clearly unstoppable, that is on the outskirts of Jerusalem and Tel-Aviv. They would have enacted what is known as the "Shimshon Option" (Shimshon means Samson) - They were going to bring the house down on everyone!

            However they did use their going on alert to alleviate pressure on their conventional forces, I think.
            "To know the weapons the enemy has is already to beat them!"

            http://www.anft.net/f-14/f14-photo-vf213-01l.jpg

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            • #7
              For all those interested here's a good book that you can read.

              It's called "The Heights of Courage", and was written by then Lt. Col. Avigdor Kahalani, commander of the 77th Tank Batallion of the 7th Brigade. He and the remnants of all the other units were responsible for holding out, and for his actions was awarded the IDF's highest medal, The Medal For Valor.

              It's a good read, and is required reading for tank officers of some armies.

              There is another one too, and it;s called "Fire and Steel: Israel's 7th Armored Brigade" by Samuel Katz.

              Enjoy!:thumb:
              "To know the weapons the enemy has is already to beat them!"

              http://www.anft.net/f-14/f14-photo-vf213-01l.jpg

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              • #8
                BTW if you wonder why Israel decided to take care of the Syrian Front first than the Egyptian/Sinai Front, it is because the Syrian Front was to close for comfort to central Israel and was a shorter distance to the regional and capital centres, in other words the heart of Israel. The Egyptians had to contend with the vastness of Sinai before they could ever reach the Border with Israel.
                "To know the weapons the enemy has is already to beat them!"

                http://www.anft.net/f-14/f14-photo-vf213-01l.jpg

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                • #9
                  Yet another book that maybe of interest to all you fellas is "Secret Soldier" by Col. Muki Betser.

                  It is a good read as well.
                  "To know the weapons the enemy has is already to beat them!"

                  http://www.anft.net/f-14/f14-photo-vf213-01l.jpg

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                  • #10
                    Wow, thanks alot hellodogie. HPS has a good war game on the Arab Israel conflict called Middle East 67. Includes 1948, 1956, 67 and 73 plus you can obtain user made scenarios and a 1982 campaign as well.
                    http://canadiangenealogyandresearch.ca

                    Soviet and Canadian medal collector!

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by dannybou
                      Wow, thanks alot hellodogie. HPS has a good war game on the Arab Israel conflict called Middle East 67. Includes 1948, 1956, 67 and 73 plus you can obtain user made scenarios and a 1982 campaign as well.
                      No problem,:thumb:

                      Yeah I might check it out. It really sounds good. Thanks!
                      "To know the weapons the enemy has is already to beat them!"

                      http://www.anft.net/f-14/f14-photo-vf213-01l.jpg

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                      • #12
                        wow hellodoggie that is an impressive essay you worte. thanks for taking the time!! :thumb:
                        Publisher
                        Armchair General Magazine
                        Weider History Group

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                        • #13
                          Re: Arab-Israelis wars

                          Originally posted by dannybou
                          Watched a good documentary on the Yom Kippur war. How could Israel get caught off guard with only a few days warning about an impeding attack? And why did the Syrian army retreat as it was about to break through the Israeli tank brigade defending the Golan Heights? Did the Israel army ever come close to use a nuclear weapon? Would they have used it to save their country?
                          I know that they considered nuke use (even though they had not acknowledged the existence of such weapons at that time), but cannot say anymore than that. As for the initial surprise, I have heard only that it was related to the holiday, though that does seem an odd explanation. As for the Golan Heights an Israeli intel officer that I spoke to said that the Syrians feared a counterstroke that was planned, but not so quickly as the Syrians believed. In the end, the Arabs fell prey to the two things that doomed any campaign, self-doubt and lack of trust of their "partners". A united, coordinated and sustained front may well have paid dividends.
                          Mens Est Clavis Victoriae
                          (The Mind Is The Key To Victory)

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Keef
                            wow hellodoggie that is an impressive essay you worte. thanks for taking the time!! :thumb:
                            Thanks Keef, No Problemo!!!:thumb:
                            "To know the weapons the enemy has is already to beat them!"

                            http://www.anft.net/f-14/f14-photo-vf213-01l.jpg

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                            • #15
                              There is a very interesting book from the Arab perspective on the events leading up to the 1973 War, called '' The Road to Ramadan'' by Mohammed Heikal.

                              A rare chance to see events from the other side of the fence if you will.

                              The Israelis wanted to strike on the eve of the Arab assaults but Kissinger blocked that.
                              :nonono:

                              The Syrians used traditional Soviet tactics in their attacks and suffered heavily for it, no finesse at all but lots of bravery. The Israelis displayed bravery in plenty along with best use of limited resources.

                              Bear in mind though itís unlikely that the Syrians would have sent heavy units down off the Golan. Their aim was to regain lost territory. An advance further than that would have seen the Israelis very tempted to use nukes. + Moscow would I think have been none too pleased with a Middle East War spiralling out of control.

                              If the worst came to the worst then 6h Fleet carriers might have taken a more active role.

                              The Egyptians managed to achieve a high degree of tactical surprise
                              and the Israelis were caught badly on the hop along the Canal with only one weak infantry brigade in isolated forts to stem any assault.

                              I think there were some tank units further back in the Sinai but they could only screen the front until reinforcements arrived.

                              The Egyptians were almost as surprised as their enemies by the scale of their initial victories. After stopping to consolidate they then decided to try their luck further with fatal results as by that time the IDF had rallied and was able to first crush the Egyptian armoured forces and then go over to a counter attack in a brilliant attack into Egypt proper.

                              The Egyptian soldier fought well on a one to one level and the High Command gained a degree of competence in a set piece battle scenario but proved incapable of matching the Israelis in the cut and thrust of fast moving armoured warfare.

                              All this off the top of my head so please excuse any errors!
                              http://www.irelandinhistory.blogspot.ie/

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