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THE A R A B - I S R A E L I CONFLICT: T H E WAR O F A T T R I T I O N AND PREPARATIONS PRECEDING THE O c ' r o B E n 1975 WAR

A t h e s i s p r e s e n t e d t o t h e F a c u l t y o f t h e U . S . Hrtmy C u m m a n d and G e n e r a l S t a + f C o l l e g e i n p a r t i a l of t h e r e q u i r e m e n t s f o r t h e fi.ilfillment degree

MASTER O F M I L I T A R Y A R T AND S C I E N C E

by

JERRY R.

THORNBERRY,

D.S.,

U n i v e r s i t y of

M A J , USAF Wisconsin, 1973

Fort Leavenworth,

b.ansas

I186

"fipproved

t o r p u b l i c release:

distrlbutlon i s

unlimited."

27- l R Y ( 1

MQSTER OF MILITARY

mr

FIND SCIENCE

THESIS APPFtflVAL PAGE Name of Candidate: Major J e r r y R . 1-hornberry

The A r a b - I s r a e l i C o n f l i c t T i t l e of Thesis: The War of A t t r i t i o n and F r e p a r a t i o n s P r e c e e d i n y t h e flct.ober 1977 War. Approved by:

IPlaj.

c -

. L b L

John W.

L/ Stone,

7
,I

,.

\.IJc

r h e s i 5 Committee Chairman

M.M.A.S.

Accepted t h i s

__ d*

day o f

&%
,

1986 by:

Director,

Graduate Oeyree Frogr am5

The o p i n i o n s and c o n c l u s i o n s e x p r e s s e d h e r e i n a r e t h n s e

at t h e s t u d e n t a u t h o r and do n o t n e c e s s a r i 1 y r e p r e s e n t
A r m y Command and General S t a f f t h e v i e w s o f t h e U.5. (Heferencee C o l l e g e o r any o t h e r governmental agency. 1:a t h i s s t i i d y s h o u l d i n c l u d e t h e f o r e g o i n g s t a t e m e n t . )

i i

ABSTRACT

THE ARAB-ISRAELI CONFLICT: THE W A R OF ATTRITION A N D PREPARATIONS PRECEEDING THE OCTOBER 1973 WAR. An analysis of Israeli and Egyptian war preparations between the end of the Six-Day War in 1967 and the October War of 1973, b y Major Jerry R . Thornberry, USAF, 162 pages.
This study is a historical analysis of two definitive periods of t h e conflict between Israel and Egypt - the War of Attrition between July 1967 and August 1970, and the period of "No Peace, No War" between August 1970 and 6 October 1973. The study discusses the lessons learned by Egypt and Israel following the Six-Day War. The lessons of the Six-Day War were not lost on the Egyptian leaders. President Nasser's assessment of the military aspects of the war revealed several shartfal1.s in Egypt's military capabilities and superiarities of Israel's forces which needed modifying before Egypt could successfully mount a campaign against Israel. President Sadat believed Israel '5 intrasigence on retaining the occupied territories cauld only b e changed b y taking actions which would cause the United States, the Soviet Union, and t h e United Nations to become involved. Sadat's decision t o g o t o war was a political gamble designed to end the stalemate. Israel's military leaders' constantly underrated the : Egyptian*s armed forces potentials. Military and political leaders continually misread Nasser's and Sadat's intentions and their resolve to regain the occupied territories. Gmong the conclusions which were drawn from t h i s study are: The Egyptians prepared for t h e October War b y correcting their deficiencies in the Six-Day War restructured the High Command, improved training methods, developed new tactics. incorporated new equipment into the armed forces, constructed a highdensity surface-to-air missile system, and neutralized the Israeli superiorities of the air force, mobile ground forces, and rapid mobilization of reserves. The Israelis prepared by developing a static defense strategy along the Suez Canal. The study concludes that Egyptian preparations for the October War included recognizing their failures and Israeli strengths and weaknesses of the Six-Day War, then vigorously applying corrective measures, while the Israelis analyzed the weaknesses of the Egyptians and
i ij

their own strengths after the Six-Day War, then d i d little t o reassess those views, retaining the perception of their strength and the Egyptian weaknesses.

T A B L E O F CONTENTS

Chapter

Page

I .

11.

........ A p p r o v a l page ....... Abstract ......... T a b l e of C o n t e n t s ..... INTRODUCTION . . . . . . . Endnotes ...... .. THE WAR OF A T T R I T I O N . . . T i t l e Page
J u l y 1967

- . .. .. .. .. ..

. .. .. .. .. .. . .. .
.

. . . . . . .

. . ii . iii . . 1 . 10 . 11
1
V

August

1970

Endnotes
111.

............... ........- .....

47

E G Y P T I A N P R E P A R A T I O N S FOR L I B E R A T I O N O F THE S I N A I A u g u s t 1970 - O c t o b e r 1973 Endnotes

51

IV.

THE

.....- - ........ I S R A E L I PERSPECTIVE ........


1973

82
85

A u g u s t 1970

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 106 V. CONCLUSION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 109 Endnotes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12; VI. SURVEY O F L I T E R A T U R E . . . . . . . . . 125 Endnotes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 132 ............................
Endnotes
APPENDIX
1 Appendix Appendix Appendix 1-1

1-2 1-3

Abbreviations/Acronyms Terms D e f i n e d Weapon's S y s t e m s

.. ...... .....

134 135 138

APPENDIX 2 A p p e n d i x 2-1 A p p e n d i x 2-2

Pre-1947 P a l e s t i n e UN P a r t i t i o n P l a n - 1947
V

.... .

143 144

Appendix Appendix Appendix Appendix Appendix Appendix BIBLIOGRAPHY INITIAL

2-3 2-.4 2-5 2-6 2-7 2-8

Israel 1947-1967 Israel 1967-1973 Incidents along Canal IDF Casualties Egyptian C = .P r e 1967 Egyptian C" .P r e 1973

..... .. ...... ..
. .

.....

145 146 147 148 149


150

.................. DISTRIBUTION LIST . . . . . . . . . . . .

152

157

CHAPTER I

INTRODUCTION

T h e M i d d l e E a s t e r n r e q i o n has a l o n g h i s t o r y o f
m i l i t a r y and p o l i t i c a l u n r e s t . c r e a t i o n of of the s t a t e of S i n c e 1947 and t h e a number

I s r a e l i n Palestine,

wars between I s r a e l and t h e n e i g h b o r i n g Arab s t a t e s The p r e c e d i n g t h r e e wars t h a t I s r a e l 1956, and 1967 ended

have been waged.

and t h e Arabs f o u g h t i n 1947-1948,

w i t h d e f e a t o f t h e Arab armies and expanded I s r a e l ' s borders (see Appendix 2-1 through 2 - 5 ) . The wars d i d

n o t b r i n g peace t o t h e r e g i o n ;

they o n l y increased t h e

h a t r e d between t h e b e l l i g e r e n t s . T h i s t h e s i s p r o v i d e s a comprehensive h i s t o r y and a n a l y s i s o f t h e p r e p a r a t i o n s made by E q y p t and I s r a e l between t h e Six-Day October 1973 War. War of June 1967 and t h e inform

I n d o i n g so, i t w i l l

i n t e r e s t e d m i l i t a r y p r o f e s s i o n a l s o f l e s s o n s l e a r n e d by Egypt and I s r a e l f o l l o w i n g t h e Six-Day War.


It w i l l

show how Egypt a p p l i e d these lessons t o p r e p a r e f o r t h e l i b e r a t i o n o f t h e Arab t e r r i t o r i e s occupied by I s r a e l a f t e r t h e Six-Day War. Futhermore,
i t w i l l detail the

I s r a e l i p r e p a r a t i o n s and t h e e r r o r s and m i s p e r c e p t i o n s t h a t e v o l v e d i n i t s m i l i t a r y and p o l i t i c a l s t r a t e g i e s . Finally,


i t w i l l d e t e r m i n e what t h e E g y p t i a n o b j e c t i v e s

were i n p r e p a r i n g f o r t h e campaign

p o l i t i c a l l y and

militarily

(what did Anwar Sadat hope t o achieve?).

Two definitive periods are analyzed

the War

of Attrition between July 1967 and August 1970, and the period of "No Peace, No War" between August 1970 and 6 October 1 9 7 3 .
To better understand the events occurring

between 1967 and 1975, we need t o understand the state

' , ,
. (

of affairs in Egypt and Israel immediately following the Six-Day War. The territorial gains made by the

Israelis after the 1967 Six-Day War were substantial


(see Rppendix 2-4).

The expanded borders included the

Sinai Peninsula (more than 20,000 square miles of Egyptian territory east a+ the Suez Canal); the West Bank of t h e Jordan River, including all of Jerusalem (from Jordan); and the Golan Heights northeast and ea5t of the Sea of Galilee
(+ram

Syria).

The Golan

Heights was strategically important because i t overlooked much of northern Israel and the plains east of Damascus, Syria. For the first time in its short history, Israel had strategic defensive depth between its majar

'

population centers and the neighboring Arab states. This gave the Israelis a "false" sense of security and a strategic option. = This sense of security was well

illustrated in a statement by Israel's Minister of


2

Defense,

Moshe Dyan,

j u s t a few weeks p r i o r t o t h e

o u t b r e a k o f t h e October

1973 War.

He s t a t e d :

"The c o n c l u s i o n o f 1367 - 10 June 19671, w i t h t h e Arab world, c r e a t e d an i n Israel, indicating that i n t h e wars o f I s r a e l w i t h countries.

t h e Six-Day War C 5 June i t s r e s u l t a n t trauma for atmosphere, p a r t i c u l a r l y an end had been reached t h e v a r i o u s Arab

Thus t h e scene was s e t , I s r a e l i p o i n t o f view, of

a t least From the t h e d e c i s i v e defeat

that after

t h e Arab armies i n June 1967 peace would come t o t h e nation of Israel. The c a p t u r e d t e r r i t o r i e s

war-torn

p r o v i d e d a b u f f e r zone between t h e Arab s t a t e s and Israel. The Arab a r m i e s were s h a t t e r e d and t h e

f i g h t i n g c a p a b i l i t i e s o f t h e I s r a e l i Defense Force

(IDF) were proven f a r s u p e r i o r t o t h e Arabs.


The e m o t i o n a l and p o l i t i c a l impact on t h e Wabs o f t h e 1967 d e f e a t was s t a g g e r i n g . perspective,

From t h e Arab

t h e e m o t i o n a l d e f e a t a f t e r t h e war can

b e s t be v i s u a l i z e d from a statement made by E g y p t i a n P r e s i d e n t Game1 Abdel Nasaer.

He s t a t e d t h a t he f e l t :

'I. l i k e a man w a l k i n g i n a d e s e r t surrounded b y moving sands, n o t knowing whether, i f he moved, he would be swallowed up by t h e sands or would f i n d t h e r i g h t path."

..

I n s p i t e of

the great

1055,

t h e Arab p r i d e and

self-image of

were soothed by t h e i r p e r c e p t i o n (viewpoint.) The A r a b ' s p e r c e p t i o n s and


'

what had happened.

1..

,
J

r e a c t i o n t o t h e 1967 d e f e a t was t o deny i t ever

.'

I
;
i ,

happened.

This denial took a number of forms:


7

political, ideological, and linguistic.

The joint political policy of denial towards Israel was formulated at the Khartoum Summit Conference
29 August t o 1 September 1 9 6 7 .

The stated Arab

position adopted by the participants of the Conference


is reflected in this excerpt from Article Three of the Resol ut i on:

;i

"The Arab heads of state have agreed t o unite their political efforts at the international and diplomatic level t o eliminate the effects of t h e aggression and t o ensure the withdrawal of the aggressive Israeli forces from the Arab lands which h a v e been occupied since the aggression of June 5 . This will b e done within the framework of the main principles by which the Arab states abide, namely no peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, no negotiatians with it, and insistence on the right of the Palestinian people within their own country." By adopting this resolution, the Arab leaders refused t o accept the existence of their conqueror. They expressed this denial linguistically in descriptive phraseology a s uncompromising as their political statements. Officially, the description of (the setback or the

defeat was expressed as "al-naksa" degeneration).

The term "hazima" (defeat) was used

only infrequently t o explain the real situation. Occupation of Arab lands by Israel was characteristically termed, the "consequences of the aggression.
I'

cIdeologically, Arabs generally explained away their military defeat by Israel o n t h r e e fac:tors. Nasser elaborated o n t h e Cirst factor in June 1967, when h e stated that t h e Arab f o r c e s should not have expected t o win with Israeli receiving United States military, economic, and moral support. T h e second

factor w a s described by King Hussein of Jordan when h e stated that Arab morale had not been broken or weakened; therefore, Israel had not won a real military victory. Israel's war a i m s

"the destruction of Frab Finally,

radical regimes''

had not been accomplished.

only a battle against Israel had been lost, not t h e war. T h e war w a s now entering a new phase.
I*

T h i s phase would adopt a new strategy developed by Egypt, who believed that Israel could b r defeated through a long-term "attritional war."
A war that

Nasser believed would decrease t h e Israeli technological and military superiority, make Israeli retention o f t h e lands t o o expensive in terms o f monetary and casualty losses, and attain parity between t h e IDF and Arab armies. President Nasser began planning how t o redeem Arab respect.

He would conduct an "attritional war"

against t h e Israelis in an attempt t o restore Arab self-esteem and t o recover territories lost t o Israel
5

d u r i n g t h e Six-Day

War.

The n e x t t h r e e years

(1967

1970) would be c r u c i a l t o N a s s e r ' s o v e r a l l p l a n . However, Nasser d i d n o t l i v e t o see t h e

culmination of h i s strategy. the responsibility f o r successor, Anwar Sadat.

W i t h h i s death i n 1970,

i t s execution rest ed w i t h h i s

The c o n f l i c t

then entered "No Peace, No

another phase (1970 War".

1973). a p e r i o d o f

Although t h e s t r a t e g y d u r i n g t h i s a i x year
i t d i d l a y the

p e r i o d d i d n o t recover l o s t t e r r i t o r i e s , groundwork f o r
t h e October War.

The October War i s a l s o known as t h e "Yom K i p p u r War" i n t h e W e s t and t h e "Ramadan War" i n t h e Arab c o u n t r i e s ;

I w i l l r e f e r t o t h e war t h r o u g h o u t t h i s

t h e s i s as t h e October War. To c o n t r o l t h e l e n g t h o f t h i s s t u d y , r e s t r i c t i o n s have been imposed. This t h e s i s i s preparations t h a t

r e s t r i c t e d t o only Israeli-Egyptian

impact o p e r a t i o n s which o c c u r r e d a l o n g t h e Suez Canal and i n t h e areas a d j a c e n t t o t h e Canal. discuss e i t h e r the I srael i -Syri an and e a s t of t h e Sea of
I t does n o t

preparations north

G a l i l e e on t h e G o l a n H e i g h t s ,

or

t h e I s r a e l i - J o r d a n i a n r e g i o n s a l o n g t h e Jordan R i v e r between t h e Sea o f G a l i l e e and t h e G u l f


of

Aqaba.

The

m i l i t a r y p r e p a r a t i o n s i n these r e g i o n s d i d not d i r e c t l y affect


the m i l i t a r y p r e p a r a t i o n s along the

Suez Canal, t h i s thesis. Egypt,

therefore,

t h e y w i l l n o t be d i s c x s s e d i n

However, p o l i t i c a l d i s c u s s i o n s between and Jordan which a f f e c t e d E g y p t i a n Further, t h i s thesis

Syria,

p r e p a r a t i o n s w i l l be discussed.

w i l l analyze t h e events t h a t occurred p r i o r t o t h e onset o f t h e October War.

The methodology was based on an h i s t o r i c


r e s e a r c h o f E n g l i s h language document.s, books, periodicals, The a n a l y s i s

and p r o f e s s i o n a l m i l i t a r y s t u d i e s .

and arguments s u p p o r t i n g t h i s t h e s i s and i t s c o n c l u s i o n s and recommendations a r e based on these p r i m a r y and secondary m a t e r i a l s . Research o c c u r r e d i n

t h e F o r t Leavenworth Combined A r m s Research L i b r a r y . Documentation f o r t h i s t h e s i s w a s r e s t r i c t e d t o a v a i l a b l e u n c l a s s i f i e d sources. The War o f A t t r i t i o n , 1967 and August t h e p e r i o d between J u l y

1 9 7 0 , w i l l be discussed i n Chapter

11.

Emphasis w i l l be on t h e E g y p t i a n s t r a t e g y and t h e c o u n t e r s t r a t e g y taken by I s r a e l .

It w i l l

look a t t h e

t h r e e phases o f t h e a t t r i t i v e war Naeser would u n d e r t a k e t o r e c o v e r t h e occupied t e r r i t o r i e s and r e s t o r e Arab p r i d e and morale. Chapter I 1 1 w i l l analyze t h e E g y p t i a n p r e p a r a t i o n s from August t h e ascendancy of 1970 t o 6 October 1970.
W i t h

Anwar Sadat t o t h e Presidency of 7

Egypt, the war with Isreal took a different course. will discuss the political and military preparations

that occurred, the revitalization and transformation of


t h e Egyptian military, and the Egyptian attempts t o

solidify Arab cooperation into a unified coalition against Israel.

I will discuss t h e Soviet impact on

the Egyptian Flrmy and the circumstances that led t o the "expulsion" of the Soviet advisors. Chapter I V will describe the Israeli preparations after t h e War of Flttrition.

I will

analyze t h e strategic changes Israel developed and how these changes led to a different concept of defense. will discuss the preparations that Israel takes t o prepare for war with Egypt. Finally, I will discuss

the Israeli intelligence failure and political and military miaperceptions about Egypt. In Chapter V I will provide some conclusions based on my analysis of the Egyptian-Israeli preceeding the October War. actions

Chapter V I provides a Because of

review of literature relating t o the study.

t h e vast amount of material on the subject, t h i s review

attempts t o delimit the scope of literature available t o aid future researchers of this subject. Appendix 1 is a glossary of terms, acronyms, and abbreviations used in this thesis.
8

Appendix 2

contains reference maps and tables used in this thesis.

I retained Arab and Israeli words and proper' names in


the Anglicized form for familiarity and ea5w of reading.

CHAPTER I ENDNOTES
1 Harvey Sicherman, The Yom Kippur Wars Illusion? (1976): 5-6.

End of War and

Chaim Herzog, The Arab-Israeli Peace in the Middle East (1984): 195.

Wars:

3 Chaim Herzog, The War of Atonement, October 1973 (1975): 3.

Herzog, The Arab-Israeli

Wars:

195.

Peter Clllen, The Yom Kippur War (1982): 1 6 . John W. A m o s 1 1 , Arab-Israeli Military and Political Relations: Arab Perceptions and t h e Politics of. Escalation (1979): 69.
Ibid.
0

Ibid.

Ibid.
*O

Ibid.:

70.
(1975):

Mohamed Heikal, The Road t o Ramadan

164.

CHCIPTER I 1

THE WCIR O F CITTRITION July 1967 - August 1970


"The first priority, the absolute priority in this battle is the military front, for we must realize that the enemy will not withdraw unless we Indeed force h i m t o withdraw through fighting. there can b e no hope of any political solution unless the enemy realizes that we are capable of forcing to h i m t o withdraw through fighting." l This statement, made b y President Nasser and quoted in the newspaper CI1-Clhram on 21 January 1968, sums up the Egyptian strategy used during the subsequent three year period t o regain the territory lost during the Six Day War. Nasaer was realistic in

h i s estimate of the chances of Israel withdrawing from territories occupied since the Six-Day war without direct military force. He viewed Israel's refusal t o

accept a political settlement, United Nations' Security Council Resolution 242, which coincidentally had been endorsed by both the United States and the Soviet Union, as leaving only a military alternative to the problem.

The basic principles contained in Resolution


242 were:
( 1 ) a withdrawal of Israeli forces from

territories occupied in the Six-Day War, ( 2 ) cmssation


of hostilities b y all parties,
(3) respect for each

others sovereignty and independence, and ( 4 ) their


it

r i g h t t o l i v e i n peace w i t h i n secure and r e c o g n i z e d b o r d e r s f r e e f r o m t h r e a t s o r a c t s of force. Other

a r t i c l e s o f t h e r e s o l u t i o n s t a t e d t h e need f o r g u a r a n t e e i n g freedom of s h i p s t o n a v i g a t e through for achieving a and f o r

i n t e r n a t i o n a l waterways i n t h e area;

j u s t s e t t l e m e n t t o t h e r e f u g e e problem;

quaranteeing t e r r i t o r i a l i n t e g r i t y through e s t a b l i s h m e n t o f d e m i l i t a r i z e d zones.


a

Ambiguities i n t h e f i r s t p r i n c i p l e of " w i t h d r a w a l of I s r a e l i f o r c e s from t e r r i t o r i e s

occupied" was a b a s i s o f c o n t e n t i o n between I s r a e l and Egypt. Egypt i n t e r p r e t e d i t as w i t h d r a w a l from " a l l w h i l e I s r a e l i n t e r p r e t e d i t ad w i t h d r a w a l Israel's

territories,''

from " p a r t o r some o f t h e t e r r i t o r i e s . "

i n t e r p r e t a t i o n would a l l o w i t t o a d j u s t i t s b o r d e r s and r e t a i n t h e stratcrgy o f defense i n depth t h a t i t had so 1ong d e s i r e d .

There were a l s o disagreements between I s r a e l and Egypt c o n c e r n i n g t h e s t e p s t o be t a k e n f o r peace negotiations.


':

I s r a e l demanded t h e f o l l o w i n g steps:

"(1)

d i r e c t n e g o t i a t i o n s between I s r a e l and t h e Arab l e a d i n g t o ( 2 ) a peace t r e a t y , f o l l o w e d by ( 3 )

states,

I s r a e l i w i t h d r a w a l t o t h e b o r d e r s agreed upon i n negotiations." f o r negotiations: Egypt i n s i s t e d on t h e f o l l o w i n g order


"(1)

I s r a e l i withdrawal t o t h e

I:!

pre-1967 lines, before ( 2 ) indirect negotiations through the United Nations, (and not directly with Israel, which would have meant recognizing Israel a s a legitimate entity) leading to (3) a peace agreement." It would be difficult t o have a more divergent requirement f o r peaceful negotiations than these steps outlined between Israel and Egypt. Although some

concessions were made by both Israel and Egypt, the gulf between them continued t o be insurmountable for peaceful negotiations. In the context of these

disagreements, Nasser elected to take the military option of forcing Israel t o return the occupied terr i tori es. In September 1967, Nasser delivered a speech to a mass demonstration prior to a meeting of the People's Assembly in Cairo. During this speech he elaborated on

the strategy to be used against Israel stating:

. .that all that had been taken b y force could only b e returned b y force Egyptian military policy [ w o u l d be1 based on three phases: the 'defensive rehabilitation' phase, t h e 'offensive defence' phase and, finally, the ' 1 iberation * phase"
'I.

...

...

Sporadic fighting, at many times extremely fierce, continued between Egypt and Israel from 1 July
1967 t o 8 August 1970, when both countries agreed to a

ceasefire originally proposed b y the United States Secretary of State William Rogers.
13

This period of

conflict,

known as t h e "War o f A t t r i t i o n " ,

executed

N a s s e r ' s t h r e e m i l i t a r y phases. The " d e f e n s i v e r e h a b i l i t a t i o n " phase was r o u g h l y between 1 J u l y 1967 and September 1968, " r o u g h l y " because t h e r e a r e v a r y i n g d a t e s g i v e n f a r t h e s t a r t o f t h e War o f A t t r i t i o n . The purpose o f t h i s

s t a g e o f N a s s e r ' s p l a n was t o r e b u i l d t h e b a t t e r e d armed f o r c e s and p r e p a r e t h e c o u n t r y f o r a l o n g e r period o f c o n f l i c t t o eventually d r i v e the I s r a e l i s from t h e occupied t e r r i t o r i e s . During t h i s p e r i o d t h e

S o v i e t Union began a massive r e b u i l d i n g and rearming o f t h e E g y p t i a n f o r c e s w i t h q u a n t i t i e s and q u a l i t i e s of arms t h a t surpassed t h e equipment l o s t d u r i n g t h e Six-Day War. The c o s t o f m a i n t a i n i n g f o r c e s a l o n g t h e Canal proved expensive t o I s r a e l , and e s p e c i a l l y , Egypt.

E g y p t ' s main source o f revenue w a s t h e Suez Canal, a p p r o x i m a t e l y 260 m i l l i o n d o l l a r s a year. source o f income, however, This

had been c l o s e d t o t r a f f i c

because o f s h i p s sunk by b o t h I s r a e l and Egypt d u r i n g t h e Six-Day War.

W i t h i t s closing,

Egypt's primary F u r t h e r compounding

source o f h a r d c u r r e n c y was l o s t .
t h e loss of

revenue from t h e canal was t h e decrease of income from t h e

income f r o m t o u r i s m and l o s s o f

14

f l e w t o Moscow w i t h t h e weapon's

"shopping 1 , i s t . "

They

concluded t h e b i g g e s t S o v i e t arms d e a l t o date. I n c l u d e d i n t h e d e a l were 100 MIG-Zls, MIG-15, and SU-7 aircraft, missiles, sever-a1 MIG-17,

MI-8 h e l i c o p t e r s , a b r i g a d e
and ZSU-23rnm antiaircr.aft

o f m o b i l e SAM-6 guns.

The E g y p t i a n s b e l i e v e d t h a t t h e s e arms were


if they

s t i l l i n s u f f i c i e n t t o repel I s r a e l i a i r str:tkes were g o i n g t o c r o s s t h e Suez Canal.


I*

Behind t h e scenes and i n secrecy of

t h e S0viet.s

and a l l b u t a few o-f t h e s e n i o r E g y p t i a n s t a f f members. t h e E g y p t i a n s were d e v e l o p i n g an even more l i m i t e d o f f e n s i v e plan, "The H i g h M i n a r e t s " p l a n .
T h i s plan:

'I. was based more c l o s e l y on t h e a c t u a l c a p a b i l i t y o f our armed f o r c e s , as opposed t o some n o t i o n a l c a p a b i l i t y a f t e r u n t o l d arms shipments. I t s o b j e c t i v e s were t h e l i m i t e d q o a l I [General S h a i l y l had s e t o f a f i v e o r s i x - m i l e p e n e t r a t i o n . "

..

1 3

The p r e p a r a t i o n and p l a n n i n g o f O p e r a t i o n 41 and H i g h M i n a r e t s c o n t i n u e d t h r o u g h t h e r e s t o f and i n t o 1972.


1971

O p e r a t i o n 4 1 was renamed G r a n i t e T w o i n

1972.

I t remained b a s i c a l l y t h e same w i t h o n l y v e r y
13

minor changes.

Before t h e Egyptians could launch t h e s u r p r l s e a t t a c k a c r o s s t h e Canal u s i n g e i t h e r t h e High M i n a r e t s o r G r a n i t e Two p l a n s , many p r e p a r a t i o n s were r e q u i r e d The E g y p t i a n improper o r

t o s u c c e s s f u l l y conduct t h e c r o s s i n g . 4rmy had many problems

low morale,

15

insufficient training, officer shortages, unworkable mobilization plans, and unemployable t a c t i c s and insufficient equipment for river, or canal, crossing operations. Many lessons w e r e learned in t h e 1967 defeat and t h e War o f Attrition. Many of t h e problems and

lessons learned in t h e 1967 War had been corrected and incorporated into army doctrine, and many from t h e War of Attrition would b e corrected before t h e October War. O n e of the p r o b l e m s in t h e Six-Day War had been

t h e incompetent and highly political Egyptian senior military leadership. In 1967 and 1968 a purge of t h e

military led t.o t h e removal of many o f t h e s e incompetent commanders. During t h o s e t w o y e a r s t h e r e

a l s o w a s a major structural realignment within t h e high command. T h e goal o f t h e s e changes, initiated by

Nasser, w a s t o c r e a t e a unity of command and purpose with clear lines of authority and responsibility, which w a s missing during t h e Six-Day War.
Is

Preceding t h e Six-Day War, rivalry, mistrust, and political intrigue between Commander-in-Chief Field

Marshall Muhammad Abdul Hakim Amer, Chief of Sta.l.f General Muhammad Fawzi, and Minister of War Brigadier S h e m s al-Din Badran, led t o an unworkable chain of 16

command which produced c o n f l i c t s and o v e r l a p p i n g responsibilities. establishment, F e l t throughout t h e m i l i t a r y

t h e s e problems caused widespread

c o n f u s i o n and d i s u n i t y . These problems were compounded when F i e l d M a r s h a l l Amer c r e a t e d a new command i n May 1967, t h e F r o n t Command, al-Mulsen l e d by an Amer c r o n y General Abd

Kamal M u r t a g u i .

A new h e a d q u a r t e r s was

i n t r o d u c e d between t h e Command f o r t h e E a s t e r n M i l i t a r y D i s t r i c t , commanded by L t . General Salah a l - D i n Mohsen, The E a s t e r n in

and t h e General Headquarters (Clmer).

M i l i t a r y D i s t r i c t became t h e F i e l d Army Command, o p e r a t i o n a l command and c o n t r o l of e v e n t o f war w i t h I s r a e l .

a l l assets i n t h e the Front and t h e War

I n t r o d u c t i o n of

Command ( M u r t a q u i ) between t h e C h i e f of

Staff

F i e l d Army Command w a s d i s a s t r o u s i n t h e Six-Day

because t h e command c r e a t e d c o n f u s i o n i n t h e c h a i n of command, and s t r a i n e d r e l a t i o n s developed between (See Appendix


l7

Murtagui and Mohsen.

2-7.

c h a i n of

command d u r i n g t h e 1967 War.) A f t e r t h e Six-Day armed f o r c e s . Amer, War,

Nasser r e s t r u c t u r e d the Badran, and many s e n i o r Many, including

Murtagui,

a i r f o r c e commanders were dismissed. Badran, faced p u b l i c t r i a l s .

A new law was i s s u e d

r e q u i r i n g p r e s i d e n t i a l approval f o r a l l p r o m o t i o n s t o

17

1 1 killed and 92 wounded.

Evidently the attack had a

deterrent effect upon the Egyptians, for an elevenmonth period of relative calm existed along the Canal, with the exception of occasional artillery fires, air battles, and cross canal patrols. continued into the summer of 1968. This period
L-

September 1968 saw the end of Nassers first phase, defenmive rehabilitation.
I

The Soviet Union

had rearmed the Egyptian Army quantitatively to a level exceeding pre-1967 strengths. New, higher quality

weapons had also been introduced into the army and air force.
MIG-21s replaced MIG-17s.

and T-54 and T-55

tanks replaced T-34s.

Soviet involvement also

increased in the number of military personnel coming t o Egypt to train and h e l p organize the armed forces. Initially numbering only a few hundred in 1968; they eventually would number in the thousands becoming involved in virtually all aspects o f the Egyptian firmed Forces. The structure of the Egyptian high command had been reorganized t o improve unity of command and purpose (it was to undergo further changes which will
be discussed in Chapter 111).

Incompetent senior

officers had been removed, in some cases court-martialed. and replaced by competent,
18

professional commanders.

The calm of the first half of 1968 was


interrupted by a concentrated barrage of over 1000 pieces of Egyptian artillery along the entire length o f the Suez Canal on 8 September 1 9 6 8 .
of

The 5econd phase


had begun. One

Nasser's plan, "offensive defense."

purpose was to raise the morale of the army and the country and t o erase the psychological effects o f the defeat of the S i x Day War.
To accomplish this Nasser

wanted t o begin a limited offensivr campaign against Israel t o dispel the "superiority" of the Israeli forces.
A second purpose was t o bring t o bear on t h e

Israeli military in the Sinai the strategy Of attrition. Nasser was well aware of the high value
He hoped that

that Israel placed on human life.

concentrated attacks on the Israeli forces would bring pressure on the Israeli government t o withdraw rather than sustain high casualties. The forthcoming

offensive operations were to increase not only Israel's economic burden of retaining the occupied territories, but t o increase Israeli casualties. undermining their morale.
I7

During this second phase of Nasser's plan, through March 1969. fighting raged almost continually along the Canal, especially during the first few
1'1

months.

Israeli casualties during the first

bombardment on 8 September and the second one on 26 October numbered 25 killed and 51 wounded.
am

It

appeared that the Egyptian strategy of attrition was working; Israel was taking heavy casualties. retaliation after the first bombardment was an artillery bombardment of the cities of Suez and Ismailia and the refineries in Suez. The scope of the war began t o spread as Egypt and Israel both conducted commando raids across the Canal, at times quite deep into enemy territory. On 31 Israeli

October helicopter borne Israeli commandoes staged a successful raid against three targets along the Nile River between Cairo and 4swan, over 200 miles west of the Canal in retaliation for the 26 October Egyptian artillery bombardment along the Canal. The Israeli-adopted policy of reprisal was meant to exploit Egyptian military, economic, and psychological sensitivities and was an extension of Israel's defense strategy. The Israeli strategy was

"at its source reaction t o and reprisal for Egyptian breaches of the cease-fire, accompanied by a policy o f refraining from any initiative that might lead to escalation of military activity along the canal." They initially believed that the ceaeefire could b e
20

reimposed by limiting military activity t o artillery counterstrikes against Egyptian artillery, economic, and civilian installations along the Canal. "These

counterbombardments were intended t o show the Egyptians the cost of their military activity, not only from tho military standpoint but also from the economic and ci vi 1 i an standpoint.
I'

ao

When Egypt increased the military activity along the Canal and commando raids on the east bank, the Israelis realized that merely returning the fire was no answer to Egypt's strategy.
I 4 new Israeli

military action was needed t o impose a ceasefire on the Egyptians. An appropriate response would b e reprisal

raids deep into Egypt against targets considered sensitive

military, economic, and psychological.

This led to the previously mentioned 31 October raids on the Nile River targets at Najh Hamadi and Qena, which a l s o demonstrated Egypt's vulnerability t o Israeli attacks. The Israeli's also hoped that the raids would force Egypt t o spread its forces and reduce the troop concentration along the west bank o f the Canal. Canal.

A period of comparative calm returned along the


This lull in fighting began in early November

1968, and continued through the following March.


During the ceasefire the Israelis were faced

with a strategic dilemma:

how best t o defend

themselves against the Egyptian strategy of attrition. There were basically two alternatives.

The first

option for the Israelis was to pull back from the Canal, out of the range of artillery, and maintain armored forces capable of cauntrrattacking if, and when, the Egyptians attempted a crossing. This option

was more characteristic of the mobile, rapid reacting armored and mechanized maneuvers that the Israeli forces had successfully used in previous campaigns and wars. This option, however, meant EQypt might b e able

t o successfully cross the Canal and establish a bridgehead on the east bank before the IDF could repulse them.
the

An Egyptian bridgehead established on

east bank could also present the Egyptians with a

diplomatic opportunity t o force Israeli concessions on the occupied territories.


= a s

The second option was to build a fortified line along the edge of the Canal. This option of static

defense meant deviating from the standard Israeli strategy of mobile defense.
I t would also leave the

IDF personnel stationed along the line vulnerable to


the Egyptian strategy of attrition from artillery bombardments, unless sufficient protective facilities were built. It would also mean adopting the static
22

defense strategy, which favored Egypt with its superiority in artillery tubes and its willingness to accept human and equipment losses f o r the long-range goal of regaining the occupied territories.
zaX

According to most sources, t h e Israeli military high command was divided on which option to select t o counter the growing Egyptian belligerence. Major

f Armored General Avraham ( W e n ) Adan, Commander o


Forces, was chosen by Lieutenant General Chaim Bar-Lev, Chief o f the General Staff, t o head a military board to develop a concept for a defensive system in the Sinai. Adan's plan basically used the second option. He would

situate approximately 17 small fortifications along the length of the Canal t o give maximum coverage and observation.
A small contingent of infantry would man

each fortress while larger armored and artillery forces would be stationed behind the outposts, patrolling between the outposts and acting as reserves to b e brought to the Canal to stop any attemptad Egyptian crossing.

=*

Major General Yeshayahu Gavich, Commander of the Southern Command, and Lt. Gen Bar-Lev approved of Adan's plan. Major General CIriel Sharon, Head of

Training, IDF, and Major General Israel Tal, attached to the Ministry of Defense, disapproved of Adan's plan

c o u l d be pumped i n t o t h e Canal and i q n i t e d , i n f e r n o on t h e Canal


I

c r e a t i n q an

surface.

z7

The b i g g e s t problem c o n f r o n t i n g t h e E g y p t i a n s was g e t t i n g a c r o s s t h e Canal and over t h e sand b a r r i e r . The fundamental problem, clearly, was t o d r i v e Compounding

passages t h r o u g h t h e sand b a r r i e r .

t h i s problem was t h e r e q u i r e m e n t o f d o i n g i t q u i c k l y . The I s r a e l i s h e l d a b r i g a d e o f armor i n r e s e r v e w i t h i n


60 k i l o m e t e r s o f t h e Canal.

Ift h e r e were any


Israeli

i n d i c a t i o n of

a major a t t a c k across t h e Canal,

would a c t i v a t e t h e i r m o b i l i z a t i o n plan.

Israeli

m o b i l i z e d u n i t s c o u l d be i n b a t t l e p o s i t i o n s w i t h i n 48 hours o f n o t i f i c a t i o n .
I f t h e E g y p t i a n s were t o have

any chance o f d e s t r o y i n g t h e I s r a e l i f o r t i f i c a t i o n s . t h e y would have t o move a l a r g e number of equipment across t h e Canal v e r y q u i c k l y . The E g y p t i a n s b u i l t mockups of u n i t s and
ze

t h e sand

b a r r i e r s i n t h e d e s e r t and experimented w i t h many methods of b r e a c h i n g them. Dynamiting and b u l l d o z i n q


T o make one

t h e b a r r i e r s met w i t h l i t t l e success. breach i n t h e b a r r i e r t o o k 60 men,

one b u l l d o z e r ,

500

pounds o f e x p l o s i v e s and f i v e t o s i x h o u r s o f u n i n t e r r u p t e d work passaqe.

a p p r o x i m a t e l y 1,200

manhours p e r
the

T h i s approach was unacceptable because of

t i m e r e q u i r e d t o c l e a r t h e proposed 60 breaches a l o n g

24

forces.

The outposts would be built solidly enough t o This concept

withstand heavy artillery bombardments.

reduced casualties while thwarting, or at least delaying, a crossing and enabling implementation of t h e mobilization plan of the IDF. The second defensive

line would consist of armored, artillery, and mechanized forces strategically stationed at positions to the rear of the main fortressas and stronqpoints. They could move laterally along the main defensive line

giving them the ability t o move immediately to oppose


3 1

enemy crossings.

In early 1969 Lt. Gen. Bar-Lev accepted Adan's plan. in spite of the vehement arguments of Sharon, Tal, and their supporters. During the ceaeefire in

January and February 1969 the construction of the Bar-Lev Line, as it became known, was hastily completed. This complex network o f fortresses. patrol

roads, earth walls, mine fielde, approach roads, underground control centers, and tank and artillery positions was upgraded at least three times during the next two years. Massive sand ramparts were constructed

on the east edge of the Canal, transforming it into a "giant tank trap." The ramparts provided fields of

fire along the canal while providing obstacles to infantry and armored units. 25

There were basically three components of this defensive concept. and sand-reinforced The first was a series of stonebunkers "maozim," situated at

intervals of 10-30 kilometers (17 in all along the length of the Canal), which were the main observation posts and the first line of defense ( a trip wire for activating the mobilization of the IDF). Later another

20 strongholds (taozim) were built along a road, known

as the Artillery Road, which paralleled the Canal 8-10 kilometers east of it. This road was t o be used t o

move artillery along the line as the flow o f battle dictated. Further east another road, the Lateral Road,

running parallel to t h e Canal and about 30 kilometers from it was constructed t o move the other two components of the defense concept, armored and artillery units, between sectors along the Canal. all approximately 500 million dollare was spent in constructing, upgrading, and repairing the defensive network. =o By early 1969 Nasser was totally dissatisfied and disillusioned with the diplomatic attempts to bring concessions from Israel concerning t h e occupied territories. In

The construction of the Bar-Lev Line

reinforced h i s opinion of Israeli intransigence in remaining in the Sinai. He saw the l i n e not only as
26

Israel's attempt to insure the status quo of its presence and military superiority along the Canal and

ds

a way t o block Egypt's crossing, but also as Egypt's

attempt t o impose a fixed political boundary along the Canal. These considerations were primarily responsible

for Nasser's decision t o renew the fighting and the War

of Attrition.

=a

Yet Narser was aware of several factors which would determine the level of war he pursued, a limited war rather than a general war against Israel. Egypt

had not fully recovered in military strength and was still unable to obtain a position of equality with Israel's military strength, especially air power. Although Egypt had received large numbers of modern aircraft from the Soviets and many pilots had been trained, they were still incapable of neutralizing or counterbalancing the IAF in the air-to-air arena.

Likewise, the ground forces did not have sufficient surface-to-air defenses to neutralize the Iawaeli close They

air support and interdiction capabilitities.

needed an improved air defense system because the IAF had effectively neutralized the SAM-2s during 1968. and SAH-3s

Egypt also needed increased training for

their pilots to successfully offset these Israeli SuDeriorities.

==
27

I s r a e l i view i n t o Egypt and helped conceal some of p r e p a r a t i o n s f o r t h e upcoming b a t t l e .


3L

the

A n enormous l o g i s t i c and communications network

wa5 b u i l t behind t h e defense w a l l as w e l l .


Ex t e n e i ve communication networks were b u i l t , roads, r a i l r o a d s , docks: on these, b o t h m i l i t a r y and c i v i l i a n v e h i c l e s , r a i l r o a d s , and water t r a n s p o r t were used t o move s u p p l i e s and A s e r i e s o f . f u e l depots equipment t o t h e f r o n t . e s p e c i a l l y secured a g a i n s t a i r a t t a c k s were c o n s t r u c t e d , most of them underground. Water t a n k s were s e t up from P o r t S a i d n o r t h , i n a l l s e c t o r s o f Much o f t h e m a t e r i a l wa5 moved t o the f r o n t t h e f r o n t p r i o r t o October 6 ; s p e c i a l c a r e was exercised t o transport i t gradually t o avoid a l e r t i n g t h e I s r a e l i s . 37

...

P r e p a r a t i o n s and r e f i n e m e n t s f o r G r a n i t e Two and High M i n a r e t s c o n t i n u e d a t an i n c r e a s i n g pace w i t h s e c u r i t y p r e c a u t i o n s r e m a i n i n g s t r i c t f o r High Minarets. plan. Very few p e o p l e were aware o f t h e second

According t o General Shazly o n l y f o u r t e e n p e o p l e

were ever aware o f t h e e n t i r e High M i n a r e t s p l a n a5 i t evolved. Those i n t h e know were seven members of the

E g y p t i a n High Command,

s i x i n t h e S y r i a n High Command,

p l u s one E g y p t i a n o f f i c e r who r a n t h e s p e c i a l s t a f f s e t up i n January 1973 t o c o o r d i n a t e E g y p t i a n and S y r i a n planning.

A s m i l i t a r y p r e p a r a t i o n s c o n t i n u e d i n 1972 and
1973 f o r t h e i n e v i t a b l e war w i t h I s r a e l P r e s i d e n t Sadat pursued d i p l o m a t i c i n i t i a t i v e s f o r a s e t t l e m e n t .

A 5 s t a t e d e a r l i e r Sadats attempts a t a d i p l o m a t i c
28

burdens o n t h e economy, and destroy a s much of t h e BarLev L i n e and Israeli war equipment a s possible. T h i s attritive war would, likewise, keep t h e political issue alive in t h e United Nations, intensifying pressure o n Israel f o r returning t h e occupied lands. Nasser also hoped t h e prolonged war

would increase t h e offensive spirit of t h e Egyptian f o r c e s and raise morale of t h e Egyptian public through a riucceesful campaign against t h e Israelis. Finally, h e hoped t h e war would elevate Egyptian s t a t u s and leadership in t h e 4rab world and establish a unified front against t h e Israelis which would ultimately lead t o a general war and Israel's destruction.

In accomplishing t h e limited a i m s of t h e
"liberation phase", t h e Egyptians possessed suppriority aver t h e Israelis in t h e o n e weapon required f o r t h i s type of war - artillery.
The Egyptian's primary tactic

was continued bombardments supplemented by commando r a i d s o n targets on t h e east bank of t h e Suez. static war would negate t h e IDF's advantage of maneuverability and speed. It would allow t h e This

Egyptians t o wipe out a significant portion o f t h e forward positions of t h e Bar-Lev Line a s well a s t h e mobile f o r c e s near t h e Canal, while allowing them t o seize a number of bridgeheads o n t h e east bank.
29
3L

I n mid-March

1969 t h e c e a s e f i r e ended w i t h

concentrated Egyptian a r t i l l e r y barrages against t h e I s r a e l i d e f e n s i v e p o s i t i o n s a l o n g t h e Canal. " l i b e r a t i o n phase" o f t h e War of begun. The

A t t r i t i o n had now

I t would c o n t i n u e w i t h o u t r e s p i t e f o r t h e n e x t
the

s i x t e e n months u n t i l t h e j o i n t acceptance of R o g e r ' s P l a n i n August month p e r i o d , duels,


1970.

D u r i n g t h i s seventeena i r battles, artillery

numerous r a i d s ,

and o t h e r c o n v e n t i o n a l and u n c o n v e n t i o n a l

b a t t l e s occurred. I s r a e l ' s b a s i c aims d u r i n g t h i s phase w e r e f u n d a m e n t a l l y what t h e y had been s i n c e June 1967 maintain the t e r r i t o r i a l , p o l i t i c a l , and m i l i t a r y War. To m a i n t a i n

to

s t a t u s quo c r e a t e d a f t e r t h e Six-Day t h i s condition,

t h e y f o r m u l a t e d f i v e i n t e r m e d i a t e aims: and

( 1 ) p r e v e n t Egypt f r o m c r o s s i n g t h e Suez
e s t a b l i s h i n g f o o t h o l d s on t h e e a s t bank;

( 2 ) remain

f i r m l y i n c o n t r o l o f t h e e x i s t i n g l i n e t o show t h a t I s r a e l had t h e d e t e r m i n a t i o n and c a p a b i l i t y t o d o so;

( 3 ) p r e v e n t t o t a l war which would u p s e t t h e s t a t u s quo


b r o u g h t about by p o l i t i c a l p r e s s u r e s f o r change b e f o r e Israel realized
i t 5

political-strategical

aims of

p o s i t i v e peace t r e a t y : ceasefire, war;

( 4 ) r e f r a i n from v i o l a t i n g t h e

which c o u l d l e a d t o e s c a l a t i o n and g e n e r a l

and (5) r e f r a i n f r o m e s c a l a t i n g and e x t e n d i n g t h e

war t o a total war in the event Egypt initiated incidents along the Canal. =7 Throughout March, April, and early May, the Egyptians continued the heavy artillery barrages against t h e Bar-Lev Line and Israeli forces all along the eastern bank.

In April Egyptian commando raids

against the Bar-Lev Line, Israeli patrols, and logistic: routes and areas escalated the intensity of the
'

conflict.

The Bar-Lev Line held, but was battered.

The Israelis suffered heavy casualties, but d i d not lessen their resolve to maintain the status quo. mid-April
In

Israeli commandos struck again along t h e Nile

cutting high-tension powerlines between Aswan and Cairo


'

and attacking a bridge near Idfu. counter-artillery

Israeli

fire and commando raids inflicted

heavy casualties and losses on thee Egyptians.

However,

these losses and casualties d i d not seem to lessen

Egyptian resolve t o impose their will on Israel. The Israeli defensive measures during the March t o June period were primarily retaliatory. counter-artillery Israeli

fires answered the initial Egyptian When Egypt began using commando

artillery barrages.

raids on the eastern side of the Canal, the Israelis retaliated with commando raids deep into Egypt - a tactic that had worked in 1968 t o bring about a

ceasefire.

D u r i n g t h i s t i m e frame i n 1969, I s r a e l , had r e f r a i n e d f r o m u s i n g t h e i r a i r

as

w e l l as Egypt,

f o r c e s i n any s i g n i f i c a n t r o l e i n t h e c o n f l i c t .

I n The War o f A t t r i t i o n ,
discusses t h e a i r f o r c e s ' of

Bar-Siman-Tov up t o t h e m i d d l e

"non-role"

1969.

He s t a t e s t h a t b o t h n a t i o n s a b s t a i n e d f r o m t h e e s c a l a t i o n t h e i r use E g y p t ' s A i r Force

u s i n g a i r power because of

would produce i n t h e l i m i t e d war; was n o t ready t o c o n f r o n t t h e have enough q u a l i f i e d ,

IPF, because t h e y d i d n o t
p i l o t s capable o f combat. Likewise, The

proficient

d e f e a t i n g I A F p i l o t s i n head-to-head

t h e a i r defense network was n o t w e l l e s t a b l i s h e d .

I s r a e l i s f e l t t h a t i n t r o d u c i n g t h e a i r f o r c e would be counterproductive against Egyptian t a r g e t s guns. (infantry,

and m o r t a r emplacements), and c o u l d a l s o I s r a e l d i d n o t want t o r a i s e t h e

i n t e n s i f y t h e war.

p r o f i l e or i n t e n s i t y o f t h e war f o r p o l i t i c o - m i l i t a r y reasons d e s c r i b e d e a r l i e r . Other p o l i t i c a l reasons

i n c l u d e d t h e u n c e r t a i n t y o f U n i t e d S t a t e s and S o v i e t reaction t o the escalatory nature of introducing the

a i r f o r c e and t h e p o s s i b i l i t y o f a g e n e r a l war. Maintaining t h e war's s t a t i c nature w h i l e a l s o m a i n t a i n i n g s u f f i c i e n t i n t e n s i t y t o reimpose t h e c e a s e f i r e on t h e E g y p t i a n s was i n I s r a e l ' s v i t a l

i nterest

3 -

Meanwhile, Israeli casualties continued to mount. In May and June 1969 Israel suffered 76

casualties (22 killed and 54 wounded), over one-half caused by artillery. On 10 July another incident

occurred which influenced Israeli strategy in t h e coming months. An Egyptian commando raid successfuly

attacked on Israeli armored unit south of P o r t Tewfik in daylight, inflicting eleven casualties on the Israeli force. The escalatory nature of the war,

public and political sensitivities towards the intolerable increase in casualties, and Israel 's reevaluation of Egyptian aims, led to formulation of new Israeli aims and strategy in mid-July; introduction of the air force into t h e war; and a switch from a defensive to a limited, offensive strategy.
4o

Dissent in the armed forces once again accompanied t h e decision to employ the air force. Among those opposing t h e use of the air force were Minister of Defense, Moshe Dayan; Chief of Staff Chaim Bar-Lev; and senior air farce staff headed by Commander Mordekhai Hod. Dayan opposed using the air
It

force due to the implied escalatory significance. should only b e used if a serious Egyptian threat occurred (i-e., an attempted crossing in force).
'3 '3

Others d i d not wish t o use air force due to the extensive Egyptian missiles along the canal. Unless

the IAF obtained new electronic countermeasure (ECM) equipment to counter the threat, they were not in favor of using the air force to bomb Egyptian infantry or gun emplacements.

**

In spite of these misgivings, on 19 J u l y 1969 the IDF and the Israeli government decided to use the
ICIF.

The Israelis believed that. the increased activity

along the Canal was a prelude to a near-term crossing. The limited use of the IAF was designed to prevent this crossing b y showing the Egyptians that Israel still maintained superiority i n the air, and that no crossing attempt could succeed. Other Israeli aims were to

prevent Egypt from increasing the level of war t o a general war and force her to decrease the number of military along the Canal. decrease casualitiea. Israel believed this would

General Bar-Lev later

characterized this strategy by saying: putting planes into action currently on the canal is 'escalation for the sake of de-escalation,' an increase of activity for the purpose of securing a reduction of activity." 41
'I.

..

On 20 July the IAF initiated air attacks against the Egyptian forces on the west bank which lasted through 28 July. They hoped the Egyptians would Targets

b e forced to g i v e up the idea of a crossing.

were m a i n l y n o r t h o f Q a n t a r a and w i t h i n a few m i l e s o f t h e Canal. The a i r a t t a c k s were d i r e c t e d a t a r t i l l e r y SAM-2 sites, commando bases, radar

emplacements, stations, forces.

and s t r o n g p o i n t s of t h e E g y p t i a n armed The l i m i t e d n a t u r e o f t h e s e t a r g e t s was a g a i n

due t o t h e I s r a e l i d e s i r e t o decrease t h e apparent e s c a l a t o r y n a t u r e o f employing t h e IAF.

*=

There i s some i n d i c a t i o n t h a t t h e employment o+ t h e IAF d i d f o r c e Nasser t o postpone t h e c r o s s i n g of t h e Canal.

He d i d n o t i n t e n d t o cancel t h e c r o s s i n g ,

o n l y postpone i t and c o n t i n u e t h e war o f a t t r i t i o n .

*-

Ground a c t i v i t y c o n t i n u e d unabated through J u l y and August by b o t h b e l l i g e r e n t s .

O n 19 J u l y t h e

I s r a e l i s launched a n i g h t i m e commando r a i d on Green I s l a n d i n t h e n o r t h e r n p a r t of


the G u l f

o f Suez.

FI key

radar s i t e f o r t h e Egyptian a n t i - a i r c r a f t housed on t h i s i s l a n d .

network has

The I s r a e l i s d e s t r o y e d t h e The I s r a e l i s

r a d a r equipment and gun emplacements.

conducted n i n e more commando r a i d s i n t o Egypt through

27 December 1969.
t o I s r a e l i aims,

Two o f t h e s e r a i d s were s i g n i f i c a n t because t h e y demonstrated t h e The I s r a e l i s hoped t h e r e s u l t s

v u l n e r a b i l i t y o f Egypt.

o f t h e s e s u c c e s s f u l r a i d s and t h e a i r f o r c e ' s e n t r a n c e i n t o t h e war would l e a d Egypt t o renew t h e c e a s e f i r e and end t h e i r be1 1 i gerency.

-*
35

On 9 September a f o r c e o f s e v e r a l hundred
Israelis, equipped w i t h S o v i e t t a n k s and personnel War, was t r a n s p o r t e d the G u l f of

c a r r i e r s c a p t u r e d i n t h e Six-Day

by amphibious v e s s e l s t o t h e west bank of Suez, n o r t h of El-Khafir.

They proceeded s o u t h a l o n g a

c o a s t a l r o a d d e s t r o y i n g a r a d a r s i t e a t Ras Abu-Daraj, t h e main o b j e c t i v e . operation. IAF a i r c r a f t a s s i s t e d them i n t h i s v i r t u a l l y unopposed

They proceeded south,

by E g y p t i a n f o r c e s ,
a t Rae Zaafrana.

and d e s t r o y e d a second r a d a r s i t e The I s r a e l i f o r c e t h e n reembarked


4-

on

amphibious c r a f t and r e t u r n e d t o t h e S i n a i .

L a t e r i n December h e l i c o p t e r s t r a n s p o r t e d I s r a e l i f o r c e s t o an E g y p t i a n r a d a r s t a t i o n a t Ras t i h a r i b which was equipped w i t h a new, a c q u i s i t i o n radar, one of known as t h e P-12 low-level radar. target

This w a s

t h e S o v i e t s most modern r a d a r s w i t h

c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s unknown t o western m i l i t a r y and i n t e l l i g e n c e agencies a t t h a t time.


A team o f

Israeli

e n g i n e e r s removed two p a r t i a l l y b u r i e d t r a i l e r s c o n t a i n i n g t h e r a d a r system, and used two h e a v y - l i f t The

h e l i c o p t e r s t o t r a n s p o r t them to I s r a e l .

t e c h n o l o g y and i n f o r m a t i o n o b t a i n e d from t h e I s r a e l i s t u d y was i n c o r p o r a t e d i n t o t a c t i c s and ECM equipment used t o d e f e a t t h e E g y p t i a n s system. The r a d a r was
47

l a t e r s e n t t o t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s f o r study.

36

The second phase of the air force's involvement began on 13 August and continued through 19 August
1969.

The first phase ended on 28 July when Israel Between 28

assumed Egypt had put off the crossing.

July and 13 August there were mainly small arms, mortar, and artillery fires. When Egyptian artillery
of

fire began to increase during the second week

August, Israel reacted with air strikes against Egyptian artillery positions.

The Israeli aim during

this phase was to bring moderation t o the Egyptian activity. Counter-bombing artillery positions failed

to deter Egypt's fires across the Canal. This led to a third period of Israeli air attacks against Egyptian positions along the Canal. The period continued from 9 September until the end of December 1969. During this time the Israelis waged

their own air war of attrition against the Egyptians. Strikes were still limited to targets along the length of the Canal. Israel's aim was still destruction of

Egyptian artillery position6 and air defense systems along the Canal and the Gulf of Suez, and continuation of Israeli air superiority throughout the region.
By

the end of December Egyptian defenses along the Canal were basically ineffective against the IAF.
49

As stated earlier, one of the prerequisites for

an E g y p t i a n c r o s s i n g o f t h e Canal was n e u t r a l i z a t i o n o f the I s r a e l i a i r 5uperiorit.y.

But t h e continued

i n e f f e c t i v e n e s s o f t h e E g y p t i a n A i . r F o r c e and t h e n t h e d e s t r u c t i o n of a l a r g e p o r t i o n o f t h e i r a i r defense Likewise, attack

system d i c t a t e d m o d i f y i n g t h i s s t r a t e g y .

another p r e r e q u i s i t e was a t l e a s t a t w o - f r o n t against I s r a e l .

N a s s e r ' s a t t e m p t s a t Arab u n i t y d u r i n g

1968 and 1969 had p r o v e d f r u i t l e s s

t h e Arabs were

s t i l l u n a b l e t o a r r i v a t a concensus f o r d e a l i n g w i t h Israel, as w e l l as N a s s e r ' s acceptance i n t h e Arab

world as i t s leader.
A t t h e end o f

1969 E g y p t ' s d e s i r e t o l a u n c h an

a t t a c k a c r o s s t h e Canal was f u r t h e r d e l a y e d due t o t h e s t a t u s o f t h e air defense systems and Arab d i s u n i t y . However, Nasser had no i n t e n t i o n o f d i s c o n t i n u i n g t h e He would merely delay i t . Although

planned a s s a u l t .

t h e i n i t i a t i v e had gone over t o t h e I s r a e l i s by y e a r ' s end, N a s s e r ' s d e t e r m i n a t i o n t o c o n t i n u e was n o t

dampened and I s r a e l ' s l i m i t e d a c t i o n proved i n s u f f i c i e n t t o impose a c e a s e f i r e . The I s r a e l i a i r

war d i d n o t b r i n g an end t o t h e h o s t i l i t i e s , b u t d i d moderate i t . Appendix 2-5 c h a r t s t h e a c t i v i t y from

March t o December 1969 and t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p s between I s r a e l i casualties; mortar,


t h e number o f E g y p t i a n a r t i l l e r y ,

and s m a l l arms f i r e s a c r o s s t h e Canal;

and

'38

Israeli air attacks. Early 1970 saw major changer in both belligerents attitudes and strategies.

The Israelis,

sensing a chance to exploit their successfully damaging the Egyptian air defense systems, escalated the air war to include military targets in t h e Egyptian interior. escalation. This was viewed as a major increase in Israel still had doubts about American and

Soviet responsrs to their campaign of. in-depth raids. Israel felt the USSR would not intervene militarily t o keep Nasser from losing control of the government o r risk a confrontation with the US should the Soviet Union take direct military action against her. The

Israelis believed that Soviet intervention would be very limited i n a worst case scenario. Israeli concerns with the Rmerican response were likewise considered. Lack of US response to

earlier raids caused Israel t o believe that the US would not condemn the raids. Likewise, Israel felt

that the US opposed Nasser's government and would be sympathetic to any action which would hasten h i 5 removal from office. Futhermore, Israel believed t h e

US was primarily concerned with its own interests i n the M i d d l e East. The prestige Nasser had gained in the

Arab world since the Six-Day War and h i s anti-American


39

stance impaired US interests in the region.

Finally,

Israel had received F-4 Phantom fighter-bombers i n


1969.

I f the US hadn't approved of the Israeli

strategy, would she have supplied these modern aircraft


to Israel?

Israel's final concensus w a e , while the

Americans d i d not actually encourage the Israeli policy, they d i d not explicity oppose it.=' Israeli air raids began on 7 January 1970 and continued until 13 April. The first raid was

directed at Egyptian Army and Air Force bases near Inchas and Hilwan. Other targets near Cairo were

periodically bombed throughout the rest of January and February. There were civilian casualties from the
. a a

raids at Abu Zahaal and Bakr el-Bakhar.

During missile These

March and April the raids focused on SAM-2 sites and radar stations in the Nile Delta.

raids exposed the Egyptian's inability t o defend against the IAF. The Egyptian people's dissatisfaction

with the military's ineptness threatened t o bring down Nasser's government. Nasser needed t o d o something
es4

quickly t o diffuse t h e situation.

In early December 1969 the ineffectiveness of the SAM-2


missiles against the IAF and the growing

civilian unrest prompted Nasser t o send a delegation to Moscow t o secure solid Soviet assistance.
40

On 9

December Anwar Sadat, Assembly,

head of

t h e Egyptian National and M i n i s t e r

F o r e i g n M i n i s t e r Mahmoud Riad,

o f Defense General Mohammed Fawzi l e f t C a i r o w i t h a m i s s i o n of Soviets. o b t a i n i n g more s o p h i s t i c a t e d arms from t h e They d i d n o t succeed i n g a i n i n g a n y t h i n g

other than a Soviet understanding o f Egypt's m i l i t a r y needs. The S o v i e t s were n o t convinced t h a t more

s o p h i s t i c a t e d weaponry would h e l p . The resumption of t h e h e a r t of the I s r a e l i a i r r a i d s i n t o

Egypt i n January 1970 s u b s t a n t i a l l y

i n c r e a s e d t h e need f o r S o v i e t support. very i l l Nasser,

On 22 January a

a l o n g w i t h General Fawzi and made a s e c r e t t r i p N a s s e r ' s a i m was He t h r e a t e n e d t o

I n f o r m a t i o n M i n i s t e r Mohamed H e i k a l , t o Moscow, a g a i n s e e k i n g more arms.

t o g e t t h e Soviets d i r e c t l y involved.

s t e p down as P r e s i d e n t o f Egypt and hand t h e c o u n t r y over t o a pro-American p r e s i d e n t ift h e y d i d not Naseer r e q u e s t e d

p r o v i d e t h e s u p p o r t he r e q u i r e d .

SAM-3s.
missile,

a low-to-medium

a l t i t u d e surface-to-air

and M I G f i g h t e r s t o combat t h e I s r a e l i F-4 Skyhawks. However, Egypt had no

Phantoms and A-4

m i s s i l e crews t r a i n e d t o o p e r a t e t h e new system,

so he

r e q u e s t e d S o v i e t crews t o man them u n t i l t h e E g y p t i a n s crews were t r a i n e d .

T h i s would d i r e c t l y i n v o l v e S o v i e t

m i l i t a r y personnel i n t h e war w i t h I s r a e l

a major

4I

e s c a l a t o r y move.

S o v i e t Premier L e o n i d Rrezhnev

summoned t h e P o l i t b u r o t o d e c i d e on t h i s c r i t i c a l issue. They decided t o send SAM-3s p l u s S o v i e t crews Eighty

t o Egypt and i n s t a l l t h e new m i s s i l e system. Soviet a i r c r a f t , sent. i n c l u d i n g f o u r MIG-253,

would a l s o be

Approximately

1000 E g y p t i a n s would be s e n t t o
t r a i n i n g on t h e new m i s s i l e .

Russia f o r six-months

g r e a t l y i n c r e a s e d S o v i e t presence and r o l e i n t h e Israeli-Egyptian c o n f l i c t was f o r t h c o m i n g . The S o v i e t

d e c i s i o n was based i n l a r g e p a r t because o f t h e i r d e s i r e t o r e t a i n t h e Nasser government i n power. g0vernmen.t f r i e n d l y t o t h e USSR i n t h e r e g i o n was c r i t i c a l f o r them i n r e d u c i n g US presence i n t h e M i d d l e East. R e s t o r i n g t h e s t r a t e g i c b a l a n c e i n t h e Canal

FI

r e g i o n would a l l o w them t o pursue d i p l a m a t i c efforts. S o v i e t equipment and personnel began a r r i v i n g s h o r t l y a f t e r t h e Nasser-Rrezhnev February t h e f i r s t o f
i n place.
t h e SAM-3

conference.

In late

m i s s i l e s and crews were

I s r a e l i a i r a t t a c k s continued against the construction sites.

SAM-2

s i t e s and a t t h e SAM-3

A r t i l l e r y bombardments and E g y p t i a n r a i d s a c r o s s t h e
C a n a l continued.
I n F e b r u a r y an E g y p t i a n

reconnaissance u n i t p e n e t r a t e d t h e M i l t a Pass i n west-central Sinai. E g y p t i a n a i r r a i d s and a i r b a t t l e s

42

intensified in February and March.

Personnel and
a7

equipment losses on both sides of the Canal mounted. With the growing "Sovietization" of the war, Israel faced a dilemna.

Should it continue the bombing

of the missile sites, more frequently manned b y Soviet crews, and chance a direct confrontation with the Soviet Union, o r should it stop o r limit the attacks all together? Minister o f Defense Dayan initially

favored limiting t h e in-depth attacks t o avoid clashes with the Soviets. Vice Premier Yigal FIllon and many of They

the other Ministers d i d not share Dayan's view.

viewed the Soviet intervention as limited in nature and not likely to expand. However, the government d i d not Israel d i d begin to l i m i t its

accept Dayan's proposal.

raids t o missile sites and radar stations in the northeast area of the Nile Delta. an In early CIpril Israel's dilemna war further compounded. MIG-Zls, piloted by Soviets, began

defending the missile sites and other strategic sites

in the interior of Egypt.

When Dayan was infarmed of

this. he proposed stopping the in-depth raids entirely to avoid confronting the Soviet Union. On 13 CIpril the

Israelis halted the in-depth raids, while continuing and intensifying t h e attacks along t h e Canal Zone.
By

discontinuing the in-depth attacks Dayan hoped that a


43

"gentleman's agreement" c o u l d be reached w i t h t h e USSR, whereby I s r a e l would cease i t s bombing i f t h e S o v i e t s would r e s p e c t I s r a e l ' s s t r a t e g i c a i r s u p e r i o r i t y i n t h e area and would r e f r a i n from a t t a c k i n g i n t h e Canal Zone.
T h e S o v i e t answer came f i v e days l a t e r when an

a i r b a t t l e o c c u r r e d between S o v i e t - p i l o t s MIGs and Israeli aircraft. I s r a e l answered t h e c o n f r o n t a t i o n I s r a e l ' s new p o l i c y : Israel

w i t h an announcement o f

would c o n t i n u e t h e c e a s e f i r e of I s r a e l would n o t , however,

no i n - d e p t h r a i d s .

be d e t e r r e d f r o m a d i r e c t

c o n f r o n t a t i o n w i t h t h e S o v i e t Union ift h e y attempted t o i n t e r v e n e i n t h e f i g h t i n g i n t h e Canal area o r v i o l a t e t h e c e a s e f i r e l i n e s e t down a f t e r t h e Six-Day War. These l i m i t a t i o n s which,
if v i o l a t e d ,

could lead

t o a m i l i t a r y c o n f r o n t a t i o n between I s r a e l and t h e USSR were:

( 1 ) no o p e r a t i o n a l a c t i v i t y by Soviet. a i r p l a n e s and p i l o t s i n t h e a i r space over t h e f r o n t (SO t o 4 0 k i l o m e t e r s f r o m t h e c a n a l l i n e ) , and ( 2 ) no i n s t a l l a t i o n of a n t i a i r c r a f t systems o f m a i n l y SA-3 m i s s i l e s on t h e western any k i n d bank o f t h e Canal." =-

". . .

When t h e i n - d e p t h

a i r r a i d s ended,

the

E g y p t i a n s and S o v i e t s began r e b u i l d i n g and s t r e n g t h e n i n g t h e a i r defense network i n t h e E g y p t i a n interior. They proceeded t o s y s t e m a t i c a l l y advance t h e

network towards t h e Canal.

By t h e end

of

June t h e

E g y p t i a n s and S o v i e t s had e s t a b l i s h e d a SAM-2,

SAM-3,

and antiaircraft network up to the edge of the battlezone, halfway between Ismailia and Suez, 30 kilometers from the Canal. The Soviets had transferred

their activity from the rear areas t o the Canal Zone.


On 30 June Israel attacked these sites, beginning a

direct confrontation with the Soviets.

The Israelis

directed their heaviest efforts at these sites, resulting in increased losses of Israeli aircraft and pilots. Between 30 June and 7 July Israel lost three

Phantoms while destroying or damaging five of the twelve SCIM-2 sites. Tawards the end of July
one of t h e

Russian-piloted

MIGs intercepted and hit


Israel
' 5

attacking Israeli aircraft.

resolve remained

firm and t h e attacks against t h e missile sites continued.


O n 30 July Soviet pilots again engaged

Israeli aircraft over t h e northern sector of the Gulf of Suez. In the ensuing dogfight, five Soviet-piloted

MIG-21s were shot down with no Israeli losses.

A few days later

on

7 August 1970, Israel and

Egypt accepted an American proposal for a ceasefire negotiated through the United Nations Emissary Gunnar Jarring. It wa5 not an easy decision for Israel. The

details surrounding this decision will be discussed further in Chapter IV. After more than three years of conflict t h e War
45

af Attrition ended without a clear-cut military decision or victor. heavy casualties. Both Israel and Egypt had suffered The military-balance between the two Egypt

had changed significantly since the Six-Day War.

had considerably improved its strategic position


through Soviet intervention. From a military

standpoint Egypt had failed because they had not succeeded in forcing Israel from the Sinai o r the Suez Canal. But the military failure was responsible for
S U C C ~ S ~ because ,

the political

it involved Soviet

intervention which prevented Israel from affirming its strategic superiority. Israel's military strategic

standing had declined signficantly from the clear superiority i t had during the Six-Day War. The

political balance was altered even though the territorial status quo remained unchanged. Israel's

acceptance of t h e ceasefire and the superpowers entrance into the process had reduced her political claut and could lead to future military and political pressures b y the US and USSR to secure Israeli withdrawal from part or all of the occupied territories.
46

CHAPTER I 1

ENDNOTES

Yaacov Bar-Siman-Tov, The I s r a e l i - E g y p t i a n Citing War o f A t t r i t i o n , 1969-1970 (1980): 44. 1 January 1968. 61-Ahram, 2

Times, I n s i g h t

a The I n s i g h t Team of

t h e Sunday (London) on t h e M i d d l e East War (1974): 16-17.

197.

Ibid. Ibid.: Ibid. Chaim Herzog, The A r a b - I s r a e l i Wars (1984):

le.

Ibid.:

195.
Wars (1980):

A.

J. Barker, A r a b - I s r a e l i
Israel,

100.

Nadav Sa+ran,

The Embattled A l l y

(1978): 260.
' O I t m a r Rabinovich and Haim Shaked, eds., From June t o October, The M i d d l e East Between 1967 and 1973

(1978): 1 4 1 .
' I

Herzoq, Barker, Herzog,

Arab-Israeli Arab-Israeli Arab-Israeli

Wars: Wars: Ware:

114-115.
105.

197.

s4

Victory: 348.

Ibid.: 198-199; Trevor N. Dupuy, E l u s i v e The A r a b - I s r a e l i Wars, 1947-1974 (1984):

Herzog,

Arab-Israeli

Wars:

199.

LL George W. Gawrych, "Egyptian High Command i n t h e 1973 War: A n H i s t o r i c a l P e r s p e c t i v e " (undated) : 13-14. Paper used as a handout i n Army Command and General 5 t a f f C o l l e g e course i n " M i l i t a r y H i s t o r y of t h e Middle East."

l7

Barker,

Arab-Israeli

Wars:

47

Dupuy,

Elusive Victory:

357. 68.

Bar-Siman-Tov,
2o

War o f A t t r i t i o n :

Ibid.

z1 Herzog, A r a b - I s r a e l i Wars: 199-200; Bar-Siman-Tov, War o f A t t r i t i o n : 66-69.

Attri tion: -

Safran,

Israel:

263; Bar-Siman-Tov,

War of

62-63.
Ibid.

==

z4 Bar-Siman-Tov, War of A t t r i t i o n : 63; Herzog, A r a b - I s r a e l i Wars: 201. Both o f t h e s e a u t h o r s espouse t h e d i v i s i o n s i n t h e High Command an t h i s strategy. Avraham (Bren) Adan, O n t h e Banks o f t h e Suez (1980) s t a t e s t h a t a l l of t h e H i g h Command accepted t h e o p t i o n of s t a t i c defense.
~ ~ e Bar-Siman-Tov, a

War o f A t t r i t i o n :

63.

=-

Ibid.

=7 P e t e r A l l e n , The Y o m K i p p u r War 18-20; Bar-Si man-Tov, W a r o f F Dupuy, E l u s i v e V i c t o r y : 3:


zco Bar-Siman-Tov, Dupuy, E l u s i v e V i c t o r y :

(1982):

War o f A t t r i t i o n :

19-2@;

358-360.

War (1985):
3L

Frank Aker, October 1973, The A r a b - I s r a e l i 8; Herzoq, A r a b 220-221; and Adan, Banks o f t Ibid. Bar-Siman-Tov, Ibid.: War o f A t t r i t i o n :

47-51.

48-49.

==

Ibid. Ibid. Herzog , : 207; Safran, War o f A t t r i t i o n :

=Israel:

261-262; Bar-Siman-Tov,

53-57, Dupuy, E l u s i v e V i c t o r y :

361-362.

Herzog,

Arab-Israeli

Wars:

207.

x7 Bar-Siman-Tov, War o f A t t r i t i o n : 60-41. C i t i n g Moshe Dayan, H a ' a r e t z , (23 March and 30 A p r i l , 1969) and Chaim Bar-Lev, Album of 1,000 Days (Hebrew), Yetzhah Arad. ed, ( T R ~Aviv, Defense M i n i s t r y , undated) : 1.

=- Herzog, A r a b - I s r a e l i 362. Elusive Victory:


a* Bar-Siman-Tov,

Wars:

208-210: Dupuy,

War o f A t t r i t i o n :

71-74,

84-90.
Herzog, Ibid.: 83; Dupuy, E l u s i v e V i c t o r y : A r a b - I s r a e l i Wars: 208-210. Bar-Siman-Tov,
-ZI

363;

W a r of

attrition:

85-86.

Bar-Lev,

Ibid.: Ha'aretz, Ibid.:

Q u o t e c i t i n g General 8 September 1969.

86-87.

Bar-Siman-Tov, War of A t t r i t i o n : 107-109. C i t i n g t h e postponement of t h e c r o s s i n g from K h a l i d i , 44; and S e h i f f , Phantom Over t h e War o f A t t r i t i o n : Nile: 53.

--=
-=I
-7

108; Dupuy, E l u s i v e V i c t o r y :

363.

Ibid.:

T a b l e 4.7, 100-101.

Dupuy, E l u s i v e V i c t o r y : Ibid.:

363-364.
Wars:

363; H s r z o g , A r a b - I s r a e l 1
War o f A t t r i t i o n :

212-213 .
-a Bar-Siman-Tov,

89-90.

**

Ibid.: Ibid.: Ibid.:

90. 117-122.
130-131.

=is

Ibid.:

132.

, L?l
'\)

'.. '.. .\ '. , == Mohamed H e i k a l , The Road t o Ramadan (1975): 82. I s r a e l i a u t h o r s (Herzog, Bar-Siman-Tov, and S a f r a n ) do n o t mention t h e s e a t t a c k s .
34

>Y

.,
'I

Safran,

Israel:

264; Herzog,

Arab-Israeli

Wars:

213-214;
t s r a

Dupuy, E l u s i v e V i c t o r y :

36-366.
137. 83-88.

Bar-Siman-Tov, Ibid.:

War of A t t r i t i o n : Heikal, Ramadan:

149-151;

37

Herzog,

Arab-Israeli

Wars:

214-21s.

Bar-Siman-Tov,
OV

War of A t t r i t i o n :

152-153.

Ibid.:

154-155.
218;

Lo Herzog,

Israel:

265;
Li

A r a b - I s r a e l i Wars: Dupuy, E l u s i v e V i c t o r y :

Safran,

367.
190-191.

Bar-Siman-Tov,

War of A t t r i t i o n :

50

CHAPTER I11 EGYPTIAN PREPARATIONS F O R LIBERATION O F THE S I N A I August 1970 - October 1973

On 28 September 1970, l e s s t h a n two months


a f t e r t h e ceasefire, of a heart attack. P r e s i d e n t Game1 Abdel Nasser, died

He was succeeded by V i c e - p r e s i d e n t

Anwar el-Sadat.

A f t e r a few months Sadat began making he c o n s o l i d a t e d

changes i n t h e E g y p t i a n government;

c o n t r o l o f t h e government and t h e armed forces. One change was t h e appointment i n November 1970 of

Dr. Mahmoud Fawzi, n o t former V i c e - p r e s i d e n t


as Premier of Egypt. S a b r i had been,

A l i

Sabri,

and would

c o n t i n u e t o be f o r t h e n e x t few months, l e a d e r a g a i n s t Sadat.

the opposition Sabri

A f t e r F a w z i ' s appointment,

l e d a c o n s p i r a c y a g a i n s t Sadat which was p r o m p t l y discovered. The c o n s p i r a t o r s were d i s m i s s e d from t h e i r . jailed, tried, and g i v e n l o n g

government p o s i t i o n s , j a i l terms.

Another c a s u a l t y of

t h e conspiracy, was General Mohammed

although not i m p l i c a t e d d i r e c t l y , Fawzi, M i n i s t e r o f War.

He was r e p l a c e d by General General Ahmed was a p p o i n t e d Chief

Mohammecl Sadeq,

t h e C h i e f of S t a f f .

Ismail M i , c a l l e d f r o m retirement, of Naticinal I n t e l l i g e n c e .

W i t h h i s power base
diplomatic

consolidated,

Sadat s e t o u t on a c a u t i o u s ,

approach t o t h e problems f a c i n g Egypt,

p r i m a r i l y the

problem of Israel.

When h e assumed the office, President Sadat decided not to follow Nasser's War of Attrition.
He

believed it had served its purpose but was no longer a viable means of getting concessions from the Israeli government. Attritive operations against them would He believed it

only result in violent Israeli actions.

would b e better t o train, arm, and prepare the military

for a successful campaign against the Israelis i n the


Sinai. President Sadat hoped he would not have to fight, f o r he hoped that Israeli withdrawal from the occupied territories could b e accomplished through diplomatic means. He hoped that the United Nations and

the United states could arrive at a solution f o r return

of Arab territories and the Palestinian problem.


main goal, as was Nasser's, was:

His

"The regaining of l o s t Egyptian territories of the formula that not one inch of Arab territory will b e lost, and there will b e no bargaining over the rights of the Palestinian people." 3

By mid-1970,

however, Sadat was becoming

disillusioned with United States' attempts t o secure concessions f r o m Israel.


[ S e c r e t a r y of

He stated, "but all he

State R o g e r s 1 d i d was to extract more and

more concessions from us and not a single one from the Israelis."

His search for political solutions was


52

e n d i n g and a m i l i t a r y s o l u t i o n was p o s s i b l y t h e o n l y means remaining. He s t a t e d t h a t :

" T h i s i s what w e want and i n s i s t on because w e t i e l i s v e t h e b a t t l e i s g o i n g t o be imposed on us, and t h a t t h e d e c i s i v e word w i l l b e spoken on t h e battlefield. W e t r i e d , and a r e s t i l l t r y i n g politically. W e s h a l l n o t c l o s e t h e door o r miss a chance. Even if t h e r e i s a one p e r c e n t chance f o r But i n a peaceful s o l u t i o n , w e s h a l l work f o r i t . t h e end w e s h a l l f i g h t t o l i b e r a t e our land, f o r thi!; i s our d u t y and a l e g i t i m a t e t h i n g t o do."
He had been p r e p a r i n g f o r t h e e v e n t u a l i t y of war.

I n December 1970 he concluded a m i l i t a r y


The

a s s i s t n n c e agreement w i t h t h e S o v i e t Union. f a l l a w i n g spring, 27 May 1971,

he s i g n e d a f i f t e e n - y e a r

Treaty of Friendship

and Cooperation w i t h t h e S o v i e t s .

I n t h e summer o f 1971 Sadat ordered L t . General Saad e l


Shazly t o p r e p a r e a p l a n f o r a l i m i t e d o p e r a t i o n again51 t h e I s r a e l i s .

Lt.

General Shazly,

appainted

C h i e f o f S t a f f o f t h e E g y p t i a n Armed Forces i n May 1971,


w a s known as an a g g r e s s i v e l e a d e r and one o f

Egypts most s u c c e s s f u l and p o p u l a r commanders.

Shazly

had been t h e commander o f t h e f i r s t p a r a t r o o p b a t t a l i o n


i n t h e E g y p t i a n Army,

t h e U n i t e d Arab Forces i n t h e

Congo i n 1960-1961,

and Commander o f t h e S p e c i a l Forces Shazly proposed a " l i m i t e d

between 1967 and 1969. a t t a c k " because t h a t was:

" A 1 1 t h a t our c a p a b i l i t i e s would p e r m i t c o u l d aim t o c r o s s t h e c a n a l . d e s t r o y t h e Bar-Lev L i n e and t h e n t a k e up a d e f e n s i v e p o s t u r e . Any f u r t h e r , more a g g r e s s i v e moves would then need d i f + e r e n t equipment, d i f f e r e n t t r a i n i n g , and a l o t

.W e

more preparation.

I '

This plan was initially rejected by General Mohammed Ahmed Sadek, War Minister and Commander-in-Chief, Egyptian Armed Forces.
He felt it

was of no value either politically or militarily. Sadek believed the required weaponry t o accomplish this limited plan wa5 neither currently available in the Egyptian Army nor l i k e l y to be available from their reluctant supplier

the Soviet Union.

He did not

believe that the plan went far enough; he believed that given "sufficient weapons"

the key to h i 5 beliefs

the Egyptian Army should continue all the way t o the international frontiers of Egypt and into the Gaza Strip.
0

However, to Sadat and Shazly: "The objective was not so much to produce an outright victory or even military gains, as such, but to end the state of 'no war, no peace' and t o compel the United Nations intervention." General Sadek finally accepted a compromise plan, Operation 41. This offensive plan was limited,

"to the seizing of the k e y Sinai passes 30 - 40 miles east o f the canal."
lo

The plan required leis

equipment and would lei5 likely b e rejected b y the Soviets from which equipment was required for the plan to be implemented.
1971.

The plan was ready b y September

In October President Sadat and General Sadek


i4

f l e w t o Moscow w i t h t h e weapon's "shopping l i s t . " concluded t h e b i g g e s t S o v i e t arms d e a l t o date. I n c l u d e d i n t h e d e a l were 100 MIG-2ls, MIG-15, and SU-7 aircraft, missiles,

They

s e v e r a l MIG-17,

MI-8 h e l i c o p t e r s , a b r i g a d e
and ZSU-23mm antiaircraft

o f m o b i l e SAM-6 guns.

The E g y p t i a n s b e l i e v e d t h a t t h e s e a r m s were

s t i l l i n s u f f i c i e n t t o r e p e l I s r a e l i a i r s t r i k e s if t h e y were g o i n g t o c r o s s t h e Suez Canal. Behind t h e scenes and i n secrecy o f t h e S o v i e t s and a l l b u t a few of t h e senior Egyptian s t a f f members,

t h e E g y p t i a n s were d e v e l o p i n g an even more l i m i t e d offensive plan, "The H i g h M i n a r e t s " p l a n . This plan:

was based more c l o s e l y on the a c t u a l c a p a b i l i t y o f our armed f o r c e s , as opposed t o some n o t i o n a l c a p a b i i t y a f t e r u n t o l d arms shipments. I t 5 o b j e c t i v e s were t h e l i m i t e d g o a l I [General Sha;:lyl had s e t of a f i v e o r s i x - m i l e p e n e t r a t i o n . "
I I

". . .

The p r e p a r a t i o n and p l a n n i n g o f O p e r a t i o n 41 and H i q h M i n a r e t s c o n t i n u e d t h r o u g h t h e r e s t o f and i n t o 1972.

1971

O p e r a t i o n 41 was renamed G r a n i t e Two i n

1972.

I t remained b a s i c a l l y t h e same w i t h o n l y v e r y

minor changes. Before t h e Egyptians c o u l d launch t h e s u r p i s e a t t a c k a c r o s s t h e Canal u s i n g e i t h e r t h e H i g h M i n a r e t s


o r G r a n i t e Two p l a n s ,

many p r e p a r a t i o n s were r e q u i r e d The E g y p t i a n improper or

t o s u c c e s s f u l l y conduct t h e c r o s s i n g . Army had many problems

low morale,

insufficient training, officer shortages, unworkable mobilization plans, and unemployable t a c t i c s and insufficient equipment for river, or canal, crossing operat i ons. Many lessons w e r e learned in t h e 1967 defeat and t h e War of Attrition. Many of t h e problems and

lessons learned in t h e 1967 war had been corrected and incorporated into army doctrine, and many from t h e War
of Attrition would b e corrected before t h e October

War.

z-

O n e of t h e problems in t h e Six-Day War had been t h e incompetent and highly political Egyptian senior military leadership. In 1967 and 1968 a purge of t h e

military led t o t h e removal of many of t h e s e incompetent commanders. During those t w o years t h e r e

also w a 5 a major structural realignment within t h e high command. The goal of t h e s e changes, initiated by

Nasser, w a s t o create a unity of command and purpose with clear lines of authority and responsibility, which w a s missing during t h e Six-Day War.

*=

Preceeding t h e Six-Day War, rivalry, mistrust, and political intrigue between Commander-in-Chief Marshall Muhammad Abdul Hakim Amer, Chief of Staff General Muhammad Fawzi, and Minister of War Brigadier S h e m s al-Din Badran, led t o an unworkable chain of Field

56

command which produced c o n f l i c t s and overlapping responsibilities. establishment, F e l t throughout t h e m i l i t a r y

these problems caused widespread

confusion and d i s u n i t y . These problems were compounded when F i e l d a y 1967, t h e Marshall Amer created a new command i n M Front Command, l e d by an Amer crony General Plbd
A new headquarters was

al-Mulsen Kamal Murtagui.

introduced between t h e Command f o r t h e Eastern M i l i t a r y District, commanded by L t . General Salah al-Din Mohsen,

and t h e General Headquarters (Amer).

The Eastern in

M i l i t a r y D i s t r i c h became t h e F i e l d A r m y Command, operational command and c o n t r o l of event of war w i t h I s r a e l .

a l l assets i n the

I n t r o d u c t i a n of tho Front

Command (Murtagui) between t h e Chief of S t a f f and the F i e l d firmy Command was disastrous i n t h e S i x - D a y
War

because t h e command created confusion i n the chain of command, and s t r a i n e d r e l a t i o n s developed between (See Appendix 2 - 7 ,
s7

Murtagui and Mohsen.

chain of

command during t h e 1967 War.) A f t e r t h e Six-Day armed +orces. her.


War,

Narsasr r e s t r u c t u r e d the Badran, and many senior Many, including

Murtagui,

a i r f o r c e commanders were dismissed. Badran, faced p u b l i c t r i a l s .

A new l a w was issued

r e q u i r i n g p r e s i d e n t i a l approval f a r a l l promotions to

57

colonel and above.

General Fawzi, replaced by General In

Sadek i n 1971, wa5 appointed Commander i n Chief.

1968 Nasser combined t h e p o s i t i o n s of Commander i n


Chief a r post t o and War M i n i s t e r i n t o t h e M i n i s t e r of W D i r e c t l y under t h e M i n i s t e r of of t h e Armed forces. The

centralize authority. W a r was t h e Chief Chief of S t a f f

of Staff

had d i r e c t command and c o n t r o l over a l l The Ground Forces Command was abolished. command was uncomplicated and brought command t h a t had been missing

t h e services.

The new chain of

about a needed u n i t y of during t h e 1967 War. four-star

To f u r t h e r s i m p l i f y i t , t h e only The Chief of

rank was t h e M i n i s t e r of War.

S t a f f was a three-star

p o s i t i o n and t h e service (See Appendix 2 - 8 , chain of

commanders were two-stars.

command p r i o r t o t h e 1973 War which followed t h i s structure. 1 I n h i s book, The Crossing o f t h e Suez, General

S h a z l y describes procedures used t o c o r r e c t t h e

t r a i n i n g d e f i c i e n c i e s i n t h e Egyptian Armed Forces. Increas~d command i n t e r e s t i n f i e l d t r a i n i n g result.ed i n commanders going t o t h e f i e l d t o oversee t r a i n i n g and becoming acquainted w i t h t h e troops.
or

Directives,

How-to-Books,

were w r i t t e n by Shazly and Exercises l a s t i n g t h r e e to

d i s t r i b u t e d t o t h e troops.

s i x days which posed operational problems l i k e l y t o be

58

encountered i n war were f r e q u e n t l y h e l d .

Thirty-five

" L i b e r a t i o n " e x e r c i s e s were h e l d between t h e 1967 W a r and t h e October W a r . these exercises. Shazly was i n charge o f

18 of

He f e l t t h e s e e x e r c i s e s were v e r y

i m p o r t a n t i n p r e p a r i n g t h e t r o o p s f o r t h e October War.
%-'

O f f i c e r s h o r t a g e s were f i l l e d f r o m t h e c o l l e g e gradua1.e r e s o u r c e s a v a i l a b l e , implemented much e a r l i e r . t o produce 3,000 a p o l i c y P r e s i d e n t Nasser

M i l i t a r y academies were a b l e

o f f i c e r s a year.

A s h o r t a g e o f li0,000

o f f i c e r - s e x i s t e d w i t h i n a c t i v e d u t y u n i t s and new u n i t s b e i n g formed.


CI new j u n i o r rank was c r e a t e d t o h e l p

e l i m i n a t e t h i s s h o r t a g e of

officers.

T h e new r a n k ,

c a l l e d "War O f f i c e r " would p r o v i d e o f f i c e r s who were:


'I. qualified i n a single s p e c i a l i z a t i o n , w i t h b a r e s t knowledge of t h e o t h e r t r a i n i n g c o u l d be c u t t o s k i l l s of soldiering able, j u s t , to command f o u r o r f i v e months some specific platoon a j o b he would h o l d t h r o u g h o u t t h e war."

..

. .

. . . -

E g y p t i a n armed f o r c e s numbered a p p r o x i m a t e l y 800,000 men on a c t i v e d u t y i n e a r l y 1971; by t h e s t a r t :

o f t h e October War t h e r e were a p p r o x i m a t e l y 1,050,000. Only 42% of t h e s e t r o o p s were f i e l d u n i t s ; most of One


the?

r e m a i n i n g t r o o p s were l o c a l s e c u r i t y f o r c e s . hundred f i f t y - t h o u s a n d d u r i n g l a t e September of

t h e s e men were m o b i l i z e d j u s t p r e c e e d i n g t h e war.

1973,

I n 1972, General Shazly implemented a

mobilization plan, based o n Sweden's plan.

In t h e

,"

Swedish system all heavy weapons were stockpiled in strategic points where t h e deployed t r o o p s would report when mobilized. Personnel manning t h e equipment

usually resided in t h e general area or in close proximity t o it. If an individual moved from t h e

region, h e w a s replaced by someone else in t h e local area. There were several advantages t o t h i s system that t h e Egyptian leadership believed would make it adaptable t o Egypt's use. It cut mobilization t i m e t o

a minimum; personnel lived and trained in t h e unit and became familiar with each other; annual training was easily accomplished; and there w a s t h e added incentive of defending one's country by defending one's home. Mobilization points in Sweden were spread throughout t h e country in preparation for a threat from any direction. Egypt ' s threat w a s Israel; therefore,

t h e mobilization concentrations needed only face t h e Israeli border. Geographically based reserve units

went directly t o deployment points, where stockpiled weapons were stared. These units were t o b e ready for This mobilization plan was

action within 48 hours.


I

exercised 22 times between January and 1 October 1973, for periods of a few days t o t w o weeks. This

It
I

m o b i l i z a t i o n caused concern on many occasions t o t h e I s r a e l i s , which w i l l be discussed i n Chapter I V .


22

O n 26 October 1972, P r e s i d e n t Sadat r e l i e v e d General Sadek. Circumstances prompted h i s d i s m i s s a l ,

an i m p o r t a n t one b e i n g t h a t he and Sadat had l o n g f a i l e d t o see eye-to-eye on many m i l i t a r y m a t t e r s .

General Sadek s t i l l m a i n t a i n e d t h e o p i n i o n t h a t S a d a t ' s p l a n f o r c r o s s i n g t h e Canal was t o o l i m i t e d . He with

b e l i e v e d t h a t t h i s l i m i t e d g o a l would n o t pay o f f t h e d i v i d e n d s Sadat hoped f o r . extensive goal5 f o r a crossing,

T o accomplish Sadek's
he demanded f a r more

equipment t h a n Sadat f e l t t h e armed f o r c e s c o u l d c o n s o l i d a t e o r t h a t t h e S o v i e t s would f u r n i s h . Sadat

a l s o f e l t t h a t Sadek was t o o e x t r e m r and v o c a l i n h i s anti-Siwiet a t t i t u d e and t h a t he was becoming t o o

involved i n p o l i t i c s .

==

General Ahmed I s m a i l A l i was a p p o i n t e d as t h e new M i n i s t e r o f War and Commander-in-Chief E g y p t i a n Armed Forces. Sadat f e l t t h a t of the

I s m a i l was a

v e r y competent m i l i t a r y commander. v e r y l i t t l e combat e x p e r i e n c e , World War

Where Sadek had

I s m a i l had f o u g h t i n

1 1 a5 an i n t e l l i g e n c e o f f i c e r and i n t h e
1956, and 1967. He was

t h r e e wars w i t h I s r a e l i n 1948, known i n Egypt as one of strategists.


i t 5

most brilliant military

He was p r o f e s s i o n a l ,

hanest,

and w h o l l y

61

above p o l i t i c s .

He had a good background o f he had s t u d i e d t a c t i c a l


the f i r s t h i g h

p r o f e s s i o n a l s c h o o l s i n Egypt; warfare
i n England;

and he wa5 one of

r a n k i n g Egyptian o f f i c e r s t o r e c e i v e Soviet m i l i t a r y training. He was a p p o i n t e d o p e r a t i o n s c h i e f


i n 1968,

became C h i e f o f S t a f f when General Abdul Moneim R i y a d was k i l l e d i n 1969. Nasser r e t i r e d h i m a f t e r t h e

I s r a e l i s landed unopposed on 9 September west bank o f t h e G u l f o f Suez,

1969 on t h e

south of El-Khafir.

Sadat r e t u r n e d h i m t o d u t y as i n t e l l i g e n c e c h i e f i n May
1971,

r e p l a c i n g one o f t h e S a b r i c o n s p i r a t o r s .

In

a d d i t i o n t o h i s m i l i t a r y experience, s u p p o r t e r and f r i e n d of a s t r o n g advocate of s t y l e of fighting. Sadat,

h e was a s t r o n g as w e l l as

a technocrat,

t h e cautious,

S o v i e t mini/max

=-

The d i s m i s s a l o f General Sadek was a v e r y unpopular move w i t h t h e m i l i t a r y , particular. and General Shazly i n Heikal states t h a t

I n The Road t o Ramadan,

S h a z l y ' s d i s a p p r o v a l may n o t have been so much i n defense o f Sadek, dislike for as h i s a n i m o s i t y towards I s m a i l . His

I s m a i l developed t w e l v e y e a r s e a r l i e r when t h e Arab Forces under U n i t e d I s m a i l was s e n t by and t h i s was r e s e n t e d

he was commander of

N a t i o n s auspices i n t h e Congo.

Nasser t n i n s p e c t S h a z l y ' s f o r c e , by Shazly.

Continued f r i c t i o n between I s m a i l and

62

Shazl y appeared throughout the year of preparation for the war. However, their differences were generally put

aside t o accomplish their common goal east bank of the Canal.

seizure o f the

The largest obstacle t o overcome for the military crossing was the Suez Canal. The Canal is 1 0 7 There is a 6.5

miles long and it is 590 feet wide.

foot shoulder of rock and concrete on each edge of the canal. Because of the steepness of this shoulder, it

would require knocking off before an amphibious tank could cross o r a floating bridge be erected. Israelis had
dl50

The

erected a sand barrier on the east The

side that was as much as 60 feet above the water. current:, always strong, peaks every six hours.

Tidal

variations were a s much as six feet between high and low tides. depending on the phase of the moon.
xb

Immediately on the east side, adjacent to and extending t h e length of the Canal. was t h e Bar-Lev Line with its 17 primary fortresses. Subsequent defensive

lines were located behind these fortresses which provided an in-depth defense 30-35 kilometers f r o m the Canal. The Israelis had also installed storage tanks

with inflammable liquids at probable crossing points along the canal. to the Canal.

Pipes extended from the storage tanks

In an Egyptian crossing, this liquid

could be pumped into the Canal and ignited, creating an inferno on the Canal's surface.
27

The biggest problem confronting the Egyptians was getting across the Canal and over the sand barrier. "The fundamental problem, clearly, was to drive passages through the sand barrier."
=en

Compounding

this problem was the requirement of doing it quickly. The Israelis held a brigade o f armor in reserve within
60 kilometers of the Canal.

If there were any

indication of a major attack across the Canal, Israeli would activate their mobilization plan. Israeli

mobilized units could b e in battle positions within 48 hours of notification.


any

I f the Egyptians were to have

chance o f destroying the Israeli forti- fications,

they would have t o move a large number of units and equipment across the Canal very quickly.

=*

The Egyptians built mockups of the sand barriers in the desert and experimented with many methods of breaching them. Dynamiting and bulldozing To make one

the barriers met with little success.

breach in the barrier took 60 men, one bulldozer, 500 pounds of explosives and five to s i x hours of uninterrupted work - approximately 1,200 manhours per passage. This approach was unacceptable because of the

time required to clear the proposed 60 breaches along


h4

the Canal and because the personnel would be lucrative targets for the Israeli artillery and air strikes.
A young engineer discovered

that h i g h pressure

water pumps effectively gouged holes in the sand barriers within three hours. Later, they found

improved pumps in Germany that reduced the time t o two hours. T o disguise the purchase of the numbers of

pumps required, the buyers explained that the pumps were being used t o modernize fire brigades in Cairo. Teams cif engineers exercised experimenting with different numbers o f pumps needed to reduce t h e time to breach the sand barriers.
31

Mobilizations of the reserves continued with several maneuvers up to the Canal. Training was The

detailed to the smallest specifics of battle.

Egyptian military staff made concise and accurate assessments of Israels strength and weaknesses. General Ismails conclusions were:

. Israel possessed four basic advantages: it5 air superiority, its technological s k i l l ; its minute and efficient training; and its reliance upon quick aid from the United States Thias enemy a l s o had h i s basic disadvantages. His lines o f communication were long and extended to several fronts, which made them difficult to defend. His manpower resources d o not permit heavy losses of life. His economic resources prevent h i m from accepting a long war. He is, moreover, an enemy who suffers the evils of wanton conceit. ==
I.

..

T o counter and exploit the Israeli

63

disadvantages,

t h e s t r a t e g y t h a t e v o l v e d would: t h e Canal,

attack

a l a n g t h e whole l e n g t h of a t t a c k s on two f r o n t s t h e south,

a l l o w simultaneous

S y r i a i n the n o r t h and Egypt i n


in

and r e t a i n as much armor and a i r c r a f t t h e t h e expected I s r a e l i

r e s e r v e a5 p o s s i b l e f o r counterattack.

A t t a c k i n g a l o n g t h e l e n g t h of

t h e Canal

and opening a t w o - f r o n t

war would d i s p e r s e I s r a e l ' s Ismail believed t h a t

ground and a i r c o u n t e r a t t a c k s .

t h e I s r a e l i s would a l s o be unsure where t h e main e f f o r t was b e i n g d i r e c t e d i n t h e e a r l y stages, thereby

d e l a y i n g and r e d u c i n g t h e c o n c e n t r a t i o n a f t h e I s r a e l i Counterattacks.
33

E g y p t i a n p l a n n i n g c a l l e d f o r cunning and thorough t r a i n i n g . The D i r e c t o r a f O p e r a t i o n s under He was

Shazly was General Abdul Ghani el-Gamasy.

p r i m a r i l y r e s p o n s i b l e f a r t h e d e t a i l e d p l a n n i n g and c o o r d i n a t i o n f o r t h e crossing. i n t e l l e c t u a l of He was t h e most


He

t h e t h r e e primary m i l i t a r y leaders.

was a g r a d u a t e o f t h e M i l i t a r y Academy, Shazly,

l i k e I s m a i l and

and had a l s o s t u d i e d i n t h e S o v i e t Union and He was p r i m a r i l y an o p e r a t i o n s He had served w i t h Montgomery i n

t h e U n i t e d States. p l a n n e r and t r a i n e r .

t h e Western Desert i n World War 1 1 , and had command experience. He was t h e Deputy D i r e c t o r o f Intelligence

i n 1968 and t h e D i r e c t o r o f

O p e r a t i o n s and D i r e c t o r o f

T r a i n i n g i n 1970.

He was i n many cases a moderating

f a r c e between Shazly and I s m a i l . General Shazly handled morale problems, training. leadership. and t h e sand b a r r i e r s . general

The

I s r a e l i a c t i o n s o f p r e e m p t i v e a i r s t r i k e s c o u l d be c o u n t e r e d by t h e improved SAM b e l t e s t a b l i s h e d up t o t h e edge of t h e Canal. The SAM b e l t gave good coverage

f o r advancing f o r c e s a l l a l o n g t h e Canal and covered a i r space o u t t o 16 k i l o m e t e r s over tne e a s t bank o f t h e Suez. After that, t h e E g y p t i a n s would have t o hall:

and e n t r e n c h w h i l e t h e a i r defense system r e o r g a n i z e d and moved forward. To move ground f o r c e s beyond t h e

S&M coverage would be d i s a s t r o u s ,

as t h e E g y p t i a n s had

l e a r n e d i n 1967 and d u r i n g t h e War o f A t t r i t i o n . M a r s h a l l i n g of t r o o p s t o t h e canal, a t t h e Canal, and

a c r o s s t h e Canal had been planned and executed i n maneuvers. New d e f e n s i v e p o s i t i o n s on t h e west bank of Canal were b u i l t . the

The E g y p t i a n s c o n s t r u c t e d t h e i r own These served a

sand b a r r i e r s a c r o s s f r o m t h e I s r a e l i s . d o u b l e purpose. First,

the additional height of t h e i r

b a r r i e r ! j gave t h e E g y p t i a n s a view over t h e Bar-Lev Li ne i n t o t he Sinai. Secondly, t h e y prepared a r t i l l e r y

and t a n k amplacemente on t o p f o r f i r i n g i n t o t h e I s r a e l i positions. The new embankment a l s o b l o c k e d t h e

67

Israeli view into Egypt and helped conceal some of the preparations for the upcoming battle.
xb

An enormous logistic and communications network was built behind the defense wall as well. "Extensive communicatian networks were built, roads, railroads, docks; on these, both military and civilian vehicles, railroads, and water transport were used t o move supplies and equipment to the front. A series of fuel depots especially secured against air attacks were Water tanks constructed, most of them underground. were set up from Port Said north, in all sectors of Much of the material was moved t o the front the front prior to October 6; special care was exercised to transpart it gradually t o avoid alerting the Israelis." 2z7

...

Preparations and refinements for Granite Two and High Minarets continued at an increasing pace with security precautians remaining strict for High Minarets. Very few people were aware of the second

plan. According t o General Shazly only fourteen people were ever aware of the entire High Minarets plan as it evolved. Those in the know were seven members of the

Egyptian High Command, s i x in t h e Syrian High Command, plus one Egyptian officer who ran the special staff set up in January 1973 to coordinate Egyptian and Syrian planning.
=sa

A s military preparations continued in 1972 and

1973 for the "inevitable war" with Israel President

Sadat pursued diplomatic initiatives for a settlement.


As

stated earlier Sadat's attempts at a diplomatic


68

r e s o l u t . i o n t o t h e problems were f r u s t r a t e d by I s r a e l i i n t r a n s i g e n c e and what he saw as American i n d i f f e r e n c e . D i s c u s s i o n o f t h o s e d i p l o m a t i c a t t e m p t s i n 1971 and 1972 i s now needed. The d i p l o m a t i c a t t e m p t s by Swedish d i p l o m a t Gunnar J a r r i n g , o r i g i n a l l y a p p o i n t e d by U n i t e d N a t i o n s
i n Novermber 1967,

S e c r e t a r y General U-Thant the differences

to r e s o l v e

between t h e Arabs and I s r a e l proceeded


A s the

o f f and on t h r o u g h l a t e 1970 w i t h no success. t a l k s e n t e r e d t h e i r f o u r t h year i n 1971, h i s discussions w i t h I s r a e l , Jordan, and Egypt,

showed

some s i g n s o f concessions, changed.

b u t o f f i c i a l l y n o t h i n g had

W i t h Nasser'e death i n 1970 J a r r i n g began

a t t a c k i n g t h e c o r e o f t h e problem between Egypt and I s r a e l .

the differences

He hoped Sadat would be more


O n 8 February he w r o t e

responsive t o h i 5 i n i t i a t i v e s .

b o t h c o u n t r i e s ' l e a d e r s r e q u e s t i n g commitments from each o f them. From Egypt he requested:

'I. ( 1 ) t e r m i n a t i o n o f a l l c l a i m s o r s t a t e s of b e l l i g e r e n c y , ( 2 ) r e s p e c t f o r and acknowledgement o f I s r a e l ' s s o v e r e i g n t y , t e r r i t o r i a l i n t e g r i t y , and p o l i t i c a l independence, ( 3 ) r e s p e c t f o r and acknowledgement o f I s r a e l ' s r i g h t t o l i v e i n peace w i t h i n secure and r e c o g n i z e d boundaries, ( 4 ) r e s p o n s i b i l i t y t o do a l l i n i t s power to ensure t h a t a c t s of b e l l i g e r e n c y o r h o s t i l i t y da n o t o r i g i n a t e from o r a r e n o t committed f r o m w i t h i n Egypt a g a i n s t I s r a e l , and ( 5 ) n a n - i n t e r f e r e n c e i n I s r a e l ' 5 domestic a f f a i r s . " =-

..

...

From I s r a e l he requested:
'I.

..

( 1 ) committment t o withdraw

i t 5

f o r c e s from

the Sinai t o the pre-1967 lines, which was dependent on satisfactory arrangements for demilitarized zones, ( 2 ) freedom of access by Israeli s h i p s t o the Gulf of f4qaba past Sharm el Sheikh, and (3) freedom of navigation through the Suez Canal." -o
A week later Sadat replied t o Jarring's

initiative and agreed t o all the stipulations provided Israel agreed. borders. Egypt would accept a UN force on the Many of

Israel replied eleven days later.

the proposals were agreed to, but the central committment was not accepted. Israel agreed to

"withdraw to the secure, recognized and agreed boundaries to b e established in the peace agreement Israel will not withdraw to the pre-June 5, 1967 lines." -* Jarring and U-Thant continued t o try to persuade Israel t o accept the proposals t o at least the pre-1967 Sinai borders, but Israel remained f i r m in its stance. On 7 March, Sadat refused to extend the

..

ceasefire which had been in effect since h g u s t 1970. There were no further UN attempts to arrange any agreements until the following year when the new Secretary General Kurt Waldheim requested Jarring t o make another attempt to start negotiations. attempt ended with the same results.
41

That

Near the end of 1970, Israeli Minister of Defense Dayan had made a proposal for an interim
70

soluticin t o the conflict.

In the proposal Israel would

pull back a short distance from the Canal, enabling the Egyptians to reopen the Canal and allawing civilians necessary for operating it to come t o the east bank.
He

believed this would create a buffer zone between On 4 February

Israeli, Egyptian, and Soviet forces.

1971 Sadat presented h i s proposal for a partial

settlement.

It also allowed for reopening of the Suez

Canal, but diverged from the Israeli proposal; it defined the initial withdrawal as only the first step in a total withdrawal from the Sinai.
CIS

with the

Jarring proposal, t h i s was unacceptable to Israel, and the stalemate continued.


43

On 4 May American Secretary of State William Rogers, accompanied by Assistant Secretary of State Joseph Sisco, arrived in Cairo to discuss t h e negotiations with Sadat. Their arrival was complicated

by the internal problems Sadat was facing with A l i Sabri and his followers. The proposals that Rogers and

Sisco brought for a settlement were basically t h e same ones they had proposed in 1967-1968. Their proposal

called for a partial settlement f o r continuation of the ceasefire, reopening the Suez Canal, and a limited Israeli withdrawal, which was basically the Israeli counterproposal to the Jarring request earlier in t h e
71

year.

Sadat was frustrated by the American attitude of

seemingly trying t o extract concessons from Egypt while supporting Israel's stance. Sadat's frustrations and

the Soviet Unions alarm at the US-Egyptian negotiations prompted quick Soviet reaction. Soviet Union President

Nikolai Podgorny was sent to Cairo t o produce the Soviet-Egyptian Cooperation.


44

fifteen-year Treaty of Friendship and

At approximately this point in time Sadat believed that 1971 would b e a "year of decision." Egypt, meaning Sadat, would have to make a d@cision during 1971 about the course the country would take on
t h e Israeli issue.

Sadat's talks with the Americans

earlier in 1971 were attempts to arrive at a political solution to the problem. By mid-year h e was becoming
A5

totally disillusioned with the American position.

1971 ended, he abandoned the political solution for a

military solution, but d i d not totally discard the diplomatic course. Relations with the Soviets in 1971 grew increasingly tense a s the year progressed. the Soviet presence had grown considerably. Since 1970 Upwards of

21,000 Soviet military personnel and advisors were in

the country b y the end of 1971. Sadat made two trips to Moscow i n 1971 seeking
72

Soviet military and political support for t h e Israeli problem.


On 1

March, t h e first of t h e s e t w o trips, h e


( 1 ) a basic joint Egypt-Soviet

sought t h r e e things:

military and political strategy towards Israel, ( 2 ) arms that would g i v e Egypt military equality (as Heika.1 c a l l s it) with Israel, and (3) a continued flow of arms from t h e Soviet Union t o Egypt with no strings attached. Evidently t h e Soviets were willing t o

provide defensive arms, but requests for offensive weapons w e r e met with either denials o r conditions that: they only b e used with Soviet authority. These
His

conditions w e r e totally unacceptable t o Sadat. second visit


in

November accomplished little and did

nothing t o lessen t h e frustration Sadat felt towards t h e Soviets.


For many in t h e Egyptian military, t h e S o v i e t s

w e r e becoming intolerable.

Friction g r e w between t h e

advisor!; and Egyptian officers and soldiers because of t h e Soviet arrogance and candescending manner. Soviet

reluctarice t o turn over control of weapon systems t o trained Egyptian c r e w s likewise increased tensians. At

higher 1.evels of command, Soviet refusal t o give Egypt t h e most sophisticated equipment (i.e., MIG-21s instead of MIG-Z3/25s) frustrated Egypt's military leaders.

A r m s shipments and delivery schedules agreed on in an

October 1971 arms agreement began f a l l i n g b e h i n d schedule i n e a r l y 1972. The S o v i e t Union a l s o began
This

demanding h a r d c u r r e n c y f o r t h e weapon systems. f r u s t r a t e d Sadat. By l a t e S p r i n g 1972 Sadat was

becoming t o t a l l y disenchanted w i t h t h e S o v i e t presence


i n Egypt.

He b e l i e v e d t h e growing American-Soviet

p o l i t i c a l moves towards d e t e n t e were r e s p o n s i b l e f o r t h e arms shipment slowdown. government,

I t appeared t h e S o v i e t
was o n l y

l i k e t h e American government,

i n t e r e s t e d i n m a i n t a i n i n g t h e s t a t u s quo i n t h e M i d d l e East.
47

The S o v i e t - E g y p t i a n problems c o n t i n u e d and reached a c l i m a x an 6 J u l y 1972 when P r e s i d e n t Sadat i s s u e d an o r d e r e x p e l l i n g t h e S o v i e t t e c h n i c i a n s . o r d e r was t o t a k e e f f e c t on 17 J u l y . gesture,


The

I n a conciliatory

Sadat a l l o w e d a l i m i t e d number of

technical Sadat

s p e c i a l i s t s and i n s t r u c t o r s t o remain i n Egypt.

a f f e r e d t o r e v i e w f u t u r e c o o p e r a t i o n under t h e terms o f t h e T r e a t y of withdrawal. F r i e n d s h i p and Cooperation a f t e r t h e The S o v i e t s d e p a r t e d on schedule. Sadat

hoped t h i s move would shock t h e S o v i e t s i n t o resuming

a r m s shipments.

While t h e e x p u l s i o n o f t h e S o v i e t s

would enable h i m t o proceed on any f u t u r e course he wished t o t a k e a g a i n s t I s r a e l w i t h o u t S o v i e t interference, Sadat


dl50

wanted t o m a i n t a i n an ongoing

74

r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h them,

i n c l u d i n g arms d e l i v e r i e s which

he knew would be r e q u i r e d f o r t h e upcoming b a t t l e . The "shock" Sadat hoped f o r seemed t o work.

W i t h t h e h e l p and m e d i a t i o n o f P r e s i d e n t Hafez Asead o f


S y r i a i n October, the deteriorating relationship Existing

between Egypt and t h e S o v i e t Union ended. agreements f o r S o v i e t use of

n a v a l f a c i l i t i e s on t h e

M e d i t e r r a n e a n Sea were renewed i n December. 1973 M i n i s t e r of War General

In

early

I s m a i l went t o Moscow t o

r e q u e s t more arms. shortly thereafter,

The r e q u e s t was approved and t h e arms began t o a r r i v e .

I n l a t e F e b r u a r y and e a r l y March 1973 Sadat


s e n t h i s N a t i o n a l S e c u r i t y Advisor Hafez I s m a i l t o Washington t o d i s c u s s p o s s i b l e s o l u t i o n s o f t h e M i d d l e East problems w i t h newly i n a u g u r a t e d P r e s i d e n t Nixon. The meeting between I s m a i l and Nixon was p r o m i s i n g . Nixon agreed n e g o t i a t i o n s s h o u l d begin. Later, Ismail

met s e c r e t l y w i t h Henry K i s s i n g e r t o d i s c u s s t h e issues. U n i t e d S t a t e s p o l i c y had changed l i t t l e s i n c e i n i t i a t i v e s i n 1971.

t h e Rogers-Sisco

For Sadat and


Israeli

I s m a i l t h e d i s c u s a i o n s were u n p r o d u c t i v e .

Prime M i n i s t e r Golda M i e r ' s t r i p t o Washington a few l a t e r and t h e announcrnent t h a t t h e US would s u p p l y a d d i t i o n a l Phantom and Skyhawk a i r c r a f t t o I s r a e l p l a y e d an i m p o r t a n t p a r t i n S a d a t ' s subsequent d e c i s i a r i

75

t o go t o war. P r e s i d e n t Sadat began d i p l o m a t i c o v e r t u r e s w i t h Syria, Jordan. 1973. and Saudi A r a b i a i n e a r n e s t d u r i n g t h e C o n t a c t s w i t h S y r i a were made i n 1970 had taken over t h e c o u n t r y Both r e a l i z e d a t w o - f r o n t
war w i t h

summer o f

s h o r t l y a f t e r &sad f o l l o w i n g a coup.

I s r a e l was necessary i f e i t h e r hoped f o r success. However, t h e y h e l d r a d i c a l l y opposing views on when and

how a c t i o n s h o u l d t a k e p l a c e , due i n p a r t t o t h e n a t u r e o f t h e I s r a e l i s t a n c e on t h e occupied lands. The

I s r a e l i s t a n c e on t h e r e t u r n o f t h e Golan H e i g h t s and t h e S i n a i was t h a t t h e former was n o t n e g o t i a b l e w h i l e t h e l a t e r was,


i n p a r t or a l l .

Complicating t h i s

a l l i a n c e was a g r e a t d e a l o f m i s t r u s t between Sadat and Assad.

F r o m t h e S y r i a n p o i n t o f view,

the strategic

Golan H e i g h t s ,

which o f f e r e d t h e I s r a e l i f a r c e s

p o s i t i o n s w i t h i n s i g h t o f Damascus, m i g h t be s o l d o u t
if t h e Egypt s i g n e d an agreement w i t h t h e UN o r US t h a t

a l l o w e d t h e r e t u r n of

t h e Sinai.

Egypt remembered t h e

1967 War when S y r i a dragged them i n t o t h e war and t h e n refused t o f i g h t . T h i s c o n f l i c t o f i n t e r e s t s remained n e a r l y unchanged u n t i l e a r l y 1973 when a number of b r o u g h t t h e two c o u n t r i e s ' l e a d e r s t o g e t h e r . events

In

January t h e I s r a e l i s launched a i r a t t a c k s a g a i n s t

7h

Syrian troops i n r e t a l i a t i o n f o r t e r r o r i s t a c t i v i t y i n northern Israel, Syria. which t h e y b e l i e v e d was sponsored by

I s r a e l t h r e a t e n e d t o i n t e n s i f y t h e a t t a c k s if The

S y r i a continued t o support g u e r r i l l a a c t i v i t y . s t u d e n t u n r e s t of against I s r a e l , activity,

1973 caused by E g y p t i a n i n a c t i v i t y

t h e government c o n t r o l s on p o l i t i c a l I s m a i l as War M i n i s t e r

and t h e appointment o f

i n 1972 i n c r e a s e d S a d a t ' s d e s i r e f o r c o o p e r a t i o n w i t h

Syria.

T h i s l e d t o i n c r e a s e d a c t i v i t y between E g y p t i a n

and S y r i a n m i l i t a r y p l a n n e r s p r e p a r i n g f o r t h e October War.


32

J o r d a n ' s problems w i t h t h e P a l e s t i n i a n Arabs i n t h e c o u n t r y was a s i g n i f i c a n t m a t t e r c o n f r o n t i n g S a d a t ' s a t t e m p t s t o s o l i d i f y t h e Egypt-Jordan-Syria t r i p a r t i t e needed t o c o n f r o n t Israel. S i n c e t h e 1967

War Jordan had been t h e home f o r many P a l e s t i n i a n s who had f l e d I s r a e l .


I n 1968 K i n g Hussein demanded t h e

2,000 armed g u e r r i l l a s of

the Palestinian Liberation

O r g a n i z a t i o n (PLO) i n Jordan accept m i l i t a r y orders f r o m t h e Army Headquarters. The PLO r e f u s e d because

t h e y b e l i e v e d t h e y would be p r o h i b i t e d from c r o s s i n g i n t o I s r a e l t o conduct r a i d s .


I n November g u n f i r e

exchanges e r u p t e d between t h e PLO and t h e J o r d a n i a n Army t r o o p s . P o l i t i c a l p r e s s u r e from Arab s t a t e s t o

a l l o w t h e PLO use o f Jordan as a home base and f e a r of

77

Israeli retaliation against Jordan placed Hussein in an uneasy position. a half years.
1 9 7 0 .

H e walked t h i s tightrope for t w o and

T h e uneasy t r u c e gave way in September

Following a n abortive assassination attempt,

Hussein dismissed t h e civil government and installed a new military government staffed by some antiPalestinian army personnel. Heavy fighting between On 20 September a

army u n i t s and guerrillas brake aut.

Syrian armored brigade moved across t h e border and attacked Jordanian units. T h e Syria-Jordan

confrontation ended o n 26 September when t h e Jordanians drove t h e Syrians b a c k across t h e border. Sporadic fighting continued between guerrillas and Jordan Army units through July 1 9 7 1 when t h e army waged a six-day campaign against t h e guerrillas and effectively eliminated t h e P L O a s an entity in Jordan. S y r i a subsequently broke off diplomatic relations. Llnited States shipments of arms t o Jordan in early 1 9 7 3 and Hussein's overtures of a separate peace with Israel shortly thereafter did little t o ease Arab fears of Jordan's motives.
34

King Fiesal of Saudi Arabia broke t h e impasse between Jordan, Egypt, and Syria during t h e summer of
1 9 7 3 .

T h e tripartite summit in early September 1 9 7 3

cleared t h e way for an agreement on a three-front


78

m i l i t a r y campaign a g a i n s t I s r a e l .

S a d a t s one f i n a l

r e q u i r e m e n t t o s u c c e s s f u l l y mount a campaign a g a i n s t I s r a e l had been surmounted. D u r i n g t h e summer o f


zm

1973 Egypt and S y r i a


M o b i l i z a t i o n and

e s c a l a t e d t h e i r p l a n s and a c t i v i t i e s .

e x e r c i s e s up t o t h e Canal i n c r e a s e d as p a r t o f t h e Egyptian deception plan. Not a l l t h e t r o o p s m o b i l i z e d

and s e n t t o t h e Canal on e x e r c i s e s were p u l l e d back. Each year t h e maneuvers had grown l a r g e r .

By Septembmr

1973 d i v i s i o n s i z e u n i t s were b e i n g employed d u r i n g t h e


m o b i l i z a t i o n exercises. B r i g a d e s were b e i n g s e n t o u t

i n t h e morning b u t o n l y b a t t a l i o n s were r e t u r n i n g a t

n i g h t a f t e r f i n i s h i n g t h e t r a i n i n g day.

Two-thirds Guns,

of

t h e men remained i n t h e i r b a t t l e p o s i t i o n s .

heavy equipment,

and ammunition were b r o u g h t f o r w a r d a t

n i g h t and b u r i e d o r camouflaged t o p r e v e n t daytime detection. Canal c r o s s i n g equipment was moved t o t h e When i t was f i n a l l y b r o u g h t

f r o n t iie l a t e as p o s s i b l e . forward,

i t was d e l i v e r e d i n s p e c i a l c r a t e s so t r u c k s

c a r r y i n g them d i d n o t appear t o be engineer c o r p s trucks.. The c r a t e s o f equipment were t h e n b u r i e d i n

p i t s s p e c i a l l y dug f o r them. I s r a e l i and American i n t e l l i g e n c e sources had n o t i c e d t h e i n c r e a s e d movement o f b o t h i n t h e west and t h e n o r t h . t r o o p s and equipment The i n d i c a t o r s showed

70

an ominous buildup of forces larger than previous mobilizations. Israel was skeptical of Egyptian

intentions. believing they could not, and would not, attack Israel. Israel casually dismissd t h e activity Israel had mobilized in

as t h e usual autumn maneuvers.

May following increased military activity in Syria and Egypt, the collapse of t h e Lebanese government, and the increase in terrorist activity directed against northern Israeli villages. increased tensions. Nothing came of the

Israel mobilized, but at a


a7

tremendous expense t o t h e economy.

The Egyptians used another deception to feed false information to t h e Israelis. "The press was used cleverly by the Egyptians. They planted items in a Lebanese newspaper about the neglect and deterioration of Soviet equipment in the Canal Zone. The Egyptian press carried the story of an American oil company which had signed an agreement t o begin construction of a pipeline in the Canal area. . a public notice was made in Al-Clhram [ t h e semi-official Cairo newspaper1 encouraging officers t o put their names down f a r leave to make the Umhar, o r small pilgrimage which is frequently made after Ramadan. A1-Ahram was chosen for many of these leaks because it was known Israel received copies of the paper via Cyprus and t h e Al-Ahram editor, Mohamed Heikal, was a confident of Sadat."

..

30

Final preparations for t h e operation - the date and t i m e .- had t o be set. Hydrological tables were

analyzed to f i n d dates and times for optimal Canal tides and currents. Several possible dates were

YO

selected.

P a r t i a l moon was r e q u i r e d f o r movement of

b r i d g e s and f e r r i e s up t o and a c r o s s t h e Canal d u r i n g t h e e a r l y p a r t o f the n i g h t w i t h i l l u m i n a t i o n fading l a t e r t o p r o v i d e cover o f darkness f o r moving t r o o p s and equipment. o r f o u r dates. p o s s i b l e date. month of crossing. T h i s narrowed t h e s e l e c t i o n s t o t h r e e The f i r s t week o f October was one
T h i s was d u r i n g Ramadan,

the Islamic

f a s t i n g when t h e I s r a e l i s would l e a s t expect a The t e n t h day of Ramadan,


6 October,

was

s e l e c t e d as t h e o p t i m a l date. t r a d i t i o n a l anniversary o f

T h i s wa5 a l s o t h e

t h e date t h e forces of t h e

Prophet Mohammed won t h e i r f i r s t v i c t o r y a t t h e Battles


of

Badr- i n 624 A.D.

Thus.

Operation High Minarets October was a l s o

became O p e r a t i o n Badr.

The s i x t h of

t h e Jewish h o l y day o f Yom K i p p u r , circumstance a f f e c t i n g t h e Defense Forces,


A t 1400,

a siqnificant
the I s r a e l i
IV.

mobilization of

as w i l l be seen i n Chapter
6 October

=-

1973, t h e c o o r d i n a t e d a t t a c k

on I s r a e l ,

" O p e r a t i o n Badr" commenced.

CHAPTER 1 1 1 ENDNOTES Trevor N. Dupuy, Elusive Victory: The Arab-Israeli Wars. 1947-1974 (1984): 372-373; Mohamed Heikal, The Road to Ramadan (1975): 114-122. Edgar O'Ballance, No Victor, No Vanquished: The Yam Kippur War (1970): 13.
a

John W. Amos 1 1 , Arab-Israeli Military/Political Relations: Arab Perceptions and the Politics o f Escalation (1975): 100. Insight Team o f the Sunday (London) Times, Insight on the Middle East War (1974): 29.
a

Amos, & I s r a e l i

Relati=:

101.

Chaim Herzog, The Arab-Israeli Ware: War and Peace in the Middle East f r o m t h e War of Independence through Lebanon (1982): 1 6 1 ; O'Ballance, No Victor: 21-22.
(1980):

Saad e l Shazly, The Crossing of the Suez 25. Ibid.: 2 8 . Relations;


139.

Amos, Arab-Israeli
'i

Shazly, Crossing the Suez_:

28.

*I

Ibid.:

29; O'Ballance,

No Victor:

14.

Shazly, Crossing the Suez:


1=

29.

Ibid.: Ibid.:

30.

41-89.

O'Ballance, No Victor: 23; George W. Gawrych, "Egyptian High Command in the 1973 War: an Historical Perspective" (undated): 1-2. Gawrych, "High Command":
t7

8, 11-12.

Ibid.:

4-5.

Ibid.:

13-14. 42, 85-86.

**
=to

S h a z l y , C r o s s i n g t h e Suez: Ibid.:

49-50. 401-402. 73-73. 180-181.


Relations:

Dupuy, E l u s i v e V i c t o r y :

S h a z l y , C r o s s i n g t h e Suez:
=a

Heikal
Ibid.:

Road t o Ramadan:

181-182; Amos, A r a b - I s r a e l i
Road t o Ramadan:

141.
=a H e i k a l ,

182-183. 7-8. 53-54;

=& S h a z l y , C r o s s i n g t h e Suez: H e r z o q , A r a b - I s r a e l i Wars: 231.

S h a z l y , C r o s s i n g t h e Suez: 9 ; Dupuy: Elusive_ Victory: 395-396; Avraham ( B r e n ) Adan, On t h e Banks of. t h e Sukz - (1980): 42-48. S h a z l y , C r o s s i n g t h e Suez: Ibid.: Ibid.: Ibid.:
xz

54.

54-55. 55. 55-56.


Arab-Israeli Relations:

Amos,

142.

xs

Ibid. Ibid.: 145-146; O B a l l a n c e , No V i c t o r : Road t o Ramadan: 183.

22;

Heikal,

D.K. P a l i t , R e t u r n t o S i n a i , The Arab O f f e n s i v e O c t o b e r 1973 (1974): 41; S h a z l y , C r o s s i n g t h e Sue?: 31.


Herzog, W a r of Atonement: Arab-Israeli Relations: 147.
:s7

42; A m o s , 147-148.

Flmos,

At-ab-Israeli

Relations:

=:s*

S h a z l y , C r o s s i n g t h e Suez: I n s i g h t Team,

201-202.

I n s i g h t on t h e M i d d l e E a s t War:

28.
eo
-1

Ibid.

Ibid.: Ibid.:

28-29.

29.
Atonement:

43

Herzog, War of

17-18.

44

Ibid.:

19-20; Heikal, Road t o Ramadan:

132-138.
*a

Heikal, Road t o Ramadan:

175.

Ibid.:
47

118-119.
374.

Dupuy, Elusive Victory:

Ibid.;
e9

Herzog,

War o f Atonement:

22.

Ibid. Ibid.:

25; Heikal, Road to Ramadan:


Relations:
116.

201-203.

Amos. Arab-Israeli Ibid.:

117-118.
378-381.
8-9.

Dupuy, Elusive Victory:


san
3 -

Ibid.:

382-383; O'Ballance, No Victor:


Relations: 135.

Amos, Arab-Israeli O'Ballance,

No Victor:

42-43.

a7

Estimates: 359.

Avi Shlaim, "Failures in National Intelligence The Case of t h e Y a m Kippur War" (1976):

Insight Team o f the Sunday (London) Times, The Yom Kippur War (1974): 80-81.
==a

--Israeli

DUPUY, Elusive Victory: Relations: 1 6 6 .

391, 393; Amos,

CHAPTER I V

THE ISRAELI PERSPECTIVE August 1970 - October 1973

The o v e r a l l b a l a n c e o f power i s i n our f a v o r , and t h i s f a c t i s overwhelmingly d e c i s i v e i n t h e f a c e o f a l l o t h e r c o n s i d e r a t i o n s and p r e v e n t s Our military t h e immediate renewal o f war. advantage i s t h e outcome of b o t h t h e weakness o f t h e Arabs and o u r i n c r e a s i n g s t r e n g t h . Their weakness a r i s e s f r o m f a c t o r s t h a t I do n o t suppose w i l l q u i c k l y disappear. Our s u p e r i o r i t y can, i n m y o p i n i o n , be m a i n t a i n e d i n t h e coming y e a r s as we1 1.

..

Moehe Dayan,

I s r a e l s Defense M i n i s t e r ,

made the

t h i s statement o n l y two months b e f o r e t h e s t a r t of October War.

I t summed up t h e p r e v a i l i n g o p i n i o n o f

t h e I s r a e l i p o l i t i c a l and m i l i t a r y i n s t i t u t i o n s f a l l o w i n g t h e Six-Day War.


T h i s was o n l y one o f many

f l a w s i n t h e I s r a e l i p e r c e p t i o n o f Arab i n t e n t i o n s and t i e s and I s r a e l i m i l i t a r y s t r a t e g i e s f a 1 l o w i n g capabi 1 i t h e war.. flaws, T h i s c h a p t e r d i s c u s s e s and analyzes those

and c h r o n o l o g i c a l l y d e t a i l s t h e e v e n t s between t h e War o f A t t r i t i o n i n August 1970 and t h e 1973.

t h e end of

o u t b r e a k o f h o s t i l i t e s a t 1400 h o u r s on 6 October

By August 1970 t h e f o u n d a t i o n of
d e t e r r e n c e was based on f o u r f a c t o r s :

Israels

( 1 ) the
( 2 ) the

s u p e r i o r i t y of t h e I s r a e l i A i r Force ( I A F ) ,

I s r a e l i s m i l i t a r y and c i v i l i a n i n t e l l i g e n c e network and warning c a p a b i i t i e s , Forces;

(3) t h e I s r a e l i Defense
and (4)

(IDFs) a b i l i t y t o mobilize qui ckl y,

85

t h e I D F s a b i l i t y t o s t r i k e q u i c k l y and mount a p o w e r f u l c o u n t e r a t t a c k a g a i n s t an E g y p t i a n a t t a c k a c r o s s t h e Canal.


z t

I s r a e l r e l u c t a n t l y accepted t h e Roger on 31 J u l y 1970.

Plan

There were r e s e r v a t i o n s about Egypt and t h e s e f e a r s were n o t

adhering t o t h e ceasefire, unfounded. p r i n c i p l e of

Between 23 J u l y when Nasser accepted t h e t h e c e a s e f i r e and 7 August when t h e


t h e E g y p t i a n s and S o v i e t s

c e a s e f i r e was implemented,

moved t h e SAM b e l t up t o t h e west edge o f t h e Canal. The IAF now c o n f r o n t e d an e l a b o r a t e and e x t e n s i v e m i s s i l e system of
SAM-65,

SAM-25,

SAM-35,

and t h e new m o b i l e

which extended t h e m i s s i l e coverage 15-18


A

k i l o m e t e r s beyond t h e e a s t e r n s i d e o f t h e Canal. network of l e n g t h of

aver 6000 m i s s i l e l a u n c h e r s s t r e t c h e d t h e t h e Canal and extended back to Cairo. Nasser c o n t i n e d These

were manned by S o v i e t crews.

preparations f o r the f i n a l p a r t of h i s plan t o l i b e r a t e the Sinai. The acceptance of t h e Rogers P l a n gave t h e

I s r a e l i s a r e s p i t e from t h e a t t a c k s and bombardment Egypt had i n f l i c t e d on t h e Ear-Lev L i n e and t h e I s r a e l i Although

m i l i t a r y f o r c e s d u r i n g t h e p r e c e e d i n g year. t h e Bar-Lev

Li ne w a s s t i l l impartant t o I s r a e l s c r i t i c s i n t h e m i l i t a r y and t h e

defensive strategy,

Yb

government d i d n o t l i k e t h e s t a t i c d e f e n s i v e s t r a t e g y I s r a e l had adopted f o l l o w i n g t h e Six-Day War.

A debate

between t h e m i l i t a r y and l e g i s l a t u r e ensued d u r i n g t h e summer of

1970 on c o n t i n u i n g t h e c u r r e n t s t r a t e g y and
Line,

i m p r o v i n g t h e Bar-Lev

or r e v e r t i n g t o the
m o b i l e defense. The

commonly adhered t o s t r a t e g y of

t r a d i t i o n a l i s t s were o v e r r u l e d by t h e proponents who wanted t o m a i n t a i n t h e s t a t i c defense. I n l a t e August damaged p o r t i o n s of I s r a e l began s t r e n g t h e n i n g t h e Line.

t h e Ear-Lev

A second l i n e of

f o r t i f i c a t i o n s was c o n s t r u c t e d e i g h t t o t w e l v e k i l o m e t e r s b e h i n d t h e main l i n e , t a n k s and a r t i l l e r y . p r o v i d i n g cover f o r

Eleven new f o r t i f i c a t i o n s and an

i n f r a s t r u c t u r e o f r o a d s and a r t i f i c i a l b a r r i e r s (sand r a m p a r t s up t o 40 f e e t h i g h ) were c o n s t r u c t e d . These

sand r a m p a r t s were designed t o make t h e e a s t s i d e of t h e Canal impassable t o t a n k s and armored personnel carriers. minefinlds, Other improvements, w i r e defenses, including extensive and

improved a i r f i e l d s ,

underground headquarters,

were completed and gave added This defensive

d e f e n s i v e c a p a b i l i t i e s t o t h e IDF.

network c o s t over 500 m i l l i o n d o l l a r s f o r improvements i n the Sinai, and a p p r o x i m a t e l y 40 m i l l i o n d o l l a r s of

t h i s was spent on t h e f o r t i f i c a t i o n s .

The L i n e was a major f a c t o r i n I s r a e l ' s 87

s t r a t e g y adopted a f t e r t h e Six-Day earlier,

War.

A s stated

debates were common about which t y p e o f The d e p t h o f

d e f e n s i v e s t r a t e g y I s r a e l s h o u l d adopt. t h e post-1967 option,

b o r d e r s gave I s r a e l a new s t r a t e g i c s i n c e t h e major removed

u n a v a i l a b l e i n t h e paet,

population centers of f r o m t h e Egyptians.

I s r a e l were now f a r t h e r

The Suez Canal and t h e S i n a i

D e s e r t were b a r r i e r s which would d e t e r E g y p t i a n attacks. I s r a e l now had an o p t i o n a f e i t h e r l a u n c h i n g a s t r i k e a g a i n s t Egypt if an a t t a c k seemed

prr-emptive imminent,

o r w a i t i n g f o r Egypt t o a t t a c k and u s i n g t h e consolidate, and

d e s e r t ' s vastness t o maneuver, counterattack.

The l a t t e r o p t i o n was i n t e r n a t i o n a l l y

p o l i t i c a l l y advantageous because t h e i n t e r n a t i o n a l community would n o t v i e w I s r a e l as t h e aggressor. However, t h e r e was an e r r o r i n t h i s p o l i c y .

=
In

p r e v i o u s wars w i t h E g y p t , t h e movement o f E g y p t i a n f o r c e s a c r o s s t h e d e s e r t gave I s r a e l s u f f i c i e n t t o m o b i l i z e t h e i r reserves. IDF manned t h e Bar-Lev Line, warning

During t h e p e r i o d t h a t t h e a l a r g e p o r t i o n of the

E g y p t i a n Army was d i r e c t l y a c r a s ~ t h e Suez.

Any sudden

t h r u s t a c r o s s t h e Canal by t h e E g y p t i a n s c o u l d occur

w i t h o u t g i v i n g them much warning time. p r e c i s e l y what happened i n October


The Egyptians f e l t

This i s

1973.

t he I s r a e l i s t a t i c character

88

of war offered them a number of advantages. interpreted t h e construction o f t h e Bar-Lev

They

fortifications a s a c h a n g e in Israeli doctrine.

Egypt

viewed Israel's abandoning their mobile defense for static defense as negating Israeli superiority in swift offensive movement with their armored and air forces. T h e previous Israeli doctrine of mobility had involved carrying t h e war into enemy territory. Their

mobility and growing emphasis on armor and aircraft during t h e f i f t i e s and sixties, necessitated by t h e small geographical s i z e and proximity of its population centers t o t h e Prabs. were t h e weapons which allowed Israel t o pursue t h i s operational capability. f o r c e s developed far superior capabilities in conducting mobile operations then their enemies. National and international constraints also dictated limitations on t h e duration of t h e wars and a heavy reliance on a reserve system. T h u s Israel had to be T h i s major shift in Israel's

able t o t a k e military initiatives.

Israeli strategic doctrine developed after t h e Six-Day War. T h i s change of basic doctrine, from carrying t h e

war into t h e enemy's territory to a doctrine of strategic depth, was perceived by t h e P r a b s a s allowing f o r major changes in both Israel and Egypt. T h e Egyptians viewed t h i s c h a n g e a s totally o u t
HC)

o f c h a r a c t e r f o r t h e IDF which r e q u i r e d l o n g p e r i o d s of p r e p a r a t i o n t o m o b i l i z e t h e i r forces. have a h i s t o r y of s t a t i c defense of The IDF d i d n o t

t h i s magnitude.

The E g y p t i a n s b e l i e v e d t h e y e n j o y e d s e v e r a l advantages a g a i n s t t h i s defense: s u p e r i o r i t y i n t y p e s of s u p e r i o r i t y i n manpower, artillery, and s u p e r i o r i t y i n

deployment o f t h e a r t i l l e r y a l o n g t h e Canal. Another change o c c u r r e d a f t e r I s r a e l i s had r e l i e d an a c o u n t e r - f o r c e t o 1970. 1970. The

strategy p r i o r countervalue

Then a new d e t e r r e n t p o s t u r e of

s t r a t e g y g r a d u a l l y developed. t h e deployment of i n c r e a s e d use of

T h i s was an e x t e n s i o n of
i n addition t o the

t h e F-4 Phantoms,

t h e a i r f o r c e by t h e m i l i t a r y .

P o l i t i c a l and i d e o l o g i c a l f a c t o r s a l s o c o n t r i b u t e d t o t h i s change. I s r a e l f e l t t h e y c o u l d more e a s i l y defend The

t h e i r b o r d e r s now a g a i n s t an Wab i n v a s i a n .

p o s s i b i l i t y o f another a t t r i t i v e war and haw t o d e t e r

i t were c o n s i d e r e d ,
seemed workable.

and t h e c o u n t e r v a l u e s t r a t e g y a t t a c k s would be c o u n t e r e d

The Arabs'

w i t h r e t a l i a t o r y a t t a c k s a g a i n s t t h e i r economic
i n f r a s t r u c t u r e d e t e r r i n g any f u r t h e r a t t a c k s . L i k e w i s e , t h e Arabs would know t h e p r i c e o f t h e s e a t t a c k s p r i o r t o i n i t i a t i n g them.

Thus,

secure b o r d e r s

and a d e f e n s i v e s t r a t e g y had t o be l i n k e d w i t h some form o f "deterrence-by-punishment"


i f

I s r a e l were t o

90

defend itself and prevent a war f r o m actually occurring. It became essential to Israel t o deter war, not only because she did not want war, but because the Israeli political position from 1970 to 1973 was based on the assumption that the status quo created in 1967 was paramount; Israel should not be pressured into changing it, even by the United States. This positian The

became more credible after the War of Attrition.

air force became the major instrument of maintaining the status quo. Futhermore, the perception that Egypt could not successfully mount an offensive against Israel was based on Israel's intelligence collection capabilities and their assumption the intelligence network would give them adequate warning t o mobilize forces for an impending attack. An impending attack is normally indicated many military, diplomatic, and civil signals. Traditional military signals include mobilization of troops and reserves and movements of equipment to staging areas. Warning signals in the civilian
by

community include air raids drills, food stockpiling, and media announcements concerning preparations to b e made. Abrupt rhetoric changes increaed and heated
or

decreased and cooled through diplomatic channels are also an indicator of possible hostilities.

A competent

intelligence network acquires, collates, and evaluates these signals and passes them on t o the government policy and decision-makers action. for political or m i l i t a r y

Israel had an outstanding intelligence network The military and

f o r collecting and assimilating data.

the government believed the intelligence community would b e able t o read developments in the region and provide adequate warning of an Egyptian crossing to t h e troops on the Ear-Lev Line and g i v e them time t o implement the IDF mobilization plan so the mobilized forces could counterattack and move on the offensive. Israels overall defense system and survival was based on this capability and advanced warning.
z

The intelligence service of Israel was composed of four agencies prior t o the October War. The primary

agency was the Military Intelligence Branch (Modin), which had grown in size and scope and now held a monopoly over national intelligence evaluations. Central Institute for Intelligence and Security (Mossad) operated primarily in foreign countries and conducted counterintelligence. The

A third agency, Shin

Beth, was responsible for internal security, counterespionage, and combatting Arab terrorist

activity.

Finally, a small research unit at the Over

Foreign Office handled political intelligence.

the years the Modin had produced a cadre of experts known worldwide a s the best intelligence people regarding information on the Middle East. The agency

had thwarted other agencies attempts to expand or prepare independent evaluations. This created a

problem; Israel was beginning to realize its military organization was only equipped with research and evaluation facilities t o prepare intelligence data. They were not equipped to pass on their intelligences to the decision makers. There was no apposing

intelligence agency t o provide another opinion. The growth of the numbers of aspects of intelligence affecting Israel grew dramatically during the late 60s and early 70s. The country soon found

itself dealing with vast amounts of data which was beyond the capabilities af a purely military intelligence organization. The military collected,

collated, and evaluated the raw intelligence information. There was no other Israeli government

institution which could evaluate or check the evaluations of the military's intelligence data used to make policies or decisions.
s-

The intelligence system provided no


9 '3

". .

independent political evaluation of the political intentions of political enemies based on the political, as opposed to the purely military situation."
As

Avi Shlaim, noted British historian, stated in his asses~,ment of the Israeli intelligence function prior t o the October War: in the absence of any machinery or staff work at Cabinet level capable of'providing an evaluation of its own o r checking the evaluations presented b y the Director of Military Intelligence, the acceptance of the latter 's C i n t e l liqencel estimates was a forgone conclusion. The influence of Military Intelligence was alsa enhanced by the absence of an orderly procedure for the for-mulation of national intelligence estimates, a situation that left i t t o the professionals t o tell the politicians what they thought the politicians should know, instead of the usual practice whereby the politicians tell t h e professionals what information they need to have." l L Prior to Moshe Dayan's becoming Minister of Defense, uniformed military personnel did not appear before the Israeli Cabinet to present intelligence briefings. Dayan made it a practice to attend meetings

". . .

of the Cabinet and the Foreign Affairs and Security Council of the Knesset, accompanied by the Chief of Staff and the Directory o f Military Intelligence. This

practice decreased the separation between military and civilian responsibilities in the Cabinet. The

combination of military personnel's appearances, their prestige, and t h e lack of any other element's capabilities ta criticize, confirm, or dispute the

m i l i t a r y ' s i n t e l l i g e n c e evaluations, acceptance of

made t h e
17

t h e i r e s t i m a t e s a foregone c o n c l u s i o n .

A s e r i e s of e v e n t s between 1969 and 1972


ending of t h e War o f A t t r i t i o n , N a s s e r ' s death,

the

c e a s e f i r e between Egypt and I s r a e l ,


i n Jordan

and t h e c i v i l war

l e d t o a f e e l i n g i n t h e armed f o r c e s t h a t

an CIrab a t t a c k a g a i n s t I s r a e l was n o t f e a s i b l e p r i o r t o 1975/76.

T h i s was r e i n f o r c e d by I s r a e l i s a t i s f a c t i o n
b o r d e r s and t h e sense of
19

w i t h t h e post-1967

security

those borders offered.

Increased s o c i a l pressures from the p u b l i c f o r decreases i n t h e defense budget and t h e e s t i m a t e s o f t h e Arab.5 i n a b l i l i t y t o conduct a war i n t h e near

future l e d t o significant cuts i n the m i l i t a r y ' s budget. These c u t s impacted t h e i n t e l l i g e n c e

community's o r g a n i z a t i o n s and t h e r e were major r e d u c t i o n s i n p e r s o n n e l and e v a l u a t i o n c a p a b i l i t i e s . T h i s f u r t h e r compounded t h e e f f e c t s on i n t e l l i g e n c e o p e r a t i o n s and e v a l u a t i o n s .


19

F u r t h e r c o m p l i c a t i n g t h e problem was I s r a e l ' s r e l i a n c e on what became known as t h e "Concept." " c o n c e p t " o r i g i n a t e d s h o r t l y a f t e r t h e Six-Day The War and

p r o b a b l y r e f l e c t e d I s r a e l ' s assessment o f E g y p t i a n M i n i s t e r o f War General Sadeq's s u p p o r t f o r an all-or-nothing st rat egy against I srael .
T h e "concept"

05

estimated t h a t :

( 1 ) Egypt would n o t go t o war u n l e s s

she c o u l d n e u t r a l i z e I s r a e l ' s a i r s u p e r i o r i t y by a t t a c k i n g I s r a e l in-depth, e s p e c i a l l y i t s main

a i r f i e l d s and ( 2 ) t h a t Egypt would n o t u n d e r t a k e a major a t t a c k on I s r a e l w i t h o u t a s i m u l t a n e o u s a t t a c k

w i t h Syria.

But,

t h e s i t u a t i o n changed i n 1970 when

Egypt advanced t h e

SAM b e l t t o t h e Suez Canal.

This

meant t h a t E g y p t ' s f o r c e s c o u l d o p e r a t e on t h e e a s t bank o f t h e Canal under an a i r u m b r e l l a , requirement t o s t r i k e a t t h e a i r f i e l d s . deleting the Politically,

Sadat's decision t o i n i t i a t e h o s t i l i t i e s against Israel, break t h e s t a t u s qua, and i n v a l v e t h e

superpowers was n o t as i r r a t i o n a l as I s r a e l i d o c t r i n e assumed. I t r e p r e s e n t e d a c o m b i n a t i o n o f f o r c e and

diplomacy which would s e r v e h i s l i m i t e d aims and g o a l s . By 1973 t h e " c o n c e p t " had n o t been a d e q u a t l y reexamined i n l i g h t of t h e subsequent e v e n t s between 1970 and 1973 date.
1o

i t was s i m p l y o u t of

A p r i m a r y p a r t of

t h e I s r a e l i defense p l a n was

t h e assumption t h a t i n t e l l i g e n c e c o u l d g i v e t h e IDF a t l e a s t 48 h o u r s warning of hostilities. General S t a f f notice. Egyptian i n t e n t t o s t a r t

The Madin had guaranteed t h e I s r a e l i t h e y c o u l d p r o v i d e t h e 48 h a u r s advance t h e General S t a f f worked o u t

O n t h a t basis,

o p e r a t i o n a l p l a n s which i n c l u d e d t h e f o l l o w i n g

Oh

scenari 0 :

(1)

H-hour

minus 48 hours:

t h e intelligence warning

is received.

Regular forces a r e o n full alert and First armored

general mobilization of reserves begins.

reserve formations a r e at t h e front within 24 hours, most available power in 48 hours, and full compliments within 72 hours. Within a few hours of initial

notification t h e air f o r c e is nearly 1 0 0 % manned. Frontline farces a r e reinforced and backup frontline armored units t a k e blocking positions within a f e w hours. Frontline mobile artillery is similarly

advanced and deployed in prepared firing positions.

( 2 ) H-hour

t o H-hour plus 24:

t h e enemy thrust is

effectively contained by ground forces, without too much loss of life or loss of ground. T h e air f o r c e

suppresses enemy air defenses, maintains air superiority, and strikes targets of opportunity. reserve forces reach t h e front and armored forces counterattack
(3)

The

.
plus 72: t h e counterArmored forces break

H-hour

plus 24 t o H-hour

offensive reaches i t s peak.

through t h e enemy lines and envelope them, t h e air f o r c e h a s destroyed t h e enemy air defense system and destroys enemy positions. T h e destruction o f enemy
21

farces lead5 t o a ceasefire.

97

T h i s became t h e f o u n d a t i o n of plans.

t h e I D F ' s defense

The IDF counted on t h e i n t e l l i g e n c e community's

a b i l i t y t o p r o v i d e adequate warnings w i t h no s u r p r i s e s . Conversely, t h e Arabs counted an s u r p r i s e .


I n October

1973 t h e A r a b ' s superb d e c e p t i o n p l a n worked;

Israeli

i n t e l l i g e n c e f a i l e d t o p r o v i d e t h e H i g h Command t h e "guaranteed" 48-hour notification, m o b l i z a t i o n began and

o n l y f o u r hours b e f o r e t h e Arab's " s u p r i s e " a t t a c k , I s r a e l i o p e r a t i o n p l a n s unraveled.

D u r i n g t h e t w e l v e days p r e c e e d i n g t h e October War, t h e Research Department o f t h e M i l i t a r y i n f o r m a t i o n about The

I n t e l l i g e n c e Branch processed l o t s of

t h r e a t e n i n g enemy maneuvers and a c t i o n s .

i n f o r m a t i o n caused some a n x i e t y among many r e s p o n s i b l e authorities, b u t t h e I n t e l l i g e n c e Branch d i d n o t

c o r r e c t l y e v a l u a t e t h e warning t h i s i n f o r m a t i o n contained; t h e y i s s u e d an e s t i m a t e o f war.


=ZI

"law" o r "lower

t h a n l o w " p r o b a b i l i t y of

The Modin m a i n t a i n e d t h e i r b e l i e f i n t h e c o r r e c t n e s s o f t h i s e v a l u a t i o n up t o t h e morning of October. because: They s t u b b o r n l y adhered t o t h e s e e s t i m a t e s first, and foremost, was t h e c o n t i n u e d the

r e l i a n c e on t h e "concept.

As s t a t e d p r e v i o u s l y ,

" c o n c e p t " waa p r o b a b l y v i a b l e between 1967 and 1970, b u t i t f a i l e d t o c o n s i d e r t h e m i l i t a r y and p o l i t i c a l

08

c h a n g e s in Egypt between 1 9 7 0 and 1 9 7 3 .

Secondly, t h e

Intelligence Branch believed that t h e military, political, and civilian indicators o f increased tensian would g i v e sufficient waining t o t h e branch t o mobilize t h e reserves. But that required a political analysis

of t h e intelligence material, and Israel did not have that capability in i t 5 monopolistic intelligence community.

==

A third reason f o r t h e M o d i n s low probabillty

of attack warning w a s t h e high cost of t h e mid-May mobilization, ten million dollars.

1 9 7 3

T h e r e were clear graund f o r c e s

s i g n s that Egypt w a s preparing f o r war:

w e r e moved t o t h e Canal; during t h e previous month 65 r a m p s had been built along t h e Canal; tank ramparts had been built on t h e west bank overlooking t h e Israeli positions; new d e s c e n t s t o t h e Canal had been opened: t h e Egyptian civil d e f e n s e had been mobilized; a black-out w a 5 declared in t h e cities; blood d o n o r s w e r e

called for; and Sadat issued war declarations and talked of t h e upcoming phase of confrontation. The

Modin, however, issued a very low probability of war. T h i s w a s overruled by Chief of Staff General Daniel Elazar and t h e government. T h e r e s e r v e s were Did t h e

mobilized, but t h e r e was no attack.

mobilization stop t h e planned attack, o r w a s Sadat


00

engaging in a subtle game of cry

wolf in order to

lull the Israelis into a false sense of security? Whichever it was, it validated the Modins assessment and proved General Elazar, and those who supported him, wrong. =Indirectly contributing to Israels lack of readiness in October 1973 was their preoccupation with increasing problems from Palestinian guerrillas o r Fadayeen (those who are willing t o sacrifice themselves for the sake of their cause). Objectively, the

activities of the guerrillas were of no consequence, but psychologically, they were important because they hardened the Israeli attitudes towards the Arabs. In

t h e winter of 1972-73 the IDF devoted a large portion of its time ta combating the Fadayeen and terrorist activity. Beginning with the 1972 Munich Massacre, the

guerrillas effectively countered on the battlefield, attempted to disrupt international travel and attack Israeli targets abroad. They were financed and
zs

supported b y all the Arab governments except Jordan.

The Fadayeen presented two problems to Israel, which disrupted their concentration on the Egyptian preparations along the west bank. The first was the

potential that the Fadayeen would exert pressure on Israel t o give up the occupied territories without
100

adequate s e t t l e m e n t terms.

Secondly,

the I s r a e l i s

f e a r e d t h e Fadayeen's harassment o f t h e c o u n t r y ' s day-to-day security, d i s r u p t i o n of i t s orderly l i f e ,

and c r e a t i o n o f

i n t e r n a l s t r i f e and weakening o f morale

t h r o u g h c o n t i n u a l a c t s o f t e r r o r i s m and sabotage.

= .

I s r a e l f e l t i t s m i l i t a r y c o u l d handle t h e f i r s t problem f a i r l y e a s i l y , m i l i t a r y options. t h r o u g h any one o f s e v e r a l

The second problem however caused Constant a c t s o f Sabotage and

them c o n s t e r n a t i o n .

t e r r o r i s m c o u l d e s c a l a t e and might r e q u i r e d r a s t i c supt-ession measures. T h i s c o u l d c r e a t e i n t e r n a l and/or

i n t e r n a t i o n a l p r e s s u r e on I s r a e l t o h a l t t h e measures. Q u i t t i n g under p r e s s u r e c o u l d j e o p a r d i z e I s r a e l ' s l o n g - t e r m quest f o r peace and s e c u r i t y .


z7

O n 28 September two members o f t h e S y r i a n


Fadayeen, t h e Saiqa ( E a g l e s af the Palestine

R e v o l u t i o n ) h i j a c k e d a t r a i n a t t h e A u s t r i a n border c a r r y i n g Russian Jews f r o m Mascow t o Vienna. They

demanded t h e A u s t r i a n s c l o s e Schonau C a s t l e near Vienna. which w a s used as a t r a n s i t c e n t e r f o r t h e Jews

enroute t o I s r a e l .

The A u s t r i a n C h a n c e l l o r Bruno I s r a e l i s were angered They t e m p o r a r i l y l o s t

K r e i s k y agreed t o t h e i r demand. and e m b i t t e r e d by t h i s d e c i s i o n . s i g h t of


=ern

t h e ominous E g y p t i a n b u i l d u p across t h e Cana.1.

'

101

I s r a e l i i n t e l l i g e n c e i n d i c a t e d increased E g y p t i a n maneuvers and b u i l d u p s a l l a l o n g t h e Canal and S y r i a n b u i l d u p s a l o n g t h e b o r d e r on t h e Golan H e i g h t s by 1 October. alarm, These s i g n s s h o u l d have been cause f o r

b u t t h e r e were t w i c e as many s i g n s r e v e a l i n g no The f i n a l concensus t o

apparent cause f o r alarm.

e x p l a i n t h e b u i l d u p was t h e annual E g y p t i a n m o b i l i z a t i o n exercises, r e g a r d e d as v e r y low. and t h e t h r e a t was s t i l l


=tv

O n 2 October,
b u i 1dup and maneuvers,

because o f t h e i n c r e a s e d E g y p t i a n t h e armored d i v i s i on of Major

General Avraham ( A l b e r t ) Mandler was p l a c e d on a l e r t a l o n g t h e Canal by t h e Southern Command. of t h e Southern Cammand, The Commander

Major General Shmuel Gonen;

v i s i t e d t h e Canal Zone and i s s u e d an o r d e r e n s u r i n g a higher s t a t e of a l e r t . preconstructed bridge, The assembly o f a t o be used i f t h e I s r a e l i s

c r o s s e d t h e Canal w a s a c c e l e r a t e d . S i n a i increased s e c u r i t y .

All camps i n the

CI 3 October i n t e l l i g e n c e b r i e f i n g t o t h e
Cabinet i d e n t i f i e d t h e d i s p o s i t i o n of t h e Egyptian l a u n c h i n g an

f o r c e s and i n d i c a t e d t h e i r c a p a b i l i t y o f a t t a c k momentarily.

The b r i e f e r s t a t e d he d i d n o t Chief of Staff

b e l i e v e t h e y were about t o do so.

E l a z a r b r i e f e d on t h e IDF and IAF s t a t e o f r e a d i n e s s

10%

and the IAF and recommended leaving them at their exi.;t.ing strengths.

None of the Cabinet ministers

dissented or asked questions about the intelliqence evaluation or recommendations to increase the alert measures. On the evening of 4 October the Israelis received reports the Soviets were evacuating their families from Egypt. These reports, along with other

reports of activity along the borders, prompted t h e General Staff to order a "C Alert" for the army highest alert condition short of mobilizing t h e reserves

the

- and a full alert for the air force,


This still d i d not undermine

including the reserves.

the confidence of the Modin o r its rating for t h e probability of war.

==I

On Friday 5 October the Cabinet met to be updated on the situation and to make decisions. Along

the Canal the Egyptian Army was at a level o f readiness and deployment not previously seen b y the IDF.

All

five Egyptian divisions were f u l l y deployed, five concentration areas for bridging and crossing equipment were filled, and all the ramps were prepared. The

Israeli division in the Sinai requested reinforcements, including more troops at the etrongpoints along t h e Canal and near the passes 30-35 kilometers east.
10'1

The

chief

of

staff

and t h e Modin r e s t a t e d t h a t t h e

E g y p t i a n s were a t emergency s t a t i o n s e q u a l l y s u i t e d f o r defense as w e l l as o f f e n s e , imminent. and t h a t an a t t a c k was n o t

General E l a z a r suggested t h e p r i m e m i n i s t e r

be g i v e n a u t h o r i t y t o m o b i l i z e t h e r e s e r v e s i f a n y t h i n g unusual happened over t h e Y o m Kippur holiday. The

Cabinet g r a n t e d t h i s a u t h o r i t y b e f o r e a d j o u r n i n g t h e meeting and departed, control. f e e l i n g e v e r y t h i n g was under IDF s e n t a message

General Headquarters (GHQ)

t o t h e Southern Command denying t h e i r r e q u e s t f o r

reinforcements, almost over.

s t a t i n g t h e E g y p t i a n e x e r c i s e was

A t 0430 on 6 October 1973, t h e C h i e f o f


I n t e l l i g e n c e Major General E l i Z e i r a r e c e i v e d a t e l e p h o n e c a l l t h a t I s r a e l i m o n i t o r s had p i c k e d up unmistakable r a d i o t r a f f i c p a t t e r n s of f i n a l preparations for against Israel, a combined E g y p t i a n - S y r i a n attack The

commencing a t l S O Q h o u r s t h a t day.

Modin c o u l d n o t g i v e i t s "guaranteed"
48 hours.

a l e r t n o t i c e of

The s i t u a t i o n was assessed a t a Q6QQ General E l a z a r urged t o t a l m o b i l i z a t i o n and Dayan opposed t h e a i r solely

meeting.

an a i r ' f o r c e p r e e m p t i v e s t r i k e .

f o r c e s t r i k e but favored a p a r t i a l m o b i l i z a t i o n ,

f o r d e f e n s i v e purposes and a warning t o Egypt t h a t

I s r a e l wa5 aware o f

i t s p l a n and prepared t o meet i t .

LO/&

Elazar objected and Dayan took both proposals to Prime Minister Meir for her consideration at 0800. Elazar

went ahead and issued orders for mobilization of several thousand ground force reserves and the air farce. By 0930 Meir had reached her decision, deciding

on Elazar's proposal for total mobilization withaut the air strike and for Dayan's warning. s"The Prime Minister as well as the defense minister wanted t o establish beyond doubt that Israel d i d not want war and d i d not start it, even at the cost of forfeiting to the enemy the advantage of striking first." zws At noon the members of the Cabinet were summoned. Mrs. Meir discussed the situation and the
A

probability of war breaking out late that afternoon. discussion developed about the steps that would be taken to hold the attack prior t o develaping the counterattack. During the discussion, Mrs Meir'i

military secretary interrupted the meeting at 1255 and announced that the war had begun. It began four hour-s

earlier than anticipated and only four houri after mobi 1 i z atian was initiated.
3L

CHAPTEK I V ENDNOTES

* Abraham Ben-Zvi., "Hindsight and Foresight: Conceptual Framework for the Analysis o f Surprise Attacks," World Politics 23 (April 76): 387.

Amos Perlmutter, "Israel's Fourth War, October 1973: Political and Military Misperceptions," 0 2 19 (Summer 1975): 440-441.
Walter Laqueur, Confrontation: and World Politics (1974): 45-46. The Middle East
(1979): 11.

Chaim Herzog, The War of Atonement


a

Ibid.:

4.

of

Yaacov Bar-Siman-Tov, The Israeli-Egyptian War Attrition, 1969-1970 ( 1 9 8 0 ) : 56-57.

Itamar Rabinovich and Haim Shaked (eds), From June t o October: The Middle East Between 1967 and 1973 (1978): 105, 110. Bar-Siman-Tov, War of Attrition:
63. 111.

Rabinovich and Shaked, June to October:


lo

Ibid.:

111-112.

tiathryn A. MacKinney. "Egypt and Israel: The Intelligence Prelude to the October War of 1973," Research paper for Master o f Science in Strategic Intelligence, Defense Intelligence School (March 1978):
8 .

'= Herzog, The War of Atonement: 40; Nadav Safran, Israel: The Embattled A l l y (1978): 281.
Is Avi Shlaim, "Failures in National Intelligence Estimates: The Case of the Yom tiippur War," World Palitics 28 (April 1976): 368.

2e

Herzog, The War of Atonement: MacKinney, "Egypt and Israel":

40.
8.

lL

Shlaim, "Failures":

369.

17

Herzog, The W a r of Atonement:


Ibid.

41.

a-

Mactiinney,

Egypt and I s r a e l :

9.
Israel:

= c . Schlaim,

Failures: Israel:

364-365; S a f r a n ,

282-283.
Safran, Ibid.: Ibid.
a- H e r z o g ,

281-282. 352-353.

283; S c h l a i m , F a i l u r e s :

The W a r o f Atonement:

42,

Safran, End o f

Israel:
Illusion?
3-

283.
The Y o m K i p p u r War:
268.

=a H a r v e y S i c h e r m a n :

(1976): 29.
Israel:

Safran,

z7 I b i d . ; H e r z o g , The W a r o f Atonement: 48. In H e r z o g s book h e s t a t e s t h a t t h e A r a b s t o o k f i v e Jews and a n A u s t r i a n customs o f f i c i a l h o s t a g e and demanded a n a i r c r a f t to f l y t h e m a n d t h e h o s t a g e s t o a n FIrab During t h e n e g o t i a t i o n s t i r e l s k y proposed country. c l o s i n g Schonau C a s t l e .

E d g a r Q R a l l a n c e , No V i c t o r , No V a n q u i s h e d : W a r (1978): 43-44: I n s i a h t Team of t h e . S u n d a y (Lo;\ion) Times, I n s i g h t o n t h e M i d d l e E a s t W a r (1974): 46-48; H e r z o g , The W a r o f Atonement: 48.
zc9

Tho V n m K i n n a l r

...-

__

zc*
30

H e r z o g , The W a r o f Atonement: Ibid.:

45.

45-46. 284.

S a f r a n , Israel:

==
33

Ibid.: Ibid.;

285. Herzog, The W a r of Atonement:


47.

49.

Safran, I s r a e l :
Atonement:

284-286; H e r z o g , T h e War of 52; I n s i g h t T eam , M i d d l e E a s t War: 54.


Israel:

=* S a f r a n ,

286.
,

07

3 6

Herzog,

The W a r af A t o n e m e n t :

54.

CHAPTER V CONCLUSIONS

The perioi

between 1 9 6 7 an( 1 9 7 3 was not the

time of peace and tranquility Israel had hoped would follow the Six-Day War. Conversely, it was one of the

longest periods of conflict experienced in the region. The Israelis had reason to be optimistic following the Six-Day War. They had soundly defeated

the combined Arab armies while sustaining few casualties. Israel ' s borders had been extended and

this provided a buffer zone between the hostile Arabs and Israel 's major population centers. Israel ' s

demonstrated military superiority should have been a warning t o the Arabs that any further hostilities directed against Israel would be severely dealt with. Following t h e Six-Day War the fesling of peace and security was broken by the Egyptian initiation of the War of Attrition. In response, the Israelis

strategy evolved from mobile defense to static defense with weapons acquisitions and tactics continuing for a mobile defense. Israel made large weapon
' 5

purchases

during these years of armor, aircraft, and APCs, armaments best used in mobile operations rather than static defense. Purchases of weapons more idealy
I 0')

suited

for static defenses, and those which Israel

suffered a distinct disadvantage t o Egypt, would have been artillery. Israels military leaders condescending

manner underrated the Egyptian soldiers potential


fighting ability. Both military and political leaders

continually misread Nassers and S a d a t s intentions and their resolve t o regain the occupied territories. believed Nasser and Sadat had alternately tried military and political means, with ineffectual results They

in both.

Premier Meir summed up this philosophy when

5 h e responded to a question in May 1973 about the

possibility of Sadat starting a war: gain nothing by war.

. . . he

can

He knows this.

But all the same

we believe he may act.

I f so we are ready to act.

The Egyptian strategy of attrition led Israel


to devise new weapons, new concepts, and develop previous ones to meet the new challenges. New weapons

developed included electronic countermeasure equipment t o defeat the SAM-2s and SAM-3s.

The static defense

policy was a new concept developed during the War of Attrition. Israeli responses to Egyptian attacks were Commando raids

meant to deter fuvther Egyptian attacks.

deep into Egypt and introduction of the air force escalated the war but d i d little to deter Egypts

a t t r i t i v e war. further

Th@ S o v i e t e n t r y i n t o t h e f o r a y i n 1970

e s c a l a t e d t h e war and i n t r o d u c e d d i r e c t

superpower i n t e r v e n t i o n i n t o t h e r e g i o n a l c r i s i s . I s r a e l ' s c o n s t r u c t i o n o f t h e Bar-Lev a major change i n s t r a t e g y . was c o u n t e r p r o d u c t i v e f o r First, t h e p r o x i m i t y of L i n e was

a d o p t i n g a s t a t i c defense

t h e I s r a e l i s i n t h e l o n g run.

the l i n e t o t h e Egyptian f o r c e s

f o r c e d I s r a e l t o f i g h t a war o f a t t r i t i o n on E g y p t i a n terms, of which i t c o u l d n o t a f f o r d t o do i n terms of Secondly, 1055

l i v e s and l o s s o f equipment.

t h e advance

o f t h e SAM network n e u t r a l i z e d t h e I A F ' 5 a i r s u p e r i o r i t y i n t h e Canal s e c t o r which hampered defense of t h e Bar-Lev L i n e d u r i n g t h e October War. I s r a e l 5 r e l i a n c e on t h e "concept" and

Finally,

t h e m o n o p o l i s t i c m i l i t a r y i n t e l l i g e n c e network were p r i m a r i l y responsible f o r the f a i l u r e t o anticipate the October War. The I s r a e l i s d i d n o t b e l i e v e Egypt was

committed t o s e t t l i n g t h e c o n f l i c t by m i l i t a r y means, r a t h e r t h a n by p o l i t i c a l or d i p l o m a t i c means. The

I s r a e l i m i l i t a r y continued t o b e l i e v e t h e i r m i l i t a r y s u p e r i o r i t y would d e t e r t h e E g y p t i a n s from waging a war i n t h e near f u t u r e and f r o m i n v o l v i n g them i n a


m i 1i t a r y confrontation.

I s r a e l d i d n o t b e l i e v e Egypt had t h e c a p a b i l i t y t o wage a l i m i t e d war, l e t alone a general

war.

They did not discount Egypt's ability t o

undertake a Canal crossing; however, they did not believe that Egypt would attempt that until they had t h e air assets available t o strike deep at Israel's airfields t o neutralize t h e IAF. T o accomplish this,

they would require numerous medium bombers and fighter-bombers such a s t h e SU-7,

MIG-21,

and MIG-23 t o Israeli

simultaneously attack t h e Israeli airfields.

Military Intelligence believed t h e Egyptians could not produce enough pilots and receive enough aircraft prior t o 1975. Therefore, Israel believed Egypt would not g o Sadat sought another 5alution t o

t o war prior t o 1975.

t h e Israeli problem d u e t o t h e pressures he felt from internal problems with student unrest, t h e coming and going of t h e "year o f decision" in 1971 with no action against Israel, and deteriorating public morale. felt h e could not wait until h i s air force could neutralize t h e IAF. In essence, Israel saw t h e world through Israeli eyes.
She failed t o s e n s e t h e Egyptian mood

He

and gauge their deterimination t o regain t h e occupied territories, their honor, and their pride. However,

t h e firab's deception strategy w a s a significant reason f o r t h e intelligence failure.


A combination o f

these

t w o elements did, in fact, delay mobilization o f


!
I

:.'

I s r a e l s r e s e r v e s u n t i l 1000 h o u r s on t h e day o f attack.

the

The E g y p t i a n s i t u a t i o n f o l l o w i n g t h e Six-Day

W a r

was d i s m a l ,

a t best.

The army was u t t e r l y

d e m o r a l i z e d and t h e r e were chargss and r e c r i m i n a t i o n s


of

blame.

Shock,

u t t e r confusion.

and deep anger

p r e v a i l e d t h r o u g h o u t Egypt.

F o l l o w i n g h i s speech

announcing h i s r e s i g n a t i o n and t h e p o p u l a r c a l l f o r h i m t o remain as P r e s i d e n t o f Egypt, Nasser f e l t t h a t he

had a mandate t o r e o r g a n i z e and r e b u i l d t h e army t o r e c a p t u r e t h e l a n d s l o s t d u r i n g t h e war.


T h i s became

h i s purpose and h i s g o a l

r e c o v e r t h e occupied

t e r r i t o r i e s and r e g a i n Rrab p r i d e . The lessons of on t h e E g y p t i a n l e a d e r s . m i l i t a r y a s p e c t s of t h e Six-Day War were n o t l o s t

N a s s e r s assessment o f t h e

t h e war r e v e a l e d s e v e r a l s h o r t f a l l s

i n E g y p t s m i l i t a r y c a p a b i l i t i e s and s u p e r i o r i t i e s o f

I s r a e l s f o r c e s which needed m o d i f y i n g b e f o r e Egypt c o u l d s u c c e s s f u l l y m o u n t a campaign a g a i n s t I s r a e l . The a r m l y s i s c o n c e n t r a t e d on f i v e of t h e s e aspects:

(1) the surprise I s r a e l i a i r attack


w i t h i n t h e E g y p t i a n H i g h Command

( 2 ) confusion
the

( 3 ) i n a b i l i t y of

armed t o conduct a c o o r d i n a t e d m i l i t a r y o p e r a t i o n ( 4 ) l a c k nf g e n e r a l p l a n n i n g and t r a i n i n g f o r t h e S i n a i o p e r a t i o n and (5) poor l e a d e r s h i p and courage a t a l l

l e v e l s of

t h e command.

The E g y p t i a n l e a d e r ' s

energies

d u r i n g 1967 t o 1973 were d i r e c t e d a t c o r r e c t i n g t h e s e problems i n t h e s e r v i c e s . E g y p t i a n e x p e r i e n c e i n t h e Six-Day pointed out several War a l s o

I s r a e l i advantages t o be c o u n t e r e d These

b e f o r e t h e Canal c r o s s i n g c o u l d t a k e p l a c e . were: I s r a e l i a i r superiority, t h e m o b i l i t y of

the I A F s a b i l i t y t o

s t r i k e deep,

I s r a e l i armored f o r c e s ,

and t h e I s r a e l i m o b i l i z a t i o n c a p a b i l i t i e s .
To e f f e c t i v e l y n e u t r a l i z e t h e I A F s u p e r i o r i t y

west o f the Canal and t h e i r a b i l i t y t o s t r i k e deep


w i t h i n Egypt,

a complex,

deep m i s s i l e defense system The network

was c o n s t r u c t e d and i n p l a c e by mid-1973. o f SAM-25, SAM-35, and SAM-6s.

along w i t h t h e p r o v i d e d an a i r

c o n v e n t i o n a l a n t i a i r c r a f t weapons,

u n b r e l l a which s e v e r e l y l i m i t e d t h e IAFs o p e r a t i o n s a l a n g t h e Canal Zone. Movement of t h e m i s s i l e network

up t o t h e C a n a l ' s edge a l s o p r o t e c t e d t h e c r o s s i n g i n October and extended t h e u m b r e l l a 12-15 kilometers east

of t h e Suez Canal.
D u r i n g t h e Six-Day War t h e E g y p t i a n H i g h

Command was r i d d l e d w i t h incompetence and p o l i t i c a l c o n t r o v e r s y which impacted i t s command and c o n t r o l significantly. Nasser r e s t r u c t u r e d t h e High Command t o

r e s o l v e t h e s e problems and c r e a t e u n i t y o f command and

lli

purpose. an army of

He d e p o l i t i c i z e d t h e o r g a n i z a t i o n and formed professional soldiers. The problems eviden.t War d i d n o t

w i t h i n t h e H i g h Comand d u r i n g t h e Six-Day

s u r f a c e d u r i n g t h e Canal c r o s s i n g and t h e f i r s t days o f t h e October War. The E g y p t i a n s conceived a long-range t o recover t h e S i n a i , t h e Golan H e i g h t s , strategy

and t h e West

Bank o f Jordan and Jerusalem.

The s t r a t e g y i n v o l v e d They r e a l i z e d

m i l i t a r y as w e l l as p o l i t i c a l a c t i o n s . whatever m i l i t a r y a c t i o n s t h e y t o o k ,

however l i m i t e d , They o p t e d

would prompt a massive I s r a e l i r e a c t i o n .

f o r a l a r g e a t t a c k which would be expensive t o I s r a e l

i n terms o f manpower and equipment.


preparations f a r training,

They r e a l i z e d

t h i s a t t a c k would r e q u i r e t i m e ,

new t a c t i c s ; , and adequate equipment. New t r a i n i n g methods, new t a c t i c s , and a new

s p i r i t were b r o u g h t t o t h e E g y p t i a n Army between 1971 and 1973 w i t h t h e appointments o f Generals I s m a i l , Shazly, and Gamasy t o t h e p o s i t i o n s of M i n i s t e r o f War,

Chief 04 S t a f f , respectively.

and D i r e c t o r o f Operations, They were t h e " g l u e " t h a t bound t o g e t h e r

S a d a t ' s p l a n e t o change t h e s t a t u s quo i n t h e M i d d l e East. They conducted r e p e a t e d e x e r c i s e s which t r a i n e d

the s o l d i e r s f a r operations required i n the crossing of t h e Canal.

The s o l d i e r s became i n t i m a t e l y + a m i l i a r
I IT'

w i t h t h e techniques,

weapons,

and equipment t h e y would

use i n October

1973.

I s r a e l i armor and mechanized f o r c e s had roamed almost a t w i l l d u r i n g t h e 1967 War.

Ift h e E g y p t i a n
crossing the

i n f a n t r y were t o f a c e t h e s e u n i t s a f t e r canal,

t h e y needed p r o t e c t i o n and a n t i a r m o r L a r g e numbers o f

c a p a b i l i t i e s t o h o l d the bridgeheads. a n t i t a n k g u i d e d weapons (ATGW), Sagger and RPG-7 missiles,

such as t h e S o v i e t

were i n c o r p o r a t e d i n t o a t a l l l e v e l s o f command.

E g y p t i a n t a n k h u n t i n g teams,

This provided a s i g n i f i c a n t l e v e l of s e l f - p r o t e c t i o n f o r the infantry.

A v e r y t h o r o u g h a n t i t a n k defense

a g a i n s t I s r a e l ' s armored f o r c e s evolved. To c o u n t e r t h e I s r a e l i m o b i l i z a t i o n capability, t h e E g y p t i a n s decided s u r p r i s e and speed The E g y p t i a n s initiating

would negate I s r a e l ' s advantage.

b e l i e v e d t h e y had t h r e e t o f o u r days a f t e r

an a t t a c k b e f o r e I s r a e l '5 r e s e r v e s c o u l d be committed
f u l l y t o t h e Counterattack.

The need f o r

surprise

d r o v e t h e E g y p t i a n s t o i n n o v a t i o n about t h e p l a n s f a r t h e crossing. high-pressure The need fat- speed w i t h t h e use o f water pumps t o break t h r o u g h t h e sand To

r a m p a r t s f u r t h e r delayed t h e I s r a e l i c o u n t e r a t t a c k . accomplish t h i s s u r p r i s e ,

t h e y were e x t r e m e l y s e c r e t i v e They mounted

w h i l e p r e p a r i n g t h e O p e r a t i o n Radr p l a n .

I10

an e x t r e m e l y e f f e c t i v e m i s i n f o r m a t i o n campaign. M o b i l i z a t i o n of Egyptian forces, moving t o t h e Canal

and t h e n w i t h d r a w i n g .

was r e g u l a r l y accomplished, s e c u r i t y and

l u l l i n g t h e I s r a e l i s i n t o a f a l s e sense of familiarity.

They analyzed I s r a e l i i d e a s and

p e r c e p t i o n s o f E g y p t i a n f o r c e s and t h e n s u p p l i e d i n f o r m a t i o n which s u b s t a n t i a t e d I s r a e l preconceived i d e a s o f E g y p t s s t a t e o f r e a d i n e s s and f i g h t i n g capabilities. The E g y p t i a n o b j e c t i v e f o r c r o s s i n g t h e Canal was t o b r i n g an end t o t h e s t a l e m a t e and t h e c o n d i t i o n of No War,

No Peace.

I n 1973 Sadat and General

I s m a i l b e l i e v e d t h a t Egypt would n o t a c h i e v e m i l i t a r y p a r i t y w i t h I s r a e l i n t h e near f u t u r e .


f i r m d e c i s i o n t o go t o war.

Sadat reached a

He d i d n o t see any change

i n I s r a e l s i n t r a n s i g e n t views on t h e s t a t u s o f t h e occupied t e r r i t o r i e s . He b e l i e v e d t h a t I s r a e l would

o n l y accept t h e i s s u e s c o n t a i n e d i n R e s o l u t i o n 242 through pressure exerted from e i t h e r t h e United S t a t e s

or t h e S o v i e t Union.
end t h e no war, action!;

Sadat b e l i e v e d t h e o n l y way t o

no peace s t a l e m a t e was t o t a k e

which would f o r c e t h e major p o w e r s and t h e H i s d e c i s i o n t o go

U n i t e d N a t i o n t o become i n v o l v e d .

t o war was a p o l i t i c a l gamble designed t o end t h e stalemate.


He d i d n o t b e l i e v e t h a t d e f e a t was

II?

inevitable.

He and I s m a i l agreed t h a t a l i m i t e d

m i l i t a r y o p e r a t i o n was f e a s i b l e . O p e r a t i o n Badr was developed as a j o i n t s t r a t e g i c o f f e n s i ve i n cooperation w i t h Syria. s p e c i f i c E g y p t i a n t a s k s were t o : The

defeat I s r a e l i forces

on t h e west bank o f t h e Canal by a d e l i b e r a t e a s s a u l t c r o s s i n g aimed a t s e i z i n g f i v e o r more bridgeheads 10 t o 15 k i l o m e t e r s deep; repel I s r a e l i counterattacks: and p r e p a r e

i n f l i c t maximum c a s u a l t i e s on t h e enemy; f o r f u r t h e r missions. G i l d a Passes,

They hoped t o s e c u r e M i l t a and

b u t f i r m Egyptian c o n t r o l of a l a n d on t h e e a s t bank would be

substantial s t r i p of deemed a success.

The o b j e c t i v e was n o t so much t o

produce an o u t r i g h t v i c t o r y o r even m i l i t a r y g a i n s as such, b u t til end t h e s t a l e m a t e and compel superpower

and UN i n t e r v e n t i o n . The p e r i o d between 1967 and 1973 was a c r i t i c a l p e r i o d f o r E g y p t i a n and I s r a e l i m i l i t a r y p r e p a r a t i o n s l e a d i n g t o t h e October 1973 War. This

s t u d y concludes t h a t E g y p t i a n p r e p a r a t i o n s d u r i n g t h i s p e r i o d i n c l u d e d c l e a r m i l i t a r y and p o l i t i c a l o b j e c t i v e s l e a d i n g t o a change i n t h e r e g i o n a l s t a t u s quo. D u r i n g t h e f i n a l s t a g e s o f t h e Six-Day War,

t h e E g y p t i a n m i l i t a r y f o r c e s f i g h t i n g from d e f e n s i v e p o s i t i o n s were destroyed. The E g y p t i a n m i l i t a r y f o r c e s

I18

had been composed o f p o o r l y t r a i n e d s a l d i e r s : incompetent, p o l i t i c i z e d o f f i c e r corps; and an

an

unmanageable High Command s t r u c t u r e . October War, however,

P r i o r t o the

t h e m i l i t a r y was w e l l prepared t o and t h e

conduct o f f e n s i v e and water c r o s s i n g maneuvers,

m i s s i l e u m b r e l l a was i n p l a c e t o negate t h e ICIF a i r superiority. The m i l i t a r y f o r c e s were composed o f the

s o l d i e r s t h o r o u g h l y t r a i n e d and knowledgeable o f weapons. tactics,

and equipment r e q u i r e d t o conduct

maneuvers.

The o f f i c e r c o r p s was l e d by competent, and b a t t l e - t e s t e d p e r s a n n e l aware o f

non-palitical,

I s r a e l ' s s t r e n g t h s and weaknesses and d e d i c a t e d t o a common g o a l

defeat of

I s r a e l i farces,

r e s t i t u t i o n of Arab

t h e occupied t e r r i t o r i e s , pride.

and r e s t o r a t i o n of

The High Command s t r u c t u r e had been permitting clear l i n e s of a u t h o r i t y and

restructured.

u n i t y o f command. The secrecy o f E g y p t i a n p l a n n i n g ; goals, p o l i t i c a l and m i l i t a r y : i t s clear

and t h e m i s i n f o r m a t i o n

program a l s o a i d e d E g y p t ' s a b i l i t y t o move up t o t h e Canal w i t h o u t p r e e m p t i v e a i r s t r i k e s ,


i n 1967.

such as o c c u r r e d

O p e r a t i o n Badr wa5 known t o o n l y a h a n d f u l of o f f i c e r s u n t i l a few days

E g y p t i a n and S y r i a n s t a f f p r i o r to t h e a t t a c k .

Yet t h e E g y p t i a n s were a b l e t o m o b i l i z a t i o n of f o r c e s and

conduct e f f e c t i v e t r a i n i n g ,

119

equipment, and Canal crossing preparations without arousing u n d u e Israeli intelligence suspicions. This

w a s d u e in large part t o t h e carefuly orchestrated misinformation program t h e Egyptians used. planted t o justify and supplement Israeli misconceptions about Egyptian g o a l s and capabilities w a s well placed. Limited military g o a l s t o c h a n g e t h e Information

political s t a t u s q u o w e r e designed t o u s e t h e 1973 c a p a b i l i t i e s of t h e military services. Israel's s t a t u s after t h e Six-Day War was o n e
of

superiority in t h e region.

Iirael f e l t that it

retained t h i s superiority during t h e seven y e a r s following t h e war. T h i s developed i n t o t h e notional

"concept" that w a s t h e b a s i s for Israeli strategy between t h e wars. It w a 5 a viable tool immediately
'5

following t h e Six-Day War when Israel

superiority was

unquestionable, but it failed t o t a k e i n t o account c h a n g e s in Egyptian g o a l s and Egypt's r e s o l v e t o regain t h e occupied territories, pride, and honor after t h e War of Attrition. Israel refused t o believe that Egypt

w a s committed t o settling t h e conflict by military means. T h i s adherence to t h e "concept" contributed t o Israel's intelligence community failure. non-military T h e lack of a

intelligence agency t o act a s a counter-

120

balance t o military assessments of intelligence data contributed t o t h e errars in political evaluations of Egyptian actions. T h e mobilization of reserves, which

Israel w a 5 so dependent upon, required at least 48 hours notification before they could b e effectively employed in battle. T h e intelligence community had guaranteed that notification time and operational plan!; were developed upon that guarantee. hnd finally, Israel's adoption of t h e static defense while equipping t h e military for mobile defensive operations created an atmosphere o f confusion. The Israeli's still maintained t h e T h e strategic depth afforded b y

"mobi 1 i t y " mentality.

t h e Bar-Lev Line and t h e Sinai led t o t h e deterrent strateqy of static defense, a revolutionary doctrine for t h e IDF. This static defense denied t h e IDF t h e

initiative, mobility, and surprise that it was accustomed to; t h e IDF was unable t o s e i z e t h e initiative and t a k e t h e battle t o t h e enemy. Ta summarize t h e preparations leading t o t h e October- War in a f e w short words: t h e Egyptians

learned from their failures and from their knowledge of Israeli strengths and weaknesses during t h e Six-Day War, then vigorously applied corrective measures. The

Israelis analyzed t h e weaknesses of t h e Egyptians and


121

their own strengths after the Six-Day War, then d i d little t o reassess those views, retaining the perception of their strength and the Egyptians weaknesses.

CHAPTER V

ENDNOTE

The Y o m K i p p u r W a r

E d g a r O'Ballance, No Victor, No Vanquished: (1978): 50.

CHAPTER V I SURVEY

OF LITERATURE

T h i s c h a p t e r r e v i e w s p e r t i n e n t l i t e r a t u r e used

i n r e s e a r c h and development o f t h i s s t u d y .

The

m a t e r i a l s used r e p r e s e n t a v a r i e t y o f sources and authors. The main stream of i n f o r m a t i o n comes f r o m

E g y p t i a n and I s r a e l i sources.

A s would be expected,

each n a t i o n a l source p r i m a r i l y f o c u s e s an i t s own p o i n t o f view.


A s w i t h any p r o j e c t which focuses on a

s u b j e c t or r e g i o n w i t h such d i v e r s i t i e s i n c u l t u r e and p o l i t i c s as t h e M i d d l e East, h a r d t o achieve. an unbaised view p o i n t i s

However, by a n a l y z i n g b o t h sources, o r unbiased m a t e r i a l s ,

as w e l l as o t h e r n o n - r e g i o n a l

one can e x t r a c t p e r t i n e n t i n f o r m a t i o n f r e e from t h e b i a s e s a f t h e p r i m a r y sources o f c a t e g o r i e s of books, information. Three

r e s e a r c h m a t e r i a l were used:

periodicals,

and u n p u b l i s h e d m a t e r i a l s .
I n a n a l y z i n g E g y p t i a n p o l i t i c a l and m i l i t a r y

o b j e c t i v e s d u r i n g t h e p e r i o d between t h e Six-Day and t h e October War, Arab-Israeli

W a r

I found John A m o s s book,


Arab
and Yaacov

M i1i tary/Pol i t i c a l Relations:

P e r c e p t i o n s and t h e P o l i t i c s o f E s c a l a t i z , Bar-Siman-Tovs Attrition,

book, The I s r a e l i - E g y p t i a n

WaEf-

t o be i n v a l u a b l e sources o f

information.

Amoss book i s an e x c e l l e n t source o f E q y p t i a n / A r a b

political views and intentions during t h e late 1960s and 1970s.

His analysis, although complex and at t i m e s


He

tedious, is thorough and generally f r e e of biases. relies heavily o n diversified, non-military Arab sources t o formulate h i s analysis

amos intended t o f o c u s on t h e events that led t o t h e October War. He addressed three specific issues:
(1)

t h e factors that led t o Egypt's and Syria's

decision t o attack, and what their strategic and tactical g o a l s were ( 2 ) t h e Arab military operations conducted during t h e war and their assessments of t h e operations and ( 3 ) t h e political and military implications of t h e war with specific references t o t h e superpowers' interests.
To

accomplish t h e assessment of those issues

required a n analysis o f events in Egypt and Syria in previous years, specifically 1971-1973. Egyptian

preparations far t h e October War were conducted with a thorough examination and adoption o f lessons learned t h e 19h7 War.
i n

Amos skillfully assesses those Egyptian

military, political and attitude changes between 1967 and 17'73.


He analyzes t h e series
of

changes in

relationships that occurred inter- and intra-regionally between: Egypt and t h e West, specifically Egypt and

t h e United States; Egypt and varying combinatians of


I25

Arab s t a t e s ;

and Egypt and I s r a e l .

He shows t h e
as w e l l as

changes i n t h e A r a b ' s image o f themselves, t h e Western image o f t h e Arabs.

The "Notes and

References" s e c t i o n c o n t a i n s an e x c e p t i o n a l amount of i n f o r m a t i o n and sources which c o u l d used as a s t a r t i n g p o i n t f o r r e s e a r c h on t h i s s u b j e c t . Bar-Siman-Tov's book examines t h e e v e n t s of


I t i s an

the

War o f A t t r i t i o n between 1969 and 1970. o u t s t a n d i n g source,

a n a l y z i n g t h e m i l i t a r y and

p o l i t i c a l considerations of t h i s l i m i t e d confrontation between Egypt and I s r a e l .

I . f e l t t h e book was

r e l a t i v e l y f r e e o f b i a s and c o n t a i n s a l o g i c a l a n a l y s i s of t h e b e l l i g e r e n t s ' I s r a e l i sources. aims u s i n g b o t h E g y p t i a n and

He r e v i e w s each s t a g e a f t h e war,

d e s c r i b i n g E g y p t ' s and I s r a e l ' s reasons f o r p u r s u i n g s p e c i f i c courses of a c t i o n s and r e a c t i o n s . He

i d e n t i f i e s t h e complex circumetances t h a t a f f e c t e d b o t h t h e expansion and l i m i t a t i o n of r e l a t i o n s h i p s between Egypt, superpowers, t h e war, t h e p a t t e r n af

Israel,

and t h e

and t h e subsequent problems a f f e c t i n g Bar-Siman-Tov

Egypt and I s r a e l a t t h e end o f t h e war.

d i s c u s s e s t h e two p r i m a r y f a c t o r s l i m i t i n g t h e w a r ' s scope and l e a d i n g t o


i t 5

conclusion:

(1) the l i m i t e d

ground c a p a b i l i t y o f Egypt and ( 2 ) t h e e x t e r n a l p o l i t i c a l c o n s t r a i n t s p l a c e d on I s r a e l . He d e s c r i b e s

! 26

t h e Israeli and Egyptian perceptions of t h e results of t h e war. Primarily, Bar-Siman-Tov focuses on each stage

of t h e War of Attrition and examines t h e s e stages from seven paints of view:


(1)

t h e aims of Egypt and Israel

( 2 ) their Strategies (3) t h e different kinds of

military activity they u s e t o achieve their strategies and a i m s (4) t h e principal military means utilized (5) t h e initiatives in belligerent activity ( 6 ) t h e nature of t h e interaction between Israels and E g y p t s activity o n the Canal and (7) t h e diplomatic activity o n t h e part of t h e superpowers relating t o t h e regian. H e asserts t h e transition from o n e s t a g e t o t h e next was caused by escalatory actions of o n e of t h e belligerents. H e describes t h e changes taking place in each belligerents concept of war, a s will a s t h e develcipment of t h e war because of these escalatory moves. Elusive Victory, written by Colonel Trevor N. Dupuy, U.S. Army, retired, is a historical commentary

an t h e Arab-Israeli conflicts beginning in 1947 and ending after t h e October War in 1974. Sources for h i s

work a r e English versions and translations af Arab and 1srael.i documents, interviews with Israeli and Arab military personnel, and United Natians Truce
17

Supervision Organization o f f i c e r s .

The work p r o v i d e s

some v e r y g e n e r i c h i s t o r i c a l d a t a on e v e n t s o c c u r r i n g
i n t h e region.

There i s v e r y l i t t l e i n - d e p t h

analysis

or p o l i t i c a l o r i d e o l o g i c a l aims and s t r a t e g i e s
u t i l i z e d by e i t h e r n a t i o n . The book p r o v i d e s good

c h r o n o l o g i c a l d i s c u s s i o n s o f m i l i t a r y e v e n t s between t h e Middle Eastern b e l l i g e r e n t s . Two books by Chaim Herzog, and The A r a b - I s r a e l i Wars. The War o f Atonement

y research. were used i n m

The l a t t e r book d i s c u s s e s i n d e p t h t h e I s r a e l i view o f t h e War o f A t t r i t i o n . for

I used h i s sequence o f e v e n t s

y t h e t h r e e s t a g e s o f t h e War o f G t t r i t i o n i n m He gave a good a c c o u n t i n g o f t h e m i l i t a r y w i t h a c e r t a i n amount o f b i a s . His

discussion. events o f books,

t h e war,

a l o n g w i t h t h e political/military/ideological book, provide a

concepts o u t l i n e d i n Bar-Siman-Tovs

d e f i n i t i v e a n a l y s i s o f t h e I s r a e l i aims d u r i n g t h e War
of. A t t r i t i o n .

H e r z o g s o t h e r book,

The War o f Atonement,

p r o v i d e d i n f o r m a t i o n about t h e i n t e l l i g e n c e f a i l u r e and I s r a e l i complacency d u r i n g t h e l a s t months o f peace b e f o r e t h e October War.


H i s discussion of the

i n t e l l i g e n c e e v a l u a t i o n o f E g y p t i a n and S y r i a n maneuvers and t h e p o l i t i c a l c o n t u s i o n t h a t ensued d u r i n g t h e s i x days p r e c e e d i n g t h e war i l l u s t r a t e d t h e

12s

fallibility of the intelligence and political climate in Israel. Insight in the Middle East War b y the Insight Team o f the Sunday (London) Times, is an excellent, but limited, source of material. Basically the book is a

compilation of reports from Sunday Times correspondents and reporters, regional Journalists, and documentary material from United States Department of Defense. book deals less with the military aspect of the six-year period of this thesis and more on the political aspect. The substance of the material seems road with n o particular bias.
is

The

to b e very middle-of-the

The Israeli intelligence failure

the theme

of a Defense Intelligence School paper written b y Kathryn CI. MacKinney.


He paper, "Egypt and Israel:

The Intelligence Prelude to the October War of 1 9 7 3 , " discusses the intelligence problems in the United State.; and Israel which led to Israel's lack of

preparedness.

She discusses Israel's perceptions and

belieis in its military superiority and its ability t o halt any Egyptian attack. She continues with the psychological problems i n Israel which decreased its perceptions of the situation and Egyptian intentions. The paper is a goad start for research into Israeli intelligence activities and perceptions following t h e
120

Six-Day War. Edgar O'Ballance's Vanquished: book, No Victor, No

The Yom Kippur War, is an account of the

1973 War compiled from research and interviews

conducted during visits to Israel and Egypt. O'Ballance's account is grandiose i n its style. He
Hs

uses more statistics that most sources I reviewed. gives a good description of the order of battle for both belligerents and provides more details on the

Israeli forces composition and structure preceeding the outbreak. Some facts on the political views of Israel and Egypt are discussed. The Crossing of the Suez, by Lt. General Saad El Shazly, is an excellent source of material on Egyptian military preparations for crossing t h e Canal, the crossing itself, and post-crossing events. Shazly

is very knowledgeable of these events because of his

involvement. a5 t h e Egyptian Chief of Staff, tasked to prepare the crossing plan by Sadat. However, a note of

caution needs to accompany the use of this source. Shazly wrote this book t o counter accusations and misrepresentations made principally b y Sadat of Shazly's role in the October War. In essence, Shazly

had an "ax to grind," and may have given too much credit to himself for h i 5 role in the war.
I")

However,

t aki ng t h i s i n t o consideration, source o f

t h e book remains a goad

i n s i g h t i n t o t h e thorough Egypt p l a n n i n g and

p r e p a r a t i o n f o r t h e Canal c r o s s i n g .

A n e x c e l l e n t source + o r i l l u s t r a t i n g t h e
i n t e r n a l o p e r a t i o n s and t h i n k i n g of t h e r o l e of t,he E g y p t i a n s and period

t h e superpowers d u r i n g t h e 1967-1973 by Mohamed H e i k a l . He was

i s T h e Road t o Ramadan, editor-in-chief of

t h e o f f i c i a l E g y p t i a n newspaper, Minister of I n f o r m a t i o n between

A2

e . and E g y p t i a n
1970 and 1974. Nasser and Sadat. the presidents,

He was a l s o a c o n f i d a n t o f P r e s i d e n t s
A s a f r i e n d and p o l i t i c a l a d v i s o r t o

he was q u i t e f a m i l i a r w i t h t h e e v e n t s He d i s c u s s e s many p e r s o n a l and

b e h i n d t h e scenes.

p o l i t i c a l e v e n t s which g i v e added d e p t h t o u n d e r s t a n d i n g t h e E g y p t i a n process o f r e b u i l d i n g t h e n a t i o n s army and m o r a l e a f t e r t h e Six-Day War.

I used m a t e r i a l f r o m many o t h e r sources, b u t


t h e s e p r i m a r y sources were a good s t a r t f o r s t u d y of
the A r a b - I s r a e l i

c o n f l i c t between t h e Six-Day

W a r and

t h e October War.

CHAPTER V I ENDNOTES

' Jahn W. Amos 1 1 , Arab-Israeli Military/Political Relations: Arab Perceptions and the Politics of Escalation (1979): 3 .
a

Ibid.:

206-208.

of

= Yaacov Bar-Siman-Tov, The Israeli-Egyptian War Attrition, 1969-1970 (1980): 3-4.

'j',
L

APPENDIX

Appendix 1-1 ABBREVIATIONS AND ACRONYMS


1.

APC .- Armored personnel carrier ECM - Electronic countermeasures HEAT - High explosive anti-tank munition IAF

2.

.3.
4.

Israeli Air Force

5 .
4 .

IDF - Israeli Defense Force


PLO

- Palestinian Liberation Organization


missile

7.
8.

SAM - Surf ace-to-air U.N - United Nations U.S. -. United States


U.S.S.R.

4.
10.

- Unian

of

Soviet Socialist Republics

Appendix

1-2

Terms D e f i n e d

1. Air s u p e r i o r i t y : That degree of dominance i n t h e a i r b a t t l e of one f o r c e over another which p e r m i t s t h e conduct of o p e r a t i o n s by t h e former and i t s r e l a t e d l a n d , sea and a i r f o r c e s a t a g i v e n t i m e and p l a c e w i t h o u t p r o h i b i t i v e i n t e r f e r e n c e by t h e opposing f o r c e .
2. Al-Naksa: degeneration.
A r a b i c meaning t h e s e t back o r t h e

Awphibious r a i d : A l i m i t e d type o p e r a t i o n ; l a n d i n g f r o m t h e sea on a i n v o l v i n g s w i f t incursion i n t o , or a occupancy o f , an o b j e c t i v e , f o l l o w e d withdrawal

3 .

o f amphibious h o s t i l e shore temporary by a planned

4. A r r t i - t a n k G u i d e d Weapon S y s t e m (ATGWO: A missile system o f c o m p a r a t i v e l y s h o r t range and h i g h l e t h a l i t y designed f o r use a g a i n s t armor by i n f a n t r y o r a r t i l l e r y units., 5. Arnc.wed F o r c e s : A f o r m a t i o n which c o n t a i n s a preponderance o f armor, e 9 . tanks. armored c a r s and s e l f - p r o p e l l e d guns. U s u a l l y supported by i n f a n t r y i n APCS.
6. Armored P e r s o n n e l C a r r i e r s (APCs): A n armored v e h i c l e w i t h c r o s s c o u n t r y c a p a b i l i t y f o r t r a n s p o r t oi, t r o o p s w i t h i n t h e b a t t l e area.

7. Attack Aircraft: PI fighter-bomber o r bomber a i r c r a f t c a p a b l e o f d e l i v e r i n g c o n v e n t i o n a l o r nuclearweapons.

8. Attrition: The r e d u c t i o n o f t h e e f f e c t i v e n e s s o f a f o r c e caused by l a s s o f personnel and m a t e r i a l .


9. Bridgehead: A n a r e a o f ground h e l d o r t o be gained on t h e enemy's s i d e o f an o b s t a c l e .

10.

Ceasefire:

The o r d e r t o suspend h o s t i l i t i e s .

11. C o u n t e r a t t a c k : A t t a c k by a p a r t o r a l l o f a defending f o r c e a g a i n s t an enemy a t t a c k i n g f o r c e .


12. C o u n t e r f i r e : F i r e intended t o destroy o r n e u t r a l i z e enemy weapons.

13. C o u n t e r i n t e l l i g e n c e : The phase o f i n t e l l i g e n c e c o v e r i n g a l l a c t i v i t y devoted t o d e s t r o y i n g t h e ef f e c t i v e n e s s of i n i m i c a l f o r e i g n i n t e l l i g e n c e a c t i v i t i e s and t o t h e p r o t e c t i o n o f i n f o r m a t i o n a g a i n s t espionage, p e r s o n n e l a g a i n s t s u b v e r s i o n , and i n s t a l l a t i o n s or m a t e r i a l s a g a i n s t sabotage.


14. Deception: Those measures designed t o m i s l e a d t h e enemy b y m a n i p u l a t i o n , d i s t o r t i o n , or f a l s i f i c a t i o n of evidence to i n d u c e h i m t o r e a c t i n a manner p r e j u d i c i a l t o h i s interests.
15. Defense i n Depth: The s i t i n g of m u t u a l l y s u p p o r t i n g defense p o s i t i o n s designed t o absorb and p r o g r e s s i v e l y weaken a t t a c k , p r e v e n t i n i t i a l o b s e r v a t i o n s o f t h e whole p o s i t i o n by t h e enemy, and t o a l l o w t h e commander t o maneuver h i s r e s e r v e .
16. D e m i l i t a r i z e d zone: A d e f i n e d a r e a i n which t h e s t a t i o n i n g , or c o n c e n t r a t i n g o f m i l i t a r y f o r c e s , or t h e r e t e n t i o n or e s t a b l i s h m e n t of m i l i t a r y i n s t a l l a t i o n s of any d e s c r i p t i o n , i s p r o h i b i t e d .

17. Direct fire: F i r e d i r e c t e d a t a t a r g e t which i s v i s i b l e t o t h e aimer.


18. E l e c t r o n i c countermeasures (ECH): The p a r t of e l e c t r o n i c warfare i n v o l v i n g a c t i o n s taken t o prevent or r e d u c e t h e e f f e c t i v e n e s s o f enemy equipment and t a c t i c s employing, or a f f e c t e d by, e l e c t r o - m a g n e t i c r a d i a t i o n s and t o e x p l o i t t h e enemy's use of such radia ti on. 19. E s c a l a t i o n : The sequence o f e v e n t s and t h e a p p r o p r i a t e responses which i n c r e a s e t h e tempo of c o n f l i c t , whether d i p l o m a t i c or p h y s i c a l .

20. Hazima:
21. Haozia:

Arabic f o r defeat.

The s e r i e s o f 17 f o r t r e s s a l o n g t h e f o r w a r d edge of t h e Bar-Lev L i n e .

A q u a l i t y or c a p a b i l i t y o f m i l i t a r y f o r c e s which p e r m i t s them t o move f r o m p l a c e t o p l a c e w h i l e r e t a i n i n g t h e a b i l i t y t o f u l f i l l t h e i r primary m i s s i on.

22. M o b i l i t y :

29. Nobilizatiun: The process by which t h e armed f o r c e s or p a r t o f them a r e b r o u g h t t o a s t a t e of r e a d i n e s s f o r w a r or o t h e r n a t i o n a l emergency.


!! h '

24. M o d i n : The Military Intelligence Branch of Israel's intelligence community which was t h e primary collection, evaluation, and assessment agency.

25. U o s s a d : The Central Institute for Intelligence and Security operating primarily in foreign countries and conducting counterintelligence.
2 6 . Speed o f S o u n d : The speed at which sound travels in a given medium under specified conditions. The speed of sound at sea level in the International Standard Atmosphere is 1,108 ftlsecond, 658 knots, 1 . 2 1 5 km/hour.
27. Strategy: The plans for conducting a war in the widest. sense including diplomatic. political, and economic considerations was well an those of a purely military nature.

28. S t r o n g p o i n t : A key point in a defensive position, usually strongly fortified and heavily armed with automatic weapons, around which other positions are grouped for i t 5 protection. 2 9 . Subsonic: Of o r pertaining to speed less that the speed of sound.
3 0 . Supersonic: Of or pertaining to speed i n excess of the speed of sound.
51.

S u r f a c e - t o - A i r Uissile (SAM): Missile firsd from the ground to destroy enemy aircraft o r missiles.

52. T a o i i m : The 20 strongpoints of the Ear-Lev Line along the Artillery Road, 8-10 kilometers behind the 17 maoziin. o r fortresses.

SOURCE:

by Brigadier P.H.C.

Jane's Dictionary of Military Terms, Compiled Hayward, London: MacDonald & Co (Pub1 ishers) Ltd (1975).

1'77

Appendix 1-3 Weapon's Systems Egypt i an


1. HIG-15 ( N A T O c o d e name Fagot): single-seat, daylight fighter/bomber and interceptor. Low supersonic, single-engined aircraft with one internal gun and t w o underwing pylons for various stores and drop tanks.

..

2. MIG-I7 ( N A T O code name - FreSCCJ): single-seat daylight fighter/bomber and limited all-weather interceptor. Supersonic, single-enqined aircraft armed with t h r e e Z3mm c a n n o n s p l u s underwing pylons for varying t y p e s of ordinance.

3. HIG-I3 ( N A T O code name - Farmer): single-seat fighter/bomber and all-weather interceptor. Supersonic, twin-engined aircraft armed with t w o o r t h r e e 30mm cannons p l u s six external points f o r carrying varying air-to-air o r air-to-ground weapons. * 4 . HIG-21 ( N A T O code naae - Fishbed): single-seat fighter, limited all-weather multi-role, and reconnaisance aircraft. Supersonic, single-engined with twin-barrel internal 23mm gun and four underwing pylons for weapons a r drop tanks. **

5 . WIG-23 ( N A T O code name - Flogger): single-seat, variable geometry tactical attack and all weather interceptor. Supersonic, single-engined aircraft with o n e five-barrel 2 3 m m gun in fuselage belly pack, o n e pylon under center fuselage, one under each engine air intake, and o n e under each fixed inboard wing panel for rocket packs, air-to-air missiles, or other external stores. *MIG-25 ( N A T O code naae Foxbatl: single-seat interceptor. Twin-engined, supersonic aircraft with four air-to-air missiles o n underwing attachments. *6.

7. SU-7 ( N A T O code name - Fitter): single-seat ground attack aircraft. Single-engine with t w o internal 30mm guns and six external pylons f o r rocket pods, fuel tanks, and other air-to-ground munitions. *8.

M I - 8 ( N A Y 0 code nawe Hip?: twin-turbine powered transport helicopter. Capable o f transporting between

25 and 32 pasengers, depending o n variant. up t o 8820 l b s of cargo internally, 6614 l b s of c a r g o externally, o r combinations not exceeding max takeoff load of 8820 lbs.

SAM-,? ( N A T O code name - Guideline): medium r a n g e surface-to-air missile. Radio commanded with a highexplosive promixity-fuse, solid propellant booster and liquid propellant suetainer capable of Mach 3 . 5 . Range of 40-50 kilometers and max ceiling of 18,000 meters.
9.

***

1 0 . SAM-J ( N A T O code name - Goa): two-stage, short.-.range surface-to-air missile. High-explosive. proximity-fuse missile with solid propellant booster and sustainer rocket capable of Mach 2+. Range of 25 kilometers and ceiling of 13,000 meters. ***
11. S A n - 6 ( N A T O code name - Gainful): single-stage. f ull y mobile surf ace-to-air missi le. High-expl osive, proximity- o r impact-fuse, rocket-ramject engine missile capable of Mach 2.8. Maximum high-altitude range 60 kilometers and low-altitude maximun range of 30 kilometers and ceiling of 18,000 meters. -*-

1 2 . AT--.3 ( N A T O code name - Saggerl: portable surfaceto-surface guided antitank missile. A wire-guided, line-of-sight, solid propellant, two-stage missile with a ranqe of 500-3,000 meters.

---

1 3 . RPG-7: antitank grenade launcher with a rocket-assisted HEAT round having a n effective range of 300-500 meters and capable of penetrating 320mm of armor plate. -*** 1 4 . ZSU-23: four-barrel 23mm automatic low-level antiaircraft gun with a rate of f i r e of 3,400 round/minute. It h a s an effective r a n g e of 2,000/2,500 meter 5:. --* 15. T - - 3 4 : medium tank with an 8 5 m m gun and two 7.62mm machine g u n s manned by a crew of f i v e (commander, gunner-, 1 oader , driver , and hull gunner) ***--

1 6 . T - - 5 4 : main battle tank with a l00mm rifled-gun, t w o 7..62mm machine g u n s and o n e 12.7mm antiaircraft machine gun. Manned by a crew of four (commander, gunner, loader, and driver.) -**-T-54

17. T - 5 5 : main battle tank with s a m e armament a s t h e less t h e 12.7mm antiaircraft machine gun.
I '?O

Improvements over t h e T-54 included a more powerful engine and modified transmission, stabilized gun platform, and increased ammunition capacity. Manned by a crew of four. ***-1 8 . T-62: main battle tanks developed from the T-55. Armament included one 115mm smooth-bore gun, one 7.62mm machine gun, and one 12.7mm antiaircraft machine gun. It has a crew of four. Improvements over the T-55 included a larger engine and improved transmission, increased range, improved suspension, and fully stabilized gun platform. ---*19. P - 1 2 ( N A T O code name - Spoon R e s t - A ) : early warning. very high frequency radar used in conjunction Mobile in two with the SAM-2 Guideline missile. vehicles - one carrying the generator and the other carrying the antenna array and radar consoles. --*

Israeli
1. F - 4 ( N A T O c o d e n a m e - PhantnR): Single- o r dual-seat all-weather interceptor and ground attack aircraft. Supersonic, twin-turbojet engine aircraft with external mounted ZOmm gun and underwing pylon attachments f o r assorted air-to-air and air-to-ground munitions and missiles.

2. A - 4 ( N A T O code name - Skyhawk): single-seat light attack aircraft. Subsonic, single-engine aircraft armed with two 20mm cannons and wing pylons for assorted air-to-ground munitions. *

SOURCES :

Rill Gunston: An Illustrated Guide to the A r c 0 Publishing Modern Soviet Air Force. New York: Company Incorporated (1982).
Jane's A l l the World's Aircraft (1985-1986). Jane.5 Publishing Company, Limited ( 1 9 8 5 ) .

**
London:

+++

Jane's Weapons Systems (1985-1986). London: Jane's Publishing Company, Limited (1985).

+*+* The Sovlet War Machine: C\n Encylclopedia of Russian Military Equipment and Strategy. New York: Chartwell Books, Incorporated (1976).

+++++ Janes World Armored Fighting Vehicles.


York:

New

St. Martins Press ( 1 9 7 6 ) .

# Bill Gunston: An Illustrated Guide t o U.S. Air Arco Force: The Modern U.S. Air Force. New Y o r k : Publishing Company Incorporated ( 1 9 8 2 ) . ##

John Jordan: An Illustrated Guide t o Modern Naval Aviation and Aircraft Carriers. New Y o r k : Arco Phblishing Company Incorporated (1983).

APPENDIX 2

Appendix 2-1

MEDITERRANEAN SEA

Palestine Pre-1947 PALESTINE Under BRITISH MANDATE

I &'I

Appendix 2-2

MEDITERRANEAN SEA

J e w i s h State

Es7
UNITED NATIONS PARTITION PLAN
1947
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