Pillar of Defense and the Arab Amnesia Syndrome

On October 6, 1973, Egypt and Syria launched a surprise coordinated assault against Israel.  In those first few days, the situation was indeed grim.  In the south, some 700 Israeli soldiers manning the neglected Bar Lev fortifications along the Suez Canal faced off against 100,000 Egyptian soldiers backed by 2,000 tanks, thousands of artillery pieces, and hundreds of SAM batteries.  In the north, on Israel's Golan Heights, the situation was no less desperate.  Two understrength armored brigades comprising some 177 Israeli tanks were all that stood between 1,000 Syrian tanks and Galilee. Despite these overwhelming odds, the Israel Defense Forces stood firm and quickly reversed the situation.  By October 24, just eighteen days after the Arabs commenced their aggression, the Egyptian army was on the brink of collapse, and Israeli forces were operating with impunity over a large swath of Egyptian territory on the West Bank of the Suez Canal.  The Syrians too...(Read Full Article)

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