I have studied the 1973 War between Israel and Egypt/Syria throughout my military career. I am a 20 yr (77-97), retired, Army Master Gunner who realized that the armor strategies and techniques of my time were a product of the lessons learned by the Israeli Armor Corps during the Yom Kippur War.
For myself, I always took that war as a small scale version of what the US Army was facing in Europe....
Out numbered 5 to 1 in all aspects of combined arms, how do you win?
The Army sent Gen Don Starry to Israel to see if the "Death of the Tank" was in fact true. Had modern Anti-tank technology (Sagger/RPG) render the tank obsolete?
After an intense interview process and a "Staff Rides" along the Golan and Egyptian fronts, Gen Starry came away with a few insights....
1) "On the modern battlefield, If you can be seen, you can be killed."
2) "When outnumbered 5-1, if you get the first shot in, and it's a kill, the odds have immediately switched to 2-1 in your favor."
3) "Small Unit Leader Initiative make or break a fight."
4) "Long Ranged (2000m +) Gunnery Techniques are force multipliers."
5) "Highly trained NCO's in all aspects of Gunnery and Fire Control Maintenance are needed." (Thus the birth of the US Army Master Gunner Program)
6) Working within the framework of Combined Arms, Armor still dominated the battlefield.
The two sources of information that I have embraced in regards to my information are "The Yom Kippur War: The Epic Encounter That Transformed the Middle East by Abraham Rabinovich, and " Heights Of Courage by Avigdor Kahalani, Donn A. Starry."
The Yom Kippur War, by Rabinovich is an excellent read that covers the whole war. Besides getting down to the individual soldier, it also looked into the highest levels of command, within both the Israeli and Egyptian structures.....a must read on the topic!
Kahalani and Starry's book, "Heights of Courage" is told from the Israeli side. An amazing first hand account of the battle that the 77th "OZ" tank battalion fought in the northern sector of the Golan Heights.
Thus this AAR...........Great job by Alan for the conversion! (Thank you)
This AAR will try to follow the historical fight and the actions taken by the Israeli participants (primarily the 7th Ar Bde) throughout the play through of the scenarios. Follow the first hand accounts of the battle, I will base my moves/decisions on those actions taken as they are recorded in both books noted above. When results deviate from the historical outcome, I'll let ya know.
I always find this a fun exercise in the "What If"
Mid Sept, 1973...Maj Gen Yitzhak Hoffi, Commander Northern Front stood atop one of the volcanic cones on the Israeli side of the ceasefire line on the Golan Heights. He could see the Syrian encampments straddling the road leading to Damascus. The Syrian's normally maintained three divisions on the Golan, but now there were more tanks and artillery then he ever saw before.
What bothered him even more was he could see that the Syrian's had deployed their mobile SAM 6 batteries forward, thus denying the IAF the airspace over the Golan and also into eastern Israel.
Opposite the 177 tanks Israel had on the heights Yom Kippur morning, Syria had 1,400. Opposite Irael's 11 artillery batteries, Syria had 115. Opposite 200 Israeli infantryman manning the ten strongpoints along the 40 mile front were three Syrian infantry divisions with 40,000 men. Had it not been for Gen Hoffi's decision to bring the remainder of Col Ben-Gal's 7th Bde up onto the heights, the ratio of tanks would not have been 8-1, but rather 18-1.
The last of the 7th Bde's tanks arrived on the morning of the 6th and joined the others in there holding areas in the northern part of the heights.
6 October, 1400z... Col Ben-Gal, had called a meeting with his Bn commanders at Nafakh to announced that war would break out at 1800hrs. He had seen the Syrian dispositions days before, and had come to the conclusion that this would not be a limited attack. Just as the last of the commanders were arriving, four Syrian Migs appeared overhead and dropped their bomb loads on the camp....
Currently there were two tank battalions, totaling 77 tanks from the 188th Bde commanded by Col Ben-Shoham. The northern Bn was commanded by Ltc Yair Nafshi, the southern by Ltc Oded Erez.
"Opening Round" takes place north of Kuneitra in Ltc Nafshi's Sector....
(ps......I rewrote this opening post and removed the initial situation picture as neither were the ones I intended to upload)
< Message edited by bootlegger267 -- 3/17/2017 2:52:37 PM >