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Soldier in the SinaiA General's Account of the Yom Kippur War$
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Emanuel Sakal

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780813150802

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813150802.001.0001

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Initial Blunders

Initial Blunders

(p.79) 2 Initial Blunders
Soldier in the Sinai

Emanuel Sakal

University Press of Kentucky

The units of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) that were hurled into the fighting bore the brunt of the initial blunders that affected the entire campaign. Errors were made at all levels. On the strategic level: the concepts for decision and warning were not updated, the reservists were not mobilized on time, war aims were unclear or unachievable, the defensive and offensive plans were not integrated, and assessment of the enemy was faulty. On the operational level: there were insufficient forces for a simultaneous two-front decision, the Israelis were ignorant of the Egyptians’ offensive plan, the chief of staff was unfamiliar with Sinai, the Israelis were certain that this was a war of attrition, there was limited transportation for tanks, mistakes were made in the buildup of ground forces, and there was no corps headquarters. On the tactical level: tanks were unable to counter infantry antitank weapons, there was a shortage of infantry equipment, the purpose of the Egyptian ramps was misperceived, the rear defensive line was unprepared, the IDF was indifferent toward the enemy's massive buildup of antitank weapons, and there was a gap between strongholds in the central sector.

Keywords:   IDF blunders, mobilization, antitank weapons, corps headquarters, decision and warning, October 1973, Israel, Egypt, Six-Day War, Yom Kippur War

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