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Belmont Club

The Stand of the Centurions

October 30th, 2013 - 2:21 pm

In a few days it will be time to recall the 50th anniversary of the JFK assassination. But as Haaretz points out, the 40th anniversary of a far more monumental event — at least for Israel — came and went last month without being much remarked. More than 40 years ago in October Israel came within an ace of being destroyed by a brilliantly planned Syrian armored attack across the Golan heights.

A friend of mine, then a child, told me about the terror in his town as terrible rumors circulated that the Syrian tanks would be there by nightfall. And by rights they should have been. Yet what should have happened didn’t. What occurred instead was something that occurs only in fiction but which on this occasion happened in fact. A little over 150 Centurion tanks (referred to as Shot by the IDF) and 4 batteries of M-109s had stopped more than ten times their number before they could reach the Jordan or the Sea of Galilee, as slated by the Syrian high command to occur within 36 hours of the jump off.

The Yom Kippur war in the Golan was the equivalent of Pearl Harbor and the Alamo rolled into one. In the days prior to the Yom Kippur War, the IDF committed every strategic mistake possible. They discounted the fighting power of the Egyptian and Syrian Army. They misinterpreted the deployment of virtually the entire Syrian army even as it uncoiled itself before the very eyes of its lightly defended observation post on Mount Hermon. They crucially underestimated the power of new Soviet AAA systems accompanying Arab forces. They did not understand how the tank infantry equation had been changed by the new wire-guided antitank missiles.

And they nearly paid for it with the life of Israel.

The Syrians and Egyptians, by contrast, proved what military historians often teach: that defeat instructs more than victory. Smarting from the humiliation of the Six Day War the Arabs purged their armies of many incompetents and, swallowing their pride, let the Russians plan the attack.  The result was a multi-echelon assault plan in the best STAVKA tradition unleashing almost 1,500 tanks and more than 1,000 artillery pieces on Israeli positions on the Golan.

According to the plan the Syrians would pin down the Israeli forces in the center and worm their way around the northern and southern flanks behind a classic Soviet storm of fire. They would open the assault with a heliborne assault by 500 Syrian airborne troops against the 40 men on Mount Hermon, blinding the IDF. Then under cover of a barrage, they would send division after division of tanks, never reckoning the cost, across an anti-tank ditch and crush the hated Jew.

It almost worked.

What in hindsight provided the margin against the Syrian plan were actions by the local IDF commanders, who exercising their discretion, reinforced the Golan to the extent possible without mobilization.  In other words, they played a hunch in disregard of official policy.

“On Rosh Hashana eve, the Israeli 7th Brigade was ordered to move one battalion to the Golan Heights to strengthen the Barak Armored Brigade, under the command of Yitzhak Ben Shoham. The brigade commander Avigdor Ben-Gal concluded that something would happen on Yom Kippur. He ordered his artillery troops to survey the area and prepare targets and firing tables. He held a meeting with his battalion commanders to go over the main points of the operational plans that were previously implemented in the Israeli Northern Command. Without notifying his superiors, he took them on a tour of the front line. By 12:00 on Yom Kippur, 6 October, the brigade was concentrated in the Nafakh area.”

It was one of those inspired guesses that change the course of history. In this case it probably saved the life of Israel itself.

Nevertheless when the storm broke things went to pieces in a hurry. The Syrian artillery smothered any radio signal their funkers could find. The IDF commanders would no sooner stop and issue orders than shells would rain down on their heads. The Israeli air force, which had been counted on to stem any tide until armor could be brought up from depots, was blasted from the skies by SAMs, losing more than 50% of the aircraft they sortied over the Golan in the first hours.

And the Syrians were brave. IDF gunners watched, with a mixture of admiration and horror, as the Syrian tankers endured hit after hit as they attempted to place bridges across the anti-tank ditch. Finally sheer numbers prevailed and the Syrians swarmed across.

For Arab Honor

For Arab Honor

Then night fell; covering the battlefield with a darkness which the Syrians — equipped by the latest Soviet night vision systems — could pierce and the Israelis could not. Now across the ditch and on the escarpment a terrible duel ensued between groups of tanks, with the Syrians heavily outnumbering their foes.

What happened next has been explained in terms of superiority of training, the advantage of interior lines and sheer luck.

Israeli units improvised. Like some living organism shattered units reconstituted themselves under neighboring commands. Officers commandeered whatever came up the road and improvised groups to stem the Syrian advance.

Training helped too. IDF tankers literally fired 3 times faster than their Syrian counterparts due to their proficient drill. The M109s somehow illuminated the battlefield in order to give the Centurions fitful glimpses of the Soviet-supplied armor crawling like beetles over the slope in which to target and hit them. The IDF fought with the desperation of men defending their families. Tanks moved back to alternate positions sometimes with only one round left and resupplied themselves by caches hidden earlier by truckers who ceaselessly labored up and down the roads. By a hundred expedients the Centurion tanks of the IDF inflicted casualties at rates of up to 25 to 1.

Yet it might not have been enough had fortune and America not taken a hand. The Syrian ground commander, Omar Abrash, a graduate of the US staff college, was killed while leading from the front just when Syrian victory seemed certain. The other commanders were less inclined to press forward. In particular the Syrian armored spearhead fatally paused their attack on the evening of October 7, not willing to believe there was nothing in front of them.

That halt provided time for the IDF to get two divisions into the fight. That halt allowed time for US aerial resupply to provide ECM packages that gave the Israeli Air Force back the skies.

By Oct 8, the IDF had stabilized the line. Oct 11 saw the start of the IDF counterattack. On Oct 13 the IDF had reached the outskirts of Damascus. The game was over; the army of Damascus destroyed. The Syrian Army had nearly won; gotten almost everything right and only one thing wrong.  Yet that mistake had cost them everything.

For the IDF victory was purchased at great price. It marked the end of confidence and the beginning of a terrible awareness of their dependence on American resupply. The Yom Kippur War cost Israel the equivalent of a single year’s GDP. Nearly 800 IDF men died on the Golan alone, a huge number in so small a country. The Barak Brigade, the original defenders of the escarpment, were no more.

But the Syrian tanks, as my friend recalled, never came to their village that night nor on any other.

Haaretz argued that for 40 years the epic battle on the Golan has been forgotten history. Though a few books have been written on it,  no blockbuster Hollywood movies have been made about it; nor has it entered into legend as have Midway or June 6, 1944. What remains of that struggle today is the Golan itself, deceptively bucolic under the Mediterranean sky. The battlefield is now remembered as the Valley of Tears, after the countless Syrians who died on its slopes. The survivors, once young men, are now in their 60s and 70s.

For memory there is the relic of a single knocked-out Centurion tank standing guard still. You can see it in the upper left hand side of the photo below.

Valley_of_Tears


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Top Rated Comments   
An undisclosed number of years ago I wrote a little on the Yom Kippur War. The Rule of Thumb is that an attacker needs three times the combat power to dislodge a competent defensive force. The Arabs had more than that and lost. Israelis have been clear that man for man the individual Arab was as brave as, better equipped than, and sometimes as well trained as the Israeli. The difference I submit was and still is cultural.

The Israeli on the front line knows that everyone has his back. His lieutenant and his colonel and the general and the radio operator and the truck driver and the cook, everyone the whole nation in the purest sense of a Nation in Arms, have one focus and that is supporting him in that foxhole.

Consider the position of the Arab advancing on him. He knows deep down in his bones that his officers despise him, that the colonel and the supply staff are selling his food out the back door, and that no one gives a damn about his family except to use them as propaganda displays. Even if the reality was that serious reforms had been made that would not reverse the inertia of cultural knowledge. The Arab may fear and hate Jews but who can he trust? When the worst happens it is still those same Jews he will turn to for medical care.

Once Iran has the bomb the only way to prevent the cargo ship from Allah detonating in NY harbor, or LA etc, would be an inspection regime so draconian as to cripple commerce. True that under the impending de Blasio debacle NY may become a ghost town anyway but even those with no love for the place should know this is a Bad Thing.

Just this evening my mother snapped at me that Nixon was antisemitic. The Democrats wave that red herring with their left hand even as they draw the noose with their right. One cultural difference between the Arab I spoke of before and the one Israel would face now is that today the Arab will know in his bones that Israel is alone. Even if the US did come to the rescue of Israel, and we may no longer have the supplies to do so, the cost would be much higher today because the attackers will begin with greater confidence.
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42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
Please keep in mind always that Israel is in a perpetual state of peril. The first time I stood on the Golan Heights and looked down it made me think of a spot on Mulholland Boulevard looking down on Ventura Boulevard below in Southern California. Only then did I see with my own eyes the fragility of Israel's border villages.

Some years later when I stood by the so-called fence at the so-called purple line, and could see the power station on the shore of the Mediterranean Sea less than ten miles away from Arab territory, I had the very same sensation.

The survival of the State of Israel should be enough to make one believe in God.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
Fantastic, wretchard, top of your game. Thanks.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (68)
All Comments   (68)
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One of the enduriing myths of the 1973 war was the effectiveness of ATGMs. The Army looked at the data and found that the anti-tank missiles had a lower kill probability than the German 88 under similar tactical conditions. In their contempt for Arab infantry the Israelis simply launched unsupported armored assaults against entrenched Egyptian positions using the same tactic that the British used in their offenses in the Western Desert in 1941 and they had same results. Later in the campaign they adopted a combined arms approach that was successful.

The war on the Syrian front was very much like what NATO would have faced if the Soviets ever crossed the inter German border. According to several Russian emigres I had met who had been in the Soviet Group of Froces in Germany the results would have been the same as the Syrian attack in the Golan. Probably true right up until NATO ran out of ammunition
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
One of the things that did come out of this was doctrine for defense against ATGW's. These were rapidly adopted by the Israelis (within days) and then by the US. Successfully, too.
The big weakness of the AT-3 Sagger was the need for the operator to keep the missile on target, which could be over 20 seconds at long range. That, plus a huge launch signature, gives the target a lot of opportunity.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
The US adapted combined arms teams in WWII. Armored divisions were organized in brigade sized units called Combat Commands. Each brigade consisted of 1 tank battalion, 1 mechanized infantry battalion and 1 self-propelled artillery battalion. After the failed experiment in the pentagonal division organization from the 1950s, the US Army adopted the WWII armored division organization for all mechanized units. the only difference between an Mechanized Infantry division was a single tank battalion in the armored division,i.e, the Mech division had 6 infantry battalions and 4 tank battalions while the armored division had a 5/5 split. There were other difference in attached units. Even battalions would break down into tank heavy or infantry heavy teams. All US mechanized formations had sufficient infantry to suppress ATGM crews.

The Israelis suffered heavy losses in the early phases of the war because they launched waves of tanks with no supporting infantry against entrenched positions with good anti-tank support. See Operation Crusader launched by the British in 1941 in the Western Desert to see what happens when you do that. The Israeli infantry was also not properly equipped. Like make German units after 1944 they were equipped with submachine guns instead of rifles. That is why they took such heavy casualties at the Chinese Farm in the Sinai just like the submachine equipped German units that took extreme losses against American infantry with their M-1s.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
Fascinating!

And it was both odd and ironic that the IDF did not have jammers suitable to handle the CW guided SA-6 missile - since the Hawk that we, and I believe the IDF as well, employed, used CW rather than the pulsed radar of the SA-2.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
"the IDF victory was purchased at great price. It marked the end of confidence and the beginning of a terrible awareness of their dependence on American resupply." wretchard

Yes and every carefully considered, measured calculation that Israel has made since that war has been the result of Israel's belief that they cannot survive without American support. That dependence has led to a series of choices that has led to this impasse and Israel now sees the gallows that it is being led to.

Iran is certain that Obama will do nothing. Israel lacks the conventional resources to stop the Iranian nuclear program and a Israeli nuclear first strike is a political non-starter. No doubt Obama has privately made known to Israel that if it attacks Iran, American support of Israel will be 'threatened'...

Israel also knows that Iran is probably not a direct threat, reportedly the Supreme Ayatollah, the actual top dog very much likes his private pleasures, such a man does not commit suicide by launching a nuclear missile attack against Israel.

The real danger to Israel from Iran getting the bomb is the nuclear proliferation among unstable, third world nations that will inescapably result in jihadists getting their hands on nukes. They are certain to use them.

Israel can stop none of this because it believes its survival to depend upon American support and Obama has made known that American support is dependent upon Israel's 'cooperation' i.e. obedience to Obama's will.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
I remember a friend of mine, a young lady who was dating an Iranian military attache at the time, telling me matter-of-factly how the "Arabs were giving the Israelis a shellacking" (her words). That was early on. I shrugged and replied, "just wait."
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
It's tough to get your mind around the idea of a primitive, murderous, absolutely genocidal religion and culture in this day and age. You can second-guess George Bush prior to 9-11 or Golda Meir prior to the Yom Kippur War all you want, but the fact remains that the true Satanic evil of Islam is rarely, if ever fully-comprehended by any individual person.

Its just hard to believe. I've been studying it for years, and constantly come across new historical accounts of the evil of this religion that are just breathtaking.

Does anyone doubt that had the Egyptians soldiers or the Syrian tanks managed to break into Israel proper, that a murderous, systematic, genocidal wave of civilian extermination would have taken place? Does anybody really doubt that Israel would have been absolutely depopulated?

Just recently, I have been studying another rampage of Islamic murder, this one just 20 years old. The Battle of Mogadishu in October 1993. Imagine this if you can (and you probably can't): massive organizing to attack and kill a UN-sanctioned strictly humanitarian military force, which has its sole purpose the distribution of food and medical care to a famine-stricken land (and Islam has birthed most of the biggest famines in human history, incidentally) where already millions of people had died of starvation. And then mass demonstrations of overjoyed and wildly-celebrating participants dragging those dead soldiers through the streets. It is impossible to overstate the evil here. Bill Clinton was excoriated for the debacle (unfairly, in my opinion), but who could have imagined that such a thing could happen? And that from this amazingly-evil battle that Osama Bin Laden would crow a new ideological justification for mass-murdering civilians in the United States? With NO official response or rebuttal whatsoever from ANY established Muslim cleric ANYWHERE in the world!

REALLY? You can't say one word of condemnation for slaughtering soldiers trying to get food to starving Muslims? REALLY?

It is a persistent failure of imagination that prevents any of us from comprehending the true extent of Islam's horrific evil.

Just test yourself, and with standard internet search tools it is easy to do. Just research the history of some country that you have never given any thought to (say Madagascar, or Siam, or Ceylon). Randomly choose some 10 year historical period (say 1780-1790). I can guarantee you that very few countries and times have managed to escape brush with the relentless evil of Islam. You almost certainly will find a breathtaking example of truly heinous evil using my suggestion.
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42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
Islamic scribes boastfully chronicles its mass murdering history, which is available online also, Evil in Evils on word describes the beheading of tens of thousands at a time in their India Campaigns alone! Most will not accept it as truth only because the numbers are to high to believe but they are true, Islam has murdered more than Communism and all the World Wars combined. Islam is the Religion of Death, it is the Religion of Lucifer himself, Mohammad the Crazy spoke directly to Satan and Mohammad admits it in the Qur'an!
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'm astonished how few people have grappled with the history of India, and the many thousands of Hindu, Jewish and Buddhist Temples and Christian churches that were forcibly (through mass-murder of priests, monks and Holy Men) converted to mosques just in one country!

Just one forgotten part of the world in a completely forgotten part of history.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
The Iraqis took losses in the Yom Kipper wWar as well. They based some of their aircraft in Egypt and Syria and carried out raids from there. They later sent Migs to help out on the Syrian front, and when they flew into the area and announced their presence the Syrians just told them to "Get in there and fight!" So they entered the combat area without their IFF's set to the right codes and promptly lost 6 of their Migs to Syrian SAMs. They ended up losing 21 aircraft in the war.

The Jordanians also sent their 40th Armored Brigade to support the Syrians. And reportedly North Korean pilots manned some of the Egyptian aircraft.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
We can assume, unless Israel does something drastic in the very near future, that Iran will have the bomb. No one else has the slightest intention of doing anything to stop them. All talk to the contrary is cheap, to be valued in units of used toilet paper.

So what now? That is the question. What could possibly deter the Iranians from launching a nuclear strike against Israel? The Iranians seem to think that their country will still survive nuclear strikes but Israel cannot. Would the equation change if the Iranians thought they would be utterly destroyed? Despite their stated willingness to suffer substantial damage in pursuit of their religious and political goals would they really be willing to try if the consequence would be the destruction of 99% of their population? I don't know. But Israel can raise the consequences of a nuclear exchange and let them know through discrete channels.

Two words: cobalt bombs.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
Why should Iran mount a nuclear attack against Israel and face certain nuclear retaliation when they can attack us with impunity? A couple of rust bucket bulk carriers or tankers just off our east and west coasts, missiles they already have with adequate range to loft a nuke into the atmosphere a few hundred miles inland, and the EMP puts most of America in the middle of the 19th Century for a very long time. At most the President would make a speech, which only locals would hear because most radio and TV would be inoperable, and the government would convene an investigative committee to deterime who did it and what we did to them to make them angry. Of course the immediate suspects would be rogue right wing billionaires.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
Could that be the planned incident to roll out martial law?
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
Fanaticism by definition is a stranger to logic. That said, why should Iran launch a nuclear strike against Israel in which there would be no doubt that Iran was the aggressor and that a retaliatory strike was certain, when all the Iranians need do is put a nuke on a pleasure craft and sail it into Tel Aviv's local harbor? 42% of Israel's population lives within Tel Aviv's greater metropolitan area and it is Israel's cultural and financial center.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
I don't think it would make a difference. I really doubt the Israelis would be fretting over proof beyond a reasonable doubt as to the identity of the attackers before making a move. I don't know what their strategic doctrine may be, but if it was up to me it would be along the lines of nuking all of the usual suspects and letting God sort them out.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
You're referring to some variant of the Samson option. Certainly there would be many Israeli's demanding such a response. There would however be just as many who would demand caution and restraint because of as wretchard puts it, " a terrible awareness of their dependence on American" support.

A President Obama or Clinton is going to tell the Israeli's that they can't act 'impulsively', that responsibility must be certain and that besides, all Iranian's can't be punished for the actions of 'rogue' elements. Especially as Iran's Mullahs will be in underground bunkers well outside of Tehran.

The destruction of Tel Aviv would arguably end Israel's societal viability, it being a blow that Israel couldn't recover from and if so, the remaining Israelis would have to consider the need for other countries to emigrate to but if Obama was pissed at the Israeli's for engaging in a nuclear conflict (liberal schoolyard rules; it doesn't matter that it was a response on Israel's part) and refuses to allow Israeli emigration into the US, how will other Western countries react?
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
>>>There would however be just as many who would demand caution and restraint because of as wretchard puts it, " a terrible awareness of their dependence on American" support. <<<

Ah, but what if Israel came to the not unreasonable conclusion that "American support" is a convenient fiction. And that the government of the United States [remember the government and the country are two very different entities] was actively on the other side?

Mention has been made of an EMP strike on the US, delivered by a sea-launched Iranian missile. And indeed, we have watched the Iranians do practice launches with their modified SCUD's in just such a modality. The reason that the Iranians are training for that attack mode, is because they do not have the missiles to do such directly from Iran.

If you can launch a satellite massing about 150 kg, into a selected orbit with a perigee of 160 miles or so, you have a countervalue ICBM. I direct your attention to Israeli satellite activity since 1988. And the *Shavit* launcher system.

If you were Israeli, and knew that your country and people had been betrayed to their deaths by the government of the United States ....

Subotai Bahadur
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
And from a purely moral sense, a country betrayed would oblige itself a portion of its "dying sting" to the country so betraying. They might even term it, "The Benedict Arnold Reply."

BOHICA Baby!
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
All true. And the Shavit space booster is also known as the Jericho ballistic missile. Whereas the Shavit has limited capability due to severe range safety restrictions, the Jericho does not - you do not worry about upsetting people with overflights if you are going to nuke them. Being a solid fuel missile the Jericho does not need much prep time.
So the IDF does not need to worry about aircraft overflight restrictions if push comes to shove with Iran or anyone else. No doubt they can do a fine job on Iran with nothing but Jericho if they want to make all the walls come tumbling down. As for accuracy of their missiles, please note that US space boosters have been known to use Israeli guidance computers.
In terms of EMP attacks, those generally are thought to require thermonuclear capability, fusion weapons rather that fission - but I ain't saying even what little I know about that subject.
And of course, the IDF has some missile defenses. It is interesting to consider what might result from a failed Iranian missile attack on Israel, perhaps intercepted. If I had a say in it it would be hard to resist the urge to present it as a short round that accidently got Assad - and then reply in kind.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
No. Under those circumstance the Israelis would know their country was lost if they did nothing. They would take revenge if nothing else. Iran, Iraq, Syria, Egypt, and potentially the gulf states also would all be nuked.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
Sorry, but that would only make the greater part of Iran inhabitable for perhaps 100 to 150 years. To rid the world of Jews, Iran would definitely make that trade. (Yes, they ARE that nutty.)

To destroy the "Great Satan", Iran might even try detonating their own cobalt bombs - a dozen in freight containers at major port cities (including Norfolk, San Diego, and Kings Bay), a half dozen ought to get through Homeland Security's defenses; it would leave America weak and of little consequence for 50-100 years.

Yeah, Barry, let's go parley with those Persian Shiites. That'll put Israel in it's place, and bring peace to the Middle East. You know only you are THE ONE who can get it done.

/end sarcasm
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
Regardless of retaliatory consequence for the perpetrators, it will be the domestic reaction to successful nuclear terrorist attacks against the US that will be most consequential. As it will result in both the implementation of near permanent (for the duration of the emergency) nationwide martial law and a 'fortress America' public mind-set.

Martial law, under an Obama or Clinton administration will result in the nullification of key provisions of the Constitution, such as Habeus Corpus’ requirement that a person under arrest be brought before a judge or into court, the 2nd amendment’s individual right to bear arms and the 22nd amendment’s limitation on Presidential term limits. Since there is precedent, under martial law the left will be able to legally nullify key constitutional provisions that previously obstructed the full implementation of their agenda.

The nationalization of entire industries judged to be ‘critical to national security’ is also predictable, as is the creation of a national ‘police’ force.

The FBI has previously stated before Congress that the chance of a future WMD attack upon the US mainland is, in their judgement 100% and Obama’s capitulation and Neville Chamberlain type appeasement guarantee that consequence.

Given that ALL of Obama’s actions are leading to a future nuclear terrorist attack and/or sovereign bankruptcy, both of which will result in martial law, it is highly unlikely that this is accidental.

At some point the left will take ‘off the gloves’ and make their bid for unchallengeable power. In my judgement, it will happen once the 'manufactured crisis' creates the 'opportunity' to declare nationwide martial law.
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42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
What is coming has already been postulated in "Vandenberg" written by Oliver Lange. Exactly "how" the United States eventually succumbs to totalitarian Soviet rule is not specified, except to note that 4 million in DC die and that lack of command and control effectively checkmates America's response to invasion. Perhaps that "event" in our world results from the "flexibility" Obama promised to the Russians some months before the last election. In the book it is explained that the American people's response to the Kennedy assassination gave the Soviets the "epiphany" as to how easy America would be to invade in a blitzkrieg action nullify any effective response.

What with the almost complete wussification of the vast majority of today's male population (with only 1 or 2% of the males volunteering to fight for their country and so many of those, if not killed or badly wounded)...Hell, who's going to fight?

O/T - Check this out about our fallen brothers and sisters are not even being respected by the Obama administration...and the Flag officers are not even respecting the soldiers that have fallen under their command. Despicable!

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/10/29/mccaskill-demands-pentagon-answer-for-fake-recovery-ceremonies-for-military/?intcmp=latestnews

Is nothing sacred anymore when it concerns the leadership of the President of the United States? He must truly hate this country with a blinding white-hot passion.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
An undisclosed number of years ago I wrote a little on the Yom Kippur War. The Rule of Thumb is that an attacker needs three times the combat power to dislodge a competent defensive force. The Arabs had more than that and lost. Israelis have been clear that man for man the individual Arab was as brave as, better equipped than, and sometimes as well trained as the Israeli. The difference I submit was and still is cultural.

The Israeli on the front line knows that everyone has his back. His lieutenant and his colonel and the general and the radio operator and the truck driver and the cook, everyone the whole nation in the purest sense of a Nation in Arms, have one focus and that is supporting him in that foxhole.

Consider the position of the Arab advancing on him. He knows deep down in his bones that his officers despise him, that the colonel and the supply staff are selling his food out the back door, and that no one gives a damn about his family except to use them as propaganda displays. Even if the reality was that serious reforms had been made that would not reverse the inertia of cultural knowledge. The Arab may fear and hate Jews but who can he trust? When the worst happens it is still those same Jews he will turn to for medical care.

Once Iran has the bomb the only way to prevent the cargo ship from Allah detonating in NY harbor, or LA etc, would be an inspection regime so draconian as to cripple commerce. True that under the impending de Blasio debacle NY may become a ghost town anyway but even those with no love for the place should know this is a Bad Thing.

Just this evening my mother snapped at me that Nixon was antisemitic. The Democrats wave that red herring with their left hand even as they draw the noose with their right. One cultural difference between the Arab I spoke of before and the one Israel would face now is that today the Arab will know in his bones that Israel is alone. Even if the US did come to the rescue of Israel, and we may no longer have the supplies to do so, the cost would be much higher today because the attackers will begin with greater confidence.
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42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
For an Antisemite Nixon sure sold the IDF a lot of late model US weapons years before the Yom Kipper War, and backed it up with massive resupply as well the Alert (which included ALL US forces, including Guard and Reserve, not just the nukes).

Prior to the 6 Day War the IDF had mainly French and British weapons - in contrast, Jordan had U.S. and British weapons. When the Jews proved to be embarassingly capable those countries turned their back on Israel, and the US picked up the slack and then some.

The IDF was even offered the latest thing we had, F-111, but turned it down - wisely, but maybe they would not have screwed around with fixing the airplane as we did for so long.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
http://freebeacon.com/moscow-conducts-large-scale-nuclear-attack-drill/

Odd that Putin would be subverting his secret pal Obama's fast-moving crippling of the American strategic deterrent.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
My first reaction in reading this was to, quite literally, Remember the Alamo.

At least this time the good guys were more or less successful.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
...Damn, Boyo. You know your history of battle. What did Heraclitus write ? Out of every 100, 10 shouldn't even be there. 80, are just targets. But 9 are fighters and we need every one because they make the battle. But 1, just 1, is a warrior.................and he brings the others back.

...The Israeli's had more warriors. That's why they speak Hebrew, not Arabic, today.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
An episode of Greatest Tank Battles (available on Netflix streaming) gives a good account. "The October War: Battle for the Golan Heights."
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
I watched it with my grandsons.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
I agree. One of the most memorable of series.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
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