Israel -6 day war, Yom Kippur War

Discussion in 'History Forum' started by Phillip, Jan 23, 2005.

  1. Phillip

    Phillip
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    When Israel fought the six day war and won with such hands-down defeat to its enemies it became quite egotistical as far as war was concerned that when the Yom Kippur war broke out, Israel almost lost the war.

    The REAL question is, would Israel have really lost the war or started World War III?

    It is well known that Israel has nuclear warheads. It was said that these weapons (although all low-yield tactical) were actually unlocked and readied for use.

    Nixon knew about this and supposedly used the hot-line to the USSR for the first time to discuss the issue with Breznev (sp?). We all know today that the hotline was a teletype machine, but supposedly this is the first and only time it was used.

    Nixon asked Russia to move tactical nukes protecting their assets near the Aswan dam in Egypt up closer to the boarder into striking range of Israel.

    Israel was then notified of this, but luckily the war had already changed to a decisive Israeli win on both the Golan heights and the southern battlefield.

    Israel had many attacks on the four-lane highway from Jerusalem to Tel-Aviv (then two lane). There are numerous memorials up and down this road showing places where terrorists had killed civilians. Due to this reason, Israel pushed back the line all of the way to the Jordan river to provide a buffer zone.

    The same thing happened with the Golan heights. Syrians would fire mortars at various times from the heights into the cities across the lake of Galilee. Children grew up living in bomb shelters and even sometimes going to school in bomb shelters to keep from being injured or killed.

    Israel took and kept the Golan heights to provide this buffer zone.

    I was wondering how many people realize just how close the middle east came to nuclear war in the Yom Kippur war (possibly even closer than the Cuban missile crises.)?

    Nuclear war in the middle east could have easily launched world war three. The question is, in hind-sight Nixon did the right thing, but what if Israel did not start winning the war. Would all out nuclear exchange taken place? Would this exchange have spread out to the allies of each country? Basically, US against USSR?

    Discussion. . . . . . . .
     
  2. LRL71

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    I had just recently finished a book written by Abraham Rabinovich titled "The Yom Kippur War: The Epic Encounter That Transformed the Middle East". It was a fantastic book!

    I think that Rabinovich's studies on the subject would differ than yours regarding the reasons why Nixon had ratcheted US military readiness to DEFCON-3 (it may have been DEFCON-2?). I don't have the book with me right now, but I'll post a summary of Rabinovich's comments in a later post. He does agree that the US and the USSR were closer, for a shorter period of time, to war during the Yom Kippur War than we were during the Cuban missle crisis. The Yom Kippur war started badly for the Israelis, and if it weren't for the foresightedness of an Israeli general to have put more tanks on the Golan Heights just days prior to the Arab attack, the Israelis might have lost a good portion of Galilee to the Syrians.

    As to your comments about the Soviets having nuclear warheads in Egypt, Rabinovich points out that this was not the case. The Soviets had given the Egyptians Scud missiles, loaded with conventional explosive warheads, or possibly chemical/biological warheads, but these were under full Soviet control and would not be used unless the Soviets would allow it. The Egyptians did get permission to fire a small number of missiles toward the end of the war, and all of these such weapons had conventional explosives in them.
     
  3. Dr. Bob

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    The War of Atonement (Yom Kippur) shows how low the Moslem mindset and should have sent a real warning into American thinking. Attacking civilian targets on the highest holy day was only a prelude to later chemical warfare (Iran v Iraq) a decade later, rape of Kuwait another decade later, and 9.11.

    America villified Japan's "day of infamy" but has blown off the Moslem history of attacks (most on Israel or on Arab nations, so who cares?) of deceptive, sneak nature against soft targets.
     
  4. Phillip

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    He's wrong. Russia WAS under control of the warheads, but they were tactical nukes to prevent full fledged invasion of Egypt and YES, this WAS the first and only time the Washington-Moscow hotline was used.

    In reality, the Golan heights was a slaughter until Israeli air-force started turning the tide of the war allowing equipment to be moved to the Golan heights. Isreal came REAL close to loosing that war on all fronts. A large portion of Galalee was NOT the problem, they were down to country survival and Russia was not on Israel's side.

    As Bob said, the war was started knowing that the Israel Holy Day would leave the troops at home, but Israel tricked the Egyptians by sending non-important personnel home and keeping the prime fighters on duty and had everybody return early.

    The Egyptians kept all of their tanks hidden by building a huge sand dyke in the desert. They patrolled the area with MIGS and wouldn't allow the Israeli fighters close enough to see what was behind it. The CIA did not share that hundreds of Russian made tanks were sitting behind the wall of sand. Simple fire hoses removed the sand quickly allowing the tanks to pass into Israeli occupied territory.

    At least two Israeli planes (KFIR-C-2) were outfitted with one tactical nuke each. You know, two of the seventy nukes that Israel denied having after America just happen to drop enough weapons grade plutonium into the ocean in a part too deep to recover it, but would make just about exactly 70 tactical nukes.

    Not only was I a young news correspondant during the war, but was also filled in several year later by the Israelis AND the Egyptians when we built ground-to-air digital communication systems for their (both) new F-16s in approved sales from the US. Officers from both countries confirmed the story.

    Just try running high-speed data down old Russian telephone wire that wired all of the Egyptian bases. The Egyptians had a real problem when Russia quit supporting their old tube-type equipment and they needed to upgrade. The contracts were made through the US government Israel and then to Egypt. (Yes, Israel helped with the contract to build back Egypts defense system.) Today you will find Israel electronic components in Egyptian ground-to-air equipment.

    By the way, the Israeli jets had already had the safety's pulled from the bombs and were five minutes from take-off to strike on the Golan heights where the war was going so badly.

    Israel learned a lot from this war and lost a lot of arrogance at the same time.

    Luckily the Israeli air-force is the best in the world and all of the Arabs used standard Russian tactics which were easily predictable to the trained Israelis. :cool:
     
  5. Phillip

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    Yes and Israel gets the heat when they retaliate because a Muslim decides to blow himself up (to get his 72 virgins) in a shopping-center in metro Jerusalem.

    Israel is more tolerant than I would be. Every time I have been there the Arabs had free run of the entire old city and the entire East Bank.

    You could certainly tell when you went from Israeli owned portions of the cities to Arab owned, simply by the smell of raw sewage.

    Besides the Israelis allowed the Arabs to sit and smoke their hash in big water pipes inside and outside of the old city walls.
     
  6. LRL71

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    Phillip,

    I've also been to Israel three times (1997, 1999, and 2000), and could testify to your comments as being very accurate. The old city of Jerusalem has a 'distinct' smell to it!

    As to Rabinovich's book, I am curious to know if you had read it. He seems to strongly lean leftward, but gives a good documentary to what happened during the Yom Kippur War. Rabinovich also stated that the 'hotline' was first used during this time between the USSR and the USA. I was curious to see why Nixon's reaction was so strong, as it seemed to Rabinovich that his reaction was much more pronounced than it should have been. Perhaps Rabinovich was being naive about the full nature of the US military alert to Defcon-2.

    I hope to post a summary of Rabinovich's book soon, but I've got some work to do right now! This is an interesting topic and I'd like to hear more about your experiences.....
     

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