At 2p.m. on October 6 1973, during the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur, the neighboring Arab states of Israel Egypt and Syria launced a two front surprise attack that targeted the Sinai in the south and the Golan Heights in the north. As both of the assaults proceeded during the early morning hours of the Yom Kippur War, the Egyptian and Syrian armies outnumbered the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). The IDF was spread thinly across Israeli occupied territory (since the victory in the 1967 Six Day War). I will discuss my concept of operation on the Golan Heights region.
I personally give thanks to the Armchair General for the presentation of this battle scenario. From this scenario I designed an original concept of battle.
Massing powerful forces along the Golan heights, they attacked in two echelons. The north to south echelon consisted of, 1) 40,000 infantrymen of the 7th, 9th, and 5th infantry divisions. They were mechanized instead of being purely infantry. Syria based their military infrastructure upon the Soviet Union’s (their principal superpower, and military advisor). Each Syrian infantry division contained, 1) an organic armoured brigade of 130-200 tanks, 2) other mechanized units such as BMP-1 (fully tracked armoured vehicles, and 3) BTR-60 (wheeled armoured personnel carriers).
Lined up behind each of Syria’s infantry divisions, the second echelon contained the 1st, and 3rd armoured divisions that had, 250 tanks each. Both echelons had, 1) approximately 1,400 tanks (using mostly T-54/55’s with 100mm guns, and about 400 T-62’s – with 115mm mounted guns), 2) BMP-1’s with 73mm guns, and 3) BTR-60’s with heavy machine guns. Syrian support included, 1) 1,00 artillery guns and heavy mortars, 2) 100 fully tracked SAM-6 surface to air missle launchers, 3) mobile ZSU 23-4 anti aircraft artillery systems (50 round bursts from 4 23mm radar guided cannon).
My immediate threat is the column moving northwest along the Ramtania-Nafkh road. They are approaching in a single column. This column is composed of a tank battalion and mechanized battalion from the 43rd mechanized brigade, 9th infantry division consisting of, 1) 40-50 armoured vehicles – T-54/55 and t-62 tanks, 2) BMP armoured fighting vehicles, 3) BTR-60 armoured personnel carriers, and 4) a number of unarmoured wheel vehicles transporting ammunition and supplies.
Waiting for the reservist to arrive, there is a 40 mile stretch of road along the Golan front. My force is outnumbered in tanks, infantrymen, and artillery. Overall my brigade has, 1) 170 tanks, 2) 60 155mm howitzers, 3) two infantry battalions (one north and one south on the Golan heights), 4) 200 infantrymenmanning 10 strongpoints on hillsides facing the Syrian border (20 soldiers per garrison). The Golan region favors defense by, 1) not ideal for mechanized warfare (north-mountainous, center and south-basalt rock fields that have old volcano cones, 3) my IDF engineers have constructed an antitank ditch running 20 miles along the center and south sectors (most vulnerable to mechanized attack), and 4) the topography can channel enemy movementslimiting a rapid advance to certain roads and tracks within the area.
The IDF integrated the terrain features into it’s defensive scenario (designed to give us more time, and has preregistered the artillery to strike the roads and their junctions, positioned large minefields (channeling enemy attacks, deployed engineering assets (cut the roads leading out of the highlands), and wired bridges over the Jordan River for demolition as a last resort.
I get the call to action at 2:30am on October 7th from my brigade commander. Arriving at the road at 2:40am, I estimate that the Syrian column will arrive in 20 minutes. Briefing my tank company, we await the column.
My concept of this operation:
Capt. Zamir – Having 10 centurion battle tanks (three of the tanks have searchlights mounted on them), I proceed to my intercept area (Ramtania-Nafkh road). I position my tanks; (2) at 45 degree angles in front of the advancing column (one with searchlight), (2) tanks each side of the road (searchlight on each side of the road), and (2) tanks in reserve . I next request two Frelon gunships (standoff distance with one each side of the road, and an artillery battery dedicated to my position (preregistered road). While hidden, my artillery will fire on the preregistered road in a rolling barrage from front to back of the column with my helicopters directing artillery fire and lending assistance. With my tanks hidden and knowledge of Syrian battle tactics, I disrupt their communications and take out the armoured vehicles and then their lightly armoured vehicles and support trucks in that order.
My brigade commander will follow suit by; 1) set up a similar attack force waiting for the second echelon, 2) monitor Syrian message traffic (and Egyptian) for possible air and artillery support, disrupt their lines of communication and send a false communication calling for Syrian artillery and air support to cause fraticide (shell their own people – both echelons), 3) use the rest of the brigade as a reserve force (maneuver), 4) plan a reverse preemptive strike, 5) fight a delay/holding action until my reserve force arrives, 6)contact higher headquarters of my progress (ensure adequate communications).
Higher Headquarters (division/corps level) will; 1) notify the prime minister who in turn will contact the U.N., United States, and Russia (negotiate for a UN resolution of this conflict), and use a tactic to get UN forces to be deployed in a demilitarized zone (frees up more of my troops for combat action), 2) because of the battlefront will direct the reserve forces as appropiate, 3) request support from our allies (United States, etc.). Higher headquarters will have the military lawyers work on, 1) the legal justification of our strategy, 2) moniter humanitarian needs, 3) work on interrogating what prisoners we take, 4) determine the public and private necessity protocol, and 5) draft cease fire, end of hostilities, resolution, UN zones, and write up a UN speech to jjustify our actions and retaliations to this preemptive strike.