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Suez Canal 1973 war maps

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Egyptian war plan:

 

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Stage 1 - Operation Badr:

Under the SAM umbrella from the western bank (seven heavy and two medium SAM brigades), five Egyptian infantry divisions cross the Suez Canal (180 meters wide, 163 kms long) into the Sinai Peninsula, in between the Israeli Bar-Lev front-line fortified strongholds (blue circles).

Heavily equipped with AT weapons, the Egyptian troops cross by DL-10 rubber boats, use high-pressure hosepipes to breach the Israeli sand wall protecting the eastern bank and establish pontoon bridges for the successive Egyptian AFV crossing.

After securing their bridgeheads and encircling the front-line Israeli strongholds while repelling IDF armor assaults, the five Egyptian divisions advance east across the whole front and take the second-line Israeli posts (blue squares) on the higher terrain along the Artillery Road, 10-12 kms east of the canal, within a day or two.

 

Northern sector:

135th independent infantry brigade crosses the canal near Ras Al-Ash - At-Tina, south of Port Fuad (the northern 10 kms of the eastern bank were already in Egyptian hands before the war). Note that driving off-road in the At-Tina Plain - Sabkhat Al-Mallaha area is impossible due to the salt marsh saline clay soil.

 

2nd field army:

18th infantry division, reinforced with the elite 15th independent armored brigade (T-62s), crosses the canal near Al-Qantara - Al-Ballah Island.

2nd infantry division, reinforced with the 24th armored brigade (from the 23rd mechanized infantry division), crosses the canal near Al-Firdan - Al-Firdan Bridge (destroyed since 1967), between Al-Ballah Island and Ismailia.

16th infantry division, reinforced with the 14th armored brigade (from the 21st armored division), crosses the canal near Serapeum - Deversoir, between Ismailia and the Greater Bitter Lake.

 

3rd field army:

130th marine brigade crosses the Bitter Lakes by its amphibious AFVs (BTR-50/OT-62, PT-76, BRDM-2) at Kibrit Peninsula (this move is not shown on the map).

7th infantry division, reinforced with the elite 25th independent armored brigade (T-62s), crosses the canal near Ash-Shallufa, south of the Little Bitter Lake.

19th infantry division, reinforced with the 22nd armored brigade (from the 6th mechanized infantry division), crosses the canal near Al-Kubri - Suez.

1st mechanized infantry brigade (from the 6th mechanized infantry division) crosses the canal following the 19th infantry division and heads south on the Gulf of Suez eastern coastline road towards Ras Misalla, Ras Sudr and At-Tur, teaming-up with the commandos along the way.

 

Not shown on the map:

Heliborne commandos land at Tell Al-Farama - Baluza - Rumani, NW of Jabal Umm Marjum, at Bir Umm Jarf - Ras Al-Jundi and at Abu Rudays (off the map) - Ras Sharatib (off the map).

Naval commandos sail from Bir Adib and land at Ras Sudr, sail from Ras Za'afrana (off the map) and land at Ras Mal'ab (off the map) - Abu Znayma (off the map) and at Abu Rudays (off the map) - Ras Sharatib (off the map).

 

 

Stage 2 - The Operational Halt:

Egyptian infantry divisions (heavily reinforced with additional armor, AT and artillery forces) entrench themselves in at the eastern bank and repel IDF reserve armor assaults for 7 days. Egyptian SAM sites are deployed at the eastern bank, preparing for Stage 3.

 

 

Stage 3 - The major armor offensive into the heart of Sinai (optional, if IDF tank and fighter aircraft losses are heavy enough):

Egyptian armored and mechanized infantry divisions cross the Suez Canal, assault and take central Sinai within 4-5 days.

 

2nd field army:

15th independent armored brigade, along with 18th infantry division forces, advances to Baluza, Rumani and Misfack. Note that much of the terrain around Al-Qantara resembles the At-Tina Plain - Sabkhat Al-Mallaha area, with limited off-road mobility.  

23rd mechanized infantry and 21st armored divisions cross the canal at the 2nd and 16th infantry division sectors respectively and advance to At-Tasa and Bir Al-Jifjafa. The aforementioned infantry divisions advance to At-Tasa.

 

3rd field army:

4th armored division (the flagship formation of the Egyptian Armor Corps) crosses the canal at the 7th infantry division sector and, along with the 25th independent armored brigade, advance to Bir Al-Jifjafa.

7th infantry division advances through Al-Jidi Mountain Pass. Its brigades consolidate positions at both pass ends and east of Jabal Sahaba

19th infantry division advances through Mitla Mountain Pass. Its brigades consolidate positions at both pass ends and around Jabal Al-Hamma.

6th mechanized infantry division (with just its 113th mechanized infantry brigade) crosses the canal at the 19th infantry division sector, heads south towards the SW opening of Wadi Sudr, advances NE through the wadi and consolidate positions around Ras Al-Jundi.

 

 

Note that some of the roads were different than they are today and that the Suez Canal has been widened after the war on the expense of the eastern bank. See CORONA Atlas for comparison. 

 

Edited by Iarmor

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Posted (edited)

The forces deployed on October 6th at 14:00:

 

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Israeli army:

 

252nd armored division, aka the Armored Forces in Sinai, is responsible for western Sinai. Its 14th armored brigade is at the front-line while its 401st armored brigade is training in Central Sinai. The next rotational front-rear swap between the two M48A3-equipped brigades, which takes place every 3 months, is scheduled for October 7th.

Due to the increased state of readiness, the 252nd armored division is reinforced with the 460th armored brigade. The 460th is formed of Armour School instructors, officer cadets and TC trainees, considered the IDF armor elite. The Armor School courses were halted and the men were flown to Bir Al-Jifjafa on October 5th. They manned M48s taken from the Bir Ath-Thamada emergency warehouse (these belonged to reserve elements of the 252nd armored division), as well as Centurions left behind at Bir Al-Jifjafa by the 77th armored battalion of the 7th armored brigade (the 77th was flown from Bir Al-Jifjafa to northern Israel several days earlier, in order to reinforce the reinforce the 188th armored brigade in the Golan). In wartime the 460th is supposed to join the reserve 162nd armored division, which is commanded by the Armor Corps CG Avraham Adan.

 

Blue circles are manned Bar-Lev front-line fortified strongholds, 15-25 infantrymen each. Their IDF code names, north to south: Budapest, Oracle (two adjacent strongholds), Lakhtzanit, Derorah, Ketubah, Milano, Mifreqet, Hizayon, Purqan, Matzmed, Laqeqan (Tell Salam, marked with a triangle for some reason), Botzer, Lituf, Mefatze'akh, Nisan (aka The Village), Masreck (aka The Pier). The last (southern) 3 are manned by a company of the 904th infantry battalion, while the others are manned by the 68th infantry battalion (two companies, of the reserve 16th infantry brigade). Empty front-line strongholds (about as many as the manned ones) are not marked. Note that most IDF front-line strongholds were wiped off when the Suez Canal was expanded eastwards, so their former location is currently in the canal waters. See CORONA Atlas for comparison.

Tank firing ramparts (unmarked on the map), nicknamed fins, are scattered along the front-line.

Blue triangles are seldom-manned observation posts. The post on the shore north of Baluza is code named Traclin and the Ras Misalla post is code named Egrofit.

Blue squares are second-line posts on higher terrain, about 10-12 kms from the canal, harboring armor companies (of the frontal armored brigade) or artillery batteries. Their IDF code names, north to south: Yoram, Martef, Maror, Havragah, Nozel (Ash-Shajara), Televiziya, Kishuf (Jabal Khubayta), Horvah (unmanned), Mitzvah, Notzah, Tzeidar. The north-to-south road that connects the second-line posts is nicknamed The Artillery Road.

The north-to-south road that connects Baluza, At-Tasa, Al-Jidi Junction, the Mitla Junction and Ras Sudr is nicknamed the Lateral Road.

 

The Southern Command CG (less than 3 months into his duty), Shmuel Gonen, hasn't ordered to execute Operation Shovakh Yonim (Hebrew for Dovecote), the emergency defense plan, since he isn't sure that the Egyptians wish to attack. According to the plan, the companies of the frontal armored brigade (which would keep command of just the central canal sector) should send some tank platoons/pairs from the second-line posts to some of front-line strongholds, mostly at the northern sector. The rear armored brigade (which would take command of the southern sector) should send its 3 battalions to the Lateral Road, one for each sector. The third armored brigade (supposed to be the 7th armored brigade) should stay at Bir Al-Jifjafa as the division's reserve and be ready to counterattack.

 

Northern sector - 68th infantry battalion, 275th brigade:

9th armored battalion (~30 M48s, of the 14th armored brigade) parks south of Baluza, west of Qatia. One tank company is at the nearby Camp Churchill, while a single platoon is pre-positioned at Oracle stronghold.

404th medium artillery battalion (M-50, of the 209th artillery regiment) batteries are at Budapest, Yoram and Maror. The Budapest battery, which also operates two 120 mm mortars, is stationary rather than SP (positioned in a bunker, nicknamed Navarone).

One company from the elite 424th infantry reconnaissance battalion, along with a mechanized infantry platoon, is at Martef.

275th brigade HQ is at Baluza along with the 68th infantry battalion HQ.

 

Central sector - 184th armored battalion, 14th armored brigade:

184th armored battalion (~25 M48s) companies are at Havragah, Nozel and Televiziya (mechanized infantry). Battalion HQ is at At-Tasa.

403rd medium artillery battalion (L-33, of the 209th artillery regiment) is on its way to the front from Bir Al-Jifjafa.

One battery from the 55th heavy artillery battalion (M107) is at Kishuf. This battery stayed in Sinai when the rest of the 55th was sent to the Golan Heights in September.

14th armored brigade HQ, responsible for both the central and southern sectors, is near At-Tasa.

 

Southern sector - 52nd armored battalion, 14th armored brigade:

52nd armored battalion (~30 M48s) companies are at Mitzvah, Notzah and Tzeidar. Battalion HQ is at the western end of the Mitla Pass.

14th armored brigade's reconnaissance company is at the ex-Egyptian 1967 SAM site, code named Telepathiya.

402nd medium artillery battalion (M-50, of the 209th artillery regiment) batteries are at Mitzvah, Qarrat Al-Murra and Mivdad. The Mivdad battery, which also operates two 120 mm mortars, is stationary rather than SP (positioned in a bunker, nicknamed Navarone).

424th infantry reconnaissance battalion (with just a single company) is on its way south from At-Tasa.

One infantry platoon (904th battalion) is at Ras Sudr.

 

At the rear:

401st armored brigade (M48s) HQ is at Bir Ath-Thamada alongwith its 46th and 195th armored battalions, while its 79th armored battalion is at Bir Al-Jifjafa.

460th armored brigade HQ is at Bir Al-Jifjafa alongwith its 198th armored battalion (4 Centurion companies), while its 196th armored battalion (6 M48 companies) is at Bir Ath-Thamada. Its 71st armored battalion is in the Golan Heights, under the 7th armored brigade.

All in all, about 70 MBTs are at Bir Al-Jifjafa and 130 MBTs are at Bir Ath-Thamada.

252nd armored division HQ and the 601st combat engineer battalion (of the 162nd armored division) are also at Bir Al-Jifjafa.

Southern Command HQ is at Jabal Umm Khashiba

 

Total: ~290 MBTs (250 M48s, 40 Centurions), 10(+) artillery batteries.

 

Southern Sinai (off the map) - 72nd brigade:

Two tank companies (one active-service, one reserve) of the 225the armored battalion, 274th independent armored brigade (T-54/55 with 105 mm gun) are at Sharm Ash-Sheikh and Abu Rudays.

Southern Sinai is known in the IDF as Merchav Shlomo (Hebrew for Solomon Region), abbreviated as Marshal.

 

 

Egyptian army:

 

Northern sector:

135th independent infantry brigade (T-34), reinforced with a commando battalion, is at Sidi Al-Arbaeen - Port Said - Port Fuad - Ras Al-Ash - At-Tina

 

2nd field army:

18th infantry division is west of Al-Qantara and Al-Balah Island. Attached to it is the 15th independent armored brigade (T-62), which is east of As-Salakhiya air base.

2nd infantry division, reinforced with the 24th armored brigade (from the 23rd mechanized infantry division), is around Al-Firdan - Al-Firdan Bridge, between Al-Balah Island and Ismailia.

16th infantry division, reinforced with the 14th armored brigade (from the 21st armored division), is at Serapeum - Deversoir - Abu Sultan - Faid.

A single mechanized infantry brigade from the 23rd mechanized infantry division is between As-Salakhiya air base and Al-Qasasin.

21st armored division, with its 1st armored and 18th mechanized infantry brigades, is at Ridan Al-Hama.

2nd field army HQ is near Al-Qasasin, alongside its 23rd mechanized infantry division and its 129th commando regiment.

 

3rd field army:

Palestinian 107th infantry brigade, reinforced with the Kuwaiti Al-Yarmouk infantry battalion and an Egyptian commando battalion, is around Fanara.

130th marine brigade is near Ganifa.

7th infantry division is at Kibrit - Ash-Shalufa. Attached to it is the 25th independent armored brigade (T-62), which is south of Ganifa, west of Ash-Shalufa.

19th infantry division, reinforced with the 22nd armored brigade (from the 6th mechanized infantry division), is at Al-Kubri - Suez - Port Adabiya.

4th armored division (2nd armored, 3rd armored, 6th mechanized infantry brigades) is around Jabal Mishash Al-Awasig

6th mechanized infantry division, with its 1st mechanized infantry brigade, is on the Suez - Cairo road, SW of Jabal Uwaybid and SE of Jabal Al-Gafra.

113th mechanized infantry brigade (from the 6th mechanized infantry division) is west of Al-Hafair, SE of Jabal Umm Zayta. The Ras Mahagara - Ras Sadat - Al-Hafair - Al-Ayn As-Soukhna coastline is defended by a Border Guard regiment.

127th commando regiment is near Kutamiya air base. Its 163rd battalion is at Wadi Hagul, north of Jabal Umm Zayta.

3rd field army HQ is north of Jabal Uwaybid, west of Jabal Ghara.

 

Red Sea theater (off the map):

119th independent infantry brigade is at Al-Ghardaqa.

212th independent infantry brigade and 128th commando regiment are at Ras Za'afrana.

160th paratrooper brigade is at Qina.

132nd commando regiment is at Ras Gharib.

279th independent armored battalion is at Bir Arida.

 

At the rear (off the map):

3rd mechanized infantry division

35th armored brigade

Republican Guard (armored brigade + infantry brigade)

Armor school brigade

182nd (mistakenly marked as 140th) and 150th paratrooper brigades

130th and 131st commando regiments

UI infantry brigade

 

Total: ~2200 MBTs (T-34/54/55/62), ~2000 artillery pieces, 55 SAM sites (7 heavy SAM brigades operating 25 SA-2B/C and 20 SA-3 sites, 2 medium SAM brigades operating 10 SA-6 sites). 

Edited by Iarmor

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Posted (edited)

IDF defense battles until the morning of October 7th:

 

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Northern sector - IDF 460th armored brigade (Armor School):

IDF 9th armored battalion splits into platoons/pairs and gets wiped out while trying to block the crossing Egyptian infantry and to save the front-line strongholds. In Budapest, a pair of M48s blocks an Egyptian battalion (OT-62s, T-34s) assault through the narrow coastal road, but the stronghold is cut off by a seaborne Egyptian commando battalion (two companies on OT-62s).

IDF elite 460th armored brigade joins in with its 198th armored battalion (the only Centurion battalion currently in Sinai) and TF Lapidot (two M48 companies from the 196th armored battalion, commanded by Ya'acov Lapidot, who departed the 196th CO duty just a week earlier). The 198th splits into two and engages the Egyptian 18th infantry division forces around Al-Qantara - Milano (460th brigade XO's force) stronghold and around Mifreqet stronghold (198th battalion CO's force), while TF Lapidot engages the heliborne and seaborne Egyptian commandos north of Baluza - Rumani and SE of Budapest.

After IDF 9th armored battalion is written off the ORBAT table, its remnants join the 198th battalion as a company, and the 9th battalion CO joins the 460th brigade HQ.

 

Central sector - IDF 14th armored brigade:

IDF 184th armored battalion splits into platoons/pairs and takes heavy losses while trying to block the crossing Egyptian infantry and to save the front-line strongholds.

IDF 14th armored brigade, now responsible only for the central sector, is reinforced by the 79th and 196th armored battalions, from the 401st and 460th armored brigades respectively. The opposing forces are the Egyptian 2nd and 16th infantry divisions.

 

Southern sector - IDF 401st armored brigade:

IDF 52nd armored battalion splits into platoons/pairs and takes heavy losses while trying to block the crossing Egyptian infantry and to save the front-line strongholds.

IDF 401st armored brigade joins in with its 46th and 195th armored battalions. The 46th battles the Egyptian 7th infantry division while the 195th battles the Egyptian 19th infantry division.

Egyptian 130th marine brigade crosses the Little Bitter Lake with its amphibious AFVs, but gets destroyed by IDF 52nd and 46th battalion forces. A light tank as the PT-76 is no match for a MBT like the M48.

Unlike the 2nd field army, which had established its first AFV bridge as early as 20:30, the 3rd field army met significant difficulties during the crossing operation (partly due to the clay soil in the southern sector). 7th infantry division tanks started crossing only at dawn, in a slow pace, while the 19th infantry division couldn't establish its single Bailey Uniflote AFV bridge until October 8th.

 

At the rear:

IDF TF Bischof (Officer School cadets) defends Al-Jidi and Mitla passes.

IDF 252nd armored division HQ is at Bir Al-Jifjafa (known in Hebrew as Rephidim).

IDF Southern Command HQ, code named Dvela, is at Jabal Umm Khashiba.

 

Gulf of Suez coastline:

Ras Sudr defenders are reinforced by the elite 424th infantry reconnaissance battalion and by a M48 platoon from the 52nd armored battalion.

16 Egyptian transport helicopters are shot down, mostly by IAF F-4s. Most Egyptian commandos that made it safely to the ground are captured by IDF 424th battalion with light resistance. One EAF helicopter is shot down at night by IDF 225th armored battalion T-54 with a 105 mm main gun round, near the oil tanks at Abu Rudays (off the map). However, heliborne Egyptian commandos land in and take control of Wadi Sudr.

Israeli navy Dabur-class patrol boats prevent the planned Egyptian naval commando beach landing by destroying the Egyptian Zodiac and Bertram boats at Marsa Thalamat (off the map).

 

 

By morning, some IDF front-line strongholds are surrounded, but the Egyptians kept their bridgeheads only 3-5 kms deep. Only 110 IDF tanks are battle-worthy out of 290 at the start, after taking AT and tank fire from both the crossing Egyptians and the covering Egyptian firing ramparts on the western bank. The remaining Israeli forces are ordered to stop their assaults on the Egyptian bridgeheads, retreat and defend the second-line posts and the Artillery Road.  

Edited by Iarmor

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Posted (edited)

Evening of October 7th:

 

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IDF reserves start to arrive at the Suez Canal front-line after their urgent emergency mobilization. IDF reserve forces sent to Sinai include the 162nd and 143rd armored divisions, the reserve elements of the 252nd armored division, the 164th, 217th, 274th and 500th armored brigades, the 247th paratrooper brigade and elements of the 317th paratrooper brigade. In addition, the active-service 35th paratrooper brigade joins in with its 890th and 202nd battalions, that were not deployed to the front-line when the war had started. Its 50th battalion was deployed to the Golan Heights southern-sector strongholds.

Except for its two active-service 7th and 460th armored brigades, the 162nd armored division, commanded by the Armor Corps CG Avraham Adan, is composed of reserve formations - the 11th mechanized infantry brigade (Shermans), 215th artillery regiment and 279th armored reconnaissance battalion. As the 460th armored brigade has already suffered heavy losses at the northern sector of the Suez Canal, while the 7th armored brigade is with the 36th armored division in the Golan, the 162nd armored division is reinforced with the reserve 500th and 217th armored brigades (both equipped with Shot Cal). The 217th armored brigade is detached from the Central Command's reserve 146th armored division, which is on the move to the Golan, while the 500th is an independent brigade. 

The 143rd armored division, commanded by the reserve general Ariel Sharon, who served as the Southern Command CG until July 1973, is composed of the reserve 600th (M60A1s), 421st (M48A3s) armored, 875th mechanized infantry (Shermans) brigades, 214th artillery regiment and 87th armored reconnaissance battalion (M60A1s).

Alongwith the active-service 14th and 401st armored brigades and 209th artillery regiment, the 252nd armored division is composed of the reserve 204th mechanized infantry brigade and 189th armored reconnaissance battalion. The 252nd division is fully equipped with M48A3s - the only IDF division to operate a single type of tank. However, all 189th battalion tanks and some 204th brigade tanks were taken by the 196th armored battalion at Bir Ath-Thamada. Therefore the 189th battalion spends the war without tanks, while the 19th tank battalion of the 204th brigade is smaller than it should be.

The tanks of the 217th, 274th armored brigades, 129th tank battalion (Shermans, of the 875th mechanized infantry brigade) and 279th armored reconnaissance battalion are the only AFVs transported to Sinai by flatbeds. All the rest, including WW2 halftracks, Shermans and Sherman-based artillery pieces, drive on their tracks for 180-270 kms.   

 

 

Northern sector - IDF reserve 162nd armored division:

IDF reserve 162nd armored division gradually arrives through the northern Sinai coastline road (Rafah Junction - Ash-Sheikh ZuwaydAl-Arish - Rumani - Baluza) with the 217th, 500th armored, 204th mechanized infantry brigades and the 189th armored reconnaissance battalion attached to it, in addition to its 279th armored reconnaissance battalion. The 11th mechanized infantry brigade and 215th artillery regiment would arrive on October 8th. The 162nd division takes command of the northern sector and of the 460th armored brigade.

In the morning of October 7th, Egyptian commandos ambush the arriving Israeli reserves west of Rumani. The 113th armored battalion of the 217th armored brigade, the first IDF reserve force which has already reached Baluza, is ordered to return east and destroy the Egyptian commandos. The Egyptian ambush is are finally cleared by a halftrack-mounted force from the elite IDF 424th infantry reconnaissance battalion, and the 113th armored battalion heads west again.

Egyptian 135th infantry brigade takes Oracle and Lakhtzanit strongholds. IDF retreat from Oracle fails. Budapest holds on, but it is still cut off.

Egyptian 18th infantry division takes Milano and Mifreqet strongholds. Israeli forces manage to retreat from Milano, as well as from Derorah and Ketubah, which were attacked only by artillery. IDF 217th armored brigade forces cover the retreating forces from their positions at Yoram and Martef second-line posts.

IDF 460th armored brigade, with just its 198th armored battalion, is on the Artillery Road east of Mifreqet.

 

Central sector - IDF reserve 143rd armored division:

IDF reserve 143rd armored division gradually arrives through the central Sinai road (Umm Qataf - Abu Uwayqila - Jabal Libni - Bir Al-HamaBir Al-Jifjafa - At-Tasa) with its 421st, 600th armored brigades and 87th armored reconnaissance battalion. The 214th artillery regiment would arrive on October 8th-9th. The 143rd division takes command of the central sector and of the 14th armored brigade, in exchange for the 875th mechanized infantry brigade which haven't arrived yet.

Egyptian infantry encircles Hizayon, Purqan (both at the 2nd division sector) and Matzmed (16th division sector). Israeli forces retreat from Laqeqan (although it was not attacked at all), as well as from Televiziya second-line post.

IDF 196th armored battalion engages the Egyptian 2nd infantry division forces east of Al-Firdan Bridge - Hizayon stronghold.

IDF 79th armored battalion engages the Egyptian 2nd infantry division forces between Purqan front-line and Nozel second-line posts. After its XO and CO are injured, the 79th battalion remnants are attached to the 196th battalion.  

IDF 184th armored battalion engages the Egyptian 16th infantry division east of the Chinese Farm, SE of Televiziya.

IDF 599th armored battalion, from the 421st armored brigade, heads towards Havragah, but the 143rd division CO plan to extract the men from the besieged front-line strongholds is denied by the Southern Command HQ.

 

Southern sector - IDF 252nd armored division:

IDF 252nd armored division commands now just the southern sector and its HQ has moved to the western end of the Mitla Pass. Reserve forces haven't arrived to reinforce it yet, so the worn-out 401st armored brigade keeps fighting on its own.

Lituf stronghold is taken by the Egyptian 7th infantry division, while Mefatze'akh, Nisan and Masreck are besieged by the Egyptian 19th infantry division forces. Botzer holds on, attacked only by artillery.

Egyptian 130th marine brigade remnants join the 7th infantry division.

IDF 46th armored battalion engages the Egyptian 7th infantry division in Ash-Shatt WW2 Croatian refuge camp (aka The Polish Camp) - Mitzvah second-line post area. An attempt to reach Lituf is failed.

IDF 52nd and 195th armored battalions engage the Egyptian 19th infantry division forces between the Croatian Memorial Cemetery (mistakenly known as Queen Victoria Memorial Monument, aka The Madonna, code named Martze'a) and Mivdad. In the evening they retreat to Notzah second-line post - Qarrat Al-Murra.

 

At the rear:

IDF 264th armored battalion, of the 421st armored brigade, is at Bir Al-Jifjafa after departing late due to lack of equipment.

IDF TF Bischof defends Al-Jidi and Mitla passes.

IDF Southern Command HQ is at Jabal Umm Khashiba.

 

Gulf of Suez coastline - IDF 35th paratrooper brigade:

IDF 35th paratrooper brigade arrives to Ras Sudr with just its 890th battalion. Its two other battalions, the 202nd and the 50th, are at Bir Al-Jifjafa (not shown on the map) and at the Golan Heights respectively. The Israeli paratroopers capture hundreds of Egyptian commandos in the area with little resistance. Apparently the Egyptian commandos didn't like being regarded as expendables by the Egyptian high command, which gave them only a one-way ticket to Sinai with no intention to extract them.

In addition to the M48 platoon of the 52nd armored battalion, the 35th paratrooper brigade is reinforced with a T-54 (105 mm) company of the 225th armored battalion, that was sent to Ras Sudr from Abu Rudays.

 

Southern Sinai (off the map) - 72nd brigade:

IDF 225th armored battalion's T-54s (105 mm) and the 88th amphibious armored reconnaissance battalion's PT-76s and BTR-50s are stored near Sharm As-Sheikh. Both battalions belong to the reserve 274th independent armored brigade. After the men arrive (225th battalion by buses, 88th battalion flown to Sharm Ash-Sheikh airbase) and man their AFVs, they patrol Sharm As-Sheikh - At-Tur - Abu Rudays area, watching for Egyptian helicopters landing commandos, and prepare to defend southern Sinai from an Egyptian 3rd field army attack southwards along the coastline. In addition, they prepare to execute Operation Or Yarock (Hebrew for Green Light), a beach landing operation on the Egyptian coastline in the Gulf of Suez, along with the 35th paratrooper brigade. 

One tank company of the 225th armored battalion is sent from Abu Rudays to reinforce the 35th paratrooper brigade at Ras Sudr.

 

 

Starting in the afternoon, IAF F-4s and A-4s strike the Egyptian bridges, destroying 7 bridges out of 11. Egyptian tank crossing is almost halted for at least 24 hours in the 3rd field army sector, but the delay is less significant for the 2nd field army, since many of its tanks have already crossed. In addition to pontoon bridges (PMP, TPP, LPP, Bailey Uniflote), Egyptian AFVs cross by GSP ferries, pontoon (TPP, Uniflote) barges and by their own amphibious capability (BMP-1, BTR-50/OT-62, BRDM-2, PT-76). Soft-skins cross also on K-61 and PTS amphibious transport vehicles. As for the bridges, the Egyptians can repair them relatively quickly, by replacing the blown-up pontoons with new ones. 

Edited by Iarmor

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October 8th, before noon - IDF counterattack:

 

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Although the Israeli decision is to concentrate the main effort first in the Golan (the Central Command's 146th armored division is attached to the Northern Command, most IAF sorties are sent against the Syrians), and in spite of many of the reserves being stuck in traffic jams on their way to western Sinai (mostly artillery, halftracks and soft-skins, since tanks were prioritized), the IDF Chief of the General Staff orders the Southern Command to counterattack the Egyptian forces which have crossed into Sinai. The assault is to be gradual (two divisions attack, one at the time), from north to south, and the Israeli forces are to keep 2-3 kms away from the Suez Canal, in order to avoid Sagger launches from the Egyptian firing ramparts on the western bank. However, the Southern Command CG gives over-ambitious and unrealistic orders to his divisions (including to cross the canal over Egyptian bridges expected to be captured) and the ill-prepared and ill-coordinated IDF counterattack results in a chaotic fiasco.

 

Northern sector - IDF TF Nammer (blue, mostly off the map):

The northern sector, from Budapest to Al-Ballah Island, is handed over to an ad-hoc established division-sized force named Nammer (Hebrew for Leopard). TF Nammer is commanded by Kalman Magen, who was supposed to commence his duty as the new 252nd division CO on October 7th. TF Nammer includes the reserve 11th and 204th mechanized infantry brigades, that arrived to Baluza through the northern Sinai coastline road. The 204th brigade's 19th armored (M48s) and 86th mechanized infantry battalions are attached to the 460th armored brigade in exchange for TF Lapidot. The 11th brigade (Shermans) is reinforced with the 279th armored reconnaissance battalion of the 162nd division.

 

IDF 162nd armored division (blue):

The 162nd, the flagship formation of the Israeli Armored Corps, is the first to assault. The plan is to advance south, destroy the Egyptian 2nd and 16th infantry division forces in Sinai one after the other, and cross the canal near the besieged Matzmed stronghold, in front of Deversoir, over an Egyptian bridge expected to be captured (BTW, the Egyptians prepared all their bridges for emergency explosion in order to prevent this kind of scenario).

IDF 217th armored brigade (originally belonged to the 146th armored division) is planned to advance south on the Artillery Road and then west towards Matzmed. However, at the beginning of its movement, the 217th takes fire from the Egyptian 15th independent armored brigade (T-62s, attached to the 18th infantry division) east of Al-Qantara. The 217th leaves its 126th armored battalion there, attached to the 11th mechanized infantry brigade of TF Nammer, and heads south later than planned.

As the 217th is still behind, the IDF 460th armored brigade advances on its own, west of the Artillery Road, with two battalions - its 198th (which includes a M48 company, remnants of the 9th armored battalion) and the attached 19th. At first, the assault seems to go well and the Southern Command HQ starts jabbering about crossing over an Egyptian pontoon bridge near Al-Firdan Bridge (destroyed since 1967) - Hizayon stronghold. As the battalions turn west towards the besieged Hizayon, the 198th stops as it runs out of ammo and the 19th (26 tanks) finds itself alone, facing heavy ATGM fire from the western bank. On the eastern bank, the Egyptian 2nd infantry division forces realize how small the Israeli force is, stop fleeing, get back into their foxholes and utilize their RPGs. Despite two of its M48s reach the canal, the IDF 19th armored battalion is forced to retreat with heavy losses.  

IDF 500th armored brigade heads south on the Lateral Road (north-to-south road, about 30 kms east of the canal) at the division's rear. Its 430th armored battalion is sent west towards Havragah to reinforce the 460th brigade, while the others proceed to At-Tasa (code named Ceylon) and turn west towards Ismailia. The 500th brigade HQ reaches Nozel with its 433th armored battalion, which engages the Egyptian 2nd infantry division forces east of the besieged Purqan stronghold, while the 429th armored battalion takes positions at Hamutal (IDF code name for Kathib Ayfan - Abu Waqfa area).

 

IDF 143rd armored division (green):

Only after the 162nd is to complete its mission in the central sector, the 143rd is planned to head to the southern canal sector, destroy the Egyptian 3rd field army forces in Sinai, cross near the besieged Nisan stronghold on an Egyptian bridge expected to be captured and take Suez.

However, when initial reports indicate the 162nd division success, the 143rd division is ordered to leave its positions, move south on the Lateral Road and wait at the Al-Jidi Junction, in order to be able to complete its mission in daylight.

When the order to head south is spread down the chain of command, it is incorrectly perceived as a desperate attempt to help the 252nd armored division to block an alleged Egyptian 4th armored division assault towards Al-Jidi and Mitla passes. 

The 143rd division leaves its 87th armored reconnaissance battalion to defend HamadiyaKishuf, facing the Egyptian 16th infantry division forces, as this area is considered crucial for a possible future crossing operation in front of Deversoir. The 421st armored brigade leaves Havragah and leads on the move south, followed by the 14th (which leaves Nozel, Hamutal and Makhshir) and the 600th (which leaves Hamadiya and Kishuf).

Immediately after the order to move south is received, the 421st and 14th armored brigades, still positioned at Havragah and Nozel respectively, are contacted one after the other by the 460th armored brigade CO, who asks to get one of their battalions to help the 19th battalion (he was unaware that the 430th armored battalion was approaching Havragah). To the men's dismay, the 143rd division CO orders to dismiss the call and to head south, since the 252nd division's situation in the southern sector is supposedly really bad and OTOH he did not receive any order to help the 162nd division.

 

IDF 252nd armored division (blue, mostly off the map):

Unlike what some IDF 143rd division officers were mistakenly lead to believe, the Egyptian 4th armored division has not crossed the canal. In fact, the Egyptian 3rd field army doesn't have even a single undamaged AFV bridge over the canal.

Edited by Iarmor

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October 8th, afternoon - IDF counterattack continues:

 

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IDF 162nd armored division (blue):

IDF 217th and 460th armored brigades are ordered to attack again towards Al-Firdan Bridge - Hizayon stronghold area.

IDF 460th armored brigade misunderstands the order as if it should just guard the southern flank of the 217th, and its 430th armored battalion (originally from the 500th armored brigade) engages the Egyptian 2nd infantry division forces without assaulting. The 19th armored battalion recovers at the rear, while the 198th armored battalion is sent southwards (after ammo resupply) to help the 500th armored brigade at Hamutal.

IDF 217th armored brigade assaults with its two battalions - the 142nd and the 113th. The 142nd armored battalion halts after taking Sagger ATGM fire and the 113th proceeds on its own (21 tanks) into the now-reinforced (24th armored brigade T-55s) Egyptian defenders killing zone. The 113th battalion takes heavy losses, the CO is captured and only 3 tanks manage to retreat.

On the Egyptian side, after successfully completing their immediate mission to establish bridgeheads, the Egyptian infantry divisions are ordered to execute their subsequent mission to expand their lodgements towards the hilly area of the second-line IDF posts and the Artillery Road.

After it had successfully repelled IDF 460th and 217th armored brigade assaults, the Egyptian 2nd infantry division sends its 117th mechanized infantry brigade to attack towards Havragah. The Egyptian assault is repelled by IDF 460th and 217th brigades.

Egyptian 112th infantry brigade (16th infantry division) pushes back IDF 429th armored battalion (11 tanks) towards Ziona and takes western Hamutal (Abu Waqfa). It also takes the northern dune of Makhshir (Kathib Al-Khayl) with no resistance.

IDF 500th armored brigade, which gave away its 430th battalion to the 460th brigade and now got the 198th battalion (14 tanks) in return, is ordered to take Hamutal back. The 433rd armored battalion, which faced the Egyptian 4th infantry brigade of the 2nd infantry division between Nozel and Purqan, is ordered to leave Nozel, so it won't be cutoff by the Egyptian force at Hamutal, and to cover the Hamutal assault. The ill-coordinated assault fails with heavy losses for the 198th armored battalion (which misidentified Kathib Al-Khayl as Abu Waqfa), while the 429th armored battalion loses its CO after assaulting with only 4 tanks. The Egyptian 112th brigade CO loses his leg.

At the evening, IDF 217th armored brigade parks between Vermont and Wroclaw (IDF code name for Kathib Al-Ajramiyah), the 460th parks at Havragah and the 500th parks west of At-Tasa.

 

IDF 143rd armored division (green):

As it becomes clear that the 162nd division assault is not going well, the 143rd is ordered to turn around and get back to the central sector. Some of the 143rd division forces have already reached Al-Jidi Junction (and also to the Mitla Junction, which is off the map), and of course did not meet any massive Egyptian armor breakthrough there.

In the meanwhile, the Egyptian 3rd mechanized infantry brigade (16th infantry division) takes the southern dune of Makhshir (Kathib Abu Tarabush) with no resistance, but its assault on Hamadiya is repelled by IDF 87th armored reconnaissance battalion. The only IDF loss is the battalion CO.

Later on, the IDF 600th armored brigade returns to Kishuf and Hamadiya and engages the Egyptian forces at Makhshir.

IDF 14th armored brigade turns around and parks west of At-Tasa. The division's 87th armored reconnaissance battalion (with a new CO) is attached to it.

IDF 421st armored brigade turns around and heads towards Hamutal, after the 500th armored brigade assault had failed. The 421st brigade forces arrive to Ziona (the 264th battalion arrives late after taking a wrong turn from At-Tasa towards Hamadiya), mix among the retreating 500th brigade forces, engage northern Makhshir, and in spite an order to stay at Ziona, a single company finds itself on Hamutal while questing for better positions. The company is surprised by the Egyptian presence on Hamutal and retreats after taking losses.

 

IDF 252nd armored division (mostly off the map):

IDF 46th armored battalion (of the 401st armored brigade) blocks advancing Egyptian tanks (7th infantry division) near Mitzvah, while the 52nd and 195th armored battalions (401st armored brigade as well) block advancing Egyptian armor (19th infantry division) near Notzah (off the map).

The besieged IDF Mefatze'akh stronghold men surrender to Egyptian forces from the 5th infantry brigade, 19th infantry division.

Later on, the 252nd armored division is finally reinforced with the reserve 875th mechanized infantry brigade (Shermans, of the 143rd armored division), and the 164th armored brigade (Shot Cal, of the Northern Command's 210th armored division) is on its way to join in as well. One Sherman company is sent to reinforce the 35th paratrooper brigade at Ras DahaysaRas Sudr.

The 164th armored brigade arrives so late because its Shot Cals, which were stored in northern Israel, were taken by other units in a chain reaction to the deployment of the 7th armored brigade in the Golan. The 164th brigade collects the Armor School Shot Cals, as well as Shot Cals stored in Eilat before shipment to a foreign buyer. 

 

 

IDF 162nd armored division had lost over 40 tanks on October 8th, while the 143rd armored division men are frustrated after wasting time on a long, fruitless movement, which had caused the loss of higher grounds along the Artillery road: Halutz (Kathib Abu Kathira), Nozel (Ash-Shajara), western Hamutal (Abu Waqfa) and Makhshir (Kathib Al-Khayl - Kathib Abu Tarabush). Eastern Hamutal (Kathib Ayfan) is no man's land for now. Two IDF battalion COs were killed and one was captured by the Egyptians (highest ranking IDF POW, along with two other lieutenant-colonel AF pilots).

However, the IDF did manage to keep Zarqor (Kathib Abu Al-Uruq), Havragah, ZionaHamadiya and Kishuf (Jabal Khubayta) and to cause considerable losses to the Egyptian army.

IDF generals start blaming each other for the colossal failure - "The General War" has begun.

Off the map, IAF F-4s destroy the 5 Egyptian 98th heavy SAM brigade sites at the Al-Gamil - Port Said - Port Fuad area, suffering no losses. There 98th heavy SAM brigade sites are isolated from the rest of the Egyptian SAM belt, as the nearest heavy SAM brigade, the 107th, is deployed east of As-Salakhiya airbase.

Egyptian army bridges destroyed by IAF airstrikes on October 7th are repaired by the evening.

Edited by Iarmor

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October 9th - IDF 143rd armored division attempts on its own:

 

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IDF Chief of the General Staff rebukes the Southern Command CG and the division COs for their poor performance and orders to hold positions, engage at long range and to postpone any further offensive. However, attempts to extract the IDF men from the besieged strongholds are approved.

The dissatisfied and mistrusting 143rd armored division CO, who wishes to maintain the offensive initiative and to regain the lost grounds, resorts to active mobile defense tactics. Accordingly, in addition to the successful Purqan stronghold men extraction, the 143rd division battles the Egyptian 16th infantry division over Hamutal, Makhshir and Televiziya, in order to "stabilize the line" and to support the extraction, and takes heavy losses. OTOH, the Egyptians fail again to take Hamadiya.

 

Right - morning:

IDF 600th armored brigade assaults southern Makhshir (Kathib Abu Tarabush) from the SE with its 410th armored battalion, but the assault is repelled. The IDF battalion CO is wounded, so as the brigade XO sent to replace him. The map mistakenly depicts the Egyptian 112th brigade as deployed on Kathib Abu Tarabush in addition to Abu Waqfa and Kathib Al-Khayl, while the Egyptian battalion at Kathib Abu Tarabush is actually from the 3rd mechanized infantry brigade.

In order to cover the Purqan men extraction, the IDF 421st armored brigade (264th, 599th, 257th armored battalions) assaults the Egyptian battalion at Abu Waqfa (112th infantry brigade) and engages the Egyptian 4th infantry brigade forces at Nozel. The 599th battalion misidentifies Kathib Al-Khayl, which is defended by the two other Egyptian 112th brigade battalions, as Abu Waqfa (the 198th battalion did the same mistake on the day before), takes heavy losses in close range engagements (Egyptian infantrymen climb on the M48s that try to run them over) and retreats. The map mistakenly depicts the 599th as attacking Abu Waqfa.

IDF Purqan stronghold men retreat eastwards on foot and meet the extraction force (3 M48s and 5 M113s from the 14th armored brigade, including the brigade CO and the 184th battalion CO tanks) at Ghard As-Samar, south of Nozel. After 3 M113s are lost, the 33 Purqan men hang onto the 184th battalion CO tank and reach safely to Israeli lines.

In addition to its battalion at Kathib Abu Tarabush, the other Egyptian 3rd mechanized infantry brigade forces are at the northern part of Missouri (around At-Talia) and at Televiziya. The brigade (BTR-50s, BMP-1s, T-55s) assaults Hamadiya, reaches zero range but repelled by the IDF 409th armored battalion (600th armored brigade) with heavy losses, including its CO. The map mistakenly attributes this assault to the Egyptian 14th armored brigade, which had crossed the canal but is still at the 16th infantry division's rear.

IDF 407th armored battalion (600th armored brigade) stays at Kishuf. A downsized company takes observation position at the previously-unmanned Horvah second-line post.

Egyptian 16th infantry brigade is on the 16th division southern flank, around Al-Gala'a village (known by the IDF as The Chinese Farm, code named Amir). IDF Matzmed stronghold men surrender to its forces.

IDF 500th (162nd armored division) and 14th armored brigades park at the rear, west of At-Tasa. The 14th brigade CO decides to reflag the 196th armored battalion (which includes remnants from the 79th armored battalion) as the 79th armored battalion, in light of the honorable battle heritage of the 79th (established in 1948 as the first IDF armored battalion with halftracks and White scout cars, first IDF M48 battalion since 1965). When Lapidot hears about this, he flags his own TF (now under the 204th mechanized infantry brigade, TF Nammer) as the 196th armored battalion. 

IDF 143rd armored division HQ is at At-Tasa, along with the 424th infantry reconnaissance battalion, which is tasked with hunting down single Egyptian forward artillery observers behind the Israeli line. 

 

Left - after noon:

IDF 500th armored brigade (green), under the 162nd armored division, passes through Hamutal with no resistance and engages the Egyptian 4th infantry brigade forces at Nozel (Ash-Shajara) and Halutz (Katib Abu Kathira). The Egyptian 112th infantry brigade had abandoned Abu Waqfa, but the IDF 500th brigade is not ordered to hold on to it. The map mistakenly still depicts Abu Waqfa (and Kathib Abu Tarabush) as held by the 112th brigade.

IDF 421st armored brigade (blue) retreats to Ziona. The map depicts it at eastern Hamutal (Kathib Ayfan) and south of it, west of Ziona.

IDF 600th armored brigade (blue) assaults Televiziya with its 409th battalion (along with a single company from the 410th). It retreats back to Hamadiya after taking heavy losses from Saggers. At the same time, the 410th armored battalion (less one company) assaults Makhshir again. The 410th meets light resistance at Kathib Abu Tarabush, but takes heavy losses in close range engagements over Kathib Al-Khayl (the unreliable M85 and M73 machine guns were removed from the M60A1s before the war, but Browning .30 cals weren't yet installed) and eventually retreats to Kathib As-Sana'at. The Egyptians capture a M60A1 for the first time and drive it to the rear.

Later on, the IDF 14th armored brigade (green) replaces the 600th at Hamadiya and Kishuf. The 14th brigade is reinforced with the 106th armored battalion from the 164th armored brigade (Shot Cal), which advances from Kishuf towards the Chinese Farm, but retreats after taking fire that injured the CO.

Then the 14th brigade is authorized to assault Televiziya, in order to retrieve missing 409th battalion men. The 14th takes Televiziya with its 184th (which loses its CO) and 79th armored battalions. 3 409th battalion tankers are saved, found near their destroyed M60A1 that had its turret upside down.

IDF 87th armored reconnaissance battalion (green) reaches the deserted Laqeqan stronghold from the south after a wide bypass, advances further north with no resistance, but it is unauthorized to reach Matzmed (Matzmed men were already captured, but their fate is unknown yet to the IDF). This gap between the Egyptian 16th infantry division positions at the Chinese Farm and the Greater Bitter Lake will later be used as the IDF bridgehead across the canal.

 

Off the map:

TF Lapidot (4 M48s and one company from the 424th infantry reconnaissance battalion) fails to break the Egyptian commando siege of Budapest stronghold.

Hizayon stronghold is taken by the Egyptian 2nd infantry division forces.

IDF 162nd armored division repels Egyptian 2nd infantry division assaults on Zarqor (Kathib Abu Al-Uruq) and Havragah. IDF 460th armored brigade blocks the Egyptians, while the IDF 217th armored brigade counterattacks from the northern flank along the Artillery Road.

IDF 164th armored brigade forces block an assault by Egyptian 7th infantry division forces. 

Egyptian 19th infantry division loses much of its armor in battles against the IDF 401st armored brigade, but its 2nd mechanized infantry brigade manages to capture Qarrat Al-Murra (code named Polygon), after the 401st brigade abandons Qarrat Al-Murra in order to make way for airstrikes.

Botzer stronghold is evacuated by the IDF, although it was only attacked by artillery. Nisan stronghold is taken by Egyptian 19th infantry division forces. At the end of the day, Budapest and Masreck are the only IDF front-line strongholds left standing.

IDF 440th armored division HQ is formed in southern Sinai, tasked with preparing Operation Or Yarock - the beach landing operation on the Egyptian coastline in the Gulf of Suez. The forces planned to execute Operation Or Yarock under the 440th armored division are the 35th paratrooper brigade (with just its 890th battalion), the 225th armored battalion and the 88th amphibious armored reconnaissance battalion (both from the 274th independent armored brigade). In addition, the Israeli force in southern Sinai is reinforced with 99th infantry brigade forces sent from Eilat.

 

The 143rd armored division CO Sharon is heavily criticized for disregarding direct orders. However, the criticism on the Southern Command CG Gonen is even stronger and the decision is to appoint the former Chief of General Staff Haim Bar-Lev, whose authority would be better accepted by the 143rd and 162nd division COs (Gonen is younger and served under both in the past), as a reserve general above Gonen. Officially, following the "don't change horses in the midstream" rule, Gonen would keep his position until November, but from now on he is pushed aside to a large extent. Bar-Lev official role description, made-up for the instance, is the Southern Front CG.

In addition, in order to relieve the Southern Command of responsibility for that area, the southern Sinai region (Marshal) is separated from the Southern Command and turned into a fourth regional command. The new southern Sinai CG is the reserve general Yeshayahu Gavish, who served as the Southern Command CG during the 1967 war (before Sharon), so Bar-Lev and Gonen can now concentrate on the Suez Canal front.

Edited by Iarmor

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Egyptian forces deployment on October 10th, as identified by IDF intelligence based on aerial reconnaissance:

 

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Northern sector:

135th independent infantry brigade

133rd commando battalion - retreats from the Mediterranean coastal road after taking heavy losses from IDF 120 mm mortar fire. Before retreating, the CO was recorded threatening on the radio to kill his superior for leaving his battalion on its own. Budapest stronghold is liberated by IDF forces from the 564th paratrooper and 906th infantry battalions.

30 MBTs (T-34s) identified on the eastern bank.

IAF F-4s destroy 3 Egyptian SAM batteries at the Al-Gamil - Port Said - Port Fuad area, suffering no losses. These batteries were sent to replace the ones destroyed on October 8th.

 

2nd field army:

 

18th infantry division sector:

90th infantry brigade (mistakenly marked as the 10th)

134th infantry brigade

136th mechanized infantry brigade (T-55s, mistakenly marked as armored)

15th independent armored brigade (T-62s)

125 MBTs, 3 destroyed MBTs, 19 APCs, 12 artillery batteries identified on the eastern bank.

 

2nd infantry division sector:

120th infantry brigade - assaults Zarqor (Kathib Abu Al-Uruq), repelled by IDF 460th and 217th armored brigade forces.

117th mechanized infantry brigade (T-55s) - assaults Havragah and repelled by IDF 460th armored brigade forces.

4th infantry brigade

24th armored brigade (T-55s, attached from the 23rd mechanized infantry division)

150 MBTs, 24 destroyed MBTs, 68 APCs, 9 artillery batteries identified on the eastern bank.

October 10th is known as "The Chinesemen Day" by IDF 162nd armored division troops, since the Egyptian infantry human-wave assaults on this day resembled the famous Chinese tactic of the Korean War.

 

16th infantry division sector:

112th infantry brigade (T-54s) - repels further company-scale Israeli assaults on Hamutal (IDF 257th armored battalion) and Makhshir (IDF 410th and 409th armored battalions).

3rd mechanized infantry brigade (BTR-50s, BMP-1s, T-55s)

16th infantry brigade (T-54s)

14th armored brigade (T-55s, attached from the 21st armored division)

160 MBTs, 50 destroyed MBTs, 9 APCs identified on the eastern bank.

IDF 87th armored reconnaissance battalion (of the 143rd armored division) is ordered to quietly retreat back to Kishuf (Jabal Khubayta), while the Egyptians still don't mind the gap in front of Deversoir.

 

The 21st armored and 23rd mechanized infantry divisions (both downsized), as well as the 10th mechanized infantry brigade (from the 3rd mechanized infantry division), are still on the western bank.

 

 

3rd field army:

 

7th infantry division sector:

130th marine brigade (BTR-50/OT-62s, PT-76s)

8th infantry brigade

11th mechanized infantry brigade

12th infantry brigade

25th independent armored brigade (T-62s)

150 MBTs, 13 destroyed MBTs, 7 APCs, 11 artillery batteries identified on the eastern bank.

 

19th infantry division sector:

5th infantry brigade (T-34s) - repels an IDF 195th armored battalion (401st armored brigade) assault north of Notzah, but loses some of its field artillery.

2nd mechanized infantry brigade - despite losing much of its tanks, captures Polygon (Qarrat Al-Murra) on October 9th, after the IDF 401st armored brigade was ordered to abandon it.

7th infantry brigade - still besieges IDF Masreck stronghold.

22nd armored brigade (T-55s, attached from the 6th mechanized infantry division)

1st mechanized infantry brigade (from the 6th mechanized infantry division) - crosses the canal late, after the 19th division had finally overcome its bridging issues, and heads south on the Gulf of Suez eastern coastline towards Ras Sudr, outside of the Egyptian SAM coverage. The brigade suffers heavy losses in IAF airstrikes and its assault is repelled near Uyun Musa - Ras Misalla by the IDF 35th paratrooper brigade (with just its 890th battalion, but reinforced with one Tiran company, one M48 platoon and one Sherman platoon). A day later, the Tiran company men cannibalize the deserted Egyptian T-55s for spare parts.

164 MBTs, 58 destroyed MBTs, 50 APCs, 12 artillery batteries identified on the eastern bank.

IDF 202nd paratrooper battalion (of the 35th paratrooper brigade) is sent from Bir Al-Jifjafa to join a platoon of M48s in the defense of Naveh - Yoreh junction, east of Tzeidar second-line post, directly under the 252nd armored division.

 

The 4th armored (full) and 6th mechanized infantry (downsized) divisions are still on the western bank.

 

 

All in all, Egyptian forces identified by Israeli aerial photography deciphers on the eastern bank include: 759 MBTs, 148 destroyed MBTs, 235 APCs, 49 artillery batteries. Adding the numbers per sector gets 779 MBTs, 148 destroyed MBTs, 153 APCs, 44 artillery batteries. Adding TO&E numbers gets 1152 MBTs (124*5 infantry divisions + 94*5 armored brigades + 31*2 infantry brigades).

 

Despite of their losses, delays and failure to capture most of the Israeli second-line posts on the higher terrain along the Artillery Road, the Egyptians succeed in establishing solid presence along the whole eastern bank and caused heavy losses to the IDF. Drunk with victory, and under heavy Syrian and Soviet pressure, they decide to execute the risky Stage 3 of their war plan - a massive armored offensive into central Sinai, which will take place 7 days after the start of the war.

The Israeli army, OTOH, starts to question if and when would the Egyptian armored divisions cross, and to consider crossing the canal itself at the current situation, in order to transfer the fight over to enemy territory, destroy Egyptian SAM sites and cut the supply lines to the Egyptian forces in Sinai. In the meanwhile, the Israeli army concentrates on the offensive into Syria, while IDF armor formations in Sinai reorganize (after the hasty mobilization and heavy losses), adjust their tactics, hold their grounds and utilize their advantage in long range tank gunnery. 

Edited by Iarmor

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October 11th:

Israeli naval commandos try to approach the besieged Masreck stronghold by rubber boats, but retreat after taking heavy Radar-guided 130 mm coastal gun fire from Ras Mahagara.

Egyptian commandos ambush IDF paratroopers and armor at Wadi Sudr. IAF A-4 strike finishes off the Egyptian force.

IDF 113th armored battalion CO (the second one, whose predecessor was captured on October 8th) is killed in his M113 during an engagement with the Egyptian 24th armored brigade near Zarqor - Havragah.

 

October 12th:

Egyptian second-echelon divisions start sending their armor across the canal, preparing for the major offensive towards central Sinai. Some SAM sites are deployed on the eastern bank, while others are redeployed closer to the canal on the western bank. The Egyptian commanders ask for more time and the offensive is postponed from October 13th to the 14th.

OTOH, the Israelis decide to cross the canal on the evening of October 13th, but postpone the crossing operation after IDF intelligence reports about the coming Egyptian armored offensive. The IDF crossing operation, named Abirey Lev (can be roughly translated as Stouthearted Men), will take place in the central sector, from Matzmed stronghold to Deversoir, utilizing the gap found by the 87th armored reconnaissance battalion between the Egyptian 16th infantry brigade defenses and the Greater Bitter Lake on October 9th.

IDF 100th armored battalion, an ad-hoc established force commanded by Ehud Barak, is sent to Sinai. It was established at the Armor School camp by reserve tankers who hastily returned from abroad, with M48s which were left behind during the October 6th mobilization due to their mechanical condition. On October 14th the 100th battalion will reinforce the 460th armored brigade, 162nd armored division.

 

October 13th:

Egyptian 7th infantry division doesn't receive the order to postpone the offensive and sends its 11th mechanized infantry brigade to attack. The Egyptian assault is repelled near Mitzvah second-line post by the IDF 164th armored brigade, but the IDF 252nd armored division CO, Albert Mandler, is killed by Egyptian PT-76 fire while visiting the 164th brigade HQ with his M113. Kalman Maggen, who would have succeeded Mandler on October 7th if the war hadn't start, receives the 252nd division CO duty, while the TF Nammer is now commanded by Sasson Itzhaki.

East of Hamadiya, a flight of 8 Iraqi AF Hunters (operating from Quwysina AFB) takes out an IDF M107 battery from the 329th heavy artillery battalion. The exploding propellant charge bags destroy 3 out of 4 M107s and all ammo trucks.  

IDF 162nd armored division is sent to the rear to prepare for crossing into Egypt. The division XO stays to command the front-line positions facing the Egyptian 2nd field army, which are handed over to the reserve 274th independent armored brigade. The 274th brigade operates the Soviet-made (1967 war booty) tanks: 4 armored battalions of T-54/55 tanks (all with 105 mm guns) and the 88th amphibious armored reconnaissance battalion (nicknamed Dov Lavan, which is Hebrew for White Bear), equipped with PT-76s and BTR-50s. The 274th brigade has arrived to Sinai from central Israel on flatbeds (the 274th and the 217th were the only ones to do so) with 3 of its Tiran battalions (the 227th, 228th and 25th), and was so far held as a reserve at Bir Al-Jifjafa (except for a short trip to Bir Ath-Thamada on October 8th, in order to face the alleged Egyptian 4th armored division assault). Its fourth Tiran battalion, the 225th (4 tank companies, including a single active-service one) and the 88th amphibious armored reconnaissance battalion (6 PT-76s and 14 BTR-50s) are based at Sharm Ash-Sheikh in order to execute a possible beach landing operation in the Gulf of Suez. Since the war had started, the 225th battalion is split into two: two companies (including the only active-service one) under the battalion CO are defending Ras DahaysaRas Sudr attached to the 35th paratrooper brigade, while two companies are staying at Sharm Ash-Sheikh under the battalion XO and prepare for landing near Al-Ghardaqa alongside the 88th battalion.

After a week-long siege, IDF Masreck (aka The Pier) stronghold men surrender to the Egyptian 19th infantry division forces.

 

Operation Or Yarock, a beach landing north of Al-Ghardaqa, is planned for execution by the newly established 440th armored division HQ, with the 35th paratrooper brigade HQ and its 890th battalion, the 225th armored battalion and the 88th amphibious armored reconnaissance battalion. Or Yarock is postponed again and again due to the presence of Egyptian Komar missile boats in the Red Sea, while the heaviest Israeli combat vessels there are Dabur patrol boats, as all Israeli Sa'ar missile boats are in the Mediterranean (The Sa'ar 4 class was designed especially for the Red Sea, but the first two boats were planned to begin their journey around Africa from Haifa to Sharm Ash-Sheikh only on October 16th 1973, and of course this journey was postponed to 1974 due to the war).

 

The major Egyptian armor offensive of October 14th:

 

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Northern sector:

Egyptian 135th independent infantry brigade assault on Yoram second-line post is repelled by IDF 204th mechanized infantry brigade (reinforced with 6 Centurions from the 429th armored battalion, 500th armored brigade). Several Egyptian T-34s are lost. The map mistakenly attributes this assault to the Egyptian 18th infantry division forces.

 

Egyptian 2nd field army:

 

Egyptian 18th infantry division sector:

Egyptian 15th independent armored brigade assault towards Martef second-line post - Vermont area is repelled by IDF 11th mechanized infantry brigade, whose Shermans open fire only at 600 meters range. ~40 Egyptian T-62s are lost.

IDF 228th armored battalion (274th armored brigade), reinforced by the 198th armored battalion (460th armored brigade), repels an Egyptian 136th mechanized infantry brigade assault east of Mifreqet front-line stronghold. Several Egyptian T-55s are lost.

 

Egyptian 2nd infantry division sector:

Egyptian 24th armored brigade (from the 23rd mechanized infantry division) and 117th mechanized infantry brigade assaults are barely repelled by IDF 274th armored brigade. Under heavy Egyptian pressure, IDF 25th battalion is reinforced by the 430th armored battalion (from the 500th armored brigade). ~25 Egyptian T-55s are lost. IDF 25th and 227th armored battalion COs are injured.

However, Havragah is temporarily taken by the Egyptian 2nd infantry division forces that accompany the 24th armored brigade. The only Tiran captured by the Egyptians in the war (from the 227th battalion) is destroyed by a Sagger missile SW of Zarqor (Kathib Abu Al-Uruq)Havragah is taken back by IDF 274th armored brigade on October 15th, in a battle during which the 274th brigade CO, Yoel Gonen, who is the younger brother of the Southern Command CG, is blown out of his tank but luckily returns to it unhurt.

 

Egyptian 16th infantry division sector:

Egyptian 21st armored division HQ crossed the canal with its 1st armored and 18th mechanized infantry brigades, joining its 14th armored brigade which had crossed at the start of the war.

Zoom-in on the Egyptian 21st armored division battle with the IDF 143rd armored division:

 

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Egyptian 14th armored brigade assault towards Ziona is repelled by IDF 421st armored brigade. While IDF 264th armored battalion blocks the Egyptian tank columns from Ziona, IDF 257th armored battalion advances to eastern Hamutal (Kathib Ayfan) and engages the Egyptian brigade from its northern flank. ~30 Egyptian T-55s are lost.

IDF 599th armored battalion (green), which was held at the rear during the Egyptian morning offensive and later replaced the 264th armored battalion at Ziona, destroys ~10 additional Egyptian 14th armored brigade T-55s in the afternoon.

Egyptian 1st armored brigade assault towards Hamadiya is repelled by IDF 14th armored brigade. While IDF 79th and 184th armored battalions (both with M48A3s) block the Egyptian tank columns from Hamadiya and north of it respectively, IDF 87th armored reconnaissance battalion (M60A1s) launches a counterattack on the Egyptian brigade southern flank from Kishuf.  ~40 Egyptian T-55s are lost and the Egyptian brigade CO is among the dead.

IDF 410th armored battalion (600th armored brigade) and 424th infantry reconnaissance battalion forces destroy heliborne Egyptian commandos who landed south of At-Tasa. The 600th armored brigade (green) replaces the 14th armored brigade in the afternoon at Hamadiya, as the 14th is sent to prepare for the coming IDF crossing operation.

 

 

Egyptian 3rd field army:

 

Egyptian 7th infantry division sector:

Egyptian 11th mechanized infantry brigade (or is it the 8th infantry brigade this time?), reinforced with a T-62 battalion from the 25th independent armored brigade, assaults towards Al-Jidi Mountain Pass and repelled again near Mitzvah second-line post by IDF 164th armored brigade. ~15 Egyptian T-62s are lost.

IDF 875th mechanized brigade Shermans see no action at Al-Jidi Pass western edge.

 

Egyptian 19th infantry division sector:

Egyptian 4th armored division remains in the western bank with its 2nd armored and 6th mechanized infantry brigades, but its 3rd armored brigade crossed the canal with the task to reach the Mitla Junction at the western edge of the Mitla Mountain Pass.

Egyptian 3rd armored brigade (belongs to the 4th armored division) assault through Wadi Mabouk surprises the IDF 401st armored brigade and almost reaches the IDF 89th mechanized infantry battalion (875th brigade) positions on the Lateral Road, but the 401st sends its 46th armored battalion (reinforced with 4 Centurions from the 164th armored brigade) to decimate the Egyptian brigade in the wadi, with some help from the nearby 202nd paratrooper battalion. After advancing farther than any other Egyptian force in the war (25 kms east of the canal), the Egyptian 3rd armored brigade loses ~50 T-55s, its CO and even its D-30 towed artillery battalion.

Egyptian 339th mechanized infantry battalion (belongs to the 113th mechanized infantry brigade, 6th mechanized infantry division) assault is repelled at Naveh - Yoreh junction by IDF 202nd paratrooper battalion (of the 35th paratrooper brigade, reinforced with 7 M48s). Several Egyptian T-55s are lost. The map mistakenly attributes this assault to the Egyptian 22nd armored brigade (of the 6th mechanized infantry division as well).

Egyptian 22nd armored brigade assault south towards Uyun MusaRas MisallaRas DahaysaRas Sudr is halted after suffering losses to IAF air strikes, in light of the heavy losses suffered by the 1st mechanized infantry brigade (6th mechanized infantry division again) on October 10th at the same place, on the same mission, to airstrikes by the same A-4s and Super Mysteres.

IAF executes 69 air close air support sorties in the Egyptian 19th infantry brigade sector, mostly targeting the Egyptian 3rd armored brigade. In all other sectors, the Egyptian armor assaults were repelled before they could get out of their SAM coverage.

On October 16th, over 100 Egyptian soldiers (including the 339th battalion CO) with 8 BTRs are captured east of Jabal Al-Aran with almost no resistance, after wandering in the desert for two days.

 

IAF strikes 3 of the Egyptian SAM batteries deployed east of the canal.

 

 

Although these were separate brigade-scale battles, the combined tank strength, fielded by both sides, marks October 14th 1973 as the largest armor engagement since Kursk. All in all, the Egyptian army lost around 210 MBTs within a few hours, while the IDF lost less than 20 (mostly 274th armored brigade Tirans). The tide has turned in favor of the Israeli army, that feels its time to regain the initiative, cross the canal and decide the war.

Following the decisive Israeli victory, the Egyptian 2nd field army CO suffered from an heart attack and replaced by his predecessor. The Egyptian SAM batteries that were deployed to Sinai since October 12th start retreating back to Egypt.

Edited by Iarmor

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October 15th:

 

1527da_f28f0a4c7a4946299b2b8d24a395e914~

 

Northern sector:

On the night of October 14th-15th, the Egyptian 103rd commando battalion, reinforced with an OT-62 company of the 135th independent infantry brigade landing from the sea, cuts off the road (code named Mikhpelet) SE of Budapest stronghold once again. Halftracked Israeli mechanized infantry forces (first a company from the 204th brigade, later a company from the 11th brigade) take heavy losses, but eventually wipe out the Egyptian force. This battle is not marked on the map.

IDF TF Nammer sector is widened southwards, as it takes command of the 274th armored brigade. TF Nammer sector's southern border is still north of Hamutal, as opposed to what the map depicts.

Egyptian 10th mechanized infantry brigade, of the 3rd mechanized infantry division, waits on the western side of the canal, west of Al-Qantara, to the rear of the 18th infantry division.

Egyptian 23rd mechanized infantry division HQ (not marked on the map) and its 118th mechanized infantry brigade wait on the western side of the canal, north of Ismailia, to the rear of the 2nd infantry division.

 

Central sector:

IDF 143rd and 162nd armored divisions prepare for Operation Abirey Lev. Utilizing the gap found by the 87th armored reconnaissance battalion between the Egyptian 16th infantry brigade defenses and the Greater Bitter Lake on October 9th, the 143rd division is tasked with establishing a 4-km-wide bridgehead (Sagger range is 3 kms) by uprooting the Egyptians from the Amir - Missouri area, crossing the canal and heading west towards the Aida Plains. It will be followed by the 162nd division, whose task is to head south towards Suez and the Suez-Cairo road after crossing, and to destroy the Egyptian 4th armored division.

IDF 500th armored brigade is held as the Southern Command reserve near At-Tasa, with its 430th and 433rd armored battalions, while its 429th armored battalion holds Ziona under the 143rd armored division. The map mistakenly depicts the 429th under TF Nammer, which will take responsibility for the Hamutal - Ziona area only on October 18th.

IDF reserve 247th paratrooper brigade, which was kept at the rear until now, joins in under the 143rd armored division, to cross first by rubber boats before the 143rd division tanks.

As the Israeli forces and bridging equipment flow towards the central sector, enormous traffic jams are created around At-Tasa.

IDF artillery in the central canal sector is reinforced with the 899th medium artillery (M109) and 270th rocket artillery (BM-24 captured in 1967) battalions, sent from the Golan Heights. This is not depicted on the map. So far, the IDF didn't deploy any M109s or rocket artillery to Sinai, as the two IDF M109 battalions (the 405th and 899th) and the single IDF rocket artillery battalion were all deployed to the Golan.

Egyptian 116th mechanized infantry brigade, of the 23rd mechanized infantry division, awaits on the western side of the canal, south of Ismailia, to the rear of the 16th infantry and 21st armored divisions.

 

Southern sector:

IDF 252nd armored division faces the Egyptian 7th and 19th infantry divisions.

Egyptian 4th armored and 6th mechanized infantry (the 6th is not marked on the map) division HQs, along with their remaining forces that haven't crossed, are west of the canal.

In order to participate Operation Abirey Lev, and as Operation Or Yarock is still denied, IDF 35th paratrooper brigade (not marked on the map), with just its 890th paratrooper battalion, departs from Ras Sudr in helicopters to join the 162nd armored division at the central Suez Canal sector. Its 202nd paratrooper battalion stays with the 252nd armored division and the 50th paratrooper battalion is still committed to the Syrian theater.

The defense of Ras Dahaysa - Ras Misalla area is handed over to TF Ayalon (not marked on the map), an ad-hoc established brigade-sized force under the 440th armored division. In addition to the 225th armored battalion (Tirans, from the 274th armored brigade), which was based in southern Sinai before the war, TF Ayalon includes an ad-hoc established paratrooper battalion and the 182nd independent armored battalion (Shermans) which have arrived from the Jordan Valley. As it becomes clear that the Jordanians won't open a third front, the IDF leave the Central Command with just a single Sherman battalion - the 268th from the 670th mechanized infantry brigade (while the rest of 670th is at the Golan Heights).

IDF 88th amphibious armored reconnaissance battalion (6 PT-76s, 14 BTR-50s) starts its journey (some vehicles on tracks, others on flatbeds) from At-Tur (off the map) to At-Tasa, to join the 143rd armored division. The pre-war planning calls for the 88th to cross several hours before the main force, infiltrate the Egyptian rear and destroy unarmored forces (artillery etc.).

 

IDF intelligence identifies 830 Egyptian MBTs in Sinai: 87 with the 18th division, 155 with the 2nd division, 225 with the 16th and 21st divisions, 168 with the 7th division, 195 with the 19th division. 375 additional MBTs are identified near Cairo - 3rd mechanized infantry division, Republican Guard, Armor School forces.

Another IDF source claims 787 Egyptian MBTs in Sinai: 84 with the 18th division, 153 with the 2nd division, 221 with the 16th and 21st divisions, 156 with the 7th division, 173 with the 19th division.

 

IAF executes 58 air base attack sorties in Egypt, notably on Tanta and Al-Qattamiya. In addition, two Egyptian SAM sites are destroyed west of Deversoir.

 

Operation Abirey Lev starts on the night of October 15th-16th:

 

1527da_07cb2fb0835d4073b0245bbb60cd447f~

 

The road from At-Tasa to Laqeqan stronghold is code named Akavish.

Roughly parallel to Akavish, the road which leads from the Artillery Road (west of Hamadiya) to Matzmed stronghold, through the arid Chinese Farm irrigation channels, is code named Tirtur.

The north-south road along the canal, about 3 kms east of it, is code named Lexicon.

The road leading west from the Chinese Farm (Amir) to the canal, on the northern bank of the farm's freshwater supply canal (which goes under the Suez Canal, from west to east), is code named Chic.

 

IDF 162nd armored division, with its 460th and 217th armored brigades (~70 tanks each), assembles SE of Hamadiya and waits for its turn to cross. 

IDF 500th armored brigade (~70 Centurions including the 429th battalion), with its 430th and 433rd armored battalions, is held as the Southern Command reserve near At-Tasa.

 

IDF 143rd armored division:

 

IDF 429th armored battalion (from the 500th armored brigade) is at Ziona, facing the Egyptian 112th infantry brigade of the 16th infantry division, which is positioned at western Hamutal and northern Makhshir.

 

IDF 14th armored brigade, heavily reinforced (97 tanks: 44 M48A3s, 53 M60A1s), advances west through the sands, from the Artillery Road (north of Kathib Al-Habashi, which is code named Edra) to Laqeqan stronghold, then heads north on Lexicon road and assaults the Egyptian 16th infantry division rear from its southern flank, Matzmed - Amir - Missouri area:

IDF 87th armored reconnaissance battalion (22 M60A1s) leads through the Tirtur - Lexicon junction with no resistance, turns west to the waterline and takes the area between Matzmed and Chic road. The place is crowded with Egyptian logistic soft-skins, shocked and surprised, easy prey for the Israeli armor. No trace of IDF soldiers is found at Matzmed (surrendered on October 9th), and the Egyptian 16th infantry division HQ is not there either, in contradiction to the IDF intelligence report.

IDF 79th armored battalion (22 M48s) follows through the Tirtur - Lexicon junction with light losses, advances deep into the Egyptian rear west of Lexicon road and destroys many soft-skins and artillery pieces (and even a SAM site), but the Egyptian resistance starts to grow rapidly. IDF intelligence is found to have another mistake - an Egyptian AFV bridge is not found west of Missouri.

IDF 184th armored battalion (21 M48s) is tasked with advancing towards Amir and Missouri, east of Lexicon road. The Egyptian 16th infantry brigade (T-54s), which is found to have redeployed from Amir to Tirtur road since the IDF 87th battalion reconnaissance on October 9th, awakens at last and the 184th loses half of its tanks at Tirtur - Lexicon junction. Some tanks step on landmines off-road while trying to bypass tank corpses on the road. The Tirtur - Lexicon junction is blocked, but the 184th keeps advancing and stops NE of Chic - Lexicon junction (NW of Amir). At dawn the 184th redeploys SW of this junction.

Under Egyptian pressure, the 79th retreats back to Chic road, in line with the 184th, and the 79th battalion CO is wounded on the way.

Egyptian 21st armored division (notably its 1st armored brigade) starts launching counterattacks southwards against the IDF 79th and 184th battalions. Unlike the Egyptian T-55s, Israeli M48s don't have a gunner night sight and they can identify targets only at very close range, but the Egyptian armored assaults are repelled with heavy losses for both sides. An Egyptian armored brigade CO is injured, and apparently the 21st division HQ takes casualties as well.

IDF 407th armored battalion (downsized, M60A1s, from the 600th armored brigade) splits into two companies to clear Akavish and Tirtur roads from SW to NE. Akavish road is opened with no resistance, but Tirtur road is blocked by the Egyptian 16th infantry brigade. The 407th takes heavy losses and its CO is injured, but it repeatedly keeps trying to open Tirtur - Lexicon junction and Tirtur road.

IDF 424th infantry reconnaissance battalion (downsized, but reinforced with 5 M60A1s from the 407th battalion) is tasked with clearing the waterline between Matzmed and Chic road. After losing one halftrack, whose burnt corpse blocks the road to Matzmed, the 424th stops south of the Tirtur - Lexicon junction under heavy fire.

IDF TF Shmulik (two paratrooper companies from the 35th brigade with 4 M60A1s from the 407th battalion) is tasked with clearing Tirtur road and Amir after the armored battalions, but stops south of the Tirtur - Lexicon junction under heavy fire.

IDF 582nd paratrooper reconnaissance battalion (from the 317th paratrooper brigade) is kept on Lexicon road south of Laqeqan as the 14th brigade's reserve. Later, along with 407th battalion remnants, the 582nd assaults towards Tirtur twice, but repelled both times: first at the Tirtur - Lexicon junction (Egyptian 18th infantry battalion), later further on Tirtur road (Egyptian 16th infantry battalion), suffering heavy losses.

In between the 582nd battalion assaults, the 87th armored reconnaissance battalion assaults Tirtur - Lexicon junction from the west and repelled as well, taking heavy losses including the CO (the second one, whose predecessor was killed on October 8th).

At dawn, Tirtur - Lexicon junction is still blocked by the Egyptian 18th infantry battalion (16th infantry brigade, 16th infantry division). IDF 14th armored brigade CO, on his own M48, is north of the junction with the 87th, 79th and 184th battalion remnants, under heavy Egyptian 21st armored division pressure from the north, while the brigade XO is south of the junction with the 407th battalion remnants and the 3 infantry battalions.

This chaotic night battle apparently included several fratricide fire incidents on both sides. On the Israeli side, it's plausible that fratricide fire incidents occurred around Chic - Lexicon (79th, 184th, 87th battalions) and Tirtur - Lexicon (184th, 407th, 87th, 582nd, 599th battalions) junctions.

All in all, IDF 14th brigade lost 122 men and 56 tanks (27 M48s, 29 M60s), while the Egyptians lost over twice as many T-54/55s. General Israel Tal described this battle as the cruelest tank battle in history.  

 

IDF 600th armored brigade (downsized, ~75 M60A1s) battalions raid Missouri from Hamadiya one after the other, in order to draw the Egyptians' attention from their southern flank. First the 410th armored battalion engages Missouri, turns back, engages the Egyptian 3rd mechanized brigade forces at Televiziya from west to east, enters a hastily-laid Egyptian minefield and eventually returns to Hamadiya, under ineffective (night...) Sagger barrages from southern Makhshir on the way back. Later the 409th armored battalion advances towards Missouri with almost no resistance.

4 M60A1s from the 410th battalion observe the Bitter Lakes area from Horvah second-line post.

 

IDF 247th paratrooper brigade advances SW on Akavish road to Laqeqan (their halftracks are prioritized through the traffic jam), heads NW to Matzmed and reaches the waterline unharmed. Around 01:30 the paratroopers cross the canal on rubber boats towards Deversoir, with no resistance. Egyptian 116th mechanized infantry brigade forces are several kms NW of the Israeli bridgehead.

Tasked with accompanying the 247th brigade, a single M48 company from the 599th armored battalion, 421st armored brigade, is destroyed at Tirtur - Lexicon junction after arriving there without preliminary coordination with the 14th armored brigade.

 

IDF 421st armored brigade (~60 M48s) is ordered to tow the vehicle crossing equipment through the enormous traffic jam on Akavish road and to cross on it after the paratroopers.

Despite an order to tow it in 3-4 pieces, the 200-meters-long Cylinder Bridge (605th crossing battalion), regarded as the only reliable crossing equipment, is slowly (2.5 km/h) towed in one piece, partially off-road, by the 257th armored battalion. The movement is secured from the north by the 599th armored battalion, which is planned to be the first to cross. At dawn the Cylinder Bridge breaks down, while Tirtur road, on which the bridge is planned to pass, is still blocked by the Egyptian 16th infantry brigade.

The 630th crossing battalion Uniflote pontoon barges are towed by half of the 264th armored battalion, commanded by the XO. These are joined by the 605th crossing battalion pontoons, towed all the way from Baluza by tanks of the 279th armored reconnaissance battalion. The pontoons get stuck in the traffic jam on Akavish road, as towing them off-road is impossible.

Only the self-propelled Gillois amphibious tank carriers (634th crossing battalion), accompanied by the other half of the 264th armored battalion (commanded by the CO) manage to bypass the traffic jam through the sands and take the 264th battalion AFVs to Africa starting at dawn. The Gillois carriers, bought as scrap-metal in 1971, are regarded as the least reliable crossing equipment. In early 1973 the IDF had stopped their refurbishment, so only 19 out of 62 are operational for the war.

 

IDF 214th artillery regiment pounds the empty western bank from its positions east of Hamadiya, in support of the crossing paratroopers. The 14th armored brigade, which struggles against the RPG and SLS equipped Egyptian infantry in Tirtur - Lexicon junction, gets very little artillery support.

Edited by Iarmor

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Posted (edited)

Operation Abirey Lev continues, October 16th:

 

1527da_b88d076b3d7047bca91d620ea9729637~

 

Egyptian 16th infantry division is deployed at western Hamutal (Abu Waqfa), Makhshir (Kathib Al-Khayl - Kathib Abu Tarabush), Televiziya, Missouri, Amir (Al-Gala'a farm, aka The Chinese Farm) and Tirtur road. After the morning fog clears, the daylight allows effective use of Sagger ATGMs against IDF armor.

Egyptian 21st armored division repeatedly keeps counterattacking the IDF 14th armored brigade forces from north to south, west of Amir, but fails and suffers heavy losses.

 

 

IDF 143rd armored division:

 

IDF 247th paratrooper brigade:

The 247th brigade expands the Israeli bridgehead in the agricultural area on the western bank, advancing by the clay huts, irrigation canals and tangled vegetation - mango plantations, corn fields, orchards, palm trees - totally different than the arid open desert where the fighting took place so far. The 416th paratrooper battalion crosses and joins the 565th paratrooper battalion, which was the first to cross during the night.

 

IDF 421st armored brigade:

IDF 257th armored battalion leaves the broken Cylinder Bridge and advances SW on Akavish road towards Matzmed. After taking Egyptian Sagger fire from Tirtur road (CO is wounded), the battalion bypasses Akavish road through the sands SE of it, reaches Matzmed through Laqeqan (Tell Salam) and crosses the canal by Gillois carriers (634th crossing battalion). One company joins the 264th battalion, the other joins the 247th brigade and the 257th battalion is written-off the ORBAT table.

IDF 599th armored battalion is handed over to the 14th armored brigade. It tries to clear Tirtur road from NE to SW, but retreats after taking heavy Sagger fire from the Egyptian 16th infantry battalion (16th infantry brigade, 16th infantry division), as well as fratricide fire from IDF 409th armored battalion. After this battle, the 599th CO demands not to fight under the 14th brigade CO ever again.

IDF 264th armored battalion (CO's TF), with the brigade HQ, takes Deversoir airfield with light resistance and then raids 5 Egyptian SAM emplacements in the Aida Planes, the open desert plains west of the agricultural area, destroying 4 of the Egyptian 106th heavy SAM brigade sites: 6120, 6218 (empty), 6316, 6148, 6149. During the raid it also destroys a reinforced Egyptian battalion from the 116th mechanized infantry brigade (and kills the brigade CO), which was heading east on the road south of Maktzerah, as well as many soft-skins along the way. The 421st brigade force west of the canal is ordered to return to Deversoir - Abu Sultan due to the Egyptian 16th infantry brigade presence on Tirtur road and due to the undesirable reliance on Gillois carriers, which makes the Israeli bridgehead appear unstable for now. One M48 platoon and one M113 platoon secure the concrete bridge over the Freshwater Canal south of Abu Sultan.

The other half of the 264th battalion (XO's TF) is still stuck on Akavish road with the pontoon barges.

 

IDF 600th armored brigade:

IDF 409th armored battalion is handed over to the 14th armored brigade and engages TeleviziyaMissouri and Amir at long ranges. After taking losses from Saggers launched from Televiziya (Egyptian 3rd mechanized infantry brigade), the 409th returns back to the 600th brigade at Hamadiya.

IDF 410th armored battalion prepares to tow the now-fixed (6 hours of work) Cylinder Bridge (605th crossing battalion), after the 257th armored battalion (421st brigade) had left the bridge broken and had been sent to battle. However, Tirtur road is still blocked by the Egyptian 16th infantry brigade.

 

IDF 14th armored brigade:

The heavily-beaten 14th brigade takes command of the 409th and 599th armored battalions, from the 600th and 421st armored brigades respectively, in order for them to assault the Egyptian forces on Tirtur road from the north and NE. As described earlier, the 409th returns to Hamadiya after taking losses and engaging the 599th, while the 599th assaults through Tirtur road but retreats at some point due to heavy Egyptian resistance.

Tirtur - Lexicon junction is finally taken by a company from the 407th battalion (the one which was split between the 424th infantry battalion and TF Shmulik), with the brigade CO tank and some other remnants.

Due to the heavy losses, the 87th armored reconnaissance and 407th armored battalion remnants (10-15 M60A1s each) join the 79th and 184th armored battalions, while the 87th and 407th are written-off the ORBAT table. 

IDF 79th armored battalion is sent to recover at Laqeqan. As IDF intelligence report suggests that Egyptian 3rd field army armor might assault the Israeli bridgehead from its southern flank, one company (of the 407th battalion remnants) deploys on Lexicon road south of Laqeqan, facing south, along with the 424th infantry reconnaissance battalion.

IDF 184th armored battalion repels another Egyptian 21st armored division assault in the morning, and later it is sent to recover at Laqeqan, while its positions on Chic road are handed over to the 198th armored battalion (attached from the 460th armored brigade).

 

IDF 143rd armored division CO Sharon is slightly wounded in his forehead while evading Egyptian artillery in his M113. A bloodied white head bandage adds to his legendary heroic image and to the fighting spirit of his admiring troops. There are claims that Sharon was targeted after the Egyptian intelligence had located him by intercepting IDF radio communication. Shortly later, however, Egyptian forwards artillery observers were found hiding nearby.

 

 

IDF 162nd armored division:

IDF 460th armored brigade is ordered to send its 198th armored battalion to cross the canal on the Gillois carriers, as the division's vanguard in Africa. Since Akavish road is jammed, the 198th battalion bypasses Akavish road by following the 14th armored brigade trail through the sands between the Artillery road and Laqeqan. However, by the time the 198th reaches Matzmed, an order is given not to cross, because of the Israeli bridgehead apparent instability. Instead, the 198th battalion reinforces the 14th armored brigade and replaces the 184th battalion in its positions west of Amir, not before a fratricide incident.

After the 143rd division had failed to do so, the 162nd division is ordered to clear Tirtur road, but receives no information from the 143rd regarding the opposing Egyptian force. IDF 126th armored battalion (217th armored brigade) assaults through Tirtur road from NE to SW, while the 100th armored battalion (460th armored brigade) engages the Egyptian defenders from its positions SE of Akavish, west of Kishuf (Jabal Khubayta). The ill-prepared assault is stopped after the 126th takes heavy Sagger fire. The 162nd division CO decides to wait for the 35th paratrooper brigade to arrive (on its way from Ras Sudr in helicopters) before further attacking.

In the evening, preparing to ambush the Egyptian 3rd field army armor that is expected to attack the Israeli southern flank, IDF 217th armored brigade deploys to Edra (Kathib Al-Habashi) with two of its battalions (126th, 113th) and sends its reconnaissance further SW. Its 142nd armored battalion stays with the 460th armored brigade near Kishuf.

 

IDF 214th and 215th artillery regiments (from the 143rd and 162nd divisions respectively) deploy near Akavish road, between Hamadiya and Ceylon (At-Tasa).

 

IDF 429th armored battalion is at Ziona.

 

IDF 500th armored brigade, with its 430th and 433rd armored battalions, is held as the Southern Command reserve on The Lateral Road, south of At-Tasa.

 

Off the map, the IAF executes 39 SEAD sorties and destroys 4 more Egyptian SAM batteries in the Al-Gamil - Port Said - Port Fuad area, suffering no losses. These SAM batteries were brought there to replace the 3 batteries destroyed on October 10th, which were in turn brought there to replace the 5 batteries destroyed on October 8th.

 

 

IDF 143rd division CO Sharon is criticized of over-optimistic reports during the night battle, as IDF generals realize the 143rd division cannot clear Tirtur road on its own. Sharon is angry about the order to hold the crossing until the bridgehead is stabilized. The Chief of General Staff Elazar asks to dismiss Sharon, but MoD Dayan refuses.

 

By noon, the surprised Egyptians realize that Israeli tanks have crossed to Deversoir and destroyed some SAM sites, but the Israeli crossing is mistakenly regarded as just a small raid. The Egyptians haven't noticed that the IDF 162nd armored division had broken contact with the Egyptian 2nd infantry division (the 162nd division front-line positions were taken by the 274th armored brigade on October 13th) and is waiting for an order to cross to Deversoir.

In order to replace the heavily-beaten 116th mechanized infantry brigade and to destroy the crossing Israeli force, the Egyptian 23rd armored brigade (3rd mechanized infantry division), 85th paratrooper battalion (182nd paratrooper brigade) and 73rd commando battalion (129th commando regiment) are rushed from the Egyptian rear towards the Israeli bridgehead area.

EAF MiG-17s start bombing the Israeli bridgehead, which is defended by IAF Mirages and by the 207th and 208th SP AAA battalions (from the 143rd and 162nd divisions respectively, equipped with unguided twin 20 mm Hispano-Suiza guns mounted on halftracks). EAF executes 38 strike sorties and 306 interception sorties, losing 14 jets.

Edited by Iarmor

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The paratrooper battle on the night of October 16th-17th:

 

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IDF intelligence reports that Egyptian armor is about to assault the Israeli bridgehead with several brigades, from the south and from the north, east and west of the canal. The associated Egyptian formations are the 25th independent armored brigade (T-62s, attached to the 7th infantry division), 24th armored brigade (attached to the 2nd infantry division from the 23rd mechanized infantry division), 116th mechanized brigade (23rd mechanized infantry division) and 2nd armored brigade (4th armored division).

 

IDF 143rd armored division:

 

IDF 247th paratrooper and 421st armored brigades are at Deversoir - Abu Sultan area.

IDF 599th armored battalion bypasses Akavish road and advances to Laqeqan, after a long night navigation through the sands south of Kishuf (Jabal Khubayta). The 599th arrives to the crossing area at dawn and crosses the canal over the Gillois carriers (634th crossing battalion), along with supplies (on halftracks, as trucks couldn't go through the sands) for the forces in Africa. The 634th crossing battalion CO is injured by Egyptian artillery.

Half of the 264th armored battalion (XO's TF) is with the Uniflote pontoon barges (630th crossing battalion) on Akavish road, under the 162nd armored division. After a mechanized infantry company from the 460th armored brigade reports that Akavish road is open, the pontoons are towed to the bridgehead.

 

IDF 14th armored brigade is between Chic road and Laqeqan. Under its command, on the northern flank, the 198th armored battalion (attached from the 460th armored brigade) defends Chic road, west of Amir. The 198th repels an Egyptian infantry assault at dawn and prepares for the Egyptian armor attack expected to come from the north. 407th armored battalion remnants (from the 600th armored brigade), as a company under the 79th armored battalion, is deployed south of Laqeqan, preparing to block the Egyptian armor expected to attack from the south.

 

IDF 600th armored brigade HQ is at Hamadiya. Its 409th armored battalion is facing Missouri, south of Televiziya, while the 410th armored battalion is with the Cylinder Bridge (605th crossing battalion) near Akavish road. 4 M60A1s from the 410th battalion observe the Bitter Lakes area from Horvah second-line post.

 

IDF 162nd armored division:

 

IDF 35th paratrooper brigade HQ arrives in helicopters from Ras Sudr with its 890th battalion, but without its heavy weapons (mortars, RRs, HMGs). After receiving misleading intelligence report about Egyptian "tank hunter" presence on Tirtur road, the 890th advances in a wide-spread formation in order to clear the Tirtur roadsides. Instead of some scattered commando/AT teams, the paratroopers are surprised to find the entrenched Egyptian 16th infantry battalion (16th infantry brigade, 16th infantry division), with T-54s, mortars and Goryunov machine guns, which had previously repelled the 599th armored battalion assault. The 890th takes heavy losses and eventually retreats, leaving wounded men behind (would be later evacuated by 460th armored brigade elements).

 

IDF 460th armored brigade:

In the meanwhile, south of the Tirtur road battle, a mechanized infantry company runs back and forth on Akavish road without taking Sagger fire (its night again). As described, the Uniflote pontoon barges (630th and 605th crossing battalions) are then towed to Laqeqan and from there to Matzmed.

IDF 100th armored battalion assaults the Egyptian 16th infantry battalion in Tirtur road at dawn, from east to west, in order to rescue the 890th battalion. The assault is repelled with heavy Sagger fire. The paratroopers bravely climb on the burning M48s to extract the wounded tankers, but exploding ammunition increases the casualty toll. Afterwards, IDF 100th and 142nd armored battalions engage the Egyptian 16th infantry battalion, without assaulting but with artillery support, and evacuate the wounded in a series of heroic single-M113 trips.

 

IDF 217th armored brigade (downsized) is deployed behind Kathib Al-Habashi (kathib means sand dune), preparing to ambush the Egyptian 25th independent armored brigade expected to attack the bridgehead from the south.

 

 

IDF 214th and 215th artillery regiments (143rd and 162nd divisions respectively) are north of Akavish road, between Ceylon (At-Tasa) and Hamadiya.

 

IDF 429th armored battalion is at Ziona.

 

IDF 500th armored brigade is kept as reserve on the Lateral Road, south of Ceylon (At-Tasa).

Edited by Iarmor

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October 17th:

 

Some of the Egyptian forces identified by IDF intelligence, based on aerial reconnaissance:

 

2nd field army:

2nd infantry division sector: 77 MBTs, 95 destroyed MBTs, 45 APCs, 24 artillery batteries.

16th infantry division sector: 121 MBTs, 254 destroyed MBTs, 111 APCs, 23 artillery batteries.

West of Al-Qantara - Ismailia: 38 MBTs, 53 APCs, 8 artillery batteries.

Ridan Al-Hama - Abu Sultan: 74 MBTs.

 

3rd field army:

7th infantry division sector: 160 MBTs, 47 destroyed MBTs, 60 APCs, 33 artillery batteries.

19th infantry division sector: 123 MBTs, 106 destroyed MBTs, 80 APCs, 40 artillery batteries.

West of Suez: 19 MBTs, 23 APCs.

 

Operation Abirey Lev continues:

 

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IDF 88th amphibious armored reconnaissance battalion (6 PT-76s, 14 BTR-50s) arrives in the morning to Laqeqan from Ceylon (At-Tasa) through Akavish road, without an order to do so, and joins the 14th armored brigade.

 

Dayan, Elazar, Bar-Lev, Sharon and Adan have a crucial discussion east of Kishuf, known as The War Council in the Sands. Sharon demands that more of his forces would be authorized to cross, but the demand is refused. The 162nd armored division is ordered to destroy the Egyptian 25th armored brigade and then cross when a full bridge is ready. Additional 143rd armored division forces would follow only after the Cylinder Bridge is launched. After the discussion, Dayan tours the western bank alongside Sharon.

 

Egyptian 25th independent armored brigade (T-62 and BTR-50, attached to the 7th infantry division of the 3rd field army) advances north in a long column on Lexicon road, along the Bitter Lakes coastline, in order to assault the Israeli bridgehead southern flank.

The Egyptian brigade rearguard is engaged by IDF 183th armored battalion (164th armored brigade, 252nd armored division) east of the deserted Botzer IDF front-line stronghold.

IDF 410th armored battalion force (4 M60A1s), positioned at Horvah second-line post, observes the Egyptians and repels an Egyptian attempt to advance towards the Artillery Road.

The Egyptian brigade vanguard is blocked south of Laqeqan by a company-sized force from the IDF 79th armored battalion (407th and 87th battalion remnants) alongside the 14th brigade CO tank. IDF 88th amphibious armored reconnaissance battalion PT-76s also fire some rounds, but with no effect on the T-62 armor.

Later on, IDF 217th armored brigade (downsized - just the 126th and 113th battalions) jumps in on the Egyptian eastern flank and decimates the entire Egyptian elite brigade.

Lastly, IDF 500th armored brigade (downsized - just the 430th and 433rd battalions) joins in the battle shortly before it ends, as well as the 142nd armored battalion, which returns to the 217th brigade from the 460th brigade.

The Egyptian 25th independent armored brigade, including its field and AA artillery battalions, is decimated. Its remnants (about a company-sized force), including the brigade CO on his own tank, escape to Botzer stronghold. Over 50 Egyptian T-62s are burning along the Bitter Lakes coastline, among many other Egyptian vehicles. IDF losses sum up to 4 Shot Cals, that entered a minefield near Botzer while the 430th battalion was chasing the Egyptian remnants.

 

Egyptian 1st armored and 18th mechanized infantry brigades (21st armored division) assault the Israeli bridgehead northern flank west of Lexicon road. The assault is repelled by IDF 198th armored battalion (the map confuses it with the 184th), which is reinforced with a company from the 599th armored battalion, and the Egyptians retreat back north with heavy losses.

Later on, IDF 184th armored battalion returns to Chic road, replacing the 198th which is sent to resupply at Laqeqan. The Egyptian 21st armored division is reinforced with a tank battalion from the 24th armored brigade (originally from the 23rd mechanized infantry division, but attached to the 2nd infantry division since the outbreak of the war), while the tank battalion of the 18th mechanized infantry brigade is attached to the 16th infantry division.

 

IDF 600th armored brigade is now attached to the 162nd armored division. After engaging the Egyptian 16th infantry brigade, the 409th armored battalion repels an Egyptian 3rd mechanized infantry brigade counterattack south of Televiziya, while the 410th armored battalion keeps training with the Cylinder bridge, between Hamadiya and Akavish road.

At the evening, the Egyptian 16th infantry brigade finally starts leaving its foxholes and retreats north from Tirtur road, after taking heavy artillery and tank fire from IDF 460th armored brigade (196th, 100th, 142nd battalions) and IDF 600th armored brigade (409th battalion). Akavish road is open for movement.

 

IDF 599th armored battalion (downsized) crosses the canal, along with the 264th armored battalion tanks (XO's TF) that were used to tow the Uniflote pontoon barges. All 421st armored brigade tanks are now in Africa, except for a single company from the 599th battalion (reinforced with a platoon from the 279th armored reconnaissance battalion), which is attached to the 14th armored brigade.

Egyptian 23rd mechanized infantry division HQ assumes command of the 2nd field army forces on the western bank south of Ismailia. Due to the heavy losses it had suffered, the 116th mechanized infantry brigade is unable to attack effectively, so the 23rd armored brigade (3rd mechanized infantry division) and 85th paratrooper battalion (182nd paratrooper brigade) take the lead and assault east towards Abu Sultan - Deversoir. The Egyptian assault is repelled with heavy losses near Abu Sultan by IDF 421st armored brigade and 582nd paratrooper reconnaissance battalion forces. IDF 599th armored battalion secures the Bailey bridge over the Freshwater Canal east of Abu Sultan.

IDF 565th paratrooper battalion (247th paratrooper brigade) assaults Serapeum with 8 halftracks and 2 M48s, but repelled by the Egyptian 73rd commando battalion (129th commando regiment). The paratroopers from the leading halftrack get trapped in one of the village houses with little ammo, later rescued by the 416th paratrooper battalion.

IDF 626th crossing regiment establishes a full bridge by the afternoon, connecting the Uniflote pontoons.

 

 

IDF 214th and 215th artillery regiments (143rd and 162nd divisions respectively) are north of Akavish road, between Ceylon (At-Tasa) and Hamadiya. IDF 55th heavy artillery battalion (M107) redeploys back to Sinai from the Golan, joining the battery it had left behind in Sinai when it was sent to the Golan in September. Now 3 out of 4 IDF M107 battalions are in Sinai (the 55th, 329th, 647th) and one is in the Golan (the 412th). IDF stocks of 175 mm shells are depleted, but more are supplied as a part of Operation Nickel Grass. In the meanwhile, some 175 mm barrels are replaced by 203 mm barrels, making them M110s. Almost all BM-24 rockets were depleted as well.

 

IDF 429th armored battalion (from the 500th armored brigade) holds Ziona.

 

IAF executes 17 SEAD sorties and destroys two Egyptian SAM sites, 6521 and 5621. In addition, 6-7 EAF MiGs are shot down.

After the Egyptian intelligence finds out that the Israeli MoD is visiting the Israeli forces in Africa, EAF transport helicopters bomb the Israeli bridgehead with explosive barrels, targeting Dayan with no success. The Egyptian artillery barrages also intensify, and IDF 630th crossing battalion CO is among the injured.

Edited by Iarmor

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Night of October 17th-18th:

IDF 162nd armored division crosses the Suez Canal over the Uniflote pontoon bridge, with its 460th and 217th armored brigades and artillery (including M109s of the 899th medium artillery battalion). The first 460th brigade tanks drive too fast and the bridge breaks down, but repaired shortly after using a M60 AVLB from the 421st armored brigade. The 198th armored battalion returns to the 460th armored brigade from the 14th armored brigade.

Egyptian 16th infantry brigade (16th infantry division) completes its retreat north of Tirtur road, due to the heavy losses it had suffered, lack of supplies (its logistics were destroyed by the IDF 14th armored brigade on the night of October 15th-16th) and IDF advancement west of the canal.

 

October 18th:

 

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IDF 162nd armored division:

 

IDF 460th armored brigade takes Objective Uri despite heavy resistance by Egyptian 129th regiment commandos (eventually cleared by IDF paratroopers from the 247th brigade), but its assault on Tzach Junction (19th, 100th, 198th armored battalions) on The Treaty Road (code named Havit) is repelled by Egyptian 116th mechanized infantry brigade forces (mistakenly marked on the map as the 23rd brigade from the 3rd division).

Later on, IDF 198th armored battalion heads SW, crosses The Treaty Road and raids SAM site 5920.

IDF 196th armored battalion repels an Egyptian 207th armored battalion (2nd armored brigade, 4th armored division, 3rd field army) assault south of Abu Sultan. Many Egyptian T-55s get stuck in the mud of the agricultural area.

 

IDF 217th armored brigade (126th, 142nd and 113th armored battalions, marked in green) advances NW through Abu Sultan Camps, destroys counterattacking Egyptian 23rd armored brigade forces (injuring the Egyptian brigade CO) and takes Arrel compound on The Treaty Road, but its losses are heavy and the road leading to Arrel (code named Haifa) is still blocked by the Egyptian 129th regiment commandos. The Egyptian 23rd armored brigade (mistakenly marked as mechanized infantry), which is the only armored brigade of the Egyptian strategic reserve - the 3rd mechanized infantry division, is left with only 8 combat-ready tanks.

Later on, IDF 126th armored battalion is sent further NW (off the map) to raid SAM sites 6516 and 6413A (aka Matzlema A). Haifa road is eventually cleared by IDF paratroopers (TF Shmulik) at night.

 

 

IDF 143rd armored division:

 

IDF 421st armored brigade (all of its tanks have crossed to Africa by now, but some are with the 247th paratrooper brigade) heads north, turns NW through Abu Sultan Camps and reaches Geshira compound on The Treaty Road. The Egyptian resistance is light and their losses are heavy - tanks, SAM site 6321 (run-over by IDF 599th armored battalion) and an artillery regiment (run-over by IDF 264th armored battalion).

 

IDF 247th paratrooper brigade, reinforced with some 421st brigade tanks, holds Deversoir - Abu Sultan area. Its forces clear Uri of Egyptian commandos and engage Egyptian 182nd paratrooper brigade forces (81st and 89th paratrooper battalions) at the northern flank of the bridgehead.

 

IDF 14th armored brigade (mistakenly marked on the map as the 143rd brigade):

IDF 424th infantry reconnaissance battalion assaults eastwards and takes the Chinese Farm's water pump building, followed by the 88th amphibious armored reconnaissance battalion which takes Amir itself with heavy artillery support. The Egyptian resistance is very light, as opposed to earlier battles. Egyptian 16th infantry division CO gets injured.

IDF 184th and 79th armored battalions assault northwards, between the canal and Lexicon road. Many destroyed Egyptian vehicles are scattered in the area and its difficult to spot the active T-55s, some of which are entrenched and others are hiding behind dead ones. Helped by a mistaken EAF strike on the Egyptian positions, IDF 184th battalion advances several kms on the eastern bank of the canal, despite suffering losses. East of the 184th, the 79th advances a shorter distance due to heavy Egyptian resistance.

IDF observe a steady flow of Egyptian soldiers who flee west from Missouri and cross back to Africa.

Egyptian 21st armored division is reinforced with the 24th armored brigade, that joins in from the 2nd infantry division sector, and with whatever is left of the 16th infantry division tanks.

 

IDF 600th armored brigade (409th and 410th armored battalions) clears Tirtur road after the Egyptian 16th infantry brigade retreat, evacuating dozens of IDF 890th battalion paratrooper bodies (and a few wounded but still alive) from the October 16th-17th night battle. Tirtur road is open for movement.

IDF 410th battalion tanks tow the Cylinder Bridge (605th crossing battalion) to the canal on Tirtur road, lead by Shermans with dozer blades (606th armored assault engineer battalion) and bulldozers. Egyptian artillery and aircraft fail to damage the bridge and it is finally pushed to the Suez Canal at night, north of Matzmed.

IDF 409th armored battalion assaults NW, engaging every Egyptian vehicle left active among the many destroyed ones, and stops east of Amir after suffering losses to landmines, Saggers and an airstrike. A downed EAF fighter jet crashes on the 600th brigade CO tank - one wing crashes to the left side of the tank and the fuselage to its right side, but the tank and its crew are OK.

 

 

IDF 500th armored brigade (430th and 433rd armored battalions) heads SW on Akavish road, crosses and rejoins the 162nd armored division in the evening. During the crossing, two Shot Cals of the 430th battalion sink into the canal and 6 of the tankers drown, after their Gillois carrier is directly hit by Egyptian artillery. Only a single Gillois carrier remains operational.

IDF 630th crossing battalion leaves the bridgehead area and its place is taken by the 605th crossing battalion. 

 

IDF 429th armored battalion (from the 500th armored brigade) holds Ziona, now under TF Nammer. Egyptian 112th infantry brigade troops take positions near Talisman - Photon junction, SE of Kathib Ayfan (the map still depicts the front Egyptian line at Abu Waqfa).

 

IDF 214th and 215th artillery regiments (from the 143rd and 162nd division respectively) are north of Akavish road, between At-Tasa and Hamadiya. IDF 270th rocket artillery battalion CO is killed by Egyptian artillery.

 

IDF 252nd armored division (downsized), with its 401st and 164th armored brigades (each with just two battalions), leaves the southern sector for the central sector, in order to join in and cross the Suez Canal as well.

TF Garnit, commanded by Israel Garnit, the 252nd division chief of staff, is established in order to take command of the southern sector (off the map) and face the Egyptian 7th and 19th infantry divisions (of the 3rd field army) alongside TF Ayalon (of the 440th armored division). TF Garnit includes the 202nd paratrooper and 52nd armored battalions (with the 401st armored brigade XO) and the 875th mechanized infantry brigade (reinforced with the 104th armored battalion of the 164th armored brigade). After the 875th brigade CO and XO are injured by artillery (the CO was also injured during the 1967 war in the Golan, while commanding a Sherman battalion), the 164th brigade CO is ordered to stay in Sinai and take command of the 875th brigade, while the 252nd division XO is ordered to take command of the 164th brigade and lead it into Africa.

 

 

Thanks to reconnaissance images obtained by Soviet satellites and MiG-25s, the Egyptians realize at last how massive and dangerous the Israeli crossing operation really is. Egyptian artillery, fighter jets and transport helicopters (dropping explosive barrels) constantly strike the Israeli bridgehead, which is defended by IAF Mirages and two AAA battalions. EAF executes 32 strike sorties and 342 interception sorties, losing 23 jets (including Libyan Mirage 5s operating from Tanta AFB) and 7 helicopters. One EAF Mi-6 shot down by IDF 599th battalion CO tank with a 105 mm main gun round.

IDF 143rd armored division engineer officer is killed by artillery and the Southern Command engineer officer (the only IDF officer familiar with the designated route for towing the Cylinder Bridge) is killed when he tackles Egyptian FOs hiding near the crossing yard.

 

Off the map, the IAF executes 81 SEAD sorties and destroys the 6 Egyptian 107th heavy SAM brigade sites deployed between Al-Qantara, Al-Balah Island and As-Salakhiya AFB, losing 2 F-4s and 4 A-4s. Despite they were known to be much more vulnerable, the A-4s were sent in due to the heavy losses suffered by the F-4 squadrons so far.

Edited by Iarmor

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IDF breach into Egypt, October 19th-20th:

 

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October 19th:

 

IDF 162nd armored division (solid blue):

IDF 217th armored brigade heads west from Objective Arrel, assaults and takes Objective Maktzerah alongside the 401st armored brigade of the 252nd armored division. An Egyptian artillery regiment is wiped out in Maktzerah. Later on, the 217th heads south towards Jabal Umm Kathib and engages the Egyptian 2nd armored brigade forces (of the 4th armored division, 3rd field army) at Objective Mitznefet.

IDF 460th and 500th armored brigades bypass Tzach Junction from the south and rapidly advance SW towards Jabal Umm Kathib, raiding SAM sites 6018, 6017, 59205917, 5916, 5816 and 5718 (which is on Jabal Ash-Shihabi) on their way. The SAM sites in this area, some of which are found empty, belong to the Egyptian 105th heavy SAM brigade. At the same time, the 100th armored battalion south to engage Fayid airbase.

North of Jabal Umm Kathib, IDF 460th armored brigade stays to engage the Egyptian 2nd armored brigade in Objective Mitznefet on the western flank at 3-4 kms range. The 217th and the 500th armored brigades start advancing SE towards Jabal Ganifa. At night, the 460th brigade parks NE of Jabal Umm Kathib, the 500th brigade parks SW of SAM site 5617, the 217th brigade parks between SAM sites 5617 and 5620 and the 162nd division HQ is near SAM site 5717. The 100th armored battalion is replaced near Fayid airbase by the 86th mechanized infantry battalion and rejoins the 460th brigade near Jabal Umm Kathib by morning. All in all, the 162nd division forces destroyed 6 Egyptian SAM sites on October 19th.

 

IDF 252nd armored division (solid green):

At dawn, the 252nd division forces cross the Suez Canal and advance west.

IDF 401st armored brigade heads west, assaults and takes Objective Maktzerah alongside the 217th armored brigade of the 162nd armored division. Later on, its 46th armored battalion advances west and repelled by Egyptian armor near SAM site 6115. The 46th armored battalion CO is injured.

The Egyptian forces at the Aida Plains - Ridan Al-Hama are remnants of the 23th armored and 116th mechanized infantry brigades (of the 3rd and 23rd mechanized infantry divisions respectively), as well as the fresh 35th independent armored brigade. 

IDF 164th armored brigade assaults and takes Tzach Junction. The 183th armored battalion attacks the Egyptian Tzach Junction defenders from their rear, from west to east, and later heads west on Saqranoot road and parks near Saqranoot - Vadaoot junction, SW of Maktzerah. The 106th armored battalion keeps heading south on Havit road (The Treaty Road) and parks north of Fayid airbase.

 

IDF 143rd armored division (solid blue):

IDF 14th armored brigade hands over the Chinese Farm area to the 410th armored battalion (of the 600th armored brigade) and crosses the canal with the 79th armored, 88th amphibious armored reconnaissance, 424th infantry reconnaissance battalions and TF Shmulik. The 184th armored battalions remain at Laqeqan for now. The 14th armored brigade assaults and takes Objective Urcha and Serapeum from west to east, despite heavy Egyptian resistance causing heavy losses for the 88th amphibious armored reconnaissance battalion. In addition to a single commando battalion from the 129th regiment, the Egyptians employ a 57 mm S-60 AAA battery, which proves to be deadly for the Israeli BTR-50s. After the battle, the 14th armored brigade is reinforced with the 582nd paratrooper reconnaissance battalion.

While IDF 599th armored battalion stays near Geshira and blocks Egyptian troops from retreating north, IDF 421st armored brigade sends its 264th armored battalion to advance north on The Treaty Road and engage SAM sites 6620 and 6617 (empty). Later on, the 264th battalion returns south and parks west of Objective Geshira, north of Objective Maktzerah. At night, the 264th battalion is awakened by over 100 retreating Egyptian troops and inflicts heavy losses upon them.

IDF 247th and 35th paratrooper brigades advance north and clear the close terrain on the western bank of the canal, scattered with Egyptian fortifications and firing ramparts.

IDF 600th armored brigade takes command of the whole northern flank of the Israeli bridgehead east of the canal, facing the Egyptian 16th infantry and 21st armored divisions. The 600th brigade slowly advances northwards, with its 410th and 409th armored battalions west and east of Lexicon road respectively. The 409th battalion engages Televiziya and southern Missouri, while the 410th faces heavier resistance west of Lexicon road.

 

IDF TF Nammer (solid blue):

IDF 429th armored battalion, now under the 274th armored brigade, assaults the Egyptian 112th infantry brigade in Hamutal. It is the first time that mechanized infantry (one company, on halftracks) is employed alongside IDF tanks assaulting Hamutal. The 429th manages to clear Talisman - Photon junction and eastern Hamutal (Kathib Ayfan), but suffers losses and fails to take western Hamutal (Abu Waqfa)

 

Egyptian 150th paratrooper brigade and 131st commando regiment are rushed to Ismailia - Serapeum area from the Egyptian rear. Egyptian 3rd armored and 1st mechanized infantry brigades (of the 4th armored and 6th mechanized infantry divisions respectively) remnants cross the canal from Sinai back to Egypt and head NW, in order to confront the advancing Israeli armor.

 

Egyptian artillery and AF keep striking the Israeli bridgehead. IDF 605th crossing battalion CO is injured by an airstrike. EAF MiGs suffer heavy losses to IAF Mirages in massive air-to-air engagements.

 

 

October 20th:

 

IDF 162nd armored division (dashed blue):

IDF 500th armored brigade (reinforced with the 198th armored battalion from the 460th armored brigade) rapidly advances east and SE, towards Jabal Ganifa, and destroys 6 SAM sites: 5620, 5622, 5421, 5423, 5323, 5324 (dummy). SAM site 5621 was destroyed by IAF airstrike on October 17th. The SAM sites in this area belong to the Egyptian 97th heavy SAM brigade.

IDF 217th armored brigade (reinforced with the 19th armored battalion from the 460th armored brigade) rapidly advances SE in between Jabal Ganifa and Jabal Gharra and cuts off Asor road, destroying 3 SAM sites on its way: 5321 (on Jabal Gharra), 5121 and 5020.

IDF 460th armored brigade keeps engaging the Egyptian 2nd armored brigade forces at Objective Mitznefet on the western flank, while its 100th armored battalion raids SAM sites 5615 (on Jabal Umm Kathib, mistakenly marked 5317) and 5416.

Egyptian 6th mechanized infantry brigade (mistakenly marked as armored, of the 4th armored division) forces retreat southwards from Objective Bologna.

After the 252nd armored division forces arrive from the north, the 460th armored brigade positions are taken by the 401st armored brigade and the 460th is sent eastwards, passing by Jabal Al-Qitt and Jabal Shabrawit, in order to clear the coastline of the Greater Bitter Lake, where the close terrain (Fanara area) is utilized by the enemy to put up heavy resistance. In addition to Egyptian 207th armored battalion (of the 2nd armored brigade) remnants, the enemy forces there include the Palestinian 107th infantry brigade and the Kuwaiti Al-Yarmouk infantry battalion. To reinforce its 86th mechanized infantry, 100th and 196th armored battalions, IDF 460th armored brigade gets its 198th armored battalion back from the 500th armored brigade, as well as the 50th paratrooper battalion. The 50th paratrooper battalion, from the 35th paratrooper brigade, had left the Golan Heights on October 18th and now joins in the Egyptian theater. The halftrack-mounted paratroopers clear the close terrain alongside the 86th mechanized infantry battalion, while the 198th armored battalion descends from Jabal Ganifa assaults the Egyptian rear SE of Fanara, but gets blocked by a heavy Sagger barrage.    

 

IDF 252nd armored division (dashed green):

IDF 106th armored battalion (of the 164th armored brigade), attached with a paratrooper company of the 50th battalion, takes Fayid airbase. Shortly later, the IAF starts operating Fayid airbase for cargo airplanes and helicopters.

IDF 401st armored brigade and 183th armored battalion (of the 164th armored brigade) head south and replace the 460th armored brigade near Jabal Umm Kathib at noon, securing the western Israeli flank and facing the Egyptian 2nd armored brigade positioned at Objective Mitznefet.

 

IDF 143rd armored division (dashed blue):

IDF 14th armored and 35th paratrooper brigades advance north and clear the close terrain on the western bank of the canal, scattered with Egyptian fortifications and firing ramparts. The opposing forces, of the Egyptian 150th paratrooper brigade and 131st commando regiment, put up light resistance. SAM site 6521 is taken by the IDF, after it was destroyed by IAF airstrike on October 17th. IDF 79th armored battalion engages Egyptian targets in Sinai across the canal, assisting the 410th armored battalion of the 600th armored brigade.

IDF 184th armored battalion crosses the canal and rejoins the 14th armored brigade. The 184th and 88th battalions advance northwards on The Treaty Road and take SAM site 6620.

Egyptian 118th mechanized infantry brigade (of the 23rd mechanized infantry division) prepares to defend Ismailia - Abu Suwayr airbase, based on the Freshwater Canal.

IDF 421st armored brigade hands over its positions on The Treaty Road to 14th armored brigade forces (184th and 88th battalions). The 264th armored battalion rapidly advances NW and captures Vadaoot - Arzel junction (and SAM site 6516, raided on October 18th by 217th armored brigade elements). IDF 599th armored battalion heads SW, through Maktzerah, and replaces the 252nd armored division forces near Saqranoot - Vadaoot junction.

IDF 600th armored brigade keeps slowly advancing northwards, pushing the Egyptian 16th infantry and 21st armored division remnants, with its 410th and 409th armored battalions west and east of Lexicon road respectively. The fighting west of Lexicon road is heavier and the 410th battalion XO is injured, but the 410th, assisted by IDF tanks and paratroopers from the western bank of the canal, manages to advance further north and engages Objective Missouri from west to east. The 409th battalion clears the last Egyptian troops in Amir and engages southern Missouri.

 

IDF 626th crossing regiment launches a third bridge over the canal, improvised by the 605th crossing battalion using modified wheeled pontoons. This new bridge, established where the Gillois carriers used to operate, is nicknamed The Austerity Bridge. Some claim that these modified wheeled pontoons, developed before the war by a local initiative, should have been regarded as the reliable, prime crossing equipment instead of the Cylinder Bridge.

IDF 634th crossing battalion leaves the bridgehead area, after salvaging its sunken Gillois carriers from the canal. 

 

IDF TF Nammer (dashed blue):

IDF 429th armored battalion retreats from Kathib Ayfan to Ziona at dawn. Later on, the 429th is ordered to leave Ziona, cross the Suez Canal and rejoin the 162nd armored division in Africa. Its positions in Ziona are taken by TF Atzloot of the 274th armored brigade. TF Atzloot, comprising two Tiran tank and two mechanized infantry companies, is commanded by the 227th armored battalion XO. The sector held by the 274th brigade is now wider than the sector held by the 162nd division prior to Operation Abirey Lev.

 

IAF destroys the 6 Egyptian 95th heavy SAM brigade sites at the Ismailia - Abu Suwayr airbase area, suffering no losses.

Edited by Iarmor

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IDF breach into Egypt continues, October 21st-22nd:

 

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October 21st:

 

IDF 162nd armored division (solid blue):

IDF 460th armored brigade clears the Treaty Road and the agricultural area along the western coastline of the Greater Bitter Lake, from Fayid to Fanara, with its 196th armored, 429th armored, 50th paratrooper, 86th mechanized infantry and 271st combat engineer battalions. The opposing forces are remnants of the Egyptian 207th armored battalion (of the 2nd armored brigade) and Palestinian 107th infantry brigade. IDF 429th armored battalion CO (the second one, whose predecessor was killed on October 8th) is killed by Egyptian artillery.

IDF 100th and 198th armored battalions follow the 500th armored brigade, which struggles to advance south on Jabal Ganifa.

IDF 217th armored brigade repels two Egyptian 113th mechanized infantry brigade counterattacks near SAM sites 5121 and 5122.

As opposed to its rapid movement on October 19th and 20th, the 162nd armored division advances much slower on October 21st, due to heavier resistance put up by the redeployed Egyptian 4th armored and 6th mechanized infantry division elements.

 

IDF 252nd armored division (solid green):

IDF 401st armored brigade stays near Jabal Umm Kathib and engages the Egyptian 2nd armored brigade (mistakenly marked as mechanized infantry on the map) forces at long ranges, defending the Israeli western flank.

IDF 164th armored brigade is also ordered to stay near Jabal Umm Kathib and defend the western flank, but the brigade CO initiates offensives on Egyptian SAM sites and nearby armor. Some of his forces raid SAM site 5615 on Jabal Umm Kathib, while the rest head back north, turn west to SAM site 5914 and then proceed south again, battering the Egyptian 2nd armored brigade (of the 4th armored division).

 

IDF 143rd armored division (solid blue):

After a major radio argument between the division CO Sharon and the Southern Command CG Gonen, in which Sharon has refused a direct order from Gonen, MoD Dayan forces the dismayed Sharon to order his 600th armored brigade to attack Objective Missouri. The promised IAF support is not provided and this superfluous, hopeless attack is repelled by the Egyptian 16th infantry and 21st armored divisions with heavy losses for both sides: on the western wing (Lexicon road), IDF 410th armored battalion assaults eastwards deep into the Egyptian compound (deeper than shown on the map), takes heavy fire, suffers heavy losses and its remnants retreat to Ivsha - Lexicon junction. The 410th is left with 4 battle-worthy M60A1s out of 26 that went to battle. On the eastern wing (Objective Missouri itself), IDF 409th armored battalion advances northwards and destroys ~20 Egyptian tanks, but stops at central Missouri as it tries to prevent fratricide fire due to lack of coordination with the 410th battalion.

IDF 14th armored and 35th paratrooper brigades slowly advance north towards Ismailia, clearing the agricultural area of Egyptian resistance. IDF 184th armored battalion takes a bridge over the Freshwater Canal south of Nafisha and repels a night counter-attack by Egyptian infantry. IDF paratroopers take the Egyptian fortifications and firing ramparts between Serapeum and Jabal Mariyam. The opposing Egyptian forces are of the 150th paratrooper, 118th mechanized infantry brigades and 131st commando regiment.

IDF 421st armored brigade consolidates positions at the NW flank: the 264th armored battalion at SAM site 6615 and Vardit - Arzel junction, the 599th armored battalion at SAM site 6115 (dummy) and along Vadaoot road. Its forces pick up one IAF Mirage and several Egyptian MiG-21 pilots who ejected over the area. The opposing forces are remnants of the 23rd armored and 116th mechanized infantry brigades (of the 3rd and 23rd mechanized infantry divisions respectively), as well as the fresh 35th independent armored brigade.

 

IDF TF Nammer (solid blue):

Following an IAF pilot report about the absence of significant Egyptian forces at Objective Hamutal, IDF TF Atzloot (of the 274th armored brigade) assaults Abu Waqfa (the western dune of Hamutal) at the afternoon. The assault is repelled after several M113s and halftracks are destroyed by Saggers launched from the Egyptian 112th infantry brigade positions at Abu Waqfa and at Kathib Al-Khayl (the northern dune of Objective Makhshir). TF Atzloot CO (the 227th armored battalion XO) demands permission to retreat back to Kathib Ayfan (the eastern dune of Objective Hamutal) and argues with the Southern Command CG on the radio. The 274th brigade XO is sent there and eventually TF Atzloot retreats at night after evacuating most of its wounded. Surprisingly, no Tiran tank is seriously damaged in this battle. The Egyptians remain in control of the Artillery Road in this sector, 15 kms east of the canal.

 

IDF TF Garnit (solid blue):

IDF 875th mechanized infantry brigade launches a battalion-scale attack on Botzer stronghold, but the assault is stopped when the Israeli AFVs enter into a minefield.

 

 

October 22nd:

 

IDF 162nd armored division (dashed blue):

The 162nd division is ordered to speed up its advancement due to the upcoming ceasefire.

IDF 460th armored brigade keeps advancing SE on the Treaty Road and takes Fanara and Kasfarit airbase, with its 196th armored, 50th paratrooper, 86th mechanized infantry and 271st combat engineer battalions. At the same time, its 100th and 198th armored battalions engage Egyptian tanks on the Treaty road at long ranges from Jabal Ganifa, descend eastwards from Jabal Ganifa to the Treaty Road and tackle Egyptian 3rd armored brigade tanks NE of SAM site 5124.

IDF 500th armored brigade (which got back its 429th armored battalion) advances SE on Jabal Ganifa, destroying Egyptian 3rd armored brigade remnants on its way.

IDF 217th armored brigade advances south, cuts off the Suez - Cairo railway and controls over the Suez - Cairo road, which is the main line of supply for the Egyptian 3rd field army.

At noon, in order to assist the 460th brigade, the Southern Front CG orders the 162nd division CO to send his 500th and 217th armored brigade east towards the agricultural area on the western bank of the Suez Canal. The 217th brigade destroys SAM site 5027 and parks west of Ash-Shalufa for the night. The 500th brigade sends its 430th armored battalion to capture the Egyptians fortifications at the southern edge of the Little Bitter Lake, east of SAM site 5228, in front of ex-IDF Lituf stronghold. At night the parking 430th battalion is attacked from several directions by Egyptian armor, extricates itself after a heavy battle at zero range and parks further to the west. The 460th brigade forces park at night around Ganifa and the Ganifa Camps after clearing the area.

3 IDF soldiers are captured by the Egyptians near Botzer stronghold, after taking a wrong turn with their car. At night, the Egyptians transfer their fresh Israeli POWs across the canal to Kibrit by boats and from there in a jeep towards Cairo. However, the Egyptian soldiers and their Israeli POWs are surprised to learn that an IDF M48 (of the 460th brigade) is blocking their way west. At once the Israeli POWs are freed and their Egyptian captors become POWs themselves.

 

IDF 252nd armored division (dashed green):

IDF 164th armored brigade rapidly advances SE in between Jabal Ganifa and Jabal Gharra and raids SAM sites 5321, 5320A and B (aka Avit A and B) on Jabal Gharra. It then heads south and cuts off the Suez - Cairo railway and controls over the Suez - Cairo road, 101 kms from Cairo.

IDF 179th armored brigade, which have arrived on flatbeds to Sinai on October 21st from the Golan Heights (where it fought under the 210th armored division), crosses the Suez Canal on the Cylinder Bridge and joins the 252nd armored division. The 179th brigade heads SE in between Jabal Ganifa and Jabal Gharra, sends a force eastwards over Jabal Ganifa to assist the 460th armored brigade near Kasfarit airbase and parks east of SAM site 5124, at the southern foot of Jabal Ganifa.

IDF 401st armored brigade stays around Jabal Umm Kathib and defends the Israeli western flank, engaging Egyptian armor at long ranges. In addition, 10 downed EAF pilots are captured within 48 hours.

 

IDF 143rd armored division (dashed blue):

IDF 14th armored and 35th paratrooper brigades are surprised to hear about the upcoming ceasefire and try to speed up their advancement. IDF 184th armored and 424th infantry reconnaissance battalions advance south of Nafisha. The 35th brigade paratroopers suffer heavy losses and get blocked by the Egyptians at a bridge over the Freshwater Canal south of Abu Atwa.

IDF 421st armored brigade captures some hills west of its previous positions, as well as additional downed Egyptian pilots. On October 23rd the 599th armored battalion takes SAM sites 6214 and 5914.

IDF 600th armored brigade slowly advances northwards and bites a bit more of Objective Missouri.

 

IDF TF Nammer:

IDF TF Atzloot (of the 274th armored brigade) repels an Egyptian 112th infantry brigade assault on Kathib Ayfan (the eastern dune of Objective Hamutal) and Talisman - Photon junction. This assault is not depicted on the map.

IDF 228th armored battalion of the 274th armored brigade hands over the Maror second-line post area (off the map) to the 11th mechanized infantry brigade and redeploys to Objective Hamadiya, replacing the M60A1 platoon left to defend Objective Hamadiya by the 409th armored battalion of the 600th armored brigade, 143rd armored division. The front-line sector held by the 274th armored brigade is now as wide as the sectors held by both the 162nd and 143rd divisions altogether prior to Operation Abirey Lev. 

IDF 11th mechanized infantry brigade redeploys from Martef second-line post - Vermont area (off the map) to Maror second-line post area (off the map). Its 54th mechanized infantry battalion assaults and takes the empty Maror, taking only artillery fire from the Egyptians. To the west are Egyptian troops of the 136th mechanized infantry brigade, 18th infantry division.

IDF 204th mechanized infantry brigade redeploys from Budapest stronghold - Yoram second-line post area (off the map) to Martef second-line post - Vermont area (off the map).

For a planned offensive on Port Fuad, the IDF establishes another division-sized TF named Sela (Hebrew for Rock), commanded by the Chief Infantry and Paratrooper Officer Emmanuel Shaked. TF Sela is formed of several infantry formations, mostly ones that were recently redeployed from the Jordan Valley to Sinai, such as the 5th and 9100th infantry brigades and the elite 484th infantry reconnaissance battalion. TF Sela takes command of the Budapest stronghold - Yoram second-line post area, but the operation to capture Port Fuad is canceled.

 

IDF TF Garnit (dashed blue):

IDF 875th mechanized infantry brigade (reinforced with Officer School cadets) launches another battalion-scale attack on Botzer stronghold. The assault is repelled by Egyptian Saggers and tank fire. The Egyptian defenders are remnants of the 25th independent armored and 130th marine brigades.

 

IDF artillery (175 mm and 155 mm, firing from both banks of the Suez Canal) executes Operation Bendigo - alongwith IAF aircraft, it destroys Egyptian 109th heavy SAM brigade sites 5029A (aka Bavli A), 4927, 4925A and 4923, as well as SAM site 5426. The airspace above the Egyptian 3rd field army is now cleared of heavy and medium SAM threat. The nearest operational Egyptian heavy SAM sites are NE of Al-Qattamyia airbase and NW of Ridan Al-Hama.

Egyptian artillery and AF keep striking the Israeli bridgehead. IDF lose 12 men, including the 605th crossing battalion XO, in a heavy Egyptian rocket artillery barrage. As for the EAF, its losses are so heavy that the desperate Egyptians start employing lightly-armed L-29 Delfin training aircraft in ground attack missions - literally sending everything they got. IAF Mirages keep shooting down many of the Egyptian aircraft, while the A-4s, F-4s and Super Mysteres execute more ground attack missions as the Egyptian SAM belt keeps shrinking.

In order to warn Israel to stop the IDF advancement, Soviet MoD Grechko approves the imploring Egyptians to launch 3 Scud-B ballistic missiles at Israeli targets in Sinai - two at the Israeli bridgehead area and one at Al-Arish AFB, where the Egyptians mistakenly believe that US cargo planes are unloading supplies. One Scud hits IDF 410th armored battalion (of the 600th armored brigade, 143rd armored division) logistics and kills 7 soldiers. One of the dead is a tanker who, after surviving the battle for Objective Missouri, was sent to the battalion's rear as he was told that his twin brother (who served in the 409th battalion of the same brigade) is MIA since the battle for Objective Hamadiya on October 9th. One month later, the twin brother's remains were recovered from his burnt M60A1, found among the dunes near Hamadiya.

UN resolution calls for a ceasefire in the evening, but the Egyptians violate the ceasefire and the Israelis, who are not yet fully satisfied with their achievements, get back advancing again in order to complete the encirclement of the Egyptian 3rd field army.

Edited by Iarmor

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Encirclement of the Egyptian 3rd field army, October 23rd:

 

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IDF 11th mechanized infantry brigade and 52nd armored battalion leave TF Nammer and TF Garnit in the northern and southern canal sectors in Sinai respectively, to reinforce the Israeli forces in Africa. After crossing they head south and the 11th mechanized infantry brigade is attached to the 252nd armored division, while the 52nd armored battalion halts SW of Fayid AFB, forming the Southern Command's reserve in Africa for now, in between the 143rd and 252nd armored divisions. The 162nd armored division is reinforced with several infantry battalions, in order to expedite the mop up of the agricultural area on the western bank of the canal.

 

IDF 252nd armored division (green):

IDF 401st armored brigade (attached with elements of the 183rd armored battalion, 164th armored brigade, in addition to its 46th and 195th armored battalions) hastily leaves Jabal Umm Kathib area (before being replaced, leaving its positions there empty for a short while) and rapidly advances SE (with lights on after sunset, to allow faster movement) in between Jabal Ganifa and Jabal Gharra. The 401st then heads south and, around midnight, its forces reach Ataqa, Port Al-Adabiya, Ras Al-Adabiya and Ras Mahagara. Finally, the Egyptian 3rd field army forces in Sinai are fully encircled.

IDF 11th mechanized infantry brigade is spearheaded by its 226th tank battalion, the only Sherman-equipped armor battalion to cross the Suez Canal in the 1973 war. The 226th tank battalion crosses, heads south and replaces the 401st armored brigade in its abandoned positions near Jabal Umm Kathib. The Egyptian forces located SW of Jabal Umm Kathib and at Objective Bologna, 2nd armored brigade (of the 4th armored division) remnants, appear to prepare an offensive.

IDF 179th armored brigade (after getting back the force it had sent to assist the 460th armored brigade at Kasfarit airbase) advances south from the southern foot of Jabal Ganifa and cuts the Suez - Cairo road between Suez and Agrud.

IDF 164th armored brigade forces (106th and 183rd armored battalion elements), along with heliborne paratroopers (9100th brigade elements), cut the Suez - Cairo road south of SAM site 5020, 101 kms from Cairo, as well as near Agrud. Multiple times, Egyptian forces trapped between Agrud and the 101 km milestone desperately try to breach the road and the railway and escape westwards, while additional Egyptian forces coming from the west (SE of Jabal Uwaybid) attempt to breach the road eastwards and remove the Israeli encirclement. IDF 106th armored battalion (the second one, whose predecessor was injured on October 9th) is killed but the Israelis manage to block all Egyptian breaching attempts utilizing mobile defense tactics. The Egyptians forces in this area are 4th armored and 6th mechanized infantry division remnants (of the 3rd armored, 1st and 113th mechanized infantry brigades). To the north, the Egyptian 6th mechanized infantry brigade of the 4th armored division is blocking Asor road and the Suez - Cairo railway at Objective Worms and Objective Tango.

SAM sites 5519 and 5420 on Jabal Gharra are raided by a small force from IDF 183rd armored battalion.

 

IDF 162nd armored division (blue):

Before noon (solid), IDF 460th armored brigade, along with the 564th paratrooper and 271st combat engineer (mounted on its halftracks, fighting as mechanized infantry) battalions, clears the Ganifa - Kibrit area and pushes the retreating Egyptians towards Kibrit Peninsula.

IDF 500th armored brigade clears the agricultural area on the western bank of the Little Bitter Lake, NE of SAM site 5228.

IDF 217th armored brigade reaches the canal north of Ash-Shalufa and its head both northwards and southwards, clearing the Egyptian 3rd field army fortifications and firing ramparts in the agricultural area along the western bank of the canal.

In the afternoon (dashed), the 162nd division XO leads the 564th paratrooper, 86th mechanized infantry, 271st combat engineer battalions and one Shot Cal company to clear Kibrit Peninsula (notably the airbase), while the 460th and 500th armored brigades are ordered to leave the agricultural area and advance south in the desert terrain towards Suez.

After clearing the deserted Egyptian 3rd field army HQ at Objective 4925, the 460th brigade rapidly advances through several abandoned SAM sites and reaches the fertilizer plant SW of Suez before dawn. Its 196th, 19th, 100th and 198th armored battalions park west and SW of the city, between the Suez - Cairo road and the coastline, besieging Suez alongside the 500th brigade. The 500th brigade parks north of Suez after destroying Egyptian armor.

The 217th armored brigade (126th, 142nd and 113th armored battalions) is now solely responsible for the western bank of the canal south of Kibrit Peninsula. Reinforced with the 50th paratrooper and the elite 484th infantry reconnaissance (mistakenly marked 184th) battalions, it continues to clear the agricultural area along the western bank, while slowly advancing southwards.

Finding out they are encircled, Egyptian 3rd field army troops of various units retreat into the streets of Suez.

 

 

Meanwhile in Sinai:

 

IDF TF Garnit is dissolved, as Israel Garnit returns home after he is informed that his son was killed in the Golan Heights on October 11th (with the 679th armored brigade at Khan Arnaba). The 875th mechanized infantry brigade and 202nd paratrooper battalion are attached to the 440th armored division, which is now responsible for the whole southern canal sector in Sinai.

IDF 225th armored battalion XO and his two companies leave Sharm Ash-Sheikh, head north and join TF Ayalon at Ras Dahaysa - Ras Misalla. There they replace the 225th battalion CO and his two companies, that are sent to join the single company left by the 52nd armored battalion at IDF Notzah second-line post.

 

Egyptian 7th infantry division deployment:

Egyptian 25th independent armored and 130th marine brigade remnants entrench themselves in ex-IDF Botzer stronghold.

Egyptian 8th infantry brigade is on Lexicon road, east of Botzer and north of Ash-Shatt WW2 Croatian refuge camp.

Egyptian 11th mechanized infantry brigade (mistakenly marked as the 19th) is around Ash-Shatt refuge camp, west of IDF Mitzvah second-line post.

Egyptian 12th infantry brigade is at Objective Merukaz, cutting off the Artillery Road.

 

Egyptian 19th infantry division deployment:

Egyptian 5th infantry brigade is north of IDF Notzah second-line post.

Egyptian 2nd mechanized infantry brigade is at Qarrat Al-Murra (Objective Polygon), cutting off the Artillery Road.

Egyptian 22nd armored brigade (of the 6th mechanized infantry division) is around Objective Portal.

Egyptian 7th infantry brigade is around Mivdad and Tzeidar ex-IDF second-line posts, north of Uyun Musa.

 

Off the map, IDF 409th armored battalion (of the 600th armored brigade) slowly advances north and halts at the heart of Objective Missouri, east of Ivsha - Lexicon junction, lining up with the 410th armored battalion. The Israeli bridgehead is now 11 kms wide, between Missouri and the Greater Bitter Lake.

Near the Chinese Farm, 3 deserted M109s are found by Israeli troops, indicating the presence of Libyan expeditionary force troops among the retreating Egyptian 16th infantry and 21st armored division remnants. The single intact M109 is pressed into service with IDF 899th medium artillery battalion.

Edited by Iarmor

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Battle of Suez, October 24th:

 

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IDF 162nd armored division (blue):

IDF 217th armored brigade (reinforced with infantry) keeps mopping up the Egyptian 3rd field army fortifications on the western bank of the Suez Canal. While the 126th armored battalion clears the western coastline of the Little Bitter Lake, the 142nd and 113th armored battalions clear the Egyptian 7th and 19th infantry division fortifications respectively. IDF 271st combat engineer battalion clears Kibrit Peninsula.

IDF 460th and 500th armored brigades, which park at the outskirts of Suez, are ordered to take the city before the upcoming ceasefire - but "only if it's not Stalingrad". While the Israelis expect light or no resistance, as the Egyptian 3rd field army forces in Africa seem to disintegrate, the besieged Egyptian troops (which include a commando battalion, remnants from the 6th mechanized infantry division and a Sagger ATGM company from the 19th infantry division) are preparing to ambush the Israeli forces deep inside the built-up area.

Zoom-in on the IDF 162nd division assault on Suez:

 

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IDF 460th armored brigade is lead by the 198th armored battalion, which assaults the industrial zone at the southern area of the city, from west to east. The industrial zone (including the refineries and the pier) is captured with light resistance, and the tanks engage Egyptian targets at Port Ibrahim.

IDF 500th armored brigade is tasked with entering Suez through the main entrance, the Cairo - Suez road. After the 430th armored battalion opens the way in by destroying the Egyptian AT bastion (SU-100s and AT guns) defending the entrance, the 433rd armored battalion (20 Centurions, 7 M113s, 5 halftracks) leads the IDF column into the city. It its followed by two company-sized paratrooper battalions, the 564th paratrooper battalion and TF Hisdai, and an armored reconnaissance company (M113s, originated in the 189th armored reconnaissance battalion). The paratroopers are mounted mostly on 9 freshly-captured OT-62s, but also on halftracks, trucks and buses. At first the resistance is light, as the Egyptian defenders let the Israeli column enter deep into the kill zone. Only when the Israeli vehicles reach Al-Arbaeen Mosque, they suddenly start taking heavy fire (RPGs, MGs, hand grenades, sniper fire) from the upper floors of the surrounding buildings and suffer heavy losses (almost all TCs are disabled).

The Israeli column is separated into 3 isolated forces: the 433rd battalion, leaving behind two burning Centurions and one that lost its way on the streets, manages to advance 1500 meters deeper to the SE and reach its objective, the Triangle Junction - but it's still under (mostly sniper) fire. The 564th battalion (whose CO is injured when his OT-62 is destroyed) abandons its vehicles and gathers into the two-story police station, 300 meters SE of Al-Arbaeen Mosque, where it makes a stronghold and captures 30 Egyptian policemen. TF Hisdai abandons its vehicles as well, gathers and makes a stronghold in some building 600 meters NW of the Al-Arbaeen Mosque. The M113 company retreats backwards and out of the city. The 500th brigade XO is badly injured by sniper fire and the brigade's intelligence halftrack is lost with the brigade's intelligence officer and all of his 8 men.

IDF 429th armored battalion attempts to assault into the built-up area from the north, in order to rescue the isolated paratroopers, but takes a heavy Sagger barrage and stops. The M113 company's attempt to enter the city also fails, mostly due to Egyptian sniper fire. Airstrikes are impossible, as the exact location of the Israeli and Egyptian forces is unknown to IDF HQ. In the meanwhile, the besieged IDF paratroopers repel Egyptian assaults on their new strongholds with hand grenades.

IDF elite 484th infantry reconnaissance battalion (mounted on 10 BTR-152s, reinforced with 5 Centurions from the 217th brigade), is rushed SW from the 217th brigade to the 500th brigade in order to help extricate the besieged 564th battalion. After losing a BTR with 16 men to an Egyptian SU-100 firing from the ex-IDF Mefatze'akh stronghold, the 484th battalion penetrates the city from the NE and suffers additional losses while failing to locate the 564th battalion. However, the 484th battalion unintentionally locates TF Hisdai and evacuates most of its wounded along with the M113 company.

IDF 460th armored brigade sends in its 100th armored and 86th mechanized infantry battalions to reach the Triangle Junction from the west. They take over the city hall, join the 433rd armored battalion (whose mechanized infantrymen have already managed to take over the nearby multi-story Cleopatra Hotel), evacuate its wounded and cover its retreat westwards in the afternoon.

In the evening, utilizing the darkness and artillery support, TF Hisdai successfully extricates itself to the NW on foot, reaching the 429th armored battalion positions at the outskirts of the city after walking 2 kms with almost no resistance and no further losses. Lastly, before dawn, the 564th paratrooper battalion (commanded by a platoon leader, due to the heavy losses) extricates itself in a similar manner with similar results, making a 3 km journey to the NW.

 

IDF 252nd armored division (green):

IDF 401st armored brigade clears Port Al-Adabiya and the surroundings, destroying several T-34s. Two Egyptian K-123 torpedo boats are sunk by 105 mm tank rounds at ranges of 50 and 1500 meters, while trying to escape southwards. Afterwards, the 183rd armored battalion is sent back north to rejoin the 164th armored brigade.

Israeli Navy Red Sea Theater CO pays a visit to Port Al-Adabiya with two Dabur patrol boats and meets the captured Egyptian Navy Red Sea Theater CO. The Israeli Navy starts operating the harbor and tank landing crafts transport over 1200 Egyptian POWs from Port Al-Adabiya to Sinai, sailing alongside captured K-123 and Bertram boats.

IDF 164th and 179th armored brigade forces decimate the Egyptian forces trapped between Agrud and the 101 km milestone of the Suez - Cairo road. In addition, 164th armored brigade forces and paratroopers engage Egyptian and Algerian armor west of the 101 km milestone, east and SE of Jabal Uwaybid. The Egyptian forces are remnants of the 4th armored and 6th mechanized infantry divisions, while the Algerian expeditionary force is composed of a T-55 equipped armored brigade.

IDF 11th mechanized infantry brigade (attached with the 52nd armored battalion) is sent southwards. Its forces sweep through the area in between Jabal Ganifa and Jabal Gharra and engage Egyptian forces (4th armored division remnants) west of Jabal Gharra.

 

IDF heliborne SF (Sayeret Matkal, aka Unit 269) destroy the Egyptian intelligence post on Jabal Ataqa and consolidate positions there. From Jabal Ataqa the Egyptian intelligence could observe all the Israeli forces deployed west of the Mitla and Al-Jidi Mountain passes.

 

Meanwhile in Sinai, IDF 440th armored division forces bite some more ground along the southern canal sector, putting pressure on the frontline positions of the encircled Egyptian 3rd field army. Their most notable gain is the Uyun Musa - Ras Misalla (including the Egrofit observation post) area, taken by 225th armored and 202nd paratrooper battalion elements of the TF Ayalon. Other than that, the Egyptian 7th and 19th infantry division forces hold the same positions as on the previous day.

Edited by Iarmor

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