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Suez Canal 1973 war maps

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Egyptian offensive plan:

 

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Phase 1 - Operation Badr:

Under the SAM umbrella from the western bank, 5 Infantry divisions and two independent infantry brigades cross the Suez Canal (180 meters wide, 163 kms long) in between the Israeli Bar-Lev front-line fortified strongholds (blue circles), advance east across the whole front and take the Israeli second-line posts (blue squares) on the higher terrain, 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, between Al-Ballah Island and Al-Ismailia.

16th infantry division, reinforced with the 14th armored brigade (from the 21st armored division), crosses the canal near Serapeum - Deversoir, between Al-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 eastern Suez Bay coastline road towards Ras Misalla, Ras Sudr and At-Tur, teaming-up with the commandos along the way.

 

Unmarked 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 - Ras Sharatib. Naval commandos land at Ras Sudr (after sailing from Bir Adib), at Ras Mal'ab - Abu Znayma and at Abu Rudays - Ras Sharatib (after sailing from Ras Za'afrana).

 

 

Phase 2 - The Operational Halt:

Egyptian infantry divisions (heavily reinforced with armor, AT weapons and artillery) entrench themselves in at the eastern bank and repel IDF reserve armor assaults for 7 days. The Egyptians deploy SAM batteries at the eastern bank.

 

 

Phase 3 - the major armor offensive (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 Misfaq.

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 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.

 

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 the Suez Canal theater. Its 14th armored brigade is at the front-line while its 401st armored brigade is training in Central Sinai. The rotational front-rear swap between the two M48A3-equipped brigades, which takes place every 3 months, is scheduled for October 7th.

 

Blue circles are manned Bar-Lev front-line fortified strongholds, 15-25 men each. Their IDF code names, north to south: Budapest, Oracle (two adjacent strongholds), Lakhtzanit, Derorah, Ketubah, Milano, Mifreqet, Hizayon, Purqan, Matzmed, Laqeqan (Tell As-Salam, marked with a triangle for some reason), Botzer, Lituf, Mefatze'akh, Nisan (aka The Village), Masreq (aka The Pier). The last (i.e. southern) 3 are manned by the company of the 904th infantry battalion, while the others are manned by the 68th infantry battalion (two companies, from the reserve 16th infantry brigade). Empty front-line strongholds (about as many as the manned ones) are not marked.

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 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.

 

Northern sector:

9th armored battalion (M48, from the 14th armored brigade) is south of Baluza, west of Qatia. A single tank company is at the nearby Camp Churchill and a tank single platoon is at Oracle.

404th medium artillery battalion (M-50) 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).

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

275th brigade HQ, which is responsible for the northern sector, is at Baluza, along with the 68th infantry battalion HQ.

 

Central sector:

184th armored battalion (M48, from the 14th armored brigade) companies are at Havragah, Nozel and Televiziya (mechanized infantry). Battalion HQ is at At-Tasa.

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

A single battery from the 55th heavy artillery battalion (M107) is at Kishuf.

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

 

Southern sector:

52nd armored battalion (M48, from the 14th armored brigade) 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 base, code named Telepathiya.

402nd medium artillery battalion (M-50) batteries are at Mitzvah, Notzah 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.

A single infantry platoon (904th battalion) is at Ras Sudr, along with a T-54 platoon (unmarked) from the 225th armored battalion, which is based near Sharm Ash-Sheikh.

 

At the rear:

401st armored brigade (M48) is at Bir Ath-Thamada (but 79th armored battalion is at Bir Al-Jifjafa).

460th armored brigade is at Bir Al-Jifjafa (but double-sized 196th armored battalion is at Bir Ath-Thamada). The 460th is formed of Armour School men, considered the IDF armor elite. The Armor School courses were halted and the men were flown to Sinai on October 5th in order to reinforce the 252nd armored division. They manned reserve M48s taken from the Bir Ath-Thamada emergency warehouse, as well as Centurions left behind at Bir Al-Jifjafa by a battalion which was flown north to reinforce the Golan. In wartime the 460th is supposed to join the reserve 162nd armored division, which is commanded by the chief Armor Corps officer.

252nd armored division HQ and its 601st combat engineering battalion are also at Bir Al-Jifjafa.

Southern Command HQ is at Jabal Umm Khashiba

 

Total: 290 MBTs (250 M48, 40 Centurion), 10(+) artillery batteries.

 

 

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 Al-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, with the 23rd mechanized infantry division and a commando regiment.

 

3rd field army:

A Palestinian infantry brigade, reinforced with a Kuwaiti 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 & 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 Mahagra - 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:

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:

3rd mechanized infantry division

35th armored brigade

Republican Guard (armored brigade + infantry brigade)

Armor school brigade

140th and 150th paratrooper brigades

130th and 131st commando regiments

UI infantry brigade

 

Total: ~2200 MBTs (T-34/54/55/62), ~2000 artillery tubes, ~50 SAM batteries. 

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 destroyed while trying to block the crossing Egyptian infantry and to save the front-line strongholds. In Budapest, a pair of M48s blocks the Egyptian battalion (OT-62s and a T-34 company) which attacked through the narrow coastal road, but the stronghold is cut off by a seaborne (OT-62s) Egyptian commando battalion (two companies).

IDF elite 460th armored brigade joins in with its 198th armored battalion (the only Centurion battalion currently in Sinai) and the Lapidot TF (two M48 companies from the 196th armored battalion). The 198th battles the Egyptian 18th infantry division around Al-Qantara - Milano stronghold area, while Lapitod TF battles the heliborne and seaborne Egyptian commandos north of Baluza - Rumani and SE of Budapest

 

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 & 196th armored battalions, from the 401st & 460th armored brigades respectively. The opposing forces are the Egyptian 2nd & 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 & 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 Bischof TF (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.

 

Suez Bay coastline:

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

Heliborne Egyptian commandos land in and take control of Wadi Sudr.

 

 

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 ramps on the western bank. The remaining IDF 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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Evening of October 7th:

 

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IDF reserves start to arrive at the Suez Canal front.

 

Northern sector - IDF reserve 162nd armored division:

IDF reserve 162nd armored division arrives through the northern Sinai coastline road (Rafah Junction - Ash-Sheikh ZuwaydAl-Arish - Rumani - Baluza) with the 217th and 500th Centurion-equipped armored brigades attached to it (the 7th armored brigade, which originally belonged to the 162nd, is fighting on the Golan under the 36th 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 from 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 brigades 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. IDF 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 arrives through the central Sinai road (Umm Qataf - Abu Uwayqila - Jabal Libni - Bir Al-HamaBir Al-Jifjafa - At-Tasa) with its 421st and 600th armored brigades (M48A3 & M60A1 respectively) and its 87th armored reconnaissance battalion (M60A1), takes command of the central sector and of the 14th armored brigade.

Egyptian infantry encircles Hizayon, Purqan (both at the 2nd division sector) and Matzmed (16th division sector). IDF 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.

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 force 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 Masreq 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 the Polish CampMitzvah 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 Martze'a (Queen Victoria Memorial Monument, aka the Madonna) and Mivdad. In the evening they retreat to Notzah second-line post - Qarrat Al-Murra.

 

At the rear:

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

IDF Bischof TF defends Al-Jidi and Mitla passes.

IDF Southern Command HQ is at Jabal Umm Khashiba.

 

Suez Bay sector - IDF 35th paratrooper brigade:

IDF 35th paratrooper brigade arrives to Ras Sudr with two battalions (its third, the 50th, is on the Golan southern front-line strongholds) and captures hundreds of Egyptian commandos in the area. Apparently the commandos didn't like being regarded as expendables, having just a one way ticket.

 

 

Starting afternoon, IAF F-4s & A-4s strike the Egyptian bridges, destroying 7 bridges out of 14. 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 barges and by their own amphibious capability (BMP-1, BTR-50/OT-62, BRDM-2). Soft-skins cross also on K-61 and PTS amphibious transport vehicles.   

Edited by Iarmor

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