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Golan Heights revised.

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No sorry: I deleted it, and it was a M1a2 SEP

 

Will try to make another one tomorrow

 

Edited by Nike-Ajax

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Interactive map presenting the force deployment at the Golan during the early stage of the 1973 war. Click on the symbols for English description.

The map is from a research regarding the Syrian helicopter landings, that were part of the initial Syrian offensive.

 

 

Edited by Iarmor

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Really good one. And despite all warnings then I am working on a scenario with the map now. Hopefully it will be good.

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

 

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The Golan plateau is scattered with volcanic cones, known as Tells in Arabic. The Israeli line of defense is based on a line of such Tells, but there are several gaps between them. The two main routes from Damascus to Israel pass through the Northern Al-Quenitra Gap (which is between Mount Hermonit and Mount Bental) and through Ar-Rafid Gap (which is between Tell Kudna and Tell Al-Faras). In case of a Syrian invasion, one of the two armored divisions (probably the 1st) of the Syrian army is expected to breakthrough one of these gaps (or, in an extreme case, both divisions through both gaps). IDF Northern Command estimates that it would be through the Northern Al-Quenitra Gap.

 

 

Israeli army:

 

Blue circles (101-116) are front-line fortified strongholds, manned by 12-16 infantrymen each. Marked with blue triangles, Strongholds 108 and 117 are used as seldom-manned observation posts. Two infantry battalions (13th infantry, 50th paratrooper) are deployed to the front-line strongholds, commanded by the 820th brigade HQ. The blue toothed lines are AT ditches.

The armored force based in the Golan is the 188th armored brigade (which belongs to the reserve 210th armored division), with its two active battalions - the 53rd and the 74th (the third battalion, the 39th, is a reserve one). The routine is that one battalion is deployed to the front-line while the other is training at the rear, and a rotational front-rear swap takes place every 3 months. Days before the war, due to the increased state of readiness, the 53rd armored battalion has joined the 74th armored battalion at the front-line. At the rear, the Israeli forces in the Golan were reinforced with artillery, with the elite 7th armored brigade (which was designated to fight in the Egyptian theater under the reserve 162nd armored division) and with the 71st armored battalion, which is formed of Armor School instructors.

 

Northern sector:

13th infantry battalion (attached to the 820th brigade from the 1st infantry brigade) split into strongholds 102 (Hermon Mountain), 103, 104, 105, 107, 109, 110.

74th armored battalion (188th armored brigade) with two companies split into platoons near the strongholds and one company at the rear.

334th heavy mortar battalion (two batteries of 160 mm mortars and one battery of French M-50 howitzers, all on Sherman chassis).

Two Artillery School (aka 9th Instruction Base) batteries (French M-50 howitzer on Sherman chassis).

One battery from the 405th medium artillery battalion (M109).

 

Southern sector:

50th paratrooper battalion (attached to the 820th brigade from the 35th paratrooper brigade) split into strongholds 111, 114, 115, 116.

53rd armored battalion (188th armored brigade) with two companies split into platoons near the strongholds and one company at the rear.

405th medium artillery battalion (M109).

One Artillery School battery (M-50).

 

At the rear:

7th armored brigade: 82nd armored battalion at As-Sindiyana, 77th armored battalion at Nafakh, 75th mechanized infantry battalion at Wassit, 71st armored battalion (attached from the Armor School, aka 460th armored brigade, which was sent to Sinai) at Wassit.

Two batteries from the 55th heavy artillery battalion (M107).

HQ at Camp Nafakh.

 

Total: 177 tanks (all Shot Cal A), 11 artillery batteries (44 gun tubes).

 

 

Syrian army:

 

Northern sector - 7th infantry division:

68th infantry brigade and Moroccan 12th infantry regiment (reinforced with a T-54 battalion, marked as a brigade) at Mazraat Beit Jann - Hadar - Ufaniya.

85th infantry brigade (BTR-152, T-54) around Jaba and between Khan Arnaba and the Maas Junction.

121st mechanized infantry brigade (BTR-60, T-55) around Kafr Nasij and Tell Qarin.

78th armored brigade (T-55) between Tell Ash-Shams and Maas.

 

Central sector - 9th infantry division:

52nd infantry brigade west of AqrabaAl-Hara road, around Naba As-Sakhr.

33rd infantry brigade between Kudna and Jasim.

43rd armored brigade (T-55) between Inkhil, Zimrin and Qeita.

51st independent armored brigade (T-55) south of Inkhil, east of Jasim.

 

Southern sector - 5th infantry division:

112th infantry brigade at Qarqas - Ghadir Al-Boostan - Tell Al-Jabiyah.

61st infantry brigade west of Tell Jumu, around Ein Dhakar and the Tapline road.

132nd mechanized infantry brigade (BTR-152, T-55) around Tasil - Adwan - Ash-Sheikh Saad and NE of Saham Al-Golan.

46th armored brigade (T-55) NE of Nawa, west of Dili.

47th independent armored brigade (T-55) at Ash-Sheikh Maskin - Ibtta.

 

Hermon ridge:

A commando battalion at Arnah. Two companies at higher posts.

 

At the rear:

1st armored division (T-62 and BMP-1, the flagship formation of the Syrian Armor Corps) near Al-Kiswah.

3rd armored division at the hills south of Qatana. Its 81st armored brigade is attached to the 7th infantry division.

The Defense Companies (T-62 equipped armored brigade + commando battalions) south of Damascus, near Al-Yarmouk refugee camp.

 

Total: 1400 tanks (T-54/55/62), 115 artillery batteries.

 

Note that the border lines and some of the roads were different than they are today. 

Edited by Iarmor

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Syrian offensive plan - Operation Mashroo 110:

 

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First tactical echelon:

Every infantry brigade sends 2-3 obstacle breaching TFs to breach through the Israeli mine fields, bridge/back-fill the Israeli AT ditches and take the Israeli front-line strongholds. Each TF consists of tanks (including some with mine rollers and others with dozer blades), infantry (on BTR-152s and trucks, heavily equipped with AT weapons) and engineer vehicles (MTU-20/MT-55 AVLBs and bulldozers). Forces and missions, from north to south:

183rd commando battalion advances from Hadar, penetrates to Majdal Shams, Neveh Attiv, crosses the Banias stream and consolidates positions north of Kibbutz Dan, around An-Nukhayla

Moroccan 12th infantry regiment penetrates on the road south of Skheita, near Stronghold 104, advances between Tell Al-Khawarit and Tell Al-Manfukha towards Mas'adahEin Qiniya, crosses the Banias and consolidates the Dafna - She'ar Yeshuv area.

68th infantry brigade advances from Turunja - Jubata Al-Khashab to Tell Sidr Al-ArusTell Warda - Buq'ata and consolidates positions west of Kefar Szold.

85th infantry brigade advances from Khan Arnaba and penetrates through the Northern Al-Quneitra Gap (which is between Mount Hermonit and Mount Bental), near Stronghold 107.

52nd infantry brigade advances NW from Ruwykhina and penetrates through the Southern Al-Quneitra Gap (which is between Mount Avital and Tell Al-Ghassaniya).

33rd infantry brigade penetrates through the Kudna Gap (which is between the Bashanit ridge and Tell Kudna), near Stronghold 111 (mistakenly marked 110 on this map) and advances to Tell Fazara.

112th infantry brigade advances NW from Ghadir Al-Boostan and penetrates through the Southern Gap (which is between Tell Al-Faras and Tell As-Saqi) on the Tapline road, near Tell Al-Jukhadar, south of Stronghold 115.

61st infantry brigade advances NW on the ancient Roman road and penetrates through the Southern Gap, near Stronghold 116.

Paratroopers landing from helicopters at Mount Hermon and at The Cork, Benot Yaacov and Arik bridges.

 

Second tactical echelon:

78th armored brigade is shown as advancing from Tell Ash-Shams to Hallas, following the 68th infantry brigade to Turunja, Jubata Al-Khashab, Tell Sidr Al-Arus and consolidating positions around Tell Al-Fakhr. In practice, they actually went through Khan Arnaba and the Northern Al-Quneitra Gap, after the 85th infantry brigade and before the 121st mechanized infantry brigade.

121st mechanized infantry brigade advances on the road to Khan Arnaba, penetrates through the Northern Al-Quneitra Gap to Mount Hermonit, Sukeik and consolidates positions between Al-Qala and Kibbutz Shamir, north of Rawiyah.

43rd armored brigade advances from Qeita to Al-Hara, heads SW and penetrates through the Kudna Gap after the 51st independent armored brigade, north to Ein Aysha, west to Mount YosifoonMount Shipon, Nafakh, Alyqa and consolidates positions east of The Cork Bridge, north of Dabbura.

51st independent armored brigade advances from As-Sariya to Jasim, through the Kudna Gap, Tell Fazara, Al-Khushniya, Ar-Ramthaniya, As-Sindiyana, Nafakh and consolidates positions around and south of The Custom House Junction, west of Sanabir. One battalion crosses the Jordan river over the Benot Ya'akov Bridge towards Ayelet Hashachar - Mishmar Hayarden.

46th armored brigade advances from Nawa, penetrates near Tell Al-Faras, heads NW to Al-Mashta, The Waterfall JunctionQasabiya, Yahudiya and consolidates positions in and above Al-Batiha Valley. One battalion crosses the Jordan river over the Arik Bridge and advances to Vered Hagalil.

132nd mechanized infantry brigade advances from Adwan to Tasil, Ein Dhakar, Saida, penetrates through the Southern Gap on the Roman road near Stronghold 116, heads SW for Tell As-Saqi, Ramat Magshimim, El Al Gap (which is between El Al stream and Nov stream), Fiq and reaches Kafr Harib on the cliff.

 

Second operational echelon:

3rd armored division advances from Khan Ash-Sheikh to Sa'sa', Tell As-Shams, Khan Arnaba, through the Northern Al-Quneitra Gap and consolidates positions between Ein Qiniya and the Wassit Junction. In practice, only the 81st armored brigade actually participated the offensive, alongside Rif'at Al-Assad's Defense Companies.

1st armored division advances to As-Sanamin, Inkhil, Jasim, through the Kudna Gap, Tell Fazara, Al-Khushniya and consolidates positions between Nafakh and Givat Bazaq.

47th independent armored brigade advances from Daeel to Tasil, penetrates through the Southern Gap after the 132nd mechanized infantry brigade, heads SW for Tell As-Saqi, Ramat Magshimim, El Al Gap and reaches the cliff above Al-Kursi.

Ar-Rafid Gap (which is between Tell Kudna and Tell Al-Faras), expected by the IDF to be one of the two main Syrian breakthrough routes (along with the Northern Al-Quneitra Gap), remains unused.

Edited by Iarmor

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The Syrian night breakthrough, October 6th-7th:

 

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Without an order, IDF 7th armored brigade, commanded by Avigdor Ben Gal, takes command of the northern sector and of the 74th armored battalion from the 188th armored brigade, while the 188th brigade is left with just the southern sector and its 53rd armored battalion. Shortly after, the 7th brigade is ordered to send its 82nd armored battalion to the 188th brigade, but keeps one of the tank companies to itself.

 

Syrian northern sector - 7th infantry division:

Syrian 68th infantry brigade and Moroccan 12th infantry regiment assault near Strongholds 104-105, suffer heavy losses and repelled by IDF 7th armored and 1st infantry brigade forces (which are ill-coordinated among themselves). 

Syrian 85th infantry, 78th armored and 121st mechanized infantry brigades assault through the Northern Al-Quneitra Gap (north of Stronghold 107), suffer heavy losses and repelled by IDF 7th armored brigade, which takes defense positions between the Hermonit and Tell Jit - Zahrat Ibrahim. The main Syrian assault route is through Wadi Marj Ash-Shabrack. This battlefield would later be described with the biblical phrase "The Valley of Tears".

 

Syrian central sector - 9th infantry division:

Syrian 52nd infantry brigade penetrates around Al-Qakhtaniyah - Surman (Stronghold 109) and reaches Al-Quneitra, but suffers heavy losses and gets blocked by IDF 7th armored brigade forces. 

Syrian 33rd infantry brigade manages to penetrate north of Tell Shuaf As-Sindiyan (injuring IDF 53rd armored battalion XO) but loses most of its tanks south of it to IDF 82nd armored battalion fire.

IDF 188th armored brigade CO heads from his Nafakh HQ southwards on the Tapline road, with his tank and M113.

Syrian 51st independent armored brigade penetrates through the Kudna Gap with no resistance, in between two IDF tank companies from the 82nd armored battalion (that lack night vision equipment). From that point, the map doesn't depict its movement accurately. The 51st brigade took Al-Khushniya and started advancing towards Nafakh through Al-Mashta Junction and the Tapline road. Perhaps some of the 51st brigade forces also advanced north towards Ar-Ramthaniya (aiming for Nafakh as well), and perhaps also west towards The Waterfall Junction.

The route to Nafakh through the Tapline road is defended by a single tank, commanded by an unassigned lieutenant named Zvi Greengold, who self-identifies on the radio as TF Zvika. When asked by the HQ how many tanks are there in his TF (OPSEC concerns forgotten), Zvika answers 100, knowing that the Syrian intelligence is eavesdropping but the HQ would understand the antiphrasis. Zvika's inaccurate night fire delays the Syrian 51st armored brigade and leads the Syrians to believe they are indeed facing a large force.

First Israeli reserve force, the downsized (7 tanks) 266th armored battalion of the 179th armored brigade, arrives and joins TF Zvika for the night battle on the Tapline road, between Nafakh and Al-Mashta. This force is destroyed by Syrian infantry ambushing with RPGs. Zvika, who loses his tank to fratricide fire, gathers the wounded (including the 266th battalion CO) and retreats northwards.

Syrian 43rd armored brigade penetrates through the Kudna Gap (after the 51st) with no resistance and heads north towards Al-Quneitra, to assist the 52nd infantry brigade. The 43rd armored brigade falls into a night ambush by an IDF tank company (from the 7th armored brigade) at Ein Aysha (west of Stronghold 110) and suffers heavy losses. Its forces try to extricate themselves by turning west and eventually retreat back to Al-Hara area through the Kudna Gap. It's possible that some remnants proceeded/stayed west of Ein Aysha.

After it was bypassed by the Syrian 51st armored brigade, which is now advancing NW towards Nafakh, IDF 82nd armored battalion is left with little ammo and retreats north, in two companies, to get resupplied near Mount Yosifoon. One company (with the battalion CO) retreats minutes before the Syrian 43rd armored brigade penetration, and the other company retreats from Stronghold 111 (along with 50th battalion paratroopers) in the morning, minutes before the Syrian 1st armored division penetration. Tell Shuaf As-Sindiyan falls into Syrian hands.

 

Syrian southern sector - 5th infantry division:

Syrian 112th infantry brigade penetrates through the Southern Gap on the Tapline road and holds the area around Tell Al-Jukhadar.

Syrian 61st infantry brigade penetrates on the Roman road and holds the area around Tell As-Saqi. Its tank battalion ambushes an IDF tank company (from the 82nd armored battalion) between Tell Al-Jukhadar and Tell As-Saqi, destroying 4 Shot Cals. 

Syrian 46th armored brigade is shown in the map as it penetrates through Ar-Rafid Gap and reaches Al-Khushniya. The map is mistaken here as well - the 46th penetrated on the Tapline road and headed towards The Waterfall Junction (destroying two IDF artillery batteries on the way), while Al-Khushniya was taken by the 51st armored brigade as described.

Syrian 132nd mechanized infantry brigade penetrates after the 61st infantry brigade, advances and reaches KhisfinRamat Magshimim. After engaging the Syrian 132nd brigade, IDF 82nd armored battalion XO manages to escape from Tell As-Saqi with a single tank. He leaves the Golan over Arik Bridge, gets back to Nafakh over Benot Ya'akov Bridge and joins the battle against the Syrian 51st armored brigade on the Tapline road.

At dawn, after finding out it was cut off by the Syrian 51st and 46th armored brigades that have reached the Tapline road, IDF 53rd armored battalion (along with 50th paratrooper battalion remnants) leaves Khan Al-Jukhadar and climbs on Tell Al-Faras with little ammo left.

IDF 188th armored brigade CO retreats SW to Mazra'at Al-Quneitra, leaves the Golan over Arik Bridge, gets back to Nafakh over Benot Ya'akov Bridge and joins the battle against the Syrian 51st armored brigade on the Tapline road.

 

Hermon:

Hermon Mountain Stronghold 102 is taken by the Syrian 82nd paratroopers battalion, in a combined heliborne and ground assault. The Syrians capture IDF intelligence men as POWs, as well as electronic surveillance equipment. 

 

Rear:

Syrian Defense Companies (T-62, BTR-50) and 3rd armored division hold their positions as the strategic reserve. The 81st armored brigade, from the 3rd armored division, is attached to the 7th infantry division and replaces the 78th armored brigade at Tell Ash-Shams.

Syrian 47th independent armored brigade haven't start its movement yet.

Syrian 1st armored division (T-62, BMP-1) advances from its camp in Al-Kiswah to Ghabaghib, As-Sanamin, Al-Qaniyah, Inkhil, Jasim.

IDF 36th armored division HQ arrives and takes command of the Golan Heights. The division CO is Rafael Eitan.

 

After the Syrian first tactical echelon infantry brigades had suffered heavy losses in their day-time assaults, the second tactical echelon armored and mechanized infantry brigades tries ti utilize their night vision advantage to penetrate through the Israeli defenses. The Syrians (121st, 78th brigades) were blocked by the IDF 7th brigade (74th, 77th, 75th, 71st battalions) in the northern sector, but in the southern sector the 188th brigade forces (53rd, 82nd battalions) were overwhelmed by the Syrian armor flood (51st, 43rd, 46th, 132nd brigades).

 

This map also depicts IDF code names for the roads. Some noteworthy ones:

Qatana - Mazra'at Beit JannMas'ada road is code named Tzin.

Mas'ada - Buq'ata - Kibbutz El Rom - Al-Quneitra road is code named Yaqir.

Mas'ada - Sukeik - Wassit - Nafakh - As-Sindiyana - Ar-Ramthaniya - Al-Khushniya road is code named Peleh.

Sukeik - Kibbutz El RomBooster Ridge road is code named Casuarina.

Damascus - Khan Ash-Sheikh - Sa'sa' - Khan Arnaba - Al-Quneitra - Ein Zivan road is code named America.

Ahmadiyah - Wassit - Rawiyah road, which leads through the Northern Al-Quneitra Gap, is code named Carton.

Tell Jabiya - Al-Aliya - NimrAl-HaraNaba As-SakhrRuwykhina road, which extends through the Southern Al-Quneitra Gap, is code named Peleg.

Al-Quneitra - Nafakh - Benot Ya'akov Bridge road is code named Yabasha.

Ein Aysha - Ad-Dalhamiya - Nafakh road is code named Catacomba.

Al-Qaniyah - Inkhil - Jasim - Kudna road, which extends through the Kudna Gap to Tell Fazara, is code named Troya.

Tell Fazara - Al-Khushniya - Al-Mashta - Qasabiya - Yahudiya - Arik Bridge road is code named Kvish.

Ash-Shiekh Maskin - Nawa - Ar-Rafid road, which extends through the Ar-Rafid Gap and then leads north to Al-Quneitra, is code named Reshet.

The Tapline road, which passes near AdwanTasilUmm Al-Luqas, through the Southern Gap, Khan Al-JukhadarAl-Mashta, Nafakh, Rawiyah, Tell Al-Fakhr and to Lebanon, is code named Machazeh.

Ar-Rafid - Khan Al-Jukhadar - Tell As-Saqi - Ramat Magshimim - El Al road is code named Tipa.

The roads on which the Syrians penetrated in the Umm Al-LuqasAl-Khanout area were ancient Roman roads, their remains can barely be traced in current satellite images (CORONA Atlas may help a bit):

Nawa - Al-Jarniya - Rasm Ballut road, which goes through Stronghold 116, is code named Palga.

Ein Dhakar - Saida - Al-Jarniya road is code named Angola.

Adwan - Tasil - Ein Dhakar - Tell As-Saqi - Al-Bajuriya road is code named Pinqas.

 

Edited by Iarmor

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October 7th, noon:

 

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IDF Northern Command reserves arrive to the Golan after their urgent emergency mobilization. These include the 179th armored (Shot Cal), 679th armored (Shot Meteor), 9th mechanized infantry (Sherman) brigades, 212th artillery regiment and 134th armored reconnaissance battalion (Shot Cal) of the 36th armored division, the 4th mechanized infantry brigade (Sherman) and 282nd artillery regiment of the 210th armored division and the 181st independent tank battalion (Sherman). The 9th mechanized infantry brigade is attached to the 210th armored division, while the latter's 164th armored brigade (Shot Cal) is sent to Sinai at the expense of the 7th armored brigade (Shot Cal, originally belonged to the 162nd armored division), which is attached to the 36th armored division. The southern Golan sector is handed over to the 210th armored division, while the 36th keeps just the northern sector.

 

The hasty IAF SEAD operation fails, with 6 F-4s lost to AAA and only one Syrian SAM site destroyed. Nevertheless, due to the desperate situation in the southern sector, IAF A-4s and Super Mysteres execute 19 close air support sorties in the Al-Quneitra area, 20 in the Al-Khushniya area and 16 in the Southern Gap area by 10:00. The Syrian 47th armored brigade suffers heavy losses.

 

IDF 7th armored brigade keeps blocking Syrian 7th infantry division assaults through the Northern Al-Quneitra Gap (85th infantry, 121st mechanized infantry and 78th armored brigades) and north of it (68th infantry brigade and Moroccan 12th infantry regiment). The armor wrecks at the Valley of Tears are piling up.

 

Strongholds 111, 114, 115 were evacuated by the IDF. The surrounding area is flooded with Syrian armor. 17 Israeli tank mechanics (188th armored brigade) are murdered while handcuffed at Al-Khushniya, after being taken as POWs. 

 

In the morning, the Syrian elite 1st armored division (T-62, BMP-1), spearheaded by the 91st armored brigade, advances through the Kudna Gap and attacks NW towards Nafakh, alongside the 51st armored brigade (T-55), in order to reach Wassit and cut the IDF 7th armored brigade from its rear. Syrian 51st armored brigade is blocked on the Tapline road (the map mistakenly attributes this movement to the 1st armored division), but some of its tanks reach Nafakh by advancing west of the road, through Tell Al Abbas - Al-Qadiriya.

Syrian 91st armored brigade tanks reach Nafakh through Ar-RamthaniyaAd-Dalhamiya - As-Sindiyana, while others pass by Mount Shipon and reach as far as Ad-Dalwa. A Syrian ATGM battalion deploys at Qala' Ein Al-Hakim. The maps mistakenly attributes these movements to the 51st and 43rd armored brigades. However, it's possible that among the Syrian forces east of Nafakh, were tanks detached from the 43rd armored brigade during the October 6th-7th night ambush at Ein Aysha

Shortly before the Syrians arrive to Camp Nafakh, IDF 36th armored division HQ retreated from Camp Nafakh to Alyqa.

Under the Israeli 188th armored brigade command, the 82nd and 266th armored battalion remnants desperately try to defend Nafakh, along with Zvika and the 188th brigade CO and XO on their own tanks.

East of the Tapline road, IDF 266th battalion XO is killed and 82nd battalion CO is injured while fighting the Syrian 91st brigade. IDF 82nd battalion remnants can't contact the 188th brigade CO and contact the 7th brigade CO instead. The latter, who doesn't understand how severe is the situation of the 188th brigade, orders them to head north to resupply at Wassit and rejoin his brigade in the defense of the northern sector.

On the Tapline road, IDF manage to block the Syrian 51st brigade advancement, until the Syrians bypass the blocking Israeli force from the west, through Tell Al Abbas - Al-Qadiriya, killing the IDF 82nd battalion XO. Some Israeli tanks turn around and head north in order to prevent the Syrians from reaching Nafakh. IDF 188th brigade CO and G3 are killed while doing so, and the 188th brigade XO is killed while staying to block southwards. Zvika's tank reaches Nafakh alone and destroys several Syrian tanks.

As it becomes clear that the Syrian 1st armored division had broken through the Kudna Gap and is attacking Nafakh, while the Syrian 3rd armored division haven't tried to break through the Northern Al-Quneitra Gap yet, the IDF reserve 679th armored brigade force (Shot Meteor tanks) sent at first from Nafakh to Al-Quneitra, is now called back west to Nafakh. It engages the surprised Syrian 91st brigade from the eastern flank, while other scattered 679th brigade forces engage the Syrians from the west and from the north. By sunset the Syrian 51st and 91st brigades are repelled from Nafakh, but the 188th armored brigade is written off the IDF ORBAT table. Its remnants join other formations, mostly the 7th armored brigade.

The other two brigades forming the Syrian 1st armored division, the 58th mechanized infantry (at Ein Warda) and the 76th armored (at As-Saluqiya), follow the 91st armored brigade and join the battlefield.

Syrian 46th armored brigade (T-55) is blocked at Qasabiya by the IDF reserve 179th armored brigade (with the 134th armored reconnaissance battalion of the 36th division, but without its 266th and 278th armored battalions. All with Shot Cal tanks), which joins 4 Shot Meteors from the 679th brigade, that were delaying the Syrians with inaccurate fire since last night. The 179th brigade takes back The Waterfall Junction.

 

Half of the Syrian 47th armored brigade (T-55), commanded by the CO and accompanied by the tank battalion (T-54) of the 61st infantry brigade, takes a wrong turn and arrives to Hirbat Kanaf, 6-7 kms from Lake Kinneret. There the Syrian force is destroyed in the afternoon by IDF reserve 4th mechanized infantry brigade (reinforced with the Shot Cals of the reserve 39th armored battalion, the third battalion of the active 188th brigade) climbing the Gamla ascent from Arik Bridge. Shortly earlier, the Syrian 47th brigade CO reported his superior about observing Tiberias across the Kinneret, but the later disbelieved at first and then angrily ordered the 47th to get back on course.

 

Syrian 132nd mechanized infantry brigade (T-55), along with the other half of the 47th armored brigade (commanded by the XO), is blocked by IDF 278th battalion from the reserve 179th armored brigade at El Al Gap (which is between El Al stream and Nov stream). As of 10:00, the Shermans of the IDF reserve 9th mechanized infantry brigade (mistakenly marked as armored) join this battle, just before the 278th battalion's Shot Cals run out of ammo, and start pushing NE.

 

IDF 53rd armored and 50th paratrooper battalion remnants are trapped on Tell Al-Faras with little ammo. They retreat westwards in the evening and 12 tanks out of 15 manage to escape safely, passing by the Syrian tank horde and surviving a fratricide fire incident with the 4th mechanized infantry brigade. They become known as The Ghost Convoy. The 53rd armored battalion remnants will return to the front-line on October 9th, under its former CO, just in time to decide the Valley of Tears battle. 

 

In the evening, IDF Central Command's 146th armored division arrives to the Golan, with its 205th armored, 670th mechanized infantry brigades, 213th artillery regiment and 288th armored reconnaissance battalion. The 217th armored brigade (Shot Cal) was sent to Sinai, attached to the 162nd armored division.

Most Centurions of the 205th brigade (Shot Meteor) and 288th battalion (Shot Cal) drove on tracks all the way from Ramallah area to the Golan, except for the 61st armored battalion from the 205th brigade, which was the only IDF reserve tank battalion taken to the Golan by flatbeds.

The 268th tank battalion (Shermans) of the 670th mechanized infantry brigade was detached to stay in the Jordan Valley. The tank fleet left to defend the Jordan Valley from a possible Jordanian attack includes now only two Sherman-equipped tank battalions.  

Edited by Iarmor

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October 8th:

 

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IDF 146th armored division takes command of the southern sector, and of the 4th and 9th mechanized infantry brigades. The division CO Moshe Peled is ordered to defend, but asks to counterattack and gets the permission. The counterattack succeeds and the IDF pushes the Syrian 5th infantry division NE to the Tapline road.

After IDF 9th mechanized infantry brigade captures the Syrian 47th armored brigade XO near Haital reservoir, it is bypassed by IDF 205th armored brigade (without its 61st armored battalion, but with the 288th armored reconnaissance battalion) at Ramat Magshimim. The 205th takes the lead and attacks northwards, while the 9th brigade advances to its left. IDF 4th mechanized infantry brigade (reinforced with a second Centurion battalion, the 61st from the 205th brigade, which is the one that arrived on flatbeds) attacks eastwards from Gamla ascent - Hirbat Kanaf.

Later on, all 3 brigades advance NE: 205th at the right, 9th at the center, 4th at the left. The 205th takes Tell As-Saqi (rescuing 26 IDF soldiers who were hiding in the bunker there) and Tell Al-Jukhadar. The 4th takes Givat Bazak and advances NE towards the Tapline road (brigade XO is injured and several brigade HQ officers are killed when the XO's halftrack finds itself behind Syrian lines). The 9th heads north and destroys an entrenched Syrian AT gun battalion near Nahal Gshur. A Syrian ATGM battalion (BRDM-2s with Saggers) from the 65th independent AT regiment (which is attached to the 1st armored division) is destroyed by IDF 146th division artillery (213th regiment) on the Tapline road, and its CO is later captured.

IDF 670th mechanized infantry brigade, that left its single Sherman battalion behind at the Jordan Valley, secures the ground taken and protects the 146th division's eastern wing. It collects and repairs damaged Centurions, Shermans and captured T-55s to create its own tank force.

 

IDF 210th armored division (includes now just the 179th armored brigade, at the central sector) pushes the Syrian 46th and 76th armored brigades east towards Al-Mashta. IDF 179th brigade XO is killed and the CO is injured (but will later escape hospital and return to his brigade), so the 179th is commanded for a while by the 210th division XO.

 

After successfully defending Nafakh, IDF 679th armored brigade (still under the 36th armored division) pushes the Syrian 51st and 91st armored brigades southwards and takes Ar-RazaniyaAs-Sindiyana and Ad-Dalhamiya.

Between Ein Samsam and Sanabir, IDF 181st independent armored battalion Shermans destroy a small force of Syrian APCs wandering SW, detached from the 51st armored brigade.

 

At the end of the day, the heavily beaten Syrian force (1st armored division + 51st armored, 46th armored, 33rd infantry brigades) is confined in Tell Hazayqa - Tell Abu QutayfAr-Ramthniya TellsAl-Khushniya - FahamTell Al-Faras area, known as Al-Khushniya Pocket (although it's a bulge, not a pocket). Syrian 1st armored division HQ takes place at Tell Fazara and its 58th mechanized infantry brigade entrenches itself in to defend the compound.

Syrian 47th armored and 132nd mechanized infantry brigades are totally destroyed.

Syrian infantry brigades (without their destroyed tank battalions) retreat back to their heavily fortified defensive positions east of the borderline.

 

In the northern sector, IDF 7th armored brigade keeps blocking Syrian armored assaults at the Valley of Tears. Syrian 7th infantry division CO is killed by IDF artillery (another version claims he is murdered after an argument with president Al-Assad).

 

IDF 1st infantry brigade assault on the Hermon fails with heavy losses.

 

Syrian 3rd armored division forces: attached to the 7th infantry division, the 81st armored brigade had replaced the 78th armored brigade at Tell Ash-Shams. The 65th armored brigade is deployed west of Qatana - Khan Ash-Sheikh area, while the 21st mechanized infantry brigade is at Al-Muqayliba.

Edited by Iarmor

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October 9th:

 

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IDF 36th armored division:

At night, Syrian commandos destroy 5 Shot Cals with RPGs south of Stronghold 105, near the AT ditch. This incident is known as The Bazooka Night. 

By noon, IDF 7th armored brigade repels the last Syrian effort to breakthrough the Northern Al-Quneitra Gap. This time the assaulting Syrian forces are the 81st armored brigade (3rd armored division) and the elite Defense Companies (a brigade-sized force that preceded the Republican Guard, commanded by president Al-Assad's younger brother Rif'at, equipped with T-62s). The map mistakenly still depicts the Defense Companies near Damascus. Under the heaviest Syrian artillery barrage in the war, IDF tanks are forced to retreat from their frontal positions and the Syrian tanks manage to advance and reach zero range. IDF 77th armored battalion CO Avigdor Kahalani orders his men to return to their frontal positions, but the Centurions stand still. As a last resort, he roars into the radio (all tanks were on his network): "Are there any cowards in my battalion?!" and only then his Shot Cals slowly move forward into the frontal positions. At another decisive moment of the battle, the 7th brigade is reinforced with the recovered 53rd armored battalion (13 Shot Cals), commanded by its former CO, Yossi Ben Hanan - who was made world-famous in the 1967 war and this war caught him abroad in the middle of his honeymoon. The Valley of Tears battle is over, with over 500 destroyed AFVs left behind by the retreating Syrians.

At the same time, a Syrian 43rd armored brigade assault (not shown on the map) through the Southern Al-Quneitra Gap is also repelled by IDF 7th armored brigade forces.

While assisting the 1st infantry brigade, the 7th armored brigade's reconnaissance company is destroyed by Syrian commandos (probably the same ones from the last night) near Buq'ata, behind the front line. The IDF learns the M113 vs. RPG lesson for the first, but not the last time. Eventually the Syrian commando remnants retreat after suffering heavy losses to two IDF Shermans (from the 181st independent tank battalion).

 

IDF 210th and 146th armored divisions attack the Syrian 1st armored division, confined in Al-Khushniya Pocket along with elements of the 5th and 9th infantry divisions, in order to destroy it. Albeit overshadowed by the Valley of Tears, it is the largest tank battle of the 1973 war, with 150 Israeli MBTs and 200 Syrian MBTs involved.

 

IDF 210th armored division:

IDF 679th armored brigade, attached from the 36th armored division, repels a final Syrian morning assault (91st, 76th, 51st armored brigades) and then advances southwards, taking Ein Warda and Ar-Ramthaniya. IDF 179th armored brigade takes As-Saluqiya and pushes the Syrians east of the Tapline road.

 

IDF 146th armored division:

IDF 205th armored brigade takes Tell Al-Faras and blocks the Ar-Rafid - Nawa road (code named Reshet), in order to prevent a Syrian retreat through the Ar-Rafid Gap. Syrian 51st and 76th armored brigades try to breakthrough SE and retreat but fail. A Syrian attempt to breach from the east also fails. A flight of 8 F-4s, each with 8 Mk 83 bombs, is found to be very helpful for the IDF (much better than the common CAS flight of two A-4s with 8 Mk 82s each), after the formation leader had canceled their original Damascus HQ strike mission due to bad weather.

Tell Al-Faras itself was fiercely defended by a single Syrian PT-76, that managed to immobilize a Centurion and to destroy two M113s. It was eventually taken by IDF infantry assault with hand grenades.

IDF 9th mechanized infantry brigade heads NE through Nahal Gshur and its Shermans (377th tank battalion) destroy the main Syrian 58th mechanized infantry brigade ATGM bastion between Tell At-Tali'a and Al-Khushniya, after the first assault by Shot Cals had failed (this Sherman battalion will find itself at the eye of the storm again in this war, more than once). The 9th brigade then takes Al-Khushniya itself, with the Shot Cals engaging Syrian tanks between the deserted buildings.

IDF 4th mechanized infantry brigade (reinforced with the Shot Cals of the 39th armored battalion and the Shot Meteors of the 61st armored battalion, in addition to its original Shermans of the 95th tank battalion) takes Faham, advances NE, reaches Reshet road and destroys Syrian armor trying to retreat.

 

By the end of the day, the Syrian 1st armored division (76th and 91st armored, 58th mechanized infantry brigades) is left with 20 battle-worthy MBTs, while the 43rd, 46th and 51st armored brigades are left with 12 battle-worthy MBTs altogether. 

    

Edited by Iarmor

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October 10th:

 

1527da_b9e4f22d60734b3c8794edbdd2be8f77~

 

The IDF finishes off Al-Khushniya Pocket. IDF 179th and 679th armored brigades push Syrian remnants southwards and clear the central sector all the way to the borderline, while the 9th mechanized infantry brigade takes and consolidates Tell Fazara (in spite the Sherman's main gun rounds bounce off the Syrian 76th armored brigade T-62's armor) and the 4th mechanized infantry brigade takes Tell Shuaf As-Sindiyan and Tell Akasha (surprisingly capturing a single Syrian StuG III). In the Syrian 1st armored division, some troops mutinied and refused to fight, and in response the division CO ordered to pound them with artillery.

In the northern sector, Al-Quneitra town is cleared by IDF 317th paratrooper brigade.

 

Later that day, IDF divisions are ordered to exploit the success and assault into Syria ASAP. The goal is to determine whether the Syrians had orderly retreated to their fortifications (that would require a well-organized, higher-cost breakthrough), or are they collapsing and fleeing in panic (that should be exploited ASAP, before the Syrians regroup). The 36th and 210th divisions ask for time to recover, as they are exhausted and worn-out, but the 146th (thanks to stirring leadership by its CO) carries out the order and fails:

IDF 4th and 9th mechanized infantry brigades attack Kudna and repelled by the Syrian 33rd infantry brigade. 

IDF 205th armored brigade takes Tell Al-Mahir (288th armored reconnaissance battalion), the area north of it and Tell Al-Asbah (125th armored battalion), but heavy fire from Tell Kudna and Tell Al-Ahmar Ash-Sharqi forces it to retreat and keep only Tell Al-Mahir.

Syrian 61st infantry brigade repels the IDF attacks at Umm Al-Luqas (94th armored battalion from the 205th armored brigade, on the Tapline road) and at Saida - Al-Khanout area (83rd mechanized infantry battalion from the 670th brigade, with 6 tanks it had collected). However, the Syrian stronghold at Saida is destroyed by Syrian artillery and airstrikes, as the Syrian command was sure that Saida had already fallen into Israeli hands, in light of the stressed radio reports made by the 61st infantry brigade CO.

 

After the IDF finished off Al-Khushniya Pocket, the Syrian army had lost all its gains except the Hermon. Almost 900 Syrian MBTs, 2/3 of the Syrian tank fleet, were deserted in Israeli-held territory.

The Syrian 1st armored division was totally destroyed - only one of its T-62 MBTs has returned battle-worthy to Syria. Reconnaissance, ATGM, engineering and most artillery elements were destroyed as well.

The Syrian 46th, 47th, 51st, 76th, 91st armored, 58th and 132nd mechanized infantry brigades will not see further battles in the war due to the heavy losses they had suffered.

However, the Syrian infantry (with its artillery and ATGM forces) has orderly retreated back to its fortifications with little losses. At least in the southern sector, the Syrian 5th and 9th infantry divisions managed to put up heavy resistance against the Israeli cross-border offensive attempts.

Edited by Iarmor

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IDF breakthrough into Syria, October 11th-12th:

 

1527da_861a923b1ca84841bd143a35a324e062~

 

Northern sector - IDF 36th armored division:

IDF 7th armored brigade, reinforced to 5 battalions, breaks through the hilly, wooded, mined area north of America road in two places, near Strongholds 104 and 105. Syrian 68th infantry brigade, still devastated from previous battles, is caught ill-prepared (its retreat wasn't well organized as the Syrian 5th and 9th infantry divisions retreat) and its resistance on October 11th is light, so as IDF losses. Two battalions (77th, 71st) take Hadar Junction and reach Mazra'at Beit Jann outskirts, while the brigade HQ with 3 battalions (53rd, 75th, 74th) takes Tell Az-Zuhur, Jubata Al-Khashab, Turunja, Tell Al-Ahmar, Amrat Al-Fawwar, Harfa and Halas.

On October 12th, the 7th brigade takes Ma'as Junction and then fails to take Tell Ash-Shams twice: the first attempt is blocked at the mined Ash-Shawkatliya Bridge under heavy fire from the Tell and the second is repelled by the Tell defenders (Syrian 78th armored brigade remnants), after a flanking move from Halas through a shepherd trail in the supposedly-impassable lava field of The Little Laja (where the terrain is similar to The Great Laja), which has brought the Israeli force, 8 Shot Cals, to assault the Tell from the NW (north of Durin). By one of the 4 Shot Cals destroyed on Tell Ash-Shams, an IDF tank driver takes care of his badly wounded battalion CO (for him its the fourth injury in three days) and radios for help.

Mazra'at Beit Jann is taken by the IDF after heavy fighting, as the Syrian forces there were reinforced at night by T-55s (65th armored brigade's baptism of fire) and heliborne commandos. The Moroccan brigade remnants are destroyed while trying to escape through a wadi east of Beit Jann.

IDF 1st infantry brigade takes Hadar and clears the area taken by the 7th armored brigade.

 

Central sector - IDF 210th armored division:

After the successful breakthrough by the 36th armored division, the IDF mistakenly assumes that the heavy Syrian 7th infantry division fortifications on America road (the main Al-Quneitra - Damascus road) would be easily breached by a frontal assault as well. So instead of following the 7th armored brigade, IDF 179th armored brigade tries to breakthrough the Syrian 121st mechanized infantry brigade defenses near Khan Arnaba, without even waiting for the 7th brigade to take Tell Al-Ahmar and assist from the north. The 179th suffers heavy losses, but 6 tanks manage to reach Khan Arnaba Junction and engage the Syrian fortifications from the rear.

IDF 679th armored brigade then follows the 179th (again, instead of following the 7th, which had faced only light Syrian resistance) and suffers heavy losses as well (which almost include its CO, who luckily walks out unharmed when his halftrack is destroyed). Eventually the 679th manages to take Khan Arnaba and advances to Tell Ash-Sha'ar. All in all, about 40 Centurions from both brigades were damaged at Khan Arnaba. The 179th brigade is down to just two battle-worthy tanks.

IDF 9th mechanized infantry brigade (attached from the 146th division) follows the 679th, takes Jaba and Tell Al-Kurum with no resistance and parks between Ma'as Junction and Ma'as.

On October 12th, the 679th armored brigade is reinforced by TF Nati, an ad-hoc established Shot Cal battalion commanded by Nethanel Golan - a 1967 Golan war hero with the highest decoration, after which he changed his last name from Horowitz to Golan. Like most men in his TF, Nati Golan came back from abroad when he heard of the war. Spearheaded by TF Nati, the 679th brigade takes Kafr Nasij and Tell Qarin. The leading company, arriving from the west, is destroyed (and Nati Golan is injured) between Kafr Nasij and Tell Qarin, in an ambush by a Syrian tank battalion (9th infantry division). Shortly after, the ambushing Syrian tanks are destroyed by the other company of TF Nati, arriving from Sabsaba.

The 179th armored brigade (reinforced with a single company from TF Nati) attacks Tell Maskhara, but repelled by Syrian 9th infantry division forces. The 179th then proceeds to At-Tikha, Al-Mal and the nearby Tell, advance eastwards south of Kafr Nasij, destroys a Syrian force at Tell Alaqiya and blocked by the Syrians at Tell MareeTell Maree is eventually taken by the 9th brigade (again, Shermans doing the dirty work after Centurions fail), which then takes the lead towards Kanakir. The 210th armored division HQ takes place at Tell Ash-Sha'ar.

Syrian 7th infantry division pretty much disintegrates (with the exception of Tell Ash-Shams defenders, for now) and the 9th infantry division is not far from collapsing either. The Syrian MBT fleet is down to less than 300. A few days later, back in Damascus, the Syrian 68th infantry brigade CO will be sentenced to death and executed for his brigade's performance on October 11th. 

 

Southern sector - IDF 146th armored division:

After its failed October 10th assault, MoD Dayan orders the 146th division not to attack, since the goal is to reach Sa'sa' - Kanakir and get Damascus into artillery range, so there is no point in attacking at the southern sector. The 146th division is ordered to hand over the 9th mechanized infantry brigade back to the 210th division (the 205th armored brigade will soon follow) and the remaining forces hold the borderline, facing the Syrian 5th and 9th infantry divisions. 

 

The black square on the lower right zooms-in on the Syrian defenses on America road near Khan Arnaba, facing the Israeli 179th armored brigade assault. The Syrian equipment included RPG-7s, B-10 82mm RRs, 106 mm RRs, T-34/85s in stationary positions, D-44 85 mm AT guns and AT-3 Saggers positioned on both sides of the road. The circled number near every AT weapon is the number of rounds fired by the weapon during the battle.

 

IDF fires 8,000 (4,800 before and 3,200 during the breakthrough) artillery shells on October 11th, mostly in support of the 7th armored brigade. On both days altogether, IAF executes 680 sorties (351 close support, 7 interdiction, 90 airbase attack, 53 SEAD, 179 interception) and loses 11 aircraft. Syrian AF executes 876 sorties (731 defensive, 145 offensive) and loses 18 aircraft.

 

 

Edited by Iarmor

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The Iraqi surprise, October 12th:

 

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Around 15:00, while IDF 210th armored division forces are advancing towards Kanakir, an intelligence captain from the division HQ, standing on Tell Ash-Sha'ar, turns his view to the southern flank, lift his binoculars and observes two long columns of dust clouds approaching from As-Sanamin through Kafr Shams and Aqraba, 10 kms from the Israeli forces. They appear to be a fresh T-55 equipped armored brigade, in Soviet green color scheme (as opposed to the Syrian camouflage pattern), accompanied with OT-62s - which do not exist in Syrian inventory (as opposed to BTR-50s). After speculating they might be Soviets/WP, it becomes clear that the Iraqi expeditionary force, mistakenly assumed to be still far away (Iraqi 3rd armored division drove over 1300 kms all the way from At-Taji, starting on October 8th), has arrived to the Golan Heights.

 

Iraqi 3rd armored division (BTW, it was deployed to Irbid, Jordan between June 1967 and September 1970 and occasionally fired artillery at Israeli villages in the Beit She'an Valley) HQ takes position at Ghabaghib. Its vanguard, the 12th armored brigade, was initially sent south (to Al-Faqi') in order to reinforce the Syrian 5th infantry division. However, due to the collapse of the Syrian 7th infantry division (except for Tell Ash-Shams, as mentioned), the Iraqi 12th armored brigade is attached to the Syrian 9th infantry division and ordered to attack NW, towards the southern flank of the Israeli bulge. The Iraqi 12th armored brigade advances from As-Sanamin, splits in two at Qeita and attacks Kafr Nasij and Tell Maskhara. Each column includes a tank battalion and a mechanized infantry battalion. One of these mechanized infantry battalions is attached from the Iraqi 8th mechanized infantry brigade, while the rest of the 8th brigade is still on the move from Al-Kiswah to Ghabaghib.

IDF 679th armored brigade, alerted during refueling (the Shot Meteor had fuel for only 9 hours of engine operation), repels the eastern Iraqi column from its positions on Tell Qarin and south of Kafr Nasij (as far as Tell Antar) by sunset. IDF 9th mechanized infantry and 179th armored brigades, while heading north towards Kanakir, are called back to Kafr Nasij, waiving the Tell Maree gain.

IDF 205th armored brigade, attached from the 146th armored division to reinforce the 210th by MoD Dayan orders, is sent to secure the southern flank by taking Tell Maskhara and Tell Al-Mal. The 205th brigade tanks tackle the western Iraqi column at close range, mix among Iraqi tanks and disorderly retreat to Jaba at sunset, considering the Iraqi night vision advantage. The Iraqis take Tell Maskhara, Tell Al-Mal, At-Tikha and Tell Al-Bazzaq.

Over-estimating the size of the Iraqi force, IDF 210th armored division HQ orders the 9th, 179th and 679th brigades to retreat as well, to Tell Ash-Sha'ar - Ma'as area, while the HQ itself retreats to Jaba. Kafr Nasij, Tell Qarin gains are waived. Tanks tow fuel-starved halftracks and most vehicles run out of fuel near Tell Ash-Sha'ar.

 

IDF plans to reach Kanakir and Sa'sa' are postponed. The 210th armored division is reinforced with the 75th battalion from the 36th division, and prepares to ambush the expected Iraqi night assault north towards Tell Ash-Sha'ar. IDF 36th armored division HQ takes position at Turunja. For now, further 36th division assaults on Tell Ash-Shams are postponed, but the wounded battalion CO and his tank driver, lying by their destroyed tank on the Tell, are extracted by IDF SF sneaking there at night under heavy artillery barrage.

Edited by Iarmor

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IDF advancement continues, October 13th:

 

1527da_b5ea4109415846348d87c5ab6d54f225~

 

Central sector - IDF 210th armored division:

Before dawn, the Iraqi assault from At-Tikha  towards Tell Ash-Sha'ar and Tell Ayyuba falls into IDF 210th armored division 3-sided box ambush: IDF 9 mechanized infantry brigade Shermans wait in the dark south of Tell Ash-Sha'ar, let the Iraqi T-55s come close and first open fire at 150 meters range. Soon later, the Iraqis also take fire from their western (IDF 205th armored brigade from Jaba) and eastern (IDF 179th and 679th armored brigades from Ma'as and Ma'as Junction) flanks, while the IAF executes 28 air support sorties in the area between Aqraba, Tell Maskhara and Tell Al-Mal. The 210th division HQ splits in two: XO stays in Jaba, CO returns to the Booster.

IDF 679th armored brigade takes Maskhara.

IDF 205th armored brigade, reinforced with a battalion from the 7th armored brigade, takes Tell Maskhara.

IDF 179th armored brigade takes At-Tikha, Al-Mal and Tell Al-Mal.

IDF 9th mechanized brigade takes back Kafr Nasij, Tell Qarin. According to the map, Tell Maree is also taken, but I think it's a mistake.

Iraqi 12th armored brigade retreats with heavy losses, first to Tell Al-Mal and then to Aqraba. The Iraqis now prepare to defend Aqraba, Tell Antar, Tell Alaqiya, Kafr Shams and Dir Al-Adas.

 

Northern sector - IDF 36th armored division:

IDF 7th armored brigade hands over Mazra'at Beit Jann to the 1st infantry brigade (which loses its XO to a mine), along with a tank company. At night, a pair of IDF M107s, lead and secured by SF, advance NE beyond the front-line in the Mazra'at Beit Jann - Hina area and fire 10 shells each at the Damascus Al-Mazza airbase (max range - 35 kms). The control tower and main runway take direct hits.

On the same night, Tell Ash-Shams is finally taken by a battalion from the IDF 317th paratroopers brigade. Surprisingly, only 4 IDF soldiers are wounded. The paratroopers attacked the Tell from the south after a heavy artillery barrage (which probably deserves most credit), while a small armored force advanced through The Little Laja shepherd trail in order to distract the Syrians from the NW and block arrival of Syrian reinforcements from Sa'sa' on America road. The 317th brigade CO awards the 7th brigade CO with a gift - a captured Syrian BRDM-2, of the Sagger launching version, which is responsible for most of the 7th brigade losses at Tell Ash-Shams.

 

IAF executes 220 sorties (72 close air support, 39 airbase and SAM strike, 109 patrol and interception) and loses 4 aircraft. Syrian AF executes 385 sorties (67 offensive, 318 defensive) and loses 12 aircraft. 

 

October 14th (not shown in the map):

IDF 7th armored brigade takes Tell Al-Arus, Tell As-SarjaTell Fatma and Himrit without resistance.

IDF 1st infantry brigade repels a Syrian battalion-scale assault (65th armored brigade) on Mazra'at Beit Jann.

 

Iraqi forces keep accumulating in the theater, eventually reaching 2 armored divisions and 3 independent infantry brigades, or as they promised to the Syrian MoD - "an army so massive, that when its head will arrive Damascus - its tail would still be in Baghdad". Jordanian (eventually a full armored division) and Saudi (a mechanized infantry brigade) expeditionary forces join in as well, and the Soviets expedite their arms deliveries. In spite of the heavy Syrian and Iraqi losses, the balance of power unfavours further IDF offensives and the momentum shifts back towards the Arab side.

OTOH, even though it didn't reach Sa'sa' and Kanakir, the IDF is pretty pleased with its gains. 175 mm artillery can be fired on Syrian bases at the outskirts of Damascus from Mazra'at Beit Jann and Tell Ash-Shams, and most important Tells are in Israeli hands, forming a formidable line of defense.

On the top of that, the IDF feels it's time to cross the Suez Canal in order to decide the war in the Egyptian theater as well (especially after Egyptian second echelon armor had crossed the Suez Canal, attacked and retreated with heavy losses).

Therefore the IDF decides to diminish major offensives in the Golan and to start transferring forces (eventually a full armored division) from the Golan to Sinai.

The Israeli bulge in Syria is named "The Syrian Enclave" by the Israelis and "The Sa'sa' Pocket" by the Syrians (although it's not an enclave nor a pocket).

Edited by Iarmor

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Local offensive by IDF 210th armored division at noon, October 15th:

 

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IDF 205th armored brigade advances east and engages Tell Antar and Tell Alaqiya. Both Tells are taken by IDF 9 mechanized infantry brigade (Shermans assault, Centurions cover), which advances SE from Kafr Nasij.

IDF 679th armored brigade bypasses Kafr Nasij and Tell Qarin from the north, heads south in order to flank Tell Alaqiya and Tell Antar from the east, but takes heavy ATGM fire from Kafr Shams and Dir Al-Adas. IDF 179th armored brigade advances SE from Kafr Nasij - Tell Hamad and engages the Iraqi forces from the west. Both the 679th and 179th retreat in the afternoon.

Iraqi 12th armored brigade retreats to Kafr Shams.

At night, IDF 205th armored brigade replaces IDF 9 mechanized infantry brigade on Tell Antar and Tell Alaqiya and repels an Iraqi night counterattack.

While obtaining much better positions for the defense of Nasij Junction, the IDF 210th armored division lost 7 tanks and destroyed about 20 Iraqi tanks.

Due to the heavy losses it had suffered so far, the Iraqi 12th armored brigade will not see further battles in this war. The Iraqi 6th armored brigade, which had just arrived to the Golan, will spearhead the Iraqi 3rd armored division from now on.

The Jordanian elite 40th armored brigade, equipped with Centurions, takes position at Tell Al-Hara (not shown in the map).

 

Northern sector - IDF 36th armored division (not shown on the map):

IDF 1st infantry brigade takes Beit Jann and several hills north of Mazra'at Beit Jann.

IDF Tell Ash-Shams defenders, two battalions from the 7th armored and 317th paratroopers brigades, repel a fierce Syrian brigade-sized assault coming from the NE (armor and infantry/SF) and NW (infantry/SF). The tanks do most of the work, as the paratroopers can't go out of the bunker due to the heavy Syrian artillery.

Tell Maree is taken by a battalion from the IDF 7th armored brigade with no resistance.

 

This map also depicts IDF code names for the roads. Some noteworthy ones:

Jaba - Maskhara - At-Tikha - Al-Mal - Kafr Nasij - Dir Al-Adas road, which leads to Ghabaghib, is code named Tsirikh.

Ma'as Junction - Ma'as - Himrit - Sabsaba - Kafr Nasij - Kafr Shams road, which leads to Qeita, is code named Yair.

Jaba - Ayyuba - Ma'as Junction road is code named Ravid.

Kafr Nasij - Al-Habariya - Tell Maree road, which leads to Kanakir, is code named Tsaiqan.

Al-Mal - Aqraba road, which leads to Al-Hara, Nimr and Jasim, is code named Carlos.

Maskhara - Naba As-Sakhr road is code named Tslavon.

Edited by Iarmor

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I should finish first, there are a few more maps to go. Then I suppose copy-paste to MS Word will work - it seems to keep the links.

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October 16th Arab armies offensive:

 

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The small map at the upper left shows the whole Syrian Enclave.

 

Southern enclave sector - IDF 210th armored division:

Jordanian 40th armored brigade (Centurion, M113), under the command of the Syrian 9th infantry division, advance from Tell Al-Hara towards Tell Maskhara and repelled by IDF 679th and 179th armored brigades, from their positions on Tell Maskhara and Tell Al-Mal respectively. The Jordanian Centurions cause some confusion for the IDF, but they are eventually identified by their camouflage pattern and by the green flags on their antennas.

Iraqi 3rd armored division advances from Kafr Shams and Dir Al-Adas, assaults Tell Antar and Tell Alaqiya and repelled by IDF 205th armored brigade.

IDF 210th division HQ is at Tell Ash-Sha'ar. IDF 9th mechanized infantry brigade is sent for help from the division's rear, first towards the Jordanians and then towards the Iraqis.

 

Northern enclave sector - IDF 36th armored division:

IDF 1st infantry brigade repels a Syrian assault on Mazra'at Beit Jann, coming from Hina and Maghr Al-Mir.

IDF 7th armored brigade repels a Syrian assault on Tell Ash-Shams, coming the north, NE (Sa'sa') and SE (Dir Makir).

IDF 71st armored battalion, from the 7th armored brigade, is sent from Tell Maree to attack Dir Al-Adas in order to relieve the heavy Iraqi pressure on the IDF 205th armored brigade.

 

The large map zooms-in on Kafr Nasij - Kafr Shams - Dir Al-Adas - Tell Arid - Tell Maree area. This map mistakenly mentions the Iraqi 12th armored brigade, but the attacking Iraqi forces were the 6th armored and 8th mechanized infantry brigades, while the 12th was recovering from the heavy losses it took on previous battles.

IDF 205th armored brigade HQ is on Tell Qarin. Its 125th armored battalion is on Tell Antar and Tell Alaqiya, while the 94th armored battalion joins in from Kafr Nasij. The 125th battalion CO was killed by Iraqi artillery shortly after his request to retreat had been denied by the 205th brigade CO.

IDF 71st armored battalion heads SE from Tell Maree and takes heavy Cobra ATGM fire from the Iraqi 20th mechanized infantry brigade positions at Dir Al-Adas - Tell Al-Masikh. The battalion turns east towards Tell Al-Masikh, engages Iraqi trucks coming from Ghabaghib on Tsirikh road and returns to Tell Maree.

Less than 10 IDF 210th armored division tanks are damaged. 40 Iraqi tanks are destroyed, many others are damaged and the Iraqis also lose 150 infantrymen.

 

Not on the map:

At the dawn of October 17th and again at the dawn of October 18th, IDF 205th armored brigade forces on Tell Antar repel attacks by Iraqi SF equipped with RPGs (not shown on the map).

On October 17th, a battalion from the IDF 7th armored brigade engages the Saudi 20th mechanized infantry brigade forces (destroys an AML-90 battalion) at Ein Afa - Tell Arid. IDF 188th armored brigade is reestablished in the Israeli Golan.

On October 18th, the IDF 146th armored division takes the 210th armored division positions in the southern flank of the Syrian Enclave, as the 210th, with its 179th and 679th armored brigades, is sent back to the Israeli Golan for recovery alongside the arising 188th armored brigade. The 9th mechanized infantry and 205th armored brigades stay in the Syrian Enclave, now under the 146th division, and are joined by the 4th mechanized infantry brigade. The 670th mechanized infantry brigade, with two Sherman battalions it received, is now solely responsible for the whole southern sector of the border, up until Al-Quneitra

Due to the importance of Tell Ash-Shams (perceived as "the gate for Damascus"), the IDF establishes a dedicated force to defend Tell Ash-Shams, composed of a tank battalion (7th armored brigade) and an infantry battalion (1st infantry brigade) and commanded by an infantry colonel. Under heavy Syrian artillery, hastened fortification works take place, as the original Syrian fortifications face the other way.

Edited by Iarmor

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October 19th Arab armies offensive:

 

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SE Enclave sector:

Again, the IDF (mostly the 205th armored brigade) repel Iraqi 3rd armored division (6th armored and 8th mechanized infantry brigades) assaults on Tell Alaqiya and Tell Antar from Kafr Shams and Dir Al-Adas.

At dawn, after a massive artillery barrage, an Iraqi mechanized infantry battalion manages to take Tell Antar for a short-while. IDF 205th armored brigade (94th and 125th armored battalions), distracted after another night of repelling Iraqi SF raids, counterattacks, retakes Tell Antar and blocks further Iraqi armor assaults. IDF 205th armored brigade HQ is on Tell Qarin.

IDF 9th mechanized infantry brigade (377th, 278th battalions and TF Nati) is sent from Tell Ayyuba through Maskhara, At-Tikha, Al-Mal and Kafr Nasij to secure the southern flank of the 205th brigade. It engages the Iraqi armor south of Tell Antar.

IDF 71st armored battalion (from the 7th armored brigade, 36th armored division) is sent again from Tell Maree to attack SE and relieve pressure from the 205th armored brigade. It engages the Saudi 20th mechanized infantry brigade forces defending Ein Afa, then advances (this movement is not shown on the map) to engage the Iraqi forces at Dir Al-Adas and eventually returns to Tell Maree.

As a last resort to prevent his brigade from collapsing under the massive Iraqi armor horde, the 205th CO sends his reserve, a company of 4 Shot Meteors (61st armored battalion tanks, that returned to their original 205th armored brigade after being repaired), to flank the Iraqis from the north. The flanking move breaks the Iraqi assault, the Iraqis retreat and Tell Alaqiya and Tell Antar remain in Israeli hands.

At night, IDF 9th mechanized infantry brigade replaces the 205th armored brigade on Tell Alaqiya and Tell Antar, as the 205th is sent to recover near Jaba.

 

SW Enclave sector:

IDF 567th paratrooper battalion, from the 317th paratrooper brigade, advances south from Tell Al-Kurum and takes Umm Batna before dawn. After taking it, the paratroopers in Umm Batna are replaced by the ad-hoc established TF Salad, composed of one Shot Meteor company (from the 61st armored battalion) and two halftrack companies (from the 4th and 9th mechanized infantry brigades). TF Salad's mission is to defend Umm Batna.

Shortly later, a Syrian armor force (from the 9th infantry division) counterattacks from Mamtina and takes back Umm Batna, while the Israeli TF Salad loses its CO (91st mechanized infantry battalion CO, from the 9th mechanized infantry brigade) and retreats.

Then the IDF 4th mechanized infantry brigade, which was parking north of Jaba, attacks again with two battalions (39th armored and 288th armored reconnaissance), destroy the Syrian tanks, run-down nearby Syrian artillery positions and retakes Umm Batna.

Later on, the Jordanian 40th armored brigade, still under the command of the Syrian 9th infantry division, is ordered by the Syrians to retrieve Umm Batna. The Jordanian brigade advances NW from Tell Al-Hara and splits in two at Naba As-Sakhr: one half heads NW to Mamtina - Rasm Al-Khawalid - Umm Batna, while the other heads north towards Tell Maskhara through Al-Muraba'at.

IDF 4th mechanized infantry brigade Centurions (the brigade's original Sherman battalion stayed in the Israeli Golan), positioned between Umm Batna and Tell Maskhara, engage the Jordanian Centurions starting at 8 kms range and eventually repel the Jordanian assaults from as close as 400 meters. One Jordanian Centurion company is destroyed 1 km north of Umm Batna, after it used the terrain (the IFF problem also contributed) to infiltrate between the defending IDF tank companies. The Jordanian brigade retreats to Tell Al-Hara.

 

IDF 146th armored division HQ is on the Booster (aka Tell Al-Makhfi), Iraqi 3rd armored division HQ is near Ghabaghib, Syrian 9th infantry division HQ is on Tell Al-Hara.

 

15 IDF tanks were damaged, while at least 15 Iraqi and 10 Jordanian tanks were destroyed and many others were damaged. The Syrians lost 10 tanks. 

 

Not shown on the map:

IDF 471st paratrooper battalion, also from the 317th paratrooper brigade, was sent to attack Tell Kudna, but the operation was canceled before the paratroopers made contact with the Syrian Tell Kudna defenders.

Iraqi 12th armored brigade has recovered and its now back at full strength.

Iraqi 6th armored division: the 30th armored brigade has fully arrived to the Golan, takes place at the Iraqi 3rd armored division rear. The 6th armored division HQ and its 16th armored and 25th mechanized infantry brigades are on their way.

 

Edited by Iarmor

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On October 21st the IDF repels sporadic Syrian assaults. The most notable one is an armored battalion-size assault on Tell Maree, repelled by IDF 77th armored battalion.

IDF 179th armored brigade is sent to the Egyptian theater, crosses the Suez Canal on October 22nd and participates in the encirclement of the Egyptian 3rd field army.

 

After a long night battle, the IDF finally takes the Hermon mountain. The Israeli Hermon Stronghold 102, which was taken by the Syrians on the first day of the war, is taken back by IDF 1st infantry brigade with heavy losses. At the same time, IDF 317th paratrooper brigade takes the Syrian Hermon posts and the Hermon summit with light losses in a heliborne operation.

 

While the Syrian reestablish their 1st armored division, using the hundreds of tanks shipped to Syria by the Soviets, additional Arab forces keep arriving to the Golan. The Iraqi force includes an armored corps with two armored divisions (3th, 6th) and 3 infantry brigades (on October 8th, when the Syrians begged for help, an Iraqi general promised the Syrian MoD to send an army so massive that it will sprawl all the way from Damascus to Baghdad...). The Jordanians send their 3rd armored division (40th and 92nd armored brigades. The 40th is reinforced with an armored battalion from the 99th armored brigade to compensate for its losses). Saudi and Kuwaiti forces join in as well. The Arab armies plan a major attack on October 23rd, but cancel it before execution.

 

Ceasefire lines, October 24th:

 

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Israeli army:

 

Northern Enclave sector: 36th armored division at Beit Jann springs - Mazra'at Beit Jann (and several hills to the NE) - Tell Ash-Shams - Tell Maree.

Southern Enclave sector: 146th armored division at Tell Alaqiya - Tell Antar - Tell Al-Mal - Tell Maskhara - Umm Batna - Al-Karm.

Southern sector (south of Al-Quneitra) :  670th mechanized infantry brigade.

Hermon ridge (including the ex-Syrian posts and the summit): 317th paratrooper brigade.

At the rear: 210th armored division near Alyqa.

 

Total: 390 tanks, 24 medium artillery batteries, 42 field artillery batteries (including heavy mortars and rocket launchers).

 

Syrian and allied Arab armies:

 

Syrian 65th armored brigade (from the 3rd armored division) between Qatana and Khan Ash-Sheikh.

Syrian brigade at Artuz - Tell Kawkab.

Syrian brigade at An-Nufur - Kanakir - Shaqhab - Arkis.

Iraqi 3rd armored division at Tell Arid - Dir Al-BakhtJabab - As-Sanamin - Qeita.

Iraqi 6th armored division concentrated at the rear, near Ghabaghib.

Syrian 52nd infantry brigade east of Ruwykhina, around Mamtina - Naba As-Sakhr and south of Aqraba.

Jordanian 3rd armored division at Tell Al-Hara and around Tell MutawaqAs-Sariya - Al-Faqi'.

Syrian 33rd infantry brigade between Kudna, Qarqas and Jasim.

UI brigade NW of Mahaja, south of Al-Qaniya.

Syrian 112th infantry brigade between Ghadir Al-Boostan, Tell Al-Jabiya and Nawa.

Syrian 61st infantry brigade between Ein Dhakar and Tasil, west of Tell Jumu.

 

Total: 1125 tanks (755 on the front-line), 68 medium artillery batteries, 27 field artillery batteries.

 

Golan tank fleet diagram:

 

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October 6th: IDF 170, Syria 930 (additional 470 are in the second operational echelon. Total fleet is 1650).

October 10th: IDF 400, Syria 300-400.

October 14th: IDF 300, Arabs (Syria, Iraq, Jordan) 300.

October 18th: IDF 400, Arabs 520 (Syria 150, Iraq 300, Jordan 70. Over 300 additional tanks are near Damascus).

October 22nd: IDF 400 (the 179th armored brigade ,with 30 tanks, is sent to the Egyptian theater), Arabs 710 (Syria 200, Iraq 330, Jordan 180. Over 300 additional tanks are near Damascus).

October 24th: IDF 390, Arabs 750 (Syria 250, Iraq 330, Jordan 180. Over 300 additional tanks are near Damascus).

 

The Iraqis, upset with the Syrians accepting the ceasefire, return their forces to Iraq by the first week of November. The Jordanian force stays in Syria a bit longer, until January 1st 1974.

OTOH, a Cuban armored brigade arrives to the Golan in November. They play an important role in reestablishing the Syrian armor corps, participate in skirmishes (sometimes with mixed tank crews - Cuban TC and gunner, Syrian loader and driver) with the IDF and finally leave Syria for Angola only in October 1975.

On the Israeli side, the 146th armored division was sent to Sinai in early November, with the 205th armored and 670th mechanized infantry brigades and the 288th armored reconnaissance battalion. Its artillery regiment, the 213th, was already sent to Sinai starting on October 14th.

Skirmishes occur until June 1974 (mostly between March and May, especially on the Hermon), when the parties reach a disengagement agreement.

Edited by Iarmor

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Haim Danon, who served as a battalion XO and CO in the reserve 679th armored brigade (Shot Meteor tanks) during the war, describes his war experiences to British army officers visiting the Golan Heights:

 

 

 

In the in-door video, Danon also tells about the Israeli trials with the Chieftain. He was among the first 4 IDF officers sent to Bovington in 1966 to study the Chieftain tank and left the active service in 1970 after the Chieftain deal was canceled.

The out-door video was filmed at the 679th armored brigade memorial theater on Mount Shipon (aka Tell Abu Khanzir), which observes the brigade's battlefield during October 7th-10th.  

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