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Golan Heights revised.


DarkAngel
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  • 6 months later...

The forces deployed on October 6th (Shabbat and Yom Kippur) 1973, at 14:00:

 

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The Golan plateau is scattered with volcanic cones, each known as 'Tell' 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 Syria to Israel extend from Damascus through the Northern Al-Quenitra Gap (which is between Mount Hermonit and Mount Bental) and from Ash-Sheikh Maskin through Ar-Rafid Gap (which is between Tell Al-Ahmar Al-Gharbi 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 frontline strongholds, manned by 12-16 infantrymen each and fortified by basalt gabions. Marked with blue triangles, Strongholds 108 and 117 are used as seldom-manned observation posts. Two infantry battalions (13th infantry, 50th paratroop), partly equipped with BTR-152s (1967 war booty), are deployed to the frontline strongholds, under the 820th regional brigade. The blue toothed lines are AT ditches. Earth ramparts (unmarked on the map) for tank platoons are scattered along the frontline.

The armored force based in the Golan is the 188th armored brigade, with its two active-service battalions, the 53rd and 74th (the third battalion, the 39th, is a reserve one). The routine is that one battalion is deployed to the frontline 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 frontline. At the rear, the Israeli armor in the Golan was reinforced with the elite 7th armored brigade (the flagship of the Israeli Armor Corps, intended for the Egyptian theater under the 162nd armored division) and with the 71st armored battalion, which is formed of Armor School instructors.

The artillery force based in the Golan is the 334th heavy mortar battalion (which includes a 155 mm howitzer battery alongside its 160 mm mortars). Days before the war, the Israeli artillery in the Golan was reinforced with the 405th medium artillery battalion (one of two IDF M109 battalions, the only active-service one), 55th independent heavy artillery battalion (one of four IDF M107 battalions, the only active-service one. One of its batteries was left back in the Sinai) and a medium artillery battalion formed of Artillery School (aka 9th Training Base) instructors.

Despite the massive, distinctly-offensive Syrian build-up near the border, the Israelis kept believing as late as October 6th that the Arabs wouldn't open a full-scale war. Consequently, the IDF reservists, that form the majority of the Israeli forces, were not called-up in time, whereas the active-service troops in the Golan have been preparing for just another limited skirmish, expected to be over by sunset.

Only in the morning of October 6th, a few hours before the Syrian invasion began, the Northern Command CG Yitzhak Hofi announced that a full-scale war is expected to begin at sunset, but hasn't ordered to execute Operation Gir (Hebrew for Limestone) according to the emergency defense plan. The 7th armored brigade CO, Avigdor Ben-Gal, briefs his men about the expected war, but the 188th armored brigade CO, Yitzhak Ben-Shoham (3 months into his duty), still believes that the Syrians are only planning a limited skirmish, even if more intensive than in previous times. When the Syrians open fire, the 188th brigade men receive the code word 'Capital', which indicates a limited skirmish.

 

Northern sector:

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

74th armored battalion (of the 188th armored brigade): one company at Bar'on Junction, one company at Al-Quneitra, one company split into platoons near strongholds 104, 105, 107 and one platoon near Stronghold 109.

334th heavy mortar battalion: two heavy mortar batteries (160 mm M-66 on Sherman chassis) around Mas'ada - Ram Pool, one medium artillery battery (French-made 155 mm M-50 on Sherman chassis) near Buq'ata.

One battery from the 405th medium artillery battalion (M109) near Mount Hermonit (aka Tell Ash-Shikha).

Two medium artillery batteries (M-50) from the Artillery School (aka 9th Training Base) near Tell Al-Makhfi and near Ayn Zivan.

 

Southern sector:

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

53rd armored battalion (of the 188th armored brigade): two companies (minus one platoon) near Al-Khushniya, one company split into platoons near Stronghold 114, Khan Al-Jukhadar and Stronghold 116.

One medium artillery battery (M-50) from the Artillery School (aka 9th Training Base) near Tell Al-Faras (aka Tell Zohar).

405th medium artillery battalion (M109) with two batteries around Ash-Sha'abaniya - Khan Al-Jukhadar.

 

At the rear:

7th armored brigade: 82nd armored battalion at As-Sindiyana, 77th armored battalion at Nafakh, 75th mechanized infantry battalion (attached with a tank company, it will serve as an armored battalion from now on) at Wassit, 71st armored battalion (attached from the Armor School, aka 460th armored brigade, which was sent to the Sinai) at Wassit.

55th independent heavy artillery battalion (M107) with two batteries (the third stayed in the Sinai) NW of the Waterfall Road.

Northern Command, 820th regional, 188th and 7th armored brigades HQ are at Nafakh.

 

Total: 177 MBTs (all Shot Cal A), 11 artillery batteries (44 artillery pieces).

 

 

Syrian army (red - infantry formations, black - mechanized infantry and armored formations) : 

 

Northern sector - 7th infantry division:

68th infantry brigade and Moroccan 12th infantry regiment (deployed to Syria since April, reinforced with a T-54 battalion and an OT-62 company, marked as a brigade) at Mazra'at Beit Jinn - Hadar - Jubata Al-Khashab.

85th infantry brigade (BTR-152, T-54) around Jaba and between Khan Arnaba and the Ma'as Junction.

121st mechanized infantry brigade (BTR-152, T-54) around Kafr Nasij and Tell Qarin.

78th armored brigade (T-55, BTR-60) between Tell Ash-Shams and Ma'as.

 

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 the Qarqas - Ghadir Al-Boostan - Tell Al-Jabiya area.

61st infantry brigade (BTR-152, T-54) west of Tell Jumu, around Ayn Dhakar and the Tapline road.

132nd mechanized infantry brigade (BTR-152, T-55) around Tasil - Adwan - Ash-Sheikh Sa'ad and NE of Saham Al-Golan.

12th armored brigade (T-55, mislabeled as the 46th) NE of Nawa, west of Dili.

47th independent armored brigade (T-55, BTR-60) at Ash-Sheikh Maskin - Ibtta.

 

Mount Hermon (aka Jabal Ash-Sheikh):

One commando battalion at Arna. Two companies at higher posts.

 

At the rear:

1st armored division (the flagship of the Syrian Armor Corps, partially equipped with T-62s and BMP-1s) near Al-Kiswa.

3rd armored division (partially equipped with T-62s and BMP-1s) at the hills south of Qatana. Its 81st armored brigade is attached to the 7th infantry division. The 3rd armored division is in final stages of conversion from infantry to armor.

The Defense Companies (T-62 and BTR-50 equipped armored brigade + commando battalions) south of Damascus, near Al-Yarmouk refugee camp.

 

Total: 1400 MBTs (T-54/55/62), 115 artillery batteries, 25 SAM sites (3 SA-2B, 4 SA-2E, 3 SA-3, 15 SA-6).

 

Note that the border lines and some of the roads were different than they are today. See CORONA Atlas for comparison. 

Edited by Iarmor
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  • 2 weeks later...

Syrian offensive plan - Mashroo 110:

 

Egypt and Syria launch a coordinated surprise attack on Israel. The surprise grants the Arab armies an overwhelming numerical advantage (much greater than they have anyway) for several dozens of hours, until the Israeli reserves arrive in the battlefield, since the Israeli army is mostly formed of reserve soldiers while the Arab armies are mostly formed of active-service soldiers.

The Syrian army plan is to re-capture the Golan Heights area (which was captured by the IDF during the 1967 war) and reach the Jordan Valley within no more than 18 hours, before the Israeli reserves join the battle. In order to defend their ground forces from IAF attacks, the Syrians deploy 25 out of their 36 SAM battalions close to the frontline, while most others defend the Damascus area. The ground forces themselves are heavily equipped with AAA (including ZSU-23-4s) and SA-7s.

 

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Stage 1 - infantry division's immediate mission:

Each frontline infantry brigade employs 2 or 3 obstacle breaching TFs, tasked with breaching the Israeli minefields and bridge/back-fill the Israeli AT ditch within one hour. Each breaching TF is composed of MBTs (including some with mine rollers and others with dozer blades), infantry (mounted on BTR-152s and trucks, heavily equipped with RPGs) and combat engineers (MTU-20/MT-55 AVLBs, bulldozers, Bangalore torpedoes).

At the same time, heavy Syrian artillery and airstrikes pound the Israeli forces in the Golan (the frontline strongholds are especially targeted by D-30 howitzers in direct fire role and by 240 mm mortars). Paratroopers/commandos are landed by Mi-8 helicopters on Mount Hermon and at the Jordan River bridges. 

Once the Israeli obstacles are breached, the frontline infantry brigades advance for 6-8 kms within two more hours, capturing the Israeli frontline strongholds (blue circles) and the Tells which the Israeli line of defense is based upon. Generally, the frontline infantry brigades are equipped with BTR-152s and T-54s and attached with SU-100s. However, since the Syrian BTR-152 fleet is smaller than required, a significant portion of the infantry is motorized by trucks.

 

Stage 2 - infantry division's subsequent mission:

3 hours after the operation commences, the armored and mechanized infantry brigades of the frontline infantry divisions cross the breached Israeli obstacles and advance for 12-15 kms west of the borderline within 3 more hours, destroying the Israeli armor in the Golan. Note that each infantry division is reinforced with a second armored brigade, in addition to its organic one, but the 9th infantry division lacks a mechanized infantry brigade. Generally, in the infantry divisions the armored brigades are equipped with T-55s and BTR-50/60s, while the mechanized infantry brigades are equipped with T-54s and BTR-152s.

 

Stage 3 - infantry division's mission of the day:

The infantry divisions advance as far as the Jordan Valley till dawn, completing the occupation of the Golan Heights. They consolidate the ground taken and prepare to repel the expected Israeli reserve armor counterattack. The armored divisions join in and take positions at the rear. Apart from the Defense Companies, that are tasked with protecting Al-Assad's regime, the armored divisions are the best equipped, having mostly T-62 MBTs and BMP-1s or BTR-60s for the mechanized infantry.  

 

 

First tactical echelon (red):

 

Northern sector - 7th infantry division:

Moroccan 12th infantry regiment advances on the road south of Skheita and Stronghold 104, in-between Tell Al-Khawarit and Tell Al-Manfukha, towards Mas'ada, Ayn Fit, crosses the Banias stream and consolidates the Dafna - She'ar Yeshuv area.

68th infantry brigade advances from Turunja - Jubata Al-Khashab - Tell Az-Zuhur area, breaches south of Stronghold 105 to Tell Sidr Al-ArusTell Warda - Buq'ata area and consolidates positions west of Kefar Szold.

85th infantry brigade advances from UfaniyaKhan Arnaba and breaches through the Northern Al-Quneitra Gap (which is between Mount Hermonit and Mount Bental, or, respectively, Tell Ash-Shikha and Tell Al-Aram in their Arabic names), north (not south, as the map mistakenly depicts) of IDF Stronghold 107. Then (not shown on the map), the 85th is planned to advance towards Mount Bar'on (aka Tell Bur'um), Wassit, Rawiya and to consolidate positions near Kibbutz Gonen.

 

Central sector - 9th infantry division:

52nd infantry brigade advances west from Umm BatnaRuwykhina and breaches through the Southern Al-Quneitra Gap (which is between Mount Avital, or Tell Abu An-Nida in Arabic, and Tell Al-Ghassaniya), near Al-Qakhtaniya - Surman (aka Al-Adnaniya). Then (not shown on the map) the 52nd is planned to advance towards Ad-Dalwa.

33rd infantry brigade breaches through the Kudna Gap (which is between the Hazayqa ridge (aka Bashanit ridge) and Tell Al-Ahmar Al-Gharbi), both north and south of Tell Shuaf As-Sindiyan, and advances to Tell Fazara.

IDF Stronghold 111 is mislabeled as 110 on the map.

 

Southern sector - 5th infantry division:

112th infantry brigade advances NW from Ghadir Al-Boostan - Al-Ma'alaqa - Tell Ad-Dareeyia and breaches through the Southern Gap (which is between Tell Al-Faras and Tell As-Saqi), in-between Tell Al-Qala' and the Tapline road, towards Tell Al-Jukhadar and Tell Al-Faras.

61st infantry brigade advances west from Umm Al-Luqas - Saida area and breaches through the Southern Gap, in-between the Tapline road and an ancient Roman road which extends through IDF Stronghold 116.

 

 

Second tactical echelon (green):

 

Northern sector - 7th infantry division:

78th armored brigade is shown 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. The map is mistaken here. The 78th is actually planned to advance from Ufaniya - Khan Arnaba through the Northern Al-Quneitra Gap, following the 85th infantry brigade and alongside the 121st mechanized infantry brigade. Only after reaching the Kibbutz El RomMount Bar'on (aka Tell Bur'um) area, the 78th is planned to turn NW towards Za'ura - Tell Al-Fakhr.

121st mechanized infantry brigade advances to Ufaniya - Khan Arnaba, through the Northern Al-Quneitra Gap following the 85th infantry brigade, towards Mount Bar'on (aka Tell Bur'um), Wassit and consolidates positions between Al-Qala' and Kibbutz Shamir, north of Rawiya.

 

Central sector - 9th infantry division:

43rd armored brigade advances from Qeita to Al-Hara, heads SW and proceeds through the Kudna Gap, following the 33rd infantry brigade troops north of Tell Shuaf As-Sindiyan. Then the 43rd turns north to Ayn Aysha, west to Mount Yosifoon (aka Tell Yusuf)Mount Shiphon (aka Tell Abu Khanzir), Nafakh, Alyqa and consolidates positions east of the Pcack Bridge, north of Dabbura.

51st independent armored brigade advances from As-Sariya to Jasim and through the Kudna Gap, following the 33rd infantry brigade troops south of Tell Shuaf As-Sindiyan. The 51st then advances to Tell Fazara, Al-Khushniya, Ar-Razaniya, Ayn Samsam, Na'aran and consolidates positions around and south of the Custom House Junction, west of Sanabir. One battalion crosses the Jordan River over the Benot Ya'acov Bridge towards Ayelet HaShachar - Mishmar HaYarden.

 

Southern sector - 5th infantry division:

12th armored brigade (mislabeled as the 46th) advances from Nawa to the Tapline road, follows the 112th infantry brigade south of Tell Al-Qala' towards Tell Al-Jukhadar, 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 Arik Bridge and advances to Vered HaGalil.

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

 

Ar-Rafid Gap (which is between Tell Al-Ahmar Al-Gharbi 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 unutilized by the invading Syrians.

 

 

Second operational echelon (black):

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 Za'ura and Wassit Junction. In practice, only the division's 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 (north of Tell Shuaf As-Sindiyan, following the 43rd armored brigade), Tell Fazara, Al-Khushniya and consolidates positions between Nafakh and Tell Al-Bazouck.

47th independent armored brigade (attached to the 5th infantry division) advances from Daeel to Tasil, follows the 61st infantry brigade through the Southern Gap, heads SW for Tell As-Saqi, Ramat Magshimim and El Al Gap alongside (and NW of) the 132nd mechanized infantry brigade and reaches the cliff above Al-Kursi.

 

 

Mount Hermon (Jabal Ash-Sheikh):

82nd paratroop battalion captures IDF Stronghold 102 on Mount Hermon in a combined heliborne (Mi-8) and ground assault. Mount Hermon is of strategic importance for both sides, as it provides LOS observation as far as the outskirts of Damascus (depends on the weather). In Israel the Hermon is known as the "eyes of the nation".

183rd commando battalion (attached to the 7th infantry division) advances at the foothills of Mount Hermon, from Hadar to Majdal Shams, Neveh Attiv, the medieval Nimrod Castle, crosses the Banias stream and consolidates positions north of Kibbutz Dan, around An-Nukhayla - Ghajar.

 

At the Israeli rear: 

In order to disrupt the expected arrival of the Israeli reserves, 133rd commando battalion troops are landed by Mi-8 helicopters at the El Al Gap (unmarked on the map) and at the Jordan River bridges, namely the Pcack (Hebrew for 'Cork'), Benot Ya'acov (Hebrew for the 'Daughters of Jacob') and Arik bridges. The Pcack Bridge is also known as Shen Bridge (Shen is an Hebrew acronym for Armistice). All of these bridges, BTW, are well within the range of the Syrian S-23 180 mm guns.

Apart from the offensive on the Golan, the Syrians plan to strike targets in northern Israel with fighter-bombers, FROG-7 rockets and (wherever within range) 180 mm artillery shells. The Syrian navy (like the Egyptian one) is tasked with blocking the shipping lanes to Israel in the Mediterranean Sea.

Edited by Iarmor
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  • 3 weeks later...

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

 

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Shortly after the fighting had started, the IDF 7th armored brigade advanced towards the Northern Al-Quneitra Gap without an order to do so. This move was approved in retrospect by the Northern Command, that ordered the 7th brigade to take command of the northern sector and of the 74th armored battalion, while in return the 82nd armored battalion is to join the 53rd armored battalion in the southern sector under the 188th armored brigade. The two armored brigades are now fully committed to the frontline, leaving no reserve at their rear.

 

Syrian northern sector - 7th infantry division:

Syrian 68th infantry brigade and Moroccan 12th infantry regiment assault south of Strongholds 104 and 105 respectively, suffer heavy losses and repelled by IDF 7th armored brigade forces. The 68th infantry brigade losses all of its breaching assets.

Syrian 85th infantry, 121st mechanized infantry and 78th armored brigades assault through the Northern Al-Quneitra Gap (north of Stronghold 107), suffer heavy losses and repelled by IDF 7th armored brigade, which takes defensive positions between Mount Hermonit (Tell Ash-Shikha) and the Tell Jit - Zahrat Ibrahim area. The main Syrian breach is through Wadi Marj Ash-Shabrack. IDF 75th armored battalion CO is injured in his M113 and the 75th ceases to operate as a battalion (for now). This battlefield would later be described with the biblical phrase 'The Valley of Tears'.

IDF 1st infantry brigade, which was not deployed to the Golan when the war had started (except for its 13th battalion), gets halftracks and joins the battles in the northern sector before dawn. However, its coordination with the 7th armored brigade is poor.

 

Syrian central sector - 9th infantry division:

Syrian 52nd infantry brigade breaches in Al-Qakhtaniya - Surman (Al-Adnaniya) area, north of 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 breach both north and south of Tell Shuaf As-Sindiyan (injuring IDF 53rd armored battalion XO), but loses most of its T-54s south of the Tell 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 advances through the Kudna Gap with no resistance, in-between two IDF tank companies from the 82nd armored battalion (that lack night vision equipment), but south of Stronghold 111 rather than north of it as shown on the map. The 51st then captures Al-Khushniya (which the map mistakenly attributes to the 46th brigade) and Al-Mashta Junction and starts sending its forces both north towards Nafakh (on the Tapline road, but perhaps also on the road which goes through Ar-Ramthaniya, codenamed Pele by the IDF) and 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 does his TF include (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.

A first Israeli reserve force, the downsized (7 tanks) 266th armored battalion of the 179th armored brigade, arrives to the Golan 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.

The route to Al-Batiha Valley and Arik Bridge is defended by 3 Shot Meteors of the reserve 93rd armored battalion, 679th armored brigade, which delay the Syrians near Qasabiya (much deeper Syrian advancement than the map shows) with inaccurate night fire.

Syrian 43rd armored brigade advances through the Kudna Gap, north of Stronghold 111, and heads north towards Al-Quneitra to assist the 52nd infantry brigade. At Ayn Aysha, west of Stronghold 110, the 43rd armored brigade forces fall into a night ambush by an IDF tank company (of the 7th armored brigade) and suffer heavy losses. The Syrians try to extricate themselves by turning west (not east as the map shows) and eventually retreat back to Al-Hara area through the Kudna Gap. Some of the 43rd brigade forces remain in Tell Fazara - Ar-Ramthaniya area and perhaps also west of Ayn Aysha. BTW, that specific IDF tank company is renowned for not losing even a single man during the whole war.

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 (Tell Yusuf). One company (with the battalion CO) retreats minutes before the Syrian 43rd armored brigade advancement, and the other company retreats from Stronghold 111 (along with 50th battalion paratroopers) in the morning, minutes before the Syrian 1st armored division advancement. Tell Shuaf As-Sindiyan is taken by Syrian 33rd infantry brigade troops.

 

Syrian southern sector - 5th infantry division:

Syrian 112th infantry brigade breaches through the Southern Gap, in between Stronghold 115 and the Tapline road, and holds the area around Tell Al-Jukhadar.

Syrian 61st infantry brigade breaches in-between the Tapline road and an ancient Roman road which extends through Stronghold 116 (and is codenamed Palga by the IDF), but fails to capture the stronghold. Despite suffering heavy losses while breaching, in the evening its T-54 tank battalion ambushes an IDF tank company (from the 82nd armored battalion) between Tell Al-Jukhadar and Tell As-Saqi and destroys 4 Shot Cals.

Syrian 12th armored brigade (mislabeled as the 46th) is shown on the map as it advances through Ar-Rafid Gap and reaches Al-Khushniya. The map is mistaken here as well - the 12th followed the 112th infantry brigade in Tell Al-Jukhadar area and headed towards the Waterfall Junction, while Al-Khushniya was occupied by the 51st armored brigade as described. On its way, the 12th armored brigade destroyed two IDF artillery batteries, from the 405th and Artillery School battalions, west of Tell Al-Jukhadar and west of Tell Al-Faras respectively.

Syrian 132nd mechanized infantry brigade is shown on the map as it advances on the Tapline road. The map is mistaken here as well - the 132nd advanced west, with no resistance, on an ancient Roman road which extends shortly north of Tell As-Saqi (and was codenamed Pinqas by the IDF). The 132nd then headed SW towards KhisfinRamat Magshimim. A single IDF tank manages to escape Tell As-Saqi, commanded by the 82nd armored battalion XO. He retreats to Al-Batiha Valley through El Al Gap, then heads to Nafakh 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 12th armored brigades that have reached the Tapline road, the IDF 53rd armored battalion leaves Khan Al-Jukhadar, gathers the 50th battalion paratroopers from strongholds 114 and 115 and together they make a stronghold on Tell Al-Faras (Tell Zohar), with little ammo left.

IDF 188th armored brigade CO retreats from Tell At-Takhoun to Mazra'at Al-Quneitra and calls his 53rd battalion to join him there. As he realizes that the 53rd battalion is unable to retreat (cut-off by the Syrian 12th armored brigade), the 188th brigade CO retreats down the Gamla Ascent to Al-Batiha Valley, gets back to Nafakh and joins the battle against the Syrian 51st armored brigade on the Tapline road.

 

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 utilize their night vision advantage to penetrate through the Israeli defenses. The Syrians (78th, 121st brigades) are 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) are overwhelmed by the Syrian armor flood (51st, 43rd, 12th, 132nd brigades). IDF combat engineers rig the Jordan River bridges with explosives, but the Syrian second tactical echelon brigades in the southern Golan halt in the wee hours of the night, due to what they regard as heavy Israeli resistance, and await for the upcoming second operational echelon forces.

 

Mount Hermon:

Mount Hermon Stronghold 102 is captured by the Syrian 82nd paratroop battalion, in a combined heliborne and ground assault. The Syrians capture IDF intelligence men as POWs, as well as electronic surveillance equipment. The interrogation of one specific POW is attributed with causing enormous damage to the Israeli intelligence.

 

Rear:

Syrian Defense Companies (T-62, BTR-50) and 3rd armored division hold their positions as Syria's 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 (T-55, attached to the 5th infantry division) hasn't started its movement yet.

Syrian 1st armored division advances from its camp in Al-Kiswa through Ghabaghib, As-Sanamin, Al-Qaniya and Inkhil to Jasim.

IDF reserve 36th armored division HQ arrives in Nafakh and takes command of the Golan Heights. IDF Northern Command HQ returns to the Upper Galilee. IDF 820th regional brigade HQ redeploys to the Jordan Valley.

The planned commando landings by Mi-8s near the Jordan River bridges, as well as most of the planned airstrikes beyond the river, are aborted by the Syrian AF, which concentrates its airstrikes in the Golan. However, inaccurate Syrian 180 mm artillery fire targets military bases in the Galilee Panhandle and beyond, as far as Safed.

 

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

Qatana - Mazra'at Beit JinnMas'ada road is codenamed Tzin.

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

Mas'ada - Sukeik - Wassit - Nafakh - As-Sindiyana - Ar-Ramthaniya - Al-Khushniya road is codenamed Pele.

Sukeik - Kibbutz El Rom - Zahrat Ibrahim road is codenamed Casuarina.

Damascus - Khan Ash-Sheikh - Sa'sa' - Khan Arnaba - Al-Quneitra - Ayn Zivan road is codenamed America.

Ahmadiya - Wassit - Rawiya road, which leads through the Northern Al-Quneitra Gap, is codenamed Qirton.

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

Al-Quneitra - Nafakh - Benot Ya'acov Bridge road is codenamed Yabasha.

Ayn Aysha - Ad-Dalhamiya - Nafakh road is codenamed Catacomba.

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

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

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

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

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

The roads through which the Syrians breached 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 codenamed Palga.

Ayn Dhakar - Saida - Al-Jarniya road is codenamed Angola.

Adwan - Tasil - Ayn Dhakar - Tell As-Saqi - Al-Bajuriya road is codenamed Pinqas.

 

Off the map:

The only target attacked (unsuccessfully) by the Syrian AF beyond the Jordan River during the opening airstrike is the northern IAF radar station at the Upper Galilee. Some of the attacking aircraft are Su-20, the most advanced fighter-bomber in the Syrian AF, of which it has only one squadron. Nevertheless, the Israeli rear is targeted by Syrian FROG-7 rocket barrages.

West and south of Ladhaqia, the main port of the Syrian navy, 5 Israeli navy Sa'ar missile boats sink 5 Syrian boats (one Osa and two Komar missile boats, one K-123 torpedo boat and one T-43 minesweeper) using Gabriel missiles, while evading the Syrian Styx missiles and radar-guided 130 mm coastal gun fire. It's the first naval battle in history in which both sides use anti-ship missiles. Following this decisive defeat, the Syrians will not initiate any further naval combat and their ships will remain in harbor even when Israeli missile boats hit targets along the Syrian coastline. 

The Iraqis, surprised by the coordinated Egyptian and Syrian attack on Israel no less than the Israelis, decide to immediately send an expeditionary force that would join the fighting against Israel (as they previously did during the 1948 and 1967 wars).

Edited by Iarmor
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October 7th, noon:

 

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IDF Northern Command reserves arrive at the Golan Heights after their urgent emergency mobilization. These include the 36th and 210th armored divisions, 317th paratroop brigade and the 181st independent tank battalion (M-50 Sherman).

The 36th armored division, commanded by Rafael Eitan, is composed of the 179th (Shot Cal), 679th armored (Shot Meteor), 9th mechanized infantry (Sherman) brigades, 212th artillery regiment, 134th armored reconnaissance (Shot Cal) and 641st combat engineer battalions.

The 210th armored division, commanded by Dan Laner, is composed of the 188th (Shot Cal), 164th armored (Shot Cal), 4th mechanized infantry (Sherman) brigades, 282nd artillery regiment and 923rd combat engineer battalion. According to IDF buildup plans, the 210th armored division was supposed to be established in April 1974, but its establishment was brought forward to July 1973 due to the military tensions with Egypt since May 1973. By October 1973 the establishment process was in its final stages, but the 210th armored division still lacks an armored reconnaissance battalion and most of its logistic formations. 

Several months before the war, in order to improve the IDF reaction ability to a possible Syrian surprise attack, the Northern Command GC Hofi ordered to swap the equipment storage places of the Centurion and Sherman-equipped reserve formations, so to store the Centurions closer to the Golan Heights and the Shermans farther. Accordingly, the equipment of the reserve 179th, 679th armored brigades and 134th armored reconnaissance battalion is relocated to more forward camps, about 30-40 kms from the frontline. In addition, the equipment of the reserve 164th armored brigade (formerly the 10th mechanized infantry brigade, having recently reflagged and equipped with Shot Cals, while passing its single Sherman battalion to the 4th mechanized infantry brigade) is put into storage about 70 kms from the frontline. To make room for the Centurions, the equipment of the 4th, 9th mechanized infantry brigades and 181st independent tank battalion is relocated backwards, to the former storage places of the Centurion formations, about 100 kms from the frontline. When the balloon goes up, the relocation of the reserve Centurions to forward storage places proves crucial for the defense of the Golan, but nonetheless the IDF reserve mobilization suffers severe drawbacks for several causes.

Among the IDF reserve armor formations, the 39th armored battalion (the third, reserve battalion of the active-service 188th armored brigade, whose Shot Cals are stored about 20 kms from the frontline) and the 179th armored brigade are designated for quicker mobilization. However, the mobilization of the 39th battalion and 179th brigade, as well as of the 164th armored brigade, is significantly delayed, in a chain reaction to the deployment of the 7th armored brigade and 71st armored battalion to the Golan. In particular, the 164th brigade tankers even have to seek tanks in southern Israel, as their own Shot Cals were grabbed by other units and no other tanks are available for them in northern Israel.

Days before the Syrian attack, when the active-service 7th armored brigade and 71st armored battalion men were alerted to reinforce the Golan defenders, they had left their own Shot Cals behind in their camps in southern Israel as they were flown north by IAF C-47s. Instead, they had taken out of storage the 39th battalion tanks and most 179th brigade tanks. When the 39th battalion and 179th brigade reservists arrive and find their warehouses empty, they are ordered to head back SW and grab the 164th brigade Shot Cals, while the few remaining 179th brigade tanks are crewed and rushed to the battlefield (266th armored battalion). In-turn, when the 164th brigade tankers and find their own warehouses empty, they are ordered to head south and gather Shot Cals left behind in several camps in southern Israel. After equipping itself with tanks, the 164th armored brigade would eventually join the fighting in the Sinai (under the 252nd armored division) at the expense of the 7th armored brigade, which was intended to fight in the Egyptian theater under the 162nd armored division. The 7th armored brigade would remain in the Golan Heights under the 36th armored division during and after the war.

Unlike the other reserve formations, whose equipment was relocated to existing camps, the equipment of the 679th armored brigade and 134th armored reconnaissance battalion was moved to a newly-built camp, which is still a construction site with open pipeline ditches and no electricity. The 679th brigade tanks, Shot Meteors, are planned to undergo the Shot Cal upgrade in November 1973, after the Jewish holydays. Knowing that, and hindered by the camp's infrastructure, the active-service ordnance cadre has neglected the tank maintenance for almost a year. Consequently, the 679th brigade tankers find their Shot Meteors, anyway notorious for their unreliable power pack, in poor mechanical condition and have to work at night with no electricity to get the tanks ready for battle.  

Since no flatbeds were allocated for Northern Command, even the old M-50 and M-51 Sherman MBTs, equipping the 95th and 377th tank battalions (of the 4th and 9th mechanized infantry brigades respectively) as well as the 181st independent tank battalion, have to be driven on tracks for about 80 kms from their storage place to the battlefield. About half of these Shermans breakdown on the way.

Due to the massive Syrian artillery and its high effectiveness in the Golan (basalt rock fragments added to the shell fragments) on the one hand, and the Israeli lack of effective AT weapons on the other hand, the 4th and 9th mechanized infantry brigades are ordered to leave their halftrack-mounted mechanized infantry battalions behind and to join the fighting only with their tank battalions. Some of the M3 and M5 halftracks, the common APCs in the IDF at the time, are handed over to the 1st infantry brigade. The 4th and the 9th would fight the war as tanks brigades, likewise the armored brigades.

During the hasty, chaotic mobilization, urged by desperate cries for help ('the Syrians are slaughtering the active-service men!'), the reserve armor units assign their tankers to form inorganic crews (with crewmembers often not knowing each other) and rush to the Golan on tracks, with only minimal equipment and preparations, in order to join the battles ASAP. The reservists lack ammo (in some cases, as few as 12 main gun rounds instead of 72), binoculars, maps, machine guns, small arms, tanker coveralls, etc. Even zeroing the main gun is skipped in the race against the Syrian armor. 

Instead of its 188th and 164th armored brigades, the 210th armored division is attached with the 179th armored, 9th mechanized infantry brigades and 134th armored reconnaissance battalion. The 210th armored division takes command of the southern Golan sector, while the 36th keeps just the northern sector.

As a last line of defense, IDF 820th regional brigade reserve troops position DEFA D921 90 mm AT guns (mounted on QF-6 gun carriage) west of the explosives-rigged Jordan river bridges.

Despite the IDF planning calls for Shermans to guard the Lebanese border, where frequent skirmishes with PLO terrorists would take place along the war, no MBTs are deployed there, as the whole Northern Command tank fleet is fully committed to the Golan Heights.

 

The hasty IAF SEAD operation, 'Doogman 5', fails, with 6 F-4s lost to AAA and only one Syrian SA-3 site destroyed. Nevertheless, due to the desperate situation in the southern sector, IAF A-4s and Super Mysteres carry-out 19 CAS sorties in Al-Quneitra area, 20 in Al-Khushniya area and 16 in the Southern Gap area by 10:00. The Syrian 47th independent armored brigade suffers heavy losses (and perhaps also certain 1st armored division elements).

 

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

Strongholds 111, 114, 115 were evacuated by the IDF, while the 13th infantry battalion CO insists to hold strongholds 103-110. The besieged Stronghold 116 repels several assaults by Syrian 61st infantry brigade forces, destroying 4 T-54s and one BTR-152 with Super Bazooka rockets and rifle grenades. At Al-Khushniya, 17 Israeli tank mechanics (188th armored brigade) are murdered, after being captured as POWs and handcuffed. 

 

In the morning, the Syrian elite 1st armored division, spearheaded by the 91st armored brigade (T-62, BMP-1), 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, but some of its tanks reach Nafakh by advancing west of the road, through Tell Al Abbas - Al-Qadiriya. The map attributes this movement to the 1st armored division.

Syrian 91st armored brigade tanks reach Nafakh through Ar-RamthaniyaAd-Dalhamiya - As-Sindiyana, while others pass by Mount Shiphon (Tell Abu Khanzir) and reach as far as Ad-Dalwa. A BMP-1 battalion deploys at Qala' Ayn Al-Hakim. The map mistakenly attributes these movements to the 51st and 43rd armored brigades. It's possible, though, that among the Syrian forces advancing to Nafakh from the SE, were 43rd armored brigade forces that weren't caught-up in the October 6th-7th night ambush at Ayn Aysha

On the Israeli side, the reserve 679th armored brigade leading force (25 Shot Meteors of the 57th and 289th armored battalions, along with the brigade CO on his halftrack) arrives in Camp Nafakh in the morning and is sent by the 36th armored division CO to block the Southern Al-Quneitra Gap, at the southern flank of the 7th armored brigade.

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

On the Tapline road, Israeli tanks 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, lead by the 188th brigade CO, turn around and head north in order to prevent the Syrians from reaching Nafakh, while a company from the 266th battalion stays to block the Syrian advance from the south. The 188th brigade CO, XO and G3 are killed near Nafakh, whereas Zvika's tank reaches Nafakh and destroys several Syrian tanks.

East of the Tapline road, IDF 266th battalion XO is killed and 82nd battalion CO is injured while fighting the Syrian 91st brigade (and perhaps also some 43rd armored brigade forces). IDF 82nd battalion remnants can't contact the 188th brigade CO on the radio 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 the 7th brigade in the defense of the northern sector.

Shortly before the Syrian tanks reach Camp Nafakh, the IDF reserve 93rd armored battalion (22 Shot Meteors) is the third and last battalion of the 679th armored brigade to arrive there. Immediately after the 93rd battalion is ordered by the 36th division CO to head south towards Al-Khushniya through As-Sindiyana - Ad-Dalhamiya - Ar-Ramthaniya, it's surprised to encounter Syrian 91st armored brigade T-62s near the Nafakh query. Both sides suffer heavy losses in a fierce battle. At the same time, the IDF 36th armored division HQ hastily retreats from Camp Nafakh to Alyqa. An Israeli infantry platoon stays to defend Camp Nafakh and the platoon leader manages to destroy several Syrian MBTs with Super Bazooka rockets.

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 Al-Quneitra Gap yet, the IDF 679th brigade force, that was sent at first from Nafakh to Al-Quneitra, is now called back to Nafakh. The 679th armored brigade CO splits his force into two: the 289th armored battalion is sent directly back to Nafakh, while the brigade CO heads south along with the 57th armored battalion, in order to engage the Syrian eastern flank from the area in between Mount Shiphon (Tell Abu Khanzir) and Mount Yosifoon (Tell Yusuf). T-62s positioned at Ad-Dalwa inflict heavy losses on the 289th battalion at the northern foothills of Mount Shiphon (Tell Abu Khanzir), but the main body of the Syrian 91st armored brigade is surprised to take the 57th battalion fire from the eastern flank, while other scattered Israeli tanks (679th brigade latecomers + 266th battalion remnants + Zvika) engage the Syrians from the west.

By sunset the Syrian 51st and 91st armored brigades are repelled from Nafakh, but the 188th armored brigade is written-off the IDF ORBAT table, along with the 82nd and 266th battalions. Its remnants join other formations, mostly the 7th armored brigade. Under the 679th armored brigade, the COs of the 93rd and 289th battalions are injured.

The two additional brigades of the Syrian 1st armored division, the 76th armored (T-62, BMP-1) and the 58th mechanized infantry (BTR-60, T-55), follow the 91st armored brigade and join the battlefield at As-Saluqiya and at Ayn Warda respectively.

The October 7th tank battle over Nafakh is considered to be the battle that decided the war in the Golan Heights in favour of Israel, as the Syrian defeat marks the failure of the Syrian plan to complete the occupation of the Golan before the Israeli reserves arrive.

 

The Syrian 51st armored brigade force that was sent west from Al-Mashta Junction is blocked at Qasabiya by the IDF reserve 179th armored brigade (missing its 266th and 278th armored battalions, but attached with the 134th armored reconnaissance battalion that joins its 96th armored battalion), which joins 3 Shot Meteors from the 679th armored brigade that were delaying the Syrians with inaccurate fire since last night. Among the IDF AFVs lost to Syrian tank fire are M7 Priest SP guns from the reserve 827th medium artillery battalion (282nd artillery regiment).

IDF 179th armored brigade then takes back the Waterfall Junction and Jisr Al-Abiyad (Arabic for 'the White Bridge'), inflicting heavy losses on the Syrian 12th armored brigade (T-55, mislabeled as the 46th) south of Kvish road. By the end of the day, the 179th brigade CO and 96th battalion CO are among the injured and the 96th battalion XO is among the dead. On the Syrian side, the 12th armored brigade remnants head NE and retreat to Al-MashtaAl-Khushniya area, along with the 51st armored brigade remnants.

 

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, fails to take the planned turn SW and advances west as far as Uyun Hammud - Dir Aziz - Hirbat Kanaf, 6-7 kms from Lake Kinneret. The Syrian 47th brigade CO reports to his superior about observing Tiberias across the Kinneret, but the latter disbelieves at first and then angrily orders the 47th to get back on course. For a short while the Syrian tanks are engaged by a small Israeli infantry force with 106 mm RRs, and in the afternoon the Syrian force is destroyed by IDF reserve 4th mechanized infantry brigade (95th tank battalion Shermans joined by the Shot Cals of the reserve 39th armored battalion, the third battalion of the active-service 188th brigade), which is climbing the Gamla Ascent onto the Golan Heights from Arik Bridge. On their way up, the 4th brigade tanks meet also meet the retreating 405th medium artillery battalion M109s. 

 

Syrian 132nd mechanized infantry brigade (BTR-152, T-55), along with the other half of the 47th armored brigade (commanded by the XO), is blocked by IDF 278th armored battalion from the reserve 179th armored brigade at El Al Gap (which is between El Al stream and Nov stream). As of 10:00, IDF reserve 9th mechanized infantry brigade (marked as armored on the map) Shermans (377th tank battalion) join this battle, just before the 278th battalion's Shot Cals run out of ammo, and start pushing the Syrians to the NE.

IDF 179th brigade XO accompanies the 278th battalion at first, but later he is called to join the 179th at the Waterfall Junction and replace the injured brigade CO.

 

IDF 53rd armored and 50th paratroop battalion remnants are trapped on Tell Al-Faras (Tell Zohar) with little ammo. After foiling a Syrian attempt to land Palestinian Liberation Army troops (of the Hittin brigade) on the Tell by helicopters, shooting down one Mi-8, the Israelis retreat west 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 near Jurnaya. They become known as the Ghost Convoy. Syrian artillery observers would make effective use of the abandoned Tell Al-Faras until the IDF would retrieve it on October 9th. IDF 53rd armored battalion remnants would return to the frontline on October 9th, under its former CO and with the injured XO, just in time to decide the Valley of Tears battle. 

 

Due to the severe situation on the Syrian theater, the IDF Chief of General Staff Elazar orders the Central Command's 146th armored division to deploy to the Golan Heights and its forces start arriving in Tzemach in the evening. The 146th armored division is composed of the 205th (Shot Meteor), 217th armored (Shot Cal), 670th mechanized infantry (Sherman) brigades, 213th artillery regiment (including the 899th medium artillery battalion, the only IDF M109 battalion other than the battered 405th), 288th armored reconnaissance (Shot Cal) and 751st combat engineer battalions.

Like with the Northern Command's reserve formations, the mobilization of the 146th armored division has suffered drawbacks as well. Some of the division's equipment (notably Shermans and M109s) was on loan to other units for training. In addition, several months before the war, the equipment of the 205th armored brigade and 288th armored reconnaissance battalion was relocated to a storage place near Ramallah, where, for some reason, the vehicles were stored without ammo (which was stored about 20 kms away) and were ill-maintained. Only the 217th armored brigade had managed to get ready for battle quickly and, consequently, was already sent to the Sinai on flatbeds, attached to the 162nd armored division. Other than the 217th brigade, the 146th division is also missing the 268th tank battalion, which is detached from the 670th mechanized infantry brigade and attached to TF Moshe (named after its CO, colonel Moshe Yoseph) in the Jordan Valley, alongside the Central Command's 182nd independent tank battalion. These two Sherman-equipped battalions form the only Israeli armor formation left to defend central Israel from a possible Jordanian army attack.

Except for the tanks of the 61st armored battalion, which are the only Israeli tanks transported to the Golan by flatbeds, the Centurions of the 205th brigade and 288th battalion have to be driven on tracks from their storage place near Ramallah to the Tzemach, for about 130-140 kms. All 288th battalion Shot Cals manage to finish this journey, thanks to the reliable Continental AVDS-1790-2AC Diesel engine and Allison CD-850-6 transmission, as opposed to about half of the Shot Meteors equipping the 94th and 125th armored battalions of the 205th brigade, that breakdown on the way. It would take a week for the 146th division's ordnance troops to clear the roads of all the broken AFVs.

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 attached 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 (attached with the 61st armored battalion, in addition to the 39th armored and its organic 95th tank battalions) attacks eastwards from Jurnaya - Umm Al-Qubur.

Later on, all 3 brigades advance NE: 205th at the right, 9th at the center, 4th at the left. The 205th brigade liberates the besieged Stronghold 116 and the 26 wounded soldiers hiding in the bunker at Tell As-Saqi, and its assaults on the Syrian ATGM troops entrenched on Tell Al-Jukhadar force the Syrians to abandon the Tell. The 4th brigade captures Hirbat Farfour and Tell Al-Bazouck 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 brigade heads north (bypassing the 4th brigade from the west, taking the left flank) and destroys an entrenched Syrian AT gun battalion near Umm Ad-Dananir. The Syrian 536th AT battalion (BRDM-2/Sagger, 106 mm RRs), attached to the 1st armored division from the 65th independent AT regiment, is destroyed by the 146th division's 213th artillery regiment on the Tapline road, and its CO is later captured. Near Tell As-Saqi, IDF 829th medium artillery battalion M7 Priest SP guns repel attacking Syrian MBTs with direct HE fire, suffering no losses.

IDF 670th mechanized infantry brigade advances along the impassable Wadi Ar-Ruqqad and secures the ground taken by the frontal brigades. On its way the 670th recovers damaged Centurions, Shermans and abandoned Syrian T-54/55s, creating its own tank force, as it left its only (Sherman) tank battalion behind in central Israel. Later on the 670th is tasked with defending the 146th division's eastern flank, around Stronghold 116.

 

At the central sector, under the IDF 210th armored division, the 179th armored brigade (96th armored and 134th armored reconnaissance battalions) captures Al-Amra and pushes the Syrian 12th, 51st and 76th armored brigade forces further east towards Al-Mashta. The 179th brigade XO, who commands it since the CO was injured on October 7th, is killed and the command of the 179th is assumed by the 210th division XO, Moshe Bar-Kokhva.

 

IDF 679th armored brigade (57th ,93rd, 289th armored battalions), still under the 36th armored division, successfully defends Nafakh from another heavy Syrian armor assault and then starts advancing southwards, pushing back the Syrian 51st and 91st (and 43rd?) armored brigades. The 679th captures Ar-RazaniyaAs-Sindiyana and Ad-Dalhamiya, but fails (for now) to capture Ar-Ramthaniya. The 289th battalion CO (the second one, whose predecessor was injured on October 7th) is among the dead.

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

 

At the end of the day, the heavily beaten Syrian force (1st armored division, 51st armored, 12th armored, 33rd infantry brigades) is confined in Tell Hazayqa - Tell Abu QutayfTells of Ar-RamthaniyaAl-Khushniya - FahamTell Al-Faras area, known as 'Khushniya Pocket' (although it's a bulge, not a pocket). Syrian 1st armored division HQ takes position 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 T-54 tank battalions) retreat back to their heavily fortified defensive positions east of the borderline.

 

In the northern sector, the map mistakenly depicts an assault by the Syrian 78th armored brigade. However, the exhausted, worn-out Syrian 7th infantry division doesn't launch any significant attacks on October 8th. OTOH, in light of the Syrian recess, the IDF 36th armored division CO orders his 7th armored brigade to descend from its favourable defensive positions and counterattack eastwards. When the leading 77th armored battalion encounters heavy Syrian resistance (Saggers, for the first time), this over-ambitious counterattack attempt is soon aborted and the Centurions return to their defensive positions.

Syrian 7th infantry division CO is killed by IDF artillery (another version claims he is murdered after an argument with president Al-Assad). IDF 75th armored battalion CO escapes hospital (alongside the 53rd battalion XO) and regroups his battalion, which returns to operate as an armored battalion at the frontline.

Syrian 52nd infantry brigade forces, of the 9th infantry division, launch several assaults in the Al-Qakhtaniya - Stronghold 109 area, but repelled by IDF 7th armored brigade forces. These attacks are lighter than expected by the IDF, which await for the Syrian 43rd armored brigade or 3rd armored division to attack.

In the afternoon, T-62s are observed and engaged near Stronghold 107. The Syrian elite force, the Defense Companies (a brigade-sized force that preceded the Republican Guard), commanded by president Al-Assad's younger brother Rif'at, has arrived to the frontline. The map mistakenly still depicts the Defense Companies near Damascus. 

At night, Syrian commandos (183rd battalion?) destroy 5 Centurions with RPGs south of Stronghold 105, near the AT ditch. IDF 71st armored battalion XO is among the dead. This incident is known among IDF troops as the 'Bazooka Night'.

 

IDF 1st infantry brigade (51st and 17th infantry battalions, but just one company from each) assaults Mount Hermon, suffers heavy losses (including the 17th battalion CO) and repelled by the Syrian 82nd paratroop and 183rd commando battalions.

 

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.

 

Off the map, Syrian AF Su-20s fail to strike the northern IAF radar station at the Upper Galilee, as 3 of them are shot down by IAF Mirage 5s.

 

Following the success of the Israeli counterattack and the heavy losses already suffered by the Syrian army, the Syrians beg for the Iraqis to join the fighting ASAP. An Iraqi general promises the Syrian MoD Mustafa Tlass an army so massive, that it will sprawl all the way from Damascus to Baghdad. The Iraqi vice president, Saddam Hussein, adds that 'if tanks had wings, they would arrive today' (Iraqi AF jets are operating from Syrian AFBs since October 7th).

Edited by Iarmor
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Night of October 8th-9th:

As in the two previous nights, the Syrians launch FROG-7 barrage at targets in northern Israel. This time the FROG-7 rockets, launched from Al-Khushniya at the max range of 70 kms, hit IAF Ramat David AFB, as well as civilian buildings in Migdal HaEmeck and Kibbutz Gevat. One A-4 pilot is killed in his sleep.

The Israeli government decides to retaliate fiercely by striking strategic targets in Syria, such as power plants and oil facilities, and the highlight would be striking the Syrian General Staff HQ in the heart of the heavily defended Damascus (one of the densest air defense networks in the world) at noon. In addition to paying the Syrians back, this strike mission would also serve as a warning for the Jordanian King Hussein not to open a third front in the Jordan Valley.

 

October 9th:

 

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The last Syrian offensive efforts, to breakthrough the Al-Quneitra Gap and to capture Nafakh, are carried out by the 7th infantry and 1st armored divisions and repelled by the IDF 36th and 210th armored divisions respectively. The 210th then joins the 146th armored division in the assault on Khushniya Pocket, in which the Syrian 1st armored division is confined along with elements of the 5th and 9th infantry divisions, in order to complete the Israeli counterattack and to destroy all remaining Syrian forces in the Israeli Golan.

 

IDF 36th armored division:

IDF 7th armored brigade repels a final Syrian 7th infantry division offensive in the Valley of Tears (Mount Hermonit - Zahrat Ibrahim). This time, the Syrian 7th infantry division sends in the 81st armored brigade (attached from the 3rd armored division) and the elite Defense Companies (which the map still mistakenly depicts 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. When IDF 71st armored battalion is called to leave its positions on Mount Hermonit (Tell Ash-Shikha) and help the 77th armored battalion defend Wadi Marj Ash-Shabrack, the 71st battalion CO is killed and the 71st battalion remnants join the 77th. The 77th 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, just as some of its tanks run out of ammo, 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, whereas the 1973 war caught him abroad in the middle of his honeymoon) and with the injured XO (who escaped hospital alongside the 75th battalion CO). In this battle the 53rd battalion XO is injured again, this time critically.

At noon the Syrians start retreating and the Valley of Tears battle is over, with over 500 destroyed Syrian AFVs abandoned in the battlefield.

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.

Other than the recovered 53rd armored battalion, the IDF 7th armored brigade is also reinforced with two M-50 Sherman companies from the 181st independent tank battalion. Since these are regarded as ineffective against the T-55s and T-62s, one company is deployed at the brigade's rear, but the other (4 tanks) is eventually sent to the Booster Ridge (Tell Al-Makhfi - Zahrat Ibrahim - Al-Khuwayn), from where it engages Syrian vehicles during the battle.  

At the Israeli rear, Syrian commandos are landed by Mi-8 helicopters near Al-Fooran (Defense Companies troops), near Nafakh (Palestinian As-Saiqa troops) and near Ad-Dalwa (Defense Companies troops). On the map these landings are marked as one. Several helicopters are shot down, one of them by an IDF 77th armored battalion Centurion with a 105 mm APDS. The Palestinian troops near Nafakh are wiped out by IDF infantry and SOF, but the Defense Companies troops near Al-Fooran and near Ad-Dalwa land unnoticed. 

IDF 1st infantry brigade suffers heavy losses (including the 12th infantry battalion CO) to Syrian commandos (the ones from last night) east of Buq'ata, but the 7th armored brigade's reconnaissance company is called for help and wipes out the Syrians. However, shortly after, the 7th armored brigade's reconnaissance company is destroyed south of Buq'ata by another Syrian commando ambush (the ones that landed near Al-Fooran). The battle is eventually decided when Israeli tanks (two Shermans and later one Shot Meteor) arrive and wipe out the second Syrian force. In this engagement the IDF learn the RPG vs. M113 lesson for the first, but not the last time.

 

IDF 210th armored division:

IDF 679th armored brigade (by now, about 20 of its 60 combat-ready tanks are Shot Cals, gathered from other units), attached from the 36th armored division at 10:00, repels a final Syrian 1st armored division morning assault (91st, 76th, 51st armored brigades) and then advances southwards and captures Ayn Warda and Ar-Ramthaniya. IDF 57th and 289th armored battalion COs are among the injured. This is the third time the 289th battalion CO position has to be re-manned within 2 days. In the evening the 289th is revived with 17 repaired Shot Cals.

IDF 179th armored brigade captures As-Saluqiya and pushes the Syrians east of the Tapline road.

 

IDF 146th armored division:

IDF 9th mechanized infantry brigade (377th tank and 278th armored battalions) heads NE through Nahal Gshur and attacks the main Syrian 58th mechanized infantry brigade trenches between Tell At-Tali'a and Al-Khushniya. The first, frontal assault fails, as every 278th battalion Centurion crossing the Tapline road gets hit by the heavy Syrian AT fire, while the 377th battalion doesn't participate since its CO's halftrack was immobilized by a landmine before he could order an attack. The second assault, by the 377th battalion under the XO, succeeds, as the Shermans flank the Syrians from the SE and run-over their trenches. The 9th brigade then breaks into Al-Khushniya, while destroying Syrian tanks positioned in between the deserted buildings, and advances as far as Tell Fazara, shortly after the Syrian 1st armored division HQ had escaped from it. At night, Syrian tankers re-crew their deserted tanks around Al-Khushniya and skirmish with the IDF 9th brigade, which consequently heads back south to resupply near Faham. The injured 377th battalion CO would return to command his battalion on the next day. His Shermans will find themselves at the eye of the storm again in this war, more than once.

IDF 4th mechanized infantry brigade (95th tank, 39th and 61st armored battalions) advances NE, captures Tell At-TakhoonFaham and Tell At-Tali'a and reaches Reshet road, where it engages retreating Syrian armor (including 1st armored division T-62s).

IDF 205th armored brigade captures Tell Al-Jukhadar at dawn following the Syrian retreat. It then advances NE, captures Tell Al-Qala' and Tell Al-Faras (Tell Zohar) and blocks the Ar-Rafid - Nawa road (codenamed Reshet), in order to prevent a Syrian retreat through Ar-Rafid Gap. Syrian 51st and 76th armored brigade remnants 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 M117 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 flight leader had aborted their planned Damascus HQ strike mission due to bad weather.

Tell Al-Faras (Tell Zohar) itself was persistently defended by a single Syrian PT-76 (these equip the reconnaissance elements of the Syrian formations, alongside BRDM-2s), that managed to immobilize a Centurion and to destroy two M113s from the IDF 288th armored reconnaissance battalion. The Tell was eventually captured when the PT-76 was destroyed by Israeli infantrymen who approached it on foot and threw hand grenades inside.

 

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, 12th and 51st armored brigades are left with 12 battle-worthy MBTs altogether. Albeit overshadowed by the Valley of Tears, the annihilation of the Khushniya Pocket is the largest armor battle of the 1973 war, involving 150 Israeli MBTs vs. 200 Syrian MBTs and 200 ATGM-carrying BMPs and BRDMs.

 

Off the map:

Although bad weather makes 2 flights of IAF F-4s turn back (and instead, as mentioned, one of them provides CAS for the 146th division), a third flight of 7 F-4s (the 8th turned back due to a technical failure) manages to find a hole through the clouds above Damascus and strike the Syrian General Staff HQ and AF HQ. Surprisingly, only one F-4 is lost to Syrian AAA. On the ground, Soviet diplomats are among the dead, while 5 Israeli aircrew members, imprisoned in the basement of the Syrian AF HQ building, are luckily unharmed. The Syrians lose their minds over the survival of the Israeli POWs, as they attribute it to allegedly-amazing accuracy of the Israeli intelligence and bombing. The Israeli rear will not be targeted again by Syrian FROG-7 rockets in this war.

In addition, IAF F-4s strike the Homs refinery and oil tanks and Al-Hama power plant.

Edited by Iarmor
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October 10th:

 

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IDF 146th and 210th armored divisions finish-off the Khushniya Pocket and clear the Israeli Golan up to the borderline. The 146th division then attempts to exploit the success and assault into Syria, but fails.

 

IDF 36th armored division:

The town of Al-Quneitra is cleared by IDF 317th paratroop brigade troops (of the 471st battalion), while IDF 7th armored brigade recovers from the Valley of Tears battle. The 7th brigade is reinforced with TF Amos, a Shot Cal battalion established in the Armor School base in central Israel with repaired tanks and unassigned crews (including some who lost their Shot Cals when fighting with the 198th armored battalion in Sinai on October 7th), commanded by Amos Katz. Katz (a decorated 1967 Sinai war hero) rushed back to Israel from Fort Knox, where he was undergoing a training course, when he heard about the outbreak of the war. TF Amos is flagged as the 71st armored battalion, after the 71st was written-off the ORBAT table on the day before.

 

IDF 210th armored division:

IDF 679th armored brigade pushes the Syrian infantry, which covers the retreating armor remnants, towards the SE. Near Mount Yosifoon (Tell Yusuf), the 679th suffers losses to a RPG ambush by Syrian Defense Companies commandos, that were landed by helicopters near Ad-Dalwa on the day before.

IDF 179th armored brigade heads north on the Tapline road, turns east towards Mount Yosifoon (Tell Yusuf), captures Tell Al-GhassaniyaTell Abu Qutayf and Tell Hazayqa and reaches the cut-off Stronghold 110.

The injured COs of the 179th armored brigade and the 57th armored battalion (of the 679th armored brigade) escape hospital and return to command their formations.

 

IDF 146th armored division:

IDF 9th mechanized infantry brigade clears Al-Khushniya and captures Tell Fazara. Syrian 33rd infantry brigade troops then counterattack with RPGs and take Tell Fazara back for a short while, but the IDF 9th brigade quickly captures Tell Fazara once again. While consolidating the Tell Fazara area, the Israeli 9th brigade encounters Syrian 76th armored brigade T-62s and the 278th battalion Centurions set them ablaze, while the 377th battalion Sherman tankers can only watch their main gun rounds bounce off the T-62's armor.

IDF 4th mechanized infantry brigade captures Tulul Ash-Shuaf (95th tank battalion), Tell Shuaf As-Sindiyan (61st armored battalion), Tell Abbas and Tell Ash-Shuaf Al-Kabir (39th armored battalion) and destroys the Syrian force (which includes infantry with AT weapons and a single T-34/85) on Tell Akasha.

IDF 205th armored brigade forces consolidate the Ar-Rafid Junction area and engage Syrian 21st mechanized infantry brigade BMP-1s.

 

In the Syrian 1st armored division, 91st armored brigade tankers mutiny and refuse to fight. In response, the division CO orders to pound his 91st brigade with artillery, but the order is never carried-out.

 

 

Later that day, the IDF divisions are ordered to exploit the success and assault into Syria ASAP. The goal is to determine whether the Syrian formations had orderly retreated back to their fortifications (that would require a well-organized, higher-cost breakthrough), or are they collapsing and their men fleeing in panic (that should be exploited ASAP, before the Syrians regroup).

The 36th armored division asks for time to recover, since the 7th armored brigade is exhausted and worn-out.

The 210th armored division does try to attack, as it sends the 134th armored reconnaissance battalion (under the 179th armored brigade) to advance SE towards Kudna, but the 134th retreats due to heavy resistance by Syrian 33rd infantry brigade troops. The 210th division is then acknowledged to be in no better situation than the 36th.

OTOH, thanks to stirring leadership by its CO, the 146th armored division fully carries-out the order, but with only little success:

IDF 9th mechanized infantry brigade sends the 278th armored battalion (originally from the 179th armored brigade) to attack Kudna, but the assault fails as the Centurions get into a minefield.

IDF 205th armored brigade captures Tell Al-Mahir (288th armored reconnaissance battalion), the area north of it and Tell Al-Asbah (125th armored battalion, assisted by 4th mechanized infantry brigade covering fire from Tulul Ash-Shuaf), but heavy Syrian 33rd infantry brigade fire from the two Tells of Kudna, Tell Al-Ahmar Al-Gharbi and Tell Al-Ahmar Ash-Sharqi, forces the Centurions to retreat and keep only Tell Al-Mahir.

IDF 94th armored battalion (of the 205th armored brigade) advances SE on the Tapline road towards Umm Al-Luqas, but retreats due to heavy resistance by Syrian 61st infantry brigade troops.

IDF 83rd mechanized infantry battalion (of the 670th mechanized infantry brigade, attached with 6 MBTs it had gathered) advances south on the Tapline road towards the Saida - Al-Khanout area, but retreats due to heavy resistance by Syrian 61st infantry brigade troops. However, the Syrian stronghold at Saida is destroyed by Syrian artillery fire 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.

Near El Al, Syrian AF jets take-out an IDF halftrack-mounted 120 mm mortar battery from the 352nd heavy mortar battalion (213th artillery regiment).

 

The halftrack-mounted mechanized infantry battalions of the IDF 4th and 9th brigades, that were held west of the Jordan River so far, cross the river and climb onto the Golan Heights in order to secure the ground taken back. 11th mechanized infantry battalion troops, of the 9th mechanized infantry brigade, re-man some of the southern sector strongholds (others were already re-manned by 670th mechanized infantry brigade troops on the day before). 

In the evening, a IDF 39th armored battalion Shot Cal (under the 4th mechanized infantry brigade) with a thrown track is attacked by a single Syrian vehicle, that seems like yet another SU-100 at first look. The Syrian crew abandons its vehicle after taking fire and, for much surprise, that vehicle turns-out to be a StuG III.

 

 

After the IDF finished off the Khushniya Pocket, the Syrian army had lost all its gains except Mount 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. Its reconnaissance, ATGM, combat engineering and most of its artillery elements were destroyed as well.

The Syrian 12th, 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 (along with the 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 border-crossing offensive attempts.

The Syrian air defense is nearly out of SAMs, due to excessive expenditure. 

 

Off the map:

Soviet An-12 and An-22 transport aircraft start landing in Syria, delivering arms, as a part of the Soviet emergency effort to re-supply the Syrian and Egyptian armies by air and sea. In reaction to the Soviet re-supply operation, the US starts a re-supply operation of its own, named Nickel Grass, to deliver arms to Israel. Initially, the US operation is limited by the transport capacity of unmarked El Al B707s and B747s, which were hastily modified from passenger to cargo configuration.

To disrupt the Soviet re-supply effort, IAF F-4s strike the Aleppo International Airport and the Damascus International Airport, unintentionally damaging a Soviet An-12 parked on the ground in Aleppo. As the runways are damaged, additional Soviet aircraft in mid-flight turn back to Budapest.

IAF jets also strike the Homs refinery and oil tanks again, as well as the Qattina power plant and Minat Al-Bayda naval base.

At night, following intelligence reports about an Iraqi expeditionary force on the move, two IAF F-4s are sent to scan the desert highways leading from western Iraq to Jordan (H3 - H4 - H5 along the Kirkuk - Haifa oil pipeline) and to Syria, carrying a lot of fuel and little illumination flares, bombs and missiles. A Syrian MiG-21, shot down with an AIM-7, is the first ever enemy fighter killed at night by the IAF (an Il-14 was already downed at night in 1956, during a special operation), but the Israeli jets fail to locate any Iraqi vehicles.

On the same night, Israeli navy Sa'ar missile boats hit targets along the Syrian coastline, including the Banias oil tanks, the Ladhaqiya port and oil tanks and the Minat Al-Bayda port. The Israeli boats evade the Syrian radar-guided coastal gun fire and Styx missiles (one Styx is shot down with .50 cal fire), while at least one Syrian Komar suffers damage.

Edited by Iarmor
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IDF breakthrough into Syria, October 11th-12th:

 

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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, in between Strongholds 104 and 105. At first, the two Israeli armor columns are accompanied by Sherman flail and dozer tanks (of the 606th armored assault engineer battalion), but these fail to keep-up and are soon bypassed by the Shot Cals, that find their way between the minefields with little losses. The Moroccan 12th infantry regiment and the Syrian 68th infantry brigade forces, still devastated from previous battles, are caught ill-prepared (the Syrian 7th infantry division retreat wasn't well-organized as the 9th and 5th infantry divisions retreat) and their resistance on October 11th is light, so as IDF losses. Two battalions (77th, 71st) capture Hadar Junction and reach Mazra'at Beit Jinn outskirts, while the brigade HQ with 3 battalions (53rd, 75th, 74th) captures Tell Az-Zuhur, Jubata Al-Khashab, Turunja, Tell Al-Ahmar, Amrat Al-Fawwar, Harfa and Halas.

On October 12th, the 7th brigade captures Ma'as Junction and then fails to capture Tell Ash-Shams twice. The first attempt is stopped at the mined Ash-Shawkatliya Bridge, under heavy (tank, BRDM-2/Sagger) fire from the Tell defenders. In the second attempt, 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) brings the Israeli force, 8 Shot Cals, to assault the Tell from the NW (north of Durin). However, a surprising Syrian Sagger salvo, fired from the Israeli northern flank (the lava field south of Maqrusa), destroys 4 of the Centurions and the Israeli attack fails. By one of the destroyed tanks, on the NW slope of Tell Ash-Shams, an IDF tank driver takes care of his badly wounded battalion CO (for him it's the fourth injury in three days) and radios for help. IDF 53rd armored battalion is written-off the ORBAT table.

Mazra'at Beit Jinn is captured 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 regiment remnants are destroyed while trying to escape through a wadi east of Beit Jinn.

IDF 1st infantry brigade (attached with a Sherman company from the 181st independent tank battalion) captures Hadar and clears the area taken by the 7th armored brigade.

 

Central sector - IDF 210th armored division:

Following the successful breakthrough by the 36th armored division, the IDF mistakenly assume 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 capture Tell Al-Ahmar and assist from the north. The 179th suffers heavy losses, but 6 of its tanks manage to reach Khan Arnaba Junction and hit 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, but eventually manages to capture Khan Arnaba and advances to Tell Ash-Sha'ar. During the battle, the 679th brigade CO luckily walks out unharmed when his halftrack is destroyed. The 57th armored battalion CO is injured for the second time.

All in all, about 40 Centurions from both the 179th and 679th armored brigades were damaged at Khan Arnaba. The 179th brigade is down to just two combat-ready MBTs. The 57th armored battalion (of the 679th brigade) is written-off the ORBAT table, while the 134th armored reconnaissance battalion (attached to the 179th brigade since October 7th), which lead the attack, would operate without MBTs from now on.

IDF 9th mechanized infantry brigade (attached from the 146th division) follows the 679th, captures Jaba and Tell Al-Kurum (which the 377th battalion attacks from the east, after the 278th battalion gets into a minefield on the west) and parks between Ma'as Junction and Ma'as. The 9th brigade's Shermans are the only Sherman MBTs that would cross the border into Syria up until the ceasefire. The Israeli troops advancing into Syria also include one of the 9th brigade's mechanized infantry battalions, the 91st, which is directly attached to the 210th division.

At night, as America road is still considered unsafe for IDF supply trucks, 471st battalion paratroopers (of the 317th paratroop brigade) are called from Al-Quneitra to mop-up the roadsides of remaining RPG-equipped Syrian infantry.

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 rushed back to Israel from abroad when he heard of the outbreak of the war. Little supply also arrives, but the 679th brigade men are disappointed to find out that some of the 105 mm rounds sent are for howitzers...

The 679th armored brigade advances from Ma'as Junction to the SE and captures SabsabaTell Qarin (93rd battalion) and Kafr Nasij (289th battalion). At first the 679th is spearheaded by TF Nati, whose leading company arrives Kafr Nasij directly from Jaba (on Yeshimon and Yarid roads), proceeds NE but gets destroyed between Kafr Nasij and Tell Qarin, in an ambush by a Syrian tank battalion (of the 9th infantry division). Shortly after, the ambushing Syrian T-55s are destroyed by the second company of TF Nati, arriving from Sabsaba (on Yair road), along with the 93rd and 289th armored battalions. Nati Golan and the 289th battalion CO (the fourth one, whose predecessor was injured on October 9th) are among the injured.

The 179th armored brigade (reinforced with a single company from TF Nati) attacks Tell Maskhara, but repelled by Syrian 9th infantry division forces and bypasses it from the east. The 179th then proceeds to At-Tikha and Al-Mal, advances east south of Kafr Nasij, destroys a Syrian force near Tell Alaqiya but its 6 remaining tanks get into a static firefight with Syrians tanks in Al-HabariyaTell Maree area. Tell Maree is eventually captured by the 9th mechanized infantry brigade (again, Shermans doing the dirty work after Centurions fail), which takes the lead towards Kanakir. The 210th armored division HQ takes position at Tell Ash-Sha'ar.

 

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 82 mm 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.

 

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

 

The Syrian first defensive belt is breached, as the 7th infantry division pretty much disintegrates (with the exception of Tell Ash-Shams defenders, for now), while the 9th infantry division is not far from collapsing either. The Syrian operational 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 assault on October 10th, the 146th division does not attack again on October 11th and stays to hold the borderline, facing the Syrian 9th and 5th infantry divisions. IDF 670th and 4th mechanized infantry brigades are attached with the 181st independent tank and 11th mechanized infantry battalions respectively, while the 9th mechanized infantry brigade (having the 278th battalion reinforced with a single tank company from the 39th battalion) rejoins the 210th division as described above.

On October 12th, the Northern Command orders the 146th division to attack again in the southern sector (unmarked on the map). In the morning IDF 4th mechanized infantry brigade advances east from Tell Hazayqa in order to assault Tell Al-Ahmar Al-Gharbi (the western Tell Kudna) from its northern flank, while the 670th mechanized infantry brigade assaults Saida and Al-Khanout and captures the latter (181st tank battalion, whose CO is injured).

Then, however, MoD Dayan visits the Northern Command and orders to abort the 146th division's offensive, since the Israeli goal is to reach Sa'sa' - Kanakir area and get Damascus into artillery range, so he regards attacking at the southern sector as a waste. The 146th division is ordered to hand over the 205th armored brigade (which the 146th division kept behind for the next stage of the offensive) to the 210th division, while the 4th and 670th mechanized infantry brigades waive their gains and retreat to the borderline.

IDF 205th armored brigade joins the 210th armored division only with its organic 94th and 125th armored battalions (Shot Meteor), while the 288th armored reconnaissance battalion (Shot Cal) is attached to the 4th mechanized infantry brigade and remains the Israeli Golan. In turn, the organic tank battalion of the 4th brigade, the 95th (Sherman), is attached to the 670th mechanized infantry brigade. The 288th armored reconnaissance battalion spends the day taking heavy Syrian artillery fire on Tell Al-Mahir and engaging Syrian tanks on Troya road with indirect fire (5 kms range) from Tell Al-Faras (Tell Zohar).

 

Off the maps:

IAF F-4s strike the Khan Ayash oil tanks on October 11th and the Syrian AF HQ near Babbila on October 12th.

On the night of October 11th-12th, Israeli navy Sa'ar 3-class and Sa'ar 4-class missile boats hit the Syrian port of Tartous and the nearby oil tanks, as well as Syrian Komar missile boats. The Israeli OTO Melara 76 mm gun fire aimed at the oil tanks is ineffective due to their elevation and distance from the shore, but at least one Syrian Komar is damaged, while the Israeli boats are unharmed by incoming Styx missiles and radar-guided coastal gun fire. As one of the Syrian Komars hides near a Soviet merchant ship, Ilya Mechnikov (which is carrying materials for rebuilding the Syrian power plants destroyed by IAF airstrikes), the Soviet ship is hit by a Gabriel missile and sink in shallow water.

Following the Israeli breakthrough into Syria on October 11th, the Soviets alert 3 of their airborne divisions to be ready to join the fighting in the Middle East. Under heavy pressure from other Arab countries to join the war, King Hussein of Jordan decides to send a Jordanian expeditionary force (an armored brigade, for a start) to fight in the Golan under the Syrian army.

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 stands on Tell Ash-Sha'ar and turns his view to the southern flank. He then lift his binoculars and observes two long columns of dust clouds approaching from As-Sanamin through Kafr Shams and Aqraba, about 10 kms from the forward Israeli forces. They appear to be a fresh T-55 equipped armored brigade, in a different camouflage scheme (yellow with black spots) than the Syrian one (black, green and yellow), 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 (the 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 earlier), 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 (45 tanks) 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-Kiswa to Ghabaghib.

IDF 679th armored brigade, alerted during refueling (the Shot Meteor had fuel for only 9 hours of engine operation, and the 679th couldn't refuel last night), takes positions on Tell Qarin and Tell Hamad and repels the eastern Iraqi column 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's order, is sent to secure the southern flank by capturing 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 capture Tell Maskhara, Tell Al-Mal, At-Tikha and Tell Al-Bazzack.

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 armored battalion from the 36th armored 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 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 SOF sneaking there at night under a heavy artillery barrage. However, one of the participating IDF M-50 SPH batteries (of the Artillery School battalion) is destroyed by Syrian counter-battery fire aimed from the Syrian-held Hermon, after the Israeli artillerymen are not allowed to displace when the Syrian shells start hitting close.

 

Back in the Israeli Golan, under IDF 4th mechanized infantry brigade, 146th armored division, the 95th tank battalion CO is killed by Syrian artillery fire.

 

On the night of October 12th-13th, at the southern foothills of Jabal Mashack Samri (off the map, about 120 kms deep behind the Syrian lines and just 15 kms NW of Saiqal AFB), heliborne (CH-53) Israeli paratroopers ambush Iraqi expeditionary force vehicles rushing to the Golan on the Baghdad - Damascus highway. The paratroopers explode a viaduct over Wadi Shack Samri, destroy one Iraqi MBT on its flatbed along with several soft-skins and are subsequently flown back to Israel with no losses. On the way, the CH-53 crew observes heavy traffic heading south on the highway leading from Homs to Damascus.

Additional Iraqi vehicles would be destroyed at the ambush place on the following day, when IAF jets would attack the traffic jam created there.

Edited by Iarmor
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IDF advancement continues, October 13th:

 

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Central sector - IDF 210th armored division:

The 210th division HQ splits in two: the XO Bar-Kokhva stays at Jaba, the CO Laner returns to Tell Al-Makhfi (part of the Booster Ridge).

Before dawn, the Iraqi 12th armored brigade assault from At-Tikha towards Tell Ash-Sha'ar and Tell Ayyuba falls into the Israeli 3-sided box ambush: at the base of the box, the first to open fire are IDF 9th mechanized infantry brigade Shermans, after waiting in the dark south of Tell Ash-Sha'ar and letting the Iraqi T-55s come as close as 150 meters. Soon later, the Iraqis also take fire from their SW (IDF 205th armored brigade from Jaba) and NE (IDF 679th and 179th armored brigades from Ma'as Junction - Ma'as - Himrit) flanks, while the IAF carries-out 28 CAS sorties in the area between Aqraba, Tell Maskhara and Tell Al-Mal. The Israeli forces gain the momentum and counterattack:

IDF 179th armored brigade advances south and captures At-Tikha, Al-Mal and Tell Al-Mal.

IDF 679th armored brigade (green) advances south and captures Maskhara.

IDF 205th armored brigade (reinforced with the 75th armored battalion from the 7th armored brigade) flanks Tell Maskhara from the SW and diverts the massive ATGM salvos, while IDF 471st paratroop battalion (unmarked on the map, from the 317th paratroop brigade, mounted on BTR-152s) captures the Tell itself, assisted by 679th armored brigade covering fire from Maskhara.

Advancing SE behind the 679th and 179th, IDF 9th mechanized brigade takes back Kafr Nasij and Tell Qarin and engages targets near Tell Alaqiya and Tell Antar. Tell Maree isn't yet back in Israeli hands, as opposed to what's marked on the map.

The Iraqi 12th armored brigade retreats with heavy losses, at 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 Jinn to the 1st infantry brigade (which loses its XO to a landmine), along with a tank company. At night, two IDF 412th independent heavy artillery battalion M107s, lead and secured by SOF, advance NE beyond the frontline in the Mazra'at Beit Jinn - Hina area and fire 10 shells each at the Damascus Al-Mazza airbase (max range - 35 kms). The control tower and main runway suffer direct hits. The message is clear - Israeli artillery is pounding the outskirts of the Syrian capital. The few brand-new Sherman-mounted MAR-290 artillery rockets (known as Ivry in the IDF), with 42 kms max range, are apparently kept for more extreme situations. 

On the same night, Tell Ash-Shams is finally captured by IDF 567th paratroop battalion of the 317th paratroop brigade. Surprisingly, the Israeli casualties are only 4 wounded soldiers. The paratroopers attack the Tell from the south after a heavy artillery barrage (which probably deserves most credit), while a small armored force advances through the Little Laja shepherd trail in order to distract the Syrians from the NW and to block a possible arrival of Syrian reinforcements from Sa'sa' on America road. At the end of the battle, the 317th brigade CO awards the 7th brigade CO with a sarcastic gift - a captured Syrian BRDM-2/Sagger (535th AT battalion of the 65th independent AT regiment?), one of those responsible for most of the 7th brigade losses at Tell Ash-Shams.

 

IDF 846th and 873rd independent medium artillery battalions, equipped with M-46 130 mm guns captured in 1967 (the only ones in the IDF), deploy in ex-Syrian artillery positions and fire the freshly-captured ammo they find there. The stocks of 130 mm ammo captured in 1967 have already been depleted (on October 10th?). Later on, the men of one M-46 battery (from the 873rd) are sent to the Sinai, get freshly-captured guns and ammo and attached to the 214th artillery regiment of the 143rd armored division.

IAF jets carry-out 220 sorties (72 CAS, 39 airbase attack and SEAD, 109 patrol and interception) during which 4 of them are lost. The Syrian AF carries-out 385 sorties (67 offensive, 318 defensive) and loses 12 aircraft. The Syrian SAM stockpiles are refilled thanks to the urgent Soviet shipments.

On the night of October 13th-14th, hoping to recreate the success on the previous night and following the observation of heavy traffic on the Homs - Damascus highway, Israeli paratroopers (same ones) are flown again deep behind the Syrian lines (about 75 kms this time), with the goal of disrupting the ongoing transportation of freshly-delivered arms from the Syrian sea ports to Damascus. The paratroopers are tasked with blowing-up a bridge on the aforementioned highway, 5 kms NW of Al-Qutayfa (off the map), but, due to bad weather, the CH-53 lands the paratroopers about 5 kms west of the planned landing zone, NE of Akubar. During the march towards the bridge, the Israelis are observed by Syrian troops (reinforced and vigilant following last night), who open fire and alert additional reinforcements, including AFVs and even a MiG-21 for dropping illumination flares. Eventually, the Israeli paratroopers, trapped on Jabal As-Sawwan and surrounded by hundreds of Syrians on 3 sides, are extracted by the CH-53 under heavy fire, without completing their mission but also without suffering any losses. Over 40 bullet holes are counted on the CH-53 when it lands back safely at Ramat David AFB.

 

 

October 14th (not shown in the map):

Under the IDF 36th armored division, the 7th armored brigade captures Tell Al-Arus, Tell As-SarjaTell Fatma and Himrit with no resistance. The 1st infantry brigade repels a Syrian battalion-scale assault (of the 65th armored brigade) on Mazra'at Beit Jinn.

IDF 210th armored division troops exchange artillery and long-range tank fire with the Iraqi forces, from static positions east and south of Kafr Nasij. To the west, the 91st mechanized infantry battalion (originally from the 9th mechanized infantry brigade) takes frontline positions on Tell Al-Kurum and Tell Maskhara.

Back in the Israeli Golan, under the 146th armored division, the 11th mechanized infantry battalion (originally from the 9th mechanized infantry brigade) is detached from the 4th mechanized infantry brigade and attached to the 670th mechanized infantry brigade, while still holding strongholds in the southern border sector, as south as Ar-Rafid.

 

Iraqi forces keep accumulating in the theater. The Iraqi expeditionary force would eventually include 2 armored divisions and 3 independent infantry brigades, or as they promised to the Syrian MoD Tlass - 'an army so massive, that when its head will arrive Damascus - its tail would still be in Baghdad'. Jordanian (an armored brigade, for a start, attached to the Iraqi 3rd armored division) and Saudi (a mechanized infantry brigade) expeditionary forces join in as well, while the Soviets expedite their arms deliveries. Despite 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 Israeli command is pretty pleased with its gains. 175 mm artillery can be fired on Syrian bases at the outskirts of Damascus from Mazra'at Beit Jinn and Tell Ash-Shams, while most important Tells are in Israeli hands, forming a formidable line of defense. On the top of that, the Israelis feel it's time to concentrate on crossing 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 Israeli command decides to diminish major offensives in the Golan and to transfer forces from the Golan to Sinai, starting with the 899th medium artillery battalion (one of the two M109 battalions in the IDF) and 270th independent rocket artillery battalion (the only rocket artillery unit in the IDF, equipped with BM-24s captured in 1967). The 179th armored brigade would soon follow and, eventually, in early November, the 146th armored division would be redeployed from the Syrian to the Egyptian theater, including the 205th armored, 670th mechanized infantry brigades, 213th artillery regiment and the 288th armored reconnaissance battalion.

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

 

To counterbalance the increased Soviet arms deliveries and in light of the Israeli success in the Syrian theater, Operation Nickel Grass is also expedited. US C-141 and C-5 airlifters start landing in Israel in the evening, carrying substantially more arms than the modified El Al B707s and B747s that have been carryiing-out the mission since October 10th. F-4s and C-130s are delivered by flight and A-4s would follow on October 17th. Since Portugal is the only European country that allows the Nickel Grass aircraft to enter its airspace, the aircraft refuel at Lajes airbase. Over the eastern Mediterranean the US aircraft are escorted by IAF jets, whereas the US ships would be escorted east of Sicily by Israeli navy Sa'ar missile boats starting on October 21st. From the IDF perspective, the most needed items which can be put into immediate use in battle are 175 mm, 155 mm artillery shells and CBUs.

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

 

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Seeking better positions following yesterday's skirmishes, the IDF 210th armored division HQ accepts the 9th mechanized infantry brigade CO's proposal to capture Tell Antar and Tell Alaqiya, but the task is first given to the 205th armored brigade, while the 9th is tasked with only providing covering fire. While the 205th brigade struggles through the terrain to advance east, the 679th armored brigade bypasses Kafr Nasij and Tell Qarin from the north, heads south and flanks Tell Alaqiya and Tell Antar from the east, but takes heavy ATGM fire from Kafr Shams and Dir Al-Adas. To the south, the 179th armored brigade advances SE from Kafr Nasij - Tell Hamad and engages the Iraqi forces from the west.

Eventually, following the difficulties faced by the IDF 205th and 679th armored brigades, the IDF 9th mechanized infantry brigade captures both Tells on its own, advancing SE from Kafr NasijTell Alaqiya is captured by the 377th tank battalion (whose CO loses his halftrack again), while Tell Antar is captured by the 278th armored battalion. The Iraqi 12th armored brigade, 3rd armored division retreats to Kafr Shams.

Both IDF 679th and 179th armored brigades retreat in the afternoon (dotted line). At night (dotted line), IDF 205th armored brigade replaces the 9th 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, that has just arrived to the Golan, will spearhead the Iraqi 3rd armored division from now on.

The Jordanian elite 40th armored brigade, equipped with Centurions (105 mm guns) and M113s, takes positions at Tell Al-Hara (off the map). In the evening it's detached from the Iraqi 3rd armored division and attached to the Syrian 9th infantry division.

 

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

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

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

Jaba - Ayyuba - Ma'as Junction road is codenamed Ravid.

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

Al-Mal - Aqraba road, which leads to Al-Hara, NimrJasim and Nawa, is codenamed Carlos.

Maskhara - Naba As-Sakhr road is codenamed Tslavon.

 

Off the map:

Northern sector - IDF 36th armored division:

IDF 1st infantry brigade captures Beit Jinn and several hills north of Mazra'at Beit Jinn.

IDF Tell Ash-Shams defenders (74th armored and 567th paratroop battalions, from the 7th armored and 317th paratroop brigades respectively) repel a fierce Syrian brigade-scale assault coming from the NE (armor and infantry/commandos) and NW (infantry/commandos). IDF 75th armored battalion (of the 7th armored brigade) is alerted to join the Tell defenders during the battle. The Centurions do most of the work, as the paratroopers can't go out of the bunker due to the heavy Syrian artillery.

Tell Maree is captured by IDF 77th armored battalion (of the 7th armored brigade) with no resistance.

 

IAF F-4s strike oil tanks near Tartous and at Ladhaqiya.

Edited by Iarmor
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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), attached to the Syrian 9th infantry division, advances 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.

Ill-coordinated with the Jordanians, Iraqi 3rd armored division forces advance from Kafr Shams (~40 MBTs) and Dir Al-Adas (~40 MBTs), assault Tell Antar and Tell Alaqiya but repelled by IDF 205th armored brigade forces.

IDF 210th division HQ is at Tell Ash-Sha'ar. The 9th mechanized infantry brigade (40 MBTs) is sent forward from the division's rear, first SE towards the Jordanians and then east towards the Iraqis, in order to reinforce the frontline forces.

 

Northern Enclave sector - IDF 36th armored division:

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

IDF Tell Ash-Shams defenders (74th, 75th armored and 567th paratroop battalions) repel another brigade-scale Syrian assault (armor and infantry/commandos), coming from the north, NE (Sa'sa') and SE (Dir Makir). In their October 15th and 16th attacks on Tell Ash-Shams, the Syrians demonstrated what is considered as their fiercest fighting of the war. The heavy Syrian artillery fire on Tell Ash-Shams also takes its toll heavy and the IDF 75th armored battalion CO is among the injured (second time for him).

IDF 71st armored battalion, of 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 of the 6th armored and 8th mechanized infantry brigades, while the 12th was recovering from the heavy losses it had suffered on previous battles.

IDF 205th armored brigade HQ is on Tell Qarin. Its 125th armored battalion (~20 MBTs) is on Tell Antar and Tell Alaqiya, whereas the 94th armored battalion (~20 MBTs) joins-in from Kafr Nasij. During the battle the 125th battalion CO asked to retreat, but the 205th brigade CO denied the request and reinforced the frontline with the 94th battalion. The 125th battalion CO was killed by Iraqi artillery shortly after, but eventually the Israeli Centurions maintained control of Tell Antar and Tell Alaqiya.

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 71st 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 MBTs are damaged. The Iraqi losses are about 40 destroyed MBTs (many others are damaged) and 150 infantrymen.

 

Off the maps:

 

In order to block a possible Jordanian expeditionary force offensive through the Southern Al-Quneitra Gap, IDF 39th armored battalion (under the 4th mechanized infantry brigade, 146th armored division) is ordered to advance from Tell Ar-Rykhaniya to the SE and take positions east of Ruwykhina. The 39th battalion advances on Peleg road under heavy Syrian artillery fire and some of its tanks take positions south of Hirbat Ahmad Shibat, but two of the Shot Cals are immobilized by landmines at the outskirts of Ruwykhina. The 39th retreats after extracting the immobilized tanks, but not before suffering losses to the artillery fire, including the battalion CO. Following this event, the 146th armored division CO Moshe Peled, who initiated and lead the heroic October 8th-9th counterattack in the southern Golan against all odds, is threatened with dismissal for sending his tanks to cross the border despite the MoD Dayan's order not to waste efforts in any direction other than Damascus. Peled's explanations are good enough and he keeps his position.

 

IDF 188th armored brigade is revived in the Israeli Golan.

IAF F-4s flying over Ladhaqiya take AAA fire from the Soviet navy Rulevoy Natya-class minesweeper and from a Polnocny-class landing ship.

 

 

October 17th-18th (not shown 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 SOF equipped with RPGs.

On October 17th, IDF 77th armored battalion of the 7th armored brigade engages the Saudi 20th mechanized infantry brigade forces at Ayn Afa - Tell Arid, destroying a AML-90 battalion.

IDF 412th independent heavy artillery battalion M107, firing only 4 shells, manages to destroy a Syrian SA-2 site observed from Tell Ash-Shams.

 

IDF 146th armored division takes command of the Syrian Enclave's southern flank, replacing the 210th armored division. The 210th, with its 179th and 679th armored brigades, is sent back to the Israeli Golan for recovery alongside the rearising 188th armored brigade. The 205th armored and 9th mechanized infantry brigades (the latter is attached with TF Nati from the 679th brigade) stay in the Syrian Enclave under the 146th division, and are joined by the 4th mechanized infantry brigade (39th, 61st armored and 288th armored reconnaissance battalions). The 670th mechanized infantry brigade, with two Sherman tank battalions attached to it (the 95th and 181st), is now solely responsible for the whole southern sector of the border, from Al-Quneitra and south.

Under the 4th mechanized brigade, the 61st armored battalion CO is dehydrated and replaced by the battalion G3, but refuses to be evacuated and gets intravenous therapy in his tank. 

Due to the importance of Tell Ash-Shams (regarded as "the gate of Damascus"), the IDF establish a dedicated TF to defend Tell Ash-Shams, composed of the 75th armored battalion (from the 7th armored brigade) and the 13th infantry battalion (from the 1st infantry brigade). It's named TF Castel after its CO, colonel (infantry) Yoseph Castel. Hastened fortification works take place under heavy Syrian artillery fire, as the original Syrian fortifications are not useful since they face the other way.

IDF 55th independent heavy artillery battalion (the active-service M107 battalion) redeploys back to the Sinai, leaving the 412th as the only M107 battalion in the Syrian theater. IDF 50th paratroop battalion leaves the Golan Heights and prepares for deployment to the Egyptian theater.

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 Dir Al-Adas (~40 MBTs) and Kafr Shams (~60 MBTs).

At dawn, after a massive artillery barrage, an Iraqi mechanized infantry battalion manages to capture Tell Antar for a short-while. IDF 205th armored brigade, distracted after another long night of repelling Iraqi SOF raids, counterattacks shortly after. The 125th armored battalion joins-in from the rear and provides covering fire from Tell Alaqiya, while the 94th armored battalion (~20 MBTs) recaptures Tell Antar. After regaining their positions on the two tells, the Israeli Centurions repel further Iraqi armor assaults from the east and SE. IDF 205th armored brigade HQ is on Tell Qarin.

IDF 9th mechanized infantry brigade 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. Under the 9th brigade are the 377th tank (~25 MBTs), 278th armored (~20 MBTs) battalions and TF Nati (15 MBTs).

IDF 71st armored battalion (of 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 Ayn 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 brigade CO sends his reserve, a company of 4 Shot Meteors (61st armored battalion tanks, attached to their organic brigade since October 12th), to flank the Iraqis from the north. This 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 paratroop battalion, of the 317th paratroop brigade, advances south from Tell Al-Kurum and captures Umm Batna before dawn. After capturing 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, including the battalion G3 and the dehydrated CO) and two halftrack-mounted mechanized infantry companies (from the 4th and 9th mechanized infantry brigades). TF Salad is commanded by the 91st mechanized infantry battalion CO (from the 9th mechanized infantry brigade) and tasked with defending Umm Batna.

Shortly later, ~20 Syrian tanks (from the 9th infantry division) counterattack from Mamtina and take back Umm Batna. Among the Israeli losses are the 91st mechanized infantry battalion CO and the 61st armored battalion G3, whereas the dehydrated 61st armored battalion CO is injured after replacing the G3 and returning in command. TF Salad is dissolved and the 61st armored battalion remnants are regrouped, later to rejoin the 205th armored brigade.

The IDF 4th mechanized infantry brigade, which was parking north of Jaba, then attacks again with two battalions (39th armored and 288th armored reconnaissance), destroys the Syrian T-54s, runs-over a nearby entrenched Syrian M-30 122 mm howitzer battalion (these form the standard artillery element of the Syrian, Egyptian and Iraqi infantry brigades) and recaptures Umm Batna.

Later on, the Jordanian 40th armored brigade, still attached to the Syrian 9th infantry division and again ill-coordinated with the Iraqis, 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 organic Sherman battalion, the 95th, stayed in the Israeli Golan under the 670th mechanized infantry brigade), 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 utilized the terrain (and the IFF problem also contributed) to infiltrate between the defending IDF tank companies. The Jordanian brigade retreats to Naba As-Sakhr - Tell Al-Hara.

 

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

 

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

 

Not shown on the map:

Iraqi 12th armored brigade has recovered and it's now back at full strength.

Iraqi 6th armored division: the 30th armored brigade has fully arrived to the Golan and it's now 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. The 3rd and 6th armored divisions are the only combat-ready armored divisions in the Iraqi army (another one is in establishment process), and both would eventually be fully deployed to the Golan Heights.

IDF 471st paratroop battalion, of the 317th paratroop brigade, was sent to attack Tell Al-Ahmar Al-Gharbi (off the map), but the operation was aborted before the paratroopers made contact with the Syrians.

IDF 53rd armored battalion, of the revived 188th armored brigade, deploys to Surman (aka Al-Adnaniya, off the map) and engages the Jordanians forces attacking Umm Batna at long range.

Edited by Iarmor
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On the night of October 19th-20th, two Israeli navy Sa'ar 3-class missile boats target a bridge (this one?) over Al-Abrash River with 76 mm gun fire, in order to disrupt the transportation of freshly-delivered arms from the port of Tartous to Damascus.

 

On October 20th, as a payback for the enormous damage caused to the Syrian oil industry by Israeli air and naval strikes and in order to show that Syria is still on its feet, two Syrian AF Su-20s attempt to strike the Haifa refinery. The Syrian bombs don't cause any damage, while one of the Su-20s (the most advanced fighter-bomber in the Syrian AF, of which it has only one squadron) crashes over Nahariya.

 

In the Syrian Enclave, under IDF 7th armored brigade, 36th armored division, the 75th armored battalion CO (the second one, whose predecessor was injured on October 16th) and the 77th armored battalion XO are injured.

On the opposite side, the Syrian Armor Corps surpass 500 combat-ready MBTs again and revive the 1st armored division, as the Syrians are pressing into service hundreds of T-62s shipped to Ladhaqiya by the Soviets. In addition, expeditionary forces from other Arab countries keep flowing towards the Golan. The Iraqi force is now corps-sized, consists of two armored divisions (3th and 6th), in addition to 3 infantry brigades (remember the October 8th promise: 'an army so massive that it will sprawl all the way from Damascus to Baghdad'). The Jordanian force consists of the 3rd armored division, with its 40th and 92nd armored brigades. The 40th armored brigade is reinforced with a tank battalion from the 99th armored brigade to replace its losses so far. Saudi and Kuwaiti forces join in as well.

Relying on these fresh reinforcements, the Syrians plan a major armored offensive for October 21st, pretending to wipe out the Sa'sa' Pocket. However, the Iraqis and Jordanians ask for more time to prepare and the attack is postponed to October 23rd.

 

On October 21st the IDF repel sporadic Syrian and allied Arab assaults. The most noteworthy one is an armored battalion-scale assault (by Saudi troops?) on Tell Maree, repelled by IDF 77th armored battalion (7th armored brigade, 36th armored division).

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, under the command of the 252nd armored division.

Under IDF 679th armored brigade, the 289th armored battalion CO (the fourth one, who was injured on October 12th) escapes hospital and returns to command his battalion.

 

In the morning of October 22nd, after a long night battle, the IDF finally recapture Mount Hermon.

The Israeli Hermon Stronghold 102, which was captured by the Syrians in the first day of the war, is taken back by IDF 1st infantry brigade (51st and 17th infantry battalions) with heavy losses (much by friendly artillery fire). The 1st infantry brigade CO, 51st infantry battalion CO and 74th armored battalion XO are among the injured. The 74th battalion XO lead 6 Shot Cals attached to the 1st infantry brigade and all their TCs were hit by Syrian sniper rifle.

At the same time, IDF 317th paratroop brigade (471st and 567th battalions) captures the Syrian Hermon strongholds and the Hermon summit with light losses in a heliborne (CH-53) operation.

 

On October 23rd, IAF F-4s strike the Homs refinery and oil tanks. The Syrians lose 9 of the MiG-21s they scrambled to intercept the F-4s.

IDF 12th infantry battalion XO (of the 1st infantry brigade) is killed by Syrian artillery fire at Mazra'at Beit Jinn. 188th armored brigade forces are deployed to the Syrian Enclave for the first time, replacing the 77th armored battalion (of the 7th armored brigade) in the Tell Maree - Tell Fatma - Tell Al-Arus area.

The major Arab armies armored offensive, planned for October 23rd with the goal of wiping out the Sa'sa' Pocket, is aborted by the Syrian president because of the acceptance of the ceasefire by Egypt.

 

On the night of October 23rd-24th, four Israeli navy Sa'ar 3-class missile boats hit the Banias oil tanks with 76 mm gun fire. The Syrians unsuccessfully return fire with Styx missiles, radar-guided coastal guns and even MBTs. The engagement between Israeli boats and Syrian MBTs illustrates the Israeli navy success in making the Syrians keep significant ground forces (notably the 62nd independent mechanized infantry brigade) deployed along the coastline, away from the Golan, in defense against an allegedly-upcoming Israeli beach landing operation. 

On the same night, the IDF 270th independent rocket artillery battalion returns from the Sinai to the Golan Heights, where there are still some unfired 240 mm rockets left.

 

On October 24th, shortly before the ceasefire, the IDF use TOW missiles in combat for the first time, just 8 days after the first ones were supplied under Operation Nickel Grass. 13 missiles are launched at entrenched Syrian tanks near Tell Al-Ahmar Al-Gharbi (the western Tell Kudna). 6 tanks are hit, but only one of them burns.

Ceasefire lines, October 24th:

 

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Israeli army:

 

Northern Enclave sector: 36th armored division at Beit Jinn springs - Mazra'at Beit Jinn (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.

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

At the rear: 210th armored division near Alyqa.

 

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

 

Syrian and allied Arab armies:

 

Syrian 65th armored brigade (of 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 Ayn Dhakar and Tasil, west of Tell Jumu.

 

Total: 1125 MBTs (755 at the frontline), 68 medium artillery batteries, 27 field artillery batteries.

 

 

MBT fleet diagram - Golan Heights theater:

 

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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 MBTs are near Damascus).

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

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

 

 

A Soviet medium SAM brigade, equipped with SA-6, is deployed around Damascus.

The Iraqis, who are upset with the Syrians for accepting the ceasefire, send their forces back 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 1973. They play an important role in reviving 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, a few days after the ceasefire, the 179th armored brigade leaves Egypt and its HQ returns to northern Israel (while the 96th armored battalion is detached from it and becomes the first IDF T-62 battalion). OTOH, in early November the 146th armored division is sent to the Sinai, with its 205th armored and 670th mechanized infantry brigades, 213th artillery regiment and 288th armored reconnaissance battalion. In March 1974, following disengagement agreement between Israel and Egypt, the 146th armored division redeploys again to northern Israel (attached with the 164th armored brigade, which originally belonged to the 210th armored division, but had spent the war under the 252nd armored division in the Egyptian theater).

The revived 188th armored brigade is composed of the 53rd (revived), 74th (a new one, since the original 74th is reflagged as the 82nd) and 71st battalions, whereas the 7th armored brigade is composed of the 82nd (74th reflagged), 77th and 75th battalions. As to the reserve forces, the 179th armored brigade revives its 266th battalion (based on TF Nati), gets back its 278th (from the 9th mechanized infantry brigade) and also gets the 39th (from the 4th mechanized infantry brigade, but originally belonged to the 188th armored brigade). The 679th armored brigade revives its 57th battalion.

1066 captured enemy MBTs (mostly Syrian, but also a few Iraqi and Jordanian) are salvaged by the IDF from the Golan battlefields, including 180 T-62s. 400 of them (80 T-62s) are recoverable. Several T-54/55/62 formations are established in the southern and central Israel, whereas the Northern Command will be attached with a Tiran brigade only as late as 1976.

Two Soviet-made S-23 180 mm guns, captured from the Egyptian 3rd field army positions west of the Suez Canal, are pressed into service with the IDF artillery in the Golan in order to bolster the threat on the Damascus vicinity, as the S-23 gun has longer max range than the US-made M107 175 mm gun. However, only 10 shells were captured and one of them is fired during training.

 

Skirmishes occur frequently, most intensively between March and May, especially on Mount Hermon (a favorite target for the Syrian 240 mm mortars). Known as the 'Post-War Attrition' or as the 'Attrition War in the Syrian Enclave', these skirmishes include tank and ATGM fire, commando raids and airstrikes, but mostly artillery fire. One of the first post-ceasefire IDF casualties is the new 188th armored brigade CO, Dan Vardi, who is injured on October 26th, when his jeep is destroyed by a landmine, and replaced by Amos Katz. The notable new weapon system that takes part in the battles is the MiG-23, accepted into Syrian AF service in the spring of 1974.

The parties disengage in June 1974, following an agreement signed in Geneva on May 31st.

Edited by Iarmor
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Haim Danon, who served in the reserve 679th armored brigade (Shot Meteor MBTs) during the war, at first as the 57th battalion XO and later as the 93rd battalion CO, describes his war experience 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 Shiphon (aka Tell Abu Khanzir), which observes the brigade's battlefield during October 7th-10th.  

Edited by Iarmor
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