9 Тамуза 5784 г., второй день недели, гл. Балак

The miracles of the Yom Kippur War are greater than the miracles of the Six Day War

In the southern and central Golan about 60 Israeli tanks of the Barak Brigade, with little or no air support, had to stand in front of the steel assaults from over 700 Syrian tanks!

21.12.2022 607 (0)
The miracles of the Yom Kippur War are greater than the miracles of the Six Day War
Tank from the Yom Kippur War

As we know, the Lubavitcher Rebbe King Moshiach, speaking of the Yom Kippur War, pointed out at the very outset of the battles that the miracles of this war would be greater than those that occurred in the Six Day War.

At first glance, it seems unclear why he found these miracles so great. After all, we know that the Yom Kippur War proved to be very difficult. The people of Israel had to face one of the most serious threats in their history, when our army was caught by surprise and forced to fight against the superior forces of the powerful Arab armies, who succeeded in their “deceptive maneuver” and attacked when it was convenient for them, on the conditions they chose.

But as we go deeper into the data, the reports of the soldiers and commanders and the army research (as well as the American investigations — we will talk more about them later), we realize the seriousness of the threat the people of Israel were able to avoid, the heroism and the courage displayed by our soldiers and the scope of the divine miracles that saved our lives.

Unprecedented force ratios

According to an official IDF survey (a copy of which is also in my hands), on the starting point of the war there were only about 200 Israeli infantrymen (without any anti-tank weapons) deployed over the entire Golan Heights. At the same time against them were concentrated enormous forces of six Syrian infantry brigades, reinforced by Special Forces units, anti-tank units and top field reconnaissance units — a total of about 10,000 fighters. In other words, the ratio of Israeli to Syrian forces was one to fifty!

In other areas, the ratios were by no means lower. Against 44 Israeli artillery pieces, the Syrians deployed about 1000 cannons and rocket launchers!

At 1:55 p.m., Syria began the war with a massive artillery missile strike, bringing massive explosions — some 25,000 shells — down on the Golan Heights. At the same time, 132 Syrian bombers invaded Israeli airspace, heavily hammering the observation posts (Tel Nida, Tel Fares, etc.) as well as the command centers of the Israeli army.

The unexpectedness of their attack meant that the IAF planes did not have time to engage at all and therefore were unable to catch any Syrian fighters in these bombing runs (only one Syrian plane was shot down as it was returning back to Syria after finishing the bombing mission).

Actually, most of the Israeli warplanes were in the process of unloading the weapons installed on them at that moment for a “preventive attack” — a preventive strike against the Arab armies that the Chief of General Staff, David “Dado” Elazar, was desperately asking for permission to conduct.

However, despite reliable information already coming from Mossad sources about the imminent war that was about to begin, Prime Minister Golda Meir and Defense Minister Moshe Dayan did not allow Elazar to carry out this pre-emptive airstrike. As a result, the airstrike was cancelled, and most of the planes, as mentioned above, were in the process of unloading bombs and changing their configuration when the sirens going off announcing the outbreak of war went off.

This resulted in most of the Israeli fighters being essentially neutralized at the critical moment of the hostilities, and as a result, the Syrian airstrike was virtually uninterrupted.

For many years the Lubavitcher Rebbe King Moshiach SHLITA has been sorely hurt by the fact that the political elite did not allow the IDF and the Air Force to attack first, for fears of “what America would say”.

Eventually, numerous discussions that took place in the cabinet and government at the relevant time were declassified and published. In addition, many high-ranking military and government officials also made statements on this topic in media interviews to one extent or another. From what we now know, it is clear that the Israeli political elite was indeed afraid of “what other nations would say”. As a result, the Israeli government chose instead to let the army “take the first casualties” instead of allowing the army be the first to attack the enemy. In total defiance of all logic, all doctrine of war, and what our tradition teaches us: “If someone is coming to kill you, rise against him and kill him first.”

Even worse, the political leaders delayed the mobilization of the reservists. At first Defense Minister Dayan allowed to mobilize only two divisions, while the Chief of General Staff, Elazar, demanded a complete mobilization of the reserves. Eventually a “compromise” was reached to mobilize four divisions and the entire air force.

An official study in the IDF (History of the Yom Kippur War, Elhanan Oren, IDF — History Department, p. 105) shows that Dayan’s refusal to allow full mobilization of the reserves before the war actually led to several hours of delay in the beginning of the war, which ended up with a huge casualties for Israel.

It is clear that the delay in calling up the reservists resulted in the fact that they were able to arrive to the battlefront after hours of delay.

As I wrote above, the Rebbe mentions in many of his speeches the fact that the political government rejected a preventive strike against the enemy and the prompt full mobilization of the reservists.

Rebbe King Moshiach SHLITA teaches us a very important lesson from this fact: the people of Israel must not rely on "what other nations will say. In matters of security, one should listen only to the military experts and specialists who are directly responsible for this sphere to which they are entitled at the moment (and not to what certain government officials and politicians think, even if they have held senior military positions in the past). Therefore, also, when it comes to the integrity of the Land of Israel, security considerations must prevail over any political interests.

A Vicious Attack in the Depths of the Golan Heights

Just a few hours after the fighting began, the Syrians occupied the Israeli outpost at Hermon, seriously harming Israel’s intelligence capabilities.

The 188th Barak (Heb. “Lightning”) Armored Brigade was in charge of the southern part of the Golan Heights and the 7th Saar-e-Golan (Heb. “Storm of the Golan”) Armored Brigade in the north, which had to fight the hardest battles, which were later called the Battle of the Valley of Tears. The tremendous heroism of a small group of regular soldiers confronted the fierce attack of hundreds of Syrian tanks there.

In the southern and central Golan about 60 Israeli tanks of the Barak Brigade, with little or no air support, had to stand in front of the steel assaults from over 700 Syrian tanks!

Because of the dedication of the fighters and the miraculous help of the Almighty`s personal guidance, they managed to hold back most of them. Most of the Syrian armored vehicles that attacked in the first wave were damaged (they were all tank battalions attached to each of the infantry brigades that attacked in the assault).

By evening, however, the Syrians had thrown a “second echelon” of troops into the south-central part of the plateau. They included four new and fresh brigades: the 132nd Mechanized Brigade and three additional armored brigades (43rd, 46th and 51st) with about 330 tanks. All this against a minuscule number of no more than 20-30 Israeli tanks in service remaining at that time in this part of the front!

In the meantime, some of the Israeli tanks were already running out of ammunition. The tank operators inside were exhausted from the long and hard fighting with the superior Syrian forces from the first wave. Now they had to regroup their remaining troops in order to hold back the advancing Syrian units that were threatening to breach their defenses and overwhelm the cities in the north of Israel.

Over the next few hours, the already devastating imbalance of forces intensified further.

In the morning, the Syrian forces assaulting the southern plateau were joined by a brutal 1st Armored Division, and with it the separate 47th Brigade with about 330 additional tanks!

The Syrians breached into the central headquarters

As the battle progressed the Syrians were able to break through the defense lines in the south and center of the plateau and even made it close to the central headquarters of the Israel Defense Forces command in the Golan Heights, located at the Nafah junction. The senior commanders there, considering the threat of being captured by the Syrians, were forced to evacuate as quickly as possible.

In a desperate battle with large Syrian groups attacking the central headquarters, three senior commanders of the 188th Brigade responsible for defending the area, Brigade Commander Colonel Yitzhak Ben-Shoham, his Deputy Lieutenant Colonel David Israeli and Brigade Chief of Operations Staff Major Beni Katsin died, may the Almighty vengeance for their blood.

In the morning, in the face of the imminent threat of a Syrian occupation of the plateau, the General Staff command ordered all Israeli army bases and headquarters in the Golan Heights to destroy all the classified equipment in their possession (maps, encryptions, etc.).

Defense Minister Dayan, realizing the severity of the situation, ordered immediate preparations to destroy the bridges over the Jordan. Dayan feared that the Syrian units were going to capture these bridges, which, may not be allowed by the Almighty, would give the Syrian army an easy opportunity to rush into the northern part of the country.

In desperation, he also ordered Air Force commander Major General Beni Peled to take measures to “prevent the destruction of the Third Temple”. The Air Force has trained many pilots for kamikaze actions against Syrian armored vehicles. Meanwhile, many Israeli planes have already been damaged by Syrian anti-aircraft fire.

One way or another, the Syrian invasion of the southern Golan Plateau was not stopped. Large enemy forces continued to penetrate into the area.

Only for a reason that still remains unclear (and is still the subject of much debate and research) the Syrian army stopped and stood at rest, without taking advantage of its apparent success and without pressing forward to the Jordan River and the cities of the Israeli north.

The 132nd Brigade, for example, invaded the south of the plateau as early as 9:00 PM and, meeting no resistance, entered the area of Tel-a-Saki, and then stopped, remaining there, according to an official IDF study (p. 144) until morning!

The 46th Brigade, in turn, also entered the southern Golan Heights in the evening and destroyed two Israeli artillery batteries and all their personnel, may the Almighty avenge their blood. The brigade was also able to move forward freely but remained in position for many hours and only in the morning clashed with the newly arrived Israeli army reserves, the 179th Ra’am Brigade (Hebrew: Thunder), the “quick reserve” brigade, whose tanks rushed into action to eliminate the Syrians.

According to the official IDF study (page 160), the 46th Armored Brigade intended to take the Arik bridge, a canopy bridge over the Jordan River north of Lake Kinneret, named after Lieutenant Aryeh Shamir, killed in a submarine exercise nearby in 1970), cross it and spread out to the west of the bridge. In the early morning its front-line units clashed with the 96th Battalion of the 179th Brigade. By 10 a.m. the battalion had already clashed with the main forces of the 46th Brigade, taking heavy casualties and forcing them to retreat.

As mentioned above, although the Syrian forces had already breached the plateau during the night and managed to fight a number of successful battles that same night, they stayed in their positions and did not move towards the bridges over the Jordan River or down to Lake Kinneret via Gamla. Only this fact enabled the reserve forces to reach the Golan Heights in time to engage them.

The same thing happened with the 51st and 43rd Armored Brigades, who stood their ground and did not break through to their predetermined objective, the Bnot Yaacov Bridge (the Bridge of the Daughters of Yaacov, one of the main bridges across the Jordan to the north of Lake Kinneret).

The Syrian armored units that had infiltrated the southern Golan Heights as early as this morning: the 1st Division and a separate 47th Brigade also arrived.

This brigade breached the border with Israel around 9am, no longer detained by any units after the defeat of the Israeli forces in the southern plateau.

According to an IDF study (p. 160), it was around 3 p.m. that the first Sherman tanks, along with the Centurion Shots of the Oded 9th Reserves Brigade (named after the nickname of its first commander, Uri Yafe) clashed with the 47th Brigade’s Syrian tanks, just 7 km from Lake Kinneret!

With the Israeli reserve forces entering the battle in the morning and at noon, the battle went into full action, as mentioned above, both in the south and in the center of the plateau (which until then had remained almost free of Israeli forces).

On the thirteenth of the month of Tishrei (October 10) there was a breakthrough at the Syrian front that began with the success of a large Israeli counterattack, relying mainly on the reserve forces who arrived at the front gradually, often unarmed and without proper equipment, with many technical malfunctions, but with a selfless commitment to give their lives for the people of Israel.

Significantly, the thirteenth day of the month of Tishrei, on which the aforementioned turning point on the northern front of the war occurred, is the anniversary of the death of Rebbe MAARASH, Rabbi Shmuel Schneerson (the fourth Rebbe in the holy dynasty), author of the famous Hasidic expression “l’chatchila ariber” (Yiddish, “leap over it in the first place”), meaning in every situation jump over a problem almost as if it never existed in the first place to the main goal, without regard to difficulties.

Why did the Syrians not enter Lake Kinneret?

There is still no definite answer to this question. Some argue that the Syrians didn’t even plan it. But it is a fundamental principle of warfare to consolidate and exploit success, so the Syrian army that broke through Israel’s defense system in the southern Golan had to take advantage of their success and advance, God forbid, much further.

Furthermore, the official IDF study, based on trophy maps, shows detailed Syrian plans that included occupying the bridges over the Jordan and breaking through to Lake Kinneret. These plans were also practiced by the Syrian army in exercises even before the Yom Kippur war, which proves that the Syrians had the intention to capture the bridges over the Jordan River and Lake Kinneret. Similarly, the confiscated operational orders of the Syrian brigades clearly prove that those were their plans.

The claim that the Syrians “ran out of fuel” is also fundamentally false, as the Syrians have thrown many hundreds of fresh tanks, with plentiful fuel and ammunition, into battle both at night and in the morning.

And our air force didn’t stop the Syrians either. The fact is that despite the airstrikes, the Syrians continued their assaults and deployments in both southern and central Golan Heights. Moreover, they were still able to press forward and break through even further because of the heavy and effective support provided by the mobile batteries of SA-6 SAMs (“Kub” Soviet-made SAMs) that followed the Syrian troops.

It is worth mentioning that this modern Soviet weapon was practically unknown to our Air Force before the war. Therefore our air force also had no effective means of defeating it.

A very interesting and already declassified study conducted by the U.S. Air Force clearly shows (p. 85) that the damage done by our Air Force to Syrian armored vehicles was extremely minor. U.S. experts examined 435 enemy tanks abandoned in Israel. Only three of them were reliably confirmed to have been hit from the air!

In the past, this American study was classified as “top secret,” but the secrecy was removed a few years ago. It is now available for public scrutiny: WSEG REPORT 249 (the date of publication of the study was October 1974).

Similarly, the reserve forces arriving on the front line, little by little, could not have stopped the Syrians if they had broken through with all their forces. To summarize, it is quite clear that the reservist forces were not able to stop the the Syrian brigades.

Unbelievable miracles in the southern front as well

A similar issue occurs with the events on the southern front, where 450 of our fighters, dispersed on the fortification line, confronted an assault of about 90,000 Egyptian fighters. In other words, the ratio of forces there was 1 to 200 to the advantage of our enemies!

On the very first day of fighting our army lost about 200 tanks (out of about 300) on the Sinai front. Hence the Egyptian armored vehicles could easily break through, supported by the same Soviet mobile SAMs SA-6 because the reserve units of the Southern Command had just started mobilization and were still far away from Sinai.

Yet the Egyptian army, similarly, had stopped on its own and was not pressing forward...

All of this only confirms to us the words of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, King Moshiach SHLITA, that the great miracles of this war were even greater than those of the Six Day War. In fact, the ratio of our forces to the enemy forces in this war was much lower, the war itself began suddenly for us and the reserve forces were not mobilized (in contrast to how it was in the Six Day War).

But here’s the miracle: when the small regular forces of our army were essentially defeated and there was virtually no one to stop the enemy, suddenly, the enemy stopped on his own...

In other words:

In the Six-Day War, the miracle was the victory of the few over the many. In the Yom Kippur War, the miracle was even greater: when there was nothing left of the few, may the Almighty have mercy on us, as the front was broken through, the enemy was stopped... by himself...

Could we see the wonders and mercy of the Almighty in this situation, revealed to us for the sake of his people Israel!

The crucial moment on the Egyptian front was the successful operation by our army to penetrate deep into Egyptian territory, which began on the 20th day of the month of Tishrei.

Also worth pointing out that this day is also associated with the Rebbe MAARASH. On this particular day, Rebbe MAARASH — Rabbi Shmuel — is the Hasidic guest at the holiday sukkah. Let me remind you, as the Chabad leaders explained to us, that on each day of Sukkot, along with the traditional guests (ushpizin) who visit each sukkah of the people of Israel: Abraham, Yitzchak, Yaakov, Moshe, Aharon, Yosef and David, the Hasidic leaders also come: Yisrael Baal-Shem-Tov, the founder of Hasidism; Rabbi Dov-Ber of Mezhirich (the Great Magid), the successor of Baal-Shem-Tov and the second leader of the Hasidic movement; Rabbi Schneur-Zalman of Liad (the Alter Rebbe), the head of the Chabad movement and author of the fundamental book Tanya; Miteler Rebbe (Rabbi Dov-Ber Schneuri), son of Rabbi Schneur-Zalman of Liad and the second leader of the Chabad movement; Tzemach Tzedek (Rabbi Menachem-Mendel Schneerson), the 3rd Lubavitcher Rebbe; Rebbe MAARASH (Rabbi Shmuel Schneerson) — son of Tzemach Tzedek, the 4th Lubavitcher Rebbe; Rebbe RASHAB (Rabbi Sholom Dov-Ber Schneerson) — son of MAARASH, the 5th Lubavitcher Rebbe.

It was on the seventh day of the holiday week of Sukkot, the special and blessed day of the month of Tishrei, when the successful operation led to the defeat of the Egyptian invasion and the starting of the Yom Kippur War end.

When we look at the miracles of today, from the perspective of the age of Redemption, we see that they are even more impressive and majestic! As a result, now are our haters on many different fronts fighting hard against each other and defeating each other in the many revolutions that have been taking place around our land in recent years...

“Bless the Almighty, for His everlasting goodness and mercy!”

Translated by D. Bilyayev From Чудеса войны Судного дня

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