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1973 Arab-Israeli War: The New Character of Warfare

Descriptive Note:

Technical Report,25 Jun 2018,23 May 2019

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Army School of Advanced Military Studies FORT LEAVENWORTH United States

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The 1973 Arab-Israeli War shocked Israel, and shattered the perception of Israeli military dominance in the region while revealing gaping holes in Israeli war plans. The problems with sustainment of Israeli forces exposed many such gaps between what was expected and what happened. While initially these shortfalls may have appeared to be symptoms of unpreparedness, Israel had actually prepared to fight the last war again. Israel found itself in a new type of warfare, and unknowingly at the time, would have to abandon lessons learned in the Six-Day War of 1967 to counter the new tactics, equipment, speed, accuracy and lethality of the Egyptian and Syrian coalition. These new conditions on the battlefield put new demands on the Israeli supply system causing shortfalls to emerge in capability and capacity. These shortfalls created a twofold response from the United States during and after the war. The first, Operation Nickel Grass, the strategic airlift that saved Israel, signaled the change in how Israel would have to address the new conditions on the battlefield. The second was the cognitive impacts the 1973 Arab-Israeli War had on the United States which significantly impacted doctrine development during the first year of TRADOC, and led to the doctrinal renaissance known as AirLand Battle.

Subject Categories:

  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics
  • Military Forces and Organizations

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