A Dramatic Challenge to Operational Theory: The Sinai Campaign, October 1973.
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MILITARY STUDIES
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This document analyzes the 1973 Sinai Campaign in light of the theoretical implications that this historical model has to offer the professional soldier. Following a chronological format, this paper discusses the major elements of the planning and conduct of the campaign. The major theoretical propositions that evolve from the analysis of the Sinai Campaign are instructive in the study of the operational level of war. The pivotal relationship of means, ways, and ends form the foundation of this study. Both the Egyptians and the Israelis discovered the importance of this relationship at various times during the campaign. The ability of the Israelis to seize the concept and remain oriented on it was a key factor in their success. Similarly, the superiority of the defense was challenged in the Sinai. The Israeli superiority in maneuver was initially overcome by the Egyptian formulation and execution of a plan which placed the IDF in a battle of attrition. After their success on the defensive, however, the Egyptians proceeded to exceed their culminating point with an aboritve attack on 14 October. That mistake hastened the Israeli assumption of the initiative, and spelled the end of the superiority of the defense in this campaign. This monograph suggests that the defense can only be superior for limited periods of time in modern war--and even then under specific circumstances.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics