Accession Number:

AD1116890

Title:

Key to the Sinai: The Battles for Abu Ageila in the 1956 and 1967 Arab-Israeli Wars

Personal Author(s):

Corporate Author:

ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLLEGE FORT LEAVENWORTH KS FORT LEAVENWORTH United States

Report Date:

1990-01-01

Abstract:

Between the 1956 and 1967 wars, the Israel Defense Forces IDF underwent a professionalization and maturation that culminated in the brilliant victory of the Six Day War. In 1956, the IDF had failed to defeat decisively the Egyptian Army in battle the Egyptians withdrew from the Sinai only after the British and French had commenced their bombardment of Egyptian airfields in support of Israeli operations. Eleven years later, however, the Israelis single-handedly defeated the combined armed forces of Egypt, Jordan, and Syria on three fronts. With the Israeli occupation of the Sinai, Gaza Strip, West Bank, and Golan Heights, Israel increased its size fourfold. In terms of maneuver warfare and deep operations, the most impressive victory occurred on the Sinai front in 1967. There, in only four days, the Israelis defeated an Egyptian force of 100,000 men and 900 tanks by employing a detailed plan based on the synchronization of division and brigade operations. This study analyzes the reasons behind the stunning Israeli success in the Sinai by focusing on the 1956 and 1967 battles of Abu Ageila. Although scrutiny of these two battles fails to explain everything, a critical analysis of them does provide new insights concerning the IDFs preparedness, operational planning, and tactical execution in each conflict. In both wars, Abu Ageila constituted the key Egyptian defensive position in the eastern Sinai. The Israelis experienced numerous problems at Abu Ageila in the 1956 Sinai campaign and after four days abandoned their assault. Based in part on lessons derived from the 1956 experience, the IDF made numerous changes during the interwar years that led to a dramatically different outcome in 1967. In the second war, the Israelis seized Abu Ageila in less than twenty-four hours in an exemplary night operation that employed combined arms.

Descriptive Note:

Technical Report

Supplementary Note:

01 Jan 0001, 01 Jan 0001, DTIC Crawl

Pages:

0150

Communities Of Interest:

Distribution Statement:

Approved For Public Release;

File Size:

31.88MB