28 Iyar (May 22) Israel celebrates 42nd anniversary of the victory in the Six Day War. This war, which ended in total defeat of the armies of seven Arab countries that supported and armed the Soviet Union, was a turning point in the history of the State of Israel, and had a significant impact on the course of events in the world over the next decades.
The Six Day War of 1967. Israeli tankers
Exploration Golani Brigade
Events leading up to the war, developed rapidly. Arab countries, believed in his great numerical superiority and received arms from the Soviet Union in the tens of billions of dollars in earnest hope with the support of the Soviet Union to destroy the Jewish state. USSR openly provoke the Arabs to unleash aggression against Israel, hoping thus to establish its hegemony over the strategically important Middle East.
The turning point on the way to the Six Day War took place 11 May 1967. when Russian representatives handed over to the Egyptians fabricated in Moscow for allegedly preparing a fake Israeli large-scale war. The Russian fabricated "documents" to assert that IDF troops concentrated on the northern border with the aim of overthrowing the ruling regime in Syria.
The Israeli government immediately denied this fake provocative, proposing to the Soviet ambassador in Israel to see for myself the lack of Israeli troops on the Syrian border. However, the Soviet ambassador D. Chuvakin rejected the proposal.
Eugene Pyrlin, in those days the head of the Egyptian department of the Soviet Foreign Ministry, later explained the Soviet action: "We then thought that even if our party - the Egyptians - will not win the war will give us the political benefits, because the Egyptians demonstrate their ability to fight with our weapons and our military and political support ».
The Arabs used the fake Russian as a basis for the transfer of Egyptian troops in the Sinai Peninsula, which Egypt gave direct access to the Israeli border, and, last but not least - to the Straits of Tiran, leading to the Israeli port of Eilat.
This was a flagrant violation of the UN resolutions, announce the Sinai Peninsula demilitarized zone in which the units were placed only UN forces.
Egypt demanded the withdrawal of UN forces from the Sinai, which was immediately executed under Soviet pressure on the UN Security Council: UN Secretary-General U Thant was suddenly ordered to remove UN forces from Sinai, thus opening the way to the Arab armies to the borders of Israel.
In fact, Russian strongly encouraged Arabs to unleash a "hot" war against Israel.
May 14 columns of the Egyptian infantry and armored vehicles crossed the Suez Canal and occupied the Sinai Peninsula, blocking the Straits of Tiran to Israeli shipping. This was an unprovoked act of war announcements Israel.
The UN began feverish consultations, but the Russian representative Nikolai Fedorenko opposed any proposal to lift the blockade. His Canadian and Danish colleagues directly stated Mr. Fedorenko: "One gets the uneasy feeling that the Soviet Union is a game that allows the escalation of the crisis in order to force Israel to act". Soviet Ambassador in Israel Chuvakin in conversations with colleagues predicted the sad fate that awaits the Jewish state.
May 17 followed by a new act of aggression - two Russian MiG Egyptian identification marks flew over Israeli territory - from the east (Jordan) to the west. Their flight was exactly over the Israeli nuclear center at Dimona.
Spy satellites, as well as conventional Soviet intelligence supplied accurate data about the object in Dimona. In light of the fact that the intelligence cooperation between the USSR and Egypt in those years was very close, it is obvious that the Soviet Union gave Egypt the information about the Israeli reactor.
In Moscow, frantically looking for ways to destroy the Israeli nuclear center -perfect "excessive", according to the Soviet rukovodstva.Byvshy head of the Middle East department of the Foreign Ministry, Ambassador at Large Oleg Grinevskiy in an interview, said: "Our investigation is still in the mid-60s possessed reliable information regarding the Israeli nuclear capabilities. There is information that one of the reasons for the outbreak of the Six Day War, Egypt was to strike at Israel before the country will be able to use nuclear weapons. In Egypt, the military plans to Dimona was listed as one of the main objectives ».
May 22 Nasser closed the Tiran to Israeli shipping in the Red Sea Strait that Israel is a "casus belli».
May 26, Egyptian President said "if war breaks out, it will be total and its purpose is the destruction of Israel».
Arabs and Russian already anticipating his victory and massacre of Israelis. By unit, led by Egypt, the Soviet Union was followed by one by one joined Arab countries to send their troops to fight with Israel, Syria, Iraq, Kuwait, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Morocco. May 30 to this unit joined Jordan.
The Arab countries have deployed along Israel's borders, hundreds of thousands of well-equipped troops, 700 combat aircraft and about 2,000 tanks.
USSR concentrated in the Mediterranean Sea for more than 30 surface ships and 10 submarines, including nuclear. Each of the more than 30 Soviet ships were formed assault groups, which according to the plans of the Soviet command had landed on the coast of Israel ...
Now, Israel was surrounded with armies of militant Arab countries and the Soviet Union, ready to strike at the Jewish state.
In Israel, clearly aware of the impending threat. The war on three fronts to become a reality. Only in one of Tel Aviv's expected up to 10 thousand victims of the bombing, under the cemetery were consecrated city squares and parks.
May 23 in the country began a general mobilization: the army was mobilized about 220 thousand people, organized into 21 brigade - 5 armored, mechanized 4, 3 airborne infantry and 9.
Israeli paratroopers. 1967.
Meeting of the General Staff Special Forces officers
IDF included 275 thousand. People, nearly 1,000 tanks, 450 aircraft and 26 warships.
Were created following the shock group of forces: the direction of Sinai (South Front) - 8 teams, 600 tanks and 220 combat aircraft, personnel - 70 thousand. Pers .;
Damascene direction (North Front) - 5 teams, about 100 tanks, 330 artillery pieces, 70 combat aircraft, personnel - about 50 thousand. pers .;
Amman area (Central Front) - 7 teams, 220 tanks and self-propelled guns, 400 artillery pieces, combat aircraft 25, 35 thousand. people. personnel.
Officers discuss intelligence
In the evening on June 1 Israeli defense minister Moshe Dayan was appointed. The purpose of this combat general meant that Israel is ready for all-out war.
Defense Minister Moshe Dayan
Chief of Staff, General Yitzhak Rabin
Air Force Commander, General Mordechai Hod (right)
June 3, 1967 the Israeli Cabinet decided to start the war.
The Six-Day War began June 5, 1967. Israel launched a preemptive strike against the Arab countries partners in the aggression.
The Israeli Air Force attacked a 07.45 on all fronts. Their plan is to capture the absolute air supremacy - in strikes against air bases and destroy all enemy military aircraft on the ground. Destruction of enemy air force fully unleashes the Israeli ground troops, ready to deal a fatal blow for repeatedly quantitatively superior enemy ground forces.
Israeli aircraft attacked enemy ground forces
The Israeli Air Force used a completely new tactical decisions which have become a surprise for the enemy. Instead of flying directly to goal, the first wave of Israeli aircraft flew into the open sea, turned around and at low altitude over the crests of waves came from the west - not from the direction from which the Egyptians waited for the attack.
After the first shock, which was a complete surprise to the Arabs because of their radar and communications have been blinded by Israeli planes returned to their airfields to refuel and re-suspension of arms and went into battle. Less than two days later, with a fairly small number of aircraft, the Israeli Air Force carried out about 1,100 sorties, many pilots made 8 - 10 departures a day.
Destroying 300 of 320 Egyptian planes, the Israelis immediately moved to crush the Air Force other Arab states. After crushing blows Force Iraq, Jordan and Syria have also been destroyed. In aerial combat, Israeli pilots shot down more enemy aircraft sixty.
Colonel Rafael Eitan-Marine (later beg. Of the General Staff) and General Yisrael Tal tanker (future creator of the tank 'Merkava »)
On the morning of June 5 ships of the Israeli Navy made a demonstrative attacks Alexandria and Port Said. Attack Israeli warships, complementing continuous air strikes, achieved one important goal: the shelling was prevented Tel Aviv from the sea missiles with a range of 35 miles, equipped with a 1000-pound warhead. These missiles were equipped with 18 Russian missile boats passed to the Soviet Union to Egypt. The next morning, June 6, the Arabs, in fear of an Israeli attack, hastily withdrawn its fleet from Port Said to Alexandria, and Tel Aviv was out of reach of missiles.
After the capture of the air, the IDF ground operation began. The Six Day War of 1967 was the real triumph of Israeli armored forces.
For the first time, Israeli armored units operate simultaneously on three fronts. They were opposed by vastly superior forces of the seven Arab states, but it did not save the Arabs from total defeat.
On the southern front blow was struck by three armored divisions of generals Tal, Sharon and Yoffe. The offensive, dubbed "The march through the Sinai," Israeli armored units, interacting with the aircraft, motorized infantry and paratroopers made a lightning-fast break defense marched through the desert, surrounded by destroying groups of Arabs. First paratroops brigade rushed to the city of Sharm el-Sheikh on the Red Sea. The Suez Canal paratroopers came first, ahead of the tank.
On the northern front of the Airborne Brigade stormed the enemy's fortifications on Mount Hermon and ensured the capture of the Golan Heights. In rugged mountain trails 36 advancing Panzer General Peled, which after three days of fierce fighting came to the outskirts of Damascus.
On the eastern front, heavy fighting took place over east Jerusalem. Marines under Colonel Mota Gur had to overcome fierce resistance from enemy melee went house by house.
Fight in Jerusalem
The situation is complicated by the ban on the use of command in combat heavy machinery, so as not to cause damage to religious sites in Jerusalem. Finally, June 7 blue and white flag with the Star of David was hoisted over the Temple Mount and Colonel Hur said on the radio speech, included in the history of Israel: "The Temple Mount - in our hands! Again, we took the Temple Mount! I stand near the mosque of Omar, at the very walls of the church! ».
Paratroopers at the Western Wall of the Temple
By 12 June 1967. the active phase of the fighting was over. IDF won a landslide victory over the forces of Egypt, Syria and Jordan. Israeli forces captured the entire Sinai Peninsula (with access to the east coast of the Suez Canal) and the Gaza Strip from Egypt, the West Bank and the eastern sector of Jerusalem from Jordan and the Golan Heights from Syria. Under Israeli control was the territory of 70 thousand square meters. km with a population of more than 1 million people.
Generals Dayan, Rabin and Ze'evi (Gandhi) liberated the Old City of Jerusalem
Arab losses during 6 days of fighting, according to the British Institute of Strategic Studies, totaled 70 thousand. People. killed, wounded and prisoners, 1,200 tanks (mostly Russian production)
Losses Arabs were disastrous. Of the available 935 tanks in the Sinai to the outbreak of hostilities Egypt lost more than 820: 291 T-54, T-82 55 251 T-34-85, 72 IS-3M, 51 SC 100, 29, PT-76, and about 50 "Sherman" and the M4 / FL10., more than 2,500 armored personnel carriers and trucks, over 1,000 artillery pieces.
100 tanks were captured in good repair and unspent ammunition and about 200 - with minor injuries.
The loss of the Air Force of the Arab countries amounted to more than 400 combat aircraft:
MiG-21 - 140 MIG-19 - 20, MiG-15/17 - 110, Tu-16 - 34, Il-28 - 29, Su-7 - 10, AN-12 - 8, IL-14 - 24, MI-4 - 4 MI-6 - 8, Hunter -30
About 90% of the military equipment of the enemy, often quite serviceable, all stocks of ammunition, fuel, equipment, generously comes USSR Arabs - all went to Israel as trophies.
The Six Day War was not a casual impromptu implemented due to the current external threats to the Jewish state. Preparation and planning ambitious military operation, implemented during the Six Day War, was carried out by the General Staff of the IDF over the years.
On the eve of war, Deputy Chief of General Staff Haim Barley with a soldier's directness expressed his opinion on the progress of military operations: "We ... you Boehm their (Arabs and Russian), strong, fast and elegant." Forecast General was fully realized.
"Father," Planning the Six Day War was the chief of operations of the General Staff in the 50th years. Major-General Yuval Ne'eman, a person undoubtedly a genius - along with a brilliant military career, he is a world-renowned theoretical physicist whose research in elementary particle physics brought him a number of prestigious awards and nearly secured him the Nobel Prize in physics. (Physicist Yuval Neeman opened omega-minus particle, but the Nobel committee rejected his candidacy, apparently because of his rank of general)
Israeli Air Force Commander, General Mordechai Hod said then: "Sixteen years of planning reflected in these exciting eighty hours. We lived it up, we went to sleep and eating, thinking about it. Finally, we did it ».
Israel's victory in the Six Day War in the years ahead determined the course of events in the world and in the Middle East, finally destroyed the hopes of the Arabs and their Russian allies in the destruction of the Jewish state