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But you can imagine flying along in Jeff's course at. Subsonic speed because. For a lot of. These these fighter bombers simply cannot go more than around 700 800 hours an hour. But even SOL. After they made this shark run across the Mediterranean and then started on this. Southwest course. And they came to the coast and started over the coast. They figured that once they began motion across the Gyptian interior there would be an arm. There was no none whatsoever. So far as they were could determine there was no response whatsoever of the enemy to their presence. The second math. Is that the Israelis had a
secret weapon. This I've seen in the New York Times in the London Times that the execution worked on these planes and the ground was so perfect that it had to be a secret weapon some kind of a weapon that home toward the engine of an enemy plane. As if it was magnetized Well of course it's I don't nonsense. They had no secret weapon. The execution was rock throughout with 30 millimeter cannon firing at 400 to 500 feet altitude. I am for size that point because. The Franks had stripped the cannon from these guns and armed them with rockets and with bombs as we do and the Israelis went right back to the primitive I doubt. That the way to knock out. An enemy target is to get with a weapon that is simple and that you got a good chance of
hitting with and so. Hold on to the conviction that all of our modern airpower had become too sophisticated went back to Canon as being the best means of execution. Matter of fact he also took off a French gadget that worked electronics for fixing the target and. Making certain that the the airplane was on the right line moving into target because he discovered that this electronic gadget when you were flying at low level reacted. To radiation from Earth and therefore was inaccurate and he put on a much simpler device which he had designed. And this in connection with the with the cannon did the execution.
What kind of execution is I who am I talking about. Well I'll tell you in 400 and 92 sorties that day that is four hundred ninety two runs by planes. His pilots destroyed 400 and two planes on the ground. And all of this with cannon fire. That's how simple it was. But the whole show was being beat out that way. It was like a watchman punching a clock. And over 745. Hordes pilots scrambled at ONLY hundred. In other words 2:00 a.m. in the United States. General governor the head of the southern command ordered his divisions to attack into Sinai at 0 8 15. All three of these divisions reported that they were already in motion and rolling toward enemy works.
Hard had reckoned it would take the Egyptians two hours to determine what had happened to them. And then react to their situation. Instead it took them four hours. To calculate what would happen to them and react. And all the squalor proclaiming to their allies a great victory over Israel. So it is no wonder that Jordan got sucked in. Not one need Gyptian plane had risen to give battle. All of the Israeli planes that were lost in these strikes were shot down by ground fire. I turn now to the land battle. Under Division were lined up three divisions and two armored brigades which composed less than half. Of the Air Force that they were attacking. Which was leaning on. A
fortified line. Now Grace was not a tanker but an infantry man. The man forty years of age and he had not had a field command in 15 years. This was his first big try at it. General ERIC Sharon. The general commanding the largest division of fire brigades was a paratrooper who had never handled tanks before. My good friend General Abra me offi. Had been in retirement for two years and was working as director of the National Parks of Israel. On the 23rd of May. He got a call from gibberish that the division wanted to see the Southern headquarters of birth Sheba and so you off we went on down there in sports cause I didn't even have a jacket when we got down there he thought it was of being called on for a consultation and
we got down there said get back into uniform I'm going to give you a division. And he was very very much surprised as I would be. Because if. He had he had been an infantry man always live and had never come out of the division and he had never handled tanks before and here he was being given the vision that was solidly armor. General Israel are the third division commander was the only one who had been briefly a tank and his division had the big assignment of the first day to break the front of the segment. He Gyptian division at Rafer on the west end of the Gaza Strip and fight his way through to Ellery. The funny thing about this that on the night of the 4th of June. 10 o'clock that night he changed his plan.
And decided that he was going to throw to but Talons that can Yunus says his opening gambit. Instead of. Starting by crashing or taking the poke at the seventh division line and this thing paid off handsomely for other words he was moving entirely away from his direction of his attack and sending these two battalions NARTH. They want to cross the border they got all the way to Canyons without a shot being fired on him. And halfway to Kern Eunice the commander suddenly hears a voice talking aside excitedly in Arabic and he said to the tank driver What's he saying. And he said the enemy is on it. We see two columns of smoke we got to do something we've got to do sir two columns of dust. We've got to do something. You know what happened. They had nine battalions of artillery around the seventh division position seven of them in a solid cluster
behind the seventh division front. So they started with the artillery and instead of firing at least two tank columns that we're going for can you noticed they opened fire again on the settlements that they had fired on during the night. There was nobody there to talk to tell them to reset the gun. Just C and they kept shelling the settlements for another hour while the tanks came on without one show being fired at. I'm just been pointing out the informal the almost casual way that the Israeli military operate we wouldn't think of doing things this way. Their own division was committed on the central axis out of MIT zine a great West Abigale up and front of him one a half day's march. Lay the fortress of the strongest position in Sinai.
I'll describe it to you. It was an entrenched position that was five miles in depth. Two and a half miles wide. With the southern flank lodged on an impassable ridge line and the northern flank. Lodged on. An impassable doom and impassable River series of dunes The dunes are about 300 feet high. And these trenches there are three separate print systems within it. There were seven battalions of artillery within it. There were a hundred times within it to track the tanks were bunkered along the main road so they could shoot against any armor coming at them. This had all been done under Russian engineers.
Strangely enough I'm got to which has been an important military position since biblical times. Has a series of successive ridges covering the main road as you go through it. But the Russians had disregarded the trenches which the British had built on top of these ridges in years past and it dug their trench systems in the low ground. I cannot understand why. It seems completely futile in a silly way to fortify but looking at this position from the air. One would have said that no commander could sensibly move against that in a frontal attack and Sharon had no intention of doing so by noon time on the 5th of June. Cher owns division advancing in six columns had over run all the Egyptian are POWs
and by mid afternoon it had the fortress under gunfire. And right then Sharon wresting called it off. He did not serve a purpose to attack them guy but I got up in daylight. And he did not propose to send his tanks against it. And where would he offer his division all this time. Division was in the Sadr driving straight westward over the raw desert midway between the two main axes with hollow on the north and sure on the south. He was going 55 miles straight across country over dunes and along Roddy's where nor RORTer no track playing. He could not carry a supply train with him because the going was too rough. Is troops could carry only one meal per man in his tanks to take only a basic love and His objective was
simply a road intersection south of El Arish. The division could get there if its front brigade could get there. It would gather in the pieces of the Egyptian army as they were broken by the columns of shareowner tall. It would also block any enemy move to reinforce toward El-Arish or toward Abigail. In other words this was just. A buffer sent him there to pick up everything that could be picked up or to keep the Egyptians and North Korea from reinforcing toward Sharon's column or vice versa. He would play a dustpan and the others would do the sweeping toward him. By 10:00 a.m. of the second day. Tom had won his battle for LRH and he had the city practically
within his hands. In other words he has won on the northern axis in the first twenty six hours and four hours earlier than that. Six o'clock on the second morning shareowner had completed his mop up of the formidable fortress of I'm God destroying 100 tanks with tidings of artillery and 3000 infantry men in a position that the Russians had declared was impregnable. And he had done it by the most complex plan that I have ever seen in war. I told him when he discussed his plan with me that it looked like an idiot's delight. I said I don't see how any commander could dare do a thing like that especially putting it on at night because he had six separate moves all of which had to be coordinated and if one of them went wrong then the whole thing went wrong. But the essential moves I might tell you the
real haymakers were quite simple. One was an eight mile march. By a brigade of infantry along the shoulders of the dunes which the Egyptians had forgotten all about that men can stagger through sand if they have that much determination. Because just motoring along the dunes they could then swing south and they were inside the fortress and the other more was that he put a battalion of paratroopers down on top of the dunes landing them from helicopters and this battalion of helicopters had just the one mission of going. Taking on the six battalions of artillery and destroying the guns. They got that done quickly. The infantry cleaned up the front line trenches we had then opened up the mine fields the tanks just rolled
and the tank battle was pulled off with these two battles. The Egyptian army and the Arab cause was smashed. The rest was the tail. How do you explain it. Well it was not with great armored sweeps as was reported. And as American tankers like to think of the armored back was maintained. It was done simply by better gunnery. Just as in the hard case that the Israeli attackers took on the Egyptian armor eight hundred twelve hundred yards most of the time. And at this distance they would always get away two or three rounds before the Arabs could start shooting. And those two or three rounds would be enough. Even from an AIM 75 gun at 1000 yards a Stalin tank or a T-55 there with the latest Russian tanks
can be penetrated frontally. And this has proved time and again. During the Sinai battle. Israel simply has the best tank gunners in the world. Another point that I would stress is that not one foxhole is to be fined and found and signed. No word that these troops moved did they do again. They broke the Egyptian army through continuous movement. They made mistakes at point they took hard losses because of those mistakes. But the mistakes did not stop them. I turn now to Jordan. Two nights before. The war began. General Diane was talking to Gen. Marcus who commanded on the central front of Jerusalem
and he said knock us if we get into a war. If you can just keep Jordan if you can just fence with Jordan. Keep Jordan from engaging. You will have done your part. Don't do anything to irritate Jordan. He went on to say that if they start firing at us make sure that this far. Has an aim purpose that it's really true. They're bound to fire some but just take it for all. Peoples out of a war with Jordan and Marcus did his best and that Jerusalem was not reinforced on that morning. In Jordan. Began its heavy far against Israel's positions in the north of the Jordan bulge and in
Jerusalem about nine o'clock in the morning. There was no reply from Israel until 11 o'clock in the morning and that one brigade remained there as the total force Duran defending the roost there was in the bottoms near an airfield or on the coastal plain not far from Tel Aviv a per troop brigade which had been slated for a drop into Sinai. All of that equipment was bundled ready for the drop. It was under the command of a colonel by the name of Gerber. Girl had never seen this brigade before because the paratroopers were all reservists and he was a regular. Three other officers that had come with him to the brigade just five days before that time. And at one o'clock on Monday he got the call that he'd better
come up and look at the situation in Jerusalem. He had gone up because his brigade was the total. National Reserve he had gone up on his own. The preceding Saturday to look at Jerusalem figuring he might be called there and he had been told by Narcos and told by Diane No not by them but by the chief of staff. Oh forget it. There's not going to be any action in Jerusalem so just lay off it and don't bother to bring your staff up here because you're wasting your time. So he went back to his business. There was also in the bottoms. On the coastal plain an armored brigade. This is a group of reservists under an old friend of mine by the name of Colonel Ben Ari. And I'd like to tell you the story about Ben and me than a group of venery was a regular army officer he figures very conspicuously in my book a sign of
Sinai victory which deals with the ninety nine thousand nine hundred fifty six. War and shortly after that war he got in trouble with the army and left the army under a cloud and went into civilian life and became head of a publishing company but was still discredited within the army. And then after the 23rd of May when this crisis arose. And they were wondering Who are we going to get the command this brigade in case it's needed somebody thought of better. And he was given a chance to come back and reestablish his military credit and he got the call at the same time that deserved it that he should bring up his armored brigade because it looked as if there was going to be a full scale fight with Jordan. And his brigade went into action got upped to Jerusalem around not to Jerusalem but to
the mountains to the west of Jerusalem because his job was to crack the mountain a fortified mountain barrier and go straight for Rama. While Girls Brigade wanted him to step in the Jordanian or the Jerusalem brigade. And fight for the old city if need be. And I started to tell you about that brigade having all of its materiel and its weapons in bundles. They left there so quickly that they could not bring their equipment along. And they got to Jerusalem empty handed and the only way that they could get supply. Was to draw on the Jerusalem brigade for equipment and so they went into the attack that night at 2am having postponed it three times. They said of the originally for 11 o'clock and then couldn't get the supply around. They went into the attack at two o'clock.
Talking the police school position the fortified position main Jordanian position in Jerusalem with weapons and equipment that they had never seen before and in the meantime Ben-Ari mixes go with the armor. Against the mountain barrier that anyone looking at it would say would be impossible for armor. And he took this chance with his tanks. He lost a lot of men. He achieved all of his objectives. It was one of the great performances of the war but it was not until noon time of the second day. That Israel at last made up its mind. There's no choice in this matter we've got to go after all of Jordan. They insist upon. I will go in here you stilly into the Syrian matter. The
commander in the north star general or ellys are to Syria so unlikely that as the Jordanians started their attack in the northern part of the West Bank they were shelling the air fields and villages from out of the area around Mongo bar. He stripped his command in the face of the Syrian threat and said these two breast brigades and they fought through to Nablus during the first four days leaving only a brigade and a half to protect the Galilee and collect and protect the WHO about the Syrians made free passes that than on the second day they started more slowly than anyone else. They shelled the settlements for eight days they didn't kill one person and settlements. They made three passes for them and were kicked back by less than a battalion of troops. Each time that is the army was kicked back and at that point they folded and retired to their defensive works.
On the growing potato and then on Friday. And we was are having just one brigade of infantry and Hamed after he was told to go after Syria had to wait. For the other armored brigade to come back from the Jordan West Bank. In order to launch an attack against an army front and the decisive penetration of the Syrian army and their tremendously strong fortified positions in the ridges. Below the Golan patella were made by just exactly two brigades operating over a corridor not more than than half a mile why they ever made it I don't know. When I looked at the positions it seemed beyond human power. When they finally cracked the line there were only 200 men got
into the trenches. A lot of people died in that attack. It was uphill all the way on in broad daylight and their battles their real battle started at noon time and by sundown or around 6:00 o'clock. They had completed. The defeat of Syria two brigades whipping an army. They were aided somewhat by the fact that in order to get the ear of the United Nations radio Damascus not just the fall of six hours before the Israelis ever started moving in that direction. And when the Syrian army heard it they took it for granted it must be true and they fled. And these are some of the strange things that happened over there. I got out of the war are they the extraordinary
effect that can be achieved by people. Who really believe in their cause in their country. And it seems to me that it's one of the great lessons of our time. As I look back over. The successes and. And the failures of recent years I I remember that old line about so many things going wrong in man's troubled affairs. For lack of a little ryd real courage at the right time. And I think in this case. Things went right because courage was possessed and used to its utmost at the right time. Thank you very much.
If. You have been listening to the Institute on world affairs a series of lectures and discussions held each year on the San Diego State College campus at this session the principal speaker was Brigadier General Samuel L. A martial U.S. Army retired who is a military analyst and a writer. The institute brings together noted leaders from all walks of life who dressed themselves to the perplexing problems that face mankind since its founding on the San Diego State campus in 1943. The Institute on world affairs has examined those trends in politics economics science and culture which shaped the world in which we live. The institute has been an open forum attracting authorities
Toward a new world
The Arab-Israeli war, part two
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San Diego State University
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University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
This program presents the second part of a lecture from General S.A. Marshall, former editorial writer and military critic and author.
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Lectures recorded at San Diego State College's 25th Annual Institute on World Affairs. The Institute brings together world leaders to discuss issues in politics, culture, science, and more.
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Producing Organization: San Diego State University
Speaker: Marshall, S. L. A. (Samuel Lyman Atwood), 1900-1977
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University of Maryland
Identifier: 68-9-5 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
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Duration: 00:29:35
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