Cover

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Half Title, Series Page, Title Page, Copyright

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Contents

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pp. v-vi

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Foreword

Gershon Hacohen

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pp. vii-xi

Unlike other works on generalship at the strategic level, such as Eliot A. Cohen’s The Supreme Command, this book focuses on generalship at the senior field command level, that is, the division commander and his team. It is the story of generalship as it was revealed on the battlefield in Major General Ariel Sharon’s 143rd Division in the Yom Kippur War. ...

Abbreviations

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p. xii

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Authors’ Note

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pp. xiii-xvi

This book is not history for history’s sake but a study of generalship—the art of command at the highest levels. Its target audience is the senior political-security level in Israel, among them members of the General Staff, corps, division, and brigade commanders and officers designated for or aspiring to reach this elite group, and the reader who wishes to gain a deep understanding of the issues facing this group ...

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1. The Order and the Division: From Call-Up to Assembly

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pp. 1-12

In the first week of October 1973, despite wishful thinking, fear was rising in the highest political and military levels that war was about to erupt on the Golan Heights and Suez Canal. By the end of the week, the IDF took critical steps, such as declaring a “C”-level alert (preparing for the mobilization of the reservists), calling up auxiliary air force units, ...

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2. The IDF’s “Day of Infamy”

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pp. 13-41

At noon on October 7, the General Staff and the commanding general of the Southern Command, General Gonen, already knew that the 162nd Tank Division, under the command of Major General Avraham (“Bren”) Adan, and the 143rd Tank Division, under the command of Major General Ariel (“Arik”) ...

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3. The Twice-Blessed Day: The Events of Tuesday, October 9

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pp. 42-53

With minor changes, the Southern Command’s force deployment remained as it had been up until now: the 143rd Division, the command’s reserve force, fanned out between the Tassa-Ismailia Road in the north and the Hurva fortification about twenty kilometers south of Tassa; to the north, the 162nd was in position up to the Kantara line; further north, Magen’s Force Tiger ...

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4. On the Defensive, October 10–14

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pp. 54-75

On the surface, this stage of the war was characterized by low-intensity combat interspersed with sporadic bursts of furious fire at key points. But, far from the war zone and under the surface, the drama roiled. In war cabinet meetings with the General Staff, the lights burned long into the night as military and political leaders wracked their brains to figure out the gloomy reports ...

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5. The Egyptian Attack, October 14

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pp. 76-83

On the evening of October 12, reports started coming in on the Egyptians’ intention to dispatch commando units against various targets—irrefutable proof that they were rapidly preparing to attack the canal front and transfer armored reserves into Sinai. By sunrise, October 14, most of the Egyptian 21st Armored Division, the 3rd Tank Brigade/4th Armored Division ...

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6. The Crossing Battle, Part 1: Preliminaries

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pp. 84-108

Operation Stouthearted Men was forced on Israel just as the hand that, owing to the CoGS’s pressure, the IDF extended in surrender (a cease-fire in situ) was rejected by Egyptian president Sadat with a blend of arrogance and folly. As the saying goes, “He who Jupiter wishes to destroy, he first makes mad.” Sadat’s response left Israel with no choice but to continue fighting. ...

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7. The Crossing Battle, Part 2: The Night of October 15–16

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pp. 109-133

Sharon assigned the first mission to the 14th Brigade, the 600th Brigade, and most of the 143rd’s infantry units, which were put under the command of the 14th Brigade. The 600th transferred one of its tank battalions to the 14th Brigade and began implementing deception maneuvers from Hamadia in the direction of Televizia and Missouri mainly to support the 14th. ...

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8. The Crossing Battle, Part 3: October 16 and the Night of October 16–17

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pp. 134-164

At 0600, the bridge, weighing hundreds of tons, lay idle in the sand near Akavish 55 after having broken apart during towing by the 257th Battalion/421st Brigade. According to the initial estimate, the repair would be time-consuming. But this news was meaningless as long as the Egyptian infantry and armor blocked Tirtur Road ...

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9. The Crossing Battle, Part 4: From the Morning of October 17 to the Night of October 17–18

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pp. 165-210

The roller bridge was still lying north of Akavish Road waiting for Tirtur Road to be opened. The Unifloat raft convoy set out from Matzmed at 0400 and reached Sharon at Lakekan at 0600. Tamari escorted it to Matzmed on the orders of Ben-Ari (Gonen’s deputy), and the convoy arrived there at 0630. ...

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10. Eight Days: October 18–25, 1973

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pp. 211-250

By midday October 17, when the Egyptian high command realized the gist and extent of the IDF move on the western bank, the Egyptian CoGS began assembling armor and infantry on the western side of the canal to contain the bridgehead. The reinforcements came from the Egyptian General Staff reserve in the Cairo area and the two armies on the front, including forces from the bridgeheads on the eastern bank. ...

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11. “Better Is the End of a Thing Than the Beginning Thereof ” (Eccles. 7:8)

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pp. 251-258

Much of contemporary academic writing on national security issues deals with the clarification of terms that until now seemed clear. A vast number of books and articles have been written on the nature of war compared to the character of war, what sets victory apart from triumph, what is the very meaning of victory, and so forth. ...

Appendix A: Main Secondary Senior Commanders and Staff Officers

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pp. 259-260

Appendix B: The Bridgehead Compound

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pp. 261-270

Appendix C: Biographical and Career Highlights

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pp. 271-282

Bibliography

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pp. 283-286

Index

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pp. 287-300

Photographs

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