Zvika Force: The Wall in the North

Author: lobomau
Title: Zvika Force: The Wall in the North

On October 6, 1973, on the holiest day of the Judaic religion, the Yom Kippur, Syria and Egypt invaded territories hold by Israel simultaneously on the north and south. Both Egypt and Syria were trying to recapture territories lost to Israel during the previous engagement, the 6-Day war, also known as the June War in 1967.

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Contrary to the open desert in the south where Egypt invaded the Golan Heights plateau wasn’t exactly tank warfare friendly.

Although warned by Egyptian spies and their own Military Intelligence personnel the Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir had to put the typical pre-emptive strike on hold so Israel could get American military support in case of war. Actually the Prime Minister, the Minister of Defence Moshe Dayan, and Chief of General Staff David Elazar met at 8:05 am the morning of Yom Kippur, six hours before the war began. Dayan opened the meeting by arguing that war was not a certainty.

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The smaller Israeli force was well trained and expecting the enemy. Just not so many of them.

In the south the Egyptian army crossed the Suez Canal into the Sinai peninsula and overrun almost all the Israeli front line forts. Starting the attack with 100.000 soldiers, 1.350 tanks and 2.000 guns and heavy mortars the Egyptian Army quickly pushed aside the 450 Israeli soldiers divided in 16 forts along the Suez Canal. From the 290 tanks on three Armoured Brigades the Israelis had on the area only one was near the canal. The Egyptian Army quickly captured key areas and defended a strong and wide bridgehead. As the Israeli were masters of tank manoeuvre warfare the Egyptians avoided the open desert and tried to stick to the massive SAM (Surface to Air Missile) umbrella as long as possible. A lesson learnt from the 6-Day war when the Israeli Air Force wreaked havoc on the rear lines unchallenged.

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Fighting a war on two fronts is hardly the best strategic position. Ask Germany!

In the North the Syrian Army poured 28.000 Syrian troops, 1.260 tanks and 600 artillery pieces through the cease-fire lines established by the UN. The defending Israeli tank crews had excellent marksmanship and killed most of the engineering vehicles trying to brave a path through the anti-tank ditches and obstacles. The Syrian infantry resorted to shovels and opened way for the tanks to push into Israel under heavy fire. The Israeli brigades had some 3,000 troops, 180 tanks, 60 artillery pieces and the high ground on the Golan Heights. The first major mistake by the Syrian Army was the delay in deploying the engineering and bridge laying vehicles to the front lines to get the tanks past the anti-tank ditches and traps. The Israeli crews were wide awake and prioritised them causing the loss of most of them and a few tanks too.

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The German Tank Museum in Munster

Hello everyone,

It’s been a while since I’ve published anything about a Museum, but this time it wasn’t me doing the visit. Zhenwugaming one of the readers, has kindly put together this article about his visit to the German Tank Museum in Munster. All credits to him and a very big thank you for sharing this with us. Enjoy.

*Note this post is picture heavy and long.


Autor: Zhenwugaming

Greetings to all from Germany,

I spend a weekend at the German Tank museum at Munster and I decided to share some impressions with you. Munster is a small town between Hannover and Hamburg and until 1993 there were British soldiers deployed in Munster. Since then Munster was made as the biggest garrison of the Bundeswehr (German Army) with 4 barracks, among others the Training Centre Munster, which includes a mechanized warfare school and the army reconnaissance school. Europe’s biggest military training ground is nearby (around 24,900ha) as well near the town is the concentration camp Bergen-Belsen, which is also worth a visit.

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Back to the German Tank Museum, the museum was founded in 1983 and has over 150 tanks, excluding non armoured vehicles and other stuff displayed on 10 ha, so it’s rather small compared to other tank museums, but 100% worth the visit. Also the entrance fee is quite low, about 7€ per person (note: the fee includes a multimedia guide). The museum is divided into 3 halls, Hall 1 is from the first World War until the division of Germany (1917 – 1955), Hall 2 displays the Armoured Forces after 1945, and Hall 3 includes Combat Support Vehicles, Tank Destroyers and the German Army in deployment, between Hall 2 and Hall 3 there is a small outside area where you can see a Leopard 1 from the inside.

Entrance

The second pictures shows the inscription “Who wants peace need to talk about war” from Walther Benjamin a Jewish German Philosopher.

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Floor plan of the museum

Hall 1 is dedicated to tanks from 1917 until 1955. The most noticeable vehicles here are a replica of a A7V, the only German tank which was mass produced during the First World War. Only 20 were ever built during the wa.

The “Leichter Kampfwagen” II (Light Combat Wagon), which was developed in 1918. This displayed model was a former Swedish Strv m/21-29. Continue reading

100 Years of the Tank – Little Willie

On 15th September 1916, at Flers on the Somme, tanks were used in battle for the first time. In 2016 we are celebrating 100 years of tanks throughout history, and with no surprise my article is about Little Willie, the first tank in the World.

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Little Willie – The world’s first tank.

It’s the first months of 1915, the Western Front was a deadlock where neither side was able to penetrate the wall of machine gun fire or cross the enemy trenches. Plans to produce a Land Battleship started to be talked about, the army needed something else than the armoured cars used successfully by the Royal Naval Air Services (RNAS) during the early period of the Great War. In this stage, the front wasn’t fluid and the armoured cars weren’t capable of crossing the muddy shell pounded ground and the enemy static defences any more, so something new had to be built.

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