In the history of ground warfare, there may no more phenomenal victory that the one that was pulled off by the Israeli army in 1967 which came to be known as the Six Day War. The history of Israel particularly during this period of time was one of conflict. The Jewish people literally took back the land of Israel after being exiled for generations.
In the history of ground warfare, there may no more phenomenal victory that the one that was pulled off by the Israeli army in 1967 which came to be known as the Six Day War.
The history of Israel particularly during this period of time was one of conflict. The Jewish people literally took back the land of Israel after being exiled for generations. The end of World War II created a social shift that caused the re-establishment of the nation of Israel much to the disapproval of their Arab neighbors in Egypt, Jordon, Syria, Iran and Saudi Arabia.
Of course, the antagonism between the Arabic nations and Israel goes back tens of thousands of years. So when Israel claimed its homeland in the 20th century, that set up an explosive situation. The neighbors of Israel made no bones about their intent of driving the country back into obscurity and destroying the nation of Israel. So when those tensions began to escalate in the 1960s, the potential for all out war with hostile forces on three borders was a frightening one indeed.
It would take volumes to get into the specific reasons that things came to a head in 1967. The attacks on Israel were not without precedent or warning. There had been sporadic attacks from time to time for several years before the Six Day War made the situation one of do or die for the Israelis. As the conflict began to loom, the war of rhetoric erupted into open conflict in an air battle with Syria that resulted in Israel downing seven Syrian warplanes. With Russia provoking Syria into thinking that Israel was preparing a horrendous attack on its borders, Syria went to Egypt and Jordon to prepare for war.
The rhetoric that had been getting louder in Egypt, Jordon and Syria that they would not be satisfied until Israel ceased to exist finally materialized as all three countries massed huge forces on the borders of Israel. Is it impossible to get a firm estimate but reputable sources place the size of the armies massed against Israel in June of 1967 included 465,000 troops, over 2,800 tanks, and roughly 800 aircraft on the three borders with Israel.
What transpired in the next six days is nothing short of perhaps the most phenomenal victory in military history. The first strike was from the air in one of the boldest maneuvers of the war. On the morning of June 5th, 1967, in a coordinated strike, the entire Israeli air force took to the air. While the Egyptians pilots were eating breakfast, an air strike hit the Egyptian air force and decimated their airplanes on the ground. At the same time, similar strikes all but destroyed the air forces of Syria and Jordon on the other borders.
With the air support for ground troops neutralized, Israel carried out a sophisticated ground campaign on three fronts that pushed their aggressors back and inflicted huge damage on their military forces. With air superiority secured, Israel prevailed in a brutal tank battle with Egypt in the Sinai desert. Simultaneously the Israeli army was prevailing against the Jordan and Syria.
In an amazing six days, Israel had defeated three enemies on three fronts and secured its own sovereignty as well as vastly expanded its land mass as a result of this amazing war. It also put Israel's enemies on notice that the Israeli army was not to be trifled with and at the same time was a demonstration of one of the most brilliant executions of ground warfare strategy in the history of warfare.