Sunday, January 01, 2017

Sinai Battle Revisited

For decades, the October 14 attack has been shrouded in myths. "The Battle of the Sinai" has been called the biggest tank battle since Kursk, a veritable armageddon pitting a thousand Egyptian tanks against 700 Israeli, and ending in a catastrophic rout of the attackers. According to the standard narrative, the desert became a vast graveyard of Egyptian armor.
Historians have long accepted Israel's claim to have knocked out 250 tanks. Some authors even provide statistics for each attacking unit:
  •  O'Ballance wrote the Israelis knocked out 110 of the 21st Armored division's T-55s. The defenders also claimed 93 tank kills in the vicinity of Galan, and others elsewhere. The final tally came to about a quarter of a thousand.
  •  Dupuy is more detailed, and clearly indicates the same total. He wrote that Egypt's northernmost forces lost 50 tanks. Farther south, in the Second Army sector, two brigades of the 21st armored division lost 30 T-55s each. In the Third Army front, failed thrusts toward the Giddi and Mitla passes cost a total of 60 tanks. The southernmost assault toward Sudr incurred the greatest loss, almost 90 tanks. Combining all these figures yields, again, about 250.
  • Adan arrived at a similar total, albeit suspiciously, with a mix of different numbers. According to him, the Israelis destroyed fifty tanks of the 3rd Armored brigade (Fourth Armored Division) at Wadi Mabouk, an unspecified number west of the Mitla pass and twenty near the Giddi. Farther north, the 21st armored division's 14th brigade suffered "forty smashed tanks." Another of the 21st's brigades, the 1st, also lost 40 T-55s. East of Kantara the 15th Armored brigade lost 30 T-62s. Elsewhere in the Second Army area, the Israelis set 40 more tanks ablaze. Altogether, Adan wrote, the Israelis eliminated 200. His own figures, added up, come to 220, or actually 250, given the probable claimed toll, not indicated, for the Mitla battle.
  •  Pollack's account was not as detailed but his final number is essentially the same--264-267.
Various other authors such as Chaim Herzog, and even the Egyptians Shazli and Gamasy, have also accepted the figure of approximately 250. However, discrepancies in the various accounts raise doubts about its accuracy. Dupuy, for example, wrote the 3rd brigade lost "almost 90" tanks whereas Adan said it lost 50. The two authors also gave different figures for the 21st division. Dupuy indicated it lost 60 tanks, Adan said 80. And no other writer includes O'Ballance's story of 93 tanks wrecked around Galan on the 14th. Galan is the Chinese Farm, which didn't see action until late the next day. Not surprisingly, newer works have cast doubt on the standard narrative, or openly challenged it:
  • Rabinovich repeated Adan's version of the northernmost action, including the alleged destruction of thirty T-62s. But he didn't embrace the oft repeated figure of 250. Rabinovich put the total Egyptian loss at "between 150 and 250 tanks." Some of his other information can be taken as evidence for an inflated, standard figure. 
Interestingly, Rabinovich  indicated some Israelis were skeptical the attack was the Egyptian plan's Phase 2, the advance to the passes. Dayan didn't believe it was and while Elazar did, he thought it was on a "smaller scale" than anticipated. Since the offensive didn't appear very big to the Israelis, their claim of  inflicting huge losses is dubious. Furthermore, Rabinovich indicated the Israelis were dissatisfied with the outcome. Sharon hinted at the brief and limited nature of the attack. He said the 21st division came, got hit and ran. Hoping to destroy more forces, Sharon and other generals put out disinformation. By portraying the Israelis as beaten or desperate, radio messages sought to trick the Egyptians into attacking again. This wouldn't have been necessary had Cairo's forces really received the drubbing Israel claimed they did.
  • Asher rejects the figure of 250. He considers Emanuel Wald's figure of 150 tanks destroyed (out of only 300 that tried to advance that day) "more realistic."
  •  Cooper et al cite Asher, and a US Intelligence report stating that Egypt lost only 76 tanks.The authors do not correctly quote Asher (who accepts Wald's figure of 150 tanks wrecked, not 100 with 50 more damaged which Cooper attributes to Asher). The authors do however, indicate the standard narrative is wrong. In view of significantly lighter, real losses, how did the battle get blown out of proportion?
Cooper et al clearly explain the reasons for the exaggeration. Eager to claim a big victory after a week of costly fighting, the Israelis hyped Cairo's losses. Ironically, the Egyptians also needed to exaggerate the magnitude of the battle, and their sacrifices. The offensive had resulted from Syria's plea for help, so Cairo wished to appear to be doing its utmost. In reality the Egyptian generals, as Cooper noted, were only putting on a show.
Shazli and his colleagues were appalled by the order to attack. This order stemmed from the ineptitude of Sadat. He was deluded enough to expect a great victory, but professional military men knew better. Indeed, if an offensive were pressed with determination, it would result in catastrophe. Unable to evade the order, Shazli and others devised a plan to minimize the scale of the defeat. They attacked with the smallest possible force and disengaged as soon as possible. That they succeeded to a considerable degree is indicated by Israeli dissatisfaction with the outcome.
The October 14 battle may have been less of a disaster than was long thought. Nevertheless Shazli was right to point to it as a watershed--a serious setback which turned the war in Israel's favor. The ultimate result was the entrapment of the Third Army. Egypt may have lost fewer tanks on the 14th than Israel claimed. But by sending key armored units into Sinai, Sadat deprived the west bank of reserves needed to stem the Israeli tide.


No Victor No Vanquished   O'Ballance
Elusive Victory    Dupuy
Arabs at War    Pollock
On the Banks of the Suez Adan
The Yom Kippur War   Rabinovich
The Crossing of the Suez   Shazly
The Egyptian Strategy for the Yom Kippur War Asher
ARAB MIGs Volume 6             Cooper


Anonymous Neal Robbins said...

It seems likely that the Israelis exaggerated the number of Egyptian tanks knocked out. However, the Egyptians did pull a blunder by leaving the west bank of the canal inadequately protected. Weak defenses in particular areas can lead to catastrophe; history is full of examples of that. The French made that costly mistake prior to World War II. Although the Maginot Line was strong, the German forces easily entered France by way of Belgium, Holland, and Luxembourg. The borders with those countries were not heavily fortified.

1:39 PM  
Blogger Sleepingduringduty said...

I dont remember honestly, did you write a post about the battle? I would like to know in detail what made it such a disaster. I'm pretty sure you wrote one but my memory is a bit fuzzy. I understand one of the key reasons is the tactical incompetence of junior officers.

4:48 PM  
Blogger starman said...

I'm sure I mentioned the battle a number of times here, but some information posted previously was out of date. A loss of 150 tanks isn't a big disaster, although there were also losses of APCs, troops etc. Pollack certainly emphasized the incompetence of junior officers. But with regard to October 14, the big mistake was strategic. Sadat sent much of Egypt's strategic reserve into battle where it not only incurred losses needlessly but was unavailable to deal with the IDF penetration of the west bank.
By any chance do you remember the discussions we had about this battle in the old Egypt subform (Iran Defense Forum)? With Gomig, me, you, qweasd etc? I suggested Egypt's field commanders should've ordered a few of their worst tanks to advance well ahead of the others, and after the worst were knocked out, ordered the rest to retreat while claiming the attack had failed? Lol. The generals didn't do it exactly that way--no doubt many good tanks and crews were lost. But, seeking to minimize losses, they did call off the attacks as soon as possible. Cooper says captured Egyptian documents indicate the attack was a mere show. I don't think Sadat planned it that way but Shazly probably did.

January 2, 2017

3:04 AM  
Blogger Sleepingduringduty said...

With the strategic mistake in motion, what could have been done to change the outcome of the battle and pitting the same forces into battle? Is there a way for the offensive to have succeeded?

3:56 PM  
Blogger starman said...

In his book ELUSIVE VICTORY, Dupuy had a subtitle "Why the Egyptians Failed" (on October 14). In his view, they erred by attacking along the whole length of the front. Their brigades were dispersed, and attempted to reach several objectives from the northernmost area near Kantara to south of the Mitla. Had they concentrated most brigades at just one objective--the Mitla or Tasa for example--they would've succeeded, he wrote. I don't know....If the Egyptians concentrated their forces, the Israelis would've detected the concentration (it was tough to conceal forces in a narrow strip of desert) and reinforced the threatened sector. In addition, there was the problem of enemy air power. The Egyptians were reluctant to advance beyond the range of SAM cover, and doing so would've exposed their forces to heavy attack.

January 4, 2017

2:46 AM  
Blogger starman said...

I remember another source which claimed the Egyptians could've succeeded, not on October 14 but soon after the crossing. The source was NEWSWEEK, soon after the battle. They said "..they (the Egyptians) might've launched a few bold armor and infantry drives, overwhelming the Israeli defenses while they were still weak. But, following more conservative Russian strategy, the Egyptians first chose to consolidate their bridgehead. So when the attack came it was too late."
I don't know if that is a valid criticism either. Cairo's forces were almost certainly right to rely on a static defense with plenty of antitank weapons, in the first three days of the war. Had they sent the 21st and 4rth armored divisions east of the canal, the Israelis would've had an easier time dealing with them, beyond the antitank/SAM missile shield. Also, the Egyptians DID attack, a number of times in the 18th and 2nd Infantry sectors, from about October 8-11. Their tanks just didn't succeed. Adan reported "dozens" of them knocked out prior to the 14th or even the 11th. If Cairo had thrown in the whole weight of the 21st and 4rth, on a narrow front or two, that might've made a difference. But I think it would've been a pyrrhic victory--too costly for limited gains.

January 6, 2017 --the CORRECT date for the preceding comment as well as this one.

6:33 AM  
Blogger Sleepingduringduty said...

Finals time...reply soon (if I am still alive)

1:37 AM  
Blogger starman said...

OK good luck!! :)

January 9, 2017

2:47 AM  
Blogger Sleepingduringduty said...


If the Egyptians had rallied up their brigades to attack and the Israelis reinforced whichever location they (Egyptians) are preparing to attack wouldn't that affect the IDF's balance of forces across the entire front line making other locations vulnerable to be overwhelmed?

5:33 AM  
Blogger starman said...

Great!! Hope you did well! Good to see you back! :)
In theory other areas would've been vulnerable had the Israelis strongly reinforced one sector. But the IDF wouldn't have stripped any areas of forces unless they were sure the Egyptians were concentrating units elsewhere. I suppose the Egyptians could've initially massed brigades in one sector, causing Israel to reinforce it, and then shifted forces, perhaps overnight, against a more vulnerable sector. Another possibility: produce a lot of dummy tanks and guns etc, mass them in one or two areas, while initially leaving real units on the west bank. If concentrations of dummies were positioned near the Mitla pass and Kantara, for example, the Israelis might've stripped the more crucial central sector of forces, and sent them north and south. Then the Egyptians could've sent much of the 4rth and 21st Armored divisions into Sinai overnight October 13-14, and attacked toward Tasa at dawn. They might've driven a nice salient into the Israeli front, but they'd have to guard their flanks!

January 16, 2017

6:47 AM  
Blogger Sleepingduringduty said...

Was there any possibility for the IDF to penetrate any location for the Egyptian front lines prior to the Egyptian offensive?!

11:28 AM  
Blogger starman said...

Sharon's forces had discovered the gap in the Egyptian deployment near Deversoir as early as October 9. Around the same time, Adan favored a crossing in an area farther north, in a gap between the Egyptian 18th and 2nd Infantry divisions. Of course an attack in either area would've been premature prior to October 15, after the failed attack. Adan's area also had the disadvantage of more difficult terrain west of the canal, so it wasn't chosen.

January 20, 2017

3:14 AM  
Blogger Sleepingduringduty said...

Many Egyptians believe that if it wasnt for US spy planes (this is after the offensive fyi) the Israelis wouldnt have discovered the gap. I am sure you heard that before; Uncle Sam went "hey Jew, the Egyptians have a gap in their forces right over here which you can use to cross into Africa!" Jew goes "Good goy". At least this is the nonacademic way of putting how most casual Egyptians view it.

Looks like we share the same issue with the Saudis; always looking for someone other than ourselves to put on the blame. For example, most Egyptians also believe that the US smashed Saddam's army in '91 using simply the air force while they left the ground work to the Egyptians to handle the crappy mess. A quick look at "Arabs at War" and you would discover that wasnt really the case. Saudis blamed USA for everything that went bad during '91 lol.

1:49 AM  
Blogger starman said...

I heard of the Egyptian claim that a US spy plane discovered the gap. Btw, there was another story, that a US SR-71 flew over Israel, and an Israeli jet went up after it. A superior asked the Israeli pilot what it was. "An American Blackbird" he replied. Then he was ordered "down it." But the SR-71 flew too high and fast, and evaded.
Yeah, Pollack painted the Egyptian army in the Gulf as totally lackluster. In his version they went by the book, wasting ammo hitting positions vacated by the Iraqis, and waiting for fires to burn out before advancing. Elsewhere I suggested the Egyptian Army hadn't really degenerated to that point after '73. They could've fought much more efficiently, but just had little enthusiasm for the mission. I assumed they didn't like fighting another Arab state. In addition, they could probably better relate to the Iraqis. After all, the Egyptians, like the Iraqis, were poor and the gulf arabs rich. They could understand how Iraq would be tempted to seize the wealth of the decadent Kuwaitis or Saudis, and perhaps couldn't help but sympathize a bit. But the 1990-91 gulf crisis coincided with the fall of the USSR, leaving the US supreme so Egypt had to comply...
Btw I haven't heard from progrev in a while and am trying to find out how he's doing...

January 23, 2017

3:05 AM  
Blogger Sleepingduringduty said...

Exactly, that would have been my reply to him. Egyptians arent really keen about bringing the gulf war topic and I am sure none of the forces sent there were excited to fight their fellow Arabs and Muslims.

Still, we cant really measure how badly Egyptian military competency degenerated but one thing for sure, they arent really that great when dealing with COIN operations in Sinai.

2:47 AM  
Blogger starman said...

Just like the US Army in Vietnam, the Egyptian Army had been trained for conventional war, not COIN operations. Cairo's troops fought guerillas in Yemen, but were soon back to conventional conflict, against Israel. Btw I'm surprised the Sinai rebels have been so deadly and lasting. I always thought of Sinai as a desert with few places to hide--perfect for conventional war but poor for unconventional or guerilla war.

January 26, 2017

3:01 AM  
Blogger Sleepingduringduty said...

Watched an Aljazeera documentary about them since day 1. Apparently not all of its members are pro ISIS but they do not want to cause a division within the group so they went with the flow. Many things changed since they pledge allegiance to ISIS, such as using Media heavily, combat video footage and typical Leader mini speeches in their long videos. Its all about which Checkpoint they attack and their preparations for it. Some checkpoints are well guarded by well equipped (ZU 23s and MK19 grenade launchers) and well trained (moderately) conscripts while others are lacking in everything.

Most of their videos are about executing agents and spies and most of their attacks result in light casualties (1-10 dead), massive operations do not happen much any more and in my opinion they might have taken a blow with the death of several commanders and its probably not so easy to fill in their ranks with trustworthy men due to fear of spies but on the other hand the Egyptian army's treatment of Sinai dwellers especially ones who arent connected in a benefit relationship with the regime.

I remember last year apparently the Gov decided to form a militia of Sinaites as I call them under the command of military intelligence branch to combat the irregulars with irregulars.

Still certain videos shows how the ground forces are committing terrible silly mistakes, like that video of an M60 getting ATGMED (unknown type of ATGM and quite possibly supplied by ISIS Somehow). Two M60A3s beside each other (around 5-10 meters apart) and no infantry around, best opportunity to atgm a tank. Oh and the videos I am sure you saw of them parading with captured M113s before burning them.

Still, That branch of ISIS is weak compared to what the Turks are facing (the humiliation they had on the hands of ISIS is absolutely terrible 10).

Noelle Deatkine wrote around 2 or 3 articles on the difference between the arab regular and the arab insurgent. I dont think its about culture as he says but more like the structure which he mentioned. ISIS or several other groups, equality between the fighters (technically, they still have commanders) unlike in arab armies....the nail that stands up must be hammered down, plus the enthusiasm to fight. Thats why the PMU are doing a better job fighting ISIS than the Iraqi army lol, and thats why they were probably not involved in the battle of Mosul. Heavily armed irregular Shiites in a sunni town? Oh boy.

4:30 AM  
Blogger starman said...

So do you think the Egyptian Army, or government, will ultimately prevail in Sinai? After killing rebel commanders? The army sure has a lot more resources and troops; it just needs to make better use of them. Didn't they know ISIS had ATGMs? I wonder if the Sinaite militia has accomplished anything.

January 26, 2017

5:02 AM  
Blogger Sleepingduringduty said...

The government propaganda machine releases almost on a daily or a weekly basis news about killing 10-50 insurgents and thats in a single day! I am sure you know very well how inflated that is. Plus they rarely show pictures of killed militants and when they do its usually a dead corpse in civilian corpse with a rifle beside him (magazine removed) and his ammunition and grenades (if he had any) beside him. Many actually believe its a random civilian killed by the military either on purpose or by accident and they used the corpse for propaganda. BUT during actual big attacks on military sites and with prevailing of the military (with casualties of course) they would show corpses of dead insurgents wearing camos and destroyed technicals.

The militants in Sinai became more militarized and I am pretty sure the military didnt know about the atgms, nevertheless, its probably in small numbers as the reported ATGM attacks are no more than your fingers as we say. I dont think they managed to loot any ATGMs though as none of their videos they released showed them getting one. From what I saw, their ace cards are basically SVBIED (sometimes they park the truck/car near the checkpoint while its under suppression and the driver bails out-in their last successful attack the driver was recorded getting KIAed while running away from the truck, but they managed to blow it up (possibly remove control with another guy); and good old IEDs.

The military is using very similar techniques to that used in Yemen, or as I call it, the "conventional way" of dealing with insurgencies; torture, extortion, blackmailing, spies, undercover agents, targeting families of a "potential" terrorist....the one last thing missing on the list is Mustard gas. Even creating an anti militia militia is a conventional method lol.

I actually feel sorry for them. Their numbers probably grew because of how the military dealt with the civilians for so long. Actually before they pledged allegiance to ISIS (not all of them according to Al Jazeera's documentary which I will try to find with English sub or dub for ya) they didnt "Infidelize" The Egyptian army until the Rabia massacre in late 2013 if you remember the incident. Even then I assume they did that in a "general" term. I didnt study theology but because organization A is Infidelic so to say for the lack of a better term, it doesnt mean every single person in it is an infidel/apostate. THEN came ISIS and the GOODIES of ISIS and thats when the slaughters and professional photoSHOOTING (pun intended) came....I think.....

Not saying they were angels in the past but they did change with the rise of ISIS and POSSIBLY they needed all the help they can get with the march of the army into Sinai. They interacted with ISIS through their volunteers who went to fight and Syria and came back to Sinai ISISISFIED lol...and perhaps with a bunch of friends?

4:03 AM  
Blogger starman said...

It's remarkable that the insurgents are able to conduct an unconventional war in a place like Sinai. I had always assume the terrain is suited only to conventional warfare. (Although, there were successful insurgencies in places like Yemen and Algeria.) Where do they hide? And I assume they must have hideouts or the military would crush them in a day. No doubt a key mission of spies and undercover agents is to find secret bases and weapons caches.

January 30, 2017

6:41 AM  
Blogger Sleepingduringduty said...

Long time no see, had some drama + started my internship last week and I return home exhausted.

Anyways, A lot have happened recently in Sinai, from the head of "War Intelligience" (Mukhabarat El Harbiya) announcing yesterday that 50% of the militants in Sinai are KIA to the grad rockets launch from Sinai on Israel and its interception by the Iron Dome.

2:57 PM  
Blogger starman said...

Good to see you back. :) The estimate of 50% KIA is exaggerated no doubt(?) I hadn't heard about the Grad rockets. But I wonder if there's a way to thwart anti-missile systems like Iron Dome, and Trophy, on tanks.

February 13, 2017

2:33 AM  
Blogger Sleepingduringduty said...

from wiki :

"In November 2015, Russia revealed it was formalizing the introduction of the upgraded Metis-M1 anti-tank missile. The new version has greater range, more armor penetration of 900–950 mm (35–37 in), and reduced weight. It is designed to destroy main battle tanks with active protection systems, light armored vehicles, fortifications, and other targets in day or night and in any weather condition.[4] The system entered service on March 2, 2016."[5]

Plus, they already claimed that RPG 29 can do that. The Israelis actually made a new system called Iron Fist and Uncle Sam showed high interest in it.

Btw in the last few days ISIS' media kept releasing news for three days in a row regarding their operations in Sinai. if my memory doesnt fail me thats around 3-4 Humvee destroyed (crew most or all dead) , damaging one M113 , destroying another (I think) and destroying a bulldozer.

You really need to write something regarding COIN lol. The turks and their syrian allies are still suffering in the town of Al Bab with casualties mounting...I think till now they lost around 15-25 of their 300 Leopard 2A4s and a number of M60 Sabras and APCs.

I realized that they use the tanks for overwatch duties mostly making them sitting ducks for ISIS ATGM crews who filmed themselves using TOWs against the tanks and Konkurs.

12:27 AM  
Blogger starman said...

How can the Metis-M1 and RPG 29 destroy tanks with active protection systems? I hadn't heard of Iron Fist--is that a new version of Trophy capable of stopping kinetic energy rounds, as well as guided missiles?
Unfortunately COIN was never my forte, lol. But besides ISIS claims about Turkish and Egyptian losses, what about the Saudis in Yemen? One website says they've been losing M-1 Abrams tanks to Houthi weapons (supplied by Iran).

February 18, 2017

2:45 AM  
Blogger starman said...

I see that Iron Fist can stop HEAT and kinetic energy rounds from tanks, as well as Metis. But I suppose any system can be countered. The Russians will think of something. :)
February 18, 2017

4:36 AM  
Blogger Sleepingduringduty said...

BTW, did you know that around a month ago Israel pulled its ambassador out of Egypt? Two days ago a meeting was held in Jordan that saw Netenyahu, Sisi and Abdullah together.

Security concerns.....really now....

10:20 AM  
Blogger starman said...

One thing I found a bit funny was, after Egyptians stormed the Israeli embassy in 2011, trapping 6 Israeli security guards, Egyptian commandos rescued them--after the US government_demanded_the military government get them out. The government may have been reluctant to save Israelis as it feared this would make it more unpopular, ha.
Even all the years (35) since Israel returned all of Sinai, there's no real peace, just a "cold" one, in which few people visit the other country and it's not safe for the Israeli ambassador to be in Egypt. I think it's only a matter of time before the peace unravels completely. Maybe if or when Israel evicts Palestinians from the territories en masse.

February 21, 2017

2:51 AM  
Blogger Sleepingduringduty said...

Man you should hang out with my dad and I am serious, once I get a good job I will get ya a ticket to kuwait lol....he said the same thing....

and here is where the whole thing of Sisi turned Egypt into Satellite for Israel comes in and it makes sense. The en masse deportation of Sinaites from Arish is to clear space for the soon to be Palestinian refugees when they screw Gaza once and for all and with Trump around they will have America's staunch support. Then after a period of time with rising tension in Sinai from the flooding of refugees, Egypt failing economy (we made a deal with RUssia for MIG 35 for TWENTY BILLION DOLLARS which we should get by 2020 while the president two months ago in a speech stated the people of Egypt should know that they are poor and their resources ARE LIMITED).
ISIS in Sinai would most likely still be there and they already declared (ISIS mother company) that Hamas are apostates (surprise surprise). Most likely they will be beefing with them too and launching random attacks on Israel like that Grad strike...soon Israel would say enough is enough and move into Sinai under the pretense of securing its safety.

9:20 AM  
Blogger starman said...

Lol I wouldn't be surprised if many people have said the same thing. Complete deadlock in negotiations, a hardline Israeli government, a radical new Hamas leadership, Abbas almost finished, Trump appearing to give Israel carte blanche....It seems it's hard to avoid a scenario of Israel trying to crush the Palestinians once and for all. And in the West Bank as well as Gaza.
I've tried to find out more about that MIG-35 deal. Various sources say the number to be delivered is 46, or up to 62, with the first 6 supposed to come in April. The price is said to be $2 billion, and one website suggests the Saudis are paying for it. (Because the EAF has bombed Houthis?) I'd assume, though, the new MIGs must be intended to counter Israeli jets like the F-35.
Arms purchases are no solution to economic woes, but the Egyptian government might seize on rising tensions with Israel to divert attention away from poverty. Of course the practice could lead to actual confrontation so....

February 21, 2017

11:48 AM  
Blogger Sleepingduringduty said...

Ah dammit my bad, sorry, its for 3.5 billion...why on earth did I say twenty...UGH internship still affecting me....87 hours done out of 126 =_=

SO the maximum I can postpone my military service is 5-6 years...who knows perhaps in your future coverage on the war I might be just another statistic you are discussing lol.

He purchased Rafales and MIG 35s now...why?! Plus a chopper carrier and two or three other naval assets that would no way affect the outcome of a future war. Some people actually believe he is on purpose destroying the far fetched as it might seem but this is Egypt we are speaking about...till this day the son in of law Gamal Abdel Nasser is debated whether he worked for the mossad or not after the six day war.

If it comes during my service I just hope I get a fighting chance and not trying to dodge F-35s ....actually I think Egyptian losses could be much lighter than the six day war given the whole distribution of forces covered in the treaty, but we wouldnt economically speaking be able to fight back for long, and I doubt any arab country would be willing to help us. They will probably be more worried about the rise of Iran in the region.

1:52 PM  
Blogger starman said...

Wow three comments in a single day. You really were on a roll yesterday. :)

The Saudis and others are mainly concerned with Iran now, but that'll change if or when there's an Israeli Final Solution to the Palestinians--killing and driving them out of the territories. Assuming that doesn't occur for a number of years, by that time, the conflicts in Iraq and Syria may be resolved (finally!). A big Israeli move on the West Bank and in Gaza, coupled with an end to inter-arab fighting, would get attention focused on Israel. Under those circumstances, the Saudis--even without a new regime in Riyad--should be more willing to underwrite arab rearmament.
You might become just another statistic I write about, or, you may be one of the great heroes of the future! :) Egyptian losses should be lighter than in '67 if they're cautious and don't deploy to much too close to the frontier.

February 22, 2017

2:54 AM  
Blogger Sleepingduringduty said...

ISIS fired Katyusha missiles at Israel 8 hours ago .....I think you will get to write about it very soon perhaps.

I really dont think the situation in Syria would have resided completely and I am pretty sure Israel doesnt want it to reside anytime soon. Even if the whole thing resided and Israel acts its Final Solution out, we dont know how bad the yemeni civil war would get by then and how would the US policies impact the gulf. I can see an arms embargo being a thing under Trump's administration and followed by right wing France and perhaps a Right wing Germany. Perhaps they can help out with logistics especially fuel but when it comes to armament, I think they would prefer that for their own borders....especially that gulf arab countries' military industry is laughable and I doubt in a short period of time they would achieve self dependence of Iran's level even for low tech weaponry.

8:39 AM  
Blogger starman said...

I wonder what ISIS trying to do, get Israel to join Egyptian forces fighting it, to make Sissi appear an ally of Israel, hence be deligitimized? Saddam tried the same approach in '91, with SCUD attacks on Israel.
Putin seems willing to maintain a presence in Syria but I don't know if he's willing to ensure Assad wins completely (if there's no negotiated settlement).
The Yemen war has been going on for some time. Not sure who is winning if anybody is.
A US Administration would embargo arms to arab states if they were planning to fight Israel. But France and Russia would continue to sell. So would China. Already the Saudis have turned to European suppliers for jets like the Eurofighter. The main potential adversary is Iran but a final solution may see muslim states set aside their differences. If all muslims were outraged by a final solution, there would be a new political landscape. With all muslims closing ranks, the gulf states could send weapons to frontline arabs. During the '67 crisis, even the Saudis got in line behind Nasser.

February 22, 2017

11:35 AM  
Blogger Sleepingduringduty said...

I have a lot of news, just give me a bit of time. Life is punching me.

7:37 AM  
Blogger starman said...

OK standing by; take your time. :)

March 2, 2017

8:12 AM  
Blogger Sleepingduringduty said...

Today when I return home in around 4-5 hours going to give you a link with images of ISIS actions in Sinai and they are relatively recent. Since we last spoke they became pretty much more active target patrols and checkpoints with IEDs and Sniper attacks. In one of their recent images they claim they had fended off an offensive. They are using 14.5mm, 50 cals and DshKs and even from what I have heard a 25mm bushmaster from a captured YPR 765, they looted it before burning the IFV.

They have killed several christians in Areesh I assume and that caused around 100 christian families to leave their homes and head to the mainland. Why did they kill them? Honestly I dont know if it was a random act or if they were actually being used by the army as spies...both are possible scenarios.

Anyways,in 2014, Israel did carry out a drone strike on a commander in Rafah of the militant group (according to aljazeera documentary if I remember, he was one of the anti allegiance to ISIS- this was before the group allied itself with baghdadi)

and it happened before in 2013 (after coup)

July 2016...

So to your point, the group doesnt need to carry out a stunt to make Egypt join forces with happened and already happening and they...believe me..CAPITALIZED big time on it through their videos.

BTW did you see the move the YPG Kurds pulled three days ago? Literally handing over Minbij to the SAA AND the Russians. While they claimed they fought for people's independence...ha! Turks and their syrian allies are engaged in combat in that region and to the south of al bab with regime's forces but there is presence for AMerican SOF in Minbij region as well as Russians who are going to pour in as the Russian MOD stated. This might not end well.

If Turkey does fall, The Saudi royal family will soil themselves hard, their goes their closest resemblance of an ally in the region.

France selling? I cant see that if France and/or Germany gets right wing leaders that has similar perspectives on foreign policies as Trump. Russia is technically at war with Saudi's proxies in Syria and that leaves China, Turkey and perhaps some eastern european countries, South Korea and I doubt the Japanese would lift the ban on arms export anytime soon.

1:18 AM  
Blogger starman said...

Good to see you back, thanks for the links.
Back in 2014, when ISIS was on the march in Iraq, anyone whose religion was different had to either convert, get out or be killed. It wouldn't be surprising if ISIS killed christians in Arish and forced others to flee.
If the YPG Kurds are fighting for the SAA instead of independence that bodes well for eventual reunification of Syria. Had they been fighting for an independent Kurdish state, the SAA and Russians would eventually have to take them on, after ISIS.
I don't know what if anything has been accomplished in peace talks between Assad and some of the rebels. It was good though, that they got Palmyra back.
It's been my impression that European countries are heavily dependent on Mideast oil and must sell what the arabs want to maintain a favorable trade balance. In the past France sold warplanes to Ghadafy and Saddam.

March 4, 2017

2:56 AM  
Blogger Sleepingduringduty said...

Father had two heart attacks in two weeks and ended up in hospital twice....still in hospital.

I will be in contact with you soon.

But did you see what the SAA did in Damascus...they are literally using captured M60s and Centurion tanks now....speaking of desperation.

The rebels achieved the unexpected the last few days...most likely Hamaa will be liberated and Damascus would follow suit when the news of Hamaa's fall reach the SAA troops/ militias.

12:57 AM  
Blogger starman said...

Good to see you back (not sure if progrev will ever come back). Sorry to hear about your father.
I heard about the rebel advances in Damascus. They've held enclaves bordering the government capital. The SAA is spread out so far (forces facing ISIS near Palmyra, rebels near Aleppo etc) it's no wonder they looked desperate in Damascus. I thought the SAA was winning, with Russian help, and it would be very surprising if they were beaten now.
The other day the Syrians fired SA-5 missiles at Israeli jets; one SA-5 was downed by an Arrow. Lieberman threatened to destroy Syria's air defenses if they fired again. I guess the Syrians have been coming under pressure from Iran and Hez not to look helpless when Israelis violated their airspace. The SA-5 is an old missile. Maybe it was used to make it appear Syria had spine after all, without provoking Israel too much. A newer missile was more likely to score a kill, prompting retaliation, and Assad has too many enemies already.

March 23, 2017

3:48 AM  
Blogger starman said...

There is a report that Russia sold (IFF) codes to Israel which force S-300 missile batteries to treat Israeli planes as friendly, thus neutralizing Syrian and Iranian air defenses. An analyst was skeptical that Russia would risk relations with its regional allies by doing that. Israeli jamming may better explain the ability of IAF jets to operate in Syrian airspace with impunity.
It's also possible that this allegation about codes was manufactured to explain the embarrassing lack of action by Syrian SAMs against Israeli intruders. The real reason, suggested above, is reluctance to risk conflict with Israel when the Syrian regime has its hands full dealing with internal enemies.

5:28 AM  
Blogger Sleepingduringduty said...

Will comment on The S-300 later having some drama.

12:24 PM  
Blogger starman said...

So there's a Centurion in the foreground an an M-48(?) a little farther back. I guess the SAA has deployed all its regular armored units far away at the battlefronts. Not anticipating serious trouble in Damascus, they had nothing but a few old war trophies, lol.
Will await further comments.

2:14 PM  
Blogger Sleepingduringduty said...

My dad survived another heart attack and had his catheter angiography angiography operation but it was a close call.

Anyway, apparently the SAA and the FSA are having a tug of war game now at Hamaa, losing ground here gaining ground there. The Russians have brought with them S-300s/-400s to Syria but I am not sure if they sold any to the Syrians. I know they did sell them the Pantsir short range air defense. Pretty sure the Russian AA crews are under strict orders not to fire at any IAF plane no matter what (unless they are getting bombed perhaps). By the way, its Iran who accused the Russians of doing that so this is very interesting.

Lets say the Russians actually did that, what other options do the Syrians other than looking for a different supplier which no doubt be China?

8:52 AM  
Blogger starman said...

Again, sorry to hear about your dad; hope he's OK.
Maybe the Syrians asked Iran to make the accusation, since Assad is far too dependent on the Russians to risk a break with them, yet he still needed a face saving excuse for inaction. At least the regime in Tehran isn't fighting for its life, hence can afford a little tension with Russia (although even Putin may have preferred being accused of selling IFF codes to enable its Syrian client to avoid trouble with Israel). I don't think the Russians really sold the codes. How can they expect other nations to buy their weapons if they do things like that?
I don't know if China can match what Russia has provided--personnel as well as weapons.

March 31, 2017

3:23 AM  
Blogger Sleepingduringduty said...

China obviously wont supply sophisticated weaponry to Bashar but in this case he doesnt have a choice. Of course the whole selling IFF codes is quit a ridiculous accusation for the reason you mentioned.

I wonder how the top brass in Iran feel right now about the current grinding war in Syria, they lost quite a number of IRGC members including senior commanders.

10:41 PM  
Blogger starman said...

Iran and Hezbollah have lost a lot in Syria, but view it as a longterm investment. Eventually, they assume, the wars in Syria and Iraq will be concluded in ways favorable to their continued presence and influence. Both Russian and western intervention is grinding down ISIS, and with it Sunni opposition to the new shiite/Iranian order. Despite high losses in men and treasure, Tehran may establish an empire clear across Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. Iran and Hez may also gain a front in the Golan area from which to battle Israel at some future date.

April 2, 2017

3:19 AM  
Blogger starman said...

By the way, I have a new post so it would be best to put further comments, except those on topic (October 14 battle) in the new thread.

April 3, 2017

5:28 AM  

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