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Israeli Fortifications of the October War 1973
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Israeli Fortifications of the October War 1973

by Simon Dunstan
 

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The Bar Lev Line along the Suez Canal was born out of the overwhelming victory of the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) in the Six Day War of 1967. Devastated by their defeat, the Egyptian army bombarded Israeli positions, causing many casualties. Accordingly, the IDF Chief of Staff, General Haim Bar-Lev, ordered the construction of a series of fortified positions named

Overview

The Bar Lev Line along the Suez Canal was born out of the overwhelming victory of the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) in the Six Day War of 1967. Devastated by their defeat, the Egyptian army bombarded Israeli positions, causing many casualties. Accordingly, the IDF Chief of Staff, General Haim Bar-Lev, ordered the construction of a series of fortified positions named the Bar Lev Line. Each position was surrounded by barbed wire and minefields and virtually immune to strikes by artillery shells and even 500kg bombs.

On 6 October 1973, Yom Kippur, the positions were manned by just 436 reservists when the Egyptian Second and Third Armies launched a massive offensive along the Suez Canal. The positions were quickly cut off from the supporting elements, and the Israeli defenders paid a high price with a casualty rate of almost 50 per cent. Despite these losses, it was not the Bar Lev Line that failed but Israel's military and political establishment, which realised Arab intentions too late.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“About half of this book deals with the details of the fortifications, and about half with the general strategic and tactical situation... This is an interesting book dealing with the continuing value of fortifications in the modern age, and it will prove instructive to those interested in that subject.” —Bolling Smith, Coast Defense Journal (March 2009)

“Most of these small forts on the canal line proved resistant to the heavy bombardments that took place during the War of Attrition. The author details the events of that period, although he covers less of the actual 1973 war. He follows the changing policy and importance of air operations as well as the use of armor... [This] book is one of the most interesting to appear this year and leaves the reader wondering about the actual potential of modern fortifications.” —J.E. Kaufmann, SiteO Newsletter (January 2009)

“Author Dunstan provides us a full history of the development and use of these fortifications. Thanks to period photos and the fine art work of Steve Noon, we can see what it was like to live in these cramped quarters and how they were used when the time was upon them. The Sinai was eventually returned to the Egyptians, who have kept some of these forts in use and set aside others as museums. Many have disappeared under the development that has taken over the Canal coastline, but if one looks, one can find remnants. Of course, visiting these places is difficult as the entire area is an Egyptian Military Zone, but it is not impossible. This is a section of fortification history that one outside this part of the world thinks about. This book provides the most information on these fortifications yet published and it is, as with all Osprey titles, an excellent read and reference.” —Scott Van Aken, modelingmadness.com (December 2008)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781782004318
Publisher:
Bloomsbury USA
Publication date:
09/20/2012
Series:
Fortress , #79
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
64
File size:
29 MB
Note:
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Meet the Author

Simon Dunstan is a well-established author, film-maker and photographer in the field of military history, with several titles already published with Osprey. He specializes in armoured warfare, and has written on this subject for two decades. His books have covered topics such as helicopter and armoured warfare in Vietnam, the Challenger main battle tank, the British Guards and armoured warfare in Korea. Simon lives and works in London.

Steve Noon was born in Kent, UK, and attended art college in Cornwall. He has had a life-long passion for illustration, and since 1985 has worked as a professional artist. Steve has provided award-winning illustrations for the publishers Dorling Kindersley, where his interest in historical illustration began.
Steve Noon was born in Kent, UK, and attended art college in Cornwall. He's had a life-long passion for illustration, and since 1985 has worked as a professional artist. He has provided award-winning illustrations for the publishers Dorling Kindersley, where his interest in historical illustration began. Steve has illustrated over 30 books for Osprey.

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