On October 6, 1973, Israel's Northern Command was surprised by the thunder of cannon fire and the sight of dense, black smoke. A Syrian force of 1,400 tanks supported by artillery and air power had attacked from the north while the Egyptian military invaded the Sinai Peninsula in the south. Syria sought to avenge its devastating loss of the Golan Heights in the 1967 Six-Day War -- a conflict that not only resulted in territorial gain for Israel but also cemented the nation's reputation as the region's preeminent military power. Although Israel ultimately prevailed, the Yom Kippur War (or Ramadan War, as it is known in Arab countries) shattered the illusion of Israel's invincibility.
In "Syrians at the Border" ," "Israel's foremost scholar of the war, Dani Asher, and an eminent group of experts provide the definitive history of this key conflict. The contributors -- Major General Yitzhak Hofi, the Northern commander in chief; Major General Uri Simchoni, head of Command Operations; Brigadier General Avraham Bar David, head of Artillery; and Colonel Hagai Mann, the command's intelligence officer -- all held key positions during the fighting. Together, they offer fresh insight into the prewar debate that raged between the Israeli Northern Command and intelligence officers who believed that Syria would not instigate conflict.
This seminal study also examines the pivotal battles that changed the course of the war, as well as the disastrous effects of a flawed postwar evaluation that adversely affected the careers of several high-ranking intelligence officials and the course of defense strategic planning thereafter. The contributors' incisive analyses contribute significantly to our understanding of this troubled region.