The six-day war: the army of Egypt shocked the Soviet military

History 31/12/19 the six-day war: the army of Egypt shocked the Soviet military

Clashes between Arabs and Jews in Palestine began long before the establishment of Israel. Since 1948, about once or even twice, in 10 years there is a real war, albeit with a different intensity.

of Class stratification and nationalism

perhaps the most unusual was the six-day war, named so because it is so much and lasted in June 1967. It was the first Arab-Israeli war, which was attended by Soviet military advisers. On the side of the Arabs, of course. Among the advisers was both military personnel and civilians — for example, interpreters. All in one voice told me how they were struck by the class hostility that prevailed in the Egyptian army between officers and enlisted personnel. Officers, even Junior, were from the upper strata, at least from the middle class. Educated, often had a Western education, they despised the soldiers, the Egyptian fellahs — the poor and uneducated peasants. The fellah never had a chance to become an officer.

Officers did not miss the occasion to emphasize this difference, and to show contempt to their own soldiers. In turn, officers from the aristocracy kicked around colleagues with lower origin. Recalls, for example, a rocket Logachev. Another participant describes a situation where officers in the arrangement of parts went without weapons, leaving his soldiers: if you attack Israeli commandos, they will shoot those who are armed, and soldiers do not mind.

In the multinational composition of the Egyptian army was dominated by nationalism, according to which the Egyptian, even the ordinary, was better and higher than the soldier of a different nationality. All this is manifested in everyday life and in how he addressed and treated the soldiers to each other. The highest caste were the pilots — very often the Egyptians from the upper strata of society.

the author of the book “Memoirs”, S. G. Netesov, talks about egregious cases of abuse of Arab officers over their soldiers. Was gripped by a real segregation. For example, the entrance to the cinema was separately for the Russian, separately for officers and for soldiers. Soldiers could not go in the officers ‘ toilet, a soldier was not a natural need of privates and sergeants were sent to the desert. And no one, except the Soviet, not surprised that the soldiers do not eat in the dining room or on the street, often directly on the ground. Ordinary business was the supply of pellets in a dirty truck, with no packaging.

the fighting qualities of Low

In the Egyptian army was extremely low military discipline, up to cases of refusal to follow a direct order. The soldiers were poorly trained, often not even explained how to use the equipment — will understand. This led to very low efficiency of the troops and to numerous hardware failures. This feature is noted, in particular, military translator Yuri Gorbunov.

Officers were not allowed to show initiative and leadership qualities. According to the Egyptian chief of staff in those years, General Saad al-Shazly, officers are not taught to take initiative or to offer original solutions and new ideas. There was practically no development programmes for Junior officers. Soviet military advisers say the lack of coordination on the field of battle, not only armed forces but also of the various units. In fact, the Arab units operated autonomously, obeying the orders of their own generals or colonels, who considered subordinate soldiers as a sort of personal army. Described, including, in the book “Local wars of the USSR” issued by the group of authors. Officers had a tendency to leave the location whenever you want and come to the service as you wish.

Despite the personal courage of the Arabs, the discord between the officers and soldiers, poor discipline, inability to handle the material part and the alignment of actions has led to the fact that the armies of three Arab States, poterbathe defeat of the Israeli IDF in less than a week. And this is despite the numerical superiority of the Arabs: personnel — almost 2 times, artillery — in 2,5 times, on tanks and planes 1.5 times.

Konstantin Baranovsky

© Russian Seven

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