War of Attrition

The War of Attrition (Arabic: حرب الاستنزافḤarb al-Istinzāf, Hebrew: מלחמת ההתשהMilhemet haHatashah) involved fighting between Israel and Egypt, Jordan, PLO and their allies from 1967 to 1970.

Following the 1967 Six-Day War, no serious diplomatic efforts tried to resolve the issues at the heart of the Arab–Israeli conflict. In September 1967, the Arab states formulated the "three nos" policy, barring peace, recognition or negotiations with Israel. Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser believed that only military initiative would compel Israel or the international community to facilitate a full Israeli withdrawal from Sinai,[17][18] and hostilities soon resumed along the Suez Canal.

These initially took the form of limited artillery duels and small-scale incursions into Sinai, but by 1969, the Egyptian Army judged itself prepared for larger-scale operations. On March 8, 1969, Nasser proclaimed the official launch of the War of Attrition, characterized by large-scale shelling along the Suez Canal, extensive aerial warfare and commando raids.[17][19] Hostilities continued until August 1970 and ended with a ceasefire, the frontiers remaining the same as when the war began, with no real commitment to serious peace negotiations.

War of Attrition
Part of the Arab–Israeli conflict and the Cold War
Suez canal map

The Israeli–Egyptian war of Attrition was centered largely on the Suez Canal.
DateJuly 1, 1967 – August 7, 1970 (ceasefire)
(3 years, 1 month and 6 days)
Sinai Peninsula (Israeli controlled)

Egyptian front:

Jordanian front:


 Soviet Union

Commanders and leaders
Levi Eshkol
Yigal Allon
Zalman Shazar
Haim Bar-Lev
Mordechai Hod
Uzi Narkiss
Gamal Abdel Nasser
Ahmad Ismail Ali
Anwar El Sadat
Saad El Shazly
Abdul Munim Riad 
Nikolai Yurchenko 
275,000 (including reserves) Egyptian: 200,000
Soviet: 10,700–15,000[3]
Jordanian: 15,000[4]
PLO: 900–1,000[5][6]
Casualties and losses
694[7]–1,424[8] soldiers killed
227 civilians killed[7]
2,659 wounded, from this 999 at the Egyptian front[7]
14[9]–30[10] aircraft
2,882[11]–10,000[9] soldiers and civilians killed
6,285 wounded[12]
60[10]–114[13] aircraft lost
1,828 killed
2,500 captured[14]
40–84 killed
108–250 wounded
4 captured
30 tanks
Soviet Union:
58 dead[15]
4–5 aircraft
180 dead
250 wounded[16]
Hundreds of casualties[1]

Egyptian front

Israel's victory in the Six-Day War left the entirety of the Egyptian Sinai Peninsula up to the eastern bank of the Suez Canal under Israeli control. Egypt was determined to regain Sinai, and also sought to mitigate the severity of its defeat. Sporadic clashes were taking place along the cease-fire line, and Egyptian missile boats sank the Israeli destroyer INS Eilat on October 21 of the same year.

Egypt began shelling Israeli positions along the Bar Lev Line, using heavy artillery, MiG aircraft and various other forms of Soviet assistance with the hope of forcing the Israeli government into concessions.[20] Israel responded with aerial bombardments, airborne raids on Egyptian military positions, and aerial strikes against strategic facilities in Egypt.

The international community and both countries attempted to find a diplomatic solution to the conflict. The Jarring Mission of the United Nations was supposed to ensure that the terms of UN Security Council Resolution 242 would be observed, but by late 1970, it was clear that this mission had been a failure. Fearing the escalation of the conflict into an "East vs. West" confrontation during the tensions of the mid-Cold War, the American president, Richard Nixon, sent his Secretary of State, William Rogers, to formulate the Rogers Plan in view of obtaining a ceasefire.

In August 1970, Israel, Jordan, and Egypt agreed to an "in place" ceasefire under the terms proposed by the Rogers Plan. The plan contained restrictions on missile deployment by both sides, and required the cessation of raids as a precondition for peace. The Egyptians and their Soviet allies rekindled the conflict by violating the agreement shortly thereafter, moving their missiles near to the Suez Canal, and constructing the largest anti-aircraft system yet implemented at that point in history.[20][21]

The Israelis responded with a policy which their Prime Minister, Golda Meir, dubbed "asymmetrical response", wherein Israeli retaliation was disproportionately large in comparison to any Egyptian attacks.[20]

Following Nasser's death in September 1970, his successor, Anwar Al-Sadat, continued the ceasefire with Israel, focusing on rebuilding the Egyptian army and planning a full-scale attack on the Israeli forces controlling the eastern bank of the Suez Canal. These plans would materialize three years later in the Yom Kippur War. Ultimately, Israel would return Sinai to Egypt after the two nations signed a peace treaty in 1979.

Various military historians have commented on the war with differing opinions. Chaim Herzog notes that Israel withstood the battle and adapted itself to a "hitherto alien type of warfare."[22] Ze'ev Schiff notes that though Israel suffered losses, she was still able to preserve her military accomplishments of 1967 and that despite increased Soviet involvement, Israel had stood firm.[23]

Simon Dunstan notes that, although Israel continued to hold the Bar Lev Line, the war's conclusion "led to a dangerous complacency within the Israeli High Command about the resolve of the Egyptian armed forces and the strength of the Bar-Lev Line."[17] On the tactical level, Kenneth Pollack notes that Egypt's commandos performed "adequately" though they rarely ventured into risky operations on a par with the daring of Israel's commandos,[24] Egypt's artillery corps encountered difficulty in penetrating the Bar-Lev forts and eventually adopted a policy of trying to catch Israeli troops in the exterior parts of the forts.[25]

The Egyptian Air Force and Air Defense Forces performed poorly.[24] Egyptian pilots were rigid, slow to react and unwilling to improvise.[26] According to U.S. intelligence estimates, Egypt lost 109 aircraft, most in air-to-air combat, while only 16 Israeli aircraft were lost, most to anti-aircraft artillery or SAMs.[26] It took a salvo of 6 to 10 SA-2 Egyptian anti-aircraft missiles to obtain a better than fifty percent chance of a hit.[26]



Israeli naval personnel celebrate their victory after an engagement with Egyptian naval forces near Rumani.

July 1, 1967: An Egyptian commando force from Port Fuad moves south and takes up a position at Ras el 'Ish, located 10 miles south of Port Said on the eastern bank of the Suez Canal, an area controlled by the Israelis since the ceasefire on June 9, 1967. An Israeli armored infantry company attacks the Egyptian force. The Israeli company drives off the Egyptians but loses 1 dead and 13 wounded.[27] However, another source claims that an Israeli attack on Port Fuad was repulsed.[17] According to Zeev Maoz, the battle was decided in favor of the Egyptians.[28]

July 2, 1967: The Israeli Air Force bombs Egyptian artillery positions that had supported the commandos at Ras Al-'Ish.[29]

July 4, 1967: Egyptian Air Force jets strike several Israeli targets in Sinai. An Egyptian MiG-17 is shot down.[30]

July 8, 1967: An Egyptian Air Force MiG-21 is shot down by Israeli air defenses while on a reconnaissance mission over el-Qanatra. Two Su-7s equipped with cameras are then sent out to carry out the mission, and manage to complete several turns over Sinai without any opposition. Two other Su-7s are sent for another reconnaissance mission hours later, but are attacked by Israeli Air Force fighter jets. One Su-7 is shot down.[30]

July 11–12, 1967: Battle of Rumani Coast - The Israeli Navy destroyer INS Eilat and two torpedo boats sink two Egyptian torpedo boats off the Rumani coast. No crewmen on the Egyptian torpedo boats are known to have survived, and there were no Israeli casualties.[31]

July 14, 1967: Artillery exchanges and aerial duels erupt near the Suez Canal. Seven Egyptian fighter aircraft are shot down.[32]

July 15, 1967: An Israeli Air Force Mirage III is shot down by an Egyptian MiG-21.[33]

Israeli destroyer INS Eilat that was sunk by the Egyptian Navy, killing forty-seven sailors.

October 21, 1967: Two missile boats from the Egyptian Navy sinks the Israeli destroyer INS Eilat with anti-ship missiles, killing forty-seven sailors.[21]

October, 1967: In retaliation to the sinking of the Eilat, Israeli artillery bombards oil refineries and depots near Suez. In a series of artillery exchanges throughout October, the Egyptians sustain civilian casualties. Egypt evacuates a large number of the civilian population in the canal region.[34]


Karama aftermath 1
King Hussein after checking an abandoned Israeli tank in the aftermath of the Battle of Karameh in 1968
President Nasser's visit to the Suez front with Egypt's top military commanders during the War of Attrition
President Nasser of Egypt (with binoculars), surveys positions at the Suez Canal in November 1968

March 21, 1968: In response to persistent PLO raids against Israeli civilian targets, Israel attacks the town of Karameh, Jordan, the site of a major PLO camp. The goal of the invasion was to destroy Karameh camp and capture Yasser Arafat in reprisal for the attacks by the PLO against Israeli civilians, which culminated in an Israeli school bus hitting a mine in the Negev.[35] However, plans for the two operations were prepared in 1967, one year before the bus incident.[36] When Jordan saw the size of the raiding forces entering the battle it was led to the assumption that Israel had another goal of capturing Balqa Governorate to create a situation similar to the Golan Heights.[37][38] Israel assumed that the Jordanian Army would ignore the invasion, but the latter fought alongside the Palestinians and opened heavy fire that inflicted losses upon the Israeli forces.[39] This engagement marked the first known deployment of suicide bombers by Palestinian forces.[40] The Israelis were repelled at the end of a day's battle, having destroyed most of the Karameh camp and taken around 141 PLO prisoners.[41] Both sides declared victory. On a tactical level, the battle went in Israel's favor,[42] and the destruction of the Karameh camp was achieved.[43] However, the relatively high casualties were a considerable surprise for the Israel Defense Forces and was stunning to the Israelis.[44] Although the Palestinians were not victorious on their own, King Hussein let the Palestinians take credit.[44][45][46]

June 1968: The war "officially" begins, with sparse Egyptian artillery bombardment of the Israeli front line on the east bank of the Suez Canal. More artillery bombardments in the following months cause Israeli casualties.[20]

September 8, 1968: An Egyptian artillery barrage kills 10 Israeli soldiers and injures 18. Israel responds by shelling Suez and Ismaïlia.[30]

October 30, 1968: Israeli helicopter-borne Sayeret Matkal commandos carry out Operation Helem (Shock), destroying an Egyptian electric transformator station, two dams along the Nile River and a bridge.[30] The blackout causes Nasser to cease hostilities for a few months while fortifications around hundreds of important targets are built. Simultaneously, Israel reinforces its position on the east bank of the Suez Canal by construction of the Bar Lev Line.[47]

November 3, 1968: Egyptian MiG-17s attack Israeli positions, and are met by Israeli interceptors. One Israeli plane is damaged.[30]

December 1, 1968: Israeli helicopter-borne commandos destroy four bridges near Amman, Jordan.[30]

December 3, 1968: The Israeli Air Force bombs PLO camps in Jordan. The Israeli jets are intercepted by Hawker Hunters of the Royal Jordanian Air Force, and an Israeli fighter jet is damaged during the brief air battle.[30]


F-4E Israel HAPIM0321
F-4E Phantom of the Israeli Air Force. The aircraft was used to good effect as "flying artillery" during the war. Roundel markings on nose credit this aircraft with three aerial kills.
SA-3 system
Soviet/Egyptian S-125 anti-aircraft type missiles in the Suez Canal vicinity
PikiWiki Israel 381 Firdan Bridge 1969 גשר פירדאן 1969
Israeli troops at the Firdan Bridge by the Suez Canal, 1969

March 8, 1969: Egypt strikes the Bar Lev Line with artillery fire and airstrikes, causing heavy casualties. Israel retaliates with raids deep into Egyptian territory, causing severe damage.[20]

March 9, 1969: The Egyptian Chief of Staff, General Abdul Munim Riad, is killed in an Israeli mortar attack while visiting the front lines along the Suez Canal.

May–July 1969: Heavy fighting takes place between Israeli and Egyptian forces. Israel loses 47 dead and 157 wounded, while Egyptian casualties are far heavier.

July 18, 1969: Egyptian commandos raid Israeli military installations in Sinai.[30]

July 19–20, 1969: Operation Bulmus 6 – Israeli Shayetet 13 and Sayeret Matkal commandos raid Green Island, resulting in the total destruction of the Egyptian facility. Six Israeli soldiers and 80 Egyptian soldiers are killed. Some Egyptian casualties are caused by their own artillery.

July 20–28, 1969: Operation Boxer – Nearly the entire Israeli Air Force attacks the northern sector of the Canal, destroying anti-aircraft positions, tanks and artillery, and shooting down eight Egyptian aircraft. An estimated 300 Egyptian soldiers are killed, and Egyptian positions are seriously damaged. Israeli losses amount to two aircraft. Egyptian artillery fire is reduced somewhat. However, shelling with lighter weapons, particularly mortars, continues.

August 1969: The Israeli Air Force flies about 1,000 combat sorties against Egypt, destroying dozens of SAM sites and shooting down 21 aircraft. Three Israeli aircraft are lost.[30]

September 9, 1969: Operation Raviv – Israeli forces raid Egypt's Red Sea coast. The raid is preceded by Operation Escort, with Shayetet 13 naval commandos sinking a pair of Egyptian torpedo boats that could have threatened the Israeli raiding party. Three commandos are killed when an explosive device detonates prematurely. Israeli troops backed up by aircraft captured Egyptian armor, and destroy 12 Egyptian outposts. The Egyptians suffer 100–200 casualties, and a Soviet general serving as a consultant to the Egyptians is also killed, while one Israeli soldier is lightly injured. An Israeli plane is shot down during the raid, and the pilot's fate is still unknown.

September 11, 1969: Sixteen Egyptian aircraft carry out a strike mission. Eight MiGs are shot down by Israeli Mirages and a further three Su-7s are lost to Israeli anti-aircraft artillery and HAWK surface-to-air missiles.[24]

October 17, 1969: The United States and Soviet Union begin diplomatic talks to end the conflict.

December 9, 1969: Egyptian aircraft, with the assistance of newly delivered P-15 radars, defeats the Israelis in an aerial engagement, shooting down two Israeli Mirages. Later in the evening, an Egyptian fighter flown by Lt. Ahmed Atef shot down an Israeli F-4 Phantom II, making him the first Egyptian pilot to shoot down an F-4 in combat.[48] The same day, the Rogers Plan is publicized. It calls for Egyptian "commitment to peace" in exchange for the Israeli withdrawal from Sinai. Both parties strongly reject the plan. Nasser forestalled any movement toward direct negotiations with Israel. In dozens of speeches and statements, Nasser posited the equation that any direct peace talks with Israel were tantamount to surrender.[49] President Nasser instead opts to plead for more sophisticated weaponry from the Soviet Union to withstand the Israeli bombings. The Soviets initially refuse to deliver the requested weapons.[50]

December 26–27, 1969: Israel launches Operation Rooster 53, carried out by paratroopers transported by Sikorsky CH-53E and Super Frelon helicopters. The operation results in the capture of an Egyptian P-12 radar at Ras Gharib and carrying it to Israel by 2 CH-53 Sea Stallion Helicopters. The operation enabled Israeli and American learning of the latest Soviet radar technology, and caused a huge morale impact on the Egyptians.


Soviet medal issued to Soviet military personnel who served in Egypt during the War of Attrition. The medal says Москва-Каир (Moscow-Cairo).
Israeli war ribbon signifying participation in the War of Attrition

January 22, 1970: President Nasser secretly flies to Moscow to discuss the situation. His request for new SAM batteries (including the 3M9 Kub and Strela-2) is approved. Their deployment requires qualified personnel along with squadrons of aircraft to protect them. Thus, he needed Red Army personnel in large numbers, something the Kremlin did not want to provide. Nasser then threatens to resign, implying that Egypt might turn to the United States for help in the future. The Soviets had invested heavily in President Nasser's regime, and so, the Soviet leader, General-Secretary Leonid Brezhnev, finally obliged. The Soviet presence was to increase from 2,500–4,000 in January to 10,600–12,150 (plus 100–150 Soviet pilots) by June 30.

January 22, 1970: Operation Rhodes. Israeli paratroopers and naval commandos are transported by IAF Super Frelon helicopters to Shadwan Island where they kill 70 Egyptian soldiers and take 62 more prisoner at the loss of 3 dead and 7 wounded. The soldiers dismantle an Egyptian radar and other military equipment for transport back to Israel. IAF aircraft sink two Egyptian P-183 torpedo boats during the operation.[51]

February, 1970: Israeli fighter jets accidentally strike an industrial plant at Abu Zaabal, killing 80 workers.[52]

February, 1970: An Egyptian commando platoon attempts to set up an ambush in the vicinity of the Mitla Pass but is discovered. The entire unit is either killed or captured.[24]

February 5, 1970: Israeli auxiliary ships are damaged in the Port of Eilat during a raid by Egyptian frogmen.[53]

February 9, 1970: An air battle between Israeli and Egyptian warplanes takes place, with each side losing one plane.[30]

March 15, 1970: The first fully operational Soviet SAM site in Egypt is completed. It is part of three brigades which the Soviet Union sends to Egypt.[54] Israeli F-4 Phantom II jets repeatedly bomb Egyptian positions in Sinai.

April 8, 1970: The Israeli Air Force carries out bombing raids against targets identified as Egyptian military installations. A group of military bases about 30 kilometers from the Suez Canal is bombed. However, in what becomes known as the Bahr el-Baqar incident, Israeli F4 Phantom II fighter jets attack a single-floor school in the Egyptian town of Bahr el-Baqar, after it was mistaken for a military installation. The school is hit by five bombs and two air-to-ground missiles, killing 46 schoolchildren and injuring over 50.[55][56] This incident put a definite end to the campaign, and the Israelis instead then concentrate upon Canal-side installations. The respite gives the Egyptians time to reconstruct its SAM batteries closer to the canal. Soviet flown MiG fighters provide the necessary air cover. Soviet pilots also begin approaching IAF aircraft during April 1970, but Israeli pilots have orders not to engage these aircraft, and break off whenever Soviet-piloted MiGs appear.

April, 1970: the Kuwaiti Armed Forces suffered their first Kuwaiti fatality on the Egyptian front.[57]

May, 1970: During the final days of the month, the IAF launch major air raids against Port Said, believing a large amphibious force is assembling in the town. On the 16th an Israeli aircraft is shot down in air combat, probably by a MiG-21.[58]

May 3, 1970: Twenty-one Palestinian guerrillas are killed by Israeli troops in the Jordan Valley.[53]

June 1970: An Israeli armored raid on Syrian military positions results in "hundreds of Syrian casualties."[1]

June 25, 1970: An Israeli A-4 Skyhawk, in an attack sortie against Egyptian forces on the Canal, is attacked and pursued by a pair of Soviet MiG-21s into Sinai. According to the Soviets, the plane was shot down, while the Israelis claim that it was damaged and forced to land at a nearby airbase.[54]

June 27, 1970: The EAF continued to launch air raids across the canal. On June 27 around eight Egyptian Su-7s and MiG-21s attack Israeli rear areas in Sinai. According to Israel, two Egyptian aircraft were shot down. An Israeli Mirage was shot down, and the pilot was captured.[59]

June, 1970: The Kuwaiti Armed Forces suffer sixteen fatalities on the Egyptian front.[57]

July 18, 1970: An Israeli airstrike on Egypt causes casualties among Soviet military personnel.

June 30, 1970: Soviet air defenses shoot down two Israeli F-4 Phantoms. Two pilots and a navigator are captured, while a second navigator is rescued by helicopter the following night.[30]

July 30, 1970: A large-scale dogfight occurs between Israeli and Soviet aircraft, codenamed Rimon 20, involving twelve to twenty-four Soviet MiG-21s (besides the initial twelve, other MiGs are "scrambled", but it is unclear if they reach the battle in time), and twelve Israeli Dassault Mirage IIIs and four F-4 Phantom II jets. The engagement takes place west of the Suez Canal. After luring their opponents into an ambush, the Israelis shoot down four of the Soviet-piloted MiGs. A fifth is possibly hit and later crashes en route back to base. Four Soviet pilots are killed, while the IAF suffers no losses except a damaged Mirage.[54] The Soviets respond by luring Israeli fighter jets into a counter-ambush, downing two,[60] and deploying more aircraft to Egypt. Following the Soviets' direct intervention, known as "Operation Kavkaz",[54] Washington fears an escalation and redoubles efforts toward a peaceful resolution to the conflict.

Early August, 1970: Despite their losses, the Soviets and Egyptians manage to press the air defenses closer to the canal, shooting down a number of Israeli aircraft. The SAM batteries allow the Egyptians to move in artillery which in turn threatens the Bar Lev Line.

August 7, 1970: A cease-fire agreement is reached, forbidding either side from changing "the military status quo within zones extending 50 kilometers to the east and west of the cease-fire line." Minutes after the cease-fire, Egypt begins moving SAM batteries into the zone even though the agreement explicitly forbids new military installations.[17] By October there are approximately one-hundred SAM sites in the zone.

September 28, 1970: President Nasser dies of a heart attack, and is succeeded by Vice President Anwar Sadat.


According to the military historian Ze'ev Schiff, some 921 Israelis, of which 694 were soldiers and the remainder civilians, were killed on all three fronts.[61] Chaim Herzog notes a slightly lower figure of just over 600 killed and some 2,000 wounded[62] while Netanel Lorch, states that 1,424 soldiers were killed in action between the period of June 15, 1967 and August 8, 1970. Between 24[63] and 26[64] Israeli aircraft were shot down. A Soviet estimate notes aircraft losses of 40. One destroyer, the INS Eilat, was sunk.

As with the previous Arab–Israeli wars of 1948, 1956 and 1967, Arab losses far exceeded those of Israel, but precise figures are difficult to ascertain because official figures were never disclosed. The lowest estimate comes from the former Egyptian Army Chief of Staff, Saad el Shazly, who notes Egyptian casualties of 2,882 killed and 6,285 wounded. Historian Benny Morris states that a more realistic figure is somewhere on the scale of 10,000 soldiers and civilians killed. Ze'ev Schiff notes that at the height of the war, the Egyptians were losing some 300 soldiers daily and aerial reconnaissance photos revealed at least 1,801 freshly dug graves near the Canal zone during this period. Among Egypt's war dead was the Egyptian Army Chief of Staff, Abdul Munim Riad.[61]

Between 98[63] and 114[64] Egyptian aircraft were shot down, though a Soviet estimate notes air losses of 60.

Several Egyptian naval vessels were sunk. The Palestinian PLO suffered 1,828 killed and 2,500 were captured.[61] Jordan's intervention on behalf of the PLO during the Battle of Karameh cost it 40-84 killed and 108-250 injured. An estimated 58 Soviet military personnel were killed and four to five Soviet-piloted MiG-21 aircraft were shot down in aerial combat.[65] Syrian casualties are unknown but an armored raid by Israeli forces against Syrian positions in June 1970 led to "hundreds of Syrian casualties."[1] Cuban forces, which were deployed on the Syrian front, were estimated to have lost 180 dead and 250 wounded.[16]

See also





  1. ^ a b c d "The War: Lebanon and Syria". Dover.idf.il. Archived from the original on March 24, 2012. Retrieved March 12, 2013.
  2. ^ http://mfa.gov.il/MFA/AboutIsrael/History/Pages/The%20War%20of%20Attrition%20-1968-70.aspx
  3. ^ Russian Aviation and Air Power in the Twentieth Century, Robin D. S. Higham, John T. Greenwood, Von Hardesty, Routledge, 1998, p.227
  4. ^ Fruchter-Ronen I, (2008), pp. 244–260
  5. ^ Morris (1999), p. 368
  6. ^ Wallach, Jedua; Ayalon, Avraham; Yitzhaki, Aryeh (1980). "Operation Inferno". in Evyatar Nur. Carta's Atlas of Israel, Volume 2
  7. ^ a b c Schiff, Zeev, A History of the Israeli Army (1870–1974), Straight Arrow Books (San Francisco, 1974) p. 246, ISBN 0-87932-077-X
  8. ^ Lorch, Netanel (September 2, 2003). "The Arab-Israeli Wars". Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Retrieved March 3, 2007.
  9. ^ a b Benny Morris, Righteous Victims: A History of the Zionist-Arab Conflict, 1881–2001, Random House (1999), page 362. ISBN 978-0-679-74475-7.
  10. ^ a b Nicolle and Cooper, 32–33
  11. ^ Saad el-Shazly, The Crossing of Suez. p. 195. ISBN 978-0-9604562-2-2.
  12. ^ Uri Bar, The Watchman Fell Asleep: The Surprise Of Yom Kippur And Its Sources. p.15. ISBN 978-0-7914-6482-3.
  13. ^ Insight Team of the London Sunday Times, Yom Kippur War, Double Day & Company (1974) Page 42
  14. ^ Zeev Schiff, History of the Israeli Army 1870–1974, Straight Arrow Books (1974) ISBN 0-87932-077-X, page 246
  15. ^ A list of known Soviet army losses of manpower during The War of attrition (in Russian)
  16. ^ a b Karsh, Efraim: The Cautious Bear: Soviet Military Engagement in Middle East Wars in the Post-1967 Era
  17. ^ a b c d e Dunstan 2003, pp. 7–14
  18. ^ "Egypt Will Fight, Nasser Shouts". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: 2. November 24, 1967.
  19. ^ Aloni, Shlomo (2004). Israeli Mirage and Nesher Aces. Osprey. pp. 46–53.
  20. ^ a b c d e "Israel: The War of Attrition". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved March 3, 2007.
  21. ^ a b Bard, Mitchell. "Myths & Facts Online: The War of Attrition, 1967–1970". Jewish Virtual Library. Retrieved March 3, 2007.
  22. ^ Herzog (1982), 220
  23. ^ Schiff, Ze'ev, History of the Israeli Army, Straight Arrow Books (1974), p. 253
  24. ^ a b c d Pollack 2002, p. 95.
  25. ^ Pollack 2002, p. 94.
  26. ^ a b c Pollack 2002, p. 96.
  27. ^ Herzog, Chaim, The Arab-Israeli Wars, Random House, (New York, 1982), 196
  28. ^ Maoz, Zeev (2006). Defending the Holy Land. University of Michigan Press. p. 115. ISBN 0472115405.
  29. ^ El Gamasy, The October War, 1973 p.99
  30. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "War of Attrition, 1969–1970". Acig.org. Retrieved March 12, 2013.
  31. ^ "The Israel Navy Throughout Israel's Wars". Jewishvirtuallibrary.org. Retrieved March 12, 2013.
  32. ^ Rothrock, James, Live by the Sword: Israel’s Struggle for existence in the Holy Land, WestBow Press (2011) 48–49
  33. ^ Egyptian Air-to-Air Victories since 1948
  34. ^ El Gamasy, The October War, 1973 p.101
  35. ^ Cath Senker (2004). The Arab-Israeli Conflict. Black Rabbit Books. ISBN 9781583404416. Retrieved October 25, 2015.
  36. ^ "Debacle in the desert". Haaretz. March 29, 1968. Retrieved May 13, 2011.
  37. ^ Patrick Tyler (September 18, 2012). Fortress Israel: The Inside Story of the Military Elite Who Run the Country--and Why They Can't Make Peace. Macmillan. ISBN 9781429944472. Retrieved October 25, 2015.
  38. ^ "الذكرى الثالثة والأربعون لمعركة الكرامة الخالدة". Petra News Agency (in Arabic). Ammon News. March 20, 2011. Retrieved October 25, 2015.
  39. ^ "1968: Karameh and the Palestinian revolt". Telegraph. May 16, 2002. Retrieved September 3, 2008.
  40. ^ Saada, Tass & Merrill, Dean Once an Arafat Man: The True Story of How a PLO Sniper Found a New Life Illinois 2008 pp 4–6 ISBN 1-4143-2361-1
  41. ^ "GUERRILLAS BACK AT JORDAN CAMP; Attack by Israelis Failed to Destroy Base at Karameh or Wipe Out Commandos". The New York Times. The New York Times. March 28, 1968. Retrieved October 26, 2015.(subscription required)
  42. ^ Zeev Maoz, Defending the Holy Land, A Critical Analysis of Israel's Security and Foreign Policy, University of Michigan Press, 2006, pages 244–246
  43. ^ Herzog, The Arab-Israeli Wars page 205
  44. ^ a b Spencer C. Tucker, Priscilla Roberts (May 12, 2005). Encyclopedia of the Arab-Israeli Conflict, The: A Political, Social, and Military History: A Political, Social, and Military History. ABC-CLIO. ISBN 9781851098422. Retrieved October 25, 2015.
  45. ^ Kathleen Sweet (December 23, 2008). Aviation and Airport Security: Terrorism and Safety Concerns, Second Edition. CRC Press. ISBN 9781439894736. Retrieved October 27, 2015.
  46. ^ "The Israeli Assessment". Time. December 13, 1968. ISSN 0040-781X. Retrieved September 3, 2008.(subscription required)
  47. ^ "Book Review: At Noon The Myth Was Shattered". Egyptian State Information Service. Archived from the original on September 30, 2007. Retrieved March 4, 2007.
  48. ^ Nicolle and Cooper, 31
  49. ^ Itamar Rabinovich; Haim Shaked (1978). From June to October: The Middle East Between 1967 And 1973. Transaction Publishers. p. 192. ISBN 978-1-4128-2418-7. In dozens of speeches and statements, Nasser posited the equation that any direct peace talks with Israel were tantamount to surrender. His efforts to forestall any movement toward direct negotiations...
  50. ^ "9 Statement by Secretary of State Rogers- 9 December 1969". Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Retrieved March 4, 2007.
  51. ^ Chaim Herzog, The Arab-Israeli Wars, Random House New York (1982) p.214 ISBN 0-394-50379-1
  52. ^ "World: Middle East: In Cold Blood". Time. June 1, 1970. ISSN 0040-781X. Retrieved August 30, 2018.
  53. ^ a b Mordechai Naor, The Twentieth Century In Eretz Israel, Konemann (1996), 409
  54. ^ a b c d Cooper, Tom (September 24, 2003). "War of Attrition". Air Combat Information Group. Retrieved March 7, 2007.
  55. ^ "The Innocent Dead". Time Magazine. April 20, 1970. Retrieved April 18, 2009.
  56. ^ ^ "The War of Attrition as Reflected in Egyptian Sources" (1995), p. 107, by Mustafa Kabha (Hebrew)
  57. ^ a b [1], Kuwait commemorates the return of 16 soldiers from the Yarmouk Brigade
  58. ^ Nicolle and Cooper, 32
  59. ^ Nicolle and Cooper, 33
  60. ^ Sachar, Howard: Israel and Europe: An Appraisal in History, p. 171-172
  61. ^ a b c Schiff (1974) p246
  62. ^ Chaim Herzog, The Arab-Israeli Wars, Random House New York, (1982) p.220 ISBN 0-394-50379-1
  63. ^ a b Morris (1999) p362
  64. ^ a b Insight Team of the London Sunday Times (1974) p42
  65. ^ United Press International (August 12, 1972). "Al Ahram Editor Relates Soviet Air Losses To Israelis". St. Petersburg Times. p. 7.


External links

2006 Cheltenham Gold Cup

The 2006 Cheltenham Gold Cup was a horse race which took place at Cheltenham on Friday 17 March 2006. It was the 78th running of the Cheltenham Gold Cup, and it was won by War of Attrition. The winner was ridden by Conor O'Dwyer and trained by Mouse Morris. The pre-race favourite Beef or Salmon finished eleventh.

For the first time in the race's history the first three finishers – War of Attrition, Hedgehunter and Forget the Past – were all trained in Ireland.

401st Brigade (IDF)

The 401st "Iron Tracks" Brigade (Hebrew: עקבות הברזל‎, Ikvot HaBarzel) is an Armored Brigade in the 162nd Division of the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF). Since August 2016 it is commanded by Colonel Ohad Nagma.


Attrition may refer to

Attrition warfare, the military strategy of wearing down the enemy by continual losses in personnel and material

War of Attrition, fought between Egypt and Israel from 1968 to 1970

War of attrition (game), a model of aggression in game theory

Loss of personnel by Withdrawal (military)

Attrition (medicine, epidemiology), loss of participants during an experiment

Attrition (dental), loss of tooth structure by mechanical forces from opposing teeth

Attrition (erosion), the wearing away of rocks in the sea

Imperfect contrition, also known as attrition, in Catholic theology

Customer attrition, loss of business clients or customers

Language attrition, loss of first language ability by multilingual speakers

Second language attrition, loss of second language ability

Attrition warfare

Attrition warfare is a military strategy consisting of belligerent attempts to win a war by wearing down the enemy to the point of collapse through continuous losses in personnel and material. The war will usually be won by the side with greater such resources. The word attrition comes from the Latin root atterere to rub against, similar to the "grinding down" of the opponent's forces in attrition warfare.

Bar Lev Line

The Bar Lev Line (Hebrew: קו בר לב‎, Kav Bar Lev; Arabic: خط بارليف‎, Khaṭṭ Barlīf) was a chain of fortifications built by Israel along the eastern bank of the Suez Canal after it captured the Sinai Peninsula from Egypt during the 1967 Six-Day War. It was considered impregnable and was a symbol of Israeli military perfection. It was overrun in 1973 by the Egyptian military during Operation Badr.

Battle of Karameh

The Battle of Karameh (Arabic: معركة الكرامة‎) was a 15-hour military engagement between the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and combined forces of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the Jordanian Armed Forces (JAF) in the Jordanian town of Karameh on 21 March 1968, during the War of Attrition. It was planned by Israel as one of two concurrent raids on PLO camps, one in Karameh and one in the distant village of Safi—codenamed Operation Inferno (Hebrew: מבצע תופת‎) and Operation Asuta (מבצע אסותא), respectively—but the former turned into a full-scale battle.After Jordan lost control of the West Bank to Israel in 1967, Palestinian fighters known as fedayeen moved their bases to Jordan and stepped up their attacks on Israel and Israeli-occupied territories, taking the border town of Karameh as their headquarters. The IDF claimed that the purpose was to destroy the fedayeen camps at Karameh, and to capture Yasser Arafat, the leader of the PLO as reprisal. Israel also wanted to punish Jordan for its perceived support to the fedayeen. A large Israeli force launched an attack on the town on the dawn of 21 March, supported by fighter jets. Israel assumed the Jordanian Army would choose to not get involved in the battle, but the latter deployed heavy artillery fire, while the Palestinian irregulars engaged in guerrilla warfare. The Israelis withdrew, or were repulsed, after a day-long battle, having destroyed most of the Karameh camp and taken around 140 PLO members prisoner. The engagement marked the first known deployment of suicide bombers by Palestinian fighters. The battle resulted in the issuance of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 248, which unanimously condemned Israel for violating the cease-fire line and its disproportionate use of force.Both sides declared victory. On a tactical level, the battle went in Israel's favor, as the aim of destroying the Karameh camp was achieved. On the other hand, Arafat was not captured, and the relatively high casualties sustained came as a considerable surprise for the Israelis. They failed to retrieve three dead soldiers that were left behind in Karameh along with several damaged Israeli vehicles and tanks—later paraded in Amman by the Jordanian Army.The battle gained wide acclaim and recognition in the Arab world, and the following period witnessed an upsurge of support from Arab countries to the fedayeen in Jordan. The Palestinians had limited success in inflicting Israeli casualties, but King Hussein allowed them to take credit. After the battle, Hussein proclaimed, "I think we may reach a position where we are all fedayeen". However, as the PLO's strength began to grow in the aftermath, the fedayeen began to speak openly of overthrowing the Hashemite monarchy, and the ensuing tensions with the Jordanian authorities eventually precipitated in their expulsion to Lebanon during the events of Black September in 1970.

Chicken (game)

The game of chicken, also known as the hawk–dove game or snowdrift game, is a model of conflict for two players in game theory. The principle of the game is that while it is to both players’ benefit if one player yields, the other player's optimal choice depends on what their opponent is doing: if the player opponent yields, they should not, but if the opponent fails to yield, the player should.

The name "chicken" has its origins in a game in which two drivers drive towards each other on a collision course: one must swerve, or both may die in the crash, but if one driver swerves and the other does not, the one who swerved will be called a "chicken", meaning a coward; this terminology is most prevalent in political science and economics. The name "hawk–dove" refers to a situation in which there is a competition for a shared resource and the contestants can choose either conciliation or conflict; this terminology is most commonly used in biology and evolutionary game theory. From a game-theoretic point of view, "chicken" and "hawk–dove" are identical; the different names stem from parallel development of the basic principles in different research areas. The game has also been used to describe the mutual assured destruction of nuclear warfare, especially the sort of brinkmanship involved in the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Limited war

A limited war is one in which the belligerents do not expend all of the resources at their disposal, whether human, industrial, agricultural, military, natural, technological, or otherwise in a specific conflict. This may be to preserve those resources for other purposes, or because it might be more difficult for the participants to use all of an area's resources rather than part of them. Limited war is the opposite concept to total war.

Operation Boxer

Operation Boxer was an aerial offensive undertaken by the Israeli Air Force along the Suez Canal in July 1969. The first major IAF operation since the 1967 Six-Day War, the operation signaled a new phase in the War of Attrition.

Operation Priha

The Priha (Blossom) Operations were a series of strikes undertaken by the Israeli Air Force during the War of Attrition. Taking place between January and April 1970, the operations consisted of 118 sorties against targets in the Egyptian heartland. The strikes were carried out almost exclusively by the F-4 Phantom II, operated at the time only by the 201 "The One" Squadron and the 69 "Hammers" Squadron. Although tactically successful, the operations failed to achieve their objective of pushing the Egyptian government to sue for a ceasefire.

Operation Raviv

Operation Raviv (Hebrew: רביב‎, Drizzle), also known as the Ten-Hour War, was a mounted raid conducted by the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) on Egypt's Red Sea coast during the War of Attrition. Taking place on September 9, 1969, Raviv was the sole major ground offensive undertaken by the IDF against Egypt throughout the war. The operation saw Israeli forces masquerading as Egyptian troops and using captured Arab armor.

Operation Rhodes

Operation Rhodes (Hebrew: מבצע רודוס‎) was an Israeli heliborne raid against the Egyptian island of Shadwan on 22 January 1970, during the War of Attrition. It was carried out by Israeli paratroopers and Shayetet 13 naval commandos, who took control of the island for over a day before leaving with 62 captured Egyptian soldiers and radar equipment.

Operation Rimon 20

Rimon 20 (Hebrew: רימון 20‎, Pomegranate 20) was the code name of an aerial battle in 1970 which pitted the Israeli Air Force directly against Soviet fighter pilots stationed in Egypt during the War of Attrition. Israel chose its most skilled fighter pilots to participate in the planned dogfight in order to send a message to the Soviet Union. During the three-minute engagement, which took place on July 30, 1970, the Soviets were dominated by their veteran Israeli counterparts, resulting in the downing of five Soviet-flown MiG-21s by Israeli F-4 Phantoms and Mirage IIIs. Egyptian military leaders were satisfied to hear the outcome of the battle because the Soviets had long been criticizing Egypt's aerial losses to Israel and attributing them to the lack of skill of its fighter pilots. It was one of the final engagements of the War of Attrition and is believed to have contributed to its conclusion.

Operation Rooster 53

Operation Rooster 53 was an Israeli military operation during the War of Attrition to capture an Egyptian P-12 radar system. Often referred to as merely Operation Rooster, it was carried out on December 26 and 27, 1969. Participating forces including the Nahal Brigade's 50th battalion, the elite paratrooper reconnaissance unit Sayeret Tzanhanim, and the Israeli Air Force.

SS Andromachi

Andromachi was a 7,056 GRT cargo ship that was built as Empire Favour in 1945 by Caledon Shipbuilding & Engineering Co Ltd, Dundee for the Ministry of War Transport (MoWT). She was sold in 1947 and renamed Epsom. Sales in 1950 saw her renamed Tharros and Errington Court. In 1956, she was sold to Liberia and renamed Penelope. A further sale in 1961 saw her renamed Andromachi. She was set afire at Suez in June 1969 during the War of Attrition and was abandoned. The wreck was scrapped in 1976.

WWE in Saudi Arabia

WWE, an American professional wrestling promotion based in Stamford, Connecticut in the United States owned by the McMahon family, has been promoting events in the Middle Eastern country of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia since 2018 as part of the ten-year deal between the WWE and the General Sports Authority as part of Saudi Vision 2030. The inaugural event took place on April 27, 2018 with the Greatest Royal Rumble in Jeddah. In contrast to regular WWE events, women are barred from appearing in events held in Saudi Arabia.

Many events in the country promoted by the WWE have been subjected to criticism due to curtailing homosexual equality, a state accused of severe human rights abuses, leading a war of attrition in Yemen, allegations of funding terrorism and suppressing women's rights.

War of Attrition (album)

War of Attrition is the fifth album by Dying Fetus. According to the album booklet, the album's lyrics were written solely by guitarist Mike Kimball. This album was praised by original fans due to its return to traditional Dying Fetus form. It was also their first self-produced album in nine years.

Former co-vocalist Vince Matthews and former drummer Eric Seyanga departed in 2005 to form the band Covenance. Gallagher once again found a new member, drummer Duane Timlin. With this line-up, Gallagher promised to record what he called "our most brutal album yet".

It is perhaps Dying Fetus' most politically influenced album, containing lyrics that tackled the "war on terror", "reality" TV, and the flaws in the American justice system.

War of Attrition (horse)

War Of Attrition (Foaled 7 May 1999) is a retired National Hunt racehorse and winner of the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 2006.

War of attrition (game)

In game theory, the war of attrition is a dynamic timing game in which players choose a time to stop, and fundamentally trade off the strategic gains from outlasting other players and the real costs expended with the passage of time. Its precise opposite is the pre-emption game, in which players elect a time to stop, and fundamentally trade off the strategic costs from outlasting other players and the real gains occasioned by the passage of time. The model was originally formulated by John Maynard Smith; a mixed evolutionarily stable strategy (ESS) was determined by Bishop & Cannings. An example is an all-pay auction, in which the prize goes to the player with the highest bid and each player pays the loser's low bid (making it an all-pay sealed-bid second-price auction).

War of Attrition
Frozen conflicts
Foreign policy
See also
Armed conflicts involving Cuba
External &
Related articles
Armed conflicts involving the Soviet Union

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