Yom Kippur: The Golan Heights 6–24 October 1973


Map Code: Ax01229

At the outset of their Golan Heights campaign, Syria had a 10:1 advantage in troop numbers, and a 5:1 advantage in tanks. As in Sinai, the first three days developed into a series of last ditch Israeli defensive operations, made all the more critical by the proximity of the action to the Israeli heartland and its major cities. But as reinforcements poured in, and Israel’s air force learned how to evade Syria’s SAM anti-aircraft batteries, the tide inexorably turned. By 10 October, the Syrian forces had been pushed back beyond the pre-war borders. At this point, the Israelis could have consolidated, but decided to pursue their advantage and push on towards Damascus. This provoked a collective Arab response, with Iraqi and Jordanian forces rushing to support the Syrian defence of their home territory. By the time the UN ceasefire came into effect, the Israelis were shelling Damascus, but facing rapidly building opposition.

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