Naval War College Review


The Israeli Government, facing the crisis which led to the October 1973 Middle East war, developed strategic solutions markedly different from those developed in both 1956 and 1967 in at least two significant respects. Both in 1956 and 1967 Israel was the initiator of at least the physical hostilities, In October 1973 the Israeli Government deliberately chose not to employ the tactic of preemptive attack which earlier governments had used in both 1956 and 1 967 and which had, in fact, become institutionalized as a part of the politi­cal-military doctrine of the state. In addition, in October 1973 the Israeli Government declined to order mobiliza­tion of the large reserve contingents of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) until just hours before the beginning of the coordinated Egyptian and Syrian attack on Yorn Kippur, the Day of Atonement, 6 October 1973.