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Historical Israel-Arab wars Discuss the strategies and the situation of the historical Israeli-Arab wars from 1948-1982 and it's implications on Israel.

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Old 10-11-2010, 05:20 PM
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Default Lebanon 2006 : a blessing in disguise ?

yes, i know its TL;DR
still, please try to read through.

much has been said about the 2006 Lebanon war and its various consequences, but i personally think one of the overlooked aspects was just how lucky Israel was to have that war at that time.
in truth, the war which was viewed as a failing, may well be the best thing that could have happened to us.

flaws in conception.

in the years before the war, due to a number of factors, there was a growing sense among the Israeli public that the time of large scale war had ended.
those factors include, but are not limited to, the following.

1)the collapse of the Soviet Union, which for a long time had been the 1# weapon supplier for Israel's enemies, meant that the arms race that dominated the cold war era mid east had pretty much ended on Israel's side.

2)the peace treaty between Israel and Egypt&Jordan had left Syria pretty much alone in the mukawaba concept, and Syria alone wasn't thought to be capable of posing a threat.

3)the peace process during the 1990's had dulled our senses and led us to believe that the times of conflict were coming to an end.
there was actually a talk about how "our children, will not go to the army".
the Intifada that began after 2000, while also an armed conflict, was decisively a Low intensity deal.

4)various conflicts, with the prominant one being Kosovo, had shown that under the right conditions, air power alone can win a war almost entirely by itself, and this had led to a conception where in any future war, the Air force would be doing most of the work.
this came in complete contrast to all previous Israeli doctrine in which ground maneuvers had played a major role.

these factors, among others, led to a severe neglect in both training, and funding allocated to the ground forces over time.

equipment

equipment that was already in the pipeline, and would have greatly improved ground fighting capabilities, was not purchased due to cost considerations.
stuff like trophy for example was in the pipe a year before 2006, but wasn't installed.
worse yet, even more basic equipment like smoke screen dischargers or the APAM shell for the 120mm cannon
equipment that was built along side the MK4, with the intention of being used by the MK4 wasn't installed on most tanks.

training.

regular forces, who had undergone training for both high and low intensity combat, ended up focusing mostly on Low intensity and almost completely neglecting large scale combat drills.
tank crews, who finished their training, ended up serving as foot soldiers in various capacities during the intifada, leaving the tanks in the warehouse.
and then there was the problems with the reserves.
a trained tank crew for example requires around a week's training a year to remain effective, but in some cases reserve units were lucky to see that much training in 3 years.
by the time the war happened, the army was under trained, under equipped, and under experienced for large scale combat.

this was the case in 2006
it could have been much worse.
there was talk about cancelling the Merkava project completely.
there was talk about reducing the size of regular infantry units in favor of focusing entirely on Sayeret units (which are good for small scale warfare, but less so for high intensity large scale combat)
over the years, training would have lapsed farther.

corrections being made

its only thanks to 2006 that this trend was reversed, and the IDF (regular and reserves) is now training like crazy and equippting and arming up for WW3.
the tefen 2012 program, well underway, looks promising to allow the IDF to face the next 60 years of war.
for example : the MK4 tanks are being produced by the hundreds (final plan calls for around 600 of them) and are being equipped with the stuff that was left out in 2006.
on the whole, the 2010 IDF is a completely different army, and is MUCH better prepared for future large scale warfare.
and its only 3 years into the 5 year plan.

Hezbollah's mistaken timing.

for all that Hezbollah makes this out to be a divine victory, the timing of the war proved to be a terrible short coming to them.
Iran had spend billions of dollars creating a powerful force in Lebanon that would be capable of serving as a deterrent against Israel and possibly even as an active force to damage it at the right time.
while Israel was under the impression that Hezbollah would remain more or less on the same level as they were between 1982-2000, Syria and Iran began equipping them with weapons that proved to be game changing on a large scale.
had the war, as it happened, happened in 2012 for example, with the IDF growing weaker and Hezbollah growing much stronger, the effects of the war could have proven extremely damaging to Israel, as opposed to what was in practice, little more then a blow to morale on the whole.

but the timing of the war came long before they had truly completed the preparation, and exposed, prematurely Hezbollah, and Iran's future strategy.
Imagine what would have happened if in 2006 Hezbollah had the hundreds of long range missiles that they are proported to have today.
Imagine if they had the tunnel network that they have today.
Imagine if they had coordinated their attacks as part of a larger plan along side Syria and Hamas.
this would have been the plan for an all out attack around 2012.
but because the war happened far too soon then it was expected, the Hezbollah Syria and Iran were never capable of capitalizing on those improved capabilities to any real degree.
it was all that Nasseralla could do to claim victory, because other then that they gained nothing.

Hezbollah's exposed secrets

had the war not happened, Hezbollah in 2012 Syria and Iran would have faced an even less trained and skilled army then 2006 IDF was.
now they know that the IDF of today is completely different and far more powerful then the army they faced in 2006, and they have only themselves to blame for it.
worse yet, in tipping Israel off to their methods, they helped spark a full on rearming plan that would be designed to counter exactly the kind of strategy that they had planned.
they played their hands too soon, and gave Israel a valuable heads up about the times to come.

types of weapons

the fact that Syria was openly transferring top of the line equipment to Hezbollah on the level that they had was rather surprising at the time, and led to some very nasty accomplishments
the Large scale damaging of Merkava tanks, and the hitting of the INS Hanit are the two most prominent instances.
but now, that this fact is well known, it hurts Hezbllah's abilities to surprise the IDF.
from now on, all operational plannings made by the IDF would work under the assumption that anything in Syria or Iran's arsenal would be at Hezbollah's disposal, and that means that if they planed to transfer other weapons like the Karar drone or the Pantsir S-1 AA systems that russia sold Syria, this would feature in the IDF planning.

counters for weapons.

in revealing the "missile war" doctrine that they had prepared, they have also sparked a full on Race in Israel to develop counters for every single high grade aspect of what Hezbollah used.
in many ways, its similar to how the Arab SAM systems and ATGM surprised Israel in 1973, only to be effectivaly countered almost entirely in 82 because of Blazer armor and the use of drones.
a system that counters short range artillery rockets already exists.
a system to counter longer range weapons would be operational in a few years.
a system to counter ATGM is being deployed.
all the weapons that were supposed to serve as the big surprises, are now having counters developed against them, which would render them much less effective.

counters for tactics.

the tactics that proved most effective for Hezbollah during 2006 was the firing of large masses of short range rockets.
this worked mostly because
A) there was little INTEL about the locations of the smaller rockets
B) there was a reluctance to send large scale forces to take over the smaller launch zones.

today, there is a constant attempts by various Israeli INTEL groups to gather as much data as possible on the locations of the smaller missiles as well as the larger ones.
and the fact that a large scale ground maneuver would be required is already well accepted.

the IDF has also spent a LONG time training for heavy Urban combat, and judging from Gaza, they have made great progress in that field.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
none of these things mean that we should underestimate our enemies in any future conflict.
but i do believe that on the whole, it was a VERY good thing that the 2006 war happened when it did.

Last edited by bladeofdarkness; 10-11-2010 at 05:24 PM..
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Old 10-11-2010, 07:23 PM
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I don't get it why are so many people seeing second Lebanon war as a defeat for IDF? It was strong detterent, and from my point of view, i doubt that Hezbollah will ever try to make same stupidity as they did 2006.

Ok, there were made some mistakes by IDF armored divisions, which resulted in some casaulties at the end, but Hezbollah's human losses were five times greater. Their infrastructure has suffered enormous damage.

The only thing they (Hezbollah) can use as an advance toward Israel is the fact that they can handle their human loses much easier than israeli public opinion.
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Old 10-11-2010, 07:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Damir View Post
I don't get it why are so many people seeing second Lebanon war as a defeat for IDF? It was strong detterent, and from my point of view, i doubt that Hezbollah will ever try to make same stupidity as they did 2006.

Ok, there were made some mistakes by IDF armored divisions, which resulted in some casaulties at the end, but Hezbollah's human losses were five times greater. Their infrastructure has suffered enormous damage.

The only thing they (Hezbollah) can use as an advance toward Israel is the fact that they can handle their human loses much easier than israeli public opinion.
like i said, the "victory" was nothing more then propoganda.

now imagine what would have happened in 2012, when they had hundreds of missiles that can reach tel aviv, and the IDF would have been even LESS trained and equipped.
and if they attacked simultaniusly with Syria and Iran.

we were lucky that the 2006 war clued us in to their strategy years before it was suppose to be used, and allows us to develop counters for it.
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Old 10-11-2010, 09:55 PM
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Very good posts to Blade and Damir. Damir are you in BH?
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Old 10-11-2010, 11:02 PM
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I agree with all your conclusions, bladeofdarkness.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bladeofdarkness View Post
yes, i know its TL;DR
still, please try to read through.

much has been said about the 2006 Lebanon war and its various consequences, but i personally think one of the overlooked aspects was just how lucky Israel was to have that war at that time.
in truth, the war which was viewed as a failing, may well be the best thing that could have happened to us.
However, it is rather easy for me to say that, safely sitting here in the US. This "lesson" did cost 164 Israelis their lives.
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Old 10-11-2010, 11:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpacemanSpiff View Post
I agree with all your conclusions, bladeofdarkness.

However, it is rather easy for me to say that, safely sitting here in the US. This "lesson" did cost 164 Israelis their lives.
yes.
yes it did.
and i'm sorry in advance if i sounded rude or otherwise uncaring in my post.
we lost a great deal many people, and it IS a tragedy.

the only thing i was trying to say is that it may well be that the 164 deaths we suffered now, tragic as it is, could prove to be the factor that saves thousands of lives in the future.
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Old 10-15-2010, 11:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bladeofdarkness View Post
yes.
yes it did.
and i'm sorry in advance if i sounded rude or otherwise uncaring in my post.
we lost a great deal many people, and it IS a tragedy.

the only thing i was trying to say is that it may well be that the 164 deaths we suffered now, tragic as it is, could prove to be the factor that saves thousands of lives in the future.
I agree here. Every war demand victims. That's how it was, and that will always be. 164 deaths sure is tragedy, but than again, like you said before, if second lebanon war didn't occur, IDF would be less trained and equipped, and who knows what would happen in the future.

@ishmael, yes.
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Old 12-22-2010, 04:39 PM
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Arrow Assessing the performance of Merkava Tanks

Assessing the performance of Merkava Tanks
Assessment of the Second Lebanon War By Col. David Eshel




Four types of Merkava tanks were in action in Lebanon 2006, including Merkava Mk4, the Merkava Mk 2D (with its distinctive sloped turret), the standard Mk2 (mostly with reserve units), and Merkava Mk3Baz.

Towards the end of the fighting, Brigadier General Halutzi Rodoi, the chief of the IDF Armored Corps was asked to assess the performance of his tank force and especially the lessons drawn from the fighting against advanced anti-tank missiles fired by Hezbollah on the coveted Merkava Mk4, which saw its first combat engagement in Lebanon. According to General Rodoi, the Merkava proved to be well protected and designed to minimize the risk even when it was penetrated.


The IDF employed several hundred tanks in combat. According to official reports, about ten percent were hit by various threats. Less than half of the hits penetrated. In overall assessment, the potential risk to crewmen would have been much higher, if the tank would be of a conventional design. A colonel commanding an armored brigade, which bore the brunt of battle, mentioned in an interview that during the war that hundreds of antitank missiles were fired on his unit and in total only 18 tanks were seriously damaged. Of those, missiles actually penetrated only five or six vehicles and according to statistics, only two tanks were totally destroyed, however, both by super-heavy IED charges.

The unique Merkava design uses various types of hybrid armor as well as additional protection to defeat penetration by kinetic and shaped charges, and minimize the risk of spall, generated by the shaped charge plasma jet. All Merkava types use fire retardant containers to store and protect heavy small-arms ammunition, preventing high-lethal secondary explosion.

Even when the armor was penetrated, its unique design contributed to contain and diffuse the effect, thus reducing the damage and lethal risk to the crew

Furthermore, tanks are equipped with rapid fire extinguishing system that eliminates sympathetic detonation of ammunition. As result, the risk to crew members is reduced, even when the armor is penetrated. During the fighting, and only few tanks encountered catastrophic fire hazards after being penetrated by anti-tank missile,

substantially reducing lethal burn casualties to crew members. Only few hits penetrated the frontal arc, where the tank has the heaviest armor. Realizing this, Hezbollah aimed their missiles to the sides, and rear, when possible. While the flanks were designed to withstand significant threats they are not designed to defeat all threats, but are capable of defusing and reducing the risk to the crew and tank, even when they fail to defeat the threat. Therefore, both frontal and side armor demonstrated very high effectiveness against all threats. One of the major lessons of the war is the importance of an active protection system, which can be used to augment current armor and extend the maximum protection, currently limited to the frontal arc, to the full 360 degree region.

Some of the tanks were equipped with ad-on belly plates to protect against heavy mines and belly charges. Despite the extensive use of these charges by the Hezbollah, since the IDF did not use existing roads and paved new routes to the objectives, only few Merkava tanks and heavy AFVs encountered these charges, some weighing well over a hundred kilogram. While heavily armored vehicles can hardly be expected to survive such an attack, the latest versions of the tank demonstrated effective protection for the crew, which, in some cases, even managed to survive such attack with only minor injuries. In one instance, a Merkava tank was hit by such heavy belly charge, killing one crew member and wounding the remaining six, (some traveling in the rear compartment). Despite the loss of one crew member, this incident is considered proof of the effective protection of the new tank.

To reduce the threat of such "super charges", heavily armored D-9 bulldozer were employed to pave new routes for the armored vehicles, and precede the tanks over high-risk tracks, causing IEDs to blow up with minimum damage thus clearing the way for the following tanks.

The IDF Armored Corps has traditionally invested considerable effort in examining hit after-battle statistics on its tanks, in order to establish new tactics and techniques. The founder of this procedure was Major General Israel Tal, "Father of the Merkava" and one of the leading tank experts of word-wide recognition. After the 1973 Yom Kippur War General Israel Tal led a development team which took into consideration Israel's unique battlefield characteristics and lessons learned from previous wars. On General Tal's orders a special team of experts examined every single tank hit, while still on the battlefield and on the findings an in-depth investigation was made to develop effective means for crew protection, which formed the basis of the unique Merkava project. A similar investigation team has already recorded all hits on tanks received during the Lebanon crisis and a full report was made available for further detailed assessment team of experts which is already examining these reports in detail, in order to make the necessary amendments without delay, pending the resumption of the conflict, should the presently fragile cease fire fall apart.


Tanks were frequently required to support infantry units, with heavy direct fire which exposed them to missile attacks. During the war, Merkava tanks used various types of ammunition, particularly the APAM, anti-personnel/Anti-Material rounds, developed by IMI. These rounds, originally developed for 105mm guns, were used by Merkava 2 tanks.It was used effectively against Hezbollah targets identified in buildings and bunkers. Several hundreds of APAM projectiles were fired during the war. APAM proved to be the most effective anti-personnel and anti-structure weapon available to the combined arms forces, proving its effectiveness at all realistic combat ranges. Merkava 3 and 4s were equipped with 120mm guns, used modified Flechette for similar anti-personnel roles. These rounds 105mm projectiles are fitted with a 120mm sabot to fit the larger barrel. The projectile used all combat ranges. It is filled with 5,000 steel darts, providing the tank an effective open-area AP capability, and has a high kill probability. IMI is expected to complete development and production of a 120mm version of the APAM which will offer more advanced features, compared to the 105mm type.


Additional MEDEVAC modified Merkava tanks were configured early in the conflict and were used to evacuate casualties. The IDF also used artillery fire to protect infantry and armor units exposed to enemy fire, but even the artillery consumed its stocks of smoke ammunition, revealing a serious deficiency in IDF requirements assessment. It took some time, until the units began to work in combined arms teams, an art of war abandoned by the IDF in recent years. This included sending dismounted infantry over suspected high-risk ground and take out enemy positions with close-in fighting, using tanks and attack helicopters to support such operation with direct fire, while using heavy armored D-9 for recovery action under fire.
During the last six years, in which the bulk of the IDF was constantly engaged in low intensity urban counter terrorist warfare in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, all regular forces, including tanks crews were retrained for small unit infantry policing activities, which was mostly dismounted action. This proved extremely painful, when young conscripts, which make up the bulk of the regular IDF were rushed into battle, after hasty retraining. Israeli tankers had to quickly re-adapt old-new procedures during combat.
During the Intifada, the armored corps did not receive top priority among senior defense establishment officials. Short-sighted budget cuts took a heavy toll on armored units. As result, at the beginning of the war, tanks were lacking basic countermeasures such as instantaneous smoke canisters, laser warning detectors and infrared jammers. While some of these devices were urgently supplied later during the war, the damage was already done. Armored Corps officers blamed authorities after the war, expressing their frustration over the defense establishment's refusal to fund the installation of a rocket defense system on Israeli tanks and claiming that soldiers were paying the price with their lives. The officers were referring, among others, to the Trophy a new and unique, locally developed active protection system that creates a hemispheric protected zone around armored vehicles such as the Merkava 4 tank. If those measures would have been available, Merkava tank crews would have fared a much better survival chance against even third-generation weapons thrown at them.

Summing up the performance of Merkava tanks, especially the latest version Merkava Mk4, most tank crews agree that, in spite of the losses sustained and some major flaws in tactical conduct, the tank proved its mettle in its first high-saturation combat. The overall consensus was that with less well-armored tanks, the toll would have been much higher.



All my training was in Air Defense, Artillery, and Infantry with only 2 days of Armor cross training in officers basic in the US Army. I have nothing but respect for those that fight in Armor.

Paparock
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Old 01-20-2012, 07:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Damir View Post
I don't get it why are so many people seeing second Lebanon war as a defeat for IDF? It was strong detterent, and from my point of view, i doubt that Hezbollah will ever try to make same stupidity as they did 2006.

Ok, there were made some mistakes by IDF armored divisions, which resulted in some casaulties at the end, but Hezbollah's human losses were five times greater. Their infrastructure has suffered enormous damage.

The only thing they (Hezbollah) can use as an advance toward Israel is the fact that they can handle their human loses much easier than israeli public opinion.
Hezbollah desperately tried to cover up its human losses. Many of their dead were buried in secret, and their wounded were secretly transferred to Syrian hospitals. After the war, Iran wanted to compensate the families of Hezbollah fighters killed, so Hezbollah sent them a complete casualty list. Lebanese newspapers obtained copies, but intense Hezbollah pressure prevented them from publishing. (I wonder what would have happened to whoever published it).

The IDF has the names and addresses of 532 Hezbollah fighters who died. We also killed senior commanders Nur Salhoub, Sajed Dewayer and Abu Jafaar.
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