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Notes on the October 1973 War


It was wonderful to see all those Israeli planes shot down by our missiles their air force was supposed to be even better than the Americans'.  I was really proud.  (Syria's Minister of Economics, in Wall Street Journal, April 11, 1974, p. 1)

[Col.] Yair saw Israeli planes coming in to stem the advancing masses [of tanks], but one after the other they were shot down before his eyes.  (Major-General Chaim Herzog, The War of Atonement: October, 1973, Little, Brown and Company, Boston & Toronto, 1975, p. 79)

Israeli losses were a total of 102 planes of which according to Minister of Defense Dayan, 50 were lost in the first three days.  The bulk of the Israeli losses were caused by missiles and conventional anti-aircraft fire, with the number divided between the two, particularly during close-support missions.  Four times as many sorties were made as in 1967.  Nevertheless Israeli losses per sortie indicate that despite having to operate within the missile and air-defense environment, the attrition rate was considerably lower in the Yom Kippur War than in the Six Day War.  (Major-General Chaim Herzog, The War of Atonement: October, 1973, Little, Brown and Company, Boston & Toronto, 1975, p. 260)


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