Prelude to Apocalypse
From IDF Captain Dan Gordon's Prelude to Apocalypse, a lengthy excerpt from an article that should absolutely be read in full...
From a military prospective there can be absolutely no doubt as to the results of Hezb’allah and Iran’s offensive against Israel. It was a defeat. Every part of their war plan except the manipulation of the media failed.
Hezb’allah expected and planned for a massive charge of Israeli armor into Southern Lebanon. The amounts and type of anti-tank weapons they acquired and had operationally deployed in their forward positions as well as their secondary and tertiary bands of fortresses and strongholds through Southern Lebanon attest to this fact.
They intended to do in mountainous terrain what Egypt had so effectively done in the Sinai desert in the Yom Kippur war. In that war, Sinai indeed became a graveyard for Israeli armor. Hundereds of tanks were destroyed. Whole brigades were decimated in single battles by the Egyptians’ highly effective anti-tank missile ambushes. In that war almost three thousand Israeli soldiers were killed. That was Hezb’allah’s plan. It was a good one. And it failed.
Far from the prevailing impression in the media, the IDF was not “badly bloodied” nor “fought to a stand still,” much less “handed a defeat.” Just prior to the cease fire, Israel suffered twenty nine tanks hit. Of those, twenty five were back in service within twenty four hours. Israel suffered one hundred and seventeen soldiers killed in four weeks of combat. As painful as those individual losses were to their families and to the Israeli collective psyche which views all its soldiers as their biological sons and daughters, those numbers in fact represent the fewest casualties suffered by Israel in any of its major conflicts. In 1948, Israel suffered six thousand killed. In 1967, in what was regarded as its most decisive victory, Israel lost almost seven hundred killed in six days. In 1973, Israel lost two thousand seven hundred killed and in the first week of the first war in Lebanon, Israel suffered one hundred seventy six soldiers killed....
...Were I, as an Israeli officer in the Military Spokesperson’s Unit, to have made a statement to the Israeli press about the actual lightness of Israel’s casualties, I would at the least have been relieved of duties, if not also of rank. Indeed, members of my unit volunteered to a man to go into Lebanon under fire to help retrieve the bodies of four fallen soldiers and make sure that reporters (who by that time were reported to be simply driving into Lebanon) could not broadcast pictures before the families were notified. We provided an additional covering force as well against Hezb’allah while medics and a Rabbi safeguarded the sanctity of the remains of four kids, younger than my twenty two year old son. We did so not only not under orders, but in violation of orders, because we were all of us fathers as well as soldiers, and these were not only our comrades in arms, but our sons. We were there to bring them home.
That is the emotion. But the numbers are different. They are the lightest casualties suffered by the IDF in all of its wars. Military historians will spend years deciphering why exactly this was so. Was Israel’s government and its general staff, by its refusal to commit large numbers of forces for the first three weeks of combat, in fact making a highly intelligent strategic choice? Possibly.
Possibly it was dumb luck or devine intervention. Either way it meant three things:
Read it in its entirety to see Gordon's 'Three Conclusions' and understand how he comes to his final concluding thought.
If through appeasement the West fails to take action to prevent the conflagration which looms on the horizon, then let there be no doubt that its flames will engulf us all. For its part, this time Israel must be ready, and it must entrust its fate into no one’s hands but its own.