Israel seized the strategically critical Golan Heights from Syria during the 1967 Six-Day War in an audacious and determined operation. Yet when the Yom Kippur War broke out, the Israeli military were caught off guard by the effectiveness of the newly confident and dangerous Syrian army. In the Golan, only luck, herculean Israeli efforts, and tactical misjudgments by the Syrians were to allow the Israelis to maintain control.
In this book, three pivotal encounters in the Golan are assessed, tracking how both sides' forces evolved over the period. Syria dramatically improved equipment and training standards after 1967 but suffered from a lack of flexibility. Conversely, Israel's complacency following the Six-Day War saw its armored and mechanized infantry weakened during the Yom Kippur War, forcing the rapid adoption of new tactics and strategies midconflict.