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Egypt Did Not Lose War Because of Lack of Arms, Israeli Says

Egypt lost the war to Israel not because of lack of arms and defective ammunition, as claimed now by Egyptian General Mohammed Neguib who forced King Farouk to abdicate, but because of strategic errors and the fact that the morale of the Israelis was higher than that which prevailed among the Egyptians on the battlefield, Brigadier Yigal Allon, commander of the Palmach, the Israeli striking force which defeated the Egyptians in three Negev campaigns, declared here today.

Brigadier Allon, who is now studying at Oxford University, said that the Israeli forces were never conscious at any time that the Egyptian fighting units suffered from shortages of arms and equipment. He emphasized that during the 1948 fights in the Negev and in the Sinai desert, the Palmach command had the impression that the Egyptians were rather well equipped.

“I never had at my disposal even a small proportion of artillery or armor which my Egyptian opposite number disposed,” Brigadier Allon stated. “Whenever we counter-attacked, the Egyptian forces defended themselves most efficiently and made competent and scientific use of covering fire over a wide area. This can be done only when adequate supplies of weapons and ammunition are available.

“In fact, whenever we captured an Egyptian position, we found considerable unused stores of ammunition,” the former Israeli commander pointed out. “Throughout the campaign no Egyptian post ever surrendered because of its lack of arms. On the contrary, we often took over large captured supplies and were able to make use of them almost at once. We found no more than the usual number of duds and defective weapons, bullets and shells.”

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