TEL AVIV (Aug. 29)
The strategic and battlefield lessons of the Yom Kippur War were stressed by two Israeli generals last night as essential to national defense should Israel be forced to go to war again with its neighbors. Chief of Staff Gen. Mordechai Gur. addressing officers and troops somewhere in Sinai, said the main purpose of Israel’s just concluded massive military exercises was to see how well the lessons of last October were applied.
“We have no doubt that what we learned in the course of the war could give a tremendous impetus to the Israeli Defense Force’s doctrinal and tactical consolidation so that in future battles, if there are to be any. we will be able to score victories with fewer casualties than we suffered at certain stages of the last war.” Gur said.
He warned, however, that “we should not delude ourselves or those who fight us, that any battle can be fought without casualties.” He called for strong inter-corps and inter-service coordination with tanks, artillery, engineers and infantry working in close cooperation with the air force. The optimal combination of all these elements plus the exploitation in full power of weapons, can insure success with the fewest possible casualties, he said.
Res. Gen. Israel Tal who was Deputy Chief of Staff during the Yom Kippur War, warned last night that Arab strategic planning was greatly improved and had to be taken into account in planning defense in any future war. Addressing a Tel Aviv University seminar on theoretical strategy, Tal said the days when Arab strategic thinking was irrational were over. They planned the Yom Kippur War in a rational and realistic way, he said, adding that he would give the Arab planners high grades.