From Training in Post-World War II Germany to Fighting a Desperate Battle against Egypt, an Israeli General Tells His Story

October 20, 2021 | Yom Tov Tamir
About the author:

During his long career in the IDF, Major General Yom Tov Tamir served as a tank officer in the Six-Day War (in which he was wounded), the War of Attrition, the Yom Kippur War, and the First Lebanon War. In 1964, he and a handful of other Israeli officers were selected—at America’s behest—to go to West Germany for training in armor tactics, where they served wearing German military uniforms. He discusses these experiences with John Spencer, an expert on urban warfare at West Point, giving particular attention to his role in the fighting along the Suez Canal in the 1973 war, when an Egyptian surprise attack overwhelmed Israeli defenses. Tamir concludes by explaining the significance of the IDF motto “The tank is iron, but the man is steel.” That is, human capabilities and morale are more important than any piece of technology. (A two-part podcast. Audio, 44 and 27 minutes, respectively.)

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