FAB: Golan ’73 Al-Owda Scenario and Additional Optional Rules

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Scenario 20.3: OPERATION AL-OWDA

Overview

This is the original Syrian plan for the assault on the Golan Heights. Al-Owda (“Homing all the way”) was to begin at dawn instead of the afternoon starting point for the later choosen Operation Badhr and involved the two tank divisions, all five commando battalions as well as the Assad Guards Brigade from early on in the assault. The commandos was to be airlifted into vital areas and to block Israeli reinforcements by create roadblocks across the Jordan river and roads leading up the escarpment. This plan was a most ambitious one, “a virtual blueprint for victory – the best plan any Arab state had been able to bring to the brink of execution in a quarter century of struggle with a seemingly omnipotent enemy”. However, the plan was rejected by the Egyptians and since their own offensive across the Suez Canal was to be launched in the afternoon. Other political issues such as the fear of a coup against the Assad regime also caused the Syrians to go for the Badhr plan, and therefore went on for a smaller safer scale attack and withdrew strong units from the lineup, to be placed in reserve. Since this scenario is hypothetical, setup and reinforcement schedules are estimated. This is a real challenge for the Israelis and it’s recommended that the most experienced player plays the Israelis.

Illustrated Example of Play #1: Anti-Tank Ditch Crossings and More

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Historical Situation, Yom Kippur War – At 2 PM on October 6th 1973, the Syrian army and air force launched a massive assault on the Israeli occupied Golan Heights. Three Syrian infantry divisions, bolstered with an armored brigade, assembled close to the border. In the rear, two powerful armored divisions were ready to exploit any breakthrough made during the initial assault. Their goal was to retake the Golan which they lost to the Israelis during the Six Day War of 1967. The attack, which was coordinated with the Egyptian assault across the Suez Canal in the Sinai Peninsula, took the Israelis by surprise and they had only two armored brigades defending the Golan border. Along the length of the Purple Line (1967 Ceasefire Line) the Israeli army dug an anti-tank ditch and built seventeen strongpoints to serve as a major obstacle to a possible Syrian attack.

Operation Badr – Historical Scenario

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Location: Golan Heights (Southern Sector) October 6, 1973

Situation:

In this short AAR we take a look at the southern sector of the Golan front and the Syrian assault against the thin Israeli line defending it. The Syrian 5th Infantry division, boosted with two tank brigades, has departed from its staging area and moved towards the Purple Line to commence the assault. Since this session is using the historical setup, the Syrian Op Movement Phase has already taken place and the game begins with the Syrian Combat Phase (the Syrian player is always the First Player in FAB: Golan).

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