Bits n Bobs on the 1973 Arab-Israeli War

Some bits n bobs for the 1973 Arab-Israeli War. Variously called Yom Kippur War, October War, War of Atonement, and The Great Crossing. A work in progress …

Arab Order of Battle

Just some notes from the Spearhead discussion forum:

Keith McNelly

In the TOE for ’73 Egyptians and Syrians the Mechanized Battalions (of Mechanised and Armoured divisions) support company assets include: 1 – 107mm RR or 57mm ATG/BTR

John Moher

Yes the Recoilless Rifle is presumed to normally be Jeep or GAZ mounted – I’ve seen little if no evidence of any Nation (apart from UK) using RR’s in towed roles, almost all mount them on light vehicles. There is also some suggestion that some may have been mounted on/in early BTR’s (40’s, 152’s, etc…)

The Soviet 57mm ATG should normally be towed be a truck or similar, however there is some evidence that the Arab States used BTR-40’s and BTR-152’s, etc, to tow guns. But, yes, in neither case is it intended a BTR-50 or BTR-60 is the towing/carrying vehicle.


Keith McNelly

I’m also interested in where dismounted Sagger teams fit in the infantry/mechanised brigades. Some sources refer to Saggers being a brigade level as AT weapons – and I’m presuming they mean as dismounted rather than BRDM mounted. Certainly Herzog (The War of Atonement) mentions the Syrains deploying them at Brigade level. According to him their use in the battle days was one of the reasons for additional mortars being given to the Israeli Armoured brigades.

Where in MSH Syrain ’73 TOE would you see these fitting in?

Herzog also mentions them being at Brigade level for the Egyptians, but I see they are modelled as platoon weapons of the Infantry Divisions. All very confusing….


As I understand it, the Egyptians removed the Saggers from rear area units that would normally have them and distributed them to the front line troops. thereby increasing the number of Saggers in the front line units over the normal TO&E.

Rod Collard

The information of the saggers taken from rear echelon units is from the book ” Crossing of the Suez” written by the former Egyptian Chief of Staff Saad El Shazly. Good source of information and Egyptian organization for the “73” war.

It also appears the WRG folks used this organization for their 73 war in their compendenium magazine because it matches that organization.

Martin Rapier

Egyptian units might rate a recce platoon, possibly even a company if feeling generous, at regimental level. Divisional level recce is anyones guess. I’d be generous with the armoured/mech divisions and assume the worst with the infantry divisions. In theory they had recce companies at regimental level and a divisional level recce battalion with four companies, the recce companies consisting of three platoons .

Painting Guide

1973 Egyptians

Chris Kemp of the RFCM discussion forum says three colour scheme in more or less equal parts:

  • Sand.
  • A very faded sort of chestnut brown.
  • A very faded green, best described as copper verdigris.

The fading is probably due to Sunlight/lighting conditions/age.

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