In an interview with RIA Novosti news agency, Bogous Abogov (not sure of spelling) a previous Russian ambassador who was part of talks with Egyptian politicians before the 1967 war said that the Soviets (Russians) disapproved Egypt’s preemptive attack on Israel in 1967.
This contradicts all the allegations set out by the west and Israel that Israel attacked Egypt because they (Egypt) were advised and encouraged by Russia to attack Israel.
In the western\Israeli story, Israel attacked as a preemptive action to what Egyptians were going to do.
Source Link: http://www.daralhayat.com/special/issues/06-2007/Item-20070603-f28111be-c0a8-10ed-01b1-699654795105/story.html
He mentioned the details of a meeting between Shams Badran (Egypt’s then Minister of Military Affairs) and the Soviets at the end of May 1967 (few days before Israeli attack).
In that meeting the Egyptians requested the help and support of the Soviets to attack Israel because Israel had gathered forces on the Syrian boarders to launch an attack against Syria. The Syrians requested Egypt’s help.
The Soviets rejected the request. And Egypt agreed not to do anything.
Abogov said that the Israeli agents got to know that the Soviets disapproved any attack by Egypt and Egypt’s leader (Jammal Abdel Nasser) agreed not to do anything.
Knowing that Israel attacked Egypt, Syria and later on Jordan in the war known as the 6 day war (started on the 5th of June 1967).
In other words, Israelis are saying they did the preemptive attack to protect themselves.
Yes! Egypt took steps at the beginning to help their Syrian friends by planning to attack Israel but ...
This (Israeli preemptive resoning) of course is nonsense, because per the soviet story now... Israel knew Egypt was not going to do anything. Israel attacked anyway!
Regardless of preemptive or not, it was a terrible loss. The reasons that led to such a defeat were many.
The bad part was the losses…
Israel started by attacking Egypt on the 5th of June 1967. Then (after whipping out the air forces), a few days later attacked Syria. Then, attacked Jordan (all within 6 days).
Even though Israeli's army was bigger than Egypt’s (Egypt ~100k, Israel +260k besides reserves), it wasn’t the ground forces that determined the outcome of the war.
Egypt lost its whole Air Force on the ground (~450 aircrafts). With no Airforce to protect the Egyptian army, the losses were massive.
Egypt lost 80% of its military equipment, 10,000 soldiers and 1,500 officers killed (per Egyptian officials there were 15,000 dead).
5,000 soldiers and 500 officers were captured (some of prisoners to be killed in cold blood by the Israelis), and 20,000 men were wounded.
Thousands of refugees were forced out of their lands after that war (+380,000 refugees).
Sinai, Golan Heights (Syrian), the West bank (Jordan), and East Jerusalem were all lost.
In a documentary I saw a few years ago, Egyptian soldiers whom were prisoners of war talked about the horrors and ill-treatment they got from the Israelis.
The worst story I heard was the Israeli tanks squashing detainees as they were forced to lay down on the ground.
This was confirmed by the 16 August 1995 interview for Israel Radio, Aryeh Yitzhaki of Bar Ilan University, who had worked previously in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) history department, accused a reconnaissance unit, known as Shaked (Almond), of which then housing minister in the Labour government Binyamin Ben-Eliezer had been acting commander, of killing hundreds of Egyptians who had abandoned their weapons and fled into the desert during the 1967 war.
More info about the crimes against Egyptian prisoners (thanks to Zenobia):
Not to forget on June 8 1967, USS Liberty, a United States Navy electronic intelligence vessel sailing 13 nautical miles off al-Arish (just outside Egypt's territorial waters), was attacked by Israeli air and sea forces, nearly sinking the ship and causing heavy casualties. It is noted that the USS Liberty had got reports of prisoner killing in Al Arish which made the whole incident very fishy!
Out of such an awful defeat and bitter experience came out in 6 years another Egyptian army that finished off the Israeli arrogance of being an unbeaten Army.
That was the 1973 war. And that change the political and military outcome of the whole region!
- Al Hayat
- Egyptian POW