The focus here is on intelligence-related aspects of the Yom Kippur War. For a substantial bibliography of English-language items on the Yom Kippur War generally, see Janet L. Seymour, "The Arab-Israeli War, 1973 (Yom Kippur War)" (Maxwell AFB, AL: Air University Library, Nov. 2006): http://www.au.af.mil/au/aul/bibs/yomkw/ykip99.htm.
Handel, Michael I.
1. Perception, Deception and Surprise: The Case of the Yom Kippur War. Jerusalem: Hebrew University Press, 1975.
Constantinides calls this a "well-organized and lucidly written analysis." Handel argues that "self-deception rather than deception by one's adversary is the greatest danger"; this view is not universally accepted as applicable to the Israelis in 1973.
2. "The Yom Kippur War and the Inevitability of Surprise." International Studies Quarterly, Sep. 1977: 461-502.
Hawley, Edmund S., and Bruce Reidel. Intelligence Failures in the October War. Providence, RI: Brown University, 1976.
Heikal, Mohammed. The Road to Ramadan. New York: Quadrangle, 1975. New York: Ballantine, 1976. [pb]
According to Pforzheimer, The Road to Ramadan is "an important book which details Arab thinking, as well as the [Egyptian] planning, disinformation, deception, and intelligence activities..., which misled Israeli military intelligence ... preceding the Yom Kippur War."
Herzog, Chaim. The War of Atonement: October 1973. Boston: Little, Brown, 1975. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1975. London: Futura Publications, 1977. [pb]
Clark comment: A former IDF major general, Herzog at the time this book was written had twice served as Director of Military Intelligence, as Defense Attache in Washington, and as Military Governor of the West Bank. He later became Israeli President. Pforzheimer terms this work "a professional analysis of Israeli intelligence failures."
Kahana, Ephraim. Ashraf Marwan: Israel's Most Valuable Spy: How the Mossad Recruited Nasser's Own Son-in-Law. Lewiston, NY: Mellon Press, 2010.
For Peake, Studies 55.3 (Sep. 2011), "[t]he really important question of Marwan's true allegiance as an agent remains unanswered." This book "is a good case summary of what is already known, nothing more."
Kahana, Ephraim. "Early Warning versus Concept: The Case of the Yom Kippur War 1973." Intelligence and National Security 17, no. 2 (Summer 2002): 81-104.
"A close examination of the case of the Yom Kippur War reveals how difficult it is to abandon a firm concept, even though it is wrong. The result in this case was that the decision-makers were not provided with early warning in due time, despite an abundance of good and relevant information."
Powell, Bill C. "Did Israeli Intelligence Fail? The October 1973 War." Military Intelligence 4 (Summer 1976): 22-27.
Rabinovich, Abraham. The Yom Kippur War: The Epic Encounter that Transformed the Middle East. New York: Schocken, 2004.
Brown, FA 83.3 (May-Jun. 2004), calls this a "big, informative book" that offers a "readable narrative." The author's "story fits with the generally accepted interpretation of the war" and "is a worthy account." For Bolia, Parameters 35.1, "[f]ive years of research and 30 years of perspective make The Yom Kippur War a much more complete account than was possible in the works ... which appeared shortly after the war's conclusion.... [T]his account is [also] superbly written." The book does have some drawbacks: There is a "dearth of maps" and the author presents "an almost uniquely Israeli perspective, due to the relative lack of Arab sources."
Richardson, Rodney C. [MAJ/USMC] "Yom Kippur War: Grand Deception or Intelligence Blunder." [http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/report/1991/RRC.htm]
"The surprise attack was a result of actions from both sides. The Arab's intense preparation and keen use of deception, denial, and disinformation were certainly factors in their initial success. The Israelis were able to be surprised because of widespread problems in the intelligence community, the lack of perception in identifying the Arab's intentions, the allowance for distractors to take them away from their real enemy, and the high regard for their own military ability."
Rip, Michael Russell. "Military Photo-Reconnaissance during the Yom Kippur War: A Research Note." Intelligence and National Security 7, no. 2 (Apr. 1992): 126-132.
"Israeli tactical intelligence barely functioned during the first few days with little attempt at ground reconnaissance and the Air Force was essentially unable to conduct low-level photo-reconnaissance missions over the Canal region.... Overall, the Israelis lacked an effective fusion capability and process to blend electronic intelligence (ELINT), SIGINT, and imagery intelligence (IMINT) information."
Rip, Michael Russell, and Joseph F. Fontanella. "A Window on the Arab-Israeli 'Yom Kippur' War of October 1973: Military Photo-Reconnaissance from High Altitude and Space." Intelligence and National Security 6, no. 1 (Jan. 1991): 15-89.
After about 15 pages of background on Soviet and U.S. photo-reconnaissance platforms and activities, the authors get down to their primary subject: the satellite and aircraft deployments made by the Soviet Union and the United States to cover the 1973 Arab-Israeli war. "The dimension of Soviet involvement can be ascertained by noting that within a three and a half week period, no less than seven photo-reconnaissance satellites were launched: a rate almost four times that observed for the rest of the year.... Additionally,... Soviet-manned ... MiG-25R ... reconnaissance jet aircraft ... specifically performed high-altitude/high-speed photographic missions off the Israeli coastline and over the Sinai desert.... [I]t is practically certain that the US provided the Israelis with valuable IMINT and Sigint information during the 1973 conflict."
The authors go off into less well-grounded speculation (that orbits were modified to look at specific target areas does not prove their point) when they argue in favor of digital transmission of photographic imagery from KH-8 satellites. The authors fail to tie down with any precision the use of SR-71 aircraft to overfly the conflict area, relying too much on too many qualifiers to their argument. They also are on less than firm ground with their suggestion that U.S.-supplied tactical intelligence made possible the Israeli crossing of the Suez canal on 15 October 1973. However, the conclusion that "the 1973 Arab-Israeli war demonstrated that with their superior surge launch capability the Soviets certainly were at no tactical disadvantage with the US" is probably accurate.
Safran, Nadav. "Trial by Ordeal: The Yom Kippur War, October 1973." International Security 2, no. 2 (Fall 1977): 133-170.
Calder finds that this article provides an "especially insightful discussion."
Sheffy, Yigal. "Overcoming Strategic Weakness: The Egyptian Deception and the Yom Kippur War." Intelligence and National Security 21, no. 5 (Oct. 2006): 809-828.
The success of the Egyptian deception "can be attributed to it being unpretentious, sober, realistic and synchronized [intentionally or not] with its environment." The "greatest benefit" to Egypt "was retardation of any cognitive transformation among Israeli decision-makers. In consequence, the IDF's military response was delayed to a date that was, by itself, irrelevant to Egypt's war aims."
Shiels, Frederick L. Preventable Disasters: Why Governments Fail. Savage, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 1991.
Seymour: "Israel's October Surprise: The 1973 War as a Case Study of a Preventable Disaster, pp 17-54."
Shlaim, Avi. "Failures in National Estimates: The Case of the Yom Kippur War." World Politics 28, no. 3 (Apr. 1976): 348-80.
Stein, Janice Gross.
1. "'Intelligence' and 'Stupidity' Reconsidered: Estimation and Decision in Israel, 1973." Journal of Strategic Studies 3 (Sep. 1980): 147-177.
2. "Military Deception, Strategic Surprise and Analysis of Egypt and Israel 1971-1973." In Military Deception and Strategic Surprise, eds. John Gooch and Amos Perlmutter, 94-121. London: Frank Cass, 1982.
Zeira, Eli. "Israel's Intelligence Failure of 1973: New Evidence, a New Interpretation, and Theoretical Implications." Security Studies 4, no. 3 (Spring 1995): 584-609.
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