New Testimony from Yom Kippur War Investigation Released
The Defense Ministry permitted Sunday morning the publication of more testimonies heard by the Agranat Commission during the investigation into the failures of the Yom Kippur War. Among the newly released documents is the revealing testimony of the Chief of Staff during the war, David (Dado) Elazar.
Dado admitted "Sadat surprised us more than we thought."
Dado said that he believed that the other side did not stand a chance against Israel during a war: "We lived with the feeling that as a result of our superior military intelligence sources we knew very well what was happening in Egypt, and in Egypt they talked about war, thought of war, were preparing for war and put the army into high gear, we knew it could happen us, but at the same time I thought it was unlikely, I knew they did not have a chance -- and I thought they had no chance if they initiated war, because I always assumed we'd have an preliminary warning, that's also what I told the Prime Minister."
Elazar said the IDF's command or intelligence center did not warn him of war, nor did he receive the information passed on by Israeli moles and spies: "Northern Command on the eve of Rosh Hashanah said 'I'm worried about the big accumulation (of the Egyptian army),' that's true. But no one from the command center, not the northern or southern, came to say, look there's a lot of signs that go beyond regular exercises, that fall outside the normal emergency system, which is an indication for war. Only on Saturday morning did we receive information that war would break out in the evening."
Elazar confirmed in his testimony that he tried to give the media a more positive situation assessment than what was actually the reality, in order to boost morale.