Operation Badr - عملية بدر
The Egyptian military operation to cross the Suez Canal and seize the Bar-Lev Line of Israeli fortifications on October 6, 1973. Launched in conjunction with a Syrian assault on the Golan Heights, this attack marked the start of the Yom Kippur War.
Operation Badr was preceded by training exercises starting in 1968, operational planning from 1971 onwards and a deception operation. In the opening stages of the attack, known as The Crossing (العبور; al-‘obour), combat engineers used water cannons to rapidly clear numerous passages through the sand wall lining the east bank of the canal, laid bridges and operated ferries, allowing armor to cross. Egyptian infantry assaulted the Bar-Lev fortifications and were counterattacked by Israeli armor and infantry.
The attack surprised the Israelis, and by October 7 the crossing was complete, and the east bank of the canal was occupied by five Egyptian infantry divisions. The infantry established defensive positions in bridgeheads spanning the 160-kilometre (99 mi) front. Following a lull in the fighting on October 7, Israeli armor reserves arrived at the front and launched a counterattack opposite the city of Ismailia. The Egyptian forces were successful in employing anti-tank weapons to repel the Israeli armor and advanced once more. By the end of October 8, Egypt occupied a strip of territory along the entire east bank of the canal to a depth of approximately 15 kilometres (9.3 mi).
The first time in Israel’s history that an Arab army managed to defeat them in battle.