A Small Armor Unit’s Fight in a Large-Scale Combat Operation
It was not a fight between divisions or brigades separated by long ranges; for the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), it was a series of short-range engagements fought by small units and, at times, individual tanks. IDF commanders operated largely on their situational awareness rather than strict adherence to their superiors’ plans. With Israel facing an immediate and perilous threat, the IDF’s culture allowed for the maximum degree of freedom of action and command initiative.” The OZ (the Hebrew acronym for courage) 77th Armored Battalion, commanded by LTC (later BG) Avigdor Kahalani, would conduct a classic area defense culminating with the Battle of the Valley of Tears. Despite overwhelming odds, the fight Oct. 9 turned the tide of the Golan Heights Campaign in Israel’s favor.