Photo Courtesy IDF Archives, Israeli Defense Ministry

Unseen Yom Kippur War film released

The Ministry of Defense marked the 47th anniversary of the Yom Kippur War by releasing a never-before-seen film of photographs taken during the October 1973 conflict. Some of the images have been colorized.

“The films were located as part of a digitization project in the IDF Archives – in which many, many videos from Israel’s wars that were shot on film are being converted into digital formats, which will allow them to be preserved at greater quality levels for future generations,” the Defense Ministry said in a statement.

The three-minute video of the Yom Kippur War  captured events on both sides of the Suez Canal, activities by IDF soldiers in the Sinai Peninsula, Air Force operations, female recruits folding parachutes, a visit by the Chief of Staff to the Egyptian front , and even actor Chaim Topol – of Fiddler on the Roof-renown – performing in front of reservists.

The Yom Kippur War broke out 6 October when the Jewish State came under surprise attack on the holiest day in Judaism in a coordinated assault in the south by Egypt and north by Syria, with participation of expeditionary forces from Jordan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco and Cuba. The conflict, referred to abroad as the 1973 Arab–Israeli War and in the Arab world as the Ramadan or October War, occurred at the height of the Cold War. The Arab armies were supported by the Soviet Union while the United States backed Israel.

After the failure of an earlier United Nations–brokered ceasefire, a lasting truce was established on 25 October. The IDF suffered between 2,521 to 2,800 fatalities and 7,250–8,800 injured troops. Even though neither Egypt nor Syria released official data, the Arab combatants are believed to have sustained a total casualty rate of between 8,000 to 18,500 killed and 18,000–35,000 wounded. There is documentary evidence that Israeli soldiers captured by enemy forces endured severe torture and were often murdered in violation of the Geneva Conventions.