The most ferocious tank battle of the Middle East War was still raging in the central sector of the Sinai front of Thursday (18 October) -- the thirteenth day of the war.
The most ferocious tank battle of the Middle East War was still raging in the central sector of the Sinai front of Thursday (18 October) -- the thirteenth day of the war. The battle had started on Sunday (14 Oct.), and both sides claimed to have inflicted heavy losses in men and equipment on their opponents. On Wednesday, an Egyptian military spokesman said that the israelis were pouring troops into Sinai to make up for heavy losses.
Neither side have given exact locations of battle positions, but military commentators consider that the central sector where the heaviest fighting is taking place, stretches from Ismailia on the Suez Canal, to the strategic point of Abu Aweiglla near Israel's Negev Desert.
The Egyptian forces appeared to have retained control of the Israeli positions on the East Bank of the Suez Canal which they occupied in the first few days of the war. The positions are littered with destroyed tanks and abandoned armaments, indicating that they were won only after heavy fighting.
The well fortified Israeli defences on the East Bank were among the first of the Egyptian successes in the War, and on Sunday (14 October) the Egyptian Deputy Prime Minister, Dr. Mohamed Abdul Hatem, presided over the first meeting of the Cabinet since the war started. The ministers discussed the situation to date after nine days of fighting.
The ministers no doubt met in a mood of confidence. Earlier that day it had been reported that Egyptian troops had accepted the surrender of the last remaining Israeli troops still holding out on the Eastern Bank of the Suez Canal. Thirty seven officers and men had been captured, after being cut off days earlier by the Egyptian advance.