Heroes Made the Victory – October 2018 – Al Fairouz
My felicitations to all Egyptians at the remembrance of the glorious victory of October, wishing Egypt and her great people all peace, good and prosperity. I also express my felicitations to the Armed Forces figures at this fragrant occasion which recalls to our minds and renews the remembrance of our courageous army’s heroism, to which the entire world bears witness. The glorious victory of October was a challenge against all the obstacles that were posed before the Egyptians.
Nonetheless, neither the enemy nor the whole world realized that the more obstacles set before the Egyptian, the more his determination and will get strengthened and sharpened for surmounting the impossible, overcoming the crises and achieving victories. In the aftermath of 1967 Setback, when the land, the weapons and the equipments were lost, an earthen berm was set up, and it was claimed to be fortified and undemolishable, it was stronger than Maginot Line which had been built by the French after World War I. The attempt to cross that line meant nothing but death, besides, its base contained tubes flowing into Suez Canal, in order for their surfaces to be ignited with Napalm upon any attempt of crossing the berm, and thus, crossing it became a kind of life challenges. There was a compelling need to provide the army with equipments and exercises in order to engage in a history making battle, as the defeat highlighted the weakness points and gaps that needed to be internally built and changed.
The beginning was made by the Egyptians, the real heroes, the makers of the victory during the construction phase that went hand in hand with the developments made by the heroic soldiers regarding their abilities and skills, harnessing them to make the enemy incur consecutive losses during the War of Attrition which lasted for nearly three years and a half and included three stages: steadfastness, confrontation and defense then deterrence and decisiveness. Thus, the Egyptian Armed Forces were built from within, also the Air Defense and Air Force systems were fully constructed, and their members were reorganized and retrained. At the same time, the wills were sharpened, and the intellectual, planning and combat skills were employed in carrying out successful military operations, inflicting a heavy defeat on the enemy and rebuilding confidence of Egypt’s sons.
Egyptian heroisms broke forth in the aftermath of Egypt’s setback in 1967, as Egypt has presented heroes everyday who know nothing but love for the country, which surmounts any other love in their life. This journey continued until the victory of October, 6th, 1973 was achieved.
The War of Attrition included many attacks against the occupation forces in Sinai and other arenas, resulting in launching several operations against them like: bombing an Israeli driller in the Atlantic Ocean, and “destroying Eilat” Operation, in which the port was booby trapped, army men were killed, and a battleship was sunk by the Egyptian Frogmen.
Brigadier General Ibrahim Al Rafe’i
He is the leader of “Group 39 – Fight” which was charged with dangerous missions in the War of Attrition, and did them successfully. He was called “the Legend of the Egyptian Thunderbolt (Sa’ka) Forces” for he accomplished more than 70 suicide attacks behind the enemy lines 1967 – 1973! Amidst his operations, he managed to destroy the border crossing of the Israeli army at Defreswar Canal.
Brigadier General Ibrahim Al Rafe’i was known for his bravery and unprecedented boldness since joining the Military Academy then the Infantry after his graduation. Egypt saw his courage upon the Tripartite Aggression in 1956 as he participated in defending Port Said City and in forming the first Thunderbolt Forces in Egypt. He also showed uncountable championships during his engagement at Yemen War. He was then selected to lead a group of commandos to embark on special operations in Sinai. This group was later called “Group 39 – Fight”, and it launched – under his leadership – a number of tough missions like: blowing up a train for the enemy at Al Sheikh Zuweid, destroying the ammunition repositories which were left behind by our forces after retracting in 1967’s setback, in addition to captivating the first Israeli officer and taking him back to Cairo without injuries.
“Group 39 – Fight” excelled in carrying out several operations that it became a nightmare for the enemy, the Israeli newspapers called it “the Egyptian Devils”. In 1968, the group was charged with bringing the ground to ground missiles which were released by the enemy to counter the construction of the Egyptian Armed Forces and to test its impact on individuals and equipments in case of being applied to the Egyptian Army.
The Egyptian hero, together with his group, crossed the Suez Canal, and returned carrying three missiles! This mission had a great echo in Egypt and Israel, that it caused the Israeli leader in charge of the missiles’ bases to be removed!
“Group 39 – Fight” – under the leadership of Brigadier General Al Rafe’i- avenged the assassination of Chief of Staff Martyr Abdul Munim Riad: They crossed the Canal, occupied “Ferryboat 6” site, from which the grenades were thrown, thus they killed the enemy’s soldiers, raised the Egyptian flag over the ferryboat’s ruins after crushing it, the flag remained raised for nearly three months.
With the rage of October’s battles, the battalion of Al Sa’ka, led by Al Rafe’I, managed to destroy the petrol wells in Balaeim’s area, in the eastern canal to deprive the enemy of its benefits, also they succeeded in raiding over Al Tour Airport, destroying some of the enemy’s airplanes resting there. On October 18, the men of Al Rafe’i crossed the canal until they reached Defreswar area in order to destruct the border crossing set by the enemy to reach the west, they indeed managed to blow it up, putting an end to the Israeli creeping into the region. Amidst the fighting with the enemy, the hero Ibrahim Al Rafe’i was injured by a shell burst from nearby Israeli cannon, he was then taken to Al Galaa Hospital, yet he passed away, offering his life and blood as a ransom for Egypt.
Ahmed Nasr Abdul Halim
He was one of the heroes of the maritime sa’ka during the wars of attrition and October. He managed to cross the Suez Canal for 49 times between the years 1969 – 1970 and to captivate an Israeli officer. In one of his missions, he managed to stay for about 48 hours in the Suez Canal waters in order to save one of the members who launched a destroying operation against an Israeli patrol, he was able to return with the hero and his RPG weapon to the other bank of the Canal. He also took part in clearing the Suez Canal.
The heroisms of victory is not confined to the members of the great army, but rather it expanded to each Egyptian citizen, for example:
The Commando Salma Shumait
Her appearance revealed nothing except being a humble Bedouin woman who was tending the flocks. However, Lady Salma Shumait is one of the Egyptian rigid figures who carried out commando acts in perfect bravery and secrecy. The enemy saw her as only a shepherd in Sinai desert, yet she used to carry mines she received from her husband and children on her back, taking them to the nearest site for the target, marking them with a sign, then burying them at night in the ground along the way of the Israeli armored vehicles. She endured the martyrdom of her husband in one of the operations, then her son’s martyrdom in a next one, and the captivation of her other son in a third operation. Amidst all this, she had never lost her rigidness, she was summoned up by the Israeli Intelligence to persuade her son to confess about his armored organization, yet she strengthened him, encouraged him to keep firm until the land gets liberated!
The great October is a coherent series of work, training and heroism until the victory was achieved by heroes whose journey will never stop.