Two long-nosed Vautour planes took off from Ramat David airfield in northern Israel on the morning of June 5th, 1967. Each was carrying a French-made electronic system that would decide the fate of the impending clash between Arabs and Jews.
The aircraft flew south, towards Egypt, and soared upwards when they reached Port Said. Travelling up and down the Suez Canal, the electronic devices installed in the Vautours delivered a sustained signal that had a dramatic effect. Below them, Egyptian radar operators and anti-aircraft batteries found, to their amazement, that their screens had gone blank. Israeli Dakota and Stratocruiser aircraft flying nearby monitored the activity of the Egyptian radar stations. When it was clear that they were down, the go-ahead was given. Wave after wave of Israeli bombers descended upon Egypt’s military airfields.
The Israeli aircraft flew at low altitude, releasing their bombs over the enemy runways. Once these were destroyed, the planes came back for another sortie, using their cannon to blow the Egyptian, Soviet-built, MiGs to smithereens. In total, 286 of Egypt’s 420 aircraft were destroyed that day. Israeli pilots proceeded to destroy the Jordanian, Syrian and Iraqi air forces. The defeat of the Arab armies that followed was swift and devastating.
To read this article in full you need to be either a print + archive subscriber, or else have purchased access to the online archive.
If you are already a subscriber, please ensure you are logged in.