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June 5: War Begins

June 5: War Begins

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Egyptian planes destroyed in Sinai air bases on the first day of the war. 
Photo: Israel National Photo Archive   Egyptian planes destroyed in Sinai air bases on the first day of the war. Photo: Israel National Photo Archive
 

By 7:30 AM, two hundred Israeli Air Force (IAF) planes were in the air, heading towards Egyptian airbases. Though flying very low, so as not to be detected by the scores of Arab radar sites, a Jordanian radar facility detected an unusually large number of aircraft heading towards the sea. The officer on duty immediately sent a message, “Inab,” the codeword for war, to Jordan military headquarters in Amman. The message was encoded and passed on to Egypt’s defense minister in Cairo. Miraculously, however, the Egyptian coding frequencies had been changed the previous day, and the Jordanians had not been updated. That morning, with the element of surprise in their favor, the IAF obliterated six Egyptian airfields—two in Egypt proper and four in the Sinai Desert—destroying 204 Egyptian planes, half of their air force. Though Egypt had sufficient anti-aircraft ammunition to destroy all the attacking Israeli planes, miraculously, no order was given for these missiles to be launched. The Israelis accomplished their mission with practically no resistance.

The total air superiority achieved on the first day of the war drastically reduced the enemies’ combat abilities.

Today’s Highlights:

  • Israeli airstrikes destroy two-thirds of the Syrian Air Force, more than 300 Egyptian aircraft, and most of Royal Jordanian Air Force.
  • IDF completes the capture of Rafah and El-Arish.
  • The “Government House” in Jerusalem is captured from the Jordanians.

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