• iKonnect

The Six-Day War - Unheard of Stories

Updated: May 6

You probably know the main gist of the Six-Day War, how Israel managed to beat all its enemies in just six days etc. But there are amazing stories from the war that you most likely have never heard about.


Tanks of the 14th Brigade advancing on the Crimson Axis in the Sinai Desert during the Six Day War
Tanks of the 14th Brigade advancing on the Crimson Axis in the Sinai Desert / CC BY-SA 3.0 / אלכס אגור

No arm, no assistance? No problem


This is the story of Lieutenant Gadi Reppen. Reppen was an officer in the 45th Tank Brigade that battled Jordanian tanks near the city of Jenin, on the second night of the war. After his company commander was hit, Reppen took his place and under his command, the Jordanian tanks were destroyed.


They later faced more Jordanian tanks in a tough battle, the special forces that came to assist were nearly obliterated, and four of Reppen's tanks were hit. If that wasn't enough after Reppen called in for aerial assistance, the planes mistook his tanks for the enemy tanks, and whatever tanks that were left got hit by the friendly fire.


Reppen was severely hurt from the attack, he suffered burns all over his body, and his left arm was almost entirely severed. All of this didn't stop him from protecting his soldiers. Assuming they would be taken captive, they quickly destroyed all of the paperwork and documents and ran to take cover. This group really had no luck, because after a rescue team finally arrived and they boarded one of the armored vehicles, it was hit and Reppen was injured again.


Finally, after a long and gruesome seven hours, Reppen and the other survivors were rescued. Reppen received the Medal of Valor for his actions, Israel's highest military decoration.


So next time you think you've got it bad, and you don't see how it can get better, just remember Lieutenant Reppen's story and you will realize things will probably turn around at some point.


Soviet soldiers in the Six-Day War? You better believe it!

You mean you didn't know that there were Soviet forces that participated in the Six-Day War battles? Well, neither did we! We were completely dumbfounded by this small, yet astonishing tidbit. In the Port Said Battle during the Six-Day War, a Soviet Marines unit intervened, which resulted in 17 deaths from that unit.


The story was told by Victor Stefanovic, the unit's commander, sometime after the war. After the Soviet Union fell, over 25,000,000 official files were destroyed, and the Soviet intervention in the Middle East at the time was meant to be swept under the table.


After the Soviet fall, soldiers began talking and even writing about their personal experiences in the Middle East, thus allowing historians to paint a picture of how big the Soviet involvement actually was.

The Navy POW

After completing the Alexandria Operation (an operation that took place 12 hours after the war broke out, where six Shayetet 13 divers deployed from the Ahi Tanin Submarine and sabotaged the Egyptian port). Three of the Shayetet divers couldn't find their submarine, so they returned to shore and hid in a cave.

The six divers were discovered by Egyptian fishermen, who started throwing rocks at them. They tried convincing the fishermen they were British soldiers, but the police came and they were held captive. Two soldiers managed to escape but were captured later on.


The soldiers underwent harsh torture and beatings throughout their captivity, until the prisoner exchange at the beginning of 1968. The soldiers didn't give up any crucial information while they were held captive.


Israel has been through many wars, and endless battles and operations, so the stories from these events are countless and there still so many that aren't known to most. We hope that you enjoy the few that we manage to pass on!