The commander of an Israeli Centurion tank, the local upgraded version of which was known as the Sho’t, keeps an eye out for Egyptian troops in the Sinai during the Yom Kippur War in 1973.
The Sho’t performed admirably for the IDF as they began to go on the offensive on October 14th, proving itself to be dominant against the Egyptian T-55s and although about equal with the T-62s, the latter were in quite limited numbers. They proved to be vulnerable to anti-tank weapons carried by the infantry such as the Sagger missile, but when accompanied by infantry to protect them from such attacks, they were an effective weapon, and cut swathes through the Egyptian forces, destroying hundreds of Egyptian vehicles while taking minor losses during the initial counteroffensive.
While the Sho’t (Centurion) tanks were a real force to be reckoned with, the M48 Magach, upgraded from the Patton configuration with a 105mm gun, was the most common IDF tank during the fighting in the Sinai in 1973. About half of the M48s deployed to the Sinai at the beginning of the conflict were disabled, knocked out or otherwise removed from the fight in the first day of combat, but the Israelis were able to repair a great many of them to use in the counteroffensive later on.
Their armor support brought across the Suez, Egyptian infantry advance into the Sinai Desert on October 7th. About 10 miles east of the Suez the Egyptian forces began to dig in in anticipation of the Egyptian counterattacks, but it would be a few days still before the IDF had enough forces mustered to begin contemplating anything beyond defense.
An Israeli Centurion tank plows through the Sinai Peninsula during the Six-Day War in 1967. Taking various provocations from the Arab states to be acts of war - the blockade of the Straits of Tiran being the last straw, Israel launched air attacks on all fronts, crippling much of their enemies air forces on the ground before the first day was over. Following up the air assault with ground offensives, the Six-Day War was a total success for the IDF, with Israel taking the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Golan Heights and the entire Sinai Peninsula from their Arab neighbors.
Following the conclusion of the Six-Day War, the humiliated Arab states, principally Egypt, continued to engage in low level conflict with Israel in what was known as the War of Attrition, lasting from the conclusion of the 1967 war until a ceasefire was agreed to in 1970. Here, the crew of an IDF M48 peer across the Suez Canal, the site of many of the exchanges during that time.