The Arabist

The Arabist

By Issandr El Amrani and friends.

Egyptian pilot remembers 1967

Interesting interview from the BBC of a former Egyptian pilot remember his dogfight with Israeli jets on 6 June 1967. Note that in terms of the technology used, it was basically Egyptians flying slower Soviet MiGs against Israelis in French Mystere and the newer Mirage jets. What comes across in this as in so many Egyptian testimonies is the inexcusable degree of unpreparedness for the attack, despite the high tensions at the time. No wonder the pilot has this to say:

The air force felt very angry and humiliated by this war. Once, during the war, two of my fellow officers had to stop me banging my head repeatedly against a pair of concrete pillars at our air base.

Another time, still during the war, I and some others were sent to stay in a hotel in Cairo, but the waiter in the hotel was too sympathetic and even placed his hand on my shoulder to comfort me.

This was so embarrassing, we asked to be taken back to the base.