Few people know it, but the IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) are modeled on the Swiss Army. When the IDF was in its formative stage in 1948, you might have found a few Swiss Army advisers among the troops. They were, after all, from the small country that had kept the Nazi war machine at bay until Normandy.

Came the 1973 Yom Kippur War with Syria, Egypt and others. Through a miscalculation of Israeli intelligence, the Arab forces caught the Israelis completely by surprise. Nobody was prouder than the Swiss when six days later, Israeli tanks were at the gates of Damascus.

Now the Swiss disdain tank warfare; tanks are useless in mountainous country. But the IDF had adapted to their flat territory. We learn by adapting. A small desert country had conquered an aggressive, hostile Islamic and larger force.

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