Digest>Archives> Jul/Aug 2013

Israeli Military Raid on Lighthouse

By Timothy Harrison


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On January 22, 1970, during the War of Attrition, Israeli paratroopers and commandos conducted a surprise raid against the Shadwan Lighthouse Decca Radar Installation on the Egyptian island of Shadwan.

The goal, which was successful, was to seize the radar post which was deemed a threat to Israeli shipping in the Gulf of Suez. The raid resulted in the deaths of three Israelis and thirty Egyptians who were stationed in the lighthouse compound. The Israelis captured the installation and dismantled it. They then loaded the 60 Egyptian prisoners and the dismantled radar installation on board helicopters and departed the scene, leaving the lighthouse itself intact.

Shadwan is a barren rocky island twenty miles southwest of the Egyptian city of Sharm el-Sheikh on the Sinai Peninsula. It was formerly known as Shaker Island and the lighthouse was also once called Shaker Island Lighthouse. The name of the raid was most likely called Operation Rhodes after the Colassus of Rhodes Lighthouse, an ancient Greek lighthouse that in its time was the tallest structure in the world.

The aerial photo, taken from one of the Israeli helicopters that was involved in the raid that was named Operation Rhodes, is one of the many original photographs in the archives of Lighthouse Digest that all have a story to tell and are each a vital slice of history that needs to be saved for future generations. Maintaining and archiving these historic photographs is an expensive and time-consuming process that can only be accomplished with paid subscriptions to Lighthouse Digest. If you believe in what we are doing, please help us by telling others about us and encourage them to subscribe to Lighthouse Digest, where we are dedicated to saving and preserving lighthouse history one subscription at a time.

This story appeared in the Jul/Aug 2013 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.

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