War, oil and peacemaking 1967-79 / Chapter 6


1.  The origins, course and impact of the October War 1973.

  • There was no peace treaty at the end of the Six-day War in 1967 and Israel remained firmly in control of large areas of Arab land
  • Fighting across the Suez Canal, March 1969 to August 1970
    -In 1969 with the support of the sovierts, Nasser embarked on artillery bombardment of Israeli positions on the eastern bank of the Suez Canal.
    -Nasser's strategy was a limited but prolonged war to bring about an Israeli withdrawal from Sinai. He wanted to exhaust Israelis economically and psychologically. Over the next two yeras, there were many clashed across the Canal.
  • President Sadat and the origins of the war. 
    -In September 1970 - Nasser died and was succeeded by his VP, Anwar Sadat. He realised that the conflict was exhausting and the Canal could not be used. He realised that the peace was needed in order to clear the Canal and rebuild Egypt's cities. 
    - Sadat was prepared to recognise the state of Israel in order to regain the lost land. In February 1971, he put forward a plan for a limited Israeli withdrawal from the Suez Canal and the reopening of the Canal for internation shipping. However, Israelis did not want to discuss it. Sadat realised he needed the US government to intervene as he said, the US held 99% of the cards in the Middle East
    - To win the US support, He sacked the members of his government who were anti-American. However, the US were too busy with their Vietnam War
  • Preparations for war
    -Sadat continued to secure arms and aircrafts from the Soviets. More significantly, the Soviets could not exert any leverage over the Israelis. In 1972, Sadat expelled all 15,000 Soviet advisers who had been training Egypt's armed forces. He did it to win the support of the US and his army as Soviet iinterference in Egyptian affairs had been resented.
    - In 1972, Sadat decided that the stalemate could be broken only by war. Sadat had weaponry, training from the Soviets and also strong financial support from the oil-rich state of Saudi Arabia. Also, he became a strong ally with the new Syrian leader, President Assad. 
  • The Egyptian-Syrian offensive, October 1973.
    -On 6 October - Egypt and Syria attacked. It was Yom Kippur, the holies day of the Jewish year. The Israelis were caught completely by surprise. 90,000 Egyptian men and 850 tanks crossed the Suez Canal in the first 24 hours. They broke through the Israeli fortifications and destroyed 300 Israeli tanks. At the same time, 500 Syrian tanks overwhelmed Israeli forces on the Golan Heights. It took Israelis 3 days to become fully mobilised. On 12 October - they had pushed the Syrians back and on 15 October - they cut off and trapped the Egyptian Third Army
    - USA sent thousands of tons of the most advanced weaponry to Israel. The Soviet Union sent arms to Egypt and Syria. The ceasefire was due to come…


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