Course of the Yom Kippur War 1973

What was the course of the Yom Kippur War?


Yom Kippur War, also known as the Arab-Israeli War of 1973 or the Ramadan War, was fought between Egypt and Syria from Arab side and Israel on the other. This war was the fourth one in the series regarded as fierce military confrontations between Israel and any Arab state.

There were two major factors which led up to the Yom Kippur War. First, there were no settled disputes regarding the Arab-Israeli territories which rose from the Arab-Israeli War of 1967. These unresolved disputes related to the return of Sinai to Egypt and the return of Golan Heights to Syria. Efforts of peace initiated from the UN Resolution 242 and from the Egyptian President Anwar Sadat went futile. Sadat intended to sign an agreement with Israel, following which, Israel would lift occupation from all the seized Arab land captured as a result of the 1967 war. However, Israel denied to agree on that and refused to withdraw forces from the occupied land. Keeping in view that no progress was made towards peace, and to recover the legitimacy over the Arab lands, Sadat called for a war with limited objectives.


The second factor that led to the Yom Kippur War is also connected to the first one. Israel did not extend hand in efforts for peace as it felt no threat of a war from either Syria or Egypt. It was because of the reason that Israel considered it protected because of the strength of IDF, anarchy of the Arab world and a considerably huge buffer zone formed around Israel because of the Golan Heights, Sinai and the West Bank. Therefore, in spite of the warnings given by Sadat to Israel about a probable attack in 1972 and a number of times in 1973, Israeli commanders remained unprepared for the October attack from Egypt and Syria. It was Israel’s misinterpretation about the gathering of Arab armies along the Suez Canal as military exercise.


Egypt and Syria made a surprise attack on Israel on October 6, 1973, on Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year for Jews and hence the name Yom Kippur War. Egyptian forces swiftly crossed the Suez Canal and overtook the Bar-Lev Line while the Syrian forces entered the Golan Heights almost succeeded in reaching the 1967 border with Israel which overlooked the Hula Basin. With 1100 Syrian tanks against 157 Israeli tanks, Israel was outnumbered on the north side and suffered a loss of nearly 150 planes and hundreds of casualties, failing in counterstrike for the first few days of war.


But the situation took a sad turn on October 10, when the Israeli forces started to push back the Syrian forces. Help to Arabs was sent from Soviet Union in the form of airlifts to Cairo and Damascus. This was answered on a bigger level from US as it sent massive airlifts to Israel. Till October 21, Israeli Forces had taken over the Egyptian Third Army.


Yom Kippur turned into an international issue when Soviet Union threatened to send more troops to Egypt, responding to a plea made by Egypt to save its Third Army. US Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger, went to Moscow to negotiate a cease-fire, however, it was broken and Soviet Union sent threats of intervention again. US called for another cease-fire on October 25, 1973 and pressurized Israel to agree to it. Egypt and Israel both claimed a victory at the end of the war.


Consequences of the war were widespread. Nearly 8,500 Arab casualties were recorded with an economic loss equaling to a whole year’s GNP, however, Arab’s confidence was increased. Arab’s dependency over Soviet Union also increased as a result of the war. On Israel’s side, some 6000 soldiers were killed and had an equal economic loss like Arabs. The war destroyed the image that Israeli forces are invincible and it became more dependent on U.S. for aids relating to economy, military and diplomacy.

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§ 4 Responses to Course of the Yom Kippur War 1973"

  • bebo says:

    palestine facts!SHAME YOU! it seems that you don’t know any thing or let me say lie ,you say that egypt lost and israel won! but how do you explain that sinai -all of it- is under full egyptian control! sharon that ugly war criminal failed with advancecd tanks and brought disgrace and shame to the shamefull and disgracefull and criminal ,murderer ,thief IDF with losing more than half of his force against the civillian armed resistent in suiz ,why you always change the truth and lie! by the way the breakthrough is only a big lie,we were able to destoy the israeli surrounders but feared to go against the major US forces with our limited weapons without expectation from USSR help under the cover of breaking cease-fire with UN and europian (the world to you) support,i’m not going to details but we fought when war wasnt expected when we werent heavily nor modernly prepared WHEN OUR ECONOMY WAS FALLING but we won and reclaimed our land and we were honourably victorious AS YOU 100% KNOW WHATEVER YOU WRITE NO MATTER YOU SAY!!!!!!!!!!! ,you know that we know you know the truth of your dreadful AND SHAMEFULL defeat AND OUR SUPREME VICTORY you LIER israeli zionist and like you said about 6th october war that it shall never happen again , i assure you that the next major arab/muslim -israeli/us/europian/nato’…….blablablaBLABLABLABLA!……crusaders! will be the extinction of zionists and zionism you can call it war world III especially after our spring our revolution, your power will fall as for any slope and we will rise again ,days are between us,…………………….N.B. don’t laugh just yet save your ENERGY later because whoever laughes last laughes most and whoever cries last also cries most !!!!!!!!!!!! ALMIGHTY ALLAH LET VICTORY BE TO THOSE WHO HAVE THE RIGHT TO IT AND THOSE WHO ARE TRUSTWORTHY,AMEN!

  • commenter says:

    You comment: “palestine facts!SHAME YOU! it seems that you don’t know any thing or let me say lie ,you say that egypt lost and israel won! but how do you explain that sinai -all of it- is under full egyptian control! “,

    Easy: Egypt didn’t get the Sinai back until 1979, six (6) years after the Yom Kippur War. Israel voluntarily returned the territory in exchange for Egypt formally recognizing Israel as a Jewish state, signing a peace treaty with Israel, and being the first Arab state to establish full diplomatic relations with Israel. That is why today, 2011, in the Egyptian capital of Cairo, the Israeli flag flies proudly in Cairo over the Israeli embassy and in Alexandria over the Israeli consulate there. As the Egyptian flag flies over the Israeli capital of Jerusalem.

    Israeli retains rights under the peace treaty of 1979 to limit and control the number and type of Egyptian army forces who are allowed in Sinai — Egypt has to ask Israel’s permission in order to have more than light border-patrol forces in the Sinai.

    Egyptian president Sadat and Israeli president Begin won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 for this peace treaty.

    Boy are you historically dumb!! Typical Arab-street ignorance. And you wonder why you keep on losing these wars you start. “He who does not know history is doomed to repeat it.”

  • Deborah Doyle says:

    Well there you go…….. I think the above, deeply thoughtful and considered comments clearly demonstrate why the war was won, and by whom. What’s more, I think this educated and intelligent person has just demonstrated why this continues to occur.

  • Deborah Doyle says:

    Looks like I should have said “Below”… as obviously the “ranting rhetoric” at the top of the page is totally war-mongering rot. Grin..

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