The October War of 1973 also known as the Yom-Kippur War was one of the wars we often overlook when we dive into the historical events that took place in history. The growing tensions between Israel and Egypt led to the surprise attack by Egypt on Israel. It was particularly interesting due to the fact that both sides claim to have won the War.
The Yom-Kippur War received its name based on the fact that it occurred on the holiest day of prayer and fasting in the Jewish holiday 1. The October War of 1973 was a result of the Arabs frustration towards Israel for not relinquishing the territories it had acquired during the Six Day War of 1967. In other words, Israel’s victory in the six-day war resulted in the Arabs retaliation in the October war. Both Syria and Egypt had lost territory to Israel and both were looking to gain them back. Israel sought for peace with the Arab nation, but they wanted no involvement of a third party, whereas the Arabs wanted a Third party to be involved2. Consequently, both the Egyptians and the Israeli’s were unwilling to compromise their desires, which resulted in Egypt waging war on Israel.
After the Six Day War, President Lyndon Johnson issued a peace treaty named “The Johnson’s Five Principle” to bring some stability to the warring nations. Unfortunately, the treaty resulted in failure, which added frustration of the Arabs3. Although Israel wanted peace, they passed a policy that allowed them to further establish settlements in the territories they had acquired during the Six Day War; which were known as the Galilee documents4. At this point, the Egyptians had endured all they could and decided to take action against Israel. It is also believed that another reason behind the Arabs decision to start this war was partly due to the difference in religious beliefs between the two nations, which could have played a part in why the Arabs attacked Israel on their holiest day October 6, 19735.
Knowing that their military strength wasn’t enough to combat that of Israel’s, Egypt joined forces with Syria who were also frustrated at the Jewish settlements in occupied territories. This alliance they formed would later help them in gaining back those territories. Egypt started this war under President Anwar Sadat and launched an attack across the Suez Canal on the Israeli’s along with their new found ally Syria 6. By attacking on the Israeli’s holiest day, it gave the Arabs the element of surprise as they were able to attack while Israel’s defenses were down. The combined forces of Egypt and Syria proved to be overwhelming as Israel was attacked on two fronts. Israel’s defenses were particularly weak as they only had 150 tanks to combat Syria’s 1400 tanks on the Golan Heights and across the Suez region they had just 500 soldiers to combat Egypt’s 80,000 7.
Israel failed miserably in trying to combat the Egyptians on the Suez Canal and the Syrians at the Golan Heights8. Egypt and Syria’s strategy to divide the...