Here are some FACTS for you:
The War Begins
On October 6, 1973 — Yom Kippur, the holiest day in the Jewish calendar — Egypt and Syria opened a coordinated surprise attack against Israel. The equivalent of the total forces of NATO in Europe were mobilized on Israel's borders. On the Golan Heights, approximately 180 Israeli tanks faced an onslaught of 1,400 Syrian tanks. Along the Suez Canal, 436 Israeli defenders were attacked by 80,000 Egyptians.
At least ten Arab states, including four non-Middle Eastern nations, actively aided the Egyptian-Syrian war effort.
A few months before the Yom Kippur War, Iraq transferred a squadron of Hunter jets to Egypt. During the war, an Iraqi division of some 18,000 men and several hundred tanks was deployed in the central Golan and participated in the October 16 attack against Israeli positions. Iraqi MiGs began operating over the Golan Heights as early as October 8, the third day of the war.
Besides serving as financial underwriters, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait committed men to battle. A Saudi brigade of approximately 3,000 troops was dispatched to Syria, where it participated in fighting along the approaches to Damascus. Also, violating Paris's ban on the transfer of French-made weapons, Libya sent Mirage fighters to Egypt (from 1971-1973, President Muammar Qaddafi gave Cairo more than $1 billion in aid to rearm Egypt and to pay the Soviets for weapons delivered).
Other North African countries responded to Arab and Soviet calls to aid the frontline states. Algeria sent three aircraft squadrons of fighters and bombers, an armored brigade and 150 tanks. Approximately 1,000-2,000 Tunisian soldiers were positioned in the Nile Delta. Sudan stationed 3,500 troops in southern Egypt, and Morocco sent three brigades to the front lines, including 2,500 men to Syria.
Lebanese radar units were used by Syrian air defense forces. Lebanon also allowed Palestinian terrorists to shell Israeli civilian settlements from its territory. Palestinians fought on the Southern Front with the Egyptians and Kuwaitis.
The least enthusiastic participant in the October fighting was probably Jordan's King Hussein, who apparently had been kept uninformed of Egyptian and Syrian war plans. But Hussein did send two of his best units — the 40th and 60th Armored Brigades — to Syria.
Thrown onto the defensive during the first two days of fighting, Israel mobilized its reserves and eventually repulsed the invaders and carried the war deep into Syria and Egypt. The Arab states were swiftly resupplied by sea and air from the Soviet Union, which rejected U.S. efforts to work toward an immediate ceasefire. As a result, the United States belatedly began its own airlift to Israel.
The Soviet Union showed no interest in initiating peacemaking efforts while it looked like the Arabs might win. The same was true for UN Secretary-General Kurt Waldheim.
However, on October 8th, Israeli forces, bolstered by called-up reserves, counter-attacked in the Sinai. They pushed back the Egyptian military and crossed the Suez Canal south of Ismailia. Here, the Israelis used the Suez-Cairo road to advance towards the Egyptian capital, Cairo, and got to within 65 miles of it.
The Israelis experienced similar success in the Golan Heights where the Syrian forces were pushed back and Israel re-captured lost land. Using the main road from Tiberias to Damascus, the Israelis got to within 35 miles of the Syrian capital.
On October 22, the Security Council adopted Resolution 338 calling for "all parties to the present fighting to cease all firing and terminate all military activity immediately." The vote came on the day that Israeli forces cut off and isolated the Egyptian Third Army and were in a position to destroy it.
Saving the Losers
How Israel behaved differently? With the Egyptian 3rd army surrounded, starving, dying from lack of water, did Israel move in for the kill as the Arabs would have? NO! Israel supplied and allowed supplies of fresh water and food to the very army who wanted to kill all Israelis and throw them into the sea.
Israel reluctantly complied with the cease fire, largely because of U.S. pressure, but also because the next military moves would have been to attack the two Arab capitals, something few believed would be politically wise. Despite the Israel Defense Force's ultimate success on the battlefield, the war was considered a diplomatic and intelligence failure.
The First "Arab Goddess Victory"
Arab casualties were known to be much higher than Israel's, though precise figures are difficult to ascertain as Egypt and Syria never disclosed official figures. The lowest casualty estimate is:
2,297 Israeli soldiers had been killed
|8,000 (5,000 Egyptian and 3,000 Syrian) have been killed|
|7250 wonded||18,000 wounded|
|293 were captured||8,372 Egyptians and 392 Syrians were captured, Thirteen Iraqis and six Moroccans were also captured|
|400 Tanks + 600 disabled tanks, but been repaired and back to service||2250 Tanks, 400 of these fell into Israeli hands in good working order|
|102 Aircrafts||514 Aircrafts|
|2 Hellicopters: Bell 205 & CH-53||19 Naval Vessels |
And the last FACT for you...
How's that Egypt got Sinai peninsula back by signing on a peace treaty with Israel in March 26, 1979 and didn't occupied Sinai in October war which occured in October 6, 1973?
Something to think about...