Fourth Arab-Israeli War, 1973 (Yom Kippur War)

Monty Kirk
Mind Map by , created over 5 years ago

Mind Map on Fourth Arab-Israeli War, 1973 (Yom Kippur War), created by Monty Kirk on 05/21/2014.

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Monty Kirk
Created by Monty Kirk over 5 years ago
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Fourth Arab-Israeli War, 1973 (Yom Kippur War)
1 Persistent Arab desires to destroy Israel. Declaration from some Arab states in August 1967 – “threes no’s” – “no peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, no negotiation with Israel”. The Egyptians and Israelis carried out a ‘War of Attrition’ across the Suez Canal, this involved artillery shelling and aircraft, 1968-70 – but new Soviet surface-to-air missiles (SAMs) put an end to Israeli aircraft operating in the area, a ceasefire was signed in 1970. Nasser died in 1970 and his successor Anwar Sadat initially tried to improve relations with the USA and to negotiate with Israel, but received no positive response. He thus turned back to the desire to attack Israel.
2 Long-term causes of the Yom Kippur War: Continued existence of Israel (to avenge previous defeats- see “the three no’s” – to many Arabs the 1973 conflict was revenge for 1967), to recover lost territory from the 1967 war, failure of any negotiations from 1970-72 (Sadat had been prepared to give some form of political recognition to Israel in return for the Sinai). Massive military support for both Israel (USA) and its Arab opponents (USSR) provided the context for another conflict (e.g. Egypt felt much more confident with its SAM cover).
3 Short-term causes of the Yom Kippur War: Military agreement with Syria to strike at Israel; Arab decision to launch a pre-emptive strike on 6th October 1973 (the Jewish holy day of Yom Kippur).
4 Arab attack on Israel. Pre-emptive strike on 6th October 1973. This caught out the Israelis. The Egyptians crossed the Suez Canal and entered into the Sinai (made easy by the SAM ‘umbrella’ as it ruled out Israel’s best weapon), Israeli aircraft tried to fight back, but many were shot down by SAMs; furthermore, the Egyptians effectively used portable anti-tank missiles against Israeli counter-attacks from land. For a while it looked as though the Israelis might be defeated.
5 Pattern and development of the war:
5.1 Early Arabs successes – Egyptian forces entered the Sinai and Syrian forces pressed into the Golan Heights.
5.2 Israeli recovery – the situation changed for two reasons:
5.2.1 2) USA transported large amounts of military equipment to the Israelis. This allowed the Israelis to fight back pushing the Egyptians out of the Sinai and across the Suez Canal (first happened on 15th Oct in small numbers of tanks which led to Battle of Chinese Farm, and then in substantial numbers from 19th). Syrian attacks were repulsed back off the Golan Heights and into Syria.
5.2.2 1) Israelis were able to fight back when the Egyptians over-extended themselves into the Sinai (they moved beyond the effective cover of their SAM missiles so they used aircraft to great effect).
5.3 Ceasefire was agreed on 24th October 1973.
6 Involvement of the Superpowers. Both the USA and the USSR rapidly provided huge amounts of equipment to both sides as the conflict unfolded, US equipment greatly assisted the Israelis in their advance back across the Suez Canal and into Egypt, USA went onto high military alert to try to threaten the Russians to back down in their support of Arab states (they threatened to strike against Israel if they didn’t halt their advance). But this also alarmed both superpowers who were concerned that a regional conflict in the Middle East could drag them both into a major (possibly nuclear) war. From 18th October both superpowers began to conduct negotiations for a way out of the crisis and eventually agreed to apply restraint to their client states (USA to Israel, USSR to Egypt and Syria). A ceasefire was encouraged.
7 Involvement of other Arab states – issue of oil: As the conflict unfolded and the Israelis repelled the Egyptians and Syrians there was a reaction for the Arab states in the Gulf region. These were the key oil producing states who were alarmed at Israel’s advances and concerned at western support for Israel. The weapon these OPEC (Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries) states used was oil (they increased the price and restricted the supply of the oil they supplied to the Europe and the USA). Such pressure had an effect as neither western Europe nor the USA could economically afford to suffer for long under such restrictions and high prices. A diplomatic solution had to be found. It was agreed that the USA would put pressure on the Israelis to halt their military advance on Egypt and Syria.
8 Consequences of the Yom Kippur War: Israel’s position as the dominant military force in the Middle East was re-established (but Israelis were also shocked at the Arab advances early in the war – Israel’s invincibility was gone- willing to negotiate peace)
8.1 Moves towards negotiations between Israel and Egypt increased: Sadat visited the Knesset in 1977, all eventually resulted in the 1978 Camp David Agreement (Signed by Begin and Sadat, Carter the broker of peace- he didn’t want oil crisis, hurry negotiations as they had stopped, worry about the USSR). Egypt formally recognized the state of Israel, while Israel withdrew from Sinai (although Egypt still had to allow Israeli ships along the Suez Canal), led to further talks on the Palestinian question but also a huge Arab backlash (about the recognition of Israel which was a ‘betrayal’ after they had fought for so long, Arafat called it a ‘false peace’) led to Sadat’s assassination in 1981
8.2 The superpowers had shown their influence over events, but so too had the power of oil supplies.

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