October War of 1973: causes, course and consequences


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Timeline of key dates:
1967-Six day war
1968-1970 War of attrition
1973-Galili documents
1973-Alliance between Syria and Egypt
6th october 1973-Egyptian troops broke through the Bar Lev line fortifications and war begins
23th of october-Ceasefire talks begin

Key causes of the war:
Long-term
1967 war-Increased tension in the region as long-term disputes between Israel and arab states were not solved.
Israeli stance after 1967:
Determined to keep hold of territories won in 1967 war + wanted peace negotiations not to go through third parties such as US or UN
Arab states' stance after 1967:
Wanted to take back occupied territories in 1967 war + favoured peace negotiations through third parties
PLO stance after 1967:
Did not acknowledge any peace settlements that did not take into account the palestinian question

1969-1970 War of attrition-launched by Nasser to break the military and political deadlock in the region after 1967 war. War attrition = Sporadic clashes between Egyptian and Israeli armies, which increased tension in region
Failure of peace settlements-After the 1967 war, the US peace plans Johnson's five principles (named after the current US president Johnson) and Roger's plan fail to bring stability to the region.
Short-term causes:
The building of Jewish settlements in occupied territories in 1973 further increased tension and let Sadat to attack Israel.
The Galili documents that were issued in 1973 further increased tension (a political policy aimed at building ever more settlements in occupied territories. It was pursued by the Israeli labour party to satisfy the pressure inside and outside the government to adopt a more radical settlement policy)
The alliance between Syria and Egypt- by 1973 Syria and Egypt had concluded that they would force Israel into a peace settlement by the means of war. They made an alliance as Sadat and al-Assad (leader of Syria) recognized that they could not take on the military might of Israel on themselves.

Outline of course of the war - what happened?
6th october 1973-Egyptian troops broke through the Bar Lev line fortifications and war begins. 6th of october is the Jewish festival of Yom Kippur. Consequently, the Israelis were caught off guard and the Egyptian and Syrian forces enjoyed initial success. By 9th of October, Israeli army has mobilized and they start to counter Arab advances. 11th of october Israeli forces began to advance beyond the 1967 ceasefire borders into Syria. 23th of october-Ceasefire talks begin because of international pressure on all belligerents.

Major consequences of 1973:

For Israel:
War cost 7 billion dollars and killed 2700 Israeli troops
Early stages of war (Arab succeeds to invade Israel) undermined Israel's self-cofidence as the dominant power in the middle east.
Israeli becomes more financially and militarily dependent on the US after the war.
Right-wing parties (e.g. Likud party led by Begin Menachem) in Israeli government become more popular because they advocate for a though and more agressive + militant foreign policy as a reaction to the war.
For Arab states:
15 000 Egyptian soldiers killed
7 000 Syrian soldiers killed

Sadat prestige was enhanced in Arab world
Sadat expelled Soviet advisers and open up for cooperation with the US, which he thought could bring durable peace to the middle east.

Historiography - different interpretations of this topic?


Possible Question 4 formulations
To what extent were the conditions for the October war 1973 set up by the consequences of the 1967 war?
Analyze the factors causing the October war in 1973
Assess the statement that "Israel was less badly affect than Egypt by the 1973 war"

Resources:
Schulze, pp. 39 - 46. external image 51hg-fXlLbL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA300_SH20_OU02_.jpg

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7381358.stm

http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/yom_kippur_war_of_1973.htm