No Victor, No Vanquished: The Yom Kippur War

James Cornwell | Published in 30 Jun 1980

In the 'Six Day War' of June, 1967 the Israeli Defence Force had defeated the combined armies of Egypt, Syria and Jordan by seizing the initiative with pre-emptive strikes by its superior Air Force. As a result Israel greatly extended its military frontiers, the ensuing six years of inaction apart from guerrilla raids lulled the Israeli Government into a sense of comparative security.

Not so with the Egyptian President, Anwar Sadat. With massive Soviet support he built up a new Egyptian Army and Air Force, intensively trained by Russian instructors and equipped with the latest Russian surface to air missiles (SAM-6), which took heavy toll of every Israeli air strike. The Egyptian Army was also inspired with a tough offensive spirit which it had lacked previously.

Edgar O'Ballance, an experienced military author, has produced the best and most objective account of the October, l973 War, which nearly resulted in Israel's defeat, but actually ended in a stalemate. A few weeks after the operations he visited the battlefields and interrogated leaders of the Israeli, Egyptian, Syrian, Jordanian and Iraqi forces.

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