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Reply to Waleed Abd El Rahman - Egypt "victory" in 1973

Reader comment on item: [Michael Oren's] "Six Days of War"
in response to reader comment: How the Egyptians learned the lesson

Submitted by Shmuel Ben Zvi (United States), Apr 9, 2004 at 11:07

One year later, a bit late to reply, but in the course of history, it is an instant reply.

Mr. El Rahman expresses a well established opinion in Egypt that the war of 1973 was an Egyptian victory. However, he neglects to base his remark on the entire course of that was, from the beginning of the military actions till the end of it.

Sure the Egyptian army achieved an initial success based on surprise, the same as Israel surprised in 1967. While Israel gained the entire Sinai Peninsula and destroyed the Egyptian army by the end of the war, the Egyptian army in 1973 was able to penetrate to a distance of only 10 km from the east bank. In no way the Egyptian army gained any significant ground, destroyed the fighting capabilities of the Israeli army or threatened any Israeli centers of population. At the end of the war, the Israeli army surrounded the Egyptian second army, cut it supply line and rendered it powerless, destroyed the Egyptian anti-air capabilities and reached as far as 101 km from the Egyptian Capitol.

The war of 1973 ended not because Israel was brought to its knees but because Egypt and Syria were brought to theirs. The Soviet Union, the USSR intervened and threatened to join the war if Israel would not halt its progress on Arab Capitols.

The right thing for both Egypt and Israel to do was to sign the peace treaty that they should have done so before the two wars. I regret that both sides decided to destroy lives and waste resources on wars only to come to the inevitable conclusion.


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