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The Limits of DetenteThe United States, the Soviet Union, and the Arab-Israeli Conflict, 1969-1973$
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Craig Daigle

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780300167139

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300167139.001.0001

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The Crisis of Détente, October 1973

The Crisis of Détente, October 1973

(p.294) Nine The Crisis of Détente, October 1973
The Limits of Detente

Craig Daigle

Yale University Press

This chapter describes the surprise attack on Israel made by Egyptian president Anwar Sadat in October 1973. The fighting erupted just past 2 p.m., Israel time, when thousands of Egyptian forces swarmed across the Suez Canal and Syrian tanks and troops struck in great force on the Golan Heights. Despite the Arabs' early success on the battlefield, Sadat had no intention of securing a military victory and fully expected that his forces would be overmatched as soon as Israel mobilized its reserves and recovered from the shock of the early hours of the war. This poses the question: If Sadat did not aim for a military victory against Israel, why did he take his country into a war that he knew he would lose?

Keywords:   surprise attack, Anwar Sadat, military victory, Suez Canal, Golan Heights

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