Paid Advertisement
Historynet/feed historynet feedback facebook link Weider History Group RSS feed Weider Subscriptions Historynet Home page

Key Players in the 1973 Arab-Israeli War

By O'Brien Browne 
Originally published by MHQ magazine. Published Online: January 16, 2014 
Print Friendly
0 comments FONT +  FONT -

Israeli prime minister Golda Meir and Ariel Sharon, commander of the 143rd Reserve Armored Division, visit the southern command in the Sinai. (Israeli Government Press Office)
Israeli prime minister Golda Meir and Ariel Sharon, commander of the 143rd Reserve Armored Division, visit the southern command in the Sinai. (Israeli Government Press Office)

The dramatic days of October 1973 brought together an extraordinary collection of military and political leaders. Some saw their power grow after the war, while others were hobbled by the result.

Hafez al-Assad
After a long career as a pilot and officer in the Syrian Air Force, Assad became his country's minister of defense in 1966 and then president in 1971. His role in the October War won him acclaim in the Arab world and helped establish the power base from which he would rule until 2000. Assad bequeathed a legacy of brutality against his own people to his son and heir, Bashar, who today is fighting a vicious civil war.

Subscribe Today

Subscribe to MHQ magazine

Moshe Dayan
Israel's minister of defense from 1967 to 1974, Dayan had fought in the 1948 War of Independence and led Israel's armed forces to spectacular triumph in the Six-Day War. "Moshe Dayan symbolized the national and military rebirth and the revitalization of Jewish strength, the myth of the Jewish fighter," military historian Yossi Argaman has written. Reviled by the Israeli press and public after the October War, Dayan resigned. He returned to government in 1977 as foreign minister and helped negotiate the 1979 Egypt-Israel peace.

 Faisal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud
Prudent and reformist, the Saudi Arabian king was one of the first Middle Eastern leaders to realize the political power of his country's oil wealth. He was assassinated in 1975, perhaps to avenge a family death or as a protest to his secular reforms. Some Arabs claim he was killed by outside forces in retaliation for the 1973–1974 oil boycott.

Golda Meir
One of the most celebrated figures in modern Israeli history, the tough and pragmatic Meir served as prime minister from 1969 to 1974. She was firm and wise during the darkest days of the October War but was strongly criticized for the military's unpreparedness. She resigned in 1974, feeling that she had lost the confidence of the Israeli people.

Anwar el-Sadat
The architect of the war, Sadat had become president in 1970. Thanks to the perceived Arab triumph against the mighty Israelis, he emerged from the conflict as a major player in the international scene and led the quest for peace. He was assassinated in 1981 by the first wave of Islamic extremists who terrorize the world today.

Ariel Sharon
Revered inside Israel as a brilliant military commander and powerful politician, Sharon is equally despised in the Arab world. After his strike into Egypt at the end of the October War, he was heralded as "King of Israel." He later held several high-ranking positions, including minister of defense (1981–1983) and prime minister (2001–2006). A stroke has left him in a deep coma for the past seven years.

Saad el-Shazly
Outspoken and controversial, Sadat's chief of staff opposed some of the president's key decisions in the war. Though a gifted tactician and strategist, the general was removed from the military after the war and given diplomatic assignments. Thanks to a falling-out with Sadat—he criticized the treaty with Israel, among other things—he was forced into exile. He spent the years before his 2011 death in an Egyptian prison, where he had been sentenced for allegedly revealing military secrets in a book he wrote about the October War.

—O'Brien Browne

Back to Honor, Oil, and Blood



Leave a Reply

Human Verification: In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.


Related Articles


History Net Images Spacer
Paid Advertisement
Paid Advertisement
History Net Daily Activities
History net Spacer
History net Spacer
Historynet Spacer
HISTORYNET READERS' POLL

Which of these wars resulted in the most surprising underdog upset?

View Results | See previous polls

Loading ... Loading ...
History net Spacer
STAY CONNECTED WITH US
RSS Feed Daily Email Update
History net Spacer History net Spacer
Paid Advertisement

Paid Advertisement
What is HistoryNet?

The HistoryNet.com is brought to you by Weider History, the world's largest publisher of history magazines. HistoryNet.com contains daily features, photo galleries and over 5,000 articles originally published in our various magazines.

If you are interested in a specific history subject, try searching our archives, you are bound to find something to pique your interest.

From Our Magazines
Weider History

Weider History Network:  HistoryNet | Armchair General | Achtung Panzer! | StreamHistory.com
Today in History | Ask Mr. History | Picture of the Day | Daily History Quiz | Contact Us

Copyright © 2014 Weider History. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.
Advertise With Us | Subscription Help | Privacy Policy