Twentieth Century Battlefields

Season 1 Episode 6

1973 Middle East

Aired Saturday 9:00 PM Jul 09, 2007 on BBC Two
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Episode Summary

1973 Middle East
In the long history of conflict between the Arab and Israeli people, the 1973 "Yom Kippur War" is one of the most critical.

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    Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


    • TRIVIA (3)

      • The following people appeared in this episode to offer their professional opinion, historical insight or appeared as part of archive footage: Hafez al-Assad - President of Syria (archive photos) Leonid Brezhnev - Soviet leader (archive footage) ColourSergeant Mark Edwards RM - British military advisor General David Elazar - Israeli Defence Forces Chief of Staff (archive photos) Golda Meir - Israeli Prime Minister (archive photos) Anwar El Sadat - Egyptian President (archive footage and photos) General Ariel Sharon - Israeli Defence Force General Saad El Shazly - Egyptian Army Commander (archive photos)

      • Special thanks were given to the following people and/or groups for their assistance in producing this episode:

        -Abraham Rabinovich
        -Alon Farago
        -Avi Shlaim
        -Lt. Cmdr. Youssef Aboul-Enein; United States Navy
        -Patrick Seale
        -Royal Marines Commando Training Centre
        -Yesid Savich


        AKG Images
        Egyptian State Information Services
        Israeli Defence Forces
        Israeli Film Service

      • The subject of the "Yom Kippur War" is still such a sensitive one in Egypt that the producers of this show were not permitted to film there.

    • QUOTES (3)

      • Peter Snow: Despite the fact that they had suffered up to 30000 casualties, perhaps, in the end, the side that gained the most from this war was Egypt. The Egyptian crossing of the canal was seen as a major military achievement that restored Arab pride and gave President Sadat the confidence to make a spectacular bid for peace.

      • Dan Snow: By October the 23rd, the Egyptian 3rd Army was surrounded. The supply line for its 45000 men were cut. With only four days of food and water left, it wouldn't be long before they were starved into submission.
        Peter Snow: It was at this critical moment that Egypt's most powerful ally, the Soviet Union, made one final bid to help the Egyptians. The Soviet president, Leonid Brezhnev, tells the Americans that unless they agreed to send a joint U.S./Soviet peace keeping force to the middle-east, he would send soviet troops on their own.

      • Peter Snow: For three weeks, the battle swung violently from side to side. It brought each within sight of victory and defeat. And it brought the superpowers, America and the Soviet Union, close to a nuclear showdown.

    • NOTES (2)

      • When Leonid Brezhnev warned that he would send Soviet troops into the middle east, the United States responded by putting their nuclear arsenal on alert. The American government was not prepared to allow the Soviet Union to send military forces into the oil-rich middle east. Faced with this threat, Brezhnev backed down.

      • This battle marked the first time that the Soviet-made AT-3 Sagger anti-tank guided missile was used in combat.

    • ALLUSIONS (0)