‘We sent a battalion to Yemen,’ Nasser needled his colleague Anwar Sadat, whom he tended to blame for the entire enterprise, ‘and reinforced it with two divisions.’562 Within a year, the number of Egyptian troops in Yemen soared to unanticipated levels. It was a slippery slope. As Egypt became more and more deeply committed, the political costs of withdrawal rose. The original ‘symbolic’ force of 2000 men had quadrupled by mid-November 1962.563 Marshal Amer arrived in January 1963 and remained until March, increasing the troop contingent to 20,000 and directing a successful offensive. Small detachments came home to be welcomed as victorious heroes — and quietly replaced by others.564 By the first anniversary of the revolution, the Egyptian Expeditionary Force in Yemen numbered about 30,000 (nearly one third of Nasser’s entire army), and had been re-organised for a long-term occupational role, holding key towns and lines of communication.565
KeywordsSaudi Arabia Arabian Peninsula Arab World Foreign Minister Federation Ruler
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