Nasser at War pp 123-143 | Cite as

One Continuous Nightmare: The Aftermath of Defeat

  • Laura M. James


Israel at last launched her attack on Egypt on the morning of Monday 5 June. Most of the Egyptian air force was destroyed within a few hours, before the planes could leave the ruined runways. Ignoring existing plans, Marshal Amer ordered an immediate retreat from the Sinai Peninsula, which rapidly became a shambolic rout. Jordanian forces, under Egyptian command, had responded to the outbreak of war with an attack on Israel, provoking a crushing response. On 7 June, Israeli troops took Sharm el-Sheikh, the Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem. By the following day, the entire West Bank and the oil-rich Sinai had been occupied. The stunned Egyptian government agreed to a ceasefire late that evening. In the initial phase of the war, taken by surprise, Syria did little but fire across the border. When the other Arab states had been defeated, Damascus also requested a ceasefire. A few hours later, however, at dawn on 9 June, Israel advanced, quickly seizing the Golan Heights. The Soviets told the United States that they would intervene, and this warning was passed on to the Israeli Prime Minister, who ignored it. The USA moved up the Sixth Fleet to deter the USSR, and a genuine superpower confrontation seemed possible. At length, a final ceasefire was negotiated on the evening of 10 June.


Armed Force Gaza Strip Foreign Minister Suez Canal Peace Treaty 
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© Laura James 2006

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  • Laura M. James

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