Egypt could not accept Israeli occupation of the Sinai and, after two years of artillery duels, launched an audacious surprise attack across the Suez Canal on Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish year, the Day of Atonement. Israeli forces were at their least prepared.
The Egyptians gained a bridgehead across the canal but were eventually outflanked when the Israelis crossed to the west of the canal. Egypt accepted a ceasefire. In the meantime, the Israelis had counter-attacked against the Syrians who had taken the Golan Heights and forced them back, approaching Damascus itself.
Although Israel had won, it had been taken by surprise and was shocked. Its chief of staff and head of intelligence resigned. It also realised that the day of the tank was over, with so many destroyed by anti-tank missiles.
Eventually, both Egypt and Israel decided that they had a basis for making peace.
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