Mapping the Buffer Zone Following the Yom Kippur War.
Rozmieszczenie posterunkow w strefie buforowej [Placement of Outposts in the Buffer Zone], prepared circa 1974, provides a detailed overview of the buffer zone following the Yom Kippur War, indicating the positioning of international military contingents along the northern Gulf of Suez and adjacent regions. Compiled from 1:100,000 sheets by the Defense Mapping Agency Topographic Center, this map reflects the operational realities of the Suez Canal region during a pivotal time in Middle Eastern history.
The legend aids in understanding the distribution and functions of various operational points within the buffer zone. Observatories, control points, UNTSO stations, and command centers are marked, illustrating the structured approach to peacekeeping. Additionally, the map highlights essential water supply zones, indicating the logistical considerations in the region.
The map shows the sectors of the Swedish (SWEDBATT), Ghanaian (GHANBATT), Indonesian (INDBATT), and Finnish Battalions (FINBATT). It also shows the deployment areas for Polish, Australian, and Canadian forces.
The map was prepared for the Polish Logistics Battalion (POLBATT).
The Yom Kippur War and its Aftermath
The Yom Kippur War, which erupted on October 6, 1973, was initiated by a coalition of Arab states led by Egypt and Syria against Israel. This surprise attack, coming on the holiest day of the Jewish calendar, Yom Kippur, and during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, sought to reclaim territories lost during the 1967 Six-Day War. The most prominent battleground was the Sinai Peninsula, where Egyptian forces managed to breach the heavily fortified Israeli Bar Lev Line and advanced beyond the Suez Canal, thereby retaking a strip of land on the canal's eastern bank.
As the war progressed, intense international diplomacy and military counter-offensives resulted in a halt of further advances, leading to an eventual ceasefire by October 25, 1973. The aftermath of the war, however, had a profound impact on the geopolitical dynamics of the region. With the Sinai Peninsula becoming the focal point of negotiations, a buffer zone was established to the east of the Suez Canal as part of the disengagement agreement between Egypt and Israel in 1974. This zone served as a demilitarized area, designed to prevent further direct confrontations and hostilities between the two nations.
Polish Forces as Part of UNEF II
The United Nations Emergency Force II (UNEF II) was established in October 1973 in the aftermath of the Yom Kippur War. This peacekeeping force was tasked with supervising the cessation of hostilities between Egypt and Israel, ensuring the maintenance of the ceasefire, and overseeing the redeployment of troops as per the disengagement agreement. Set up to bolster peace in the Sinai Peninsula, UNEF II played a critical role in maintaining a buffer zone and facilitating stability in the region.
As for Poland's involvement, Polish troops were integral to the UNEF II mission, though they did not play a direct combat role in the conflict itself. Deployed in various capacities, including observation, logistics, and support roles, they contributed to the successful operations of the peacekeeping mission. Their primary responsibilities encompassed manning observation posts, conducting patrols, and monitoring the adherence to the terms of the disengagement agreement between Egypt and Israel. This deployment was emblematic of Poland's broader commitment to United Nations peacekeeping missions during the Cold War era, with Polish military personnel frequently participating in various UN missions, especially in the Middle East.
Dunkt Obserwacyjny: Observation Point
Dunkt Kontrolny: Control Point
Posterunek UNTSO: UNTSO Station
Dowodztwo Kompanii: Company Command
Dowództwo Kontygentu: Contingent Command
Rejon Zaopatrywania w Wodę IMPS przez W.B.L. Eltasa: Water Supply Area for IMPS by W.B.L. Eltasa
Re. on Zaopatrywania w Wodę przez Kompanie Inż. Suez: Water Supply Area by Suez Engineering Company
Rejon Zaopatrywa w Wodę przez Wydz.Gr.Kom.Inż. Suez: Water Supply Area by Suez Engineering Department's Group Command