Action in Suez In October-November 1956 Britain, France and Israel sought to recapture the Suez Canal following its nationalisation by the Egyptian leader Gamal Abdel Nasser.
The operation involved amphibious and airborne landings including the capture of Port Said and its southern approaches, a mission led by General Sir Hugh Stockwell.
Operation Musketeer He was successful in containing the serious threat of civil disorder and the risk of attacks launched against British troops, not least by drawing on the experience he had gained leading anti-terrorism operations in Malaya.
Despite such military successes, the operation proved a costly failure, due very largely to the political opposition of the USA and the USSR.
Stockwell calming crowds In the face of bitter recriminations, Anglo-French forces withdrew to be replaced by a United Nations peacekeeping force.
Port Said The episode marked the beginning of the end of Britain's role as a colonial power.
More than any other event, the humiliating failure symbolised the ending of Empire and the fact that the balance of power now lay with the US and Soviet Union.
In this exhibition
- World War Two
- Cold War begins
- Balance of Power
- New millennium