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The British Invasion of Egypt in the 1956 Suez War

 Suez War

Anglo-Egyptian Wars: Wars Between Britain and Egypt

 

 

Anglo-Egyptian War (1807)-- Seeking to replace Muhammed Ali with a puppet ruler favorable to British interests, Britain invaded with nearly 5,000 troops on March 17, 1807. British forces led by General A. Mackenzie Fraser seized the city of Alexandria. British forces suffered several military defeats before retreating and evacuating Egypt on September 14, 1807.

Greek War of Independence (1821-1832)-- Egypt's part in the war came about when the Ottoman Turks requested Egyptian aid in fighting the rebellious Greeks. The Pasha of Egypt, Muhammad Ali, sent his son Ibrahim to Greece with a powerful Egyptian army. The British, French, and Russians intervened to save the Greeks, defeating a combined Turko-Egyptian fleet at the Battle of Navarino in 1827. French troops expelled the Egyptian land forces. The Egyptian portion of the war lasted from 1825-1832. This war led directly to the First Turko-Egyptian War. (see below) See also: Greco-Turkish Wars

Urabi Revolt/British Conquest of Egypt (1881-1882)-- Muslim rebels opposed to Turkish, Western, and Christian influence in Egypt (Britain and France had gained a large degree of control due to the Suez Canal project), rebelled on February 1, 1881 in Alexandria. On July 11, 1882, in response to a massacre of Christians in Alexandria, the British fleet bombarded Alexandria, followed up by the landing of 25,000 troops at Ismailia. In the Battle of Tel al-Kebir, the British defeated Urabi's army. From this point on, Britain retained an army in the countryand effectively controlled Egypt, which remained technically an Ottoman (yet recognized as independent in all but name), vassal.

Anglo-Egyptian War of 1951-1952 (1951-1952)--Egyptian guerrillas, aided by the governement of Egypt, carried out a campaign against British forces stationed at the Suez Canal and against other British and Western symbols and targets. On January 25, 1952, British troops retaliated against Egypt by attacking an Egyptian police station, killing 50 and wounding 100. The conflict ended with a change in the Egyptian government and the eventual withdrawal of British troops. This conflict led to Britain's involvment in the 1956 Anglo-French-Israeli invasion of Egypt in 1956. (see below)

 

Suez/Sinai War (1956)-- Since the end of the First War with Israel, Egypt encouraged Palestinian raids against the Israelis from Gaza and Sinai. Israel made plans with Britain and France to attack Egypt. On October 29, 1956, Israeli troops invaded Egypt's Sinai Peninsula and quickly overcame opposition as they raced for Suez. The next day, Britain and France, following suit, in response to Egypt's nationalization of the Suez Canal, and on October 31, Egypt was attacked and invaded by the military forces of Britain and France. President Eisenhower of the United States pressured Britain, France and Israel into agreeing to a cease-fire and eventual withdrawal from Egypt. Militarily, Egypt was defeated by teh invading allies, but Nasser claimed a political and moral victory as British, French, and Israeli forces were forced to leave Egypt by the Great Powers.

 

 

 

Sources:

1. Kohn, George C. Dictionary of Wars. New York: Facts On File Publications. 1999.

2. Dupuy, R. Ernest and Trevor N. Dupey. The Harper Encyclopedia of Military History: From 3500 B.C. to the Present New York, New York: Harper & Row. 1993.

 

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