Catalogue description War Office: Suez Campaign Headquarters: Papers and War Diaries

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Details of WO 288
Reference: WO 288
Title: War Office: Suez Campaign Headquarters: Papers and War Diaries

This series consists of headquarters files and papers and war diaries covering the operation of British forces in the Mediterranean and Egypt during the Suez crisis, 1956.

Date: 1956-1958
Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Language: English
Physical description: 174 file(s)
Access conditions: Open unless otherwise stated
Immediate source of acquisition:

From 1984 Ministry of Defence

Administrative / biographical background:

In the late summer of 1956, British and French forces were concentrated in the Mediterranean in case military intervention should be necessary to protect international interests in the Suez Canal following its nationalisation by the Egyptian Government.

Following the outbreak of hostilities between Israel and Egypt in October 1956, the British and French governments requested that the two protagonists accept the temporary occupation of key points along the canal, notably Port Said, Ismailia and Suez, in order to guarantee freedom of travel through the canal by ships of all nations and to separate the belligerents. When this request was rejected by Egypt, Anglo-French forces initiated Operation Musketeer and landed in Egypt to achieve these aims.

The first ground troops landed on 5 November 1956 and active operations continued until 2359 hours on 6 November when a ceasefire came into force. On 16 November the leading elements of a United Nations Emergency Force arrived to replace the Anglo-French forces and by 22 December all British forces had withdrawn.

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