Sunday, May 26, 2013

After taking Abu Uwayulah

After taking Abu Uwayulah, Adan committed all of his forces against the Ruafa ridge of the "Hedgehog". Adan began a three-pronged attack with one armored force striking northeastern edge of Ruafa, Sony VAIO PCG-5P2L battery a mixed infantry/armored force attacking the north edge and a feint attack from a neighbouring knoll.[172] During the evening attack on 31 October, a chaotic battle raged on Ruafa ridge with much hand-to-hand fighting.[173] Though every IDF tank involved was destroyed, after a night's fighting, Ruafa had fallen to the IDF. Sony VAIO PCG-5P4L battery Another IDF assault that night, this time by the 10th Infantry Brigade on Umm Qataf was less successful with much of the attacking force getting lost in the darkness, resulting in a series of confused attacks that ended in failure. Dayan, who had grown impatient with the failure to storm the "Hedgehog", sacked the 10th Brigade's commander Colonel Shmuel Golinda and replaced him with Colonel Israel Tal. Sony VAIO PCG-5R1L battery On the morning of 1 November, Israeli and French aircraft launched frequent napalm attacks on the Egyptian troops at Umm Qataf.[174] Joined by the 37th Armored Brigade, the 10th Brigade again assaulted Umm Qataf, and was again defeated. However, the ferocity of the IDF assault combined with rapidly dwindling stocks of water and ammunition caused Colonel Mutawally to order a general retreat from the "Hedgehog" on the evening of 1 November. Sony VAIO PCG-5R2L battery The city of Rafah was strategically important to Israel because control of that city would sever the Gaza Strip from the Sinai and provide a way to the main centres of the northern Sinai, al-Arish and al-Qantarah.[175] Holding the forts outside of Rafah were a mixture of Egyptian and Palestinian forces in the 5th Infantry Brigade commanded by Brigadier General Jaafar al-Abd. Sony VAIO PCG-5S1L battery In Rafah itself the 87th Palestinian Infantry Brigade was stationed.[175] Assigned to capture Rafah were 1st Infantry Brigade led by Colonel Benjamin Givli and 27th Armored Brigade commanded by Colonel Haim Bar-Lev of the IDF.[175] To the south of Rafah were a series of mine-filled sand dunes and to the north were a series of fortified hills. Sony VAIO PCG-5S2L battery Dayan ordered the IDF forces to seize Crossroads 12 in the central Rafah area, and to focus on breaking through rather than reducing every Egyptian strongpoint.[175] The IDF assault began with Israeli sappers and engineers clearing a path at night through the minefields that surrounded Rafah. Sony VAIO PCG-5S3L battery French warships led by the cruiser Georges Leygues provided fire support, through Dayan had a low opinion of the French gunnery, complaining that the French only struck the Egyptian reserves.[176] Using the two paths cleared through the southern minefields, IDF tanks entered the Rafah salient.[176] Under Egyptian artillery fire, the IDF force raced ahead and took Crossroads 12 with the loss of 2 killed and 22 wounded. Sony VAIO PCG-5T2L battery In the north, the Israeli troops fought a confused series of night actions, but were successful in storming Hills 25, 25A, 27 and 29 with the loss of six killed.[176] In the morning of 1 November, Israeli AMX-13s encircled and took Hills 34 and 36.[177] At that point, General al-Abd ordered his forces to abandon their posts outside of Rafah and retreat into the city.[178] Sony VAIO PCG-5T3L battery With Rafah more or less cut off and Israeli forces controlling the northern and eastern roads leading into the city, Dayan ordered the AMX-13s of the 27th Armored Brigade to strike west and take al-Arish.[178] By this point, Nasser had ordered his forces to fall back towards the Suez Canal, so at first the Bar-Lev and his men met little resistance as they advanced across the northern Sinai.[178] Sony VAIO PCG-5T4L battery Hearing of the order to withdraw, General al-Abd and his men left Rafah on the morning of 1 November through a gap in the Israeli lines, and headed back towards the Canal Zone.[178] Three hours later, the Israelis took Rafah.[178] It was reported that after taking Rafah, Israeli troops killed 111 people, including 103 refugees, in Rafah's Palestinian refugee camp. Sony VAIO PCG-61111L battery Not until the Jeradi Pass in the northern Sinai did the IDF run into serious opposition.[178] A series of hooking attacks that out-flanked the Egyptian positions combined with airstrikes led to an Egyptian defeat at the Jeradi Pass.[178] On 2 November, Bar-Lev's forces took al-Arish.[181] Meanwhile, the IDF attacked the Egyptian defenses outside of Gaza City late on 1 November. Sony VAIO PCG-61112L battery After breaking through the Egyptian lines, the Israeli tanks headed into Gaza City.[181] Joined by infantry, the armor attacked the al-Muntar fortress outside of Gaza City, killing or capturing 3,500 Egyptian National Guard troops.[181] By noon of 2 November, there was no more Egyptian opposition in the Gaza City area.[181] Sony VAIO PCG-61411L battery On 3 November, the IDF attacked Egyptian and Palestinian forces at Khan Yunis.[181] After a fierce battle, the Israeli 37th Armored Brigade's Sherman tanks broke through the heavily fortified lines outside of Khan Yunis held by the 86th Palestinian Brigade.[182] After some street-fighting with Egyptian soldiers and Palestinian fedayeen, Khan Yunis fell to the Israelis. Sony VAIO PCG-71111L battery There are claims that after taking Khan Yunis, the IDF committed a massacre. Israel maintained that the Palestinians were killed in street-fighting, while the Palestinians claimed that Israeli troops started executing unarmed Palestinians after the fall of Khan Yunis.[183] Sony VAIO PCG-7141L battery The claims of a massacre were reported to the UN General Assembly on 15 December 1956 by the Director of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, Henry Labouisse, who reported from "trustworthy sources" that 275 people were killed in the massacre of which 140 were refugees and 135 local residents.[184][185] Sony VAIO PCG-7142L battery In both Gaza City and Khan Yunis, street-fighting led to the deaths of "dozens, perhaps hundreds, of non-combatants".[186] During the Gaza Strip fighting, anarchy reigned in the streets, and the warehouses belonging to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) were sacked by Palestinian mobs, leading to a humanitarian crisis as many people in the Gaza were left without food and medicine. Sony VAIO PCG-81113L battery This was compounded by a widespread view in Israel that the responsibility for the care of the Palestinian refugees rested with the UNRWA, not Israel, which led the Israelis to be slow with providing aid.[187] By noon of 3 November, the Israelis had control of almost the entire Gaza Strip save for a few isolated strongpoints, which were soon attacked and taken. Sony VAIO PCG-81114L battery The UN estimated that in total 447 to 550 Palestinian civilians were killed by Israeli troops during the first weeks of Israeli occupation of the strip. By 3 November, with the IDF having successfully taken the Gaza Strip, Arish, the Hedgehog, and Mitla Pass, Sharm el-Sheikh was the last Israeli objective.[182]The main difficulty faced by Colonel Abraham Yoffe's 9th Infantry Brigade was logistical.[182] Sony VAIO PCG-81115L battery There were no good roads linking Ras an-Naqb to Sharm el-Sheikh.[182] After taking the border town of Ras an-Naqb on 30 October, Daylan ordered Yoffe to wait until air superiority was ensured.[189] To outflank Sharm el-Sheikh, Dayan ordered paratroopers to take the town of Tor in the western Sinai.[189] Sony VAIO PCG-81214L battery The Egyptian forces at Sharm el-Sheikh had the advantage of holding one of the most strongly fortified positions in the entire Sinai, but had been subjected to heavy Israeli air attacks from the beginning of the war.[189] Yoffe set out for Sharm el-Sheikh on 2 November, and his major obstacles were the terrain and vehicle break-down.[189] Sony VAIO PCG-81312L battery Israeli Navy ships provided support to the 9th Division during its advance.[190] After numerous skirmishes on the outskirts of Sharm el-Sheikh, Yoffe ordered an attack on the port around midnight on 4 November.[191] After four hours of heavy fighting, Yoffe ordered his men to retreat.[191] Sony VAIO PCG-8131L battery On the morning of 5 November, Israeli forces launched a massive artillery barrage and napalm strikes against Egyptian forces defending Sharm el-Sheikh.[191] At 9:30 am on 5 November, the Egyptian commander, Colonel Raouf Mahfouz Zaki, surrendered Sharm el-Sheikh. To support the invasion, large air forces had been deployed to Cyprus and Malta by Britain and France and many aircraft carriers were deployed. Sony VAIO PCG-8141L battery The two airbases on Cyprus were so congested that a third field which was in dubious condition had to be brought into use for French aircraft. Even RAF Luqa on Malta was extremely crowded with RAF Bomber Commandaircraft. The British deployed the aircraft carriers HMS Eagle, Albion and Bulwark and France had the battleship Jean Bart and aircraft carriers Arromanches and La Fayette on station. Sony VAIO PCG-8152L battery In addition, HMS Ocean and Theseus acted as jumping-off points for Britain's helicopter-borne assault (the world's first).In the morning of 30 October Britain and France sent ultimatums to Egypt and Israel. They initiated Operation Musketeeron 31 October, with a bombing campaign. Nasser responded by sinking all 40 ships present in the canal closing it to all shipping – shipping would not move again until early 1957. Sony VAIO PCG-8161L battery Despite the risk of an invasion in the Canal Zone, Field Marshal Abdel Hakim Amer ordered Egyptian troops in the Sinai to stay put, as Amer confidently assured Nasser that the Egyptians could defeat the Israelis in the Sinai and then defeat the Anglo-French forces once they came ashore in the Canal Zone. Sony VAIO PCG-9131L battery Amer also advised Nasser to send more troops into the Sinai to inflict his promised defeat on Israel, even though the risk of their being cut off if the Canal Zone were seized by Anglo-French forces was enormous.[193] Not until late on 31 October, did Nasser disregard Amer's rosy assessment and ordered his forces to disengage in the Sinai and to retreat back to the Canal Zone to face the expected Anglo-French invasion. Sony VAIO PCG-9Z1L battery Eden and Mollet ordered Phase I of Operation Revise to begin 13 hours after the Anglo-French ultimatum.[194] British bombers based in Cyprus and Malta took off to Cairo with the aim of destroying Cairo airport, only to be personally ordered back by Eden when he learned that American civilians were being evacuated at Cairo airport.[194] Sony VAIO PCG-9Z2L battery Fearful of the backlash that might result if American civilians were killed in a British bombing attack, Eden sent the Valiant bombers back to Malta while the Canberra’s were ordered to hit Almaza airbase outside of Cairo.[194] British night bombing proved ineffective.[194] Starting on the morning of 1 November, carrier-based de Havilland Sea Venoms, Chance-Vought Corsairs and Hawker Sea Hawks began a series of daytime strikes on Egypt. Sony VAIO VPCF11C4E/B battery By the night of 1 November the Egyptian Air Force had lost 200 planes.[194] With the destruction of Egypt's air force, Keightley ordered the beginning of Revise Phase II.[195] As part of Revise Phase II, a wide-ranging interdiction campaign began.[196] On 3 November F4U-7 Corsairs from the 14.F and 15.FAéronavale taking off from the French carriers Arromanches and La Fayette, attacked the aerodrome at Cairo. Sony VAIO VPCF11C5E battery The very aggressive French General Beaufre suggested at once that Anglo-French forces seize the Canal Zone with airborne landings instead of waiting the planned ten days for Revise II to be worked through, and that the risk of sending in paratroopers without the prospect of sea-borne landings for several days be taken. Sony VAIO VPCF11D4E battery By 3 November, Beaufre finally convinced Keightley and Stockwell of the merits of his approach, and gained the approval for Operation Telescope as Beaufre had code-named the airborne assault on the Canal Zone.On 2 November 1956 the First Sea Lord Admiral Mountbatten sent a letter to Eden telling him to stop the invasion before troops landed in the Canal Zone as the operation had already proved to be too costly politically. Sony VAIO VPCF11M1E/H battery The next day, Mountbatten made a desperate phone call to Eden asking for permission to stop the invasion before it began, only to be refused.[200] Mountbatten's views led to clash of personalities with the Chief of the Imperial General Staff, General Gerald Templer who supported the invasion.[201] In response to Mountbatten's call to cancel the invasion, Templer penned a memo, which read: Sony VAIO VPCF11S1E/B battery "Some people in England today say that what we're done in the Middle East will have terrible effects in the future...The reality is that we have checked a drift. With a bit of luck we're not only stopped a big war in the Middle East, but we're halted the march of Russia through the Middle East and on to the African continent".Sony VAIO VPCF22J1E battery On late 5 November, an advance element of the 3rd Battalion of the British Parachute Regiment dropped on El GamilAirfield, a narrow strip of land, led by Brigadier M.A.H. Butler.[203] The "Red Devils" could not return Egyptian fire while landing, but once the paratroopers landed, they used their Sten guns, three-inch mortars and anti-tank weapons with great effect. Sony VAIO VPCF22L1E battery Having taken the airfield with a dozen casualties, the remainder of the battalion flew in by helicopter. The Battalion then secured the area around the airfield.[204] During the ensuing street fighting, the Egyptian forces engaged in methodical tactics, fighting on the defense while inflicting maximum casualties and retreating only when overwhelming force was brought to bear. Sony VAIO VPCF22M1E battery In particular, the SU100s proved to be a formidable weapon in urban combat.The British forces moved up towards Port Said with air support before digging in at 13:00 to hold until the beach assault. With close support from carrier-based Wyverns, the British paratroopers took Port Said's sewage works and the cemetery while becoming engaged in a pitched battle for the Coast Guard barracks. Sony VAIO VPCF22S1E battery At the same time, Lieutenant Colonel Pierre Chateau-Jobert landed with a force of the 2e RPC at Raswa.[205] Raswa imposed the problem of a small drop zone surrounded by water, but General Jacques Massu of the 10th Parachute Division assured Beaufre that this was not an insolvable problem for his men. Sony VAIO VPCF22S8E battery 500 heavily armed paratroopers of the French 2nd Colonial Parachute Regiment (2ème RPC), hastily redeployed from combat in Algeria, jumped over the al-Raswa bridges from Nord Noratlas 2501 transports of theEscadrille de Transport (ET) 1/61 and ET 3/61, together with some combat engineers of the Guards Independent Parachute Company. Sony VAIO VPCF23M1E battery Despite the loss of two soldiers, the western bridge was swiftly secured by the paras, and F4U Corsairs of the Aéronavale 14.F and 15.F flew a series of close-air-support missions, destroying several SU-100 tank destroyers. F-84Fs also hit two large oil storage tanks in Port Said, which went up in flames and covered most of the city in a thick cloud of smoke for the next several days. Sony VAIO VPCF23Q1E battery Egyptian resistance varied, with some positions fighting back until destroyed, while others were abandoned with little resistance. The French paratroopers stormed and took Port Said's waterworks that morning, an important objective to control in a city in the desert.[205] Chateau-Jobert followed up this success by beginning an attack on Port Fuad.[207] Sony VAIO VPCF231S1E battery Derek Varble, the American military historian, later wrote "Air support and fierce French assaults transformed the fighting at Port Fuad into a rout".[207] During the fighting in the Canal Zone, the French paratroopers often practiced their "no-prisoners'" code and executed Egyptian POWs.[208] The Egyptian commander at Port Said, General Salahedin Moguy then proposed a truce.[207] Sony VAIO VPCF23S1E battery His offer was taken up, and in the ensuring meeting with General Butler, Chateau-Jobert and General Massu, was offered the terms of surrendering the city and marching his men to the Gamil airfield to taken off to POW camps in Cyprus.[209] Moguy had no interest in surrendering and only made the truce offer to buy time for his men to dig in;[209] Sony VAIO VPCF24M1E battery when fighting began again vans with loudspeakers traveled through the city encouraging resistance against the invaders, by announcing that London and Paris had been bombed by the Russians and that World War III had started. As the paratroopers alone were not enough,[103]:173 Beaufre and British Admiral Manley Laurence Power urged that the sea-borne landings be accelerated and that Allied forces land the very next day.[209] Sony VAIO VPCF11Z1E/BI battery Stockwell and Knightley, who wished to stick with the original plan, opposed this.[210] Stockwell was always in favour of rigidly following already agreed to plans, and was most reluctant to see any changes, whereas Beaufre was all for changing plans to match with changed circumstances.[211] The differences between Stockwell and Beaufre were summarized by the American historian Derek Varble as: Sony VAIO VPCF12E1E/H battery "Stockwell favored existing plans; their methodical construction and underlying staff work reduced risks. Beaufre, by contrast an opportunist, saw plans merely a means to an end, without much inherent value. For him, altered circumstances or assumptions provided adequate justification to jettison part or all of the original plan".Sony VAIO VPCF12F4E/H battery At first light on 6 November, commandos of No. 42 and 40 Commando Royal Marines stormed the beaches, using landing craft of World War II vintage (Landing Craft Assault and Landing Vehicle Tracked).[212] The battle group standing offshore opened fire, giving covering fire for the landings and causing considerable damage to the Egyptian batteries and gun emplacements. Sony VAIO VPCF12M1E/H battery The town of Port Said sustained great damage and was seen to be alight.[212] The men of 42 Commando as much as possible chose to by-pass Egyptian positions and focused on trying to break through inland.[212] The Royal Marines of 40 Commando had the advantage of being supported by Centurion tanks as they landed on Sierra Red beach.[213] Sony VAIO VPCF13E4E battery Upon entering downtown Port Said, the Marines became engaged in fierce urban combat as the Egyptians used the Casino Palace Hotel and other strongpoints as fortresses. Nasser proclaimed the Suez War to be a "people's war".[214] As such, Egyptian troops were ordered to don civilian clothes while guns were freely handed out to Egyptian civilians.[215] Sony VAIO VPCF13E8E battery From Nasser's point of view, a "people's war" presented the British and French with an insolvable dilemma.[216] If the Allies reacted aggressively to the "people's war", then that would result in the deaths of innocent civilians and thus bring world sympathy to his cause while weakening morale on the home front in Britain and France. Sony VAIO VPCF13J0E/H battery If the Allies reacted cautiously to the "people's war", than that would result in Allied forces becoming bogged down by sniper attacks, who had the advantage of attacking "...with near impunity by hiding among crowds of apparent non-combatants".[216] These tactics worked especially well against the British. Sony VAIO VPCF1318E/H battery British leaders, especially Eden and the First Sea LordAdmiral Sir Louis Mountbatten were afraid of being labelled "murderers and baby killers", and sincerely attempted to limit Egyptian civilian deaths.[216] Eden frequently interfered with Revise Phrase I and II bombing, striking off various targets that he felt were likely to cause excessive civilian deaths, and restricted the gun sizes that could be used at the Port Said landings, again to minimize civilian deaths. Sony VAIO VPCF13M1E/B battery The American historian Derek Varble has commented that the paradox between Eden's concern for Egyptian civilians and the object of Revise Phase II bombing, which was intended to terrorize the Egyptian people, was never resolved.[218] Despite Eden's best efforts, British bombing still killed hundreds of Egyptian civilians during Revise II, Sony VAIO VPCF13Z8E battery though these deaths were due more to imprecise aiming rather than a deliberate policy of "area bombing" such as that employed against Germany in World War II.[219] At Port Said, the heavy fighting in the streets and the resulting fires destroyed much of the city, killing thousands of civilians[220][not in citation given] Sony VAIO VPCF13Z8E/BI battery In the afternoon, 522 additional French paratroopers of the 1er REP (Régiment Étranger Parachutiste, 1st Foreign Parachute Regiment) were dropped near Port Fouad. These were also constantly supported by the Corsairs of the French Aéronavale, which flew very intensive operations: for example, although the French carrier La Fayette developed catapult problems, no less than 40 combat sorties were completed. Sony VAIO VPCF12S1E/B battery The French were aided by AMX-13 light tanks. While clearing Port Fuad, the Ier Regiment Etranger Parachutiste killed 100 Egyptians without losing a man in return.[221] In total, 10 French soldiers were killed and 30 injured during the landing and the subsequent battles. British commandos of No. 45 Commando assaulted by helicopter, meeting stiff resistance, with shore batteries striking several helicopters, Sony VAIO VPCF12Z1E/BI battery while friendly fire from British carrier-borne aircraft caused casualties to 45 Commando and HQ.[222] The helicopter borne assault of 45 Commando was the first time helicopters were used by UK Forces to lift men directly into a combat zone. Lieutenant Colonel N.H. Tailyour, who was leading 45 Commando was landed by mistake in a stadium still under Egyptian control resulting in a very hasty retreat. Sony VAIO VPCF13M1E/H battery Street fighting and house clearing, with strong opposition from well-entrenched Egyptian sniper positions, caused further casualties.[225] Especially fierce fighting took place at the Port Said's Customs House and Navy House.[224] The Egyptians destroyed Port Said's Inner Harbour, which forced the British to improvise and use the Fishing Harbour to land their forces. Sony VAIO VPCF24Q1E battery The 2nd Bn of the Parachute Regiment landed by ship in the harbour. Centurion tanks of the British 6th Royal Tank Regimentwere landed and by 12:00 they had reached the French paratroopers.[226] While the British were landing at Port Said, the men of the 2 RPC at Raswa fought off Egyptian counter-attacks featuring SU100 self-propelled guns.Sony PCG-31211T Battery After establishing themselves in a position in downtown Port Said, 42 Commando headed down the Shari Muhammad Ali, the main north-south road to link up with the French forces at the Raswa bridge and the Inner Basin lock. While doing so, the Marines also took Port Said's gasworks. Meanwhile, 40 Commando supported by the Royal Tank Regiment remained engaged in clearing the downtown of Egyptian snipers.Sony PCG-31311T Battery Colonel Tailyour arranged for more reinforcements to be brought in via helicopter.[228] Hearing rumours that Moguy wished to surrender, both Stockwell and Beaufre left their command ship HMS Tyne for Port Said.[221] Upon landing, they learned the rumours were not true.[221] Instead of returning to the Tyne,Sony PCG-51111T Battery both Stockwell and Beaufre spent the day in Port Said, and were thus cut off from the news.[221]Only late in the day did Beaufre and Stockwell learn of the acceptance of the United Nations ceasefire.[221] Rather than focusing on breaking out to take al-Qantarah, the Royal Marines became bogged down in clearing every building in Port Said of snipers.[221] Sony PCG-81111T Battery The Centurions of the Royal Tank Regiment supported by the paratroopers of 2 RPC began a slow advance down to al-Qantarah on the night of 6 November.[229] Egyptian sniper attacks and the need to clear every building led the 3 Para to be slowed in their attempts to link up with the Royal Marines.[230] Sony PCG-81311T Battery When Stockwell learned of the ceasefire to come into effect in five hours’ time at 9: 00 pm, he ordered Colonel Gibbon and his Centurions to race down and take al-Qantarah with all speed in order to improve the Allied bargaining position.[231] What followed was a confused series of melee actions down the road to al-Qantarah that ended with the British forces at al-Cap, a small village four miles north of al-Qantarah at 2:00 am, when the ceasefire came into effect.Sony VPCF138FC Battery British casualties stood at 16 dead and 96 wounded,[7] while French casualties were 10 dead and 33 wounded. The Israeli losses were 231 dead[6] and 899 wounded. The number of Egyptians killed was "never reliably established".[233] Egyptian casualties to the Israeli invasion were estimated at 1,000–3,000 dead and 4,000 wounded, Sony VPCF219FC Battery while losses to the Anglo-French operation were estimated at 650 dead and 900 wounded.[10][234] 1,000 Egyptian civilians are estimated to have died. Protests against the war occurred in Britain after the invasion began. On the popular television talk show Free Speech, an especially bitter debate took place on 31 October with the leftist historian A. J. P. Taylor and the Labour journalist and future party leader Michael Foot calling their colleague on Free Speech, Sony VPCS135EC Battery the Conservative M.P. Robert Boothby, a “criminal” for supporting the war.[236] One television critic spoke of Free Speech during the war that “the team seemed to not only on the verge of, but actually losing their tempers...Boothby boomed, Foot fumed and Taylor trephined, with apparent real malice…”.[237]Sony VPCS136EC Battery The angry, passionate, much-watched debates about the Suez war on Free Speech mirrored the divided public response to the war.[237] Eden's major mistake had been not to strike in July 1956 when there was widespread anger at Nasser's nationalisation of the Suez Canal Company, as by the fall of 1956 public anger had subsided, with many people in Britain having come to accept the fait accompli, and saw no reason for war.Sony VPCS138EC Battery This was especially the case as Eden's claims that the Egyptians would hopelessly mismanage the Canal had proven groundless, and that by September 1956 it was clear that the change of management had not affected shipping.[239] Even more importantly, Eden's obsession with secrecy and his desire to keep the preparations for war as secret as possible meant that the Eden government did nothing in the months running up to the attack to explain to the British people why it was felt that war was necessary.Sony VPCS139GC Battery Many of the reservists who were called up for their National Service in the summer and fall of 1956 recalled feeling bewildered and confused as the Eden government started preparing to attack Egypt while at the same time Eden insisted in public that he wanted a peaceful resolution of the dispute, and was opposed to attacking Egypt.[241] Sony VPCYA15EC Battery The British author David Pryce-Jones recalled that as a young officer, that after the ultimatum was submitted to Egypt he had to explain to his troops why war with Egypt was necessary without believing a word that he was saying.[242] Gaitskell was much offended that Eden had kept him in the dark about the planning for action against Egypt,Sony VPCYA16EC Battery and felt personally insulted that Eden had just assumed that he would support the war without consulting him first.[243][244] On 31 October he cited in Parliament the fact that, despite Eden's claim that the British government had consulted closely with the commonwealth, no other member nation did; in the Security Council, not even Australia had supported the British action. He called the invasion. Sony VPCYA25EC Battery an act of disastrous folly whose tragic consequences we shall regret for years. Yes, all of us will regret it, because it will have done irreparable harm to the prestige and reputation of our country ... we shall feel bound by every constitutional means at our disposal to oppose it. The stormy and violent debates in the House of Commons on 1 November 1956 almost degenerated into fist-fights after several Labour M.P.s compared Eden to Hitler.Sony VPCYA26EC Battery The British historian A. N. Wilson wrote that "The letters to The Times caught the mood of the country , with great majority opposing military intervention...".[246] The journalist Malcolm Muggeridge and actor Robert Speaight wrote in a public letter that The bitter division in public opinion provoked by the British intervention in the Middle East has already had one disastrous consequence.Sony VPCYB15JC Battery

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