British Empire Books


Suez: the Forgotten Invasion


TypeNon-Fiction
AuthorRobert Jackson
PublisherAirlife Publishing
First Published1996




This is a book that purports to tell the story of the Suez crisis in 1956. It does indeed tell a story but by no means the whole story. The book dwells almost exclusively on the military campaign paying little attention to the wider political situation. Although the book makes this clear from the outset, it is difficult to appreciate one aspect of the campaign without the other. After all, it was on the political battlefield that the operation was defeated on, not any physical battlefield. The author pays lip service to a scant overview of the initial rationale behind the invasion, but he says almost nothing about the reasons behind the ceasefire of November 6th. It is just too detached to be of interest to anyone but a specialist in the subject. If you already fully appreciate the political situation, then there may be some justification in reading this book.

The author's true interest is clearly in the air operations surrounding the campaign. He does explain what was happening at sea and on land, but without the detail of the air war. The writing is somewhat factual. You do not get much feel for the emotions or the motivations of the actors. It is something of a list of squadrons and their targets. He does at least incorporate the French forces, but with the same aerial bias. Even the pictures are mostly of aircraft!

Overall, this is a specialised book for a specialised reader. If you wish to find out more about the aerial and land campaign of the Suez Canal campaign, then this will be of value to you. It is not for a casual reader with a passing interest in the subject.


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