Israeli concern after the Egyptians have effectively blocked the Straits of Tirana at the entrance of the Gulf of Aqaba, resulted in Israeli action on the ground. Although the IDF/AF had enough fighters to support an attack in Sinai, there were no reserves to protect Israeli cities against air attack; there was, moreover, a shortage of transports to maintain troops in the field, given the difficulty of overland routes of re-supply. France has
solved this problem by offering Israel a fighter cover and a squadron
of Noratlas transports for the duration of the military operations, the
principles of collusion were finally agreed at Sévres. while the
military planning went ahead The campaign opened on 29 October the War
with the start of the Israeli operation 'Kadesh'. as the Israelis dropped
paratroops on the Mitla Pass in Sinai and drove across the Egyptian boarders
into Egypt along three routes.
The British distrust of the Israelis was evident through the preparation
of Operation 'Cordage', designed to neutralise the IDF/AF air bases in
the event that Israel attacked Jordan. One senior RAF commander is on record
as having said that he did not know whether his aircraft were to bomb Egyptian
or Israeli airfields until 24 hours before the operation began. The RAF
bombers from Malta and Cyprus would attack the Egyptian airfields and military
installations, initially at night and from high altitude. Further targets
would be attacked by carrier-based strike aircraft, which would later be
used to cover the invasion operations.
British Hamilcar or French Amilcare ?
The original plan, requiring some 80,000 troops, was for an assault on Alexandria, followed by a drive to Cairo. Known initially by the code-name 'Hamilcar' and later 'Musketeer' to land at Alexandria to take Cairo and if possible, depose Nasser, throw the Egyptian Government headed by Gamal Abdel Nasser ( Colonel), retrieve the old pro-British party system and endorse their leaders ( Pashs and Bey) to form a new British friendly Government, to delete Nasser's nationalisation of the Anglo-French Company, modify the Evacuation treaty signed some months ago and finally restore the British influence in Egypt.
The British have selected "H" for "Hegypt" . The planner have chosen
the sand colour and a recognition sign H to be painted on all the mobile
equipment and tanks. The French have painted "A" for Amilcare but there
was no enough pains for the French or the British in that short notice.
When a new plan was christened " Musketeer" supposedly at the instigation
of General Hugh Stockwell , who had a weakness for Duma´s dashing
characters, they refrained from Painting the cars again and the majority
of the involved French equipment were still dark-khaki coloured and some
had the insignia "A" painted on them.
A new, more realistic plan, which objectives conforms with the main
goal of the War against Egypt was requiring some 80,000 troops for an assault
on Alexandria, followed by a drive to Cairo... Therefore, the military
intervention in Egypt would initially take the form of bombing and would
be followed by a period of psychological warfare during which aircraft
would be used to drop leaflets, while British directed Arabic radio broadcasts
from the British owned station in Cyprus should deceive and confuse both
the Egyptian population and Army. One main objective was to neutralised
the EAF and confuse the civilian population through pre-warnings of further
impending Anglo-French site bombardments to encourage the Egyptians to
refuse hiding the Army AA-defence positions within the inhabited areas
and refrain from supporting their armed forces.
Operation Musketeer ( revised)
The old plan was modified in mid-August "Musketeer Revised" which called for a sea-borne and airborne assault on Port Said by the combined Anglo-French force, with a drive down the Canal to Ismailia. Once the, the invasion would begin with para drops to the west of Port Said (British) and on Port Fouad to the east (French); these drops would be followed up by sea-borne troops who would push south down the Canal with armoured support.
Operations Map 1
French Plan aiming at the immediate Para drop over El Qantara and
Ismailia meanwhile the Anglo-French Tanks advance towards Ismailia, joint
Anglo-French forces would continue with AMX-13 and Centurion 4 Tanks towards
Cairo to attack the city and occupy the main utilities in the Egyptian
capital, capturing Nasser and forcing him to resign ( if not killed before
), other units advance southwards to Suez to capture the city.
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