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The Suez Crisis 1956 (Essential Histories, Band 49) (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 11. März 2003

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In July 1956 the Egyptian President, Gamal Nasser, nationalized the Suez Canal, causing immediate concern to Britain and France. They already opposed Nasser and were worried at the threat to maritime traffic in the Canal.This work traces the course of subsequent events. Together with Israel, Britain and France hatched a plot to occupy the Canal Zone and overthrow Nasser. Israel atacked Sinai, and Britain and France launched offensives throughout Egypt, but strategic failures overshadowed tactical success. Finally, Britain, France, and Israel bowed to international pressure and withdrew, leaving the Suez Canal, and Egypt, firmly in the hands of President Nasser.

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Derek Varble read Modern History at Oriel College, Oxford, receiving the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in 2000. His thesis analyzed Anglo-American Cold War strategy in the Arabian Peninsula and Persian Gulf. He also has degrees from George Washington University (Master of Arts, 1995) and the United States Air Force Academy (Bachelor of Science, 1992). His research interests include the Presidencies of Dwight Eisenhower, Lyndon Johnson, and Jimmy Carter, and Arab nationalism in the twentieth century. He and his wife Amy live in southern California.


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Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
mit diesem Heft der Reihe Essential History ist Osprey mal wieder ein kleines Standartwerk gelungen! Erstmals kompakt und versiert werden hier die Ursachen des Konfliktes, die Ausweitung und schließlich der Einmarsch britischer und französischer Truppen in die Kanalregion beschrieben. Zudem wird auch die Verbindung zu Israel erläutert, die den bedrängten Ägyptern mit dem Einfall in den Sinai in den Rücken fiel. Ein sehr informatives Buch über einen fast vergessenen Konflikt im Nahen Osten.
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Amazon.com: 4.0 von 5 Sternen 12 Rezensionen
27 von 28 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Does All This Sound Familiar? 28. Juli 2003
Von R. A Forczyk - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
Apparently, in the Mideast not much has changed in the past five decades. Osprey's Essential Histories #49, The Suez Crisis 1956 by Dr. Derek Varble, offers modern readers a chance to review this first major crisis in the Mideast. Not only is The Suez Crisis 1956 well written, but it offers a sense of déjà vu with the recent conflict in Iraq. In particular, military officers serving in the Mideast would find their time well spent in perusing these pages and reflecting on the mistakes made in an earlier Western military intervention in the region.
The Suez Crisis 1956 follows the usual Essential Histories format in regard to section on background to the crisis, the fighting and portrait of a warrior. However, the section on "portrait of a civilian" is not particularly good since it fails to use first-person accounts to humanize the Egyptian population. The lack of the section entitled "world around the war" is also unfortunate, since without it the author misses the opportunity to explain the critical diplomatic actions in the United Nations that ultimately curtailed the Anglo-French operation. Furthermore, the author fails to tackle the issue of why Egypt received no material aid from other Arab states and why Israel was able to fight a one-front war. There are a total of eight very good maps in this volume: Kadesh Opening Phase; Mitla Pass; Deadlock in Central Sinai; Abu Aoueigila; Egyptian Retreat from Sinai; Rafah and Gaza Strip; Israel secures Sinai; and Sharm el-Sheikh. Unfortunately, there are no detailed maps of the Port Said area, which makes it difficult to follow the author's very tactical narrative of the Anglo-French invasion.
Egyptian leader Nasser's nationalization of the Suez Canal in 1956 was the proximate cause of the crisis, but England, France and Israel connived to remove him for reasons beyond the canal. France detested Nasser for his aid to the Algerian rebels, just as Israel detested him for his support for Palestinian guerrilla attacks on Israel. Britain wanted Nasser removed because his call for "Arab unity threatened a key client [of Britain], Iraq's Hashemite dynasty. Cheap Iraqi petroleum, vital to Britain's economy, depended on Hashemite rule." Even the United States, which feared Nasser's growing ties to the USSR wanted him removed and the author notes that, "in 1956, American and British leaders began Omega, a plan for regime change in Egypt." The similarities between Western desire for regime change with Nasser and Saddam Hussein are striking, and Arab writers could easily use these examples to claim that a strong Arab leader who stands up the West and Israel will not be tolerated for long.
Militarily, Varble demonstrates that the Israeli Army was still evolving from an infantry-heavy defensive force into a modern, combined arms force but was still immature in 1956. In particular, Moshe Dayan had neglected armor and logistics, as well as sufficient wheeled transport, which made it difficult for the Israelis to conduct rapid desert movements. The Israelis also made frequent navigational errors and fratricide was common (incl. one bizarre incident on 2 November when one Israeli tank company mistakenly ambushed another Israeli company, knocking out 8 of 9 tanks.). Israel was still able to smash Egyptian resistance in Sinai in eight days, but the campaign indicated a number of deficiencies that led to a vast improvement in Israeli military capabilities.

For the Anglo-French coalition, the invasion of Egypt was frustrating, as it was fruitless. Initially, the British leaders thought "bombers alone could attain victory" and they hoped that an "aero-psychological campaign" of strategic bombing would topple Nasser's regime. This sounds a great deal like "Shock and Awe" in Baghdad in 2003. At any rate, the British had only 18 bombers and they were employed in futile high-altitude, night attacks with "dumb" bombs, and their only success was to knock out Radio Cairo for a few days. Once the strategic air campaign failed, naval aircraft from Anglo-French carriers were called in and they annihilated the bulk of Egyptian Air Force on the ground.
Anglo-French ground operations were even more sobering. The first airborne landings at Port Said consisted of only two battalions, and although reinforced, these troops had to hold without heavy weapons for 24 hours. The first amphibious wave for the "main invasion" on 6 November 1956 was laughably only 12 landing craft with 240 troops. What if it had been an opposed landing? What if the Egyptian armor brigades had arrived? Indeed, the Anglo-French operation was hobbled from the beginning by insufficient air transport and amphibious vehicles. Coalition forces attacked with only 2-1 odds into a major urban area, Port Said, and quickly got bogged down in house-to-house fighting. On the other hand, Varble notes that the Allies did introduce one innovation, which was the first air-assault in history, when 45 Marine Commando lifted into Port Said on 6 November. Due to unexpectedly protracted urban combat, the Allies lost their focus and never reached their prime objective - the Suez Canal - before the UN-imposed cease-fire. Varble notes, "judicious exchanges of territory and time by Egyptian soldiers cheated Britain and France of a rapid tactical victory." Significantly, the Anglo-French also failed to plan for civil-military operations in Port Said and after the cease-fire, they were confronted with managing 200,000 Egyptian civilians whose water, food and electricity had been cut-off. Sound familiar?
The Suez Crisis also revealed the pitfalls of coalition warfare. While the British sought to minimize collateral damage in Egypt by limiting naval gunfire support and air attacks, the French troops often employed a "no prisoners" policy. British commanders were meticulous and sought to follow the operational plan. French commanders were opportunistic and were willing to "jettison part or all of the original plan" based on changing circumstances.
3.0 von 5 Sternen It's in desperate need of a good editor to make it more useful as a reference ... 13. Februar 2015
Von B. Thomas - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
Three stars is a very generous rating here. Nonetheless, 'The Suez Crisis' is OK as an introduction to this topic. It's in desperate need of a good editor to make it more useful as a reference work. The narrative path is too narrow. The reader presses on, hoping the book will take a broader view; Varble gets too bogged down in the unnecessary minutiae of military movements and campaign tactics. One misses the contextualisation of a more panoramically-minded historian. Disappointingly, there is far too little information about the role of the Eisenhower administration in the outcome, and the consequent ramifications for Eden's premiership. I was also left wanting to know more about Britain's aspirations, and how the whole affair signalled the melancholy end of England's once-majestic Empire. The book seems underdone; it has a semi- professional feel. The writer, although clearly well-read and well-qualified on his topic, has been allowed to proceed to publication with a manuscript suffering from a lack of editorial rigour. Alas scholarship alone does not a writer make.
1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen A Fairly Good Synopsis of this Middle East Event 15. November 2008
Von Mike Dillemuth - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
All things considered, Derek Varble did a pretty good job of summarizing this short conflict. Unfortunately, the book contains several shortcomings in the area of editorial organization. It does, however, have numerous photographs, both black & white and color, which make a valuable contribution.

The book contains eight battle maps. Although they are easy to read, they lack significant landmarks. This becomes evident when the narrative describes an event near a certain location. The reader will find it difficult to orient themselves to the action as that landmark is absent from the map. For example, a significant amount of text describes the British assault on Raswa. Raswa is probably located near Port Said. Unfortunately, the town is not located on any of the book's maps. Another example can be found in the Israeli attack on the Hedgehog. The Hedgehog is actually an area of three mountainous ridges. Again, this geographic area is not identified on any of the maps.

The fighting chapter is the largest in the book. It is well organized and subdivided into every major battle. The first half focuses on the Israeli invasion of the Sinai. The second half deals with the British and French invasion of the Canal Zone. This clear breakdown of events allows the reader to follow the action without difficulty.

The portrait chapters deviate from the usual Osprey model. Normally, these chapters focus on an individual involved in an event. In this book, however, the author uses these chapters to provide brief histories and analyses. The "Portrait of a Soldier" chapter gives the history of Israeli commandos and in particular, the 202nd Parachute Brigade. The author continues this non-standard model in the chapter on "Portrait of a Civilian" where he discusses Egyptian casualties. Mr. Varble also describes Nasser's plan to arm civilians and use them as a partisan force. Although this is a break from the Osprey model, the author does succeed in providing some interesting information.

Finally, the author concludes the book with chapters on how the crisis ended and the subsequent consequences. One chapter notes that the allied commanders were in the field and not at their headquarters. As a result, their forces proceeded slowly and did not reach the final objectives. Had the commanders been at their headquarters, they would have known of an impending cease-fire and thus ordered their men to move more aggressively. The chapter on Conclusions is a study of how Israel learned from the past and used the blitzkrieg tactics of the previous decade. Britain and France, however, used new tactics such as the first airlift of troops by helicopter.

Although this is not the best book in the Essential Histories series, it still gets the job done. The author can be given credit for producing a very concise book. He was able to condense a great deal of information into just 92 pages. Bottom line: despite some editorial and organizational shortcomings, this book still provides the reader with a pretty good synopsis of events.
3.0 von 5 Sternen Slim and servicable 9. August 2011
Von Rob Fitzgibbon - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
A servicable book on a little known crisis and a worthwhile read on one of the lesser-known phases of 20th Century's Middle Eastern conflict.

- Good collection of little known photographs

- Good collection of maps

- Good detail on the tactical operations

- The maps don't include the locations mentioned in the text

- Book could have benefits from illustrations of the combatants and their equipment (usually an Osprey SOP)

- Does not explore/explain the political situation adequately - especially the rift between the British and French against the US
2 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen Adequate 20. Mai 2010
Von Yoda - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf

This volume in the Osprey series provides the reader were a very rudimentary introduction to the conflict that is barely adequate, particularly in its explanation of why each power wanted Nasser out. The primary reason the English wanted Nasser out was to take back the Suez. The French wanted him out because he supported the Algerian rebellion and Israel wanted him out in order to weaken the Arab coalition aligned against them. At least this is according to the book. The book leaves out some other important motivational factors of each of these parties. No mention is made that Eden, the English prime minister, viewed Nasser, literally, as another Hitler . There is no mention either of Eden's mental instability. The French viewed Nasser as not only supporters of Algeria, but as the cause of the Algerian revolt. If only they could remove Nasser, they thought that the Algerian rebellion would just collapse. This, as hard as it is to believe, was the prevailing view of the French elite at the time. Again, no mention of this is made in the book.

With respect to the actual military campaign, the book does a fairly good job (four stars here). It discusses the forces involved (although coverage of the Egyptian side is weak - no discussion of officer and troop quality and morale), main weapons used (i.e, aircraft and armour albeit small arms are not covered), strategies and how the campaign evolved. However, there is an inadequate discussion as to how, exactly, each side, through its fairly limited attack would be expected to topple Nasser. Was the taking of Sinai and a few key areas in mainland Egypt intended to cause a revolt against Nasser among Egyptians? For him to surrender due to annihilation of his military forces? How exactly did the English, French and Israelis think their attack would bring about "regime change"? This million dollar question is left unanswered.

All and all an adequate introduction to the campaign that is fairly succinct (can be read in about an hour and a half) as an introduction to the newcomer but nothing really to shout about.
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