1956 ORIGINAL HANDWRITTEN RETROSPECTIVE JOURNAL DETAILING THE EXCITING AND GRIPPING EVENTS OF OPERATION MUSKETEER, AN ANGLO-FRENCH PLAN TO CRIPPLE THE EGYPTIAN AIR FORCE DURING THE SUEZ CRISIS

By: GUY SMITH, MIKE CROSS

Price: $4,455.99

Quantity: 1 available

Book Condition: Good


On offer are a number of exceptional documents directly related to Operation Musketeer, an Anglo-French plan for invasion during the Suez Crisis of 1956. They include a 17 page handwritten diary of a National Servicemen (Guy Smith) onboard the aircraft carrier HMS Eagle, the center of the Mediterranean Fleet on standby in case of invasion. There are also two letters, from much more recently (only one is dated, on 2011). The first letter is from the wife of the Mr. Smith, explaining a bit more about the person behind the diary. The other is from a man who was onboard the HMS Dalrymple, also part of the Fleet in the Operation. The 17 page diary is titled, “An Extensive Signal Exercise, Or, Operation Musketeer” and was written by a National Serviceman named Guy Smith. It begins, “The fleet started to leave Grand Harbor Malta at 0830 Monday the 29th of October 1956.” He mentions that the Eagle was the flagship of the fleet, “carrying the flag of Vice Admiral Power.” Immediately, “disaster struck the flagship” as a wire holding an aircraft to the flight deck broke and the aircraft was dragged overboard, sinking the ship and almost killing the pilot. He mentions the feeling onboard the ship as it headed towards the Suez Canal: “...the Captain announced that Israel had attacked Egypt and her troops were within seventy miles of the Suez Canal. The Navy, he said must be prepared to act at a moment's notice.” The diary also explains the plan of Operation Musketeer: “The first was the complete destruction of the Egyptian air force, this was expected to take 48 hours, and then stage two, the actual occupation of the Canal Zone could proceed.” The next few pages go into very specific detail about how the two stages would proceed, and a delight to read for anyone interested in tactics of post WW2 warfare. On November 1st, an air offensive begins. The diary again goes into very detailed explanations of the air strikes: “During the day's operations, the ship had steamed 220 miles, flew 114 sorties, 75 strikes, ten enemy aircraft destroyed, 17 damaged, a radar station and many tanks and vehicles destroyed. Ammunition expended included 22 of 1,000 lb bombs, 32 of 500 lb bombs, 232 armor piercing rockets, 15,000 rounds of 20mm at the loss of one aircraft.” The diary continues in its details about the operation, until the ceasefire on November 6th. The diary finishes with the author explaining the importance of the operation to the Royal Navy. Finally, the last page contains a list of “The Anglo-French Naval Force off Suez not including launching ships and craft and troop ships.” The list includes the name of the aircraft carriers, destroyers, battleships, paring class ships, frigates, cruisers, fast minelayers, and fleet auxiliaries who participated in the operation. The letter by his wife states that he was “a National Servicemen on board ‘Eagle’” and that at the time of Operation Musketeer, he was “the Admiral’s State Board Keeper / Messenger.” She writes that “as with so many National Servicemen, they were some of the ‘best years of his life’ and I am only sorry that he is no longer here to tell the tale.” The other letter, by Mike Cross, states that he was a ‘young A.B. [Able Seaman]’ on the HMS Dalrymple, one of the last ships to leave Malta for the Suez Canal. He also states that the ship was “flying the UN flag, so they gave us overalls and a beret’ and did not look like he normally did while on duty. The three documents are all in good or very good shape. The diary has some slight discoloration and small tears on the edges, but nothing that affects its structure or legibility. All three letters are written in pen and easily readable throughout. The diary is undated, but obviously is older than the other two letters. This is a fantastic small archive for those interested in secret operations of war, the Suez Canal Crisis that defined a region for many years to come, or the intimate details of modern warfare post World War 2. (Background: Operation Musketeer (French: Opération Mousquetaire) was the Anglo-French plan for the invasion of the Suez canal zone to capture the Suez Canal during the Suez Crisis in 1956. Israel, which invaded the Sinai peninsula, had the additional objectives of opening the Straits of Tiran and halting fedayeen incursions into Israel. The Anglo-French military operation was originally planned for early September, but the necessity of coordination with Israel delayed it until early November. When the United States threatened to devalue the British currency (the Pound Sterling), the British cabinet was divided. Prime Minister Sir Anthony Eden called a ceasefire, without Israeli or French officials being notified. Launched without a clear aim other than revenge, with the abandonment of international diplomacy, Operation Musketeer was a failure in strategic terms. By mischance it covered the Soviet Union's military intervention in Hungary on 4 November. On this issue and, more generally, on the principle of premature military action against Egypt, the operation divided public opinion in the UK. It demonstrated the limitations of the UK's military capacity, and exposed errors in several staff functions, notably intelligence and movement control. Tactically successful, both in the sea and airborne assaults and the subsequent brief occupation, it was undertaken on the margin of capability. It was the last venture of its kind.)

Title: 1956 ORIGINAL HANDWRITTEN RETROSPECTIVE JOURNAL DETAILING THE EXCITING AND GRIPPING EVENTS OF OPERATION MUSKETEER, AN ANGLO-FRENCH PLAN TO CRIPPLE THE EGYPTIAN AIR FORCE DURING THE SUEZ CRISIS

Author Name: GUY SMITH, MIKE CROSS

Categories: Books and Manuscripts General Overview, 20th Century Manuscript, 20th Century Ephemera,

Publisher: SUEZ CANAL ZONE, SINAI PENINSULA, 1956

Book Condition: Good

Type: Manuscript

Size: Folio - over 12" - 15" tall

Seller ID: 0009087

Keywords: KEYWORDS: HISTORY OF, OPERATION MUSKETEER, SUEZ CRISIS, SINAI WAR, POST WORLD WAR 2 MIDDLE EAST, EGYPT, SUEZ CANAL ZONE, NATIONAL SERVICEMEN DAIRY, AIRCRAFT CARRIER, HMS EAGLE, HMS DALRYMPLE, ANGLO-FRENCH NAVAL FORCE, ISRAELI INVASION OF THE SINAI PENINSULA, SECRET MILITARY OPERATION, ADMIRAL'S STATE BOARD KEEPER, TACTICS OF MODERN WARFARE, EXTENSIVE SIGNAL EXERCISE, GUY SMITH, MIKE CROSS, BRITISH NAVAL AIR FORCE, FRENCH AIR FORCE, 1956 IN MILITARY CONFLICTS, BRITANNICA, HANDWRITTEN, MANUSCRIPT, DOCUMENT, LETTER, AUTOGRAPH, WRITER, HAND WRITTEN, DOCUMENTS, SIGNED, LETTERS, MANUSCRIPTS, HISTORICAL, HOLOGRAPH, WRITERS, AUTOGRAPHS, PERSONAL, MEMOIR, MEMORIAL, ANTIQUITÉ, CONTRAT, VÉLIN, DOCUMENT, MANUSCRIT, PAPIER ANTIKE, BRIEF, PERGAMENT, DOKUMENT, MANUSKRIPT, PAPIER OGGETTO D'ANTIQUARIATO, ATTO, VELINA, DOCUMENTO, MANUSCRITTO, CARTA ANTIGÜEDAD, HECHO, VITELA, DOCUMENTO, MANUSCRITO, PAPEL