November 2nd 1951 – Ist Infantry Division flown in to Egypt

Up to 6,000 British troops from the 1st Infantry Division were flown in to the Suez Canal Zone of Egypt as Egyptian resentment to the British presence in the area continued to grow. Royal Air Force Handley-Page Hastings and Vickers Valetta aircraft brought in most of the 3rd Battalion, Coldstream Guards from Tripoli in Libya as part of an effort to try to quell anti-British disturbances in the region although this would ultimately have the opposite effect.

In October 1951, the Egyptian government had dissolved the Anglo-Egyptian Treaty of 1936, the terms of which granted Britain a lease on the Suez base for an additional 20 years. However Britain refused to withdraw her garrison from Suez citing that the original agreement still stood. Local Egyptians began to refuse to cooperate with British forces and there were numerous strikes amongst Egyptian workers servicing British assets along the canal.

In the first week of November additional men and equipment would arrive from the 3rd Battalion, Grenadier Guards and 1st Battalion, The Cameron Highlanders. Three weeks later, Britain was forced to move out thousands of its citizens trapped in their homes by sporadic gun battles between British soldiers and Egyptian security forces however British forces remained.

On January 25th 1952, British forces attempted to disarm Egyptian police officers at the barracks in Ismailia following repeated clashes. The police refused and in the gun battle that followed, 41 Egyptians were killed. This sparked anti-Western riots in Cairo which saw the deaths of several foreigners, including 11 British citizens, in retaliation. This proved to be a catalyst for the removal of the Egyptian monarchy which opened the door for a military coup by the Egyptian nationalist ‘Free Officers Movement’ on July 23rd 1952. Among its ranks was future Egyptian President Gamal Abdul Nasser.

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News Round-Up – June 30th 2017

HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier Merlin helicopter Royal Navy

Here are some of the latest British military news stories making the headlines this past week.

General News

Invest in Britain’s armed forces to boost the economy, says PwC
(The Telegraph)

IS faces end game in Mosul, says Michael Fallon
(BBC)

Britain prepared to use air strikes or send in troops as retaliation against future cyber attack
(The Telegraph)

UK awards IFF upgrade contract
(Shepard Media)

Lee Rigby’s mother says the Ministry of Defence offered her family ‘no support’
(Yahoo)

Slow computers are putting injured military personnel at risk, says Coventry medic
(Coventry Telegraph)


British Army News

Head of US Army blasts Britain’s shrinking troop numbers
(Breitling)

Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon forced to defend breaking pledge on Army numbers during grilling at RUSI
(Mirror)

£48m Apache training contract awarded
(Insider Media)

Canadian becomes first woman to lead changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace
(NBC New York)

Coroner to hold “witness surgery” over British army killing in Derry of Kathleen Thompson
(The Irish News)


Royal Air Force News

WW2 Luftwaffe fighter ace flies in RAF Spitfire for the first time
(The Telegraph)

RAF hero’s brilliantly under-stated account of Dambusters raid revealed in never-before-seen logbook
(The Sun)

Secret British ‘X-file’ reveals how RAF pilots were ‘told to ignore’ UFO over Skegness
(Metro)

IMG’s Tim Smith talks the RAF’s 100th anniversary celebrations
(Licensing Biz)


Royal Navy & Marines News

HMS Queen Elizabeth dwarfs Royal Navy ships as she takes part in sea trials
(The Sun)

Despite what you may have read, the Royal Navy’s new flagship doesn’t run Windows XP
(Neowin)

Deck crews for Royal Navy’s new carrier train with these “Faux” F-35s
(The Drive)

‘Hoax’ call sparks massive five-hour search for ‘sinking vessel’
(Devon Live)


Disclaimer: All news stories are the property of their respective publishers. Any opinions expressed in the articles are of the person making them. An effort is made to vary news sources as much as possible to avoid political bias.

 

News Round-Up – April 24th 2017

RAF A400M Atlas Airbus

Here are some of the latest British military news stories making the headlines this past week.


General News

Plan to opt out of rights accords in future wars dangerous, inquiry hears
(The Guardian)

NATO intercepting highest number of Russian military planes since the Cold War
(Independent)

MoD seeks Amazon-style delivery drones to resupply troops on the frontline
(The Telegraph)

Defence secretary Sir Michael Fallon visits Stevenage to announce £539 million missile contracts
(Hertfordshire Mercury)

UK man buys old Iraqi tank on eBay — and what he finds inside is truly amazing
(The Blaze)

Veteran support centre wins share of £940k funding from Ministry of Defence
(Penarth Times)


British Army News

Estonia ceremony marks deployment of UK troops
(The Telepgraph)

Man tries to locate the families of the owners of more than 14,000 British Army dog tags
(Military Times)

Army regiment holds event to thank North-east for support
(Aberdeen Evening Express)

Row breaks out on Culloden anniversary over claim ‘British redcoats acted like Islamic State’
(Herald Scotland)


Royal Air Force News

RAF A400M Atlas pilots test out short landing abilities at Dundee Airport 
(Evening Telegraph)

Moray air crews join American and French in massive aerial combat exercise
(Press and Journal)

RAF flights distressing farm animals
(Swindon Advertiser)


Royal Navy & Marines

UK MoD negotiates £1.4bn contract for Royal Navy’s sixth Astute-class submarine
(Naval Technology)

UK MoD sets timetable for nuclear sub base renewal
(IHS Janes)

Clyde steel cutting ceremony marks start on Royal Navy ship
(Clyde Bank Post)

UK Maritime Forces Onboard French Task Force Visit Vietnam
(Second Line of Defense)

Devon marines to fight against terrorists and pirates at sea
(Devon Live)


Disclaimer: All news stories are the property of their respective publishers. Any opinions expressed in the articles are of the person making them. An effort is made to vary news sources as much as possible to avoid political bias.

News Round-Up – April 16th 2017

British army tank challenger ii warrior ifv

Here are some of the latest British military news stories making the headlines this past week.


General News

USAF F-35A Lightning IIs arrive at RAF Lakenheath
(Eastern Daily Press)

Islamic State poses more of a threat to UK than North Korea, says former head of British military
(Mirror)


British Army News

MoD is accused of conducting a £6million ‘computer witch-hunt’ against the SAS
(Daily Mail)

First female British Army officer commissioned into Royal Tank Regiment
(Telegraph)

Saab signs support contract extension with British Army
(Evertiq)

Derry teenager killed by British army in 1972 was innocent, coroner rules
(Guardian)


Royal Air Force News

How many bombs has Britain dropped in 2017?
(BBC)

Paveway IV leads UK investment in munitions replenishment for anti-ISIS fight
(DefenseNews)

Italian Air Force T-346A and RAF Hawk T2 jet trainers conduct joint training at Decimomannu airbase
(The Aviationist)


Royal Navy & Marines News

Royal Navy escorts two Russian warships through Channel
(Guardian)

MoD appoints nuclear chief to help keep Dreadnought submarines on course
(Telegraph)

Will HMS Ocean Find a Buyer in Asia?
(The Diplomat)

Royal Navy is set to step in after crew supports action on pay
(Herald Scotland)


Disclaimer: all news stories are the property of their respective publishers. Any opinions expressed in the articles are of the person making them.

Civil Defence Handbook No.10 Advising the Householder on Protection Against Nuclear Attack, 1963

The following is a booklet issued to members of the Civil Defence Corps and the British emergency services to inform them of the advice that would be given to the general public in times of heightened tension with the Soviet Union during the Cold War. While it outlines the advice the government would give at such a time it was not intended for general public use.

This booklet was kept in use until the mid-1980s when it was replaced with an updated version that had more detail on the effects of nuclear fallout but retained the same basic advice. How effective these measures would have actually been is debatable. The cynical historian would argue that advice such as this had more to do with making the public feel like they could do something to protect themselves should nuclear war break out rather than genuinely useful advice.

In 1980, the UK government conducted an Exercise codenamed Square Leg which looked in to the effects of what they deemed was a realistic nuclear attack on the British mainland. They estimated that the country would sustain an attack with the destructive power in the region of 205 megatons. This would see almost 53% of the UK population – 29 million people – killed in the first few hours with another 19 million people dying in the following days from injuries and radiation.

The trouble with these figures is that Square Leg was heavily criticised as being – if you can believe it – optimistic and conservative. Critics argued that the UK was so densely populated with many strategic and military targets packed closely together that the Soviet Union would have allocated many more weapons to Britain than the government had estimated.

This reinforces the key point of nuclear weapons in that they are so frightening that they prevent a war rather than be a tool for war. We can only hope that the powers-that-be continue to remember that point.

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