Campaign in Sinai (Magill’s Guide to Military History)
Article abstract: Type of action: Ground campaign in the Suez War. Result: Israeli conquest of the Sinai.
On October 29, the Israelis seized the strategic Mitla Pass with a parachute battalion and sent armored columns into the eastern Sinai. Facing an Egyptian army at half strength (the other half redeployed to defend Egypt against anticipated Anglo- French attacks) and assisted by French air strikes, the Israelis conquered the Sinai in a matter of days. Sharp battles took place at Thamad, Abu Ageila, and Sharm el-Sheikh, but the issue was never in doubt. By November 5, the Israelis were near the Suez Canal, and on the following day, international pressure produced a cease-fire. Total casualties amounted to 189 killed, 899 wounded for Israel, versus an estimated 1,030 killed and 4,000 wounded for Egypt.
The campaign had little long-term significance. Instead, the Sinai battles proved the prowess of the Israeli Defense Force and eased Israeli fears of an Egyptian attack by shattering Egypt’s armed forces. International pressure forced a withdrawal of Israeli forces from the Sinai in 1957.
Creveld, Martin van. The Sword and the Olive: A Critical History of the Israeli Defense Force. New York: Public Affairs, 1998.
Troen, S. I., and M. Shemesh, eds. The Suez-Sinai Crisis of 1956, Retrospective and Reappraisal. London:...
(The entire section is 209 words.)
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