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The events that followed President Nasser of Egypt's nationalization of the Suez Canal on 26 July 1956 were as dramatic as they were painful to Britain's standing in the world. The authors of this fascinating book describe the unfolding disaster in detail and explain why lack of success was almost inevitable. In military terms not only were there misunderstandings between the British and French but serious equipment shortages and outdated attitudes. Most damaging of all were the political constraints, which led to continual prevarication and affected planning and operations on the ground. Drawing on official documents, and personal accounts of politicians and military men, the authors reveal the depths of deception that were employed to defy the UN, keep key allies (notably the USA) and Parliament in the dark and face down the service chiefs and public hostility. The immediate consequences were national humiliation and the resignation of the Prime Minister. The lasting result was the decline of British (and French) influence in world affairs and the unchallenged supremacy of the United States.