Valiant Wings Publishing: The Suez Crisis

Publisher/Distributor

Valiant Wings Publishing

Price

9.95 MSRP at www.valiant-wings.co.uk

Reviewer:

Scott Van Aken

Notes: 76 pages, A4 Format, softcover, ISBN: 978-0-9935345-7-7, Airframe Extra #7

The formation of the state of Israel brought with it a series of conflicts between this new nation and its neighbors. There are various reasons for the hostility, and two sides to every conflict. On one side, the folks who lived there in 1947 did not want to live in a Jewish state and often these folks were forced from their land by the new government. They were also treated as second-class people in places where they were born. Additionally, surrounding nations also did not want to have Israel as neighbors and so began a long period of both hot and cold conflicts that continues today. On the other side, you have a previously stateless people who are looking for a place to call their own and one they historically feel is theirs. I have to admit that the actions of Israel, as well as the surrounding nations, in addition to the steadfast refusal to compromise on both sides probably means that there will never be harmony in the area.

One of the various wars took place in 1956 as an attempt to grab back the Suez Canal from the Egyptians. While the story is relatively convoluted, at an early time in the history of the canal, Egypt sold its financial interest to the British and the French. This did not sit well with the Egyptians, but the British were able to keep the canal up and operating for decades. In 1951 King Farouk scrapped the treaty with the British regarding the canal and this caused clashes between the British and Egyptians, After the British army killed 41 Egyptians in Ismailia, the Egyptians rose up and a military coup ousted the king. Eventually, Abdul Nassar rose to power. He felt he should be the leader of all the Arab nations and that meant appearing strong. After failed attempts to broker an agreement by outside nations, Nassar took over the canal and closed the Red Sea, preventing shipping from transiting the canal and preventing Israel from using its Gulf of Aquaba port.

This set up the Suez Crisis, a short war where both France and Britain, ended up on the losing side of world opinion and allowed Israel to take over the Gaza Strip. After about ten days, a cease fire was brokered by the UN and the canal zone turned over to peacekeepers. Of course, there is a bit more to it, but you'll need to read the book to get the full story. 

As you guessed, there is a historical section, but the majority of the book is dedicated to model builds and to a nice selection of color profiles. These profiles are divided into three major sections to cover British, French and Israeli aircraft. Yup, no Egyptian ones in this edition.

This does not extend to the builds as we have quite a few covering planes of all the combatants. As usual, one modeler adds a lot of stuff to the model while the other is primarily out of the box. In 1/72 scale we have an Xtrakit Egyptian Meteor F.8, a Hobby Boss Seahawk FGA.6, an Israeli KP Piper Cub, and an Egyptian Trumpeter IL-28. For 1/48 fans a French RF-84F by TanModel, a Hasegawa Israeli P-51D, and a Classic Airframes Meteor NF11/13.

All of the builds are well illustrated and provide lots of helpful tips for those who might be considering duplicating some of these efforts. In all, it is a great addition to the series and one that you should seriously have on your shelf.

May 2017

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