B4_Egypt wikimedia - Nasser Raising_the_flag_over_Port_Said to celebrate British military withdrawal from country June 1956

Image: President of Egypt Gamal Abdel Nassar raises the Egyptian flag in Port Said, June 1956, to celebrate the withdrawal of British military forces from the country. Courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Download PDF: Egypt and the Defence of the Middle East, in three parts

Part One: 1945-1949 [252MB]

Part Two: 1949-1953 [302MB]

Part Three: 1953-1956 [294MB]

Volume Details: Series B Volume 4. First published by The Stationary Office in 1998. Electronic version reproduced with permission of the editor under an Open Government Licence.

Editor Details: JOHN KENT is Reader in International Relations at the London School of Economics. Kent has published widely on British Imperial strategy in the Middle East and Africa, the origins of the Cold War, and on British, American, French and Belgian policy to West Africa and the Congo. He is co-author with John Young of International Relations since 1945: A Global History (2013).

Selection from Introduction:

In the initial conception of BDEEP…it was proposed that a three-part volume would be devoted to defence and the Middle East covering the years 1945-1956. Those familiar with the documentary record of Britain’s relations with the territories of formal and informal empire in the region will be aware of the scale of such an undertaking. Even if Palestine is excluded, it still leaves a series of territories for which there are in excess of 10,000 Foreign Office files. Indeed the British interest and involvement in the region was such that the government had to create an extra Foreign Office department to deal with the volume of work. In addition the fact that the region was a key area in terms of defence strategy, and given priority for reinforcements over Europe until 1950, has resulted in an enormous volume of military records. And then in 1956 there was the Suez crisis which generated a vast quantity of paperwork in its own right.” (Part One, p.xxxv)

The purpose of examining defence questions is to examine what determined a British military presence in imperial regions after 1945 and how this presence related to the retreat from empire.” (Part One, p.xxxv)