Puneet Varma (Editor)

El Gamil

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El Gamil (Arabic: الجميل‎‎; also called Gamil or El Gamīl; Romanized Arabic: Ṭâbiyet el-Gamîl) is a fortress with an airfield in Port Said Governorate, Egypt. It was the landing site of British paratroopers in the 1956 Suez Crisis.


Suez Crisis

The capture of the airfield at El Gamil and the surrounding area was an essential element in Operation Musketeer, the joint Anglo-French airborne and amphibious assault on Port Said, with the ultimate aim of gaining control of the Suez Canal. The French 2nd Colonial Parachute Regiment were to land at Er Raswa while the 3rd Battalion, Parachute Regiment, part of 16th Independent Parachute Brigade, were tasked with the attack on El Gamil, which would be the first British battalion parachute assault since World War II and the last to date. At the insistence of French commanders, the airborne assaults on El Gamil and Raswa were to take place a full 24 hours before the arrival of the seaborne element, in order to preserve the element of surprise, as it would be difficult to conceal the approach of the large invasion fleet.

Order of Battle

British Army

  • Brigade Tactical HQ, 16th Independent Parachute Brigade, Brigadier M A H Butler, MC
  • 3rd Battalion, Parachute Regiment, Lieutenant Colonel Paul Edwin Crooke, CBE DSO MA
  • "A" Company, Major Michael J. H. Walsh
  • "B" Company, Major Stevens
  • "C" Company, Major Ronald Norman
  • "D" Company
  • Forward Observation Officer (FOO) Detachment, 97 Battery (Lawson's Company) Royal Artillery, 33 (Para) Field Regiment, Royal Artillery
  • 3 Troop, 9 Independent Parachute Field Squadron, Royal Engineers
  • Detachment, 16th Independent Parachute Brigade Signal Squadron, Royal Signals
  • Detachment, 23 Parachute Field Ambulance, Royal Army Medical Corps
  • Detachment, Parachute Platoon, 63 Company, Royal Army Service Corps
  • 13 Air Contact Team, Royal Air Force
  • Detachment, Brigade RAF Parachute Detachment
  • Egyptian Army

  • One battalion group comprising:
  • One company covering the airfield with 2 x medium machine guns (MMG) in pillboxes
  • One company holding the adjacent cemetery with 3 x MMG, 1x 6 pounder anti-tank gun and 4 x 81 mm mortars
  • One company holding a coastguard barracks
  • Supported by 3 x SU-100 tank destroyers, 2 x 3.7 inch anti-aircraft guns
  • National Guard paramilitaries in the nearby town
  • References

    El Gamil Wikipedia