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The Capture of Ibrahim al-Awal, Hypothetical Scenario.

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Prelude to Musketeer, an hypothetical scenario about the capture of the Egyptian destroyer Ibrahim al-Awal.


Image: Dassault Ouragan at the Israeli Air Force Museum in Hatzerim, 2004 by

Oren Rozen. Source: Wikipedia.


A Harpoon Commander's Edition scenario for the Middle East Battleset and the HCCW-120614 Cold War Platform Database.


This scenario is designed for play by the Israeli/Blue or the Egyptian/Red side, but to prevent some spoilers is better to play first the Blue side some times and only after play the Red side.

It's recommended to play the scenario in slow time compression, between 1 seconde and 1 minute most of the time.


The almost forgetted Suez Crisis or Second Arab-Israeli War was a very interesting campaign with some novelties, as the History first heliborne assault. And ever the future Syrian president al-Asad participed in the shoot-down a British Canberra PR.7!

After the US refused to pay the building of the Aswan dam project, the Egyptian president Colonel Nasser decides to nationalize the Suez Canal on 26 July 1956 to pay for the dam building.

British and French, interested on the recuperation of the Canal and in the freedom of navigation, signed with Israel the then and for many years secret Protocol of Sevres on late October 1956.

On 29 October 1956 Israel attacks the Sinai Peninsula in the designated as Operation Kadesh.

With the alibi of protect the freedom of navigation in the Canal and his approaches (and because the secret treaty with Israel), Britain and France launched an ultimatum to the fighting factions calling to withdraw from within 16 km of the Suez Canal. When Egypt refused, the British and French launched Operation Musketeer to secure the Canal zone, with the ruse of separating Egyptian and Israeli forces.

Operation Musketeer, comprising a massive air strike (in part failed) from the carriers, Cyprus and Malta against the Egyptian airbases and airborne, heliborne and landing occupation, inclusive with heavy armour, of Port Said, his twin city Port Fuad and the Canal Zone.

Some days later, on 7 November 1956, as both President Eisenhower, the not-alligned States and the Soviet Union strongly opposed British-French military action, was acorded a cease-fire and the Anglo-French troops retired from the Canal Zone.

As a Egyptian counter-strike in the first hours of the war against Israel, the solitaire assignation of the Egyptian destroyer Ibrahim al-Awal to bombard the Israeli shore city of Haifa and his port was almost condemned to failure because his lack of support.

This scenario speculates about the possibility of a open naval-centered fight in the first hours of Operation Musketeer, just before the Anglo-French intervention.

In the scenario the Egyptian side compromisses most of his naval assets in the sea to support the Ibrahim al-Awal mission, and both sides have assigned some air assets for support of his naval forces (about the 40% of each initial air force is represented in this scenario).

Is 1956, and air-to-air missiles and effective search radar in fighter planes are yet some years in the future. Israel has an heteroclit composition air force with even very vulnerable liquid-cooled engine F-51D propeller fighters and two operational B-17 Flying Fortress, Egypt has some few Spitfire F.22, Hawker Fury and Lancaster bombers in the reserves.

Both sides must use intensively ground control to keep track of the enemy and to direct his fighters to intercept the enemy planes. At that moment some countries, as Syria, haven't any ground-based radar, and Egypt has only an handful of them concentrated in the Canal Zone, the Soviet radars were not yet in service when Muskeeter begin.


Some warships and planes are represented by equivalent types of other countries.


Enrique Mas, December 2012.

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