Operation Musketeer (Operation Mousquetaire) The Assault Preparation

Dr.Yahia Al Shaer

Mi Sergeant
MI.Net Member
Sep 14, 2020
Operation Musketeer
( Operation Mousquetaire )
The Assault Preparation

Calling the reservists

On the 2nd of August the Queen approved a Royal Proclamation recalling a limited number of reservists to the Colours and the retention of those regular soldiers due for charge. At that time the total number of men liable to recall totalled 277,000 persons. They consisted of 24,000 in Section A and 100,000 in Section B of the Regular Army Reserve; 3000 of Category 1 and 150,000 of Category 2 of the Army Emergency Reserve. A total of 25,000

Soldiers were called up in the event. According to Sir Antony Eden's explanations in the House of Common of the Categories. In addition, precautionary measures were taken in the Mediterranean which led to eventual delaying the return home of many National Servicemen from overseas.

Three British aircraft carriers HMS Bulwark (22,000 tons), HMS Theseus (13,190 tons) and HMS Ocean (13,190 tons) were hurriedly prepared for dispatch to the Mediterranean and a squadron of the modern Canberra bombers were ordered to Malta, whilst the French fleet was assembling at Toulon, the British aircraft carriers HMS Eagle (36,800 tons) and HMS Albion (22,000 tons), the and the French Arromanches (13,190 tons) and La Fayette (11,000 tons) were proceeding their

Battle readiness to take their share in the Anglo-French attack operations. The British vessels carried a total of about 150 aircraft mainly jet , the two French carriers carried about 65 mainly propeller

Chain of Command of Operation Musketeer

I. Allied headquarters

1. C-in-CGeneral Sir Charles Keightley ( Br) also C-in-C MiddleEast Land Forces
Deputy:Vice Admiral Pierre Barjot (Fr)
1.2 C-in-C MediterraneanAdmiral Sir Guy Grantham ( Br)
1.3 C-in-C MediterraneanAir Marshal Sir Claude Pally (Br)

General Andre Baufre (Fr),
General Sir Charles Keightley( Br)
Vice Admiral Pierre Barjot (Fr),
Lt. General Sir Hugh Stockwell ( Br)

II. Task Force Commanders
Navy -

Vice Admiral Durnford-Slater ( Br)
Deputy: Rear Admiral Lancelot ( Fr)
1.1 Allied Naval Forces

2. Air Force
Air Marshal Barnett (Br)
Deputy: General Brohon (Fr)
2.1 Allied Air Forces

3. Army
Lt. General Sir Hugh Stockwell ( Br)
Deputy: General Andre Baufre (Fr)
3.1 Joint Operations Centre
3.2 Allied Land Forces

Operation Musketeer Commanding structures

The Naval Task Forces

Commander Naval Task Forces

Vice Admiral D.D. Durnford Slater
3 Fleet Aircraft Carriers and 2 Helicopter Carriers in addition to the RN Operation's Fleet

Vice Admiral M.L. Power:
HMS Eagle, HMS Albion, HMS Bulwark carrying in total 72 Sea Hawks, 25 Sea Venoms, 9 Wyverns, 8 SkyraiderAEW, 2 Avenger AS5, 4 Sycamore 14 & Whirlwind HAR2 SAR helos)

Rear Admiral G.B. Sayer:
2 Helicopter Carriers, HMS Theseus and HMS Ocean carrying in total
6 Sycamore 14, 6 Whirlwind HAR2, 8 Whirlwind HAS22, 6 Whirlwind HAR3

The British Forces

The Anglo-French forces finally allocated to General Sir Charles Keightley to fight against the Egyptian forces and for the assault on Port Said numbered 45,000 men, 12,000 vehicles, 300 aircraft and 100 warships though I doubt very much that all this force has made it into actual action. The participating British Naval Forces was modified so often, that it is difficult to achieve the full details of the final figure. Never the less, the following units have definitely participated in and many of them have entered the Suez Canal to disembark their loads of Soldiers, Tanks, field guns and armoured Cars in addition to the other war materials that totalled to 30 thousand tons.

The Middle East Air Forces Order of Battle in Cyprus December 1956

Air Chief Marshal Sir David Lee, documented in his Book "Wings in the Sun" , that Cyprus has played a substantial role in accommodating both Air and Land forces, meanwhile Malta has taken over a better position in accommodating the Canberra and nuclear able Valiants heavy long range Bomber Squadrons
I. Head Quarters, Middle East Air Forces - Nicosia / Episkopi

HQ Episkopi, Cyprus

Headquarters ( Unit) MEAF
Joint Air Reconnaissance
Intelligence Centre ( ME)
MEAF Redeployment Party
No. 6 Regimental Band
Headquarters MEAF ( rear )
Headquarters Task Force `Challenger`
Nicosia ( Station controlled by AHQ Levant)

HQ Akrotiri

RAF Station Anson / Venom
No 6 Squadron Venom ( D, F, /G, A )
No 13 Squadron Meteor / Canberra ( P, R )
No 208 Squadron Meteor ( F, R )
No 103 Maintenance Unit
No 1 Aeronautical Functionally controlled by H.Q. MEAF
Inspection Services
Test Centre
No 2 Anti-Mosquito Unit
RAF Hospital ( Akrotiri )
No 2 Signals Unit ( Akrotiri )
HQ No 3 ( L.A.A.) Wing RAF Regiment
No 27 ( L.A.A.) Squadron RAF Regiment
No 37 ( L.A.A.) Squadron RAF Regiment
No 16 ( Field) Squadron RAF Regiment

HQ Ayios Nikolaos

RAF Station ( S.P.)
No 70 Squadron Hastings ( L,R,/T )
No 73 Squadron Venom ( D,F,/G,A )
No 84 Squadron Valetta ( M,R,/T )
No 114 Squadron Valetta ( M,R,/T )
No 184 Squadron Sycamore ( S and R )
No 231 Signals Unit ( Nicosia )
Middle East Communications Meteor,/Pembroke / ValettaSquadron Functionally controlled by H.Q. MEAF
Levant Communications Flight Pembroke / Meteor,/ Sycamore
No 113 Maintenance Unit
Air Traffic Control Centre Nicosia Functionally controlled by H.Q. MEAF
HQ No 24 RAF Police District RAF Regiment
No 6 ( Cyprus) Radio Fitting Party Functionally controlled by H.Q. MEAF
90 Group
Headquarters No 8 ( L.A.A.) Wing RAF Regiment
No 34 ( L.A.A.) Squadron RAF Regiment
No 2 ( Field.) Squadron RAF Regiment
Air Headquarters Levant

HQ Limassol
No 1153 Marine Craft Unit
No 4 AF Signals Regiment

Dr. Yahia Al Shaer

HQ Episkopi
Headquarter No 4 AF Signals Regiment

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