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Wings over Sinai, the Egyptian Air Force during the Sinai War, 1956

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David Nicolle, Tom Cooper & Air Vice Marshal Gabr Ali Gabr.
Helion & Company, pp112, A4, Paperback, ISBN: 978-1-911096-61-0, RRP £19.95.
Available from Casemate UK www.casematepublishing.co.uk

This rather excellent book is the account of the Egyptian Air Force during the 1956 conflict when Israel, Great Britain & France attacked after the nationalisation of the Suez Canal by Nasser. After the plethora of books showing the Israeli activities, a few books on the Anglo-French forces it is interesting to see the Egyptian side of events. He book contains some 120 black & white photos, a few colour photos (still rare in 1956) mostly of the aircraft, but also a few ‘people’ photos which illustrate the influence the RAF had on the pilots who all seem to sport Jimmy Edwards style moustaches! In the centre of the book are 6 pages of colour profiles and a colour map of the contested area.
The text gives a concise history of the political events leading up to the war and the state of the Egyptian Air Force.  Naturally there are photos of the aircraft starting with British supplied Spitfires, Furies, Meteors, Vampires and Chipmunks, the home-built Gomhouriya basic trainer, Italian Fiat G55, and then the flood of Soviet types such as the Mig 15 & 17, Ilyushin IL-28 bomber,  Yak 11 and Czech Mraz trainer. There are also photos of the ‘opposition’ of the Israeli Air Force, and so the tread heads don’t feel left out, a few photos of tanks.
This is an excellent book of a relatively obscure area of military history which will be interesting for the aircraft enthusiast and also model makers looking for a different subject.
Recommended.                                                                                                       Paul Middleton 11/04/2017

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