[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Friday, 21 July 2006, 12:44 GMT 13:44 UK
The Suez Crisis: Key maps
The Suez Canal provided a vital trading route from the Mediterranean to the Red Sea and beyond to Africa and Asia.

Map showing Suez Canal and surrounding region
Suez Canal opened to traffic in November 1869
It was built by Frenchman Ferdinand de Lesseps using Egyptian forced labour; an estimated 120,000 workers died during construction
It stretches 192km (120 miles) between the Mediterranean and the Red Sea
It is 300m (984ft) wide at its narrowest point
By 1955 approximately two-thirds of Europe's oil passed through the canal
The waterway closed 1967 due to the Six Day War, reopened 1975
About 7.5% of world sea trade is carried via the canal today
Receipts from the canal July 2005 to May 2006 totalled $3,246m
In 2005, 18,193 vessels passed through the canal

Israeli forces began arriving in Egypt on 29 October 1956 at the start of "Operation Musketeer", a combined mission with the British and French, aimed at regaining control of the Suez Canal.

Map showing troop movements during Suez crisis

1. 29 October: Israeli paratroops dropped east of town of Suez
2. 30 October: More paratroops dropped to the east of Mitla Pass. Troops begin crossing the border at Qussaima.
3. 31 October: British bombs dropped on Cairo and Cairo international airport
4. 2 November: Israeli paratroops land near Al Tor, west of Sinai
5. 5 November: British paratroops land west of Port Said. French paratroops land south of Port Said
6. 5 November: Israelis capture Sharm al-Sheikh to lift blockade of Gulf of Aqaba.
7. 6 November: Anglo-French invasion force bombardment and landings
8. 7 November: Anglo-French forces claim to have occupied most of the Suez Canal zone as far as Ismailia, when UN orders a halt to fighting
21 November: First UN troops land at Port Said
23 November: British and French forces begin withdrawal from Egypt
22 December: Withdrawal completed at midnight

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific