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40 CDO - Capture of Navy House - Musketeer

Unit/ Formation: 40 Cdo RM


Location: Port Said


Period/ Conflict: Suez Crisis


Year: 1956


Date/s: 6th November 1956


At dawn on 6 November 1956, 40 Commando RM (Lieutenant Colonel D G Tweed MBE), together with 42 Commando on their right, supported by Naval bombardment and with close air support, landed across the beaches at Port Said.



Its task was to recapture the main part of the town, the government offices and the docks area. Heavy street fighting followed all day down narrow alleys and through high tenement blocks, all under constant enemy sniping.


With determination, military skill and superb junior leadership, all the Commando's objectives were seized before a cease-fire was ordered later that day. This was the first major seaborne assault since the Second World War and 40 Commando played a significant part in this entirely successful phase of the operation.


40 Commando with one troop of tanks was to clear the vicinity of the harbour in order to enable craft to enter without coming under fire then carried out a deliberate clearance of the houses along the Quai Sultan Hussein bordering the harbour. A considerable number of Egyptian infantry were seen and engaged to the West of this axis and strong opposition developed amongst the warehouses behind Navy House.


A group of commandos raise the British flag after capturing Navy House in Port Said, Egypt. British and French forces occupied the area during the Suez Crisis of 1952. (Photo by © Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)

The last area of resistance centred round Navy House where tanks supporting 40 Commando used their guns to blow in the doors of warehouses from which Egyptian fire was still coming.


Finally, just before dusk an air attack was called down on Navy House itself which still held out. This building was engaged and our troops occupied the area. All organised resistance now ceased, 3 Parachute Battalion had also closed up to the edge of Arab Town and the Commandos had linked up with the French South of the town. Sporadic sniping however continued throughout the night.


More related Royal Marines 'Dits'

40 Cdo RM Roll of Honour:


DUDHILL, Lorin Marine Lorin Dudhill from Wingate, Durham, died during Operation Musketeer, the Anglo-French Invasion of Port Said, Egypt.


FUDGE, Ronald John Marine Ronald Fudge, from Bristol, died during Operation Musketeer, the Anglo-French Invasion of Port Said, Egypt.


MCCARTHY, Peter William Lieutenant Peter McCarthy, from Salisbury, died during Operation Musketeer, the Anglo-French Invasion of Port Said, Egypt.


UFTON, Edward Albert Lieutenant Edward Ufton, from Burton-on-Trent, was killed during Operation Musketeer, the Anglo-French Invasion of Port Said, Egypt.

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