Gamel Nassar, A Man with a Illusion
The early fifties was a tumultuous period in Egyptian history. The country was in ferment and people were wondering what will happen next. King Farrukh was like a pawn in the hands of the western powers, notably the UK and France who controlled the Suez canal. In such a situation a military coup ousted the King and a batch of young officers of the Egyptian army took over. Colonel Gamal Abdel Nasser emerged the man of the hour. He was a man who believed destiny was on his side and he started some revolutionary steps, that included nationalizing the Suez Canal, which was controlled by French and British Companies.
This step immediately invited retaliation and the British, French and Israeli armed forces joined hands and started a military campaign in 1956. The Egyptian armed forces were defeated, but Nasser emerged a hero as the Suez Canal remained in the hands of the Egyptians. All occupied territory was also vacated by Israel. This perhaps went to the head of Nasser who now started dreaming of finishing the state of Israel once and for all. Accordingly he allied with the Soviet union and the Russians happy to get a foot hold in the middle east obliged the Egyptians with weapons and aircraft. The Egyptian leader now felt confident and became more aggressive against Israel. He was confident that his Soviet equipped troops will over run Israel.
The latest MIGs and Tanks greatly bolstered his confidence. Propaganda was also fed into the Army that a victory over Israel would result in Israeli Girls being given as war booty for the troops. He made mistake after mistake and blockaded the Israel port on the Gulf of Aqaba. He began to make threatening noises. Nasser had however not realized that having weapons is one thing, but the expertise to use them is another. The Egyptian army was just not battle trained and the Egyptian leader lived in his own smug world
The Israel war cabinet in a meeting decided the time had come to teach the Egyptians a lesson and accordingly the Israeli Air Force mounted Air raids on the Egyptian Air Force. In one day of continuous raids the EAF was destroyed on the ground and not a single MIG took off to face the IAF. It was a sad commentary on the efficacy of the Arab Fighters and soldiers. The Egyptian army devoid of air cover threw in the towel.Nasser sitting in Cairo was bewildered. He wondered what had happened and went into hiding. There was now a real danger of Israel capturing Cairo and Nasser from his hiding place could do nothing.
A desperate Nasser now appealed to the USA and Russia for help, but his dream to destroy Israel was shattered for ever. The shock of the defeat was too much for him and he died soon after. He is a lesson to dictators who saddle their people with wars to achieve their own meglomaniacal dreams.