The Egyptian War of Independence was a conflict within the Colonial Wars.
The war was the first conflict within the Colonial Wars to breakout, beginning with the Egyptian renunciation of the Anglo-Egyptian Treaty which led to the Commonwealth declaration of war which is widely regarded as the beginning of the Colonial Wars.
The first conflict of the war was the Canadian occupation of the Suez Canal which marked the beginning of The Battle of the Suez, a battle which would rage for the duration of the war as the Egyptians attempted to expel the Canadians from the canal but fared little success.
The seizure of the Canal was followed by a joint landing at Port Sudan by Canadian, Australian and New Zealand forces, where Egyptian forces were expelled with relative ease.
War in Sudan
The landing at Port Sudan marked the opening of the Sudanese Front of the war, in which the Commonwealth forces attempted to establish control of Sudan in the name of the Anglo-Egyptian State of the Sudan, which the British Commonwealth declared to be a successor to the Anglo-Egyptian Condominium of Sudan.
After the landings in Port Sudan in September 1936, the Commonwealth forces spent the rest of the year advancing towards Khartoum, which was occupied by Commonwealth forces in early 1937. The fall of Khartoum was a bitter defeat for Egyptian forces as it gave the Commonwealth a strategic as well as symbolic victory over Egyptian forces, in a strategically crucial part of the Sudan as it enabled the British to cut off supply lines for large portions of Sudan.
With the fall of Khartoum the government of The Anglo-Egyptian State of the Sudan established itself in the city, whilst Commonwealth forces began to advance north towards to the city of Dongola as part of a Commonwealth strategy of invading Egypt through the Sudan. This advance would prove slow and bitter campaign with Commonwealth forces not reaching the outskirts of the city until early 1939, it would take another 3 months for them to capture the city in a brutal battle which would greatly hamper Commonwealth plans to invade Egypt through the Sudan.
As British forces entered Egypt through Sudan in mid-1940 the conflict in the Sudan was reduced mainly to skirmishes between Commonwealth and Egyptian forces in the south of the country as Egyptian forces attempted to break through and end the effective siege on their positions created by the Commonwealth occupation of most of the main supply routes from Egypt.
Conflict in the Sudan reignited in 1941 as Egyptian forces pushed Commonwealth troops out of southern Egypt and back into the Sudan where they fought to delay the advance of the Egyptians. Despite the resistance of Commonwealth forces the Egyptians continued to push into the Sudan with them recapturing Khartoum in May 1941; by the end of the Colonial Wars in March 1943 the Egyptians had pushed Commonwealth forces back to Port Sudan and the surrounding areas and the Anglo-Egyptian State of the Sudan was dissolved as part of the Treaty to End the Egyptian War of Independence.
In late 1939 Canadian forces landed in the northern port city of Alexandria from where they began advances on both Cairo and the Suez Canal to link Canadian forces in the north.
The offensive began with rapid gains by Canadian forces on the coast where they quickly consolidated their hold on the regions surrounding Alexandria whilst rapidly advancing towards the Suez Canal. Canadian forces advancing towards Cairo were also making significant gains threatening the Egyptian Capital, however as they approached the city Egyptian forces dug in an put the advance to a halt.
Whilst the threat to Cairo was briefly revived by the advancement of Canadian troops from Sudan into Egypt these troops were repelled in the Battle of Luxor (Fascist Coup Britain)]], forcing the southern Canadian armies onto the defensive.
Following the defeat of the southern armies at the Battle of Luxor, the northern armies advancing on Cairo faced setbacks follwoing successful Egyptian counter-attacks, forcing Canadian armies across Egypt onto the defensive.
With Commonwealth forces on the defensive and conflict with the Axis powers in Europe threatening the position of the Commonwealth within Mediterranean territories such as Malta and Gibraltar the Commonwealth entered peace negotiations with the Egyptians in order to end the conflict before an Egyptian-Axis alliance could be forged.
These negotiations led to a ceasefire being agreed between the Commonwealth and Egypt in mid-1942 whilst a full peace treaty was negotiated. Eventually in March 1943 the Treaty of Valletta was signed bringing an end to the Egyptian War of Independence; as part of the Treaty the Anglo-Egyptian Treaty was to be declared invalid and the Commonwealth was to cede Egypt control of Palestine, Transjordan and Sudan, with the respective pro-Commonwealth governments within these territories being dissolved, whilst the Suez Canal Zone was going to be established as a neutral territory garrisoned by Canadian forces.
The war is largely considered an Egyptian victory as the Commonwealth failed to regain control of Egypt and also lost control over most of the territories surrounding Egypt; however Egypt was forced to establish a neutral zone around the Suez Canal which was to be garrisoned by Canadian forces, thereby giving the Commonwealth effective control of the key waterway.
The end of the war can also be considered a success for the Commonwealth as it prevented the merging of the Colonial Wars into the Second World War, preventing the Axis powers from gaining control of the Suez Canal and also allowing the Commonwealth to devote its forces in the Mediterranean to the conflict with Fascist Italy, with many of the Commonwealth forces used in the conflict with Egypt later being used in the invasion of Italian Libya, followed by Italy itself.