Published on the 50th anniversary of the Suez Crisis, this compelling book offers the first full account of Britain's painful withdrawal from Egypt in the 1950s. The Egyptian emergency - which Winston Churchill called the 'Battle of the Canal Zone' - began in 1951 and ended three years later when Britain reluctantly agreed to evacuate 80,000 troops from the Suez base by 1956. Michael Thornhill explores the interaction of politics, diplomacy, strategic planning and guerrilla warfare to explain how the largest military base in the world - and the defining feature of Britain's global power status - was relinquished. In so doing, new light is shed on the origins of the disastrous re-invasion of Egypt in the autumn of 1956. The real folly of 'Suez' is thus revealed as never before. The key themes of "Road to Suez" - Western imperialism in the Middle East, the rise of Arab nationalism and militant Islam, the politics of 'regime change' - have a contemporary resonance which will engage anyone wishing to understand the Middle East today.