The author has established a reputation for finely drawn reviews of ‘small wars’ and this new book is a worthy addition to his portfolio. The territories at the south end of the Suez canal were very important to the British communications between the home country and the huge colonial areas East of Suez. This was particularly true in the age of sail and the early age of steam when a safe base in the area was important for vessels coming round Cape of Good Hope and then through the Suez canal when it opened. The author traces the long period of colonial rule and its ending during the dash from Empire that followed the end of WWII. It was a period where the US and the USSR both put pressure on the British Empire, the USSR as part of its plan for world domination and the US as part of its plan to take over markets previously enjoyed by Britain and its Empire. A well written account, illustrated by an interesting photo plate section.