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At least small craft and lighters might get past any obstructions. The Suez-Sinai crisis 1956 26 The change caused some friction between the Allies. Stockwell thought Beaufre was behind it but Beaufre blamed Barjot. Perhaps Keightley had pulled Barjot’s and Gazin’s Port Said plan out of his pocket and turned it into a major proposition for the Chiefs of Staff. Just four days later (12 September) came the third postponement, from 25 September to 1 October. This was necessary to adjust the plan although the pre-loading of the ships imposed severe restrictions.
7) provided for an early collapse. (1) The amphibious shipping, loaded with vehicles and equipment, would concentrate off Cyprus. (2) Because of the submarine risk the French assault troops would remain in Algeria together with the rest of 10 Parachute Division. (3) 3 Commando Brigade would join 16 Parachute Brigade in Cyprus. (4) Directly the air battle began the French assault troops would be moved rapidly to Cyprus in the Jean Bart and the parachutists would concentrate at Tymbou. (5) When Egyptian resistance was judged to have weakened: (a) The air and seaborne landing would take place at Port Said, and (b) The follow-up forces would sail from Algiers and the UK.
What with trade union rules and road safety regulations the move took a month. Once the tanks were embarked the roles of the two regiments were switched but the tanks had to stay where they were. Two old carriers, Ocean and Theseus, were used to ship troops out to Malta in great discomfort. On their return home towards the end of September they were fitted out with metal tiered bunks, just in time to have them ripped out again to refit Ocean as a hospital ship and Theseus as a helicopter carrier.