Between 1957 and 1959, the RAF and the SAS were sent in to put down a rebellion in central Oman around Imam Ghalib Alhinai and against Britain's client, Sultan Said bin Taimur. Then Britain just never left.
When another rebellion broke out, this time in the southern province of Dhofar, and when it looked as if the Sultan might not defeat it, then MI6, the Foreign Office and the Ministry of Defence arranged to have the entirely British Officer Corps of the Sultan's Armed Forces replace him with his son.
Having been planned under Harold Wilson but signed off by Ted Heath, the coup was bloodless in the end. But it was staged as part of a British war that lasted for at least 14 years, yet which seems to have been forgotten despite having been one of the most important of the twentieth century, since it secured control of the Strait of Hormuz.
Britain began that war under a Conservative Government, and continued it under a Labour one, then under another Conservative one, and then under another Labour one. It was waged by a least four Prime Ministers, one of them twice. Yet who remembers it now?
Two important, but baleful, trends overlap here: the national amnesia about all Interwar and most post-War British conflicts, and the writing of Maoism out of the history of what is neatly misrepresented as "the Cold War". But Britain did win the war in Oman, and the place has been a giant British military and intelligence compound ever since.