Editors Note: We're blogging through We Didn't Start the Fire by Billy Joel.
In July 1958, a civil war seemed about to start in Lebanon between Christians and Muslims. At the same time, diplomatic relations with Egypt had fallen apart after Lebanon President Camille Chamoun kept ties with the West after the Suez Canal incident. As tensions mounted within Lebanon, Chamoun requested assistance from America.
Operation Blue Bat was put into place on July 15, 1958. Fearing Lebanon would fall to communism, American President Eisenhower authorized troops to secure both the airport and the port of Beirut. The operation was a success, and all troops withdrew on October 25, 1958.
Operation Blue Bat was essentially an overreaction, as nothing really happened. Communism never turned out to be a threat to Lebanon, and Egypt never attacked Lebanon.