Suez Crisis Facts

Suez Crisis Facts
The Suez Crisis was a brief war fought from October 29 to November 1956 between Egypt and the nations of Israel, Great Britain, and France for control of the Suez Canal. The crisis took place after Egyptian President Gamal Nasser (1918-1970) nationalized the Suez Canal, thereby greatly affecting trade and travel between the Mediterranean and Red seas, but much more was taking place geo-politically leading up to the war. Nasser had attempted to place himself and Egypt at the vanguard of a new wave of Arab nationalism, which angered the newly formed Jewish state of Israel. Egypt was also moving closer to the Soviet Union, which caused distrust in the West, especially in France and Britain, which were trying desperately to hang on to the last vestiges of their empire. Although the British, French, and Israelis defeated the Egyptians, the Egyptians fought better than expected, giving Nasser a moral victory in the Arab world. American President Dwight Eisenhower (1890-1969) took a middle ground, helping negotiate a peaceful end to the conflict. Nasser came out best in the conflict, as from that point on he was the face of Arab nationalism. Britain and France were no longer superpowers, Israel temporarily occupied the Sinai Peninsula, and the United States began walking a fine line as a superpower between the Arab world and Israel.
Interesting Suez Crisis Facts:
The Suez Canal was seized by Egyptian forces on July 26.
The call to go ahead with the invasion was given in a speech Nasser made that day in Alexandria. He mentioned the name of the Canal's original architect, "Ferdinand de Lesseps," which was a code to go ahead with the invasion.
There were at least three ancient Suez Canals: one built during the reign of Nekau II (610-595), then either completed or rebuilt during the rule of the Persian King Darius I (522-486), and finally during the reign of Ptolemy II (285-246 BC). Instead of connecting the Mediterranean and Red seas directly, the ancient canals ran from the Red Sea to the Bitter Lakes, then went west to the Pelusium Branch of the Nile River.
The war began with the Israeli invasion through the Sinai, codenamed "Operation Kadesh."
The British and French used battleships, helicopters, and paratroopers to take control of the Canal.
The combined dead of the Israelis, British, and French was less than 200, while up to 3,000 Egyptians died in the fighting.
One of the primary reasons driving French involvement in the conflict was Nasser's support for the Algerian Rebellion. Algeria was a French colony at the time.
The Chief of General Staff/general of the Israeli Defense Forces at the time was Moshe Dayan.
Many high-ranking members of the French military hoped that the Suez Canal invasion would help their morale as they had just lost Indochina.
The Suez Crisis was one of the primary factors that brought down French Prime Minister Guy Mollet's government in 1957.
British Prime Minister Anthony Eden (1897-1977) resigned as a result of the Suez Crisis.
After the fighting had ended, both the United Nations and the United States confirmed Egypt's ownership of the Canal, provided they opened they opened it again.


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