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THE SUEZ CRISIS 1956
The Suez Canal Built in 1869, as an British and French artificial waterway owned canal; allowing easier wanted protection trade and travel of this strategic between Europe waterway, since and Middle East trade and travel via (connects Red Sea the canal brought to Mediterranean profit Sea)
much of the world's oil was transported through this canal
Aswan Dam Project
Nasser wanted to improve economy by investing effort into this dam (dam would create jobs and thus stimulate the economy)
However the United States stopped its funding for the Aswan Dam Project
In response to this, on July 26, 1956; Nasser commanded the Egyptian army to nationalize the Suez Canal (make canal the government's property)
Aswan Dam Project • Nasser angered by the British halting its funding for the Dam; retaliated by declaring the nationalization of the Suez Canal (which was initially British and French owned) - leaders of Middle East, who were overjoyed that Western control of this important gateway had ceased. To them it was the symbol of a new era and an end to foreign domination.
Suez Canal was important access to the sea for Israel
Egyptian control of Canal
Limited Israel’s use of the waterway + furious Britain&France
The Suez Crisis 1956 • Great Britain and France asked Israeli to help for reoccupation of the canal; the three responded to the Egyptian nationalization of the Suez Canal by invading the Sinai Peninsula. ........... Operation Kadesh
Operation Kadesh • Consisted of 4 military objectives: 1) Sharm el-Sheikh: capturing the town = Israel have access to the Red Sea & allow it to restore the trade benefits of secure passage to Indian Ocean 2) Arish & Abu Uwayulah: important places for soldiers and centres of command and control of Egyptian Army in Sina 3) Gaza Strip was a place where Egypt troops could launch attacks on Israeli troops; wanted to take over so Egypt could not attack
Operation Kadesh • The Royal Navy of Britain owned powerful warships and aircraft and established long-range bombers • French owned the battle tank AMX-13 (lightly-armoured & fast) • Israel Defense Forces used weapons from France including AMX-13; Israel Navy also used torpedo boats, destroyers and etc. • Egypt had many fighters, bombers, self-propelled guns and rifles • Ultimately to push back Egyptian troops and allow for British, French and Israeli advancement • Result: was not successful due to UN intervention
The Conclusion of the Suez Crisis •
• • • • • •
On October 29, 1956, Israeli forces attacked Egypt and started the second Arab-Israeli war. This was a part of a plan between France, Britain and Israel to occupy the Suez Canal and remove Nasser from power. Israel captured most of Gaza and were close to the canal within a day. Britain and France issued an ultimatum asking both parties to withdraw. However Egypt refused and appealed to the UN. UK and France would invade Egypt. They would be condemned throughout the world for their actions in Egypt. However they continued their attacks on Egypt and dominated the Egyptian forces. At the UN a call for an end to hostilities was raised however France and Britain both vetoed the motion. However on November 2nd the UN General Assembly met, for the first time, in an emergency session and passed an American resolution calling for a ceasefire. PM Eden stalled in his decision, which allowed for almost another week of fighting with the Western forces capturing Port Said and taking control of the Suez Canal. However, due to condemnation by various countries, criticisms from foreign figures as well as from the British and a lack of confidence from the British populace lead to PM Eden calling a ceasefire that would be the end to the conflict.
Lester B. Pearson • • •
• • •
Was the Canadian foreign minister during the events of the crisis. Proposed the first UN peace keeping force. Initially his idea was to use the invading British and French forces as actual peace keepers however his idea is met with harsh criticism and anger from the US. So Pearson changes his idea to using a UN force without any invading forces within the UN force. While his role was limited during the Security Council’s discussions (Canada lacked a permanent seat), he was able to argue his ideas once the debate was moved to the General Assembly. On November 4th, 1956, the General Assembly supported Pearson’s proposal for the first peace keeping force. The United Nations Emergency Forces arrived in Egypt within two weeks. The UNEF helped to maintain peace and order as British and French forces left by the end of 1956 and helped to facilitate the evacuation of Israeli forces having all Israeli forces withdrawn by the spring of 1957. The peacekeeping effort was extremely successful and Pearson won the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts.
The United Nations • The UN responded to the crisis when actual conflict started with the invasion of Egypt. The UN condemned the actions of France and Britain and the members of the Security Council proposed an end to hostilities. However this was vetoed by France and Britain. • The discussion of the crisis was eventually moved to the General Assembly where a resolution was passed for cease fire. • Also a proposal by Pearson for a peace keeping force was supported and the UN sent a force of 6000 soldiers to Egypt on the first peace keeping mission. • This was one of the UN’s early successes and easily the greatest success it had until that point.
United States • The US were totally against the actions taken by Britain and France. The US pressured the UN to take action and pressured the Western forces to withdraw from Egypt. • The US held up oil supplies to Europe. • They also proved support for the UNEF.
UK and France after the War • Eden’s actions during the crisis would lead to his resignation in the aftermath. Britain would lose it’s status as a superpower. • The French government was humiliated and the French Fourth Republic would collapse the next year. • The failure of the British and the French encouraged nationalism in former colonies.
USSR after the War • The Soviet Union did not participate in the Suez Crisis as they decided to deal with the Hungarians while the world was preoccupied with the middle east. • However after the crisis the USSR agreed to fund the building of the Aswan Dam. This had a positive impact on USSR-Egypt relations and their influence in the Middle-East.
Israel and Egypt after the War • While Israel had the military might to defeat Egyptian forces and take over Gaza and most of Sinai, they were forced to forfeit their gains. • They were given a guarantee that passage through the Straits of Tiran would be open to them. • Israel would also seek the support of the US after the crisis as well as better relations. • After the crisis, Egypt came out as a clear winner. They emerged with control over the Suez Canal as well as support to build the Aswan Dam. • Furthermore Nasser was seen by the Arab people as a savior and a great leader. He would lead Egypt until his death in 1970.
Stability after the War • • • • • •
After the crisis Egypt was left in a position where it could exist without the harassment of the western powers of Britain and France, the two countries being humiliated. The Suez Canal was under Egyptian ownership and there was no more need for conflict over the canal. Thus the situation over the Suez Canal was effectively dealt with and had a stable resolution. However the fighting over the canal formed the groundwork for continued conflict between Israel and Egypt which would result in the Six Day Wars. Tensions between the Israelites and the Arabs were not dealt with in the after math of the crisis and no peace treaty was drawn up for the two countries. Also, after the crisis, the Eisenhower Doctrine was drawn up which detailed that a country could request American economic assistance and/or aid from U.S. military forces if it was being threatened by armed aggression from another state. Eisenhower singled out the Soviet threat in his doctrine by authorizing the commitment of U.S. forces "to secure and protect the territorial integrity and political independence of such nations, requesting such aid against overt armed aggression from any nation controlled by international communism."
Political Cartoon III
Bibliography • Cannon, Martin. 20th Century World History: Course Companion. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2009. Print. • United States. Eisenhower Doctrine. Department of State. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Feb. 2013. • N.a LESTER PEARSON & THE SUEZ CRISIS. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Feb. 2013.
Political Cartoon II
Political Cartoon I Chicago Daily News from 1922 to 1952 by Shoemaker (this cartoon-1957)