The Suez crisis was also known as the Suez Canal Crisis, Suez War, Second Arab-Israeli War or Tripartite Aggression. It was a military and diplomatic confrontation which was seen in the late 1956 between Egypt on one side and France, Israel and Britain on the other.
The United States, United Nations and Soviet Union played an important role in forcing France, Israel and Britain to withdraw. Historians have long since focused on the failure of Britain and conclude the crisis signified end of the role played by Britain as one of the major power’s in the world.
The attack came after the announcement made by Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser on 26, July 1956 about nationalization of Suez Canal Company. The nationalization was done after United States and Britain withdrew their offer to fund the construction of the Aswan Dam which was basically a response to the ties Egypt had made with the Soviet Union.
The purpose of the attacks was to primarily regain Western control over the canal and also remove the president from power. The crisis highlighted the danger posed to western access to Middle East oil by the Arab nationalism.
Not more than a day after the invasion of Egypt by Israel, France and Britain issues joint ultimatum to Israel and Egypt and they begun bombing Cairo. Despite the denials of the British, French and Israeli governments, allegations started to emerge that Egypt invasion had been fore planned by the 3 superpowers. Before the year came to an end, Anglo French forces withdrew but not the Israeli forces as they stayed on till March 1957. It is because of this fact that the crisis was prolonged and in April, the canal was reopened fully for shipping though there are other repercussions that followed.
Note that while the attack was delayed, it was ultimately successful since the French and British troops managed to take over control of the region around the Canal. The hesitation however had given the Soviet Union time to respond. The Soviets were eager to exploit Arab nationalism in order to gain foothold in the Middle East as such, it supplied arms from Czechoslovakia to Egyptian government at the start of 1955.
Eventually, they also helped Egypt construct the Aswan Dam which is on River Nile. Nikita Khrushchev, a soviet leader railed against the invasion and made threats of raining nuclear missiles on Western Europe if the French-Israeli British force did not withdraw. President Dwight Eisenhower’s administration responded in a measured way by warning that such talk of reckless nuclear conflict would make matters worse.
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