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The Suez Crisis

The History of the Suez Canal’s Nationalization by Egypt and the War that Followed
Narrated by: Dan Gallagher
Length: 1 hr and 19 mins
Categories: History, 20th Century
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Publisher's Summary

“Nobody was kept more completely in the dark than the President of the United States.” - Anthony Nutting, British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
 

World War II changed the dynamics of colonization irrevocably. India was granted independence in 1947, and that set the tone for decolonization across the European imperial spectrum. But as it turned out, decolonization was preempted in Egypt by a military coup in 1952. On January 25, 1952, British forces in the Suez Canal region took aggressive action when it ordered a police post in Ismailia to surrender for alleged support of anti-British activities. When the commander of the police post refused and mounted defenses, the British attacked, killing approximately 40 and injuring 70 Egyptian policemen. Outrage spilled out onto the streets in the form of protests and riots, leading to violence, looting, and the burning down of foreign businesses in Cairo.
 

This coup, a minor revolutionary movement, had begun with the limited objective of overthrowing King Farouk, the incumbent ruler, but it became a far larger, anti-West, anti-imperialist and non-aligned nationalist movement. The country fell under the control of an armed forces council known as the Free Officers Movement, and the coup was initially led by Major General Mohammed Naguib, but it would bring about the rise of Nasser.
 

Naturally, Nasser’s disdain and distrust of the British and French was wholly reciprocated. The French were fighting insurgencies in Algeria and Morocco, which Nasser was openly supporting, while the British were attempting to adjust to its vastly reduced relevance in the post-war world.

©2018 Charles River Editors (P)2018 Charles River Editors

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