The day the Suez Crisis started – level 2


The Suez Canal opened in 1869. The canal which is 163 km long connected the Mediterranean and the Red Seas. It was a transport revolution because the ships didn’t have to go around Africa when they wanted to go to India.

The British became the official administrator of the neutral territory around the Suez Canal. Then the situation changed in 1952. At that time, there was a revolution in Egypt where the Suez Canal is located.

The king lost his power and Egypt became a republic which was controlled by a president. The Egyptian army occupied and started to control the Suez Canal.

Britain and France disagreed and they decided to get the canal back with the help of Israel.

On October 29, 1956, Israel started an attack on Egypt. Soon after that, the British and French armies began bombing military targets in Egypt. This was followed by a ground invasion and the occupation of the Suez Canal.

The Soviet Union and the Americans were strongly against this invasion. Without American support, the British and French armies had to leave Egypt. The conflict ended. The president of Egypt promised all ships a free way through the canal. The Suez Canal stayed a part of Egypt.

Difficult words: revolution (a lot of change in the way something happens or in a government), neutral (a thing that belongs to no one), occupy (to take over), military (connected to the army), target (a place which you want to hit), invasion (a situation when the army goes to a foreign country), promise (to say that you will do something).

What impact did the Suez Canal crisis of 1956 have on international relations?


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