During the Cold War, the governments of the most powerful nations in the world came close to war several times. One time was the Suez crisis, which happened in 1956.
What Is the Suez Canal?
Beginnings of the Conflict
Relations between Egypt and the British and French governments had been getting worse for years. The Egyptian military was pushing the British to pull the troops from the region. Nasser’s military also engaged in skirmishes against Israel’s Armed Forces at the border.
The Battle Begins
The Soviet Union was allied with Egypt and threatened the British and French with nuclear war. U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower scolded the Soviets, saying that their nuclear threat made the situation more dangerous. He asked the Soviet premier not to become involved in the conflict. The American president also scolded the British, French, and Israelis, calling on them to leave Egypt. Eisenhower went so far as to threaten to impose economic sanctions if they refused.
What Happened After?
After the short war was concluded, Nasser became even more powerful. Britain and France began to lose influence worldwide as the United States and the Soviet Union exercised more control around the world.