Clio Edition 4 - page 10

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offended at the USA’s laissez-faire attitude to the canal crisis.
Diplomacy leading up to the war
The USA tried to mediate and avoid a conflict by setting
up a conference of maritime nations that used the canal to
try to figure out a way to solve the conflict peacefully, but
without success. Nevertheless, the Americans still very
fervently warned that the USA would not support military
action, and that the general consensus in America was
against war. Unfortunately, both Eden and Harold Macmillan
misinterpreted Eisenhower’s warnings and took them to
mean that the USA wouldn’t intervene in case of war. Despite
the USA’s best intentions, France, Israel and the UK began
planning for war. Originally, there were two alliances;
France and Israel and Britain and France. This made for some
complicated preliminary planning but at France’s insistence,
the three countries banded together. The plan incorporated
the Israeli aims to reopen the Straits of Tiran to shipping,
to strengthen its southern border and to weaken what it
saw as a dangerous and hostile state. The French and British
wanted both efficient access to oil reserves and for access
to the remains of its empire. They also both wanted Nasser
out of Egypt; France in particular because of his support in
the Algerian War of Independence. And with that, the three
nations went to war.
The Tripartite Aggression
Israeli forces swept into the Sinai on September 29th 1956,
and as a testament to their fighting force, held the entire
peninsula in seven days. British and French troops, headed
by airborne forces, invaded the canal zone on November
1st and their governments told an outraged world that their
invasion was to keep the warring Israel and Egypt apart.
Unfortunately, the UN (heavily backed by the US) mandated
a ceasefire after only 5 days, and in a twist of irony, the UK
and France’s only true objective – keep the Suez open –
wasn’t achieved as Nasser ordered the scuttling of 47 ships in
the canal to block it while he could.
Conclusion
This whole debacle was a landmark event in post-war British
history, it reordered the world as one in which Britain simply
Damaged Egyptian military
equipment
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