Suez: A Very British Crisis

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Storyline

Suez: A Very British CrisisThe Suez crisis in the 1950s signaled the end of Britain's history as a power that could act alone on the world stage. This BBC Two series tells the story of Suez using dramatic reconstructions and interviews with participants and witnesses to the crisis.

Betrayal - The Suez Canal in Egypt was a symbol of western dominance. France and Britain were the major shareholders in the company that ran the canal and British troops occupied its banks. When Gamal Abdul Nasser came to power in 1954, his main objective was to remove the British from Egypt. The British Prime Minister, Anthony Eden, did not understand that the world had changed.

Conspiracy - When Nasser seized control of the Suez Canal, Anthony Eden was appalled. He regarded Nasser as a dictator whose claim to represent all Arabs was a direct threat to British interests in the Middle East. He was determined to make Nasser reverse his decision by force if necessary. Programme two explains how Britain plotted with France and Israel to gain back control of the canal. The plan was for Israel to invade Egypt, its neighbor, allowing Britain and France to issue an ultimatum to each side to stop fighting or they would intervene to "save" the canal.

War - In the final episode, Anthony Eden takes the country to war in Suez. The invasion took place as planned. But Eden had not informed the Americans. When they found out, they were concerned about wider relations with the Arab world and refused to back the operation. Desperately short of funds and without financial support from the Americans, the British were forced to pull out of Suez by December 1956.

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Comments and User Reviews

  • http://esmuziq.blogspot.com/ esmuziq & frames

    nice insights

  • Golden Chantarelle

    What a useless war.
    Nasser is a true good leader of a nation. Not a warmonger, building important projects for his people, daring to do controversial things like nationalizing big firms like the Suez Canal Company.
    The friendly people of Egypt needs and deserves someone like him again!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VWVL7FFKVVMLPQKUJATIOEIVAY American Art

    I watched this documentary and I was amazed at the ineptitude at all levels of British Government. What surprised me is how everyone thought they could just roll over the Egyptians or ignore their needs and then act completely surprised when the Egyptian government sought other solutions.

    Are politicians so unintelligent?

    When the Egyptians could not buy arms their solution was to go to Russia. Why not?

    When funding is with held for the new dam nationalizing the Suez canal is the solution.

    How is it that no one in the British government think tank saw this coming?

    It is no wonder that Britian is no longer a military super power. There is no intelligence at the top.

    Then listening to the former British soldiers talking calmly about how they were so eager to kill the Egyptians it just made me shudder.

    What makes a man so eager and willing to kill another man? What makes him feel so superior that he can do this with no remorse?

    As humans we are basically all the same, meaning we all have this capability to kill each other with no remorse.

    This is a story that paints a very sad picture of not only Britain, its people, but its soldiers who will willing slaughter people without a second thought.

    Of course I have to be fair that there were many people in Britain trying to stop the war from starting so there is an element of humanity there.

    I just wish that Prime Minister Eaden had been kicked out of his position before he could do so much damage.

    Based on this video it is easy to see how Britain would fall victim to the later banking crisis in 2008 and 2009. The top leadership in Britain is really not very intelligent.

    I fear that much worse events are destined for Britain between 2020 and 2030 when oil reserves run out.

    British people strike me as lemmings that will follow poor leadership right off the cliff.

    I do not want to offend any British people who are not like this, but this video and the banking crisis documentary paint a very scary picture of responsible leadership in Britain.

    With regards to Egypt. They were victims of very poor British, French and Israeli leadership. The damage could have been so much worse if not for the Americans and Russian threat of interferance.

    This now explains the Israeli - Egyptian war now that I have the details.

    A good documentary that illustrates how important it is to have good leadership in a country. But more importantly how important it is to have a think tank in the government to think through the consequences of international decisions that may lead to war.

    American Art

  • adilrye

    Well this wasn't full of generalizations at all! I mean, come on...you judge a whole people and state based off this one incident? I'm anti-imperialist and very pro Nasser in this situation, don't get me wrong...but you act as if British soldiers are the only ones who will "slaughter without a second thought." Um, I'm pretty sure most soldiers will as well, as that's what they are supposed to do. Follow orders and kill during war.

    And I assume you're American, right? It's a little hypocritical for you to talk considering your country is essentially doing what Britain did in the 19th and 20th century...including wars in the Middle East...

  • Abjective

    The truth will always surface. How could the international community allow a newly formed country such as Israel invade a historic country like Egypt? Something fishy going on there. Britains empire has diminished over the last 50+ years. Same with the French even though Britains was a lot bigger. To travel thousands of miles on to foreign land to kill people is an act of aggression, people of the land that trying to defend their land should be allowed to use any means necessary to get the infidels out. Wars kill innocents such as woman and children caught up in the fog of war.

    Its amazing how politicians utilize politics to create wars and then come up with a carefully planned prentence to invade foreign lands. The invasion of Iraq was a absolute shambles. The cotton bull story the American and British leaders sold to the public including the international community was just a pack of lies. Its only after they start the wars that we find out what their real motives were. Its usually for things like oil, gold, materials and minerals etc. Its our taxpayers money that our funding these so called wars. So we need to be more careful on how we allow these sick politicians to use are hard earned dosh on bullshit such as phoney wars. We know wars usually count the cost in billions pounds/dollars. More importantly the many many thousands of lives that perish in war zones.

    America is now the dominate force trying to conquer the world but they seem to only obliterate islamic nations even though they have destroyed, demolished, demoraized and disfranchised non muslim countries as well. They will soon realisize when it all comes back to haunt them. These politicians will never participate on the front lines neither will their families but expect everyone else to is hypocritical.

    Empires are a thing of the past. In this modern world most countries govern themselves but are in limbo becouse of past colonial rule and there are a lot of divisions within a country that has or were colonized. Like we see with these North African countries and Middle East countries right now. It seems there will always be wars, usually through the political medium. Troops need to wake up and find out the real reasons why they are risking life and limbs.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Hoaxster Rich Mason

    No offence taken.

    Politicians really are that stupid. All of them.

  • RileyRampant

    most revealing - the israeli/french op which assassinated a plane carrying most of the top egyptian generals, absent a declaration of war. not too kosher.

    its docs like these which show the anatomy of islamic fundamentalism.

    its built upon a very solid foundation of antipathy to western colonial powers, israel very much included.

    the u.s. has long since picked the ball and continues to run with it, pushing into every other country's affairs whilst braying about democracy.

    we really are pretty obnoxious. voting democrat is no cure, either.

  • Rajat Gupta

    Link broken...please update thanks

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Danger-Gee/567695140 Michael Danger Gee

    gutted it aint bloody working!

  • a_no_n

    I watched this documentary and I was amazed at the ineptitude at all levels of British Government.

    Lol, ain't much changed since either.

  • Jake Harris

    LOL Serves the British right. Imposing their will on countries around the world. The needed some ass kicking much like the good old USA does.