The Suez Crisis
3-way Nasser cartoon, from Life 7/20/59
Naguib, from Time 9/8/52
Eden, from Life 11/12/51
Nassar cheered, from Life 1956
Suez war map, from Life 11/12/56

1952/7/23 - Col. Gamal Abdul Nasser and his Free Officers, including Anwar Sadat and Gen. Mohammed Neguib, overthrew King Farouk, sought to remove 3 obstacles to pan-Arab goal:

  1. British colonial authority in Egypt, where Britain pledged Oct. 19, 1954, to give up the Suez Canal in 2 years and withdraw 80,000 troops
  2. French colonial authority in Algeria, where Nasser aided Muslin guerillas in the war that started two weeks after the1954 Anglo-Egyptian Suez agreement
  3. Israeli threat to sabotage the 1954 agreement but Lavon affair in Cairo failed, after Nasser had supported Palestinians and prohibited Israeli use of the Canal or the Straits of Tiran

1955/2 - Baghdad Pact signed with Britain, Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, Iraq (not U.S.) due to 1953 Iran crisis with Dulles promising support for a "northern tier" defense against communism in the Mideast.

1955/9 - Nasser arms deal with Czechoslovakia was a response to the Pact and Iraq's alignment with the West (Iraq was Nasser's main Arab rival for pan-Arab leadership). Nasser also began to plan his own defense pact with Syria and Saudi Arabia.

1955/9/23 - Eisenhower's 1st heart attack

1955/11/7 - Dulles offer to sell arms to Israel, but offer was withdrawn after Israeli raid killed 73 Arabs.

1955/12 - Aswan Dam loan was offered to Nasser to prevent his acceptance of communist aid, package of $1 billion led by Eugene Black at the World Bank with conditions attached: Egypt not allowed to sign any other aid deal with any other country. Opposition grew from southern Congressmen who feared cotton exports and from Israel.

1956/4 - Nassar signed military allieance with Syria, Saudi Arabia, Yemen that would develop into the UAR by Feb. 1958.

1956/5 - Nasser granted recognition to Communist China, withdrew recognition of Nationalist China, and sold $28 million cotton to China.

1956/6 - Foreign Minister Dmitri Shepilov visited Cairo, signed arms deal in exchange for cotton.

1956/7/16 - Dulles cancelled the Aswan loan after Ike's decision at the Camp David NSC meeting.

1956/7/19 - Nasser was informed of the cancellation while in Yugoslavia for neutralist meeting with Tito and Nehru.

1956/7/26 - Nasser seized the Canal, would keep the $26 million annual canal profits.

1956/7/27 - Anthony Eden cabled Ike that Britain would not follow 1938-style appeasement, compared Nasser to Hitler, rejected Robert Murphy's advice to stay out of Mideast after Murphy arrived in London as special envoy of Dulles and Ike.

1956/7/30 - Ike ordered the strategic stockpile of oil, knew of British-French-Israel mobilization from U-2 spy plane photographs, the movement south of Israeli army and the 60 Mystere jet fighters supplied by the French.

1956/8/3 - Ike on TV to urge peace, proposed 24-nation conference to meet in London to seek internationalization of the Canal.

1956/8/12 - Ike met bipartisan delegation of 22 Congressmen who oppposed U.S. military action.

1956/10/29 - Israel launched attack, seized Gaza Strip and moved toward Sharm el-Sheikh to blockade the Gulf of Aqaba.

1956/10/30 - Britain and France gave ultimatum to Nasser and Israel: withdraw troops and evacuate the Canal in 12 hours.

1956/10/31 - Britain and France began air attack on Egypt.

1956/11/2 - Dulles arranged UN General Assembly to pass ceasefire resolution.

1956/11/3 - Dulles entered hospital for stomach cancer, left diplomacy to Ike for next 2 months.

1956/11/6 - Ike defeated Stevenson in presidential election; Eden stopped British invasion due to sharp decline in dollar reserves, IMF refusal of loan, and Ike stoppage of oil shipments

1956/11/7 - ceasefire began, but Israel kept Gaza and Sharm el-Sheikh.

1956/11/30 - Britain and France capitulated and withdrew from Suez; Ike resumed oil shipments to Europe of 500,000 bbls per day.

1957/1/5 - Eisenhower Doctrine announced in Ike speech to Congress that requested appropriation to aid Mideast, debate until March 8 with opposition led by LBJ and Minority Leader William Knowland.

1957/2 - UN passed economic sanctions against Israel.

1957/2/28 - Ike on TV announced U.S. support of UN sanctions against Israel.

1957/3/1 - Golda Meier announced Israel withdrawal, left Sinai by March 6, Canal re-opened March 29.

1957/3/9 - Ike signed joint resolution passed March 8 approving Eisenhower Doctrine; U.S. became a dominant power in the Mideast.

1957/4 - Ike helped Jordan with $10 million aid and the 6th Fleet after King Hussein withdrew from alliance with Egypt and Syria.

1958/7/13 - Iraq coup by army killed King Feisal II and cuased Iraq to withdraw from Baghdad Pact and join Nasser's UAR; Pres. Chamoun in Lebanon appealed to Ike for help in civil war led by pro-UAR Muslims.

1958/7/14 - Ike decided at NSC meeting to send troops to Lebanon; Gen. Nate Twining gave order 15 minutes after returning to Pentagon; landings began July 15 at Beirut airport, 7000 troops in 3 days with Honest John atomic cannon; Ike also transferred Marines from Okinawa to Arabian Gulf and sent AF wing to Turkey.

1958/7/31 - Lebanon parliament replaced Chamoun with Gen. Chehab; Eisenhower Doctrine proved unable to change internal politics of Mideast nations.

1958/8/13 - Russia called emergency session of UN to pass peace-keeping resolution after U.S. agreed to remove troops and Arabs agreed not to interfere.

1959 - U.S. signed bilateral treaties with Turkey, Pakistan, Iran.

1959/8 - CENTO became an official treaty organization wth HQ in Ankara.

revised 12/15/05 by Schoenherr | Cold War Policies | Links | Books | Films | Maps | next-->