1956: Egypt claims Suez, a move called the biggest threat to world peace

This newsreel (from The Internet Archive) declares Egypt’s president Gamal Abdel Nasser “the biggest threat to world peace” after he announced that he was nationalizing the Suez Canal, which Britain and France had continued to control after the end of colonial rule four years earlier.  Indeed, world peace was threatened: Israel soon invaded Egypt, in league with Britain and France, in what would prove to be a military success for the aggressors but a political catastrophe.  For Britain, the Suez Crisis came to be regarded as marking the symbolic end of its status as a first-rate world power, as it would (along with Dien Bien Phu in 1954) for France.

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