Timeline: The Suez Crisis

UN Troops In The Sinai Desert during Suez Crisis
The Suez Crisis 1956: UN Troops In The Sinai Desert. Keystone-France/Hulton Archive/Getty Images


Feb 28  Egypt is declared a sovereign state by Britain.
Mar 15  Sultan Faud appoints himself King of Egypt.
Mar 16  Egypt achieves independence.
May 7  Britain is angered over Egyptian claims to sovereignty over Sudan


Apr 28   Faud dies and his 16-year-old son, Farouk, becomes King of Egypt.
Aug 26  Draft of Anglo-Egyptian Treaty is signed. Britain is allowed to maintain a garrison of 10,000 men in the Suez Canal Zone, and is given effective control of Sudan.


May 2  King Farouk is declared the spiritual leader, or Caliph, of Islam.


Sept 23  Egyptian government demands complete British withdrawal and the cession of Sudan.


May 24  British premier Winston Churchill says the Suez Canal will be in danger if Britain withdraws from Egypt.


May 14  Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel by David Ben-Gurion in Tel Aviv.
May 15  Start of the first Arab-Israeli War.
Dec 28  Egyptian premier Mahmoud Fatimy is assassinated by the Muslim Brotherhood.
Feb 12  Hassan el Banna, leader of the Muslim Brotherhood is assassinated.


Jan 3  Wafd party regains power.


Oct 8  Egyptian government announces that it will eject Britain from the Suez Canal Zone and take control of Sudan.
Oct 21  British warships arrive at Port Said, more troops are on the way.


Jan 26  Egypt is placed under martial law in response to wide-spread riots against the British.
Jan 27  Prime Minister Mustafa Nahhas is removed by King Farouk for failing to keep the peace. He is replaced by Ali Mahir.
Mar 1  The Egyptian Parliament is suspended by King Farouk when Ali Mahir resigns.
May 6  King Farouk claims to be a direct descendant of the prophet Mohammed.
July 1  Hussein Sirry is new premier.
July 23  Free Officer Movement, fearing King Farouk is about to move against them, initiate a military coup.
July 26  Military coup is successful, General Naguib appoints Ali Mahir as prime minister.
Sept 7  Ali Mahir again resigns. General Naguib takes over post of president, prime minister, minister of war and commander-in-chief of the army.


Jan 16  President Naguib disbands all opposition parties.
Feb 12  Britain and Egypt sign new treaty. Sudan to have independence within three years.
May 5  Constitutional commission recommends 5,000-year-old monarchy be ended and Egypt become a republic.
May 11  Britain threatens to use force against Egypt over Suez Canal dispute.
June 18  Egypt becomes a republic.
Sept 20  Several of King Farouk's aides are seized.


Feb 28  Nasser challenges President Naguib.
Mar 9  Naguib beats off Nasser's challenge and retains presidency.
Mar 29  General Naguib postpones plans to hold parliamentary elections.
Apr 18  For a second time, Nasser takes presidency away from Naguib.
Oct 19  Britain cedes Suez Canal to Egypt in new treaty, two year period set for withdrawal.
Oct 26  Muslim Brotherhood attempt to assassinate General Nasser.
Nov 13  General Nasser in full control of Egypt.


Apr 27  Egypt announces plans to sell cotton to Communist China
May 21  USSR announces it will sell arms to Egypt.
Aug 29  Israeli and Egyptian jets in fire-fight over Gaza.
Sept 27  Egypt makes deal with Czechoslovakia -- arms for cotton.
Oct 16  Egyptian and Israeli forces skirmish in El Auja.
Dec 3  Britain and Egypt sign agreement granting Sudan independence.


Jan 1  Sudan achieves independence.
Jan 16  Islam is made state religion by act of Egyptian government.
June 13  Britain gives up Suez Canal. Ends 72 years of British occupation.
June 23  General Nasser is elected president.
July 19  US withdraws financial aid for Aswan Dam project. Official reason is Egypt's increased ties to USSR.
July 26  President Nasser announces plan to nationalize Suez Canal.
July 28  Britain freezes Egyptian assets.
July 30  British Prime Minister Anthony Eden imposes an arms embargo on Egypt, and informs General Nasser that he can not have the Suez Canal.
Aug 1  Britain, France and US hold talks on escalating Suez crisis.
Aug 2  Britain mobilizes armed forces.
Aug 21  Egypt says it will negotiate on Suez ownership if Britain pulls out of the Middle East.
Aug 23  USSR announces it will send troops if Egypt is attacked.
Aug 26  General Nasser agrees to five nation conference on Suez Canal.
Aug 28  Two British envoys are expelled from Egypt accused of spying.
Sept 5  Israel condemns Egypt over Suez crisis.

Sept 9  Conference talks collapse when General Nasser refuses to allow international control of the Suez Canal.
Sept 12  US, Britain, and France announce their intention to impose a Canal Users Association on management of the canal.
Sept 14  Egypt now in full control of the Suez Canal.
Sept 15  Soviet ship-pilots arrive to help Egypt run the canal.
Oct 1  A 15 nation Suez Canal Users Association is officially formed.
Oct 7  Israeli foreign minister Golda Meir says the UN failure to resolve the Suez Crisis means they must take military action.
Oct 13  Anglo-French proposal for the control of the Suez Canal is vetoed by the USSR during UN session.
Oct 29  Israel invades Sinai Peninsula.
Oct 30  Britain and France veto USSR demand for Israel-Egypt cease-fire.
Nov 2  UN Assembly finally approves a cease-fire plan for Suez.
Nov 5  British and French forces involved in airborne invasion of Egypt.
Nov 7  UN Assembly votes 65 to 1 that invading powers should quit Egyptian territory.
Nov 25  Egypt begins to expel British, French, and Zionist residents.

Nov 29  Tripartite Invasion is officially ended under pressure from UN.
Dec 20  Israel refuses to return Gaza to Egypt.
Dec 24  British and French troops depart Egypt.
Dec 27 5,580 Egyptian POWs exchanged for four Israelis.
Dec 28  Operation to clear sunken ship in Suez Canal starts.


Jan 15  British and French banks in Egypt are nationalized.
Mar 7  UN takes over administration of Gaza Strip.
Mar 15  General Nasser bars Israeli shipping from Suez Canal.
Apr 19  First British ship pays Egyptian toll for use of the Suez Canal.