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The Suez crisis in the 1950s signalled the end of Britain's history as a power that could act alone on the world stage.
A new BBC Two series tells the story of Suez using dramatic reconstructions and interviews with participants and witnesses to the crisis.
Suez was British Prime Minister Anthony Eden's downfall. But it made a hero of Egyptian President Gamal Abdul Nasser. In the first of a major three-part series marking the 50th anniversary of the Suez crisis, Betrayal traces the path that led to war. It is a story of occupation, resistance, war and politics which marked the end of British imperial dominance and saw the rise of Arab nationalism. It is also a familiar tale of regime change and intervention, when western leaders attempted to reshape the Middle East - not for the first time.
The programme includes interviews with participants and witnesses to the crisis: including Anthony Eden's widow, the Countess of Avon, Omar Sharif, David Attenborough and Khaled Mohieddin, one of the surviving free officers who served alongside Nasser. The series also contains dramatic reconstructions. Some strong language
Episode 1: Betrayal
First Aired: Mon 16 Oct, 21:00 - 22:00 60 mins on BBC Two
The breakdown of trust between the two leaders was to mark the beginning of the crisis.....
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.
In the first programme, friends and intimates of both Nasser and Eden recall the events that put them on a collision path.
For Eden, Nasser was a threat to peace in the Middle East. For Nasser, Eden was standing in the way of securing his country's future.
When Britain and America refused to help Nasser to finance his ambitious project to build the Aswan Dam, it was the last straw.
In a bold move of defiance, he nationalised the Suez Canal Company to pay for the construction of the dam.
Episode 2: Conspiracy
BBC Two Mon 23 Oct, 9:00 pm - 10:00 pm 60mins
The story of how Prime Minister Anthony Eden secretly plotted with France and Israel - behind America's back - to seize the Suez Canal and remove Egyptian President Nasser.
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 neighbour, allowing Britain and France to issue an ultimatum to each side to stop fighting or they would intervene to "save" the canal.
The programme hears from members of the secret conference that hatched the plan including Douglas Hurd - then private secretary to the British ambassador to the UN - who describes the nightmare of having to sell Eden's cover story for the plot.
And it reveals how an MP discovered what Eden was really up to and attempted to expose him in the House of Commons.
Episode 3: War
BBC Two Mon 30 Oct, 9:00 pm - 10:00 pm 60mins
Prime Minister Anthony Eden takes the country to war for the sake of the Suez Canal, and it is a decision which brings about the end of his political career.
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.
As rumours mounted that Eden had colluded with Israel and France, he lied to the House of Commons.
He left office shortly afterwards.
Eden's widow, the Countess of Avon, recalls the pressures her husband faced. His private secretary remembers how regime change was always part of the agenda.
And Michael Parkinson describes how, as a young captain, he nearly came to grief at the hands of angry Egyptian civilians.
Video Bitrate: ~1570 KB/s
Video Codec: XviD
Resolution: 704 x 384
Aspect Ratio: 1.83:1
Framerate: 25 FPS (~ 88693 Frames)
Quality Factor: ~ 0.232 B/px
Audio Bitrate: 192 KB/s (CBR)
Audio Codec: MP3
Channels: 2 Ch @ Sampling Rate: 48 kHz
Size per Episode: ~ 746.00 MB
Length per Episode: ~ 00:59:00
subs (TVCap =>) No
Ripped by ashinc
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