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The threat of hydrogen bombs

Posted November. 08, 2022 07:43,   

Updated November. 08, 2022 07:43


At 8 a.m. on November 5, 1956, the British and French paratroopers jumped to a base around Port Said at the Suez Canal entrance. The British force occupied the airfield at El Gamil, and the French army seized the bridge at the ramp to the Canal in the South. On the next day, the maneuvering troops of the U.K. marines landed at Port Said and captured the city.

The goal of the U.K. and French forces was to reclaim the Suez Canal, which the then Egyptian president Gamal Nassar nationalized. They planned to turn themselves into the UN troops safeguarding the Suez Canal after retaking it by force. Egyptian President Gamal Nassar panicked because he thought Britain and France would not have the energy to send an expeditionary force to Egypt as they were worn out due to World War II. Even though the two countries went against his expectation, the Allied Forces were a small army. They would never be able to ride out a full-scale attack from the Egyptian forces of 100,000 soldiers.

However, Israel was rushing toward the Suez Canal. The Israeli forces suddenly waged war, effortlessly occupied the Sinai Peninsula, and reached the Suez Canal. The Israelis inflicted significant losses on Egypt, which was not even able to send the remaining troops to Port Said to fight against the Allied Forces. If the president had failed to nationalize the Suez Canal, he would have lost popularity and his title.

In this time of desperation, the Soviet Union sent a message under the then-Premier Nikolai Bulganin. “What would be the stance of Britain and France if they are under attack from a powerful country with modern weapons of mass destruction?”

The weapon of mass destruction mentioned in the letter was a nuclear bomb. Shortly before it, the Soviet Union succeeded in its test of hydrogen bombs. The destructive power of atomic bombs dropped on Japan was no match for that of the Soviet Union. Britain and France pretended they did not care, but when even the U.S. demanded they leave the canal, they had no option but to yield. This was the first time that a nuclear threat worked in history.

Today, Russia, Iran, and even North Korea are indirectly bringing up their nuclear weapons. Will their threats work this time? Will they be swayed by what the U.S. say again?