Image for Hungary and the Suez Canal in 1956

Hungary and the Suez Canal in 1956

Duration: 04:59

In October 1956, the Bolshoi Ballet arrived in London. It was an example of ‘soft power’. At the same time, two events took place in Hungary and at the Suez Canal which were examples of ‘hard power’.

In Hungary, thousands of people took to the streets, demanding an end to Soviet rule. Moscow responded by sending in troops and tanks, killing thousands of Hungarians.

In Egypt, the government nationalised the Suez Canal. Britain no longer had control over this vital trade route. Prime Minister Eden tried to take it back. But the Americas refused to back the military venture and Britain was forced to withdraw.

Available since: Tue 14 Jan 2014

This clip is from

Strange Days: Cold War Britain Learning Zone

A version made for schools of the BBC Two history series on Britain and the Cold War.

First broadcast: 14 Jan 2014

Image for Learning Zone Not currently available on BBC iPlayer

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