The Suez Crisis On November 5th, 1956, French and British paratroopers dropped into battle over Egypt, while amphibious forces stormed in from the sea. They were there to take back the Suez Canal which had been nationalised three months earlier by Egypt's President Nasser. But within seven weeks the British and French were pulling out, humiliated by the crushing weight of world opinion. The Suez Crisis was a complete disaster for the British government who had miscalculated public opinion at home and abroad and confirmed that her days as an empire were ending. On the other hand, President Nasser became a hero to his own people and the entire Arab World. Bay of Pigs On April 17,1961, about 1,300 Cuban exiles, backed by the Kennedy administration, landed at the Bay of Pigs on the southern coast of Cuba. The mission was to cross the island to Havana and overthrow the government of the dictator Fidel Castro. The assault was a disaster and the subsequent Cuban Missile Crisis brought the world to the brink of nuclear war.