1956: Suez crisis (PA Images)

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In one of the events most damaging to its fading imperial influence, Britain - supported by France and Israel - decided to invade Egypt following President Gamel Abdel Nasser's decision to nationalise the Anglo-French-built Suez Canal. Although some objectives were achieved following the conflict, the invasion proved to be an embarrassment and Britain and France's strength as colonial powers were severely compromised. Arguably, the event hastened the process of decolonialization.