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Cold War: 1954-1957 - Hungary 1956, The Suez Crisis

One area studied in GCSE History is the Cold War, which lasted from the end of World War II until the fall of the Soviet Union. As a part of this, students will look at the situation in the 1950s, which saw a Soviet invasion of Hungary in 1956, and the Suez Crisis of the same year.

Despite Stalin's death in 1953 the Cold War intensified under his successors. In 1956, for example, Soviet forces invaded Hungary to bring a more liberal government to heel. Also in 1956, the Western powers were divided by the Suez Crisis.

Find out more about the Cold War in the 1950s, the Suez Crisis and the Soviet invasion of Hungary, in this quiz.

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  1. In which city was the agreement signed which brought an end to French intervention in Indo-China, and divided Vietnam into two parts?
    The French, trying to recover their former colony, were defeated by Vietnamese Communist forces at Dien Bien Phu in 1954. An international conference ensued, that allowed for a French withdrawal and the division of Vietnam into two states: North and South
  2. Which Central European country was occupied by the victorious states from the Second World War until 1955, when a mutual withdrawal was arranged: on condition that the state concerned should remain neutral?
    The USSR was keen to concentrate on defending those parts of the "Iron Curtain" that were most essential to her defence
  3. Which country's membership of NATO in 1955 infuriated the USSR and its allies, leading to the setting up of the Warsaw Pact?
    The USSR and its Allies regarded any expansion of NATO as a direct and serious threat
  4. Which Soviet leader authorised Russian forces to enter Hungary in the autumn of 1956 to put down a "counter revolution"?
    The USSR was not prepared to accept any liberalisation of the Communist government in Hungary, still less any intention to leave the Warsaw Pact
  5. Which Hungarian leader was captured by invading Soviet forces in 1956, and later executed?
    The Russian authorities put the former Hungarian leader to death, hoping that this would serve as a deterrent to others who might consider straying from the Soviet line
  6. In 1956 the Egyptian leader announced the nationalisation of the Suez Canal. Who was he?
    The Egyptian leader sought to use the revenues from the canal to build a "high dam" on the Nile, giving Egypt ample electricity
  7. Which British prime minister used force, together with France, to attempt to recover the Canal?
    The British leadership saw the Egyptian government as similar to Hitler and Mussolini in the 1930s. They further believed that force (rather than appeasement) was the way to deal with what they saw as naked aggression
  8. Which American president refused to support British and French policy over Suez, complaining that he had not been consulted?
    The United States regarded Britain and France as dangerous aggressors, especially as the USSR seemed to be getting away with its attack on Hungary at the same time
  9. What name is given to the speech delivered to the Russian Communist Party in 1956, listing and describing Stalin's crimes against his own people?
    Communist Party members were astonished to hear from the new leaders details of Stalin's crimes
  10. Which Russian name is given to the first Russian satellite sent into space to orbit the earth in 1957, thus stealing a march on the Americans?
    Russia's NATO opponents were astonished to realise that the USSR was ahead of them in the "Space Race"

Author: Edward Towne

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