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Strait between Great Britain and France ( English Channel )

A strait , even Strait (short street ) or channel , regional and Sund or Belt called, is a place of sea , two land masses come to the close and thus form a bottleneck of the sea. Straits are (and were especially in the past) of great strategic importance for shipping . The counterpart is the isthmus (Isthmus).

Political importance

Straits were coveted areas in ancient times due to their strategic importance. Their control could confer considerable power, so they were often the object of political interference.

The Convention on the Law of the Sea ensures that ships and aircraft have the right of unhindered transit through straits. However, in a strait that is formed by an island of a strait bordering state and its mainland, this right does not apply if there is a seaway through the high seas that is equally suitable from a navigational and hydrographic point of view or an exclusive economic zone is available seaward of the island.

Examples of straits

The Bosphorus and the Dardanelles have been particularly hotly contested throughout history. It is believed that the Trojan War was not ultimately waged to end Troy's control of the Dardanelles. During the Candia War (around Crete) in the 17th century , the Venetians purposefully blocked the Dardanelles in order to worsen the supply situation in the Ottoman Empire , especially in Istanbul . The question of control over the Bosporus and Dardanelles contributed to the binding of the Ottoman Empire to the Central Powers in 1914 , with the help of which the Turks were able to successfully defend the Straits against the Entente in the Battle of Gallipoli in 1915/1916 in the First World War , before the Ottoman Empire finally collapsed in 1918.

In order to bring the Strait of Gibraltar and thus the sea route from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean under control, Great Britain conquered Gibraltar together with the Dutch in 1704 and made the rock and city a British crown colony in 1830 . It became even more important with the opening of the Suez Canal , as it also secured the sea route to the British colony of India .

Other straits:

See also


Web links

Wiktionary: Strait  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations