English Channel

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English Channel,

Fr. La Manche [the sleeve], arm of the Atlantic Ocean, c.350 (560 km) long, between France and Great Britain. It is 112 mi (180 km) wide at its west entrance, between Land's End, England, and Ushant, France. Its greatest width, c.150 mi (240 km) is between Lyme Bay and the Gulf of St.-Malo; at the east, between Dover and Cape Gris-Nez, it is 21 mi (34 km) wide. The Strait of Dover connects the Channel with the North Sea. Principal islands are the Isle of WightWight, Isle of
, island and county (1991 pop. 126,600), 147 sq mi (381 sq km), S England, across the Solent and Spithead channels from Hampshire. The administrative center is Newport.
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 and the Channel IslandsChannel Islands,
archipelago (2015 est. pop. 164,000), 75 sq mi (194 sq km), 10 mi (16 km) off the coast of Normandy, France, in the English Channel. The main islands are Jersey, Guernsey, Alderney, and Sark, and there are several smaller islands, including Herm, Jethou, and
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. The principal Channel ports are Plymouth, Southampton, Portsmouth, and Dover (in England) and Cherbourg, Le Havre, Dieppe, and Calais (in France). Noted resorts include Deauville, France, and Brighton, England. A train-ferry service to carry passengers and freight between Paris and London was opened between Dover and Dunkirk in 1936. There are other ferry and hovercraft links, as well as the link under the Channel via the Channel TunnelChannel Tunnel,
popularly called the "Chunnel," a three-tunnel railroad connection running under the English Channel, connecting Folkestone, England, and Calais, France. The tunnels are 31 mi (50 km) long. There are two rail tunnels, each 25 ft (7.
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, opened in 1994. In 1785, J. P. Blanchard and Dr. John Jeffries crossed the Channel by balloon; the first person to swim across was Matthew Webb (1875); and the first airplane crossing was made by BlériotBlériot, Louis
, 1872–1936, French aviator and inventor. He devoted the fortune acquired by his invention of an automobile searchlight to the invention and construction of monoplanes.
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 in 1909.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

English Channel


a strait between the northern coast of Western Europe and Britain. Together with Pas de Calais (Strait of Dover), it links the North Sea with the Atlantic Ocean. It is about 520 km long, and its width gradually narrows from about 180 km in the west to 32 km in the east. Its depth in the fairway is 35 m, and its maximum depth is 172 m. There are many shoals, especially in the eastern part. Western winds result in a steady eastward current with a velocity of up to 3 km per hour (in narrow sections). Tides are semidiurnal, reaching 12.2 m in some places (Golfe de Saint-Malo). Fogs are frequent.

The channel is important for transportation. One of the major routes (in cargo turnover) from the countries of the North and Baltic seas to North and South America, Africa, Asia, and Australia passes through the channel. The main British ports are Portsmouth, Southampton, and Plymouth, and the chief French ports are Le Havre and Cherbourg. Fishing is well developed (plaice, mackerel, cod, halibut). Plans are under consideration for building a tunnel under the Pas de Calais.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

English Channel

an arm of the Atlantic Ocean between S England and N France, linked with the North Sea by the Strait of Dover. Length: about 560 km (350 miles). Width: between 32 km (20 miles) and 161 km (100 miles)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
(17.) The phrase "narrow seas" had its origins in the claims of the English kings to "sovereignty of the sea" around the British Isles in the thirteenth century; they had possessions in France and so directed their admirals to police the "narrow seas"--the Strait of Dover and the English Channel.
(68.) Peter Scott, The Battle of the Narrow Seas: A History of the Light Forces in the Channel and North Sea, 1939-1945 (London: Country Life, 1974), p.
In contrast, a typical narrow sea presents a much smaller area to be controlled or defended.
Submarines, by conducting attacks in various parts of a narrow sea, can create an impression that a larger number of them are present than is the case.
As a result of the treatment of Beaglehole, introductory prose paragraphs to the remaining Nat in Narrow Seas poems also read like received historical commentaries, and many readers assume they are, although, to the best of my knowledge, Curnow wrote the remainder himself.
Therefore, except where specifically stated, all references in this paper to Curnow's poetry from Valley of Decision (1933), and also to Enemies (1937), and Not in Narrow Seas (1939) are to the readily available Collected Poems 1933-1973 (Wellington: Reed, 1974) and page numbers will be given within the text.
It includes detailed discussion of the origins of Not in Narrow Seas and, as an appendix, a comparison of the original Tomorrow instalments with the 1939 version.
A mix of fast attack craft, land-based antiship missiles, and underwater mines--perhaps even submarines, for some navies--could give them the dominant say over wartime transit through these narrow seas. Archipelagoes can be made formidable barriers.
The undersea dimension seems like an afterthought in Mahan's analysis of narrow seas, presumably because Mahan conducted his analysis before submarines had fulfilled their potential.
In all likelihood Chinese boats would exit through the Luzon Strait, the narrow sea between Taiwan and the Philippine island of Luzon.
As with the rest of the Ryukyu straits, land sites adjacent to this narrow sea could be fortified to erect an east-west barrier to Chinese shipping.
Sometimes, however, an invasion mounted across a narrow sea can exert a strategic influence, in the case of the opening of a new front, as was true of the Allied Normandy invasion of June 1944, or causing a radical change in a strategic situation, as in the case of the UN landing at Inchon in September 1950.