The Sleeve


August 19, 2022

The English Channel (in English: English Channel or Channel, in French: la Manche, in Breton: Mor Breizh, in Cornish Mor Bretannek, in Guernesiais: Ch'nal, in jèrriais Ch'na), or more simply the English Channel, it is a natural channel that separates the island of Great Britain from continental Europe and connects the North Sea to the Atlantic Ocean.


It is about 560 km long and its width varies from a maximum of 240 to a minimum of 34 km at the Strait of Dover, which separates the city of the same name, in the English county of Kent, from Cap Gris-Nez, in the French municipality of Audinghen ( department of the Pas de Calais). The Channel Islands are located in the English Channel, close to the French side. The island of Ushant marks the western limit of the English Channel. The French department of the Manche, which includes the Cotentin peninsula, which juts into the channel, takes its name from the surrounding stretch of sea.

Historical importance

The English Channel was a very important natural defense for Britain from enemy attacks. This is reported by William Shakespeare in Richard II. The Channel allowed the British to intervene in European conflicts, but rarely were they threatened dangerously. Nonetheless, the English Channel has been the scene of many invasions (or attempted invasions), including the Norman Conquest (1066), the Spanish Armada (1588), and the Normandy Landings (1944), and many naval battles, including the Battle of Portland (1653), the Battle of La Hougue (1692) and the confrontation between the USS Kearsarge and CSS Alabama (1864). However, the English Channel has also served as a connecting point for the sharing of cultures and political structures, from pre-Roman Celtic society, to the culture of Imperial Rome, from the founding of Britain by colonists from Great Britain, to the Anglo- Norman. Cross-Channel trade has been an important factor for societies on both sides of the channel since prehistoric times, and several important ports have developed in England and France: The main ferry routes are: In addition to the high level of traffic between the shores of the Channel, there is significant traffic running through it, connecting the economies of northern Europe to the rest of the world. Combined together, this maritime traffic makes the English Channel one of the busiest sea routes in the world, responsible for a large share of the world's maritime trade (some sources even say a quarter). Furthermore, since 1994, the Channel submarine railway tunnel has been active, connecting the two banks, through which freight and passenger rail services pass. English Channel resorts, such as Brighton and Deauville, ushered in an era of aristocratic tourism in the early 19th century, which developed into democratic maritime tourism that has shaped seaside resorts around the world. In February 1942, the German Admiral Otto Ciliax crossed the English Channel with the battleships Scharnhorst and Gneisenau, which had previously been considered impossible due to the radar, airplanes and other means of espionage kept on both sides of the channel.

Historic Channel Crossings

Around 56 BC, Gaius Julius Caesar sent the young Publius Licinius Crassus to explore the coasts of Britain. In 55 BC, determined to invade the island, Caesar left with eighty ships and two legions to land near Dover. On 28 September 1066 William I "The Conqueror" set sail from Saint-Valery-sur-Somme (France), arriving on 29 September in Pevensey Bay, Sussex. From here he headed to the village of Hastings, where, with a famous battle that took place on October 14, he began his campaign of conquest that will lead him, on December 25, to be crowned king of England. In July 1588 the Invincible Army of Philip II of Habsburg (King of Spain) is defeated by the small flot