23 Facts About English Channel


English Channel, called the British Channel or simply the Channel, is an arm of the Atlantic Ocean that separates Southern England from northern France and links to the southern part of the North Sea by the Strait of Dover at its northeastern end.

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English Channel was a key factor in Britain becoming a naval superpower and has been utilised by Britain as a natural defence mechanism by which many would-be invasions, such as the Napoleonic Wars and those of Adolf Hitler in World War II, were halted.

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Population around the English Channel is predominantly located on the English coast and the major languages spoken in this region are French and English.

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However, the term English Channel remained popular and was finally in official usage by the nineteenth century.

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The Cotentin Peninsula in France juts out into the Channel, whilst on the English side there is a small parallel strait known as the Solent between the Isle of Wight and the mainland.

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The time difference of about six hours between high water at the eastern and western limits of the English Channel is indicative of the tidal range being amplified further by resonance.

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English Channel is of geologically recent origin, having been dry land for most of the Pleistocene period.

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English Channel, despite being a busy shipping lane, remains in part a haven for wildlife.

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In more peaceful times the English Channel served as a link joining shared cultures and political structures, particularly the huge Angevin Empire from 1135 to 1217.

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For nearly a thousand years, the English Channel provided a link between the Modern Celtic regions and languages of Cornwall and Brittany.

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English Channel was more successful in 54 BC, but Britain was not fully established as part of the Roman Empire until completion of the invasion by Aulus Plautius in 43 AD.

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The English Channel Islands are Crown Dependencies of the British Crown.

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The early stages of the Battle of Britain featured German air attacks on English Channel shipping and ports; despite these early successes against shipping the Germans did not win the air supremacy necessary for Operation Sealion, the projected cross-English Channel invasion.

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English Channel subsequently became the stage for an intensive coastal war, featuring submarines, minesweepers, and Fast Attack Craft.

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Narrow waters of the English Channel were considered too dangerous for major warships until the Normandy Landings with the exception, for the German Kriegsmarine, of the English Channel Dash in February 1942, and this required the support of the Luftwaffe in Operation Thunderbolt.

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English Channel Islands were the only part of the British Commonwealth occupied by Germany .

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English Channel coast is far more densely populated on the English shore.

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However, there are a number of minority languages that are or were found on the shores and islands of the English Channel, which are listed here, with the Channel's name in the specific language following them.

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English Channel has traffic on both the UK–Europe and North Sea–Atlantic routes, and is the world's busiest seaway, with over 500 ships per day.

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Many travellers cross beneath the English Channel using the English Channel Tunnel, first proposed in the early 19th century and finally opened in 1994, connecting the UK and France by rail.

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On 12 June 1979, the first human-powered aircraft to cross the English Channel was the Gossamer Albatross, built by American aeronautical engineer Dr Paul B MacCready's company AeroVironment, and piloted by Bryan Allen.

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The English Channel Crossing Association was set up to cater for unorthodox crossings.

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Fastest verified swim of the English Channel was by the Australian Trent Grimsey on 8 September 2012, in 6 hours 55 minutes, beating the previous record set in 2007 by Bulgarian swimmer Petar Stoychev.

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