“The Dover Strait became the scene of one of World War Two’s longest-running battles.”
(Originally published in MilitaryHistoryNow.com on Nov. 19, 2014)
THE NARROW SPAN OF WATER separating Dover, England from the Pas-de-Calais, France has long been one of the most strategically vital locations on the map of Europe. And at no time was that more the case than during the Second World War.
Not only does the 21-mile gap link the British Isles with the continent, it’s also tight bottleneck through which ships travelling between the North Sea and the Atlantic must squeeze.
Not surprisingly, the Dover Strait became the scene of one of World War Two’s longest-running battles.
Between 1940 and 1944, some of the heaviest artillery in the Axis arsenal hurled salvo after salvo of high explosive shells at England’s southeast coast. Britain soon retaliated in kind. The ensuing long-range duel sputtered intermittently for more than four years, killing hundreds and destroying thousands of buildings in the process. Yet to this day, the fight for control of the English Channel remains one of the lesser-known chapters of World War Two.
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