Goulet de Brest

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Goulet de Brest, with the Phare du Portzic
Map

The Goulet de Brest is a 3 km long strait linking the roadstead of Brest to the Atlantic Ocean. Only 1.8 km wide, it is situated between the Pointe du Petit Minou and the Pointe du Portzic to the north and the îlot des Capucins and the Pointe des Espagnols to the south.

At each turn of the tide, the ocean refills the roadstead in a current that can attain 4 to 5 knots.[1] Sailing ships would thus wait in the cove of Camaret-sur-Mer for a favourable current to carry them into the goulet.

On 2 January 1793 the Childers Incident, the first shots of the war between Great Britain and France during the French Revolutionary Wars, took place in the Goulet.

Military significance[edit]

It is the only opening into the roadstead of Brest, and thus the only access to the town. Consequently, successive French governments have lined the goulet with military installations to protect the town and the naval fleet based there, and to keep a watch on shipping using it. The geography of the goulet favours the defenders, as it has a spine down its length in the form of the Le Mengant rocks, which force ships to sail either to their north or south.[1] The goulet has three zones.

Zone of Brest

Zone by île de Roscanvel

Zone de Camaret-sur-Mer

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ a b Michel Dion (1996). Batteries, réduits, tours, forts, casemates... de Camaret et Roscanvel (in French). Brest: Association du Mémorial Montbarey. p. 67. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 48°20′30″N 4°34′0″W / 48.34167°N 4.56667°W / 48.34167; -4.56667