Talk:Suez Canal

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

One sentence[edit]

Only one sentence about ships sunken during existence of canal. At least 21 ship sunk during Suez crisis. Domjanovich (talk) 22:52, 25 April 2016 (UTC)

True, although the Suez crisis article itself doesn't go deeply into this topic either. Do you have some usable sources that discuss this? For example, it would be interesting to know if the sunken vessels were military or civilian, and if the crews were warned or if there were any casualties. Regards, Orange Suede Sofa (talk) 02:09, 26 April 2016 (UTC)
Hi. First of all I have to apologize for my poor English. Several of them is listed in List of shipwrecks in 1956 month October 31st and unknown date. Most of informations I came across is related to Croatian Wikipedia article Plovna dizalica Veli Jože and this reference at the end of page 80 and beginning of page 81. I was hoping to find some more info on this or the crisis page but I didn't. Most of unrelated and unconfirmed so called sources mention 40 or 32 ships that were sunken in time of Suez crisis just as Egyptian response for closing the canal using them as some kind of obstacles. Nevertheless that is just for that period. I haven't searched for any other sources due to my other interest but I found it would be smart to mention it on talk page for someone eager enough to put some time in it. Regards Domjanovich (talk) 23:22, 26 April 2016 (UTC)

Myths regarding the 1869 opening[edit]

The first ship to follow L'Aigle through the canal was the British P&O liner Delta.[52][53] The first reference does say that (I don't know about the other), but it is nonsense. Firstly Delta didn't go through the canal - "One P&O ship, the wooden paddle steamer Delta, joined the procession, carrying three P&O directors, but only went halfway through and then turned back" and "... Delta left Marseilles on 6 November 1869 to take British guests to the opening ceremonies .... and went as far south as Lake Timsah. On 1-3 April 1870 Nubia became the first P&O vessel to pass through the Canal".[1][2] Secondly, although contemporary reports vary in the order of some of the vessels, they are unanimous in recording that, at least on the departure from Port Said, following L'Aigle was were the Austrian, Prussian and Dutch royal yachts, then Cygne (with the British ambassador and admiral) - and the first merchant ship was the Péluse of Messageries Impériales - the detail here needs more work on sources, especially as Delta does not appear in the lists covering the first 36 ships and was back off Port Said on 18 Nov.[3]

Although L'Aigle was officially the first vessel through the canal, HMS Newport, captained by George Nares, passed through it first. On the night before the canal was due to open, Captain Nares navigated his vessel, in total darkness and without lights, through the mass of waiting ships until it was in front of L'Aigle. When dawn broke, the French were horrified to find that the Royal Navy was first in line and that it would be impossible to pass them. Nares received both an official reprimand and an unofficial vote of thanks from the Admiralty for his actions in promoting British interests and for demonstrating such superb seamanship.[54] The cite says that, though with no references - and no contemporary reports. There is evidence that, after the large Péluse grounded on the first day of transit and moored up, Nares concluded from a few positions behind that Fleetwood could squeeze by several other vessels as well as Péluse, which he did, but he was still behind the dignitaries' yachts.[4][5] Again, more work on sources needed.

An Anchor Line ship, the S.S. Dido, became the first to pass through the Canal from South to North[55][56]. Dido was the first merchant ship to pass through the canal, though initially from North to South (arriving at Suez on 19 Nov, behind only the French and British yachts Foutto and Cambria from the original flotilla, and a day before L'Aigle and the other ceremonial vessels). She then returned to Port Said 22-24 Nov, apparently the first British merchant ship northbound, though several foreign ships preceded her, including two (probably French) which passed northwards 17-19 Nov.[6][7]

I have posted this here as I will be travelling in the coming days, and to garner other editors' contributions. Davidships (talk) 03:25, 22 May 2018 (UTC)

It should not be forgotten that no ship "passed though" the canal on the opening day. The first ships southbound arrived at Suez on the 19th, and I am checking sources on the northbound ships, which may have arrived earlier. I'll edit the section on the opening in the coming days. Davidships (talk) 09:21, 2 June 2018 (UTC)


  1. ^ Howarth, David and Stephen (1986). The Story of P&O. London: George Weidenfeld & Nicholson. p. 98. ISBN 0 297 78965 1.
  2. ^ Rabson, Stephen; O'Donoghue, Kevin (1988). P&O, a Fleet History. Kendal: World Ship Society. p. 77. ISBN 0 905617 45 2.
  3. ^ "The Suez Canal". Shipping and Mercantile Gazette. 30 November 1869. p. 6. Retrieved 22 May 2018.
  4. ^ "Obituary: Vice-Admiral Sir George Strong Nares, K. C. B., F. R. S." The Geographical Journal. Vol 45 (No 3): 255–257. March 1915. Retrieved 22 May 2018.
  5. ^ "The Opening of the Suez Canal". Pall Mall Gazette (the paper's correspondent was on board HMS Newport). London. 30 November 1869. p. 11. Retrieved 22 May 2018.
  6. ^ "The Opening of the Suez Canal". Homeward Mail from India, China and the East. 6 December 1869. pp. 8–9. Retrieved 22 May 2018.
  7. ^ "Suez Canal - Voyage of the SS Dido". Glasgow Herald. 8 December 1869. p. 5. Retrieved 22 May 2018.


The article seems very thin on WWII, the effective blockage of the canal, and the work to make it navigable again immediately after the war. Andy Dingley (talk) 11:09, 5 November 2018 (UTC)

Incorrect distance[edit]

The web site reports the distance between Lisbon, Portugal and Mumbai, India as 5258 nautical miles via the Suez Canal and 9710 nautical miles via the Cape of Good Hope. I calculate a difference of 4452 nautical miles. The page says: "The canal offers watercraft a shorter journey between the North Atlantic and northern Indian Oceans via the Mediterranean and Red Seas by avoiding the South Atlantic and southern Indian Oceans, reducing the journey by approximately 700 kilometres (430 mi)." I have no idea where this number came from, but it seems to be off by an order of magnitude. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:08, 12 November 2018 (UTC)

Degree of Distance Shortening[edit]

In the introductory paragraph, I might be missing something, but it appears to me that the sentence below is vastly undercounting the distance advantage created by the canal.

"The canal offers watercraft a shorter journey between the North Atlantic and northern Indian Oceans via the Mediterranean and Red Seas by avoiding the South Atlantic and southern Indian Oceans, reducing the journey by approximately 700 kilometres (430 mi)."

Otherwise, on the basis of a picture like this one, it looks more like the journey is reduced by approximately 8,000 km (5,000 mi).

Am I misunderstanding the sentence, or is this a real error in the article? — Preceding unsigned comment added by IRua (talkcontribs) 21:50, 16 November 2018 (UTC)

The distance saving from London to China by using the Suez Canal is 3,300 NM (that's 6,111 km). This used to be easily found on the Suez Canal website, but there has been a major reorganisation of this site and I can't find that information there any longer. The distance saving to Indian ports will be somewhat different, but the 700 km is clearly nonsense. The difficulty now is finding a good source for some accurate figures. I have tagged the article with a citation needed template to alert the reader to the problem. Ideally I would have been able to put a good figure in there with a RS to support it, but finding such a source is not immediately straightforward.
ThoughtIdRetired (talk) 22:57, 16 November 2018 (UTC)