Scientia Militaria: South African Journal of Military Studies

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3 field squadron, SAEC (Part 2)

AE Van Zyl


In 1884 when Ferdinand de Lesseps, builder of the Suez Canal became a member of the French Academy, he was welcomed by Ernest Renan. In his speech Renan remarked that not only had two inland seas been connected, but the site of a future battlefield had been marked. During the Second World War his prediction came true when control of the Middle East became of utmost importance for the continuation of the Allied war effort: the economic blockade of Europe and the defence of Allied oil supplies depended on the Allies retaining Egypt and control of the Suez Canal.
Keywords: erdinand de Lesseps; Suez Canal; French Academy; German contingent (the Afrika Korps); Second World War; The Matruh Box; Operation Crusader

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