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Old 05-04-2021, 06:47 PM
unipus unipus is offline
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Originally Posted by Olefin View Post
In this case they werent doing minesweeping, harbor clearance or unexploded ordinance - they were clearing wrecks out of the channel. This wasnt a channel blocked with mines, etc. it was blocked by the ships and debris from the strike on the refinery. So the Canal wasnt blocked on purpose with a determined effort to keep it from being cleared for as long as possible. The French needed the southern entrance to the canal cleared - and it took them a while to do it. They arrived in the Middle East in mid-1998 and the Canal wasnt re-opened to traffic till the late summer of 2000. Basicaly they brute force cleared a path thru the wrecks to get the entrance open to the southern end of the channel.

And the Panama Canal we know was open at least as late as the Virginia Task Force in Satellite Down being reassigned to the East Coast - that is where they were headed when they ran into the Soviet force of destroyers. Per Satellite Down

On 3 March 1999, the USS Virginia received orders to takethe remains of the task force and return to the Atlantic with alldue speed. Task Force 115 cut south along the coast, hopingto make it safely through the Panama Canal system as a short-cut to the Atlantic. It was a voyage that the task force was notdestined to make it.

Thus the Panama Canal was still open and still functional in March 1999 - long after the nuclear phase of the war was over.

Huh. Seems like a major strategic oversight to me.
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