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  • this video is made possible by skill share.

  • Get unlimited access to over 25,000 classes for free for two months by signing up at S K a l dot Shh slash Real life Floor 28 Ever since the day of its opening way back in 18 69 the Suez Canal has proved to be one of the most vital passageways in the world for international trade.

  • Prior to the canal's construction, a ship traveling from London to India would have to sail down all the way across the Atlantic Ocean before looping around Africa and then come all the way back up the Indian Ocean before finally arriving afterwards, a ship would only have to enter the Mediterranean, cut through the canal and enter the Red Sea before venturing across the Arabian Sea over to India, which saved the distance of 8900 kilometers over the old route around Africa.

  • It completely and forever changed the rules of the planet and unlocked the ability for Europe and Asia to trade with one another at speeds never before thought possible.

  • But what if for whatever reason, the canal was destroyed or stopped working and trade ships were forced to go back to the old way of doing business around Africa.

  • The consequences for international trade would definitely be pretty catastrophic.

  • But this exact situation has actually already happened once before, back in the 19 sixties, you see, Back then, Egypt didn't exactly get along very well with her next door neighbor, Israel.

  • Tensions between the two countries have been rising for some time, and both sides were preparing themselves for war in this atmosphere of uncertainty.

  • On the morning of June the 5th, 1967 this teen cargo ships entered the Suez Canal on the Mediterranean side to begin their 12 hour journey across to the other side in the Red Sea.

  • Unknown to any of them at the time, though, was that their journey through wouldn't take 12 hours.

  • It would take almost eight years.

  • This was the worst traffic jam ever caused in human history, and this is the story of the men who suffered through it.

  • Roughly halfway through their journey across the canal, war suddenly exploded.

  • Theis Rae Lee's launched a surprise air attack against the Egyptians, and the area around the canal was suddenly full of planes, bombs, fire and death.

  • Within hours of the attack, the Egyptian government ordered the Suez Canal to be closed and forced the 15 ships inside to halt until further notice.

  • But after only six days of fighting, the Israelis had already won a decisive victory and conquered the entire Sinai Peninsula.

  • The new border between Egypt and Israel was literally the Suez Canal itself.

  • And unwilling to allow the Israelis to use it, the Egyptians decided instead to sabotage it to the point where nobody could use it.

  • They sank ships on the north and south ends to block both entrances and exits, destroyed bridges and choked what was left with nearly a million minds to guarantee that any attempt to use the canal would be a suicide mission.

  • And so the 15 neutral cargo ships that had entered on the fifth of June found themselves in their terrible predicament, trapped between the Egyptian army on the western side, the Israeli army on the eastern side and no hope of exit either the North or the south.

  • 14 of the ships anchored down in great bitter lake near the south exit, and the crews had no other choice than to be patient and wait it out for the next eight years.

  • All ships were once again forced to take the old route between Europe and Asia by going around Africa, which was both longer and much more expensive.

  • And as a consequence, the costs of goods around the world was driven up.

  • Insurgent countries.

  • Trading arrangements were thrown into absolute chaos, particularly nations located in Southeast Asia or East Africa.

  • Take Sedan and Italy, for example.

  • With the canal open, ships could just travel a relatively short, direct distance between Port Sudan and Naples, right across Egypt.

  • But with a canal being closed, trade ships would then have to travel the excessively long distance all the way down the Red Sea Indian Ocean, the southern tip of Africa, up all the way across the Atlantic through the Strait of Gibraltar and then across the Mediterranean before finally making its way into port and then repeat the entire process, going back home again.

  • While the outside world was struggling with new logistical challenges like that one, the 15 ships and their crews left behind in the canal were struggling with their own as well.

  • Of the 14 trapped in great bitter lake, there were four British to West German to Swedish to polish one French, one Bulgarian, one Czechoslovak and one American.

  • When it became clear, after months and months of being stranded in the no man's land between two hostile armies that they may be there for a while, the crews and companies of all 14 decided to group all the ships together into three groups.

  • They sent most of the sailors home and left behind a small skeleton crew of 10 men behind for each of the three groups to provide maintenance duties on the ships in the hopes that one day they'd be able to successfully leave.

  • Obviously, nobody wanted to waste away their lives forever on the ships.

  • So the companies began rotating these 10 man skeleton crews out with a new, fresh 10 man team every six months.

  • And despite coming from opposite sides of the Cold War, the crews of all 14 ships grew to become friends with one another over their six months long deployments.

  • Bonded together by the sheer ridiculousness of their situation, church services were hosted every Sunday on the German ship.

  • Movie nights were regularly hosted by the Bulgarians.

  • The Swedes hosted pool parties the French grew community garden, and the British hosted football games on their larger deck and lifeboat races across the canal.

  • They even celebrated their own bitter Lake Olympics in 1968 to compete with the real World Olympics.

  • With the polls winning the most events, raiding parties from both Egypt and Israel would occasionally sneak through them to gather intelligence on the other side.

  • And over the years, the sand from the desert covered all of the ships in a deep, thick layer, giving the whole fleet its nickname, the Yellow Fleets.

  • Six years under their isolation in 1973 and all out war exploded around them again.

  • This time it was Egypt who launched a surprise attack against Israel.

  • Combined with Syria in the north, the Egyptian army stormed across the canal and pushed deep into the Sinai before they were halted by the Israelis, who then counter attacked and pushed the Egyptians all the way back to the canal again.

  • In all of the chaos, a stray Israeli rockets hit and sunk the stranded American ship.

  • A week of heavy fighting across the canal, with heavy casualties on both sides, was finally concluded with a ceasefire agreement that paved the way for a final peace between the two sides.

  • Egypt and Israel both began withdrawing their troops from the canal border afterwards.

  • But after six long years of conflict and stand still, the Suez Canal was a stagnant huddle full of sunken ships, equipment, artillery and minds.

  • It took Egypt two years to clean the canal out of all of the debris left over from the conflict.

  • But then finally, on June the 5th, 1975 eight years to the day after they first entered the canal, the day finally came for the Yellow Fleet to say goodbye to the canal once and for all, into the friends they made along the way, the Suez Canal was finally reopened.

  • But the only ships that were capable of leaving after such a long time doing nothing, where the two West German ships, which both made it back home to their port in Hamburg, greeted by over 30,000 cheering Spectators after their journey of eight years, three months and five days after first leaving Egypt and Israel, meanwhile, began to normalize the relationship afterwards, with Israel returning the entire Sinai back to Egypt and Egypt, becoming the first Arab state to officially recognize the state of Israel.

  • Peace was finally restored, and after sitting in the same place, going nowhere for eight years, the deadlock was broken, and the longest traffic jam in human history finally came to a close.

  • Now, in a similar vein, anyone who's been at the top of anything knows that staying there requires continuous improvement and dramatic changes in life.

  • Circumstances can happen suddenly after eight years of doing nothing.

  • That means that no matter if you're at the beginning of your career or your already at the top, you should know that you should be constantly improving yourself.

  • Part of the way that I make sure that I'm always doing that is by using skill share.

  • Their courses are simply a great way to quickly and easily learn new skills.

  • For example, for anyone who wants to make their own YouTube videos or movies, whether it be for fun school or for work, I'd highly recommend the skill share original from Vimeo called D I Y filming, creating pro video with tools you already own learn with Vimeo.

  • Filming videos may seem like a pretty simple thing, but I promise you that there are so many nuances to it that they can really make the difference between a great video that find success and a poor video that doesn't.

  • This is just one of the more than 25,000 classes that you can take with skill share, all of which you can access for free for two months by signing up at S K L s H slash Real life floor 28.

  • And then after that, their annual pricing works out to less than $10 per month.

  • Thank you so much for watching.

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The 8-Year Long Worst Traffic Jam in History

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    林宜悉 posted on 2020/12/19
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