The Suez Canal is a constructed waterway linking the Mediterranean and Red Sea. It opened in 1869, creating a convenient naval passage between Europe and South Asia. The canal was important to its then British controllers, who no longer needed to travel around Africa to reach their colonies; this had a significant impact upon world trade and colonisation.
As a strategic naval route used during the First World War, the Suez Canal came under heavy attacks from Ottoman forces. However, the Turks were unsuccessful in their attempts to seize the Canal, which remained under some degree of British control until the 1950s. It is now operated by the Egyptian run Suez Canal Authority.