By James W. Gould
There's a universal trust that till lately american citizens have most well liked isolation to curiosity in distant components akin to Southeast Asia. This thesis could be verified by way of interpreting the background of yank family with a spot at the contrary aspect of the globe from the U.S.. the sort of land is Sumatra. it truly is one of many greatest islands on this planet. Its I66,789 sq. mile region exceeds that of the 3rd greatest American nation, California, and is bigger than Italy. mendacity midway worldwide from the us, its I050 mile size is sort of divided by means of the equator, which runs throughout it for 285 miles. Sumatra's strategic significance is two-fold. first of all, it's the first island stepping stone from the Asiatic mainland into the Australasian archipelago. This used to be proven in I942 while the USA stationed planes on Sumatra in an try and stem the japanese improve southward. Secondly, it lies athwart the shortest sea routes from jap Asia to Europe and the japanese usa. Sumatra's southern tip types one part of the Straits of Sunda which guards the entry to the Java, China and Philippine Seas. on the island's northern tip is the doorway to the Straits of Malacca, the shortest sea lane be tween the close to and much East. the outlet of the Suez Canal in I869 shifted the shortest course among the a long way East and the Western global from the Sunda to the Malacca Straits.
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