The Pacific War Online Encyclopedia
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Durban (31.016E 29.853S) was the principal British naval base in southeast South Africa. With the Mediterranean effectively closed to Allied shipping when war broke out in the Pacific, Durban became an important refueling point for convoys between the Atlantic and the Red Sea, the Iraq oil fields, and India and the Far East.
With the opening of the Mediterranean in the summber of 1943, Allied convoys could be rerouted through the Suez Canal, reducing their transit time by an average of 25 days.
"History of Convoy and Routing" (accessed 2014-4-12)
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