Proposed new Istanbul Canal:
For the curious, it'd follow a river in Serbia and connect to a river in North Macedonia. Approximately 100 kilometres apart, assuming a straight line. That means about half the length of Suez (193 kilometres) and slightly longer than the length of the Panama canal (82 kilometres), though I'm assuming riverbeds would have to be expanded in some places.
The Danube can't take anywhere near the throughput of the Suez Canal, though. The Rhein-Main-Donau canal, one of the bottlenecks on the route, sees about 6 million tons of shipping a year and can handle boats with a draft of 2 metres. The Suez Canal handles the same tonnage every day and handles ships up to 20m draft. So this would not make a dent in shipping from Suez to Rotterdam, it would just be a nice bonus for anyone delivering from the Med to, say, Belgrade.
Another interesting fact was that Egypt, like the USA was on the point of industrialising in the 19th century but was prevented from doing so by its British rulers.
Seems to suggest that Britain may well have meddled in Egypt's industrialisation, but is by no means absolutely to blame. There's a myriad of reasons Egypt didn't industrialise, as you'd expect from history - nothing's quite so simple.
In fact, it could be argued that Britain did more to raise Egypt up than any other country playing the game at that point in time, of which the UK was just one actor.
People tend to forget that one of the main reasons Britain herself industrialised early and comprehensively was simply thet fact it sits on vast amounts of coal. Egypt does not.
Preventing IP from reaching Egypt was a big deal. The US had to pirate a lot of intellectual property from the British in order to develop their industry.
Japan also didn't have coal.
Hm? Japan does (or rather did) have coal and mined it extensively during their industrialization. Since coal can come from peat bogs, rainy islands often have some. They also somewhat famously developed cars that ran on coal when their oil supply was cut off in WWII.
Elsewhere in the article in mentions that Egypt herself didn't have an entirely unified stance about embracing industrialisation and it doesn't take much to note a vast gulf between the national psyches of Japan and Egypt, Japan also having been treated somewhat shoddily by Western powers.
It seems a little selective to blame the British when Egypt contemporaneously suffered an invasion by Napoleon and a contested political status under the Ottomans. If the French or Turks had won the game of empires, would they be to blame instead?