Someone made a dance to the "Nations of the World" song from Animaniacs to show which countries Britain invaded

Pretty much. At the time, Iceland was effectively a Danish colony and neutral Denmark and Norway had recently fallen to the Nazis. It was a matter of national survival for the U.K. to secure Iceland.

Had Germany been able to base planes; ships and U Boats on the island, the Atlantic convoys would have been wiped out and the U.K. forced to capitulate.

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1917, during World War I.

People see “invasion” and think “imperialistic conquest”, and often (usually?) that’s true. But it’s broader than that. You can fight a land war on your own turf or on someone else’s: in the latter case, unless you’re there by invitation from the controlling power, you’re invading. The last time Britain invaded France was in 1944, on D-Day and the weeks following.

ETA: for that reason I was surprised that Luxemburg appeared in the “not invaded” column, but as best I can tell the liberation of Luxemburg was achieved by US troops and the Luxemburg resistance.


Hey, the only thing the Brits need to know about their own history is that in 1940, ̶ ̶̶̶ ̶̶̶t̶̶̶h̶̶̶e̶̶̶y̶̶̶ ̶̶̶f̶̶̶l̶̶̶e̶̶̶d̶̶̶ ̶̶̶w̶̶̶h̶̶̶i̶̶̶l̶̶̶e̶̶̶ ̶̶̶t̶̶̶h̶̶̶e̶̶̶ ̶̶̶f̶̶̶r̶̶̶e̶̶̶n̶̶̶c̶̶̶h̶̶̶ ̶̶̶a̶̶̶r̶̶̶m̶̶̶y̶̶̶ ̶̶̶s̶̶̶a̶̶̶c̶̶̶r̶̶̶i̶̶̶f̶̶̶i̶̶̶e̶̶̶d̶̶̶ ̶̶̶i̶̶̶t̶̶̶s̶̶̶e̶̶̶l̶̶̶f̶̶̶,̶ ̶̶̶H̶̶̶i̶̶̶t̶̶̶l̶̶̶e̶̶̶r̶̶̶ ̶̶̶w̶̶̶a̶̶̶s̶̶̶t̶̶̶e̶̶̶d̶̶̶ ̶̶̶t̶̶̶i̶̶̶m̶̶̶e̶̶̶ ̶̶̶a̶̶̶r̶̶̶g̶̶̶u̶̶̶i̶̶̶n̶̶̶g̶̶̶ ̶̶̶w̶̶̶i̶̶̶t̶̶̶h̶̶̶ ̶̶̶h̶̶̶i̶̶̶s̶̶̶ ̶̶̶g̶̶̶e̶̶̶n̶̶̶e̶̶̶r̶̶̶a̶̶̶l̶̶̶s̶̶̶,̶ ̶a̶n̶d̶ ̶t̶̶̶h̶̶̶e̶̶̶y̶̶̶ ̶̶̶a̶̶̶r̶̶̶e̶̶̶ ̶̶̶o̶̶̶n̶̶̶ ̶̶̶a̶̶̶n̶̶̶ ̶̶̶i̶̶̶s̶̶̶l̶̶̶a̶̶̶n̶̶̶d̶̶̶ ̶̶̶a̶̶̶n̶̶̶y̶̶̶w̶̶̶a̶̶̶y̶̶̶ they stood alone against fascism, right ?


But what was the last country to successfully invade England?

(Hint: What is orange and sailed up the Medway? :smiley: )

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1917…are you sure about that? What happened then? Serbian and Romanian armies occupied parts of our territory during the first world war but I’m not sure about Britain.

It is true that after WWI was over the Inter-Allied Supreme Command took control of the former territory of Austria-Hungary, and that Britain was certainly a member of this multinational group. But to claim that that is a “British invasion” seems a very… specious claim to me.

No, I’m just reading off Wikipedia’s ‘List of Invasions’ page. If British troops crossed the Hungarian border during hostilities, then Britain technically invaded Hungary, but I can’t find any other evidence that they did.

Did they land troops? If not, I don’t think it counts.

You could make a case for Scotland in 1745, though, when Jacobite Highlanders took Carlisle and got as far south as Derbyshire …

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Yes, they landed. Sheerness was held for several days and its fort was destroyed.


One for the Dutch, then!


The “defending forces” is listed as Austria-Hungary. Maybe British troops attacked the Austrian side, but unless I’m wrong I don’t think they entered Hungarian territory…


Fair enough, but then it really shouldn’t be described as an “Invasion of Hungary”. (Which isn’t your fault, obviously.)


Hmm- at least one officer in the British Army was involved in the liberation of Luxembourg. Jean, the heir to the Grand Duchy, was a captain in the Irish Guards at the time and took part in the liberation. I’m trying to find out whether he was there with his unit or not…

EDIT: It looks like he was attached to a US unit at the time.


The Icelanders did protest the invasion, although it was more of a formality.

The British also planned to invade Norway and Sweden to blow up the Swedish iron mines, but that plan was cancelled when the Germans reached Norway first.



We learnt our invading ways from the experts: Romans; Jutes, Angles and Saxons; Vikings; and Normans (who were basically just Vikings gone south for a while).

ETA and the Dutch (thanks @Jeroen_Metselaa)


You could argue that they had been invited by Charles de Gaulle, but that would involve a debate about who was the real leader of France.

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D-Day/Operation Overlord is pretty commonly referred to as simply “the invasion”. I think it’s more about the situation de facto rather than de jure. Can you reasonably expect those currently in control of the territory to try to repel you? If so, you’re invading.

This does of course mean that on 6 June 1944, France was invaded by the French. (Among others.)


Almost 10 times more French soldiers were evacuated to the UK than were killed in the retreat to Dunkirk.

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Well the US was pretending to be neutral while selling arms to both sides like crazy making super profits during that time, and then was really surprised when they got attacked ignoring all the signs in 1942… then dismantled the British empire via war-profiteering and giving out tied loans with strings attached - Marshall Plan, which Britain finally paid of in the 00’s.

Then we have CIA covert interference after the war in the Commonwealth and former colonies so they could install their puppet regimes and gunboat diplomacy…Britain - mostly England actually for a lot of these - was fond of overt invasions, the US does sneaky ones or pretends drone attacks and guerrilla insurgence - Afghanistan, LOL - are not war or stuff like underhand propping up of mass genocide by dictats in South America is OK…


Funny thing is the arrival of William the Orange is not taught as an invasion in schools here, it is seen as some wondrous welcomed takeover.

In which case why did he arrive with an army if he was so wanted? :stuck_out_tongue:


Being an American, I never really studied the Norman conquest very deeply. I just did a brief Wikipedia read up, and it sounds very GoTish. As in, I’m guessing your average peasant didn’t give much of a shit either way, because life was still gonna suck for them.

Interesting linguistic quirk re: the Norman conquest.

English is unusual in that it often has two words for farm animals; one for the animal, one for the meat. Cattle and beef, sheep and mutton, pigs and pork.

As a general rule, the word for the animal derives from Old English, while the name for the meat comes from Norman French. Because, basically, the English peasants raised the animals, while the Norman lords ate them.