I tend to read on my Kindle (other eReaders are available) these days, however when I was on driving to see my parents I spotted an interesting looking book in WHSmiths at the services. Well that is what you miss when you go for eBooks that moment in the store when something catches your eye. Anyway the book was entitled “All the Countries we’ve ever Invaded, and the few we never got round to” by Stuart Laycock. The first thing that I noticed when looking at the back is that he refers to 193 countries that are currently UN member states and that we’ve “invaded” 171 of them. Wow big numbers.
So the 22 we haven’t “invaded” according to Stuart Laycock are; Andorra, Belarus, Bolivia, Burundi, Central African Republic, Chad, Republic of Congo, Guatemala, Ivory Coast, Kyrgyzstan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Mali, Marshall Islands, Monaco, Mongolia, Paraguay, Sao Tome and Principe, Sweden, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Vatican City.
That’s quite a lot of countries were we have used military force, the author does leave his interpretation of Invading very wide and catches the times when Naval vessels are recorded to have acted with in territorial waters. But it still left my with a few raised eyebrows. The book is an excellent read if you want to find out about the little known invasions but leaves you needing to look up more information. Some of these invasions are by Brits who had nothing particular to do with the government and some are by our ex-colonies at the request of the British Government. My personal favourite is the Anglo-Soviet Invasion of Iraq and Iran during the Second World War, an invasion I certainly had never heard of. To put it simply we were worried that they were getting too close to the Germans and we also saw a nice supply route into Russia, oh and don’t forget the oil. We the asked the Indians to do the job for us, we leant them some troops, some generals etc but the Infantry was mostly Indian. I’m sure there is an interesting wargame somewhere in this one so more research is needed.
In terms of other countries France has a little over 6 pages, well we’ve been squabbling with our neighbours since Roman times. Germany, Greece and Portugal get about 4 pages each. A lot of the invasions are associated with the Second World War and use attacking Vichy French colonies, but who’s counting.