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Great Britain and its invasions

Article about: Not sure these stats are totally accurate, but you have to admire our former propensity for invading most of the rest of the world. http

  1. #11

    Default Re: Great Britain and its invasions

    Right, we've still got a few to go on that list lads...lets get cracking! Who first...?

    Just in case somebody out there doesn't realise it...the above comment is a joke

    Currently working on several KZ related projects, including items for the USHMM, Gro▀-Rosen Museum and various private concerns and studies. Available as a guide to KZ sites, contact for details.

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  2. #12

    Default Re: Great Britain and its invasions

    Quote by big ned View Post
    Here's a bit of info on the invasion of Iceland by the British courtesy of Wikipedia. After the British ceded the running of Iceland to the U.S.A. they did indeed leave various vehicles behind like motorcycles and trucks that were put to good use by the authorities as for example the country's Fire Service and Post Office departments. The Americans also left transport when they left after the war, including General's staff cars, that are still running around today.


    Iceland, an independent sovereign nation ruled by the King of Denmark, joined Denmark in the pursuit of neutrality when the European War began. Upon the German invasion of Denmark in Apr 1940, Icelandic parliament declared King Christian X unable to perform his constitutional duties, and began to act in a more independent manner, though it remained neutral. On 9 May 1940, the United Kingdom issued a message to Iceland stating her willingness to defend Iceland (Iceland had no military force of her own) if Iceland would allow British forces to establish presence there. The United Kingdom intended to use Iceland to establish a base in the North Atlantic as well as to prevent a German invasion and occupation. The Icelandic government rejected the offer, noting her wish to remain neutral in the conflict. What the Icelandic parliament did not know, however, was that the United Kingdom had been planning an invasion under the code name of Operation Fork since late Apr or early May.

    At 0400 on 8 May, under the command of 49-year-old Colonel Robert Sturges, a highly regarded WW1 veteran, 746 men of the inexperienced 2nd Royal Marine Battalion departed Greenock, Scotland, United Kingdom. Also with the invasion force was a small intelligence team headed by Major Humphrey Quill and a diplomatic mission headed by Charles Howard Smith. In the morning of 10 May, a Walrus aircraft was dispatched to scout the waters leading up to ReykjavÝk, the capital of Iceland, for German submarine activity, but miscommunications led to the aircraft circling the actual city several times, thus alerting Icelandic officials the presence of the British force. The acting police chief Einar Arnalds recognized it as a British aircraft, but advised Prime Minister Hermann Jˇnasson it was probably only a British warship en route on a diplomatic mission. The German consul to Iceland Werner Gerlach was more cautious, who began burning his documents after seeing British warships arrive at the ReykjavÝk harbor.

    As Icelandic officials prepared warning statements for the British fleet announcing their violation of Icelandic neutrality, heavy cruiser HMS Berwick transferred 400 marines to the destroyer Fearless, which took them to ReykjavÝk. The invasion was not met with resistance from the 70-strong ReykjavÝk police force, though a large crowd gathered at the harbor to protest. The British marines moved to occupy telecommunications facilities, television and radio stations, and meteorological offices, while the local German population (including Consul Gerlach and crew of German freighter Bahia Blanca) were placed under arrest, all in the attempt to delay the news of the invasion from reaching Germany.

    In the evening of 10 May, the Icelandic government formally issued a statement noting that their neutrality had been "flagrantly violated" and "its independence infringed". The British government appeased the protest by promising compensation, trade agreement, non-interference in domestic Icelandic affairs, and the promise that troops would be withdrawn at war's end.

    While the British marines secured ReykjavÝk, a small detachment was sent to nearby Hvalfj÷r­ur (a fjord), Sandskei­, and Kalda­arnes. On 15 May, the harbor town of Hafnarfj÷r­ur was occupied. On 17 and 19 May, men were sent by ship to land at Akureyri and Melger­i, respectively, in the Eyjafj÷r­ur (a fjord) on the northern coast to guard against potential German landings. In the following few weeks, anti-aircraft weapons were deployed in ReykjavÝk to deter potential German air raids.

    When the news of the invasion finally reached Germany, a discussion dubbed Operation Ikarus began to examine the possibility of counter-action, but none came to fruition. In Jul 1941, the responsibility of the occupation was passed to the United States, which sent 40,000 soldiers to guard the island with a population of merely 120,000. Although Iceland still officially maintained neutrality, she actually cooperated with Allied authorities throughout the war.
    Thanks very much Ned!...
    It's a wasted trip baby. Nobody said nothing about locking horns with no Tigers.

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  3. #13

    Default Re: Great Britain and its invasions

    Quote by TIGER88 View Post
    Right, we've still got a few to go on that list lads...lets get cracking! Who first...?
    Marshall Islands look like a good bet - nice weather I'd imagine and maybe no-one would notice

  4. #14

    Default Re: Great Britain and its invasions

    Quote by harry211 View Post
    Marshall Islands look like a good bet - nice weather I'd imagine and maybe no-one would notice
    You might want to rethink that one H..... Between 1946-58 the U.S.A. used the Marshall Islands as the 'Pacific Proving Grounds' for testing their nuclear weapons.

    In total they exploded 67 devices there including the biggest nuclear bomb the Americans ever produced. In 1956 it was described by the U.S. authorities as "the most contaminated place on earth."

    A good friend of mine has worked as a teacher in the Marshalls, mainly on the island of Kiribati under the British 'Voluntary Service Overseas' (VSO) organisation for many years now on and off, and he has told me that the commonality of various cancers and birth defects present in the indigenous population is so high that the majority of people are lucky to live into their late 40's.

    So I think we might like to give that one a miss then.....
    'I do not think we can hope for any better thing now.
    We shall stick it out to the end, but we are getting weaker of course, and the end cannot be far.
    It seems a pity, but I do not think I can write more. R. SCOTT.
    Last Entry - For God's sake look after our people.'

    In memory of Capt. Robert Falcon Scott, Edward Wilson, Henry Bowers, Lawrence Oates and Edgar Evans. South Pole Expedition, 30th March 1912.

  5. #15

    Default Re: Great Britain and its invasions

    Quote by Gunny Hartmann View Post
    I honestly never knew British troops had occupied Iceland, i thought i knew quite a bit about WW2!!!..
    The famous 49 Divison the Polar Bears garrisoned Iceland for 2 years during WW2 before returning to Blighty for D Day , their Polar Bear insignia came about as a result of their time on Iceland !!
    The gates of hell were opened and we accepted the invitation to enter" 26/880 Lance Sgt, Edward Dyke. 26th Bn Northumberland Fusiliers , ( 3rd Tyneside Irish )

    1st July 1916

    Thought shall be the harder , heart the keener,
    Courage the greater as our strength faileth.
    Here lies our leader ,in the dust of his greatness.
    Who leaves him now , be damned forever.
    We who are old now shall not leave this Battle,
    But lie at his feet , in the dust with our leader

    House Carles at the Battle of Hastings

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