Map of the Day: Where the Brits never invaded

The British Empire used to be pretty darned big. It was said that the sun never set on England (and it still might not).

A new map is making the rounds that shows the places where the British have invaded. Of the nearly 200 countries out there, the Brits have invaded all but 22. That is just about 90% of all countries!

Mongolia, the Ivory Coast, Bolivia and Sweden are among the selective group of making it to 2013 without a British invasion.  Here is the map showing where (pink) the British have invaded.

map-where-brits-never-invaded

The data comes from the new book All the Countries We’ve Ever Invaded: And the Few We Never Got Round To. Author Stuart Laycock went through the history of every country in the world to see where the Brits invaded.

The author spoke with The Telegraph about his two years of research and the results. He said France may be in second place with most countries invaded and says he hopes people will challenge his findings to determine whether or not he is right or some countries on the no list were actually invaded.

“I was absolutely staggered when I reached the total. I like to think I have a relatively good general knowledge. But there are places where it hadn’t occurred to me that these things had ever happened. It shocked me,” said Laycock to the Telegraph.

“Other countries could write similar books – but they would be much shorter. I don’t think anyone could match this, although the Americans had a later start and have been working hard on it in the twentieth century.”

The Telegraph lists some of the more surprising entries;

Iceland, invaded in 1940 by the British after the neutral nation refused to enter the war on the Allies side. The invasion force, of 745 marines, met with strong protest from the Iceland government, but no resistance.

HT Snippets of Random

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About Author

Tom Murphy

Tom Murphy is a New Hampshire-based reporter for Humanosphere. Before joining Humanosphere, Tom founded and edited the aid blog A View From the Cave. His work has appeared in Foreign Policy, the Huffington Post, the Guardian, GlobalPost and Christian Science Monitor. He tweets at @viewfromthecave. Contact him at tmurphy[at]humanosphere.org.

  • NicoleMN6

    Where can I find a list of the 22 countries the Brits never invaded?

  • Sophie

    Not that weird. I bet a similar list for Sweden would include most of the northern hemisphere.

    • Andrew Craig-Bennett

      Gustavus Adolphus and Charles the Twelfth were both pretty active in the invasion business, and if we go back a few centuries more…

      • John

        Sweden occupied at time most of the Baltic coasts, even a part of Germany/Denmark on the North Sea coast.

        • Oscar

          You speak of recognised ownership, above and indeed the whole article is about invading. Swedish forces have been to practially all continental countries north of the alps, whilst at its hight, the Swedish empire formally ruled only the baltic coasts.

    • Pubert Plumbottum

      yeah you mean northern europe i hope. remind me when sweden invaded :
      japan
      mongolia
      kazakhstan
      alltheotherstans
      iran
      China
      India
      burma
      turkey
      italy
      and Algeria
      my point is unless u consider vikings as swedes, use the term “northern hemisphere” a little better

  • Cardoso

    since when did Britain ever invaded Portugal?

    • zanevorhis

      1807-1812

    • Andrew Craig-Bennett

      1807-1812 en route to Spain to defeat Napoleon.

    • jedpc

      Depends on your definition of invasion – I would say we never have, we were there at the request of the legimate government of the day to help them beat back a French invasion by Napolean.

    • Zealot

      Exactly. To consider that Britain invaded Portugal in the Napoleonic wars is the same thing to consider that USA and Canada troops invaded Britain in WWII when deploying troops for “D-Day”. It’s ridiculous and this report loses credibility because of this.

      • skafka

        The UK is still home to US bases, WW2 has been over quiet a while.

      • Oscar

        Ehm, no. Portugal was actually occupied briefly by French troops so the more appropriate analogy would be to claim that the allied Invasion of occupied France in ww2 was an invasion – which it was, called the invasion of Normandy.

        • Zealot

          I fear that we will end up in a semantic argument about the words “occupation” and “invasion”. While there were French troops in Portuguese soil marching to Lisbon, they were thwarted three times by a contingent of British and Portuguese troops. It’s in no way comparable to the entrenched German troops in Normandy because the French troops were on the move and the British troops were already stationed and busy with defensive manoeuvres. Hence, not an invasion.

    • Oscar

      Between 1580 and 1640 Portugal was governed by the kings of Spain, ressulting in the portugeese empire of tradingposts to be mostly lost to dutch, native, regional and in some cases english hostilities. Mostly though the English secretly kept good relations in hope of a future independent Portugal. This period along with the Napoleonic wars could be the strongest candidates for “british”( English) “invasions”.

  • César Cedeño

    As far as I know, they never invaded Ecuador

    • Nico

      William Hague mused about invading Ecuadorian territory last year to kidnap the Wikileaks guy but it was just bluff thankfully.

      • César Cedeño

        Thankfully for them mostly cuz anyone who decides to take the fight against our military in our turf is up for a damm bloody and discouraging assault.

        • pubert plumbottum

          not doubting ur guys strength… but ecuador isnt exactly built to fight a place like britain who have been fighting since the romans with few breaks

        • Mark

          Erm I think he meant the Ecuador embassy in Britain. I see you have a lot of patriotism there, but I doubt the Ecuador military would have done much about that.

  • Nathan Hale

    The last 22 actually fell to the British Invasion… and Beatlemania….

  • KaptKan1 .

    They should show the same map of all the lands the US empire has never invaded and/or installed a military base.

    • TheRuleOfLaw

      The U.S. Empire is part of Britain, and always has been.

      • Phlemmy

        No it isn’t you twat.

        • TheRuleOfLaw

          Do your research. It most certainly is. Idiot

          • John

            I think you mean the Anglo Saxon empire.

          • TheRuleOfLaw

            No.

            The City of London has three branches, and three distinct locations that it operates from:

            Finance – London
            Military – U.S./Washington D.C.
            Religious/Social – Rome (Vatican)

            The take over of America happened in in 2 phases. 1871, when the U.S. Gov’t formed itself as a corporation, not under the Constitution, but under laws of a corporation. The final phase happened in 1913 with the Federal Reserve Act.

            The U.S. Gov’t also declared bankruptcy in 1933, the Constitution was suspended, & FDR signed an EO which allowed the U.S. to continue operating.

            That EO is still in effect today.

          • ASCB

            Do you do stand-up?

          • TheRuleOfLaw

            Do your research buffoon. If you cared to even do 5 minutes in research of which I speak of then you will retract your ridiculous question.

          • Dolph Ramey

            That B some good stuff you be injecting yourself with. Or is it just LSD you are partaking.

  • Richard

    Add Bolivia to the list. The War Of the Pacific, when Chile conquered the Bolivian coastal province, was promoted and financed by British companies after the guano deposits. In the 1880s the best raw materials for nitrogen for gunpowder

    • John

      British troops did not invaded or occupy the land.

  • REDPILLED

    Desperately needed: a map of the nations and territories where the U.S. has military bases and/or JSOC and/or CIA teams.

    • Steve M.

      A start…www.tni.org/archives//militarism/basesmap.kmz

      • REDPILLED

        Thank you. How can I open a kmz file?

        • Squintly

          google earth

  • Ipse Dixit

    And what a coincidence it is that the biggest imperialist of today is descended directly from the biggest imperialist of yesterday.

    • John

      The Anglo Saxon empire.

  • Robert Enders

    Wasn’t Belarus part of Russia during the Russian Civil War/ World War I when British and American troops dropped by to fight Bolsheviks?

    • Evrus Microdotismus

      yes it was indeed!

    • Mark Forster

      Not to mention being part of the Russian Empire during the Crimean War when Britain invaded Russia.

  • Jim

    You are wrong. It was never said that “the sun never sets on England”. England and “Britain” are not interchangeable. No matter how many times ill-informed people say they are.

    • Oscar

      The phrase was actually coined by Spanish in the 1500s to apply to their empire. As it wasn’t a lie to make this claim for the much later British Empire, brits stole the phrase.

  • garibaldi

    Guatemala was invaded too. Belice was part of Guatemala until it was invaded and taken away by the Brits. Paraguay got involved in a war with Brazil when Brazil invaded Uruguay. The Brazilians were having a rough time, so the British created theTriple Alliance, whose text was discused and approved by the British Parliament before it was signed by the Governments of Brasil, Argentina and Uruguay.

  • NeilMc1

    I believe Botswana was never invaded. It was a Protectorate at their request.

    • OooKhalid

      not coerced into requesting, ofcourse.

      • NeilMc1

        Absolutely not. In fact the three chieftans travelled to the UK to lobby for the Protectorate status as they were being threatened on all sides by Rhodes, the Germans in Namibia etc. The UK reluctantly agreed.

        • John

          The Brits ended up with and empire they never really wanted. A recent poll in Jamaica wanted the country to become a British Territory and under UK law. In short back in the empire. Fiji requested to be in the British empire.

          • Oscar

            Maybe it’s actually wrong to claim Britain explicitly aspired to become an Empire, but the government did support the following aspirations: Safe trade routs, safe markets, economically safe home isles, militarily safe home isles, the spread of civlized ideas, safe production sites, less continental power, safe supportive logistical strategic postitions, and so on which all combined with the ability to do it suggests Empire to be a practical solution. Today Empire is no longer a solution to Britains needs.

  • a greatly surprised Finn

    I would very much like to know when the Brits invaded Finland. Unti 1809 Finland was a part of Sweden and between 1809 and 1917 a Grand Duchy within the Russian empire. Under neither regimes Brittain certainly did now invade Finland. In Crimean war Britain indeed war in war with Finland, and few british ships did some attacks on on minor Finnish coastal towns, but did not ‘invade’ even the smallest parts of the country.

    Under the second world war Finland was indeed on the losing German side, but was not invaded by anyone, certainly not by the British.

    • Lihaliemikuutio

      That’s incorrect. They occupied a number of islands (Isosaari, for example) during the crimean was, and also bombed Petsamo during the continuation war.

      • John

        Bombing a place and invading is very different. The British declared war on Finland in WW2 as Finland was a co-belligerent of Germany. One of the few instances of a democratic country declaring war on another – if you could call Finland democratic, as they banned certain political groups. However the USA did not declare war on Finland.

        • Lihaliemikuutio

          The soviet sockpuppet party being banned hardly makes Finland undemocratic. As to bombing vs. invading, note the bit about the crimean war.

          • John

            Banning political parties is undemocratic. The British invaded the Alland Islands and took about 400 Finnish prisoners to Lewes in Sussex. Many never wanted to return to Finland. British forces also invaded and occupied some western Finish towns.

        • Oscar

          I think the premiss of the book is actually that some kind of violent act directed at that countrys territory occured and that this was sponsored if not directed by british officialls. The Petsamo bombings thus suffice while the crimean war might or might not depending on the definition of a country.

        • WellWellNudgeNudge

          You are incorrect. Germany stayed neutral during the Winter War (1939-40), which was between Finland and the Soviet Union. The Nazis and the Soviets had signed a non-aggression pact, called the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, which had a secret protocol which partitioned the eastern part of Europe between the two. Finland fell within the Soviet sphere of interest, as did the Baltic states. You do know what happened with the Baltic states. Germany was neutral in that case as well, like the pact demanded. Germany certainly did not assist Finland in any way during the Winter War. There was a Franco-British intervention plan, but that never got off the ground before the peace treaty was signed. Before 1941 there actually were three great power blocks, not two, that were hostile towards each other. The fourth one, the US, was still not active but did condemn the Soviets when they attacked Finland. History might have looked quite different if France and Great Britain would have started a war in Northern Europe against the Soviet Union.

          The co-operation between Finland and Germany wasn’t until AFTER the Winter War and AFTER the Soviet Union (and Nazi-Germany with their invasion of Norway and Denmark) had made it impossible for Finland to create a Nordic defence pact. That’s when Germany started approaching Finland. You have to remember, Finland had no way of importing food stuffs or weapons without the approval of Germany after they controlled the Öresund straight, the only sea route out of the Baltic sea. So, it was a combination of security issues (considering what happened in the Baltics, Finland certainly did not trust Moscow even after the peace deal) and a will to get back lost lands from the Soviet Union. Anti-communist sentiment also played its part, even though the Finnish leftists stood firmly on the Finnish side of things during the Winter War.

          The Continuation war lasted between 1941-44. There was a third war as well, called the Lapland war (1944-45), where Finland declared war on Germany as a requirement of the peace deal with Moscow.

          • John

            If you read again, I never wrote Germany was in the Winter War. Thanks. I am fully aware of the history. The UK assisted Finland in the Winter War and then found Finland a co-belligerent of Germany in the “Continuation War” as the Finns call it. The Franco-British intervention plan for Finland was turned into the intervention of Norway, but the Germans got in first. The second peace deal with Moscow was also with the UK. The USA never declared war on Finland.

            Before Finland joined the Nordic Council there was four Baltic states with Finland being one of them. Finland was always viewed as being a semi-part of Russia (they ruled it for 100 years) as the people come from Russia. People mistakenly think it is Scandinavia, it is not. The language is not a Germanic language either emanating from Russia. Finland looked west and did everything it could to forget its Russian origins and cultural ties.

            The “four” Baltic states were “given” to the USSR by Germany. The USSR wanted to regain Finland, the territory it allowed to go after WW1. Even today Putin thinks it was foolish to have allowed Finland and the other Baltic states to go. They are all in north-south alignment on top of each other. Putin ideally wants a solid defensive block with a north-south line roughly down from the western Finnish coast down, taking in the three Baltic states under Finland, skirting the Polish border and halting at the Romanian border. Germany stood by while the USSR moved in, in 1939, as agreed as Finland was in the Russian sphere of influence. Being a puppet state or full integration into the USSR, Germany did not care as Finland only a few years previously was a part of Russia. The USSR also wanted the Finnish border away from artillery range of Leningrad.

            Finland fought alongside but were not allied to Germany. That was why the UK declared war on them. They wanted to keep the Soviets out. This was a big risk as if Germany occupied and ran Finland they would be worse off – Germany had broken every promise and treaty they entered into, so were not to be trusted. Finland was part of Russia and emanates from Russia, so being with the Russians is more preferable to being ruled by Germanics.

            Under Russian rule Finland did quite well, largely being in control of their own affairs, so they knew what to expect, while under the barbaric Germans was a big gamble. BTW, Mannerheim could not speak Finnish, he needed an interpreter. He spoke Russian.

          • WellWellNudgeNudge

            Right you are, I misread your earlier comment. Sorry about that. You are also right about Finland being largely viewed as a Baltic state prior to WW2, which is due to the 100 years under Russian rule as an autonomous Grand Duchy (1809-1917). The Finnish-Russian relationship lived its glory days in the first part of the 19th century (especially under emperor Alexander II who respected the autonomy), but when nationalism became part of the Russian agenda the situation changed. You have some major misconceptions about Russians “being preferable” to “Germanics” (are you referring to Sweden?).

            If you are referring to Scandinavia in a geographic sense, well then Finland is not part of Scandinavia. However; history, politics, religion and even language ties Finland to Scandinavia in a big way. There are ties to the east as well, but the ties that go west are stronger. Much stronger. The Finnish language has been a part of Sweden and Norway for at least 1000 years as a major minority language (mostly in their northern parts) and Swedish is still one of Finland’s two official languages (there are some 300 000 people who speak Swedish as their first language in Finland today). The Finnish language has over 4000 loan words from Swedish. There are some Russian loan words too, but these do not even come close. Ethnically speaking Finns and Swedes (and Norwegians) have been mixing up a lot during the last millennia, even though the national romanticism of the 19th century would have you think otherwise. In fact, people who spoke Swedish as their first language were numerous and deeply involved in the Fennoman-movement of the 19th century, which brought the Finnish language and culture to the forefront (some big names are Johan Snellman, Jean Sibelius and Yrjö Sakari Yrjö-Koskinen).

            Being part of the Swedish kingdom for 600-700 years shaped the country that would become Finland in a major way, much more than Russia did in 100 years. When Finland became a part of the Russian empire it was “too late” culturally speaking and the russification attempts made in the late 19th century and early 20th century met stiff resistance and failed. You could say that the path to independence was set in 1809.

            It is true that Finnish is not a Germanic language, but it’s not Slavic either. Finnish-Ugric languages (includes Estonian and Hungarian) is its own language group so it is not derived from Russian.

            Finally, about Carl Gustav Mannerheim. He knew the Russian language, that’s right. This is due to him having a career in the Imperial Russian Army before the revolution in Russia. His Finnish was relatively poor, that’s right too, but he did not need an interpreter in the end. He learned Finnish in an adult age after Finland became independent and he spoke it with an accent. There are several recordings of him making public speeches in Finnish. The accent he had was Swedish, because this was his first language. His ancestors came to Finland through Sweden (originally from Germany), where his forefather August Marhein was knighted by king Charles XI in 1693. That’s when the family name was changed to Mannerheim.

            C.G. Mannerheim was not a big fan of Germany, but that was also true of communist Russia. He would have preferred being an ally of Britain because he was a known anglophile, but that was not possible though. As I mentioned, after the Winter War Finland first seeked Nordic options for security in the future. The first choice was a Nordic defence pact, but this option was made impossible by Soviet foreign policy (protesting against such attempts) and the German invasion of Denmark and Norway.

          • John

            The Finns and their language did come from near the Urals, that is fact. Finland is in denial of its roots. They are not a Germanic race as are the British, Scandinavians, Dutch and north west Germans. They generally look different to Scandinavians with more Slavic features. They look west and want to be west. Speak to many Finns and you would think Finland was in the Irish Sea. Finland has a very long border with Russia and historical connections.

            Swedish is spoken in Finland but it is a minority language only spoken on the western coast, much like as Welsh is spoken in Britain.

            The Nazis did not like any race to the east of them and considered them all inferior. Finns would ultimately fall into that group. So, I do not see the logic of Finland siding with the proven brutal Nazi Germans when moving towards the Russians would be a better bet as they knew what to expect as they were a part of Russia only a few years previously. The Russians were not antagonistic towards the Finns and even had a base there after WW2 and gave it up when they could have kept it. The Russians made a deal with Finland after the Winter war, Finland broke it and sided with Germany to attack Russia.

            As to Mannerheim. They even have statues of him in Finland. 12,000 Finns died in prison camps after the civil war. Nice man eh?

            As to Mannerheim wanting to be close to the UK, geography precludes that. Norway always has had a close relationship with the UK as geography, and trade, was highly favourable.

          • WellWellNudgeNudge

            I am very well aware of the fact that the Finno-Ugric languages might have their roots somewhere behind the Urals, but you seem to forget that the Slavic languages are Indo-European languages. That means that the Russian language is more closely related to German, English and French than Finnish is. I’m adding a picture of language trees to demonstrate this more clearly. Look for it below.

            Your strange course in eugenics also seems a bit vague and out of date. How do Finnish looks differ from, oh I don’t know, Swedish looks? Could you tell the difference? When was the last time you walked the streets of Helsinki and Stockholm? Or Rovaniemi and Luleå?

            I wouldn’t take any of those nazi theories on race seriously. They were making it up as they went along. They made their theories fit their agenda.

            BTW, Swedish is spoken along the west, southwest and the south coast. Trust me, I know.

            And when it comes to Manneriheim, I merely pointed out your wrong assumption about his roots. You are clearly unaware of who he really was. You thought he was Russian.

            Also, you seem to miss the point I was making about why Finland was in a geopolitically impossible position after Germany invaded Norway and Denmark. They controlled the Öresund straights, the only way out of the Baltic sea by ship. No trade was possible without the co-operation of Germany. Finland was in urgent need of provisions to sustain the populace after the Winter War, but also weapons to strengthen the weakened defence. This is what ultimately forced Finnish foreign policy into the lap of Hitler. Germany promised grain and weapons. This encirclement also forced Sweden into making a transit agreement for German soldiers. Suddenly they had only one customer for their iron ore, Germany.

            This is how everything unfolded in the spring of 1940.

            March 12, 1940 – The Winter War ends, peace treaty between Finland and the USSR.

            March 15, 1940 – A proposal for a Nordic Defence Alliance was introduced to the parliaments of Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Norway. The idea was that this pact would stay neutral and out of any further wars.

            March 29, 1940 – The USSR declares that a Nordic alliance would be in breach of the Moscow Peace Treaty.

            April 9, 1940 – Germany invades Denmark.

            April 9 – June 10, 1940 – Germany conquers Norway.

            May 9, 1940 – Finland queries about the possibility of buying arms from Germany, but Germany refuses to even discuss the matter.

            May 10 – June 25, 1940 – Germany conquers France, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.

            June 1940 – The USSR seizes power in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

            June 14, 1940 – The passenger aircraft Kaleva is shot down over the Bay of Finland during a flight from Tallinn to Helsinki by the Soviet air force.

            June 23, 1940 – The Soviet Union proposes that Finland should revoke Petsamo mining rights from the British–Canadian company mining there and transfer them to the Soviet Union, or to a joint venture owned by the Russians and the Finns.

            June 27, 1940 – Moscow demands either demilitarization or a joint fortification effort in the Åland islands.

            July 8, 1940 – Sweden signs troop transport agreement with Germany.

            July 9, 1940 – Soviet foreign minister Molotov demands similar troop transit rights for Soviet troops to the newly established Soviet military base in Hanko, on the southwestern tip of Finland (part of the peace treaty)

            August 19, 1940 – A cautious proposoal for a Swedo-Finnish union of states emerges, championed by Swedish foreign minister Christian Günther. The idea is that the Head of State would be from Sweden and the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces would be from Finland. Finland would have to guarantee that it would not try to claim back the lands lost in the Winter War, and the Finnish politicial leadership is willing to do this. This union would stay out of the war. The great powers are aware of the plans.

            August 18, 1940 – Hermann Göring’s representative arrives in Helsinki to negotiate troop tranfers through Finland to northern Norway in exchange for arms and other materials.

            August 28, 1940 – President Kallio of Finland suffers a stroke, after which he is unable to work.

            September 21, 1940 – First German troop transfer arrives in secret in the port of Vaasa.

            October 18, 1940 – Official request for a union is made by Swedish foreign minister Günther.

            October 25, 1940 – A Finnish approval of the union-plan is received.

            November 5, 1940 – The USSR warns Sweden about the planned union with Finland, and the Swedish government backs off.

            November 27, 1940 – President Kallio presents his resignation, and the Soviet Union reacts by announcing that if Mannerheim, Tanner, Kivimäki, Svinhufvud or someone of their ilk is chosen president, it would be considered a breach of the Moscow peace treaty.

            December 6, 1940 – Foreign minister Molotov tells Finnish ambassador Paasikivi that a union of states would also be a breach of the peace treaty.

            December 19, 1940 – Germany announces their strong opposition to any kind of union between Sweden and Finland.

            So there went the last chance to stay out of the war for Finland.

            Down here is the pic of the language trees.

          • John

            A nice tree. But it is wrong in parts. The base of English is Old Norse. English materialised in South East Scotland.

            Finland was not at war after the Winter War. It could freely operate ships through the Baltic into the North Sea and beyond, as was Sweden. The Finns sided with the Germans as they assumed the Germans would beat the USSR and they would take back the pre 1939 territory. The only country with prior knowledge of the invasion of the USSR was Finland.

            I have been to Stockholm and Helsinki. The Finns look more eastern European, as they are eastern European. They are way to the east.

          • WellWellNudgeNudge

            You assume too much. Yes, Finland sided with Germany, but as I’m trying to point out it did not happen all at once. It did not happen directly after the Winter War. There were obvious stages to this process and the co-operation between Finland and Germany was not self-evident when the interim peace came. A lot of things happened in the year 1940 that would turn the tables and the political situation. It is plain to see that there were Finnish efforts made to stay out of any further wars. Why would they otherwise try to create (two) pacts with their Nordic neighbours?

            Remember, Germany stayed neutral while all other countries codemned the actions of the USSR during the Winter War. Action like that does not breed trust between countries. When Germany invaded Norway they stopped an arms transports that was on its way to Finland. Finland had to negotiate to get it. The encirclement of Sweden and Finland was a clear strategy from Germany. They had them by the balls so to speak. How come you think that Sweden and Finland were free to move as they pleased through Öresund after Germany took over? Sweden has a west coast so it might be easier for them perhaps, but Finland? Do you think that Germany would allow merchant ships through on their way to say Britain? Or let armaments go by without a say? No, Finland was certainly NOT free to do what it wanted. Germany had the last word. Displease Germany and you don’t get through, simple as that. If you have sources that say otherwise, please feel free to share.

            Relations between Finland and Germany had in fact soured during the whole 1930s, but come summer of 1940 (when the USSR completely took over all three Baltic countries and was increasingly aggressive towards Finland), the choices decreased rapidly. There was a real fear, with good reason, that the USSR would try to do the same in Finland. They did try to do that with the previous war, remember? The fact that the Allies had evacuated from Norway also contributed to the new situation. No help could arrive that way anymore. Now the only powers that be were the USSR and Nazi-Germany. The Allies were out of the game and no one expected them to be back. The United States didn’t join the Allies until December 1941 and the USSR joined in 1942.

            There was a real effort from both Finland and Sweden to try and stay out of any further wars, but this was effectively stopped by both the USSR and Nazi-Germany. If Stalin would have had his way Finland would have had the same fate as the Baltic countries. Germany wanted to use Finland as a stage in their coming Operation Barbarossa, but that plan was not even authorized in the spring of 1940. Hitler authorized it on December 18, 1940 (the start date was to be May 15, 1941 but it happened on June 22, 1941).

            This should say something, on October 23, 1940 the political leadership of Finland decided Finnish defence plans of Lapland could be given to the Wehrmacht to gain goodwill, even with the risk that they could be forwarded to the Soviet Union. Yes, they were vary of giving plans to Germany as they thought these plans could end up in the USSR. How come? Because Germany and the USSR were still in bed together. No one on the outside knew that both were planning on attacking the other at some point. It wasn’t until towards the end of November 1940 that the Finnish leadership got informed through unofficial channels that “the Finnish leaders can sleep peacefully, Hitler has opened his umbrella over Finland.”

            Ok, back to looks. What do eastern Europeans look like? What differs Finns from Swedes? What makes Finns look like…oh, let’s say Russians. Any certain features you’re thinking of?

            You say English is based on Old Norse? As I understand it Old English is influenced by Old Norse, that much is obvoius, but the real basis comes from the languages of the Angles, Saxons, and Jutes. That would be North Sea Germanic dialects, or Anglo-Frisian as it says on the tree. If you have sources that claim otherwise, you’re welcome to share.

          • John

            English is based on Old Norse. It has the same word order as Swedish which is the big clue. Of course the northern German (Saxons and Fresians) and Danish (Angles, Jutes) languages were heavily influential and later some French words introduced but not their grammar.

            Finland could have kept the Germans at arms length and kept out of it. Finnish ships could sail to neutral countries like the USA for food, etc. Sailing to the UK would mean interception by the Germans. Petsamo was ice free most of the year, if not all year around. Finland saw that by siding with Germany they could get the territory back ceded after the Winter war. They were belligerent. They were not victims of circumstances from 1940 onwards. Finland never wanted to sit there content and were pushed into conflict by the Germans.

            The Germans cajoled Finland as they wanted to attack the USSR on that flank. Hitler thought so much of what the Finns did for him he even visited Finland in 1942. Finland was taking a massive gamble siding with the Germans as they were an untrustworthy nation. Even the Japanese didn’t trust them that much and ignored the repeated attempts of Germany getting them to attack the British in Far East. The Japanese could see the Germans broke agreement after agreement so were weary of them.

            It puzzled me why the USSR did not overrun Finland in 1945 to create a buffer zone like the rest of the countries in front of them. No one would have minded as Finland was a part of Russia only a few years previously. No one kicked up greatly at the USSR occupying the other three Baltic states after WW2. The Soviets must have assessed that an attack on the USSR would be unlikely to come from Finland, so left them alone.

          • John

            Barbarossa? 1940? No.
            Hitler misinterpreted General Backe’s comments about Ukraine grain. A region that had little surplus and had a substantial population increase from WW1. On 22 January 1941 General Thomas informed his boss, Keitel, that he was planning to submit a report urging caution with regard to the military and economic benefits of the invasion of the USSR. He reversed direction as it became clear that Hitler was justifying Barbarossa foremost as a campaign of “economic” conquest. Thomas then began working towards Hitler. Thomas was head of the OKW economic planning staff and started to modified his reports from negative to positive, presenting the Ukraine as an economic breadbasket. Thomas was an insider and it is assumed he had heard of the misinterpreted Backe’s comments to Hitler.

            As late as the Spring of 1941, the German Foreign Ministry was still opposing the invasion of the USSR, preferring to continue the alliance with the Soviet Union against the British Empire. If the shock of the initial assault on the USSR did not destroy Stalin, it was evident in February 1941 that the Third Reich would find itself facing a strategic disaster.

          • John

            An Englishman named Coon did some studies on racial features and origins pre WW2, mainly on the origins of the people of the British Isles, which tend to be from Scandinavia and northern Germany. He was surprisingly accurate on some points. His work is still available. The Nazis did studies for different reasons. DNA solves a lot these issues these days, but facial features? No. The Germans tend to have squarer heads, the British rounded heads. Then there are height to width ratios of faces. These are points DNA cannot tell us. Coon and the Nazis did facial measurements, etc. The “raw data” from that time can be used in modern analysis. DNA pus Finns in the Russian sphere while Scandinavia, the British Isles, Holland and north western Germany are in another.

          • WellWellNudgeNudge

            I think you mean the American anthropologist Carleton S. Coon. He published The Origin of Races in 1962 to mixed reactions. The data he gathered is considered valuable though. Though, differences between individuals tend to be bigger than between populations, even within populations.

            The reason I’m very sceptical on that you could see obvious differences between Finns and Swedes is that the populations are more mixed between each other than most people understand. The biggest minority in Sweden is Finns, or Sweden-Finns as the are called, and the biggest one i Finland is Finland-Swedes. A great lot of Finns who do not speak Swedish have roots in Sweden and the same is true of Swedes, who have roots in Finland. Today we see the seas as a boundary. That wasn’t true in earlier history. The seas were the highways while the wild woods were considered more dangerous (and boy do we have woods up in the north). The oversea traffic between Finland and Sweden has been going on for a very long time, vikings went along the north coast of the Bay of Finland on their way into the inner parts of Russia. There were settlements too, and there were most probably Finns in the Viking parties as well. 19th century national-romanticism seems to have erased a lot of that understanding and it also created a new divide. An artificial divide.

            I found this picture where they combined the faces of certain populations to create a “general face” of a population, in this case female. I really do not think this is significant because you can choose areas how you wish really, either disregard national borders or do this within a country, or within a municipality, and get different results. The borders between different populations are not abrupt and black & white. They are grey and very wide.

          • John

            You are assuming the populations intermixed greatly. If the Swedes dominated Finland then why isn’t their language the language of Finland. Language is a big barrier to mixing with Swedish and German being totally remote from Finnish. I recall being in a hotel in Portugal and a whole plane load of Finns came in. They were mainly from remote small towns. They looked very “eastern” to me. And very white, but being locked up all winter may account for that.

          • planet4all

            I would love to get this tree bigger in greater clarity. Blowing it up blurs it

    • John

      The Soviets invaded Finland in WW2.

    • http://padraeg.wordpress.com/ Patrick Sullivan

      When Brits sent forces to block Soviet revolution, they prabably entered Finland?! My bet is many Finns & Russians wish they had succeeded!

  • Mark Tolman

    What a load of crap. If you must prey upon peoples lack of historical knowledge, do so factually.

  • Daaaaaaaaaaarlin

    …When have the Brits invaded Poland?
    Poland was pretty much invisible to everyone else til it started getting partitioned, then it *poof* disappeared from the map for like a hundred years, and then it returned only to be taken over in WW2 when it was the Germans who invaded, and not the British.

    • Francesca

      Russia also wasn’t invaded by the Brits but by the Germans; Bing at war with a nation doesn’t mean that an invasion and colonisation has taken place youy dummy anahistoric crreature…

      • reiver97

        British troops, along with those of 14 other nations, invaded Russia in 1918 to support those seeking to overthrow the Soviet government.

        • John

          The Crimea war in 1855.

      • estonian

        During Crieman war Brits ivaded small island called Naissaar in Estonia, since Estonia was then part of russian empire, that counts as invasion to Russia. Period.

        • estonian

          Crimean*

  • Francesca

    could the author enlighten me and inform WHEN DID BRASIL + ARGENTINA +Mexico, Italy, ……. were invaded by the British? Malvinas isn’t in territorial Argentina; Brasil when Portuguese colony was invaded by the Dutch, Mexico was invaded by the USA, Italy was invaded by a coaition of USA British and others… How inaccurate… BUT that doesn’t make British imperialism any less greedy..

    • Claudia

      1806 and 1807, Argentine was still under a Spain goverment http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_invasions_of_the_R%C3%ADo_de_la_Plata

    • John

      You will find that the British were more concerned at securing trade routes tan occupying land for the sake of it. They did this which all others benefitted from.

    • Oscar

      Beeing in a coalition doesn’t mean that country isn’t participating as a sovereign military in its own right. No coalition ever had their own, unified military force but consisted of the forces of each participant. NATO for example has no military, its members does.

  • Evrus Microdotismus

    thats why we write in english here from different nationalities, languages, cultures… this is a good advantage i guess. connecting people 🙂

    • John

      Hitler admired the British empire not wanting its dismembering.

  • Mel Gibson’s Cousin

    Yet again “Britain” and “England” are seamlessly substituted……Britain does not mean England!!

    The sooner we vote out of this Union the better

    • OooKhalid

      they flew the british flag after they defeated their enemies. not the english one afaik.

    • Oscar

      In the book, Britain is seen as a successor state of England, or continuation if you want. Note that scottish invasions like the wars with Norway does not count. This does not neglect or exclude the view that Scotland is also succeded or continued as Britain. Remember that it is all constructed just to simply find a country that did invaded the most others and makes no further suggestions on the terminology of political science or indeed preferences of individual citizens in the british isles

  • Jay Unique

    evil imperialists undeniably! tricking, polluting, robbing, killing and enslaving! but yeh go on ffs discuss if this n that is right about the article…

    • truth sayer

      everyone was doing it, they just did it better

      • Bhrat Daswani

        no, only britian turned invasion and plunder into a mechanised system and set the world alight. The world wars and the subsequent conflicts in the middle east are directly linked to britains wonderlust for wealth and power and the mental ills of the society at large.

  • Craig McGeady

    I don’t believe Britain ever invaded Korea, North, South or Unified.

  • nanana

    Britain
    created a war against paraguay with the uruguayan, brazilian and
    argentinian army back in late 19th century, It applies for an invation.

    • Nico

      Good point. An invasion by proxy, using British weapons for British economic goals that laid waste to the country.

      • John

        Invasion is direct occupation of land. Supplying weapons does not count, otherwise China has invaded the would as would have the USA and UK. Being on the same allied side and one of the allies invades does not count.

        • pubert

          ummm who did china tell to attack USA/UK?

  • Sardar Kami Khan

    They never invaded Afghanistan though they tried so many time.Even they had Sikh Army from Subcontinent who were great fighters during that Era but they were buried in sand too that s for sure.

    • John

      Britain did invade Afghanistan and semi ruled the place. British forces that there right now, although not “invading”.

    • Oscar

      As the tried invasions actually crossed the border, the invasions was carried out. Eternal occupation or successfull operations are not definitions of Invasion.

  • Kyle

    To suggest that England/Britain “invaded” North America is slightly misleading. Further, the “invasions” of France included deposing the dictator Napoleon and the Nazi regime the following century. The invasion of Russia was aimed at stopping the Bolshevik Revolution, which later claimed the lives of tens of millions of innocent Eurasian people.

    Let’s also remind everyone that the largest parliamentary, multi-cultural democracy (India) in the world are a direct result of British influence, and that the Anglo-phone countries that were “invaded” have led the world in humanitarian efforts, education, and economic development (US, Australia, Canada).

    • John

      Fighting on an opponents soil and invading to permanently occupy that soil is very different. In 1812 the USA decaled war on the UK. UK forces moved south from Canada to repel the invading USAians and defeated them on their soil, then moved out not wanting the place.
      Moving into French held territory in North America is definitely invading.

      • DaveAtherton20

        I thought the 1812-14 war was about the USA annexing Canada? Also the USA was supporting France in the Napoleonic wars.

      • Oscar

        Invasion is simply any military operation aimed at seizing enemy territory in what would constitute an operation larger than that of a sortie or raid, which both also have more limited purposes. To carry out larger ground operations on the opponents soil would necessitate an invasion of some sort. There is no time-phrame necessary by which the invading force need to be present at a location, nor any specific size of the territory seized.
        A cross-border counter-offensive such as those in the war of 1812 could qualify as an invasion as from the opponents point of view the facts on the ground during such an event would be exactly the same. This will and must be allowed to create confusion, as what could have been planned as a larger raid could turn into an invasion due to its success or need of assistance or just simply justifiably be viewed as such by the opponent due to the consequences beeing exactly the same.
        Also in the war of 1812 british forces landed near New Orleans and Delaware Bay in large enough numbers to disqualify them as mere raids despite the fact that the nature of these operations changed, back and forth between beeing attempts to strike hard and end the war into becoming more raid-like in light of their failure.

    • Rosie

      Misleading how? Ask the Natives of North America if they count it as an invasion.

  • Kyle

    Interesting – I posted here but I guess my views don’t align with the moderator’s as it has been deleted. How liberal.

  • Finlandia woman

    Finland was never invaded by Brits, just like someone said in an earlier comment.

    • John

      I was. Finnish islands were occupied in the Crimea war.

  • Brian Powell

    It all really depends on your meaning of invaded but, Paraquay has a very seriously large Welsh background.

  • A

    Pretty sure Thailand has never been invaded?

    • John

      British troops did occupy some Thai territory in WW2.

  • John

    Invaded? mmmmmmmmmm The author has to get his facts right.
    An, e.g., the UK has never invaded Finland. The UK has fought against Finland, as they were belligerents with Germany, but not invaded. No UK troops were on Finnish soil.

  • John

    The world’s largest ever empire is the USA empire. It is an economic empire and does not occupy land.

    • DaveAtherton20

      At its height we ruled 1/5th of the world’s land mass and 1/4 of the world’s population.

    • Oscar

      USA is more like a power, the most powerfull power ever, but it’s not an Empire according to my understanding that an empire has to have formal power over its subjects. USA only has strong cultural and economical influence and military might. Now, that said, beeing outside the british empire and beeing outside the US might have enough similar effects for an outside party to deem the differences uninportant

  • John

    Being invited in and invading are not the same thing.

  • TimJones

    I question the accuracy of this. Please san someone tell me when Britain invaded: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Estonia, Finland, Georgia, Greenland, Laos, Latvia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, South Korea, Switzerland and Uzbekistan? Is having troops in a country in support of its government being counted as invasion? And is supporting a UN security council resolution being counted as an invasion?

    • Oscar

      I think they cheat on what constitute an invasion but most of those you mentioned actually saw british armed forces at some point. For example, there was a lot of british “assistance” to newborn states going on at the end of ww1 and Russian revolution.

  • Question

    Did Britain ever invade/occupy Korea?

    • Oscar

      Britains BCFKs 1st Commonwealth Division were a mayor part of the UN-coalition ground operations to defend South Korea against the North in the Korean war (1950-1953) which in its middle phase was fought in the North

  • Oscar

    They missed one!
    Between 1810 and 1812 a Royal Navy fleet operated in the baltics using a swedish island (Hanö) that they occupied unresisted in the only really warlike action of that mockery war, during which trading relations was maintained and no further violence where commited. Never the less, british forces thus invaded swedish territory and Sweden should not be left out,
    http://www.royalnavy.mod.uk/News-and-Events/Latest-News/2013/July/02/130702-Explorer-Pays-Respects-in-Sweden

  • pubert plumbottum

    i believe part of ivory coast was attacked by brits when it was under french occupation

  • Ana Sanchez

    With regards to Central America: as far as I know, Britain only invaded and took possession of what is now the independent country Belize (then called “British Honduras” to differentiate it from the other Honduras, to the south). Where are the facts for this map? And is it worth replicating this ambitious information?

  • Ana Sanchez

    I meant AMBIGUOUS information. (Auto-correct!)

  • John Wong

    This is quite wrong, the British never actually invaded Thailand along with a few other places on this list.

  • questions

    They can far as far as Japan and Korea?
    Didn’t know that Britain invaded Japan and Korea.
    When was that?

  • questions

    They came as far as Japan and Korea?
    Didn’t know that Britain invaded Japan and Korea.
    When was that?

  • Haleyita

    I don’t remember invading Balkan countries as well. Except if he thinks are we watching English based movies?

  • Leonardo

    And some think that the monarchy system is the reason why UK is wealthy.

  • Vishal

    I think Brits didn’t invaded Nepal too. Yes, Nepal did lost some parts of its territory during signing a treaty. But,Nepal was never under their control.

    • John

      British forces were there.

  • José

    What a stupid map and article! Britain never invaded Portugal.

  • Hell5x5x2 .
  • andychrist

    do one for the evil mongolians or the vicious alexanda

  • Morgan Parker

    Sweden should be on the “invaded” list. Cnut the Great was king of Denmark, Britain, Norway and part of Sweden, so he must have invaded… but I did not find a record on my short internet search.

  • Purna Gurung

    what a load of crap…..Nepal was neither colonized nor conquered by the british. Though a treaty was signed and nepal did loose some parts but the british were never in control. Do some homework….

  • nik

    But the chickens came home to roost with WW1 and WW2.

  • ……..

    Thailand wasn’t invaded by England!!

  • Prakash Kafle

    Nepal was never colonised by the Brit! Brave Gurkha

  • Bikash Shrestha

    what about nepal then?

  • Viv Reddy

    Greedy bastards.

  • man

    When did Brits ever invade Nepal? Inaccurate study.

  • joly

    LOL…this map is so wrong!! I advise author to learn something about history before posting such thing. Not even the brits would go so far in distorting the history.

  • John

    The map shows where British forces where engaged, no matter how small. Invaded is too strong a word.

  • Fithian

    Britain also holds the record for the longest and the shortest wars in history.

  • Bob

    When did Britain invade Korea?

  • SangioTortelli

    Although the map shows that they haven’t been to war with Guatemala, there was been a lot of hostility between Guatemala and the former British Honduras, now Belize, which has lead to British military bases in Belize. Guatemala considers the whole of Belize as part of their territory

  • Mark Forster

    Britain was at war with Sweden 1810-12 and stationed ships at the Swedish island of Hanö. Doesn’t that count as an invasion?

  • Mark Forster

    Mongolia was part of the Qing Empire at the time of the Opium Wars.

  • Mark Forster

    Azerbaijan and Belarus were part of the Russian Empire when it was invaded by Britain during the Crimean War

  • Mark Forster

    Britain stationed ships at the Swedish island of Hano during the Anglo-Swedish War of 1810-12.

  • kiwi-ian

    Come on, this is a light hearted book. The author’s definition of “invasion” is very loose – which he specifically states – so as to include just about any action (not necessarily on behalf of the government) and any country. Borders include old and new ones so that territory “invaded” by the British 100 years ago now belongs to another country which is counted as invaded.

    And yes, I have read it.