Over the expansion of the British Empire new research was able to show that 9 out of 10 countries have been invaded by the British Empire at one point or the other. New research shows that practically everyone has been invaded by British troops at one point or another. A “staggering 90% of the world’s nations” have been overrun by the turbulent Brits – Sweden, Mongolia and the Vatican City are among the 22 to have been tragically overlooked. This analysis of the histories of almost 200 nations found that only 22 have never experienced a British assault. These include Luxembourg as well as Guatemala, Tajikistan and the Marshall Islands in the Pacific.
The study – part of a new book, All the Countries We’ve Ever Invaded: And the Few We Never Got Round To – comes against the background of maps which show that at its height the Empire ruled over almost a quarter of the world’s population.
Author Stuart Laycock worked his way around the countries on the globe alphabetically to see if British forces had ever strayed into each territory. However, only a very small proportion of his total list of invaded countries made up formal dominions of the Empire. The remainder have been included if a military incursion was achieved through force, the threat of force, or by negotiation or payment.
Raids by British pirates, privateers and armed explorers have been included if they were acting on the behalf or approval of the government.
Therefore, many countries that once formed part of the Spanish empire and seem to have little historical connection with the UK, such as Costa Rica, Ecuador and El Salvador, made the list because of the repeated raids they suffered from state-sanctioned British sailors.
The earliest invasion launched from the British Isles was an incursion into Gaul, northern France, at the end of the second century.
Clodius Albinus led an army, thought to include many Britons, across the Channel in an attempt to seize the imperial throne. The force was defeated in 197AD at Lyon.