Why yes Mr. Seymour

The other countries must feel so left out. 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.

If you think this is a facetious tone to adopt, it is nothing compared with the knockabout, what-a-larf tone of some of the coverage that has been lavished on this new book. In a way, this is what the book set out to accomplish. As its author says, it is lighthearted fun, and it claims not to take a moral stance on Britain\’s empire.

And Africans have invaded absolutely every country on Earth.

16 thoughts on “Why yes Mr. Seymour”

  1. To pick one, very large, country, Russia has never been overrun by the British. Unless my memory fails me, we’ve fought only one land war with Russia, and that was confined to the Crimea, in Ukraine.

    And I doubt that “new research” is needed to find out what countries Britain has invaded.

  2. PaulB,

    According to people in the comments, they’ve included places like Costa Rica – which we attacked when it was a Spanish possession and we were at war with the Spanish Empire – and Iceland in 1940, when Norway had pretty much collapsed and we needed North Atlantic bases in the fight against the Germans. In other words, it is indeed some jokey, lightweight book that the ridiculous Mr Seymour has decided to take seriously and use for his own SWP-inspired Britain-bashing purposes.

  3. Unless my memory fails me, we’ve fought only one land war with Russia, and that was confined to the Crimea, in Ukraine.

    It was Russian at the time: Khruschev famously made it part of the Ukraine, something the Russians have never forgiven him for. Plus, there was a small action somewhere near Archengelsk at the beginning of the Russian Civil War in support of the Whites. Although hardly a major campaign.

    Also, there are some obvious errors. The British never “invaded”South Korea, unless you count their showing up at the behest of the legitimate government to kick out the commies invading from the north. Or unless you count it as being part of Japan when the Brits attacked Japan, but that’s stretching things a bit.

    I remember some daft anti-war site back in the Iraq War days listing the number of “imperialist” actions undertaken by the USA since WWII. One included the “scrambling of jets” in response to 9/11. Methinks the definitions have been stretched somewhat in this latest case, too.

  4. And whilst we never actually invaded Uzbekistan, we did manage to enrage (something easily done) the petty tyrant who ran the place to lop off the heads of the British officer who went to persuade him to side with the Brits, and the officer who went to rescue him.

  5. There was a comment on the Telegraph website along the lines of “It seems a shame to stop now, when we’re so close to the full set.”

    It had over 200 “likes” yesterday morning, but seems to have been deleted.

  6. Hmm; apparently Sweden declared war on us in 1810 (under French pressure) and we stationed warships in one of their ports for the duration.

    I think that ought to count as invading, certainly given some of the other subjective claims.

  7. “most of the world was terra nullius”

    What about the Neanderthals dude? spare a thought for the victims* of African imperialism

    * Actually scientists are saying we probably just bonked them out of existence so it might not have been such a terrible time if consensual

  8. The Crimean War actually had a very minor Pacific theatre. The British participated in the Siege of Petropavlovsk, which is in Kamchatka.

    In fact several more countries have had a British military presence than the book lists, e.g. during the Napoleonic War there was a British naval presence in the Baltic Sea that was based in Hanö Island, Sweden.

  9. Chris is just plain wrong
    Ironside’s forces were invited in by the legitimate government to defend the civilians from the German-sponsored attempted military coup.
    PaulB has a good point although it would be less open to nit-pickers if he had quoted Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan (and probably Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan, Belarus and the trio of Baltic states).
    I don’t want to read a book that illustrates our British barbarity with such examples as the invasion of Germany in 1945

  10. Only 90%?
    If there are 180 (?) nations in the UN, that’s 36 we haven’t invaded yet. But I’m struggling…
    French Equatorial Guinea?
    Upper Volta?
    Shouda got the full house while we had the chance.

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