Has your country ever invaded other country or been invaded?

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Pedro y La Torre

Senior Member
English (Ireland)
Well, no Norwegian, Swedish or Danish are spoken in Normandy, Sicily, Russia, Dublin or the Danelaw. For whatever reason (low numbers, inferiority of the written culture, I do not know), Vikings/Norsemen did not seem very interested in speaking with natives or spreading their languages. I know there are Scandinavian loanwords in English and place names. It would surprise to me if Gaelic would not have loanwords from Scandinavian languages (via Ireland or the Scottish isles).
It did indeed. And reasonable numbers of Scandinavians settled in what became Scotland. Places like Dublin, at one point, were almost wholly Scandinavian. But for whatever reason, their language disappeared while Gaelic soldiered on (although English has now largely killed off what remains of Gaelic save in certain specific areas).
 
  • eno2

    Senior Member
    Dutch-Flemish
    The villager Lukas to Eleni in the film Eleni about civil war and the Greek ELLAS communists 'invading their mountain village Lia: <It finally came tot his, we have been invaded by everybody, now we have been invaded by ourselves.> Έγινε κι αυτό. Όλοι ήρθαν να μας σκλαβώσουν . Τώρα σκλαβονόμαστε μονάχοι μας.
     

    ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    It can surely only be a matter of time before Communist China invades Hong Kong and imposes martial law leading to direct rule.
     

    Pedro y La Torre

    Senior Member
    English (Ireland)
    The Chinese are stuck between a rock and a hard place. If similar protests had broken out in Mainland China, the tanks would surely have been sent in long ago (over a million Uighurs are currently locked up in gulags so as to be "re-eductated in Communist principles"). But Hong Kong is the model that the PRC is looking to sell to Taiwan (in between regular bouts of threatening devastating war if Taiwan should ever declare outright independence). If the Chinese Army intervenes in Hong Kong, the model for reincorporating Taiwan dies with it. As (in all probability) does Hong Kong's economy.
     

    Frank78

    Senior Member
    German
    But Hong Kong is the model that the PRC is looking to sell to Taiwan (in between regular bouts of threatening devastating war if Taiwan should ever declare outright independence). If the Chinese Army intervenes in Hong Kong, the model for reincorporating Taiwan dies with it. As (in all probability) does Hong Kong's economy.
    Why should Taiwan declare independence? It IS China. It would be completely against their identity.
     

    Pedro y La Torre

    Senior Member
    English (Ireland)
    Why should Taiwan declare independence? It IS China. It would be completely against their identity.
    The major split in Taiwan politics is between those who see Taiwan as part of China and are content with the current situation where the PRC claims to govern the whole of China but only exercises control on the "mainland", and those who think that Taiwan should declare independence and forget about the rest of China.

    Hong Kong protests give Taiwanese president Tsai Ing-wen a boost as elections approach
     

    Rondivu

    Senior Member
    Español
    The Spanish stripped, looted, raped and exterminated en masse. Certainly the most brutal colonizers around in the modern era excluding perhaps Hitler's historically brief foray into Eastern Europe.
    If Spain killed so many people in South America, how come there is still a lot of indigenous population in Spanish speaking countries and in North America the majority of people are all white, how many millions were killed by the English?
    The result is that while Latin America has an enormous mestizo (and indigenous) population, in the USA the few remaining natives are still concentrated in "Reservations".

    As early as 1512, the Laws of Burgos regulated the behavior of the Spaniards in the New World forbidding the ill-treatment of indigenous people and limiting the power of the colonists. Which other European colonial power did that? It is true that these laws were not always followed across all American territories but at least they reflect the will of the Spanish colonial government of the time to protect the rights of the native population.


    The place is still largely a basket case to this day, and much of that can be attributed to the toxic legacy of Spanish colonization
    The current delay in Latin America with respect to North America, as many people think, is not due to a culture of entrepreneurism and science that supposedly existed in British but not Spanish power. Mexico City was notoriously larger, more dynamic and richer than Washington at the time of the American independence and the salaries of the indigenous were higher than in the West. The contrast is coherent with the quite higher number of printing presses, universities, scientific publications and hospitals documented in the Spanish Empire.
     
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    Frank78

    Senior Member
    German
    Mexico City was notoriously larger, more dynamic and richer than Washington at the time of the American independence and the salaries of the indigenous were higher than in the West.
    I didn't know Washington, D.C. had existed at the time of the American independence. :D
     

    Frank78

    Senior Member
    German
    I take it you've never heard about the Second War of American Independence (1812- 1815).
    You neither wrote "second" nor did you mention the word "war" nor is it an established historical term.

    The American independence was 1776 even though the "first" war of independence lasted longer.
     

    ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    I take it you've never heard about the Second War of American Independence (1812- 1815).
    That's called the War of 1812 in the English-speaking world.
    In the 19th century, the Canadian historian William Kingsford was only half-joking when he commented, “The events of the War of 1812 have not been forgotten in England for they have never been known there.” In the 20th, another Canadian historian remarked that the War of 1812 is “an episode in history that makes everybody happy, because everybody interprets it differently...the English are happiest of all, because they don’t even know it happened.”
    Very true.
     

    L'irlandais

    Senior Member
    Ireland: English-speaking ♂
    Well it may not be public knowledge, and certainly was over shadowed by the Napoleonic Wars here in Europe. But anybody with an interest in Regimental history or firearms will be aware of the conflict, even if they view it differently from our English speaking friends on the other side of the Pond. In 1813 the East India Company lost its monopoly in India, and soon they had bigger fish to fry.
     
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    L'irlandais

    Senior Member
    Ireland: English-speaking ♂

    symposium

    Senior Member
    Italian - Italy
    I didn't know Washington, D.C. had existed at the time of the American independence. :D
    I had assumed he was talking about the Independance of the Spanish colonies in America around 1810, and not the Independance of the British colonies in America in 1776...
     

    I am a Chinese boy

    Member
    Chinese - China
    Portugal invaded and was invaded by many countries throughout history, but it was mostly all a long time ago. We don't really relate to such ancient events. The only recent example I can think of are the colonial wars in Africa and Asia (East Timor), which ended in 1974. Many people who fought in those wars are still alive. But since this is a case of invading, rather than being invaded, I don't think it's what you're asking for.

    If I may hijack the conversation just a little bit, why is the memory of the Japanese invasion of China still so strong in the minds of the Chinese? Many European countries were also invaded during World War II, but I don't think the French still feel any animosity towards the Germans because of that, today (though I'm not so sure about Eastern Europeans, who had it much worse). And are you sure that the Japanese give as much importance to that event as many Chinese seem to, nowadays?
    The reason why French no longer feel animosity toward Germany is that the president of Germany knelt right in front of some tomb monument set up for the French victims as we watch in domumentary. But, up till now, Japanese government has always insisted that Japan did never ever invade China, and there is no such mention written in Japanese history book where Japanese youth cannot learn this particular dark history. You feel me?
     

    Flaminius

    coclea mod
    日本語 / japāniski / יפנית
    No, I don't. I don't feel you.

    Willy Brandt, then Chancellor of West Germany, did not kneel for the French victims. I pray you take a moment to get historical facts straight.

    The leaders of Japan have made quite a few formal statements to the former belligerencies and colonies regarding the pains and damages wrought by the Imperial Japan. Claiming that "Japanese government has always insisted that Japan did never ever invade China" is an act of propagating utter falsehood. The statements are out there for everyone to read and scrutinise. You may not agree with some of the wording, but a careful reader would not commit to a blanket negation such as "Japan did never ever invade China."

    Criticisms to "Japanese history book (当作textbooks)" has prompted the Japanese government well before I reached school age (e.g., a statement by the Cabinet Spokesman in 1982, 「歴史教科書」に関する宮沢内閣官房長官談話). Whatever effects those statements had, I didn't need extra reading outside school materials to realise that Japan did terrible things to China in the past. Again, you may not like some of the ways history is taught in Japan, but a careful reader would not commit to a blanket negation such as "Japanese youth cannot learn this particular dark history."
     

    Ben Jamin

    Senior Member
    Polish
    Countries don't invade other countries. States do it, usually. In some rare situations in history a country may have been invaded by private forces from another country, without a permission of the state the invaders came from.
    99 % of existing states have a history which includes being invaded by someone, and 98% have invaded someone. So, it would be more practical to ask if there is a country that has never been invaded or if there is a state that has never invaded anybody (it includes also earlier state organisms occupying the same territory or people that have formed the earlier state).
    As far as I know Monaco and San Marino have never invaded anyone, and Iceland has never been invaded. Singapore has not invaded anyone, but the countries that possessed the territory in the past did.
     

    WME

    Senior Member
    French-France
    Countries don't invade other countries. States do it, usually. In some rare situations in history a country may have been invaded by private forces from another country, without a permission of the state the invaders came from.
    99 % of existing states have a history which includes being invaded by someone, and 98% have invaded someone. So, it would be more practical to ask if there is a country that has never been invaded or if there is a state that has never invaded anybody (it includes also earlier state organisms occupying the same territory or people that have formed the earlier state).
    As far as I know Monaco and San Marino have never invaded anyone, and Iceland has never been invaded. Singapore has not invaded anyone, but the countries that possessed the territory in the past did.

    Finally a factual, irrefutable contribution to this thread ! thanks :)
     

    L'irlandais

    Senior Member
    Ireland: English-speaking ♂
    Never say never. Heinrich Böll incorrectly stated that Ireland never invaded another country. Okay he was very disallusioned with Germany at the time.
    The Vikings in Iceland
    Subsequent waves of Viking settlement in Iceland could be view as invasion, since their origins varied. Whatever the case, the island had a turbulent and violent past like most other nations.
     

    Ben Jamin

    Senior Member
    Polish
    UK invaded Iceland during WWII. Maybe the unhabitants were not very against it, but British did not ask for permission.

    Invasion of Iceland - Wikipedia
    This is a disputable matter.

    Never say never. Heinrich Böll incorrectly stated that Ireland never invaded another country. Okay he was very disallusioned with Germany at the time.
    The Vikings in Iceland
    Subsequent waves of Viking settlement in Iceland could be view as invasion, since their origins varied. Whatever the case, the island had a turbulent and violent past like most other nations.
    As far as I know Iceland was uninhabited before the Norsemen began to settle there, so how can we speak about invasion? The subsequent waves of colonist were not invaders. But the Icelanders themselves were dangerous aggressors.

    Finally a factual, irrefutable contribution to this thread ! thanks :)
    I forgot to write about one more type of invasion: hordes of nomadic people (without a permanent "country" of their own and not yet organized as a state), acting as a (tribal og intertribal) military organization, like Huns, Kipchaks, Proto-Bulgars, Germanic tribes, Slavic tribes, Mongols, and many others.
     

    Fernando

    Senior Member
    Spain, Spanish
    This is a disputable matter.
    Well. A foreign army entered the country without written or tacit permission of any authority under international law or domestic constitution (king of Danemark or the government of Iceland). The Icelandic government protested. Not very much, but protested.

    During the following years Iceland could not have any foreign affairs, a foreign army (Britosh, Canadians, Americans) was in its territory.

    It is more disputable if Netherlands invaded England in 1688 or whether UK and France invaded Norway in 1940, but I think the Icelandic case qualify.
     

    L'irlandais

    Senior Member
    Ireland: English-speaking ♂
    Not sure how happy you think Gardar the Swede (also known as Garðarr Svavarsson, c. 860s CE) was when folks from Norway turned up to settle in a country he’d already established a settlement in. It’s convenient to view Vikings as some sort of homogeneous group.
    They are said to have encountered Irish monks on the island who then left because they did not wish to live among the heathens. Hjörleifr and his party were killed by the slaves they had brought from Ireland
    Doesn’t much sound like they controlled the country. Then having resisted Norwegian sovereignty over Iceland for a long time, it was finally imposed. Icelanders might view this as being invaded, certainly it was unwanted outside interference in their land.
     
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    L'irlandais

    Senior Member
    Ireland: English-speaking ♂
    ... As far as I know Monaco and San Marino have never invaded anyone, and Iceland has never been invaded. ...
    Both states are too tiny to raise an army to’invade anybody. As seen in their inability to keep out any invaders. 38k and 34k populations, even at a massive 10% of the population conscription wouldn’t field much of an army, and how could they afford to arm and train such a force? A regiment, or at best a brigade, without any tanks wouldn’t be much use. States tend to invade their neighbors, Mussolini had a army of 2 and a half million, equiped with tankettes. The idea of invading is usually to hold on to lands gained.
    San Marino sought to remain neutral during WWII. I guess it depends if you view the American troops driving the Germans out as a liberation or not. If you opt for liberation, then what does that make the earlier German occupation of the neutral state. Technically, the Allies were an invasion force in Italy at that time. Let’s stick with the official position, that it was an incident, rather than an invasion. (Lots of armed soldiers killing lots of other armed defenders kind of incident. Reference: Battle of Monte Pulito.). A footnote: The British government refused to compensate St Marino for this incident and subsequent occupation. They argued that as Germany had breached the Sammarinese neutrality before Allied troops had entered the country, it was not liable.
    Attempting to remain neutral during World War II, Prince Louis II’s sympathies were strongly pro-French. Nevertheless, the Italian army invaded and occupied Monaco. After Mussolini's collapse in Italy, Monaco was also occupied by Nazi Germany. Prince Louis used the Monaco police to warn Jewish inhabitants of Monaco that they were marked to be arrested by the Gestapo, allowing them time to escape. Many Jewish people who lived in Monaco at the time were able to escape due to the assistance of Louis II and the Monegasque police. With the German army retreating from Monaco due to the Allied advance, an American contingent liberated the Principality.
    Source: History of Monaco
    Looks like they considered themselves invaded at least twice.
     
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    Fernando

    Senior Member
    Spain, Spanish
    About Cyprus: Its history in its current avatar is so short that I guess you are right. I would like to be present in an argument among a Cypriot and a North Cypriot about who invaded who.

    Malta has certainly been invaded and HAS invaded. The Order was an aggresive military power which acted as corsair and attacked Muslim possessions in N Africa, most times as allies of other Christian powers (kings of Spain, specially).
     

    rhitagawr

    Senior Member
    British English
    I've arrived late to the forum, so this has probably been said already. In any case, I decided not to read all of the 483 preceding contributions. It depends what you mean by your country and invade. My country, whether in the form of England, Great Britain, or the United Kingdom has invaded hundreds of countries. But did, for example, the Maoris regard what is now New Zealand as a country? Probably not. A previous contributor said that states and not countries invade other countries. A fair point, but when did states arise in the modern sense?
    William the Conqueror invaded England and parts of what is now Wales in 1066. It didn't take William and his successors long to turn their attention to the remaining areas in what became the United Kingdom. Parts of what is now Scotland were ruled by Norwegian kings after 1066. Does 'Scotland' in this context refer to a political entity or was it just the name given to the area north of England? I'd better let our Scottish friends answer that.
    William III's landing in Torbay in 1688 started off as an invasion, although William became a constitutional monarch.
    I suppose you could say England was invaded by Bonnie Prince Charlie, although not by Scotland, in 1745.
    French troops landed in Wales during the Napoleonic Wars, although this hardly amounted to a raid, let alone an invasion.
    German troops occupied the Channel Islands in the Second World War. As the Channel Islands are not part of the United Kingdom but owe their allegiance directly to the monarch, I suppose it's a moot point as to whether they're part of 'my country.'
    Borders changed frequently in the past (less often now). So I suppose you can pick and choose as to what you call your country. Celtic nationalists don't regard the United Kingdom as their country, although it is from a legal point of view.
     
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    Ben Jamin

    Senior Member
    Polish
    I've arrived late to the forum, so this has probably been said already. In any case, I decided not to read all of the 488 preceding contributions. It depends what you mean by your country and invade. My country, whether in the form of England, Great Britain, or the United Kingdom has invaded hundreds of countries. But did, for example, the Maoris regard what is now New Zealand as a country? Probably not. A previous contributor said that states and not countries invade other countries. A fair point, but when did states arise in the modern sense?
    William the Conqueror invaded England and parts of what is now Wales in 1066. It didn't take William and his successors long to turn their attention to the remaining areas in what became the United Kingdom. Parts of what is now Scotland were ruled by Norwegian kings after 1066. Does 'Scotland' in this context refer to a political entity or was it just the name given to the area north of England? I'd better let our Scottish friends answer that.
    William III's landing in Torbay in 1688 started off as an invasion, although William became a constitutional monarch.
    I suppose you could say England was invaded by Bonnie Prince Charlie, although not by Scotland, in 1745.
    French troops landed in Wales during the Napoleonic Wars, although this hardly amounted to a raid, let alone an invasion.
    German troops occupied the Channel Islands in the Second World War. As the Channel Islands are not part of the United Kingdom but owe their allegiance directly to the monarch, I suppose it's a moot point as to whether they're part of 'my country.'
    Borders changed frequently in the past (less often now). So I suppose you can pick and choose as to what you call your country. Celtic nationalists don't regard the United Kingdom as their country, although it is from a legal point of view.
    I have modified my post adding the following: "I forgot to write about one more type of invasion: hordes of nomadic people (without a permanent "country" of their own and not yet organized as a state), acting as a (tribal og intertribal) military organization, like Huns, Kipchaks, Proto-Bulgars, Germanic tribes, Slavic tribes, Mongols, and many others." In addition, I mentioned that private armies and plundering parties also used to invade other countries (and do it sometimes today). In any case, a country can be invaded, but can't invade, unless we define country and state as synonyms, which is quite normal in the colloquial language, but sounds too "low key" in a serious discussion.
     

    rhitagawr

    Senior Member
    British English
    I don't see how I can say that the Romans, or even the Anglo-Saxons, invaded 'my country.' However, I feel some affinity with Anglo-Saxon England even as it was before England was unified. I don't suppose the British thought they were invading Australia even though that was what they were doing in practice. They would have said they were just claiming it for the British crown. The language and culture of the Channel Islands is English and people can pass freely between there and the United Kingdom. So I regard the German occupation of the islands in much the same way as I would have regarded a German occupation of the Scilly Isles.
     

    Fernando

    Senior Member
    Spain, Spanish
    If one define country as a bunch of people, countries can not be invaded, you can only invade the land where many of them are a majority or is considered its historical soil with more or less reasons.

    If you take nuances too far, the common phrase 'Germany invaded Poland in 1939' turns to 'Soldiers of various ethnicities, specially Germans, Austrians , Slovaks, Czechs, self-perceived Bavarians with maybe some Ashkenazi Jews and Frisians, under the authority of the 'Deutsches Reich' invaded the territory under the authority of the restablished Rzeczpospolita Polska, inhabitated by Poles, Jews, Germans, Lithuanians, Ukranians et altrii.
     

    L'irlandais

    Senior Member
    Ireland: English-speaking ♂
    Both Germany and Russia invaded Poland in 1939, is fine. Even if one was called the Soviet Union at the time. Moscow was calling the shots. Folks need to be careful qbout being pedantic, there are revisionists only too happy to take advantage of such squabbling. Russia Says It Never Invaded Poland in 1939
    “Nonetheless, after the German invasion on September 1, 1939, the Soviet government declared that Poland no longer existed as a nation and that such a vacuum threatened Soviet security. On September 17, the Red Army crossed the border into eastern Poland, annexing territory that the Soviets had long considered their own. Their feelings toward Poland would later be seen in the Katyn massacre of 1940, when the Soviet NKVD secret police murdered 22,000 Polish military officers, policemen and educated professionals. After years of claiming that the Nazis did it, in 2010 the Russian Duma voted to blame Stalin for the killings.
    Reality versus revisionism
    ...it would be one thing if today's Russian government acknowledged that the Soviet Union had illegally seized Polish territory, and then pointed out that the Soviet state no longer exists, and that Russia has moved on from Stalin's day. Yet by attempting to stamp out criticism of Soviet aggression, Russia is essentially announcing that it accepts responsibility for the historical legacy of the Soviet Union.
     
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