List of wars involving the United Kingdom

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This is a list of wars involving the United Kingdom and its predecessor states (the Kingdom of Great Britain, Kingdom of England, Kingdom of Scotland and generally the British Isles). Notable militarised interstate disputes are included. For a list of wars that have been fought on the United Kingdom mainland, see the list of wars in Great Britain.

Historically, the UK relied most heavily on the Royal Navy and maintained relatively small land forces. Most of the episodes listed here deal with insurgencies and revolts in the various colonies of the British Empire.

During its history, the UK's forces (or forces with a British mandate) have invaded, had some control over or fought conflicts in 171 of the world's 193 countries that are currently UN member states, or nine out of ten of all countries.[1]

  British victory
  British defeat
  Another result (e.g. a treaty or peace without a clear result, status quo ante bellum, result of civil or internal conflict, result unknown or indecisive)
  Ongoing conflict

England, Scotland and Wales to 1707[edit]

Kingdom of Great Britain (1707–1801)[edit]

Conflict Britain & allies Britain's opposition Outcome
The Great Northern War
Tsardom of Russia
Flag of the Cossack Hetmanat.svg Cossack Hetmanate
Denmark Denmark–Norway
 Electorate of Saxony
Province of Hanover Hanover
Sweden Swedish Empire
 Ottoman Empire
 United Provinces

Coat of Arms of Brunswick-Lüneburg.svg Brunswick-Lüneburg

Coalition victory:
The War of the Spanish Succession


Holy Roman Empire Austria
 Dutch Republic
Portugal Portugal
Spain Spain
Bavaria Bavaria
  • Treaty of Utrecht:
  • Philip V recognized as King of Spain by the Grand Alliance
  • Territory in Canada and the West Indies ceded from France
  • Territory in Europe ceded from Spain
Civil war:
(1715–1716) Jacobite rising of 1715


Government forces Jacobites



Jacobite restoration attempt defeated

The War of the Quadruple Alliance


 Holy Roman Empire
 Dutch Republic
Spain Spain

Jacobites (against the British Crown and government only)

Quadruple Alliance Victory:
  • Royal navy won a battle; a small-scale Jacobite invasion was defeated
  • Treaty of The Hague:
  • Spanish attempt at expansion fails.
Dummer's War
"The Pine Tree flag of New England" New England Colonies
Wabanaki Confederacy
  • Britain recognises the rights of the region's indigenous inhabitants.
The War of Jenkins' Ear

Location: New Granada, Caribbean, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Pacific and Atlantic

Spain Spain Status quo ante bellum
The War of the Austrian Succession


Holy Roman Empire Austria
Province of Hanover Hanover
 Dutch Republic

East India Company


Spain Spain

Bavaria Bavaria
Kingdom of the Two Sicilies Naples and Sicily
Sweden Sweden

Kingdom of France French East India Company

Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle:
Civil War:

Jacobite rising of 1745

Government forces



Jacobite restoration attempt defeated

The Second Carnatic War
East India Company
  Forces of Nasir Jang Mir Ahmad

  Forces of Mohamed Ali Khan Walajan

Kingdom of France French East India Company
  Forces of Chanda Shahib

  Forces of Muhyi ad-Din Muzaffar Jang Hidayat


Treaty of Pondicherry:

Seven Years' War
 Great Britain
Province of Hanover Hanover
Iroquois Confederacy
Hesse Hesse-Kassel


 France  Holy Roman Empire
 Russian Empire

Spain Spain


Treaty of Paris:

  • Extensive North American lands (incl. all of
    Canada) ceded from France
  • Caribbean colonies ceded from France
  • Senegal River colony (excluding Gorée) ceded
    from France
  • Florida ceded from Spain
The Third Carnatic War
East India Company  France

Kingdom of France French East India Company


Treaty of Paris:

  • French trading posts in India administered by British
  • Sumatra ceded from France
Anglo-Cherokee War
 Great Britain Cherokee Victory

Pro-British Attakullakulla becomes Cherokee leader

Tacky's War
 Great Britain
Jamaica Jamaican Government
Jamaica Jamaican Maroons
Ashanti Slaves Victory
  • Slave defeat
  • Death of Tacky
  • Tacky's men committed suicide
Pontiac's Rebellion
Confederation of First Nation Tribes Stalemate
  • British policy change
  • British suzerainty over First Nation Tribes
  • Niagara Falls area ceded from Seneca Nation
First Anglo-Mysore War
East India Company
 Maratha Empire

Hyderabad State

Kingdom of Mysore British defeat, Hyderabad cedes territory to Mysore
First Anglo-Maratha War
East India Company  Maratha Empire Indecisive

Pre-war status quo remained.[2][3] Treaty of Salbai:

  • Maratha support for Britain against Mysore
 United States
Spain Spain
 Dutch Republic
Vermont Republic
Kingdom of Mysore
Oneida tribe
Tuscarora tribe
Watauga Association

Catawba tribe


Treaty of Paris:

  • 13 North American colonies recognised as the independent United States of America
  • Territory in North America ceded to the newly independent United States of America
  • Senegal River colony returned to France
  • French recognises British suzerainty over the Gambia river
  • Territory in India returned to France
  • Menorca ceded to Spain
  • East & West Florida ceded to Spain
    • All British settlers to be expelled from Florida
  • De-militarisation of British Honduras
  • Territory in India ceded by the Dutch
2nd Anglo-Mysore War
East India Company
 Maratha Empire

Hyderabad State

Kingdom of Mysore
Treaty of Mangalore:
Northwest Indian War
Western Confederacy  United States Defeat

Treaty of Greenville

3rd Anglo-Mysore War
East India Company
 Maratha Empire
Hyderabad State


Kingdom of Mysore

Treaty of Seringapatam:

  • Half of Mysore territory ceded to East India Company
War of the French Revolution
Holy Roman Empire Austria
Kingdom of France French Royalists
 Dutch Republic
Spain Spain
Kingdom of Portugal
 Kingdom of Sardinia
Kingdom of the Two Sicilies Naples and Sicily
Italian states
 Ottoman Empire
France French Republic
Poland Polish Legions
Denmark Denmark–Norway
Spain Spain

Sister republics:


Treaty of Amiens:

  • General French victory
  • Britain recognises the French Republic
  • Cape Colony returned to the Batavian Republic
  • British withdrawal from Egypt
  • French withdrawal from the Papal States
  • Trinidad and Tobago ceded from France
  • Ceylon ceded from the Batavian Republic
Ibn Ufaisan's Invasion
Flag of the Ottoman Empire.svg Kuwait
 Great Britain
Emirate of Diriyah Victory
  • Saudi retreat from Kuwait.
Second Maroon War
 Great Britain
British Jamaica
Jamaican Maroons Victory
  • Maroon defeat
  • Treaty signed established that the Maroons would beg on their knees for the King's forgiveness, return all runaway slaves, and be relocated elsewhere in Jamaica
  • Breach of treaty caused deportation of several Maroons to Nova Scotia and later to Sierra Leone in Africa
Hawkesbury and Nepean Wars
Burrberongal Tribe
 Great Britain
from 1801: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
Irish-convict sympathisers

Displacement of Aborigines from their land

Anglo-Spanish War

Location: Newfoundland, English Channel, Straits of Gibraltar, Balearic Islands, Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata

French Republic
Kandyan Wars
 Great Britain
from 1801: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
King of Kandy.svg Kingdom of Kandy Victory
  • End of 2357 years of Sinhalese independence
Irish Rebellion of 1798
Kingdom of Ireland Kingdom of Ireland United Irishmen
France French Republic
  • Rebellion defeated
  • 1801 Act of Union
4th Anglo-Mysore War
East India Company
 Maratha Empire

Hyderabad State

Kingdom of Mysore

France French Republic


Complete annexation of Mysore by Britain and allies

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland (1801–1922)[edit]

Conflict Britain & Her Allies Britain's opposition Outcome
Temne War
Susu tribes Kingdom of Koya Victory

Northern shore of Sierra Leone ceded by Koya

Tunisian-Sicilian War
Bandiera del Regno di Sicilia 4.svg Kingdom of Sicily
Albanian, German, and Greek mercenaries
 Kingdom of Sardinia (from 1802)
 United Kingdom[4]
Flag of Tunis Bey-fr.svg Beylik of Tunis
Cyrenaica Tunisian pirates
Flag of the Ottoman Empire.svg Regency of Algiers

Eyalet of Tripolitania (from 1803)

  • End of Tunisian attacks on Sicilian ships and impression on sailors.
  • Sicilian occupation of Aryanah and La Goulette until 1808.
  • Sardinian occupation of Bizerte and La Marsa until 1809.
  • 3,560 captured Christian-European slaves released.
Second Anglo-Maratha War
East India Company  Maratha Empire Victory

Extensive territory in India ceded by the Maratha Empire

First Kandyan War
Kandy Victory

Territory captured from Kandy

Civil War:

Emmet's Insurrection

Forces of Robert Emmet Victory

Rebellion defeated

British Expedition to Ceylon
 Dutch Republic
 United Kingdom
Chiefdom of Vanni
 Kingdom of Kandy
  • Vanni region lost to the British
  • The last Tamil resistance against colonial rule was crushed.
War of the Third Coalition
 Austrian Empire
 Russian Empire
Kingdom of the Two Sicilies Naples and Sicily


France French Empire
Netherlands Batavia
Kingdom of Italy (Napoleonic) Italy
Kingdom of Italy (Napoleonic) Etruria
Bavaria Bavaria

Kingdom of Württemberg Württemberg

War of the Fourth Coalition

Kingdom of the Two Sicilies Sicily

France French Empire

Confederation of the Rhine

Polish Legions
Kingdom of Italy (Napoleonic) Italy
Kingdom of the Two Sicilies Naples
Kingdom of Italy (Napoleonic) Etruria
Netherlands Holland
Switzerland Swiss Confederation


Treaties of Tilsit:
  • French victory
  • Half of Prussia ceded to French allies
  • Russia exits the war
  • Anglo-Russian War begins
Ashanti–Fante War
 Ashanti Empire Fante Confederacy

Netherlands Dutch Empire

Anglo-Turkish War
 Ottoman Empire Treaty of the Dardanelles:
  • Turkish Military victory
  • Commercial and legal concessions to British interests within the Ottoman Empire
  • Promise to protect the empire against French encroachment
Gunboat War
 United Kingdom Denmark Denmark-Norway Victory

Treaty of Kiel:

  • Denmark and Norway split up
  • Heligoland ceded from Denmark
Anglo-Russian War
 United Kingdom  Russian Empire Treaty of Örebro:
  • Anglo-Russian-Swedish pact against France
Peninsular War


France French Empire Victory

Treaty of Paris:

  • Bourbon dynasty restored
  • Tobago, St. Lucia, Mauritius ceded from France
  • All other French possessions restored as per 1792 borders
  • Abolition of French Slave Trade
  • Swiss independence
Travancore rebellion
Flag of the British East India Company (1801).svg East India Company  Travancore
Kingdom of Cochin
Persian Gulf campaign of 1809
 United Kingdom Ae rak-escudo.png Al Qasimi Victory
War of the Fifth Coalition
 Austrian Empire
Kingdom of Prussia Black Brunswickers
Kingdom of the Two Sicilies Sicily


France French Empire
Flag of the Duchy of Warsaw.svg Warsaw

Confederation of the Rhine

Kingdom of Italy (Napoleonic) Kingdom of Italy
SwitzerlandSwiss Confederation

Netherlands Holland

Merina Conquest of Madagascar
Merina Kingdom France French Empire Victory

Merina control of Madagascar Merina pro-British policies

Punjab War
East India Company Nishan Sahib.svg Sikh Empire Defeat
  • Status quo ante bellum
4th Xhosa War
Xhosa tribes Victory

Xhosa tribes pushed beyond the Fish River, reversing their gains in the previous Xhosa wars

Ga-Fante War
 Ashanti Empire
Ga tribes

Netherlands Dutch Empire

Fante Confederacy
Akwapim tribes

Akim tribes

Tantamkweri ceded to Akwapim tribes
War of 1812
 United Kingdom

Tecumseh's Confederacy

United States United States Stalemate

Treaty of Ghent; Status quo ante bellum with no boundary changes

War of the Sixth Coalition
Original Coalition
 Russian Empire
 Austrian Empire
 United Kingdom
 Two Sicilies
 Kingdom of Sardinia

After Battle of Leipzig

 First French Empire

Until January 1814

Second Kandyan War
Kandy Victory

Kandyan Convention:

  • Dissolution of the Kandy royal line
  • British King declared King of Kandy
Hundred Days

War of the Seventh Coalition

France France
German Confederation
 Kingdom of the Two Sicilies


France French Empire



Treaty of Paris:

  • General French defeat
  • Restoration of the House of Bourbon
  • Abolition of the slave trade (all signatories)
  • ₣100,000,000 compensation from France
Third Anglo-Maratha War
East India Company  Maratha Empire Victory

Virtually all territory south of the Sutlej River controlled by Britain

5th Xhosa War
Khoikhoi Forces Forces of Xhosa Chief Maqana Nxele Victory

Xhosa pushed beyond Keiskama River

Greek War of Independence
Greece Greek revolutionaries

Ionian Islands

 Ottoman Empire

Egypt Egypt


Establishment of the Kingdom of Greece

First Ashanti War
 Ashanti Empire Stalemate with a truce
First Anglo-Burmese War
East India Company

Native tribes

Flag of the Alaungpaya Dynasty of Myanmar.svg Kingdom of Burma Victory

Treaty of Yandabo:

  • Assam, Manipur, Rakhine, and Taninthayi coast south of Salween river ceded from Burmah
  • £1,000,000 compensation from Burma
Revolt of the Mercenaries
Empire of Brazil Brazil
 United Kingdom
Flag of France.svg France
Germany German Mercenaries
Republic of Ireland Irish Mercenaries
  • Mutiny suppressed
Portuguese Civil War
Liberal Forces of Queen Maria II

Spain Spain

Absolutist Forces of King Miguel Victory

Concession of Evoramonte:

  • Defeat and exile of King Miguel
Baptist War
 United Kingdom
Jamaica Jamaican Government
Rebel Slaves Victory
  • Slave defeat
  • Rebellion suppressed
First Carlist War
Spain Forces of Queen Isabella II
France French Kingdom
Portugal Forces of Queen Maria II

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland Auxiliary Legion

Carlists: British withdrawal before war's conclusion

British mediated Convention of Vergara

The 6th Xhosa War
United Kingdom Free Khoikhoi Xhosa tribes Victory

Extensive territorial gains from Xhosa

Rebellions of 1837
 United Kingdom
United Kingdom Province of Upper Canada

United Kingdom Province of Lower Canada

Flag of the Patriote movement (Lower Canada).svg Patriotes
Hunters' Lodges
Reform Movement
First Anglo-Afghan War
East India Company Emirate of Afghanistan Defeat
  • British retreat from Afghanistan
First Opium War
 Qing dynasty Victory

Treaty of Nanking:

  • Five Chinese ports open to foreign trade
  • $21,000,000 compensation from the Qing Empire
  • Hong Kong Island ceded from the Qing Empire
Second Egyptian-Ottoman War
Flag of the Ottoman Empire.svg Ottoman Empire
 British Empire
Flag of the Ottoman Empire (also used in Egypt).svg Egypt Eyalet
France Kingdom of the French
Spain Spain
  • Egypt renounced its claim to Syria.
Uruguayan Civil War
Argentina Argentine Unitarians
France French Kingdom
Riograndense Republic

Italian Legion


 Argentine Confederation

British and French withdrawal before war's conclusion
Peace treaty with the Argentine Confederation[5][6]

Eventual Colorados victory

First Anglo-Sikh War
East India Company
Patiala flag.svg Patiala State
Nishan Sahib.svg Sikh Empire Victory

Treaty of Lahore:

  • Extensive territory ceded from the Sikh Empire
  • Partial control over Sikh foreign affairs
Flagstaff War
Forces of Tāmati Wāka Nene Ngāpuhi Iwi Stalemate
Hutt Valley Campaign
Te Āti Awa Iwi Ngāti Toa Iwi Victory

Ngāti Toa Iwi retreat

The 7th Xhosa War

The War of the Axe

Xhosa tribes Victory

Territory ceded from Xhosa

Wanganui Campaign
Māori Kupapa Māori Iwis Stalemate

12 year peace and trade

Second Anglo-Sikh War
East India Company Nishan Sahib.svg Sikh Empire Victory

Complete annexation of the Punjab by the East India Company

Battle of Tysami
 United Kingdom Chui A-poo's pirates Victory
The 8th Xhosa War

Mlanjeni's War

Xhosa tribes
Khoikhoi tribes

United Kingdom Native Kafir Police


Xhosa-Khoi attacks defeated Status quo ante bellum

Taiping Rebellion
 Qing dynasty
 United Kingdom
Taiping Heavenly Kingdom Victory
Second Anglo-Burmese War
Flag of the Alaungpaya Dynasty of Myanmar.svg Kingdom of Burma Victory

Burmese revolution ended fighting Lower Burma annexed

Crimean War
France French Empire
 Ottoman Empire

 Kingdom of Sardinia

 Russian Empire

Bulgaria Bulgarian Legion


Treaty of Paris

The National War in Nicaragua
 Costa Rica
Nicaragua Rebel Forces of Patricio Rivas
The Mosquito Coast
 El Salvador

 United States




Sonora/Nicaraguan government defeat.
Slavery outlawed.
William Walker's army is defeated and he is arrested by the U.S. Navy.

Second Opium War

Arrow War

France French Empire

 United States

 Qing dynasty Victory

The Treaty of Tientsin:

  • Kowloon ceded from the Qing Empire
  • Peking opened to foreign trade
  • 11 more Chinese ports opened to foreign trade
  • Yangtze River opened to foreign warships
  • 4,000,000 taels of silver compensation
  • China banned from referring to subjects of the crown as barbarians
Anglo-Persian War

East India Company




Persian withdrawal from Herat

Indian Mutiny
East India Company
Flag of Nepal (19th century-1962).svg Nepal
Jammu and Kashmir

Princely states:

Sepoys of the East India Company   Mughal Empire
अवध ध्वज.gif Awadh
Jhansi state flag.png Jhansi

7 Princely states


Act for the Better Government of India:

First Taranaki War

Second Māori War

Māori Iwis

Māori King Movement

Bombardment of Kagoshima
 British Empire Maru juji.svg Satsuma Domain Victory
  • Tactical stalemate and mitigated British victory
Second Ashanti War
 Ashanti Empire Stalemate
Invasion of Waikato

Third Māori War

Māori Kupapa Māori King Movement Victory

Māori King Movement defeated, confined to King Country

Bhutan War
 India Bhutan Victory

Treaty of Sinchula:

  • Bhutan cedes Assam Duars and Bengal Duars to India
  • Bhutan cedes territory in Dewangiri to India
British Expedition to Abyssinia
 United Kingdom Ethiopian Pennants.svg Ethiopia Victory
Klang War

Selangor Civil War

Forces of Raja Abdullah of Klang

British Straits Settlements

Forces of Raja Mahadi Victory
Titokowaru's War

Part of the New Zealand land wars

Māori Kupapa Ngāti Ruanui Iwi Victory

Ngāti Ruanui Iwi withdrawal

1868 Expedition to Abyssinia
 India  Abyssinia Victory

British hostages freed War of the Abyssinian Succession begins

Te Kooti's War

Part of the New Zealand land wars

Māori Kupapa Māori Iwis Victory

End of New Zealand land wars Territory ceded by Māori Iwis

Red River Rebellion
 Dominion of Canada

Métis Loyalists

Métis Forces of Louis Riel Victory

Defeat of rebellion Manitoba Act:

Third Ashanti War
 Ashanti Empire Victory

Treaty of Fomena:

  • 50,000 oz of gold compensation from Ashanti Empire
  • Ashanti withdrawal from coastal areas
  • Ashanti banned from practicing human sacrifice
The 9th Xhosa War
Mfengu Tribe Xhosa Gcaleka Tribe Victory

All Xhosa territory annexed to the Cape Colony

Second Anglo-Afghan War
 India Flag of Afghanistan (1880–1901).svg Afghanistan Victory

Treaty of Gandamak

Anglo-Zulu War
United Kingdom Natal Zulu Kingdom Victory

Zululand annexed to Natal

‘Urabi Revolt
 United Kingdom
Khedivate of Egypt
Egyptian and Sudanese forces under Ahmed ‘Urabi Victory
  • ‘Urabi forces defeated and exiled
First Boer War
 South African Republic Defeat

Pretoria Convention:

  • South African Republic granted self-government
Mahdist War


Mahdist Sudan Victory

Sudan ruled by Britain and Egypt

Third Anglo-Burmese War
Flag of the Alaungpaya Dynasty of Myanmar.svg Kingdom of Burma Victory

Upper Burma annexed to British Raj

Sikkim Expedition
 India Qing dynasty Tibet Victory

Tibet recognizes British suzerainty over Sikkim

Anglo-Manipur War
Flag of Manipur.svg Kingdom of Manipur Victory
Anglo-Zanzibar War
Zanzibar Victory

Pro-British Sultan installed

Boxer Rebellion
France France
 United States


Righteous Harmony Society

 Qing dynasty


Boxer Protocol:

  • Anti-foreign societies banned in China
Second Boer War
 Orange Free State

 South African Republic
Foreign volunteers


Treaty of Vereeniging:

  • All Boers to surrender arms and swear allegiance to the Crown
  • Dutch language permitted in education
  • Promise to grant Boer republics self-government
  • £3,000,000 compensation "reconstruction aid" to Afrikaners
Anglo-Aro War
Flag of the Aro Confederacy.svg Aro Confederacy Victory

Aro Confederacy destroyed

British expedition to Tibet
 India Qing dynasty Tibet Victory

Status quo ante bellum

Russo-Japanese War
Empire of Japan Empire of Japan

Supported by:
 United Kingdom[9]

Russian Empire Russian Empire Victory (limited involvement)

Treaty of Portsmouth

First World War
 Dominion of Canada
 New Zealand
 South Africa
United States United States

Other Allies



 Ottoman Empire



Treaty of Versailles:

  • German demobilisation

Treaties of Saint-Germain-en-Laye and Trianon:

Russia pulls out in 1917

  • Russian Civil War
    • Creation of the Soviet Union

Creation of League of Nations:

Estonian War of Independence
 United Kingdom
Russia White movement
Sweden Swedish volunteers
 Soviet Russia

Baltische Landeswehr

  • Independence of Estonia
  • Vidzeme gained by the Republic of Latvia
Latvian War of Independence
Russia White Movement
 United Kingdom
 German Empire
West Russian Volunteer Army

 Russian SFSR
 Latvian SSR

  • Independence of Latvia
Allied intervention in the Russian Civil War
United Kingdom British Empire
France France
 United States
 Soviet Russia

 Far Eastern Republic

  • Allied withdrawal from Russia
  • Bolshevik victory over White Army
  • Soviet Union new Russian Power
Turkish War of Independence
 Armenia (in 1920)
 United Kingdom
 Ottoman Empire (until 1922)

Georgia (in 1921)

Turkish National Movement

Supported by:
 Russian SFSR[10]
Azerbaijan SSR
Georgian SSR
Bukharan PSR
All-India Muslim League


Treaty of Lausanne

Third Anglo-Afghan War
 India  Afghanistan Afghan diplomatic victory[11][12]
  • Defeat of Afghan invasion of north-west British India
  • Inconclusive military operation[13]
  • Reaffirmation of the Durand Line
  • Afghan independence with full sovereignty in foreign affairs
Kuwait–Najd War
Flag of Kuwait 1914-1921.png Kuwait
 British Empire
Sultanate of Nejd Victory
Irish War of Independence
United Kingdom Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) Republic of Ireland Irish Republic Anglo-Irish Treaty:
Somaliland campaign (1920)
 British Somaliland

East Africa Protectorate British East Africa

Dervish State Victory

Demise of the Dervish State

Great Iraqi Revolution of 1920
Iraqi rebels Victory
  • Revolt suppressed, greater autonomy given to Iraq

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (1922–present)[edit]

Conflict Britain & Her Allies Britain's opposition Outcome
Adwan Rebellion
 United Kingdom
Jordan Emir Abdullah's forces
Jordan Hashemite allied tribesmen:
  • Sheykh Minwar al-Hadid
Jordan Sultan al-Adwan's forces Victory

Sultan al-Adwan's defeat and exile

Ikhwan Revolt
Flag of Kuwait 1914-1921.png Kuwait
Nejd and Hejaz
Ikhwan Victory
  • Ikhwan attack on Kuwait repelled.
  • The remnants of the Ikhwan incorporated into regular Saudi units.
  • The Ikhwan leadership was either slain or imprisoned.
Great Arab Revolt in Palestine
 United Kingdom
Israel Yishuv
Arab Higher Committee Victory

Revolt suppressed

Jewish insurgency in Mandatory Palestine
 United Kingdom Israel Yishuv Defeat[15]
16 January 1939 – March 1940
 United Kingdom Republic of Ireland Irish Republican Army Victory
  • IRA failure
Second World War
The Allies
Axis Powers

Nazi Germany formally surrenders 8 May 1945, ending the Second World War in Europe.
On August 15, 1945, following the dropping of atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan announces its surrender, ending the Second World War

British (and Commonwealth), French, American, and Soviet troops occupy Germany until 1955, Italy and Japan lose their colonies, Europe is divided into 'Soviet' and 'Western' spheres of interest.

Northern Campaign
2 September 1942 – December 1944
United Kingdom Royal Ulster Constabulary Republic of Ireland Irish Republican Army Victory
  • IRA campaign failure
Greek Civil War
Kingdom of Greece Kingdom of Greece
 United Kingdom

 United States

D.S.E. (Δ.Σ.Ε.)
Albania Albania
Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Yugoslavia

Bulgaria Bulgaria

Communist forces defeated, many D.S.E. soldiers exiled in Eastern Europe.
Battalion of UK troops still in Greece till 1948
Indonesian National Revolution
 United Kingdom
 Japan (until 1945)
Hand over to Dutch in 1946
  • Netherlands recognises Indonesian Independence
Operation Masterdom
 United Kingdom
Empire of Japan
North Vietnam Viet Minh
Hand over to French

First Indochina War begins

Corfu Channel incident
 United Kingdom  People's Socialist Republic of Albania Victory
  • ICJ awards compensation to Britain, which is not settled till 1992. Britain breaks off talks aimed at establishing diplomatic relations with Albania.
Malayan Emergency
British Commonwealth  Thailand
Flag of the Communist Party of Malaya.svg Malayan Communist Party

Flag of the Malayan National Liberation Army.svg Malayan Races Liberation Army

  • Communist retreat from Malaya
  • Malayan independence
Korean War
United Nations United Nations Command  North Korea
 People's Republic of China

 Soviet Union

  • Communist invasion of South Korea repelled
  • UN invasion of North Korea repelled
1951 Anglo-Egyptian War[16]
 United Kingdom Egypt Egypt Victory
Mau Mau Uprising
 United Kingdom Mau Mau Victory
  • Defeat of Mau Mau
  • Kenyan independence
Jebel Akhdar War
Sultanate of Muscat and Oman
 United Kingdom
Imamate of Oman Victory
  • Dissolution of the Imamate of Oman
Cyprus Emergency
 United Kingdom EOKA

Turkey TMT

  • Cyprus became an independent republic in 1960 with Britain retaining control of two Sovereign Base Areas, at Akrotiri and Dhekelia.
  • Enosis not achieved
Suez Crisis
 United Kingdom
France France


Egypt Egypt Coalition military victory[17][18][19]
Egyptian political victory[17]
  • Anglo-French withdrawal following international pressure (December 1956)
  • Israeli occupation of Sinai (until March 1957)
  • UNEF deployment in Sinai[20]
  • Straits of Tiran re-opened to Israeli shipping
Border Campaign
 United Kingdom IrishRepublicanFlag.png Irish Republican Army Victory

IRA campaign fails

First Cod War
 United Kingdom  Iceland Defeat
Iceland expands its territorial waters to 12 nautical miles
Indonesia–Malaysia confrontation
Commonwealth of Nations  Indonesia Victory

Indonesia recognises Malaysian rule over former North Borneo

Dhofar Rebellion
 United Kingdom
Iran Iran


Various insurgents Victory Insurgency defeated
Modernisation of Oman
Aden Emergency
Federation of South Arabia Federation of South Arabia
 United Kingdom
People's Democratic Republic of Yemen NLF
People's Republic of South Yemen established
Nigerian Civil War
 United Kingdom
 Biafra Victory
  • Biafra rejoins Nigeria
The Troubles
 United Kingdom Ulster Banner.svg Loyalist paramilitaries:

IrishRepublicanFlag.png Provisional Irish Republican Army IrishRepublicanFlag.png Official Irish Republican Army

Irish National Liberation Army

StarryPlough.svg Irish People's Liberation Organisation

IrishRepublicanFlag.png Continuity Irish Republican Army

IrishRepublicanFlag.png Real Irish Republican Army

Good Friday Agreement:
  • Devolution in Northern Ireland
  • Power-sharing deal
  • Cross-border cooperation
  • Disarming of paramilitary groups
  • Demilitarisation
Second Cod War
 United Kingdom  Iceland Defeat
UK accept Iceland's 50 nautical mile exclusive fishery zone
Third Cod War
 United Kingdom  Iceland Defeat
Iceland expands its exclusive fishery zone to 200 nautical miles
Falklands War
 United Kingdom  Argentina Victory

British sovereignty over the Falkland Islands and South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands re-established.

Multinational Force in Lebanon
 United Kingdom
 United States
Islamic Jihad Organization
Iran Iran
Progressive Socialist Party
Amal Movement
Partial Victory
Gulf War
 United States
 United Kingdom
 Saudi Arabia

Other Allies

Iraq Victory

Kuwait regains its independence

Bosnian War
United Nations UNPROFOR


 Republika Srpska Victory

Dayton Accords

Operation Desert Fox
 United States

 United Kingdom

 Iraq Victory

Objectives largely achieved

Kosovo War
 United States
 United Kingdom

UCK KLA.png Kosovo Liberation Army

 Yugoslavia Victory
Kosovo occupied by Nato forces

Kosovo administered by UNMIK

Sierra Leone Civil War
 Sierra Leone

 United Kingdom

Sierra Leone Rebels



Rebels defeated

War in Afghanistan

Fourth Anglo-Afghan War[21]
 United States
 United Kingdom
ISAF-Logo.svg ISAF
Afghanistan Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan Ongoing
Fall of Taliban régime and the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan
Osama bin Laden killed

Taliban insurgency

Iraq War
 United States
 United Kingdom
 Iraq after the fall of Saddam Hussein

 Iraqi Kurdistan

 Iraq under Saddam Hussein
Islamic State of Iraq

Various insurgents

Overthrow of Ba'ath Party government
Occupation of southern Iraq
Iraqi insurgency, emergence of al-Qaeda in Iraq, and Sectarian Violence[22]
Rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, the successor of al-Qaeda in Iraq[23][24]

British withdrawal in 2009, US withdrawal in 2011

Libyan Civil War
Many NATO NATO members acting under United Nations UN mandate, including:
 United States
 United Kingdom
Libya Anti-Gaddafi forces
Arab League several Arab League states

Sweden Sweden

Libya Pro-Gaddafi forces Victory
Operation Shader
 United States
 United Kingdom
Syria Syrian Opposition
 New Zealand
 Saudi Arabia
 United Arab Emirates
 Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant
Boko Haram

al-Nusra Front

Ahrar ash-Sham

  • The UK's Operation Shader is ongoing as part of intervention in Iraq (2014–present)
  • 3,000+ ISIL fighters killed in 1,700 British airstrikes.[25][26]
  • British armed forces provide material and training to Iraqi Security Forces and Peshmerga.[27][28]
  • As part of the American-led interventions in Syria and Iraq, contributes to the loss of all of ISIL's territory in Iraq and the majority of their territory in Syria.[29]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Duchy of Warsaw as a state was in effect fully occupied by Russian and Prussian forces by May 1813, though most Poles remained loyal to Napoleon


  1. ^ Laycock, S. (2012). All the Countries We've Ever Invaded – And the Few We Never Got Round To. The History Press.
  2. ^ M. R. Kantak, The First Anglo-Maratha War, 1774–1783: A Military Study of Major Battles, quote: "Inspite of British superiority in the military science, the British troops could not force a decisive win over the Maratha troops in the First Anglo-Maratha War. The ultimate result of the War showed that the two sides remained evenly balanced.", p. 226
  3. ^ John Bowman, Columbia Chronologies of Asian History and Culture, quote: "First Anglo-Maratha War...The war ends inconclusively.", Columbia University Press, p. 290
  4. ^ "British Slaves on the Barbary Coast".
  5. ^ Rosa, José María (1974) [1970]. Historia Argentina [History of Argentina] (in Spanish). V. Buenos Aires: Editorial Oriente S.A. pp. 279–288.
  6. ^ Abad de Santillán, Diego. Historia Argentina (in Spanish). Buenos Aires: TEA (Tipográfica Editora Argentina). p. 383.
  7. ^ Johnson, Robert (2011). The Afghan Way of War: How and Why They Fight. Oxford University Press. p. 206. ISBN 9780199912568. Afghanistan was rendered a British Protectorate and Sher Ali's strategy had failed
  8. ^ Blood, Peter R, ed. (1996). Pakistan: A Country Study. Diane Publishing. pp. 20–21. ISBN 9780788136313.
  9. ^ "British Assistance to the Japanese Navy during the Russo-Japanese War of 1904–5". The Great Circle. Australian Association for Maritime History. 2 (1): 44. April 1980. JSTOR 41562319. (Registration required (help)). Cite uses deprecated parameter |registration= (help)
  10. ^ Jelavich, Barbara (1983). History of the Balkans: Twentieth century. Cambridge University Press. p. 131. ISBN 978-0-521-27459-3.
  11. ^ Lansford 2017, p. 47.
  12. ^ Sidebotham, Herbert (1919). "The Third Afghan War". New Statesman, 16 August 1919. Archived from the original on 5 June 2011. Retrieved 17 January 2009.
  13. ^ Cavanna 2015, p. xviii.
  14. ^ Reeva S. Simon; Philip Mattar; Richard W. Bulliet (1996). Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East – Volume 1. p. 119. Fighting between Kuwait's forces and Wahhabi supporters of Ibn Sa'ud broke out in May 1920, and the former were soundly defeated. Within a few weeks, the citizens of Kuwait constructed a new wall to protect Kuwait City.
  15. ^ Charters, David A. The British army and Jewish insurgency in Palestine, 1945-47. Springer, 1989, p. X
  16. ^ Egypt 1951 War with Britain,
  17. ^ a b Tal (2001) p 203
  18. ^ Mart, Michelle. Eye on Israel: How America Came to View the Jewish State as an Ally. p. 159. ISBN 0791466876.
  19. ^ Stewart (2013) p 133
  20. ^ Kunz, Diane B. The Economic Diplomacy of the Suez Crisis. p. 187. ISBN 0-8078-1967-0.
  21. ^ The Fourth Afghan War is lost The Daily Telegraph, 4 September 2009
  22. ^ "Sectarian divisions change Baghdad's image". MSNBC. 3 July 2006. Retrieved 18 February 2007.
  23. ^ "The JRTN Movement and Iraq's Next Insurgency | Combating Terrorism Center at West Point". Retrieved 2014-08-02.
  24. ^ "Al-Qaeda's Resurgence in Iraq: A Threat to U.S. Interests". U.S Department of State. 5 February 2014. Retrieved 26 November 2010.
  25. ^ "British air strikes killed 3,000 ISIS militants in Iraq and Syria in three years."
  26. ^ Drone Wars UK: Operation Shader.
  27. ^ UK troops training Kurdish forces in Iraq, says MoD
  28. ^ British trained Iraqi soldiers gear up to back Baghdad surge
  29. ^ Ahmed Aboulenein (10 December 2017). "Iraq holds victory parade after defeating Islamic State". Reuters. Retrieved 11 December 2017.

Further reading[edit]

  • Barnett, Correlli. Britain and her army, 1509–1970: a military, political and social survey (1970).
  • Black, Jeremy. A military history of Britain: from 1775 to the present (2008).
  • Bradford, James C. ed. International Encyclopedia of Military History (2 vol. 2006).
  • Brownstone, David and Irene Franck. Timelines of War: A Chronology of Warfare from 100,000 BC to the Present (1996), Global coverage.
  • Cannon, John, ed. The Oxford Companion to British History (2003)
  • Carlton, Charles. This Seat of Mars: War and the British Isles, 1485–1746 (Yale UP; 2011) 332 pages; studies the impact of near unceasing war from the individual to the national levels.
  • Chandler, David G., and Ian Frederick William Beckett, eds. The Oxford history of the British army (Oxford UP, 2003).
  • Cole, D. H and E. C Priestley. An outline of British military history, 1660–1936 (1936). online
  • Dupuy, R. Ernest and Trevor N. Dupuy. The Harper Encyclopedia of Military History: From 3500 B.C. to the Present (1993).
  • Fortescue, John William. History of the British Army from the Norman Conquest to the First World War (1899–1930), in 13 volumes with six separate map volumes. Available online for downloading; online volumes; The standard highly detailed full coverage of operations.
  • Haswell, Jock, and John Lewis-Stempel. A Brief History of the British Army (2017).
  • Higham, John, ed. A Guide to the Sources of British Military History (1971) 654 pages excerpt; Highly detailed bibliography and discussion up to 1970; includes local and naval forces.
  • James, Lawrence. Warrior Race: A History of the British at War (Hachette UK, 2010). excerpt
  • Johnson, Douglas, et al. Britain and France: Ten Centuries (1980)
  • Mulligan, William, and Brendan Simms, eds. The Primacy of Foreign Policy in British History, 1660–2000 (Palgrave Macmillan; 2011) 345 pages
  • Neville, Peter (2013). Historical Dictionary of British Foreign Policy. Scarecrow Press. pp. xix–xxxi. timeline pp xix to xxxi
  • Otte, T.G. The Makers of British Foreign Policy: From Pitt to Thatcher (2002)
  • Ranft, Bryan. The Oxford Illustrated History of the Royal Navy (Oxford UP, 2002).
  • Rodger, N. A.M. The safeguard of the sea: A naval history of Britain, 660–1649 (Vol. 1. 1998). excerpt
    • Rodger, N.A.M.The Command of the Ocean: A Naval History of Britain, 1649–1815 (vol 2 2006) excerpt
  • Sheppard, Eric William. A short history of the British army (1950). online
  • Ward, A.W. and G.P. Gooch, eds. The Cambridge History of British Foreign Policy, 1783–1919 (3 vol, 1921–23), old detailed classic; vol 1, 1783–1815 ; vol 2, 1815–1866; vol 3. 1866–1919


  • Messenger, Charles, ed. Reader's Guide to Military History (2001) pp 55–74 etc.; annotated guide to most important books.
  • Schroeder, Paul W. "Old Wine in Old Bottles: Recent Contributions to British Foreign Policy and European International Politics, 1789–1848." Journal of British Studies 26.01 (1987): 1–25.