Military history of the United Kingdom

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The military history of the United Kingdom covers the period from the creation of the united Kingdom of Great Britain, with the political union of England and Scotland in 1707,[1] to the present day.

From the 18th century onwards, with the expansion of the British Empire and the country's industrial strength, the british military became one of Europe's (and therefore one of the world's) most powerful and technologically advanced militaries. Its navy in particular was without a doubt the world's greatest naval force from the 18th to the mid-20th century. British military might declined in the mid-20th century as did those of the traditional european continental powers following the two world wars, decolonisation, and the rise of the United States and the USSR as the new superpowers. It still remains however a major military power with frequent military interventions across the globe since the end of the Cold War in 1991. The present-day British Armed Forces encompass the Royal Navy, the British Army, and the Royal Air Force.

Britain has been involved in a great many armed conflicts since the union in 1707, on all continents except for Antarctica.

18th century[edit]

19th century[edit]

20th century[edit]

21st century[edit]

List of civil wars[edit]

  1. Jacobite Rebellions (1715–16; 1719; 1745–46) - the last civil war in Great Britain
  2. The Troubles - in Northern Ireland, with some (terrorist) activity in Great Britain

Further reading[edit]

  • Black, Jeremy. A military history of Britain: from 1775 to the present (2008)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Acts of Union 1707, accessed 31 December 2010; Uniting the kingdom?, accessed 31 December 2010; Making the Act of Union 1707 Archived 2011-05-11 at the Wayback Machine, accessed 31 December 2010
  2. ^ "First British troops arrive in Somalia as part of UN mission". The Guardian. May 2, 2016. Retrieved 2 May 2016.
  3. ^ "Cargo bomb plot: SAS hunting al-Qaeda in Yemen". the telegraph. 2 November 2010.
  4. ^ "UK and US spend millions to counter Yemeni threat". the independent. 30 October 2010.

Further reading[edit]

  • Higham, John, ed. A Guide to the Sources of British Military History (2015) 654 pages excerpt