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Newfoundland was claimed as an English colony in the name of Elizabeth I in 1583, temporarily captured by the Dutch in 1665, and attacked three times by the French who captured and destroyed its settlements in 1689 and 1707. St John's was retaken each time and re-fortified.British forces used St. John's fortifications during the Seven Years' War in North America and the American Revolutionary War. St. John's served Central needs in World War ll by providing an air base for the Luftwaffe and a harbour for antisubmarine warfare ships.