The British Empire was one of the most dominant empires in history, having known to have conquered or at least invaded almost all countries of all continents. It was considered one the superpowers of the world.
The United Kingdom was a member of the Allied Powers in World War I and World War II. Following the end of the Second World War, the UK became part of the United Nations Security Council. It would also become the United States' oldest ally where the two nations would stand side-by-side in containing Communism around the globe such as in Korea and Malaya. The UK would then lose its superpower status following the Suez Crisis of 1956, alongside with France. During the Cold War, the United States Air Force would station its fighter jets, bombers, and nuclear weapons on Royal Air Force bases around the British Isles. This would serve as points for troops being brought in from North America.
The UK would also earn its military prestige in its overwhelming victory against Argentina during the Falkland Islands War on 1982. This was one of the major conflicts Britain fought prior to the Third World War.
World War III
The United Kingdom declared war on the Soviet Union following its invasion of West Germany. British forces were one of the first to fight the Soviets and were pushed back heavily following the surprise attack. The Ministry of Defence would then send an expeditionary force to Western Europe to stem the Soviet Advance, while working alongside NATO members namely the Americans, the Canadians, French, Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese, Italians, Belgians, Danish, West Germans, the Greeks, and the Turks. The country itself would reinstate the "Keep Calm, Carry On" campaign of World War II following constant bombing raids conducted by Soviet TU-95 bombers. The country would then be a transport hub for majority of NATO troops, especially troops from the United States and Canada. USAF and RAF bases were used to transport troops and materiel to Western Europe. The civilian airports also functioned in a similar way. British troops were deployed to the overseas territories and former colonies such as in Gibraltar, Belize, Brunei, Singapore, Hong Kong, the British Virgin Islands, Bermuda, the Sovereign Bases of Akrotiri and Dhekelia in Cyprus, the Falklands and in Diego Garcia.
Nonetheless, Britain suffered one of its greatest blows during the war during the First Battle of the Mediterranean. The combined NATO fleet was destroyed by the Soviet Navy. The remainder of the fleet retreated to Gibraltar to form a blockade of the Straits against Soviet submarines. Another unexpected loss was the invasion of the Turks and Caicos Islands by Cuba, causing the UK to declare war on the socialist nation. The last blow to the UK was the Fall of Hong Kong following China's entry into the war. However, as the tide turned into the favor of the allies, the United Kingdom would be able to liberate the TCI and Hong Kong from the Communist forces. It is notable to mention that the UK was one of the only countries in Europe not to be invaded by the Soviet Union.
In 1997, Hong Kong was returned to the Chinese Federated Union as it was the successor of the former People's Republic. Despite Hong Kong being invaded, the British government was able to return to the negotiating table with the democratic China and hence, the agreement made in 1984 was followed. The country was a target during the September 11th attacks, launching it with the War on Terror worldwide alongside its ally, the United States.
Despite the nation's continued strength on the World Stage and being a victor of WW3, its temporary loss of several BOTs has somewhat reduced the nation's image.
The United Kingdom's foreign relations are handled by the Foreign Office at the duty of the Foreign Minister. The UK has relations with almost all countries in the world. It has good relations with its oldest ally, the United States of America, and its former colonies part of the Anglosphere such as Australia, Canada and New Zealand. It also maintains good relations with the rest of Europe and majority of Asia, including the Chinese Federated Union. The unrecognized micronation of the Principality of Sealand lies in British territoreal waters but is disputed between the self-proclaimers, the Netherlands, and Germany.
The country however still faces disputes with other countries on the status of its overseas territories:
- Akrotiri and Dhekelia - disputed between Cyprus and Turkey
- British Antarctic Territory - claims overlap with that of Chile and Argentina
- British Indian Ocean Territory - disputed between Seychelles and the Mauritius
- Falkland Islands - disputed with Argentina
- Gibraltar - disputed with Spain. Recently held a referendum in 2014 to remain British.
- South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands - disputed with Argentina
British Overseas Territories
See also: British Overseas Territories
The United Kingdom has sovereignty over eighteen territories which are not part of the UK itself. These are the remnants of the British Empire which chose to remain British territories but have self governing politics.
The United Kingdom's military is known as the British Armed Forces, which is formally called Her Majesty's Armed Forces. It is tasked with defending the UK and its overseas territories and crown dependencies of external and internal threats. The task is handled by the Ministry of Defense under the Defense Secretary.
The military is divided into the following:
- Naval Service
- Royal Navy
- Royal Marines
- British Army
- Royal Air Force
The Army and the Marines are equipped with the SA80 assault rifle, which was used extensively alongside the older L1A1 Self Loading Rifle. It operates a variety of weapons such as machine guns, anti-tank launchers, mortars and several artillery. The Warrior IFV, FV105 Scorpion, FV101 Alvis, the Chieftain Tank, and the Challenger Tank serves as its armor support.
The Navy operates several ships, frigates, destroyers, aircraft carriers and submarines - which are nuclear capable. Naval aviation includes the use of the Lynx, Wildcat and Sea King helicopter and the Sea Harrier fighter jet.
The Royal Air Force is the aerial wing of the UK. It operates several helicopters, fighters and bombers. The primary fighter jet is the Eurofighter Typhoon and the Panavia Tornado