The Channel has so often saved Britain in the face of overwhelming odds but just how many times has this little stretch of water saved our bacon? Read on…
1216: Louis VIII of France invades during the First Barons War and occupies England for a number of months before he is forced out.
1326: Edward II is overthrown by an invading French army led by Isabella of France and replaced by Edward III
1667: Raid on the Medway: Dutch fleet sail up the Thames and humiliate the Royal Navy. A hastily arranged peace is agreed.
1688: The Glorious Revolution: James II is overthrown by Dutchman William of Orange.
1797: Battle of Fishguard. The French First Republic attempts an invasion during the War of the First Coalition
Sometimes the invaders haven’t even reached the mainland:
1545: French invasion of the Isle of Wight
1940: Nazi occupation of the Channel Islands
1704: Invasion of Guernsey by Louis XIV’s Third Army
There are also a number of failed attempts (particularly by the French!):
1386: French invasion during the Hundred Years’ War
1588: Spanish Armada
1708: Planned French Invasion to put James Edward Stuart on the British
throne as part of the War of the Spanish Succession.
1744: Cancelled French invasion of Britain during the Austrian War of Succession.
1759: French invasion halted by their naval defeat by Britain at the Battle of Quiberon Bay.
1779: Never executed Franco-Spanish plans to invade Great Britain during the American Revolutionary War.
1803: Napoleon assembles his troops at Boulogne but pulls put, favouring an eastern advance.
1940: Operation Sea Lion
Have we missed any? Let us know if we have!
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