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All the Countries We've Ever Invaded: And the Few We Never Got Round To Paperback – 1 Oct 2013

4.0 out of 5 stars 89 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: The History Press; Reprint edition (1 Oct. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0750952121
  • ISBN-13: 978-0750952125
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 2.5 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (89 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 42,035 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Some of the places we need to invade are hard to get at. Some are also extremely hard to spell. --Robert Crampton - The Times

[This] study shows [Britain's] true global reach was far more extensive than maps would suggest. --Ryan Kisiel - The Daily Mail

Britain has invaded all but 22...several offer inviting pretexts for a little light invading. Paraguay, I'm told, is lovely at this time of year. --Samuel Muston - The Independent

About the Author

STUART LAYCOCK is an author and historian. He studied Classics at Jesus College, Cambridge, and has written a number of history books including Britannia: The Failed State (nominated for Current Archaeology Book of the Year), Warlords: The Struggle for Power in Post-Roman Britain, and UnRoman Britain: Exposing the Myth of Britannia (described in The Sunday Times as thrillingly provocative ). From looking at people invading Britain, he now turns his attention to Britain invading other people.


Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a hugely entertaining book, which can be read in bite-sized chunks as it's thoughtfully divided into each country that British troops have invaded/fought in. The tone is very down to Earth and the author is not afraid to admit when we engaged in less than morally upright behaviour (yes, Opium Wars, we're looking at you). In fact, the only thing stopping me giving the work 5 stars is what I fully accept to be a pet hate of mine. I appreciate that Mr Laycock was, by necessity, restricted by the terms he could use, in order to avoid repetition, but I absolutely detest the word "Brit", an Americanism which has been thrust upon us in recent years. To my horror, most people seem happy to accept, and use, the loathsome expression. Well, I may be a stubborn old fogey (I'm 48) but I'm a Briton, and proud of it. I accept that it might seem trivial to many, and I'm sorry. It's a cracking book, though, filled with fascinating detail, much of which does not appear to be commonly known. And the humour is great.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this book, it can be read from cover to cover or you can keep in on the shelf and dip into it as and when required. The book doesn't go into any great detail on the events that it mentions but then that is taken for granted as this is a simple overview of the situation and the reader can always read other boooks to find a fuller expenation of the events discribed. Well worth the time to read.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
From Afghanistan (several times) to Zimbabwe via almost any point you care to mention, we've been there, had a battle or two and usually left again.
Stuart Laycock is an amusing and informative writer. The only problem I have, and have had since doing History at school, is that war itself, campaigns, battles, reasons and consequences overlap, blur and repeat.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a very well researched introduction to what the British army has been up to for the last few centuries. It is designed for a British audience but it also takes account of the sensibilities of the countries we've invaded. For example, the situation in Cyprus was very well summarised with a balanced view. This can be difficult to do.

It is also well balanced as it describes British military victories as well as our defeats showing that our army wasn't invincible.

It can be a bit tedious to read from cover to cover. This isn't a criticism of the author, it is just that the British army has done much the same thing in every country with a coastline and many without! For this reason, it is better to dip in and out of the book to enjoy this wealth of information.
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By Mac McAleer TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 26 Nov. 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The author describes this as a "modest little book" but the premise is interesting and it is a good read as long as you are not bored by military history. Perhaps its publication signals the end of post-imperial embarrassment. Any remaining members of the League of Empire Loyalists will find it offensive, feeling that it belittles the serious business of acquiring and retaining an empire. For the rest of us it is a populist read that is informative and entertaining.

The book has 215 pages plus a short conclusion containing maps of where we have been and a set of black and white photos of military statues in London. The recipient countries are arranged alphabetically into 12 chapters starting from "Afghanistan to Burundi" through to "Yemen to Zimbabwe", which is quite an imperial stretch. For decoration the first page of each chapter has a watermark of a Britannia figure, which is a good idea except that the watermark is too heavy and makes the reading of the first page more difficult.

The author deliberately stretches the definition of "invaded" to include short military interventions and actions by pirates, privateers and armed explorers. He also concentrates on the more unusual and less well known actions. As he says: "This isn't so much supposed to be an account of our invasions, rather it's intended to whet the readers' appetite to go in search of more information elsewhere". The readers themselves will have to decide where they go as this book has no bibliography. Some examples from the 191 entries are given below.

BURKINA FASO was formerly called Upper Volta and was a French colony. Originally it was a collection of African kingdoms. In 1898 the British went to the aid of one of these kingdoms against the French.
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Format: Hardcover
A nice coffee table (or toilet) read. The only reason that I have given it 4 stars instead of 5, is because of some inaccuracies with the dates of the incidents during the 1999 East Timor deployment (I was there!). The author does welcome feedback and admits that there may be errors within his research. Other than that, it is a compelling read!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Personally, whilst the idea behind the book is quite interesting and it does contain a number of facts new to me, I found the writing style incredibly irritating. Phrases along the lines of 'most Brits would struggle to find Country X on a map' or 'Country Y is a place we in Britain know little about' seem to crop up regularly. It feels more like a conversation in the pub with someone who thinks you're a little dim.
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