UNIFORM AND EPAULETTES WORN BY LORD NELSON AT THE BATTLE OF TRAFALGAR
The British are coming! Over the centuries, we’ve invaded a staggering nine out of 10 of the world’s nations
British rule: A map of the world shows in red the extent of the British Empire in 1901 but a new study has found the Empire’s global reach was underestimated and that almost 90 per cent of the world’s countries have been invaded by Britain
A stark measure of European decline is the increasing impotence of the once formidable military power of Great Britain. At the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, 27 ships-of-the-line defeated the Franco/Spanish fleet with firepower. Great Britain no longer possesses a major surface naval fleet. Projections list less than two dozen surface vessels in the future. There will be no aircraft carriers in the British inventory until 2020. As for France, since the Battle of Dresden in 1813, an overwhelming victory that could have ended the campaign, military glory for France has been sparse. Overwhelmed by the Prussians in 1870 and blitzkrieg in 1940, the French defense of Verdun in 1916 has been their greatest military triumph. The French Foreign Legion stands tall.
UK, France ditch rivalry, sign defense deal
By DAVID STRINGER
The Associated Press
Tuesday, November 2, 2010; 7:12 PM
LONDON — What would Napoleon or Lord Nelson make of this? Britain and France struck a historic defense deal Tuesday aimed at preserving military muscle in an age of austerity, pledging to deploy troops under a single command, share aircraft carriers and collaborate on once fiercely guarded nuclear programs.
The often skeptical neighbors insist an era of unprecedented cooperation is a pragmatic fit for two cash-strapped allies, though many question if the storied enemies of the battles of Agincourt and Trafalgar can truly overcome centuries of mutual suspicion.
Following talks in London, British Prime Minister David Cameron and French President Nicolas Sarkozy said Europe’s only nuclear-armed powers had set out plans to work closely for the next 50 years – forming a joint rapid reaction force, sharing warhead testing facilities and tackling together the threats from cyber warfare and the militarization of space.
Cameron told his Cabinet the deal would save hundreds of millions of pounds (dollars) as Britain seeks to clear its national debts, while Sarkozy said he believed the pact will help protect all of Europe.
“This is a decision which is unprecedented and it shows a level of trust and confidence between our two nations that is unequaled in history,” Sarkozy told reporters, following a summit of key ministers from both countries.
Under the deal, Britain and France will form a joint expeditionary force – a pool of at least 5,000 troops, including special forces, able to deploy under a commander from either nation.
They will in the future share their two aircraft carriers, when Britain’s new vessel comes into service in about a decade. Fighter jets will be able to land on carriers from either country, providing cover when one nation has its carrier in dock for maintenance.
To slash the hefty costs of maintaining their nuclear weapons, the nations will share specialist laboratories at the U.K. Atomic Weapons Establishment in Aldermaston, southern England, and a new center at Valduc, southeast of Paris.
British officials acknowledged the deal would involve closer cooperation than ever before on nuclear weapons, but insisted they would not divulge nuclear secrets.
“The result will make our citizens safer, more secure and better protected in the global age of uncertainty in which we now live,” Cameron said.
The U.S. said the deal would secure the standing of two major NATO powers. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Defense Secretary Robert Gates had both recently raised concern over the impact of cuts to European defense budgets.
British Military Expands Links to French Allies
By JOHN F. BURNS
Published: November 2, 2010
LONDON — Britain and France signed defense agreements on Tuesday that promised cooperation far beyond anything achieved previously in 60 years of NATO cooperation, including the creation of a joint expeditionary force, shared use of aircraft carriers and combined efforts to improve the safety and effectiveness of their nuclear weapons.
The agreements signed in London by Prime Minister David Cameron of Britain and President Nicolas Sarkozy of France were a landmark of another kind for two nations that spent centuries confronting each other on the battlefields of Europe. While neither leader mentioned Agincourt, Trafalgar or Waterloo, or French victories that included the Norman Conquest in 1066, both stirred a brief whiff of the troubled history of Anglo-French relations into the mood of general bonhomie.
Waterloo and Trafalgar