Islands That Could Not be Invaded

Chlodio

Ad Honorem
Aug 2016
3,514
Dispargum
#31
Britain is probably the best example of an island holding out against a country (or countries) that hugely dominates the mainland, thanks to a small strip of water and strong navy and good coastal defences. Not only were the Germans repelled in WW2 as well as France in the Napoleonic wars, but also Spain and France throughout the last 1000 years or so.

Of course there are also times when we HAVE been invaded successfully such as by the Romans, Vikings and the Normans .
The example of the Spanish Armada is interesting. Spain had a top-notch army and a pretty good navy. Spain lost that battle and the war for reasons they could not or did not predict at the time - Medina-Sidonia was an incompetant commander, drinking water stored in green barrels made everyone sick, ships designed for the Mediterranean, like galleys, did not do so well in the Atlantic, under estimating the importance of cannon, etc.
 

Frank81

Ad Honorem
Feb 2010
4,968
Canary Islands-Spain
#33
The story of the Emirate of Crete feats here perfectly

A bunch of exiled pirates from Al-Andalus had conquered Alexandria. There, an Abbasid army threw them into the sea. The Andalusian corsair, like a wandering people, all when on board of their ships and entered the Mediterranean with 40 boats, 3,000 fighting men and their women and children, 12,000 in total

The pirates landed in Crete in the 820's and quickly seized the island. Surprisingly, they managed to stablish a formidable pirate Emirate that plundered the Byzantine Empire for good. Great cities like Thesalonika were ravaged, and all the Aegean Sea, and farther away, was subjected to their actions for long time.

One after another, Byzantine expeditions miserably failed to conquer the island, until a huge invasion force (308 ships and 80,000 men according to Byzantine sources) led by Nicephoro Phokas destroyed the Emirate in 960-961

 
Nov 2010
7,404
Cornwall
#34
The story of the Emirate of Crete feats here perfectly

A bunch of exiled pirates from Al-Andalus had conquered Alexandria. There, an Abbasid army threw them into the sea. The Andalusian corsair, like a wandering people, all when on board of their ships and entered the Mediterranean with 40 boats, 3,000 fighting men and their women and children, 12,000 in total

The pirates landed in Crete in the 820's and quickly seized the island. Surprisingly, they managed to stablish a formidable pirate Emirate that plundered the Byzantine Empire for good. Great cities like Thesalonika were ravaged, and all the Aegean Sea, and farther away, was subjected to their actions for long time.

One after another, Byzantine expeditions miserably failed to conquer the island, until a huge invasion force (308 ships and 80,000 men according to Byzantine sources) led by Nicephoro Phokas destroyed the Emirate in 960-961
Yes I think we've told it on here before (or I have)

Only thing I would say is that they weren't 'pirates' as such - more than any mass of men, women and children going through people's lands will be scary.

They were the people of the arrabales of Cordoba, who demonstrated against the Emir Al Haken for reasons I forget, but something along the lines of what we would call today civil rights. The Emir exiled them all, numbering many thousand and raised the arrabales to the ground. After various peregrinations they ended up founding a muslim state in Crete

Did ships really hold 300 men each, excluding horses? Not sure they did. I tend to treat these Byzantine figures, including Carthage, with extreme caution. The alternative is that ships went back and forth several times or that the figures are just made up.

Vandal armies were not large, Cretan muslim armies could not be large. It all says more about the periodic incompetence of the Byzantines than anything else.
 
Sep 2016
801
Georgia
#36
The example of the Spanish Armada is interesting. Spain had a top-notch army and a pretty good navy. Spain lost that battle and the war for reasons they could not or did not predict at the time - Medina-Sidonia was an incompetant commander, drinking water stored in green barrels made everyone sick, ships designed for the Mediterranean, like galleys, did not do so well in the Atlantic, under estimating the importance of cannon, etc.
Spain didn't lose the war. Also, how about disastrous English Armada in 1589 ? It was total failure.

England couldn't beat Spain in a war.
 
Sep 2016
801
Georgia
#37
Britain is probably the best example of an island holding out against a country (or countries) that hugely dominates the mainland, thanks to a small strip of water and strong navy and good coastal defences. Not only were the Germans repelled in WW2 as well as France in the Napoleonic wars, but also Spain and France throughout the last 1000 years or so.

Of course there are also times when we HAVE been invaded successfully such as by the Romans, Vikings and the Normans .
Forgot to add how you were crushed by the Dutch. Raid on Medway in 1667 was a complete failure and total embarrassment for the English. You've lost the war. Plus, William III of Orange managed to land in 1688.

You also forgot to mention English Armada in 1589. It was a disaster and you couldn't defeat Spain in war. Yes, England couldn't defeat Spain in a war and had to withdraw military and financial support to the Dutch rebels.
 
Feb 2016
4,225
Japan
#38
Since the English failure to attack Spain doesn’t fit the OP of how islands repel invasion its irrelevant.
Likewise the Dutch victory of 1667 was not an invasion.

The Orangist invasion of 1688 ... at the behest of the English parliament.

All of which possibly why they weren’t mentioned.
 
Likes: Baldtastic
Sep 2016
801
Georgia
#39
Since the English failure to attack Spain doesn’t fit the OP of how islands repel invasion its irrelevant.
Chlodio said that Spain lost the war, which was incorrect.

Likewise the Dutch victory of 1667 was not an invasion.
It's a reminder, so English would not forget their defeats. Especially, since poster was talking about how great their navy was throughout 1000 years.

:lol:
 
Feb 2016
4,225
Japan
#40
Chlodio said that Spain lost the war, which was incorrect.


It's a reminder, so English would not forget their defeats. Especially, since poster was talking about how great their navy was throughout 1000 years.

:lol:
Ah an irrelevant jibe dressed up as a “reminder”. Do we need to remind the French/Spanish/Russian posters about all their defeats? Even when completely irrelevant...

I’ll remember that in any French threads. Need to remind the French eh.

Or we can just admit it was just a bit of childish posturing ...,
 

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