Countries the United Kingdom Declared War On

The UK or Great Britain have declared war 22 times on 14 unique countries. What were the countries?
Source. Some countries no longer exist.
When you guess the country, the war will also appear.
Quiz by Quizzer6794
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Last updated: November 13, 2016
First submittedSeptember 5, 2016
Times taken45,732
Rating4.48
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Year
War
Country
1718
War of the Quadruple Alliance
Spain
1739
War of Jenkins' Ear
Spain
1744
War of the Austrian Succession
France
1756
Seven Years' War
France
1762
Seven Years' War
Spain
1778
American Revolutionary War
France
1779
American Revolutionary War
Spain
1780
Fourth Anglo-Dutch War
Dutch Republic
1803
Napoleonic Wars
France
1854
Crimean War
Russia
1914
WWI
Austria-Hungary
Year
War
Country
1914
WWI
Germany
1914
WWI
Ottoman Empire
1915
WWI
Bulgaria
1939
WWII
Germany
1940
WWII
Italy
1941
WWII
Finland
1941
WWII
Hungary
1941
WWII
Japan
1941
WWII
Romania
1941
WWII
Bulgaria
1942
WWII
Thailand
+11
Level 60
Sep 5, 2016
Great quiz! One thing: Does the War of 1812 not count? Technically the British declared war on the United States.
+8
Level 64
Sep 5, 2016
Not formally, then, or vice versa, because our source doesn't state it :)
+15
Level 78
Sep 5, 2016
Vice versa -- the US declared war on the UK. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_declaration_of_war_upon_the_United_Kingdom
+6
Level 64
Nov 13, 2016
The source does say it's incomplete.
+2
Level 30
Jun 22, 2018
Um what about USA? it says American revolutionary war but it doesn't do USA. is that before the USA was a formal country?
+3
Level 70
Nov 16, 2018
Yes.
+11
Level 80
Aug 31, 2019
No. The United States declared independence and was a real sovereign country. However the British Empire did not recognize that independence so there was no country for them to declare war on. From their perspective they were putting down a rebellion in their own colony.
+2
Level 52
Jan 21, 2020
How do you determine the USA was a sovereign country at that point?
+4
Level 80
Apr 21, 2020
It had its own centralized internally undisputed government free from foreign influence, control over its contiguous territory and borders, and international recognition. What else would it be?
+3
Level 52
Apr 21, 2020
The only thing the US had at that point was some international recognition. How can you possibly be free from foreign influence and have control over your borders if you are in the middle of fighting and Empire that claims and asserts militarily that you are a colony?

I read a comment of yours not long ago saying that the only countries that recognise Palestine are countries that hate Jews or hate America. The only countries that recognised the US at that point were ones that were enemies of the British Empire.

The USA wasn't truly independent until the Treaty of Paris when Britain recognised them as such and borders were properly agreed. Up until then, you were merely a rebellious colony.

+1
Level 80
Apr 21, 2020
The centralized internally undisputed government was free from foreign influence. The king and parliament had no say in the goings on at the Continental Congress. And the government of the United States exerted full control over almost the entirety of the country, minus one or two cities under British occupation. Battles were fought here and there, but the British only controlled small parcels of land on the continent. This is not complicated.

It's true international recognition has a lot to do with politics. Of course it does. That's why it's the least important of these three factors. But it's still a factor. And the US checked off every one of these factors by 1777. "Palestine" checks off only the last one. It is not sovereign. Are you trying to argue that "Palestine" is currently a sovereign state and the United States before 1783 was not? Or are you saying both are not? The former argument would be pretty absurdist, albeit pretty typical.

+1
Level 80
Apr 21, 2020
and btw the first country to recognize American sovereignty was Morocco, and this had nothing at all to do with spite toward the British or racial animus toward English people. You're just pulling arguments out of thin air.
+1
Level 80
Apr 21, 2020
Do you believe that China is not sovereign because the Maoist/Communist government has still not been recognized by the government in Taipei?
+4
Level 74
Nov 13, 2016
The UK declared war on Argentina (the Falklands War) in 1982.
+6
Level 64
Nov 13, 2016
From: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Falklands_War
Neither state, however, officially declared war (both sides did declare the Islands areas a war zone and officially recognised that a state of war existed between them) and hostilities were almost exclusively limited to the territories under dispute and the area of the South Atlantic where they lie.
+10
Level 74
Nov 13, 2016
It looks like "declaring" war has gone out of fashion since 1942, then. The UK has been a willing belligerent in many wars since then - and not just the Falklands. Vietnam, Gulf Wars, Korea, Malaya, the Mau Mau uprisings in Kenya, Cyprus, Suez etc etc
+6
Level 64
Nov 13, 2016
Yes - and our title reads "declare"
+3
Level 73
Dec 30, 2016
So there are rules? Just showing up with naval vessels, aircraft, and an invasion force doesn't count?
+9
Level 70
Dec 30, 2016
Uk not in Vietnam War: .......... Countries involved in VIETNAM WAR:= United States, South Korea, Australia, the Philippines, New Zealand, Thailand, Khmer Republic (later overthrown by Khmer Rouge), Kingdom of Laos and Republic of China (Taiwan).
+6
Level 70
Dec 30, 2016
Agreed, Jerry, declaring war has gone out of fashion. I guess though that the UK also thought it unnecessary to declare war back in the mid-19th century, when it reserved the right to be the biggest drug dealer in world history, twice fighting "Opium Wars" against the Chinese to protect their market against Chinese government restrictions.
+1
Level 62
Jan 23, 2018
I was also thinking the Qing dynasty in the Opium Wars. But those actually weren't really wars now that I did some more research.
+1
Level 67
Jun 8, 2019
In the Mau Mau uprisings in Kenya, the Communist Insurgency in Malaya and war against guerrillas in Cyprus, the British were not fighting against a whole country.
+7
Level 64
Nov 13, 2016
Anglo-Zanzibar War?
+3
Level 89
Dec 30, 2016
true even though it was half an hour long, Britain still declared war on Zanzibar
+2
Level 64
Nov 13, 2016
See this Wikipedia page which addresses all the wars you guys listed above :)
+1
Level 67
Nov 27, 2016
Yes, UK was the most aggressive nation in history. Anyway, we should accept that the number of declaration of wars does not correlate with the number of aggressive wars. E.g. since WW1 Germany did exactly once declared war (on US) while half the world declared war on Germany.
+1
Level 64
Nov 27, 2016
Yes, this is a very good point to be made
+1
Level 67
Jan 24, 2018
I think France, Spain and Turkey, to name but three, must be up there as well
+1
Level 50
Jul 20, 2018
It must be said that France, USA, Spain, Portugal, Germany, etc. have also been very aggressive in the past. As I have said before I don't think any nation is blameless.
+2
Level 76
Apr 21, 2020
Given the above, it's an interesting point that England (later UK) and Portugal have had an alliance since the late 14th century and have never opposed each other in a war since
+1
Level 47
Sep 14, 2020
I mean I think that San Marino is pretty blameless in terms of war, or maybe Antigua and Barbuda
+1
Level 47
Dec 30, 2016
Good quiz. I would ask but I'm not sure if other countries have declared war enough to make others.
+1
Level 53
Dec 30, 2016
Struggled with countries in both world wars.
+1
Level 54
Dec 30, 2016
I guess they didn't formally declare war during the American Revolution?
+3
Level 77
Dec 30, 2016
There was no country to declare war on as far as they were concerned. Just a territory with some upset people.
+2
Level 58
Dec 30, 2016
The American Revolution was my first thought, but when I went to type in a country's name, I realized there really wasn't one to put...it wasn't the United States yet, and "The 13 Colonies" or "The Colonies" doesn't count as an actual country. I guess technically being England's colonies, they were declaring war against themselves...ish, but that isn't correct either.
+1
Level 47
Apr 21, 2020
The U.S. was a sovereign state at that point because it had its own self-controlled government and had control of its borders. The U.K. didn't declare war on the sovereign state of the U.S. because they didn't think it existed and declaring war on it would be admitting it did.
+2
Level 50
Dec 30, 2016
Lol, so this is where the US got its whole "don't bother with formally declaring war" ideas from. Is this even 10% of the armed conflicts UK has been in?
+1
Level 64
Dec 30, 2016
Not even 10%
+2
Level 79
Dec 30, 2016
There is a difference between "total war" and limited military operations or "police actions". Most of the wars since WWII have been limited operations.
+1
Level 61
Apr 21, 2020
I think isn't the term used now by the military strategists in the US one of "continuous war"?
+1
Level 80
Dec 30, 2016
Picked up Hungary with 4 seconds to spare.
+4
Level 48
Dec 30, 2016
UK has had many more wars without declaring war. On the other hand they never actually fought against Finland, but they declared war on us 1941. That was very nice thing to do at the time when Soviet Union tried to occupy Finland... We did not get much help from anyone. Thank God Germany helped. Sometimes what happens is that only man who helps you is the most evil man on the planet. Mostly Finns had to fight alone against mighty USSR. And the result: there was only three capitals in Europe (countries involved in war) that nobody was able to occupy: Moscow, London and Helsinki.
+1
Level 72
Aug 3, 2017
Britain supplied Finland during the Winter War, and had got to the final stages of preparing an expeditionary force when Finland sued for peace. Probably a good job for the rest of the world that it didn't happen.
+1
Level 47
Sep 14, 2020
how come?
+1
Level 47
Sep 14, 2020
Oh wait I'm an idiot, because the Soviet Union would have fallen likely and Germany would have won.
+3
Level 24
Dec 30, 2016
Add siam as a valid answer together with Thailand as it was called Siam back then.
+1
Level 64
Dec 30, 2016
Nope, according to the Thailand wiki page Siam had been changed to Thailand in 1939.
+2
Level 66
Aug 19, 2020
I was very unhappy to see that because I typed Siam multiple times and it was the only one that I missed.

:(

+1
Level 70
Dec 30, 2016
It seems to me that many countries have been involved in wars during the last few hundred years. E.G....... google 'Wars involving USA'....... and read the long long list.
+2
Level 71
Dec 31, 2016
I didn't even know Thailand was involved in WW2
+2
Level 81
Jul 12, 2018
Me neither.

Wiki: "Thailand in World War II officially adopted a position of neutrality until it was invaded by Japan in December 1941. At the start of the Pacific War, the Japanese Empire pressured the Thai government to allow the passage of Japanese troops to invade British-held Malaya and Burma. The Thai government under Plaek Phibunsongkhram (known simply as Phibun) considered it preferable to co-operate with the Japanese rather than fight them. Axis-aligned Thailand declared war on the United States and Britain and annexed territories in neighbouring countries, expanding to the north, south, and east, gaining a border with China near Kengtung."

+1
Level 65
Feb 1, 2020
Japan twisted their arm: “Let us run troops through your country...or be invaded”. So they declared war on the US, prompting the UK to declare war on Thailand.
+2
Level 56
Jan 2, 2017
What about the Anglo-Boer war? Great Britain did declare war on the two boer republics (Orange Free State and the South African Republic) in South Africa.
+2
Level 60
Jan 16, 2017
the war on Denmark in 1807 ?
+1
Level 24
Apr 3, 2017
What about the war of Spanish Succession?
+1
Level 52
Jul 3, 2017
According to the Wikipedia page for the Bhutan War it states the Britain declared war on Bhutan
+1
Level 75
Jul 4, 2017
What about the war agaisnt Argentina to keep control of the Falklands? Doesn't it count?
+1
Level 80
Jun 2, 2019
At the time, it was very deliberately called a 'conflict', since war had not been declared. In the same way, the Korean war was a 'police action' (or so they say on 'M*A*S*H', so it must be true).
+1
Level 41
Jul 27, 2017
War against Ireland doesn't count?
+3
Level 72
Aug 3, 2017
If there had been one, it would.
+1
Level 54
Jul 27, 2017
The sun never sets on the British Empire!
+3
Level 67
Mar 9, 2019
Yes, technically it still does not. British territories today are scattered on all continents all around the world, so that the Sun is always shining on at least one of these territories. Look it up!
+1
Level 13
Nov 1, 2017
UK declared or USSR at Winter War and they supported Finland.
+1
Level 67
Jun 22, 2018
Your source says that the list is incomplete.
+4
Level 57
Oct 22, 2018
Siam for Thailand?
+4
Level 67
Mar 9, 2019
YES, I typed 'Siam' and it wasn't accepted! Could you please accept Siam, although it changed its name to Thailand in 1939?
+1
Level 32
Mar 9, 2019
Argentina 1982
+1
Level 59
Jun 8, 2019
War not declared
+5
Level 78
Apr 21, 2020
Actually...

Argentina 1978

Italy 1982

Argentina 1986 ("Hand of God" goal by Maradona)

+1
Level 66
Mar 9, 2019
Got them all with 2:01 remaining at 10:50:37 AM on March 9, 2019, raising my point total back up to 997. Hungary was the last one I guessed.
+1
Level 67
Jun 8, 2019
I'm sure there's a reason why it doesn't count, but what about china haven't the British fought them a few times times? like when they took control of hong kong for 99 years
+1
Level 65
Jun 10, 2019
The British did declare war against the United States in 1812, it was in all the papers at the time, first war that the US didn't win.
+1
Level 27
Aug 24, 2019
Why did they declare war on finland?
+1
Level 51
Aug 31, 2019
Because Finland were fighting with the Germans against the USSR which the UK was allied too.
+2
Level 79
Apr 22, 2020
You don't really think nations (any nations) actually "need" a reason to go to war, do you??
+1
Level 69
Aug 31, 2019
I'd have to say that the 1% who didn't guess Germany are not the most notable history buffs.
+1
Level 45
Mar 26, 2020
For Thailand in 1942, why wouldn't Siam be the answer?

I put that and didn't complete the quiz.

+1
Level 47
Apr 21, 2020
Name changed in 1932.
+1
Level 48
Apr 10, 2020
Shouldn't Argentina count? What with the Falklands and all?
+1
Level 78
Apr 21, 2020
I declared war once, and won with a 6.
+1
Level 44
Apr 21, 2020
Iran in WW2? Not sure if mentioned already
+3
Level 72
Apr 21, 2020
Can you please accept Siam for Thailand? The name change occurred in 1940, just two years before the declaration of war
+1
Level 49
Apr 21, 2020
Please accept Nazi Germany for Germany.
+1
Level 46
Apr 21, 2020
What about the war against the "Kingdom of Kandy"?
+1
Level 62
Apr 21, 2020
The United Kingdom didn't exist until 1801. From 1707 to 1801 it was the Kingdom of Great Britain following the ratification of the "Acts of Union" in 1707 which united the English and Scottish kingdoms. Only in 1801, following the ratification of the "Acts of Union 1800" did it become the United Kindom which united the English, Scottish and Irish kingdoms.

It would be more correct to change the title to "Kingdom of Great Britain and later The United Kingdom..."

+1
Level 38
Apr 21, 2020
Why does Turkey not count as the Ottoman Empire? They are the same country in almost everything but the name and you even say you don't count countries that no longer exist at the top but the Ottoman Empire by the logic of not counting Turkey should not exist anymore.
+5
Level 56
Apr 21, 2020
Are we the baddies?
+1
Level 54
Apr 21, 2020
Some research shows that Britain declared war on Bhutan on November 12, 1864. The "Duar War" broke out because of border skirmishes stemming from Bhutanese discontent with losing a region called Koch Bihar a hundred years earlier. This was verified on Wikipedia and a scholarly article by Dorji Wangchuk called "Foundations of Bhutan History". The Wikipedia article used for this quiz states that the article is incomplete and you can help by expanding the list of countries that Britain declared war on. If anyone sees my post, feel free to update the Wikipedia article cited at the top of this quiz. As for this quiz, Bhutan does indeed belong on here. The amount of research I did to verify this is definitely not expected of you, though, Quizmaster. :D
+1
Level 61
Apr 21, 2020
I see the Falklands, Suez and the Mau Mau rebellion mentioned above. But I don't understand why the Boer War is not mentioned here. It is even referred to as the Anglo-Boer War and according to Wikipedia was fought between the British Empire and two Boer states, the South African Republic ( or Republic of Transvaal) and the Orange Free State.
+1
Level 54
Apr 21, 2020
Did Britain actually declare war, though? I know that the Boers declared war, but did the British reciprocate? The quiz differentiates between fighting a war and DECLARING a war.
+1
Level 56
Apr 21, 2020
As the source states the UK declared war on the Zulu Tribe, this should either be mentioned as a caveat or be an answer.
+1
Level 60
May 12, 2020
The UK has a pretty solid case for being the worst country of all time.
+1
Level 36
Jun 1, 2020
The USA (with Trump at the helm) is markedly worse.
+1
Level 61
Oct 30, 2020
WWII apart (I think most people would agree that the UK was on the right side of that one), the list isn't much different to everyone else around at the time. WWI was essentially a massive mistake on all sides and the rest were mostly just standard European diplomacy - or were the French, Spanish, Russians, etc blameless?
+1
Level 51
Aug 31, 2020
Can Siam work? I did Siam and thought that it was wrong so I moved on.
+1
Level 64
Sep 7, 2020
This is an interesting quiz, and one from which I have learned something. I did not know that the UK declared war on Thailand, but now I do. Thanks Quizzer6794. I also note that there is no mention of the USA in the quiz, and yet (some might say therefore) it has to dominate the comments section.