Since the end of World War Two in 1945, British military forces have been almost constantly engaged in combat or near-combat operations around the world. From post-war occcupations, to colonial conflicts, the Cold War against the communists, to today's wars against Islamic Jihadists, the military of the United Kingdom has engaged Britain's foes. Below is a listing of Britain's wars from 1945 to the present.

    Greek Civil War (1944-1947)--British forces became involved in the early stages of the Greek Civil War when they liberated Greece from German occupation toward the end of 1944. As the Germans withdrew, competing Greek factions fought for control. The British sided with the re-established Greek government against the Communist rebels. Due to financial pressures and their own need to recover from World War Two, Britain announced a withdrawal of forces in 1947. The Greek Civil War continued until 1949, with the United States taking over the role of protector for the government. British combat involvement primarily took place in 1944 and 1945.

    Palestine- (1945-1948)-Following World War Two, Jewish forces in Palestine battled both the British troops occupying Palestine, and the local Palestinian Arab militias for control of the country.

    War in Vietnam (1945-1946)- Codenamed Operation Masterdom by the British, and also known as the Southern Resistance War by the Vietnamese. this short, but violent conflict pitted British, Indian, French, and Japanese troops agaisnt the local communist guerrillas who had resisted the Japanese, called the Viet Minh. The Viet Minh resisted the return of their French rulers and the British and Indian troops who protected them. The Japanese troops, who were still in Vietnam waiting to be sent home, were drafted by the Western Allies to help fight the communists. British combate lasted about six months, from when they arrived in Saigon in September, 1945, until they turned things over to French forces and withdrew in March, 1946.

    Indonesian Revolution (1945-1946)- Similar to the situation in Vietnam, British troops were tasked with re-occupying Japanese-held Indonesia until the Dutch colonial administration could resume rule. The natioanalist Indonesian forces resisted a return to colonial rule, and launched attacks against British, Dutch and Japanese troops (who, like in Vietnam, had been drafted into service by the Allies). British forces withdrew when the Dutch were able to return in force. British involement in this Indonesian war was from late September, 1945, until November, 1946.

    Malayan Emergency-(1948-1960)-British forces battled local communist guerrillas in Malaya.

    Korean War-(1950-1953)-The UK joined in the American-led UN effort to defend South Korea from North Korea and China.

    Anglo-Egyptian War of 1951-1952 (1951-1952)--Egyptian guerrillas, aided by the governement carried out a campaign against British forces stationed at the Suez Canal and agains other symbols of Britain and the West. On January 25, 1952, British troops retaliated against Egypt by attacking an Egyptian police station, killing 50 and wounding 100. The conflict ended with a change in the Egyptian government and the eventual withdrawal of British troops. This conflict led to Britain's involvment in the 1956 Anglo-French-Israeli invasion of Egypt in 1956. (see below)

    Mau Mau Insurgency-(1952-1956)-Kenyan guerrilla war against British rule.

    Cyprus Emergency--(1955-1959)- Guerrilla war by the Greek Cypriot militant group, the National Organisation of Cypriot Fighters (EOKA), to force the withdrawal of British from Cyprus. The primary goal of the rebels was to unite Greek-majority Cyprus with Greece. Britain, which had controlled or ruled Cyprus since 1878, granted independence to Cyprus in 1960.

    Suez/Sinai War (1956)-

    Muscat and Oman Intervention (1957-1959)--British troops aid the goverment of Muscat and Oman (now known simply as Oman), against rebels. British troops withdrew after a successful campaign. This war is also know as the Jebel Akhdar War.

    Jordan Intervention (1958)--Britain airlifted troops to Jordan in response to a request for aid from the Jordanian king. King Hussein felt threatened by the recent union of Syria and Egypt, as well as the violent revolution in Iraq in which the Iraq king, a member of Hussein's family, was brutally murdered. After the situation calmed down, British troops left Jordan.

    Brunei Revolt-(December, 1962)-Britain had been in negotiations with t Malaya, Singapore, Sabah, and Sarawak to form a new Malaysian Federation as British rule in these areas was ending. Indonesia opposed Brunei (and Sabah and Sarawak--all of whom were in the northern part of Borneo/Kalimantan Island-Indonesia controlled the bulk of the island) from joining this federation, and pro-Indonesian rebels launched a rebellion in Brune in in 1962. British forces defeated the rebels.

    Malaysia-Indonesia Confrontation (1963-1966)-Indonesia launched a guerrilla war against Malaysia (the new nation comprised of Malaya, Sabah, and Sarawak) to take control of the northern portion of Borneo. British forces supported the Malaysians. Australia and New Zealand also participated in the war against Indonesia.

    Ugandan Army Mutiny (1964)--The army of Uganda, which had recently become independent of Britain, mutinied against the government of President Milton Obote in January of 1964. Unable to control the situation, Obote called for help from British forces who put down the revolt.

    Dhofar Rebellion (1962-1976)-Marxist rebels, aided by the new South Yemen government, battled the Omani government forces in the western region of Dhofar. British air and ground forces aided the Omani government defeat the rebels.

    Aden Conflict-(1964-1967) -Rebels in the British-ruled part of Yemen known as Aden waged a guerrilla war against the British and associated Yemeni forces. Following the British withdrawal, the new nation of South Yemen was formed.

    The Conflict in Northern Ireland (1969-1998)

    The Falkland Islands War (1982)

    Falkland Islands War Images and Pictures

    Gulf War (1991)-British, U.S., French, and other Allied nations joined together to end the Iraqi occupation of Kuwait. Also known in the West as the First Iraq War.

    No-Fly Zone War (1991-2003)-Following the Gulf War of 1991, British and American warplanes enforced a "No-Fly Zone" in both northern and southern Iraq to prevent Iraqi government air strikes against Kurdish and Shiite forces. This resulted in nearly constant air strikes by the Allies against Iraqi military targets. As the launching of the 2003 invasion of Iraq approached, the British and U.S. forces increasingly used the No-Fly Zone status as a means of degrading Iraqi defenses leading up to the invasion.

    Bosnian War (1992-1996)- British forces, as part of NATO, engaged in combat operations and peacekeeping operations in Bosnia during the protracted Yugoslav civil wars.

    Kosovo War (1999)-British forces, as part of NATO, engaged in combat operations and peacekeeping operations in Kosovo during the protracted Yugoslav civil wars.

    British military intervention in the Sierra Leone Civil War (2000-2002)-British forces intervened in the Sierra Leone Civil War and helped government forces end the war. British troops remained in Sierra Leone for several more years to ensure the peacea and train government forces.

    Afghanistan War (2001-2014)-British troops were withdrawn from Afghanistan in 2014, though the war there continues.

    Iraq War (2003-2009)-British troops were withdrawn from combat in Iraq in 2009, though U.S. troops remained until 2011.

    Libyan War (2011)-British air and naval forces joined in a coalition to aid Libyan rebels against the government of Muammar Khadaffy. British special forces played a role on the ground.

    ISIS War (2014-Present)-Upon a request for military assistance, the UK, along with several other Western nations (U.S., France, Canada, etc.) began military operations against the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) forces in Iraq. This military intervention later included airstrikes and special forces operations against ISIS in Syria and Libya, as well as in Iraq.

    Sources for British Wars 1945-Present:

    1. Kohn, George C. Dictionary of War s. New York: Facts On File Publications, 1999.

    2. Steems, Peter and William L. Langer., ed. An Encyclopedia of World History. Boston, Massachusetts: Houghton Mifflin, 2002.

    3. Britain's Small Wars website

    When was the UK last at war?
    There have been no declarations of war since the Second World War (against Thailand in 1942, to be precise), though British Armed Forces have taken part in armed conflict on numerous occasions nonetheless. more
    Was World War 1 the worst war?
    Also called The Great War, World War I was one of the deadliest conflicts in history, and set the stage for another world war just 20 years later. It was known as “The Great War”—a land, air and sea conflict so terrible, it left over 8 million military personnel and 6.6 million civilians dead. more
    Is Cold War really an appropriate name for the conflict between the United States and the Soviet Union in what ways was the Cold War actually a hot war?
    It's called the Cold War because no actual military engagement took place between the United States and the USSR (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics). Instead, fighting took place in proxy wars conducted in "third-world" countries. more
    Was the 7 years war a world war?
    Key Facts of the Seven Years' War. The Seven Years' War (1756–63) was one of the bloodiest conflicts of the 18th century. Winston Churchill called it “the first world war.” Fighting involved all of the great powers of Europe and took place in Europe, the Americas, and Asia. more
    Is taking prisoners of war a war crime?
    POWs cannot be prosecuted for taking a direct part in hostilities. Their detention is not a form of punishment, but only aims to prevent further participation in the conflict. They must be released and repatriated without delay after the end of hostilities. more
    Why did Cold War remain a Cold War and did not escalate into a hot war?
    Cold war remain cold and did not turn hot due to "LOGIC OF DETERRENCE". It prevents countries from mutual destruction that causes war. As a result of logic of deterrence, countries became rational and responsible actors. more
    Is the Korean War a Cold War?
    The Korean War was a proxy war for the Cold War. The West—the United Kingdom and the U.S., supported by the United Nations—supported South Korea, while communist China and the Soviet Union supported North Korea. more
    Is war natural Is war inevitable?
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    Why did Cold War remain cold war and did not escalate into a hot war?
    Cold war remain cold and did not turn hot due to "LOGIC OF DETERRENCE". It prevents countries from mutual destruction that causes war. As a result of logic of deterrence, countries became rational and responsible actors. more
    Why is war called war?
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