Heroes of Invasions (05:04)
Bonnie Prince Charlie and his Jacobites have been remembered as romantic heroes for their daring invasion. In 1745, they made their way south through England until they were stopped at the Battle of Culloden.
Huguenot Invasion (06:43)
More than 50,000 French Huguenots, a Protestant sect, fled to England, bringing skilled craftsmanship with them. One Huguenot scholar noted that England's religious freedom and opportunities for newcomers made it a good place for immigrants. English public opinion varied between being welcoming or scared of waves of immigration.
Failed French Invasion (07:37)
In 1797, French ships headed on British soil as a diversion before a planned uprising in Ireland, but the ships blew off course and ended up in the small Welsh town of Fishguard. The disorganized French troops were led by Irish-American mercenary Colonel William Tate. The townspeople fought back and forced a surrender after two days.
French Balloon Invasion (04:49)
The Battle of Fishguard was the last invasion of Britain and its last land battle against France. When Napoleon took power in 1804, Britain feared he would invade using the new technology of hot air balloons to avoid crossing the English Channel.
Sea Invasions (04:38)
The British navy defeated Napoleon's troops at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. It was a massive victory, but the British still feared naval invasions. Large coastal defenses were built in cities like Dover and Kent.
Invasion Literature (02:35)
This genre of British literature centers on a foreign power invading the kingdom. Willis speaks with expert Christian Melby about how the genre highlights British fears and ideas about the outside world. The genre began in England in 1871.
Fear of Invasion (04:22)
By the 1930s, Britain was fearful of an invasion from the Nazis’ growing power in Germany. Air-raid shelters became increasingly common and varied widely in design and size.
Battle of Britain (04:13)
By August 1940, Britain was fighting against German air-raids and a possible invasion. The bombing began against airfields but escalated to urban targets as the Germans struggled to find a way to attack over the English Channel. The battle ended in October 1940.
Modern Immigration (05:31)
The fear of invasion was replaced with a fear of annihilation from nuclear weapons after World War II. In the 1960s, Britain began accepting thousands of newcomers from former colonies. Waves of migration have been creating the cultural makeup of Britain for hundreds of years.
Credits: Invasion: Episode 3 (00:43)
Credits: Invasion: Episode 3
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