Andrew James John Mackenzie
an historiography
Contact Me
January, 2012
February, 2012
April, 2012
June, 2012
July, 2012
August, 2012
September, 2012
October, 2012
November, 2012
December, 2012
January, 2013
February, 2013
March, 2013
April, 2013
May, 2013
June, 2013
July, 2013
August, 2013
September, 2013
October, 2013
November, 2013
December, 2013
January, 2014
February, 2014
March, 2014
April, 2014
May, 2014
June, 2014
July, 2014
August, 2014
September, 2014
October, 2014
November, 2014
December, 2014
January, 2015
February, 2015
April, 2015
May, 2015
June, 2015
July, 2015
August, 2015
September, 2015
October, 2015
November, 2015
December, 2015
January, 2016
February, 2016
April, 2016
May, 2016
June, 2016
July, 2016
August, 2016
September, 2016
October, 2016
November, 2016
December, 2016
January, 2017
March, 2017
June, 2017
The 2002 British ‘Invasion’ of Spain

One of the more unfortunate and embarrassing military moments of the British Special Forces was the incident that occurred In 2002. During an amphibious training mission, a unit of 30 British Marines transiting in a landing craft from HMS Ocean, armed in full combat gear and equipment, raided an apparently deserted beach – a beach adjoining the Spanish town of La Linea. Not the intended beach on Gibraltar. Thus prompting an apparent sea invasion of Spain.

Situated between the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea, Gibraltar is of huge military importance to the United Kingdom. It is one of the reasons, therefore, why they are so hotly contested. Gibraltar originally came under British control in 1704, following an Anglo-Dutch invasion. Subsequently, the 1716 Treaty of Utrecht confirmed Britain’s dominance. Sixty-three years later, a Spanish attempt to reclaim the territory by siege failed and Gibraltar was finally declared a British colony in 1830. General Franco, the Spanish Dictator, made a further attempt to claim Gibraltar during the 1950s. Even as recently as 2002, Spain proposed for shared sovereignty between themselves and the UK. For that reason, relations between Spain and Britain have been frayed in times past.

Relations had the potential to fragment still further, however. O
n 16 February 2002, armed with 60mm mortars and assault rifles, the royal marines charged up the Spanish beach and proceeded to take up defensive situations in the sand, much to the surprise and alarm of local fishermen.

Whilst executing a military mission, it had transpired that the Marines had landed on the wrong beach, missing Gibraltar by a few hundred yards. Although highly embarrassing, no unfortunate incidents occurred; all because of negligent orientation. According to the British Ministry of Defence, they commented that it was an incident it would “rather not have taken place”. Their statement went as follows:

“Two landing craft from HMS Ocean accidentally entered Spanish territorial waters and in bad weather one landing craft landed on the beach a few yards over the Spanish side of the border…About 20 Royal Marines disembarked for about five minutes and then the error was recognised and they all withdrew.“


All copyrighted material used in this article or cited by this website is the property of their respective owners and in no way accepts any responsibility for an infringement on one of the above.

<< Back Add New Comment
0 items total
Add New Comment
Please type the confirmation code you see on the image*
Reload image
BlogPhotosCVContact Me