The British Occupation of Iceland during World War II and its Impact

TLDR Iceland, despite declaring itself a neutral country, was occupied by the British during World War II due to its strategic location. The occupation was carried out without resistance, leading to a violation of Icelandic sovereignty and a contentious subject on the island.

Timestamped Summary

00:00 Iceland's strategic location made it important to both sides of the conflict in World War II, despite not being an active participant.
02:20 Iceland sought full independence from Denmark and declared itself a neutral country, but Germany's occupation of Denmark and Norway put Britain in a difficult position during World War II.
04:23 The British government offered to help Iceland maintain its independence and join the UK as an ally, but Iceland chose to remain neutral, leading the British to consider other options to protect North Atlantic shipping.
06:17 Operation Fork, the British occupation of Iceland, was hastily planned and executed, with little intelligence and no knowledge of how Iceland would react, resulting in the loss of surprise and a violation of Icelandic neutrality.
08:17 The British occupation of Iceland was carried out without resistance, resulting in a violation of Icelandic sovereignty and a formal protest from the Icelandic government, while the German plan for an invasion of Iceland, known as Operation Icarus, was based on the idea of breaking the UK's defensive line by taking either the Faroe Islands or the Shetlands.
10:21 Hitler's plan for the invasion of Iceland, known as Operation Icarus, involved 5,000 ground units and a small fleet of ships, but the plan was ultimately scrapped due to lack of support from the Luftwaffe and the Kriegsmarine.
12:22 Iceland officially became a republic in 1944 and joined NATO in 1949, realizing the strategic importance of its island and choosing to work with the Allies; the occupation of Iceland remains a contentious subject on the island, with some viewing it as a violation of sovereignty and others seeing it as the event that brought Iceland into the modern world.
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