Colonial Wars involving France and the United Kingdom

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There are some people who don’t know the history of wars involving European nations and African nations.

Between 700 and 2020 there have been at least 104 wars, mainly initiated by European nations on African nations or the Diaspora of African nations. Only 1 of those wars was initiated by African nations.

There have been 40 wars involving the United Kingdom and 64 wars involving France. We haven’t included wars involving the Dutch Republic, Germany, the United States, the Ottomans, Portugal, Spain and Italy in order to make the collation of information manageable and reading it digestible.

List of wars involving the United Kingdom and Africans or diaspora of Africa

There have been 40 wars involving Africans:

Great Britain

ConflictBritain & alliesBritain’s oppositionOutcome
Tacky’s War
(1760)
 Great Britain
Jamaican Government
Jamaican Maroons
Ashanti SlavesBritish Allied victory

  • Slave defeat
  • Death of Tacky
  • Tacky’s men committed suicide
Second Maroon War
(1795–1796)
 Great Britain
British Jamaica
Jamaican MaroonsBritish victory

  • Maroon defeat
  • Treaty signed established that the Maroons would beg on their knees for the King’s forgiveness, return all runaway slaves, and be relocated elsewhere in Jamaica
  • Breach of treaty caused deportation of several Maroons to Nova Scotia and later to Sierra Leone in Africa

United Kingdom

ConflictBritain & Her AlliesBritain’s oppositionOutcome
Temne War
(1801–1807)
Susu tribesKingdom of KoyaBritish Allied victory

Northern shore of Sierra Leone ceded by Koya

Ashanti–Fante War
(1806–1807)
 Ashanti Empire

Dutch Empire

Fante Confederacy
Merina Conquest of Madagascar
(1810–1817)
Merina KingdomRival tribesBritish victory

Merina control of Madagascar Merina pro-British policies

4th Xhosa War
(1811–1812)
Xhosa tribesBritish victory

Xhosa tribes pushed beyond the Fish River, reversing their gains in the previous Xhosa wars

Ga-Fante War
(1811)
 Ashanti Empire

Ga tribes

Dutch Empire

Fante Confederacy

Akwapim tribes

Akim tribes

Tantamkweri ceded to Akwapim tribes
5th Xhosa War
(1818–1819)
Khoikhoi ForcesForces of Xhosa Chief Maqana NxeleBritish Allied victory

Xhosa pushed beyond Keiskama River

Greek War of Independence
(1820–1830)
 Greek revolutionaries

Ionian Islands

 Ottoman Empire

Egypt

British Allied victory

Establishment of the Kingdom of Greece

First Ashanti War
(1823–1831)
 Ashanti EmpireInconclusive/Other Outcome

  • Stalemate after armistice
Baptist War
(1831–1832)
 United Kingdom
Jamaican Government
Rebel SlavesBritish victory

  • Slave defeat
  • Rebellion suppressed
The 6th Xhosa War
(1834–1836)
 Free KhoikhoiXhosa tribesBritish victory

Extensive territorial gains from Xhosa

The 8th Xhosa War
(1850–1853)

Mlanjeni’s War

Xhosa tribes

Khoikhoi tribes

Native Kafir Police

British victory

Xhosa-Khoi attacks defeated Status quo ante bellum

Second Ashanti War
(1863–1864)
 Ashanti EmpireInconclusive/Other Outcome
British Expedition to Abyssinia
(1867–1868)
 United Kingdom EthiopiaBritish victory
1868 Expedition to Abyssinia
(1868)
 India AbyssiniaBritish victory

British hostages freed War of the Abyssinian Succession begins

Third Ashanti War
(1873–1874)
 Ashanti EmpireBritish victory

Treaty of Fomena:

  • 50,000 oz of gold compensation from Ashanti Empire
  • Ashanti withdrawal from coastal areas
  • Ashanti banned from practicing human sacrifice
The 9th Xhosa War
(1877–1879)
 Mfengu TribeXhosa Gcaleka TribeBritish victory

All Xhosa territory annexed to the Cape Colony

Anglo-Zulu War
(1879)
 NatalZulu KingdomBritish victory

Zululand annexed to Natal

‘Urabi Revolt
(1879–1882)
 United Kingdom
Khedivate of Egypt
 Egyptian and Sudanese forces under Ahmed ‘UrabiBritish Allied victory

  • ‘Urabi forces defeated and exiled
First Boer War
(1880–1881)
 South African RepublicSouth African victory

Pretoria Convention:

  • South African Republic granted self-government
Mahdist War
(1884–1889)
 Egypt

Italy

Belgium

Mahdist SudanBritish Allied victory

Sudan ruled by Britain and Egypt

Anglo-Zanzibar War
(1896)
 ZanzibarBritish victory

Pro-British Sultan installed

Second Boer War
(1899–1902)
 Orange Free State

South African Republic

Foreign volunteers

British victory

Treaty of Vereeniging:

  • All Boers to surrender arms and swear allegiance to the Crown
  • Dutch language permitted in education
  • Promise to grant Boer republics self-government
  • £3,000,000 compensation “reconstruction aid” to Afrikaners
Anglo-Aro War
(1901–1902)
 Aro ConfederacyBritish victory

Aro Confederacy destroyed

Battle of KanoBritish EmpireSokoto caliphateBritish victory
First World War
(1914–1918)
Allied PowersCentral PowersBritish Allied victory

Treaty of Versailles:

  • German demobilisation

Treaties of Saint-Germain-en-Laye and Trianon:

Russia pulls out in 1917

  • Russian Civil War
    • Creation of the Soviet Union

Creation of League of Nations:

Somaliland campaign (1920)
(1920)
 Somaliland

British East Africa

 Dervish StateBritish victory

Demise of the Dervish State

1922 Burao Tax Revolt
(1922)
 United Kingdom

•  British Somaliland

Habr Yunis tribesmenTribal victory

  • Tax policy abandoned

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (1922–present)

ConflictBritain & Her AlliesBritain’s oppositionOutcome
Second World War
(1939–1945)
Allied PowersAxis PowersBritish Allied victory

Nazi Germany formally surrenders 8 May 1945ending the Second World War in Europe.
On August 15, 1945, following the dropping of atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan announces its surrender, ending the Second World War

British (and Commonwealth), French, American, and Soviet troops occupy Germany until 1955, Italy and Japan lose their colonies, Europe is divided into ‘Soviet’ and ‘Western’ spheres of interest.

1945 Sheikh Bashir Rebellion
(1945)
 United Kingdom

•  British Somaliland

Armed Habr Je’lo tribesmenBritish Pyrrhic Victory

Sheikh Bashir killed, unrest continues, anti-colonialist and nationalist sentiment increases in Somaliland

1951 Anglo-Egyptian War
(1951–1952)
 United Kingdom EgyptBritish victory

Mau Mau Uprising
(1952–1960)
 United Kingdom

Mau MauBritish victory

  • Defeat of Mau Mau
  • Kenyan independence
Jebel Akhdar War
(1954–1959)
 Sultanate of Muscat and Oman
United Kingdom
 Imamate of Oman

British Allied victory

  • Dissolution of the Imamate of Oman
Suez Crisis
(1956–1957)
 United Kingdom

France

Israel

 EgyptInconclusive/Other Outcome

Coalition military victory[16][17][18]
Egyptian political victory[16]

  • Anglo-French withdrawal following international pressure (December 1956)
  • Israeli occupation of Sinai (until March 1957)
  • UNEF deployment in Sinai[19]
  • Straits of Tiran re-opened to Israeli shipping
Sierra Leone Civil War
(2000–2002)
 Sierra Leone

United Kingdom

 Rebels

Liberia

British Allied victory

Rebels defeated

Libyan Civil War
(2011)
Many NATO  members acting under  UN mandate, including:

United States

United Kingdom

France

Denmark

Italy

Canada

and

Anti-Gaddafi forces

several Arab League states

Sweden

 Pro-Gaddafi forcesBritish Allied victory

Operation Shader
(2014–present)
 United States
United Kingdom
Iraq
Syrian Opposition
Australia
Belgium
Canada
Denmark
France
Germany
Italy
Netherlands
New Zealand
Norway
Portugal
Spain
Turkey
Bahrain
Jordan
Morocco
Qatar
Saudi Arabia
United Arab Emirates
Rojava
Egypt
Libya
Nigeria
Cameroon
Chad
Niger
Russia
 Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant
Boko Haram

al-Nusra Front
Khorasan

Ahrar ash-Sham

Ongoing

  • The UK’s Operation Shader is ongoing as part of intervention in Iraq and Syria (2014–present)
  • 3,000+ ISIL fighters killed in 1,700 British airstrikes.[30][31]
  • Ongoing operations by UK Special Forces in Syria.
  • British armed forces provide material and training to Iraqi Security Forces and Peshmerga.[32][33]
  • As part of the American-led interventions in Syria and Iraq, contributes to the loss of all of ISIL’s territory in Iraq (by December 2017) and Syria (by March 2019).

List of wars involving France and Africans

There have been 64 wars involving France and Africans or the Diaspora of Africans.

Frankish Kingdom, Carolingian Empire and West Francia

ConflictFranks & alliesFrankish oppositionOutcome
Umayyad invasion of Gaul
(719–759)

LocationSouthern Gaul

Francia

Kingdom of the Lombards

Umayyad Caliphate

Andalusi commanders (as of 750)

Frankish victory

Kingdom of France (987–1792)

ConflictCombatant 1Combatant 2Outcome
Reconquista
(722-1492)

Location: Iberia

  • Muslim nations and factions of Iberia
Christian Victory
Fifth Crusade
(1217-1221)

Location: Egypt and Levant

 AyyubidsCrusader Defeat
Seventh Crusade
(1248-1254)

Location: Egypt

 Kingdom of France

Principality of Morea
Knights Templar

 AyyubidsCrusader Defeat
Eighth Crusade
(1270)

Location: Tunisia

Hafsid dynastyInconclusive, Death of King Louis IX
Barbary Crusade
(1390)

Location: Tunisia

Kingdom of France
Republic of Genoa
Hafsids
Zianids
Bejaia
Truce negotiated, Both sides claim victory
French conquest of Senegal
(1659–1895)

Location: Senegal

 FranceWaalo Kingdom
Kingdom of Cayor
Jolof Empire
Baol
Kingdom of Sine
Saloum
French victory

  • France conquers territory of present-day Senegal
French-Tripolitania War (1681-1685)

Location: ChiosTripoli and Tunis

 FranceFrench Victory
French-Algerian War 1681-88
(1681–88)

Location: Algiers

 France Regency of AlgiersFrench Victory
War of the Spanish Succession
(1701–1714)

Location: EuropeNorth AmericaAsiaAfrica

*  France

 Holy Roman Empire

Treaty of UtrechtTreaty of Portsmouth

Seven Years’ War
(1756–1763)

 France

Wabanaki Confederacy

Algonquin
Lenape
Ojibwa
Ottawa
Shawnee
Wyandot

 Great Britain

Iroquois Confederacy
Catawba
Cherokee (before 1758)

French defeat
Larache expedition
(1765)

Location: LaracheMorocco

 France MoroccoFrench defeat

First French Republic (1792–1804)

ConflictFrance & alliesFrance’s oppositionOutcome
Haitian Revolution
(1791–1804)

Location: Saint-Domingue

 Slave owners
Kingdom of France
French Republic
 Ex-slaves
French royalists
Captaincy General of Santo Domingo (1793–1795)
Great Britain
Ex-slaves (1802–1803)
Haitian victory

First French Empire wars (1804–1814,15):

ConflictFrance & alliesFrance’s oppositionOutcome
Siege of Santo Domingo
(1805)

Location: Santo DomingoSaint-Domingue
present day Dominican Republic

 France HaitiFrench victory

Bourbon Restoration (1814-15, 1815–1830)

ConflictFrance & alliesFrance’s oppositionOutcome
Franco-Trarzan War of 1825
(1825)

Location: WaaloWest Africa

 FranceTrarzaFrench victory

July Monarchy wars (1830–1848):

ConflictFrance & alliesFrance’s oppositionOutcome
French conquest of Algeria
(1827–1830–1857)

Location: Regency of Algiers

 France Ottoman Empire

Emirate of Abdelkader
Kingdom of Ait Abbas
Kel Ahaggar
Sultanate of Morocco

French victory

First Franco-Moroccan War
(1844)

Location: Morocco

 France Morocco
Algerian volunteers
French victory

Second French Republic wars (1848–1852):

ConflictFrance & alliesFrance’s oppositionOutcome
Bombardment of Salé
(1851)

Location: Morocco

 France Sherifian EmpireFrench military victory
French political failure

  • Morocco agreed to pay 100,000 francs to the French on 29 November 1851 to avoid further conflict.
  • France had desired a revolt against the governor of Salé to force repayment and avoid destruction of the city, but this did not occur.
Siege of Medina Fort
(1857)

Location: Médine, Mali

 FranceToucouleur EmpireFrench victory

French Third Republic wars (1870–1940):

ConflictFrance & alliesFrance’s oppositionOutcome
French conquest of Tunisia
(1881)

Location: Tunisia

 France Beylik of TunisFrench victory

  • Tunisia becomes a French protectorate
Mandingo Wars
(1883–1898)

Location: West Africa

 France Wassoulou EmpireFrench victory
First Madagascar expedition
(1883–1885)

Location: Madagascar

 France Merina KingdomFrench victory
First Franco-Dahomean War
(1890)

Location: Ouémé Department of modern Benin

 France DahomeyFrench victory

  • Dahomey recognizes Porto-Novo as a French protectorate and gives up customs rights to Cotonou in exchange for yearly payment
Second Franco-Dahomean War
(1892–1894)

Location: Modern Benin

 France DahomeyFrench victory

  • Dahomey conquered and incorporated as a French protectorate
First Italo-Ethiopian War
(1894-1896)

Location: Eritrea and Ethiopia

 Ethiopia
Support:
Russia
France

Eritrean rebels

 Italy

Ethiopian victory

Second Madagascar expedition
(1894–1895)

Location: Madagascar

 France Merina KingdomFrench victory
Rabih War
(1899–1901)

Location: West Africa

 France Kanem–Bornu EmpireFrench victory
1904–1905 uprising in Madagascar
(1904–1905)

Location: Madagascar

 FranceRebelsFrench victory

  • Rebellion suppressed
Ouaddai War
(1909–1911)

Location: Ouaddai Empire

 FranceOuaddai EmpireFrench victory

French conquest of Morocco
(1911–1934)

Location: North Africa

 France

Morocco

Zaian Confederation
Varying other Berber tribes
French victory
Zaian War
(1914–1921)

Location: French protectorate of Morocco

 France

Morocco

Zaian Confederation
Varying other Berber tribes
Supported during the First World War by the Central Powers
French victory
First World War
(1914–1918)

Location: EuropeAfricaAsiaMiddle East, the Pacific Islands, and coast of North and South America

Allied PowersCentral PowersAllied victory

Volta-Bani War
(1915–1917)

Location: Burkino Faso, Mali

 France

Marka, Bwa, Lela, Nuni, and Bobo peopleFrench victory
Kaocen revolt
(1916–1917)

Location: Northern Niger

 France

Tuareg guerrillasFrench victory
Rif War
(1920–1927)

Location: Morocco

 Spain
France (1925–1926)
Jebala tribes
 Republic of the Rif
Jebala tribes
Franco-Spanish victory

Kongo-Wara rebellion
(1928–1931)

Location: French Equatorial AfricaFrench Cameroon

 France

Fula people

Co-belligerents:
Gbaya chiefdoms

Gbaya people and clans

Co-belligerents:
Mbum people
Mbai people
Pana people
Yangere people
Mbimou people
Goundi people

French victory
Second World War
(1939–1945)

Location: EuropePacific OceanAtlantic OceanSoutheast AsiaEast AsiaMiddle EastMediterraneanNorth AfricaOceaniaNorth and South America

Allied PowersAxis PowersAllied victory

French Fourth Republic wars (1946–1958):

ConflictFrance & alliesFrance’s oppositionOutcome
Malagasy Uprising
(1947–1948)

Location: Madagascar

 France MDRMFrench victory

  • Uprising Crushed by French, various participants tried and executed
  • Scars on Malagasy society
Algerian War
(1954–1962)

Location: Algeria

 France
NATO

 FLNMilitary stalemate

Suez Crisis
(1956)

Location: Gaza Strip and Egypt (Sinai and Suez Canal zone)

 Israel
United Kingdom
France
 EgyptCoalition military victory
Egyptian political victory
Ifni War
(1957–1958)

Location: Spanish SaharaIfniMorocco

 Spain
France
 Moroccan Army of LiberationFranco-Spanish victory

French Fifth Republic (1958–present)

ConflictFrance & alliesFrance’s oppositionOutcome
Bizerte crisis
(1961)

Location: BizerteTunisia

 France TunisiaFrench victory
Bamileke War
(1955-1964)

Location: French Cameroon

Before 1960
France

After 1960
Cameroon
France

 UPCFrench-Cameroonian victory
Shaba I
(1977)

Location: Shaba ProvinceZaire

 France
Zaire
Morocco
Egypt
Belgium
Supported by:
United States
China
Saudi Arabia
Sudan
Nigeria
 Front for the National Liberation of the Congo (FNLC)
Supported by:
Angola
Soviet Union
East Germany
Zairian victory
Shaba II
(1978)

Location: ShabaZaire

 France
Zaire
Belgium
Morocco
United States
Supported by
China
 Front for the National Liberation of the Congo (FNLC)
Supported by
Angola
Cuba (alleged)
Soviet Union (alleged)
Zairian victory
Western Sahara War
(1975-1991)

Location: Western Sahara

 Morocco
Mauritania (1975–1979)
France (1977–78) (Operation Lamantin, aid from 1978)
Supported by:
Saudi Arabia
United States
 Western Sahara

Algeria
Supported by:
Libya (until 1984)
North Korea (from 1978)

Inconclusive

  • Spanish withdrawal under the Madrid Accords (1976)
  • Mauritanian retreat and withdrawal of territorial claims
Chadian-Libyan conflict
(1978-1987)

Location: Chad

 Anti-Libyan Chadian factions

France
Zaire
Nigeria
Senegal
Supported by:
Sudan
Egypt
Israel
Iraq
United States

 Libya

Pro-Libyan Chadian factions

PLO (1987)
Supported by:
East Germany
Soviet Union

Chadian-French victory

Gulf War
(1990-1991)

Location: IraqKuwaitSaudi Arabia and
the Persian Gulf

 Kuwait
United States
United Kingdom
Saudi Arabia
Egypt
France
Syria
Morocco
Oman
Pakistan
Canada
United Arab Emirates
Qatar
Thailand
Bangladesh
Italy
Australia
Netherlands
Niger
Philippines
Sweden
Argentina
Senegal
Spain
Bahrain
Belgium
Poland
South Korea
Singapore
Norway
Czechoslovakia
Greece
Denmark
New Zealand
Hungary
 IraqCoalition victory

  • Iraqi forces expelled from Kuwait
  • Kuwaiti independence restored
  • Destruction of Iraqi and Kuwaiti infrastructure
Djiboutian Civil War
(1991-1994)

Location: Northern Djibouti

 Djibouti
Supported by :
France
 FRUDFranco-Djiboutian victory

  • FRUD peace accord
First Ivorian Civil War
(2002–2007)

Location: Ivory Coast

 Ivory Coast
Young Patriots of Abidjan militia
Liberian mercenaries
Supported by:
Russia
Bulgaria
Belarus

France
UNOIC

Forces Nouvelles de Côte d’IvoireVictory
Insurgency in the Maghreb
(2002–present)

Location: MaghrebSahara desert, Sahel

 Algeria
Mauritania
Tunisia
Libya
Mali
Niger
Chad
France
 al-QaedaOngoing
Haitian coup d’état
(2004)

Location: Haiti

 National Revolutionary Front for the Liberation of Haiti

MINUSTAH
United States
Chile
Canada
France

 Republic of HaitiVictory
Chadian Civil War
(2005–2010)

Location: Chad

 Chad
France
NMRD
JEM
Rebels
Janjaweed
Alleged support:
Sudan (until 2010)
Victory
War in Somalia
(2009–present)

Location: Somalia

 Somalia
United States
European Union
 Al-QaedaOngoing
Boko Haram insurgency
(2009–present)

Location: Northeast Nigeria

 Nigeria
Cameroon
Chad
Niger
Supported by:
Benin
Canada
China
France
Iran
Israel
Italy
Spain
United Kingdom
United States
 Boko HaramOngoing
Second Ivorian Civil War
(2010–2011)

Location: Ivory Coast

 New Forces
Liberian mercenaries
RDR
UNOCI
France
 Military of Ivory Coast
Liberian mercenaries
Young Patriots of Abidjan
Ivorian Popular Front
Victory
Libyan Civil War
(2011)

Location: Libya

 NATO

 Libyan Arab Jamahiriya:

Victory

Northern Mali Conflict
(2012–present)

Location: Northern Mali

 Government of Mali

France
ECOWAS

 National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad
(MNLA)

  • Islamic Movement of Azawad
Ongoing
Central African Republic Civil War
(2012–present)

Location: Central African Republic

 Central African Republic
MINUSCA (since 2014)
MISCA (2013–2014)
MICOPAX (2013)

France (2013–16)
South Africa (2012–13)
EUFOR RCA (2014–15)

 FPRC
UPC
MPC
Ongoing
Opération Chammal
(2014–present)

Location: IraqSyriaLibya

 France Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant
Syria
Ongoing

  • French airstrikes on ISIL in Iraq and Syria
  • ISIL ground attacks on French special forces repelled

Wars France was not involved in but provided support (Material, Political, Advisory etc)

ConflictSupported by FranceOpposed by FranceOutcome
Second Egyptian-Ottoman War
(1839-1841)

Location: The Levant

 Eyalet of Egypt
Kingdom of France
Kingdom of Spain
 Ottoman Empire
British Empire
Austrian Empire
Russian Empire
Kingdom of Prussia
Ottoman victory

  • Egypt renounces claim on Syria, Britain recognizes Muhammad Ali and his descendants as the legitimate rulers of Egypt
Spanish Civil War
(1936-1939)

Location: SpainMoroccoWestern SaharaNorth Sea and Guinea

 Republicans

Supported by:
Soviet Union
Mexico
France (1936)

 Nationalists

Italy
Germany
Supported by:
Portugal
Holy See (Diplomatic)
Foreign volunteers

Nationalist Victory
Nigerian Civil War
(1967-1970)

Location: Nigeria

 Biafra
Republic of Benin (1967)
Supported By:
France and various countries
 Nigeria
Supported By:
Various countries
Nigerian victory

Angolan Civil War
(1975-2002)

Location: Angola

 UNITA
FNLA (1975–1978)
South Africa(1975–1991)
Zaire(1975)
Supported By
United States (1975–1991)
Morocco (1970s)
China (1975)
FLEC
Material support:
France
 MPLA
Cuba(1975–1991)
SWAPO (1975–1991)
ANC(1975–1991)
Executive Outcomes (1993–1995)
FLNC (1975–2001)
Namibia (2001-2002)
Material support:
Soviet Union (1975-1991)
Yugoslavia (1975–1991)
North Korea (1980s)
MPLA Victory

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Colonial Wars involving France and the United Kingdom

by Editorial Team time to read: 12 min
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