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The Principality of Sealand

The Principality of Sealand is the smallest micronation in the world, in fact its size is only 550 square meters and it is 18 meters above the sea level. This nation has no land, because is a former military base, originally named “HM Fort Roughs”.
Fort Roughs was built during the Second World War in order to help defend London and the river Thames against German air raids. This military base was abandoned after the war, but during the 1960s Roy Bates, a former British army major, decided to occupy this artificial island.
Roy Bates knew that the fort was in international waters, so he got the indipendence from the United Kingdom, and he create the principality of Sealand. He proclared himsemlf Prince and his wife Princess.
That decision caught the attention of the British government, that wanted to end this embarassing state of affairs, so decided to send some workmen to Sealand, but when they went near Sealand, Roy fired warning shots, and fot that and the illegal possession of firearms was put on trial, but the court ruled that the Britain had no jurisdiction over Sealand; that appened in 1968.

So after that Roy Bates finally constituted officialy the principality of Sealand, but the indipendence could’n come without a price, in fact in August 1978 Alexander Achenbach that had a Sealand passport delcared himself “prime minister” and he attacked the country with the help of Dutch and German mercenaries and took Bates’ son hostage. Yet a military man, named Major Bates, attacked Sealand and captured Achenbach and he accused him of treason. The Austrian, German and Dutch goverments appealed to the British government to liberate Achenbach, but the British government cited the 1968 court ruling.
At this point the German government sent diplomats to Sealand to negotiate Achenbach release, and at the end Bates released the man but he wanted in return the recognition of his principality of Sealand, and that appened.
Nowadays there are some plans to extend the fortess and to build a harbour and possibly and artificial island with housing, hotels and a casino.

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