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What Is the World’s Smallest Country?

Fort Roughs was originally erected in the North Sea about seven miles (11 km) off the coast of Britain during World War II, in international waters. Basically a platform on two concrete pillars rising 60 feet (18 m) above sea level, the anti-aircraft gun platform -- one of a number of so-called Maunsell Forts -- kept watch for German air attackers and provided a first line of defense. The forts were decommissioned in the late 1950s, and were later commandeered by pirate radio entities broadcasting rock and roll in the 1960s. One such platform, however, was taken over by Paddy Roy Bates, who created the self-proclaimed Principality of Sealand in 1967, an unrecognized micronation with its own flag, national anthem, currency, and postage stamps.

A country in name only:

  • Bates was a former major in the British Army who declared himself Prince of Sealand. His wife, Joan, was Princess of Sealand, and his son, Michael, inherited the "throne" of the micro-state when Paddy Roy Bates died in 2012.

  • The Bates proclamation spurred the British government to destroy the remaining Maunsell Forts in order to prevent similar situations from happening, but the U.K. left Sealand alone.

  • The Principality of Sealand technically still exists today, but it’s now officially in British territorial waters. Additionally, the United Nations denied island status to the platform in 1994.

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More Info: The Vintage News

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