List of wars involving Iceland

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The following is a list of wars involving Iceland. Although modern Iceland does not maintain a standing army, navy, or air force, it maintains a militarized Coast Guard which is in charge of defending the country and has internationally deployed a small peacekeeping force on a few occasions.

None of the Cod Wars meets any of the common thresholds for a conventional war. They may more accurately be described as militarized interstate disputes.[1][2][3][4]


Conflict Combatant 1 Combatant 2 Result Icelandic
Battle of Vinland (1003)
Icelandic Vikings Native warriors Victory
  • Viking victory and withdrawal.
22 dead
Battle of Vinland (1010)
Icelandic Vikings Native warriors Victory
  • Native attack repelled; Viking withdrawal.
2 dead
Age of the Sturlungs
Coat of arms of the Icelandic Commonwealth.svg Gothis Coat of arms of the Icelandic Commonwealth.svg Gothis Old Covenant
Icelandic Reformation
Iceland stockfish coa.svg Catholics Christian I of Denmark Coat of Arms 1457-1460.svg Denmark
Iceland stockfish coa.svg Protestants
Protestant victory
First Cod War
 Iceland  United Kingdom Victory
  • Territorial waters expanded to 12 nmi.
Second Cod War
 Iceland  United Kingdom Victory
  • 50 nmi exclusive fishery zone created.
1 dead
Third Cod War
 Iceland  United Kingdom Victory
  • Exclusive fishery zone expanded to 200 nmi.


Mission Start-date End-date Location Troops deployed
Emblem of the Multi-National Force – Iraq.svg MNF-I 2003 2004  Iraq 2
ISAF ISAF 2003 2014  Afghanistan 2-32

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Steinsson, Sverrir (2016-03-22). "The Cod Wars: a re-analysis". European Security. 0 (0): 1–20. doi:10.1080/09662839.2016.1160376. ISSN 0966-2839. 
  2. ^ Hellmann, Gunther; Herborth, Benjamin (2008-07-01). "Fishing in the mild West: democratic peace and militarised interstate disputes in the transatlantic community". Review of International Studies. 34 (03): 481–506. doi:10.1017/S0260210508008139. ISSN 1469-9044. 
  3. ^ Ireland, Michael J.; Gartner, Scott Sigmund (2001-10-01). "Time to Fight: Government Type and Conflict Initiation in Parliamentary Systems". The Journal of Conflict Resolution. 45 (5): 547–568. JSTOR 3176313. 
  4. ^ Prins, Brandon C.; Sprecher, Christopher (1999-05-01). "Institutional Constraints, Political Opposition, And Interstate Dispute Escalation: Evidence from Parliamentary Systems, 1946–89". Journal of Peace Research. 36 (3): 271–287. doi:10.1177/0022343399036003002. ISSN 0022-3433.