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49 votes
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Why weren’t the Dutch and Belgian borders fortified with wire, trenches, mines, etc., as it became clear Germany would invade during WW2?

No, it wouldn't have worked. ... what reasons could have led the Allied decision makers ... You're making a mistake here: before hostilities began, both The Netherlands and Belgium had (repeatedly) ...
Jos's user avatar
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24 votes
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Is there any instance of part of a country successfully seceding and then unifying with a neighbouring country in the last century?

The Acre War happened around 1900. Formerly it was a sparsely populated part of Bolivia, beyond the Andes, thus hard to reach from Bolivia. With the rubber boom in the last decades of the XIX c., ...
Luiz's user avatar
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21 votes
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Why does Sugar Island belong to USA?

In short, the British agreed to the US having Sugar Island in exchange for the right of British subjects to have access to certain American waters. They felt that land, which was abundant at the time, ...
Lars Bosteen's user avatar
16 votes
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Why is the border between Myanmar and Thailand so long?

The long border is due to the Burmese control of the Tenasserim Coast (also known as Tanintharyi), the region between the border and the Andaman Sea. The predecessors of both countries have fought ...
user69715's user avatar
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15 votes

Is there any instance of part of a country successfully seceding and then unifying with a neighbouring country in the last century?

Kashmir might be the biggest example, if you are willing to accept "de facto control" rather than "international recognition". Parts of Kashmir are currently de facto part of ...
James K's user avatar
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15 votes
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Why is Killiniq island divided between Nunavut and Labrador?

Of course it didn't start out as a border with Nunavut, but instead a murky border with Rupert's Land, which "belonged" to the Hudson's Bay Company. Much later, a more precise border between ...
Spencer's user avatar
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14 votes
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How did an English person get entry to East Germany during the Cold War?

I visited East Berlin and Dresden in 1978 with my mother and sister ( I was 18 at the time) from the USA. We had to obtain visas many months prior to our visit from a travel agent who specialized in ...
Matt Balent's user avatar
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12 votes
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What was the border regime between Poland and Czechoslovakia like during the 1970s and 1980s?

For the countries of the former Warsaw Pact borders were normally restricted to permitted traffic. Borders themselves were patrolled and places where one could cross it were limited. Mind you that ...
AcePL's user avatar
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12 votes

Is there any instance of part of a country successfully seceding and then unifying with a neighbouring country in the last century?

The Greater Poland Uprising (1918-1919) fits your criteria. The Poles in the Greater Poland region fought German rulers to unify with the newly created Second Polish Republic. Although it is a bit of ...
ciamej's user avatar
  • 221
8 votes

Why weren’t the Dutch and Belgian borders fortified with wire, trenches, mines, etc., as it became clear Germany would invade during WW2?

Maginot, whose name has became synonymous with failure in France, and Petain - the symbol of national treason, were in fact quite competent and their plan of defense, on which they frequently clashed, ...
Criminal_Affair_At_SO's user avatar
7 votes
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Why was it deemed necessary that the “average person… knows they are on the border”, which resulted in the creation of the US-Canadian border slash?

Today's border slash (more commonly known as a border vista) was made in the early 1900's in order to carry out the requirements of the Treaty of 1908 and the Treaty of 1925. These treaties called for ...
Giter's user avatar
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7 votes

Why is the border between Myanmar and Thailand so long?

The eastern border of modern Burma is basically the eastern border of the British Empire in mainland Southeast Asia prior to independence. The geographical / strategic point made in the question ...
Brian Z's user avatar
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6 votes

Have there been any instances of US states trading land, not related to the creation of a state?

Ellis Island, part of New York State, was expanded significantly over the years by fill. There was no problem with the original demarcation or surveying, but the water surrounding the island was ...
Aaron Brick's user avatar
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5 votes

How were borders patrolled in history? They seem too large to patrol

There are 3 major types of Border Controls: Immigration Control the control of persons crossing a border Customs Control the control and taxing of goods crossing a border Military fortification ...
Mark Johnson's user avatar
  • 9,726
5 votes

How were borders patrolled in history? They seem too large to patrol

First, define what you mean by "history". There's quite a lot of it, you know :-) With few exceptions (like Hadrian's Wall or the Great Wall of China, where the people on the other side ...
jamesqf's user avatar
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5 votes

Have there been any instances of US states trading land, not related to the creation of a state?

The Wikipedia article on West Virginia makes it appear that Berkeley and Jefferson counties were not originally part of the state and subsequently (but in quick sequence) asked to be annexed to it, ...
C Monsour's user avatar
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5 votes

Why did Ethiopia not fight with Eritrea over coastal territory when giving them independence?

Just registered for the site, but I do know a bit about this! Following World War 2, Ethiopia wanted Eritrea, and the UN in 1950 came up with an agreement in which they would be a Federation together....
DictatorDom14's user avatar
5 votes

Is there any instance of part of a country successfully seceding and then unifying with a neighbouring country in the last century?

There are some good examples following the dissolution of Austria-Hungary; In 1918, the Kingdom of Croatia-Slavonia proclaimed independence, merged with the newly constituted State of Slovenes, Croats ...
Radovan Garabík's user avatar
5 votes
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What were the areas of European countries in 1936 and 1949?

This depends a bit on your definition of precision. The most accessable sources would be: 1935-36: Statistical Year-Book of the League of Nations – Table 2: area and population lists the area rounded ...
ccprog's user avatar
  • 5,304
4 votes

Was Abu Simbel also designed to serve as a border between Egypt and Nubia?

It doesn't seem so. Earlier Egyptian temples in Nubia, for example the temple of Wadi al-Sabua, had been located within what appear to be fortified enclosures. That does not appear to be the case ...
sempaiscuba's user avatar
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4 votes
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Have the arts ever moved borders?

Take Germany or Italy Both were "latecomers" as modern nationstates, assembled from a patchwork of more-or-less-sovereign states sharing a common culture. This assembly process was driven not just by ...
o.m.'s user avatar
  • 17k
4 votes

Is there any instance of part of a country successfully seceding and then unifying with a neighbouring country in the last century?

Not an example of a "violent" secession, but I think this perfectly captures the title question. Hatay Province of modern Turkey seceded from Syria and on 29 June 1939, following a ...
Durmus's user avatar
  • 141
3 votes

What was the border regime between Poland and Czechoslovakia like during the 1970s and 1980s?

Just from asking around a little here is a bit about the situation between East Germany and Czechoslovakia in the 1980s (sorry, no online sources): Crossing the border at official checkpoints was easy ...
Jan's user avatar
  • 9,217
3 votes
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Border crossings between USSR and Afghanistan in the 1960s

One such crossing was over the Amu Darya river, which separates the Uzbek (Soviet) city of Termez from Hairatan. As Uzbekistan is doubly landlocked, it has no seaports, and Termez is the most ...
Aaron Brick's user avatar
  • 27.7k
3 votes

Why were the Istein and Schliengen enclaves transferred from Switzerland to Baden?

It is just that: "to simplify the map". Or more precise one of the examples of the German mediatization. But with the small twist that the prime arbiter of this was Napoleon. He acquired ...
LаngLаngС's user avatar
3 votes

Is there any instance of part of a country successfully seceding and then unifying with a neighbouring country in the last century?

There are a lot of qualifications to your question that make a lot of the answers slightly miss the premises. I would argue that there is a systematic reason for the discrepance. If a group of ...
ccprog's user avatar
  • 5,304
2 votes

When the national leader is a foreigner

Historically, this is not a "curious fact" but rather a general rule. I mean the time when "national leaders" in Europe were monarchs. It is very common for a monarch to be a foreigner. Some examples:...
Alex's user avatar
  • 38.9k
2 votes

How and when did the border regime change when the USSR broke up?

You are right, under USSR there was no internal borders. They were introduced after the break up of Soviet Union. The situation is probably different on different state borders. But I can describe the ...
Alex's user avatar
  • 38.9k
2 votes

Why is Jiagedaqi part of Heilongjiang despite being inside Inner Mongolia?

As J. P. Morgan once said, there are two reasons, the official reason and the real reason. The official reason is that has no proper site for a provincial seat, in Daxinganliang where Jiagedaqi is ...
Tom Au's user avatar
  • 105k
2 votes

How did an English person get entry to East Germany during the Cold War?

Q: How did an English person get entry to East Germany during the Cold War? Just crossing the border, ignoring all East-German border guards! That may have been as simple that. Really. Angering all ...
LаngLаngС's user avatar

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