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Introduction Gibraltar has loomed large in the history books for 3000 years Its name comes from Tarik the leader of the Arabic army that invaded Spain in the eighth century Over the centuries the Arabic name Gibel Tarik has altered to its present form of Gibraltar The Rock remained in Arab hands until an unexpected attack by the Spanish in 1309 This brief occupation was interrupted in 1333 and again reverted to Moorish control but finally the Spanish reclaimed it and it was to remain that way for a further 240 years In this time they developed Gibraltar as an important military and naval base Britain became interested in Gibraltar in the time of Oliver Cromwell but the opportunity to capture it did not arise until the war of the Spanish Succession It was then seized by a combined Anglo-Dutch fleet under Admiral Rooke and British sovereignty was then formalised in 1713 by The Treaty of Utrecht Gibraltar thus became a British Garrison and in 1830 was declared a colony Unfortunately Spain has never been able to accept the loss of Gibraltar and there have been several attempts to recapture it without success Gibraltar has been besieged 15 times the most famous being the Great Siege in 1779 which lasted an amazing 3 years 7 months and 12 days Also in more recent years we have seen the closing of the Frontier between 1969 and 1985 However Gibraltar has held fast and remained British to this very day Gibraltar remained a Spanish possession until the beginning of the eighteenth century During the War of the Spanish Succession 1702-1713 the Rock of Gibraltar became a pawn in the struggle between the two rival claimants to the Spanish throne the Frenchman Philip of Anjou Philip V and the Austrian Archduke Charles Charles III Held by forces loyal to the former Gibraltar fell to a combined Anglo-Dutch force supporting the latter in
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