As is the case with her other African competitors, Cameroon is not one of the world's military heavyweights, and although the British did fight the Germans in Cameroon during the First World War, actual Cameroonian involvement was limited. Their nickname The Indomitable Lions might sound impressive but this doesn't really help their cause a great deal. Only a miracle, or open conflict with Nigeria over Bakassi will see Cameroon get through the group stages.
I couldn't find much about Cameroon in our massive collection of books - so I had a look at Amazon for any books on Cameroonian history, and was surprised by how little there seems to be out there - does anyone have any recommendations for me?
What a rich military history this small country has - in between picking fights with her Swedish neighbours, getting involved in the Napoleonic Wars, the Seven Year War, the 30 Years War and modern interventions in Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan, the Danes have certainly been punching above their weight for many years. And that is not taking into account their single greatest military accomplishment. The Vikings. These legendary warriors were the scourge of northern Europe, and their awesome Longships and seafaring skills meant that no-one was safe from their vicious raids. They have written their name into history, and even today the thought of a Viking raiding part is a daunting one. You can actually buy a poster of some Angus McBride artwork from us here which shows off some Vikings mid battle! It is hard to argue with a Viking when he turns up with a boat full of beserkers, so the Danes seem set to cruise through to the next round.
ELI 3 The Vikings
NVG 47 Viking Longship
WAR 3 Viking Hersir 793-1066
MAA 459 The Varangian Guard
Just two words for you. Samurai. Ninjas. Need I say more? Add to that the fact that the Japanese gave the Russians a bit of a beating back in '05 and proved to be quick attackers and tenacious defenders during World War II means that Japan come into this competition as one of the favourites. Admittedly they sometimes start their campaigns without letting their opponents know that they have started, so they are off whilst their opposition are still sitting in the changing rooms in splendid isolation. Still, samurai and ninjas...maybe it is a little greedy?
ELI 23 The Samurai
WAR 64 Ninja
CAM 62 Pearl Harbor
RAID 6 The Samurai Capture a King - Okinawa 1609
CMD 6 Toyotomi Hideyoshi
The Dutch, despite the relatively small size of their country, have never had much of a problem with picking fights with their neighbours - but have done so with mixed results. In the last century the Dutch have been given a bit of a hiding by the Germans, but then the Dutch made up a segment of the forces which saw Napoleon defeated at Waterloo. The Dutch also engaged in a number of wars against the English. In many other groups, the Dutch would probably progress easily, but up against some quite hardy resistance they could find themselves struggling to progress.
MAA 371 Wellington's Dutch Allies
CAM 15 Waterloo
Group Winners - armed with their Katanas and throwing stars the Japanese storm to victory in their group. Thousands of years of esteemed military achievement shines through the more recent demise of their military. Even without a serious armed force today there is always a sense that if the Japanese really needed to they could probably build a giant robot army to defend them / take over the world. Thankfully they have decided to sell us their cars instead.
Runners up - The Danes battle their way past the Dutch into second place by virtue of the fact that the Vikings got to North America before any one else did. And they are so hard they didn't even feel the need to boast about it. Yeah, we have discovered the New World. Lets go home. Ol Christopher Columbus should have taken notes. Show off.