Ia Drang Valley.
The Republic of Iceland is located in the North Atlantic Ocean between Greenland on the west and Norway on the east. The capital is Reykjavik. The island was first visited before the fourth century A.D. Iceland was inhabited in small numbers of Irish settlers sometime before the ninth century. When Norwegian seafarers began moving unto the island in the ninth century, the Irish left the island. From the tenth until thirteenth century, Iceland was an independent republic. In 1262, it was joined with Norway. When Denmark united with Norway after 1380, Iceland was governed from Denmark. Iceland remained in this thrall with minor interludes until 1918, when the island was given its independence from Denmark. In 1937, however, Iceland chose to renew its ties with Denmark. When Denmark was captured by the Nazis in World War I, first British and then American forces occupied the island to prevent its use in the German war effort. On 16 June 1944, the Icelandic parliament (Althing) declared the union with Denmark over. (Denmark did not recognize the dissolution until April 1950.) The new island nation joined the UN on 19 November 1946 and joined NATO in 1949. Iceland attended the first meeting of the Council of Europe. In April 1951, in the face of a growing Soviet threat, Iceland asked the U.S. for troops to help defend the island. Troops were sent (7 April), and an agreement for NATO basing rights was put into effect (5 May 1951). Earlier, in 1956, and as a part of the same political processes that Iceland was undergoing, the government on 28 March 1956 asked for the removal of all foreign troops on its soil. The demand was rescinded on 6 December, after diplomatic pressure was applied, especially by the United States. On 10 December 1959, the U.S. withdrew the last of its forces, ending a U.S. military presence that had existed there since 1941. Iceland, however, resumed its demands to be free of the NATO, bases which were considered critical to Europe's defense against the Soviet Union. In May 1952, Iceland had extended its territorial fishing limits to four miles. This matter created a serious problem for British fishing interests and led to more serious diplomatic problems for the two countries. The issue was settled on 27 February 1961, but not for long. On 15 February 1972, the Icelandic government decreed a 50-mile fishing limit and abrogated all former fishing treaties with Great Britain and