The Principality of Sealand is a micronation that claims HM Fort Roughs (also known as Roughs Tower), an offshore platform in the North Sea approximately 12 kilometers (7.5 mi) off the coast of Suffolk, as its territory. Roughs Tower is a Maunsell Sea Fort that was built by the British during World War II. Since 1967, the decommissioned Roughs Tower has been occupied and claimed as a sovereign state by the family and associates of Paddy Roy Bates. Bates seized Roughs Tower from a group of pirate radio broadcasters in 1967 with the intention of setting up his own station there. Sealand was invaded by mercenaries in 1978 but was able to repel the attack. While Sealand has been described as the world's smallest country, it sits within British territorial waters and is not recognized by any sovereign state.
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