June 16 marks the beginning of a determined Spanish siege of Gibraltar in 1779 that lasted more than 1300 days.
We are extraordinarily fortunate that it failed. It might seem a bit pushy for Britain to seize the Rock in 1704 and keep it as part of the War of the Spanish Succession because you just never know. But even then Britain was a bastion of liberty and Spain was not.
In the darkest part of the Second World War, the tenacity of the garrison in defending Gibraltar nearly two centuries earlier had a pivotal impact in the ability of the UK to maintain control of the seas and vital supply lines and resist Hitler.