Although one of the smallest countries in Europe and with an armed forces with a strength of only 450 professional soldiers, 340 enlisted recruits, and 100 civilians (along with some 600 paramilitary gendarmes), Luxembourg has had a long and important military tradition and was a founding member of NATO in 1949. The area that is now Luxembourg was occupied by Celts and conquered by the Salian Franks under Clovis between 481 and his death in 511. It was then ruled by the Merovingians and later by the Carolingians, becoming a part of the Holy Roman Empire.

It started to emerge as a separate identity in the early Middle Ages, with the growth of the town and with Luxembourg becoming a duchy in 1354. In the late ...

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