Gondor Calls For Aid / Real Life

"With gratitude for the past and confidence in the future we range ourselves without fear beside Britain. Where she goes, we go; where she stands, we stand. We are only a small and young nation, but we march with a union of hearts and souls to a common destiny."
Michael Joseph Savage, Prime Minister of New Zealand during World War II.

  • The Trope Namer was partially inspired by Poland riding to the aid of Austria during the Second Siege of Vienna in 1683. King Jan Sobieski of Poland is considered to have stopped the Ottoman expansion into Europe. It has the classic elements of calling an entire army (and king) against a sieging army and succeeding.
    • Ironically, the proximate cause of the Ottoman invasion was the leader of an anti-Hapsburg revolt in "Royal" Hungary calling them in for help. As seen above it kind of backfired.
      • Even more ironic, given the historical friendship between Poles and Hungarians.
  • The Napoleonic army that invaded Russia in 1812 was less than half French. The rest was made up of troops contributed by many of his "allies.". Some, like the Poles, were very enthusiastic (one of Napoleon's stated goals was to revert the Russian seizure of Polish territory during the Partitions). Others, like Prussians and Austrians, were dragged along against their will and turned against Napoleon as soon as things started going south.
  • The international volunteers that came to help Republican Spain against the fascists.
    • The international volunteers to help the fascists as well. Nothing says this trope has to be nice, or that only one side can do it.
    • Similarly during the Winter War thousands of Danes, Swedes, and Estonians came to Finland's aid, along with other volunteers, most notable are the Hungarians, who had to skirt around WW2 to get to Finland. France and Britain also had plans to intervene against the Soviet Union, which might have had interesting effects on the course of the major conflict.
    • Also in World War 2, albeit on a much smaller scale, the pilots from neutral (e.g. USA, Ireland) and occupied (e.g. Poland, France) countries who traveled to Britain to fight for the RAF.
      • And international volunteer units that fought for the USSR, like the French Normandy-Niemen regiment.
    • A darker version showed up on the Nazi side, in the form of various international units of the SS, which included hundreds of thousands of anti-communist volunteers from all over Europe (most came from Eastern Europe, with the biggest contingent from the territories of USSR itself, ironically). This included the last and most fanatical defenders of Berlin as it was about to fall to the Soviets in May, 1945—a battalion of French Nazi volunteers.
  • Similarly thousands of people from all over Europe went to Greece to join up with the Greek bid for independence from the Ottoman Empire, including famed crazy Lord Byron.
  • Foreign volunteers for the Boer side in South Africa's Anglo-Boer War.
  • Occurred repeatedly during the Crusades, which were triggered by Constantinople's requests to The Pope for aid against the Turks. But as Crusade succeeded Crusade, relations between the Westerners and their Byzantine hosts broke down until 1204, when the Venetians bankrolling the operation convinced the Crusaders to turn against Constantinople and sack it bare. Though five more Crusades were to come, any sort of understanding between East and West was gone; when in their final hour the Byzantines swallowed their pride and asked for help again, only a few hundred Europeans bothered to answer.
  • The declarations of war on Germany in 1939 by members of the British Commonwealth can be seen as this. In 1914, Australians, New Zealanders, and Canadians went to war because, as part of the British Empire, they were obligated to. In 1939, it's because they chose to come to Great Britain's aid, as did many Americans who crossed the border and became part of the Canadian military before 1941, and Irish citizens who put aside the country's neutrality to serve with the British (in some cases, entire units of the Irish Army resigned en masse, crossed over to Britain, and were quickly snapped up by a grateful British Army). Some Irish also joined the Nazis for a chance at vengeance on Britain.
  • After fighting a bitter war of independence against the British Empire, the Union of South Africa remained an independent dominion of the Empire. As such, they were included in the British declarations of war leading up to both world wars, but if they had chosen to stay neutral there was really nothing anyone could have done about it. Many South Africans were against fighting for the British cause, but after debate and political upheaval, they did fight in both wars and Jan Smuts, hero of the Boer War, became a Field Marshal in the British army and a trusted adviser to Churchill.
  • This trope is inevitable whenever a conflict involves the Islamic world. Let's just say that a lot of Muslims from across the world are helping Hamas, Hizbullah, the Taliban, and the MILF. And their enemies wonder why they can't win against them.
    • On a different note, when the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan it was considered a noble thing to join the Mujahideen resistance. This was encouraged by the USA and many Muslim nations. Among many, Saudi Arabian Osama bin Laden joined the resistance. He later went beyond this when he founded al-Qaeda to go beyond assisting the resistance to creating a Wahhabi Caliphate across the region.
    • Alternative Character Interpretation: Afghanistan Communist government (Gondor in this case) actually did call for aid - from the Soviets, because the Mujahedin actually invaded from Pakistan. A trope can surely be played both ways. History tells that the Soviet leadership was very reluctant about this, fearing things could get messy. Therefore, the Afghan government pleaded for help for five months before intervention.
    • During various Arab-Israeli Wars, distant Arab and Muslim countries sent troops to assist Syria, Egypt, Jordan, and Iraq. Among the most effective were Pakistani air units. They were occasionally joined by the Russians, allies of their Indian enemies, as Soviet "advisors" often piloted Egyptian and Syrian fighters to take on Israelis.
  • The Battle of Chalons in 451 CE. It's considered one of the first battles fought, not between two or three entities, but rather two coalitions. The Romans had the Visigoths, Franks, Armoricans, Saxons, Alani, Burgundians, and Sarmatians. The Huns had the Ostrogoths, Gepids, Rugians, Scirii, Thuringians, Scythians, Bastarnae, Taifals, and Alamanni. Both armies were of roughly equal size. The Roman coalition was led by Flavius Aetius, possibly the last great Western Roman general, and the Huns were led by Attila. Most historians, since the time of Gibbon, consider the battle to be epochal, with Western civilization at stake.
  • This trope is actually one of most important power of The (Ancient) Romans. The Romans have many allies in Italian Peninsula and some out of it whose citizen will bolster Romans' army. Hannibal knows both this fact and the fact that Romans are arrogant and rather tyrannical. So, he tries to subvert as many entities as possible but failed thanks to Fabius' strategy for those who do.
  • The Balkans. The three major factions are Croat, Bosnian and Serb. Croats were traditionally German aligned and Catholic; Serbs Russian aligned and Orthodox, Bosnians were Turkish aligned and Muslim. So each side had volunteers and arms given, from Muhajadeen to volunteer adventurers, idologues, Neo-Nazis, let alone French, Russian and American arms to various factions. Then NATO invaded...
  • Israel does this a lot. Originally, Balfour only promised Palestine to the Jews because he thought he could use the legendary Jewish money against the Kaiser. Then South Africa went from being Nazi sympathizers to being ardent Zionists after World War II. More recently, premillennial dispensationalists, people who believe that when all the Jews, ''and only the Jews'', are in Israel, Jesus will come back.
    • During Israel's war of independence, volunteers from all over the world (many of them WW2 veterans) clamored to aid the Israeli side. Two of the American volunteers were later fined and one jailed.
  • Chile, which began as a Spanish colony, ousted the Spanish authorities in September 18, 1810, and established a local government. Similar events took place at other cities in the Spanish America, such as Buenos Aires. This began a war between the new governments and those loyal to the Spanish monarchy (patriots and royalists, similar to the patriots and loyalists of the American Revolution). Chile was finally reconquered after the royalist victory at the Disaster of Rancagua, Carrera, O'Higgins and other patriots escaped to Mendoza (Argentina), at the other side of the Andes. There, O'Higgins worked with the Argentine José de San Martín to raise the Army of the Andes, that crossed the mountain range, counter-attacked the royalists and drove them away from Chile forever. Even more, O'Higgins could not arrive in time to the battle of Maipu, the final battle, which was directed solely by San Martín.
  • The evacuation of the Danish Jews during the Second World War: the non-Jewish people of Nazi-occupied (and, at least officially, collaborationist) Denmark disregarded their country's official stance not to mention their own safety to undertake a massive effort to hide their Jewish neighbors from an impending roundup by the Germans. When all hiding places appeared to be exhausted, the Danes then turned out in every seagoing vessel that could be found, from ferries and cargo ships to kayaks and rowboats, to ensure that as many Jews as possible could escape the country before the Gestapo closed in.
    • See also the evacuation from Dunkirk.
  • The Korean War, when the South was at the brink of being occupied, dozens of nations of the U.N. raced to South Korea's aid, and when the tables turned for North Korea, China and the USSR come in to aid it. In essence, this was the U.N. coming to the rescue of South Korea where its predecessor the League of Nations had failed to help Ethiopia in the 1930's.
  • NATO and the Warsaw Pact were both alliances created to prevent World War III by ensuring that all members would automatically come to the aid of any single member that was attacked. Since the heavy-hitter of each was one of the world's two superpowers at the time, they managed to keep the period of the Cold War relatively peaceful, since no one wanted the Americans or the Soviets bringing armies to their front door.
  • On 9/11, New York summoned the entire NYPD and FDNY to duty.
    • In addition, firefighters and other rescue and relief personnel traveled from across the nation to assist in the rescue and recovery efforts in New York City. This included personnel from Oklahoma City who the FDNY had previously helped after the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building bombing of 1994.
      • This is common enough in firefighting to the point of it being standard operating procedure. Usually, each station will have an area of the city in question's jurisdiction to cover, and they're the first to respond to calls coming from that area. If it's something relatively minor, like a two car accident or chimney fire or some such, that's all that's needed. If it's something considerably larger, like a fully engulfed apartment complex, one or more stations from other areas can be called in. This is where "X Alarm Fire" comes from. A three alarm fire means that three stations have had to be called in to fight it. This same thing happens on a much larger scale with wildfires, particularly in the American west. Wildfires (at least those remotely near civilization, those off in the middle of ass nowhere Alaska and the like are usually ignored) have resulted in firefighters from Oregon, Idaho, and California fighting fires in Alaska, and vice versa in ever direction.
    • Article 5 of the NATO charter, which states that an attack against one member will be considered an attack against all members, has only been invoked once before, in response to the 9/11 attacks. Cue, among other things, Operation Yellow Ribbon, in which Canada fed, housed, and provided runways for literally thousands of stranded airline passengers after the total shutdown of US airspace.
    • All manner of ferries and other boats were also called to help speed along the evacuation of Lower Manhattan via across New York Harbor to New Jersey in the hours after the towers' collapse. What resulted was the largest water evacuation in history, with more people evacuated than at Dunkirk.
    "All available boats, this is the United States Coast Guard aboard the Pilot Boat New York. Anyone wanting to help with the evacuation of Lower Manhattan, report to Governor's Island."
    Sailor: I've worked on the water for 28 years. I've never seen so many boats come together so fast.
  • In 2012, WABC-TV in New York City was overwhelmed by simultaneously having to cover a presidential election, Halloween, and Hurricane Sandy. They put out a call for help. Because their colleagues all along the eastern seaboard had the same problem, the ABC station in Dallas sent a reporter to New York.
  • During the American Revolution, the odd-couple pairing of France and America was a major factor in the rebels' victory.
  • Before the Battle of Marathon, Athens asked Sparta, then the unquestioned military leader of the Hellenic world, for reinforcements against an invasion force from the Persian empire. In a Double Subversion, the Spartans were busy with a religious festival and RSVPed they'd be fashionably late, and the ally that actually showed up was Athens's much nearer and smaller neighbour Plataia all 1000 of them. The Spartans subsequently turned up in time to tour the battlefield and acknowledge the decisive defeat (Greeks lost: 203, Persians: 6,400) Athens and Plataia had handed to the heretofore overwhelming Persian military.
  • The ancient Persian army also fits this trope, at least according to Herodotus, as it consisted of many exotic troops contributed by diverse nations and tribes from the far corners of the empire.
  • It would appear to be the case as of March 2, 2014, with the Gondor of Ukraine[1] calling on all the world but Russia to be Rohan.
    • Complicated situation on both sides. The Russophile separatists are also definitely aided by Russian and other pan-Slavic volunteers (most notably from Serbia), along with clandestine aid of various forms from the Russian intelligence and security services.
  • A particularly famous example (mentioned a few times on this page already): the legendary "Little Ships of Dunkirk" in World War Two. During the Battle of France, hundreds of thousands of Allied soldiers found themselves stranded on the shores of Dunkirk, France, with no way to escape; Prime Minister Winston Churchill knew that the loss of so many troops would be a devastating blow to both the army and British morale. There weren't enough naval vessels to evacuate everyone, so the Prime Minister sent out a desperate call for anyone who owned any kind of seaworthy craft—fishing boat, sloop, yacht, ferry, and all others—to help. Over 700 people responded to the call, creating a makeshift navy that sailed from Ramsgate, England to the rescue. The trapped soldiers boarded these boats and were transported to larger British destroyers. It's estimated that over 330,000 troops were saved through the operation, preventing a disaster and even inspiring Churchill's famous "We shall fight on the beaches" speech.
  • When Texas was flooded by Hurricane Harvey, completely overwhelming rescue services, private volunteers from around the country made their way to the Lone Star State with boats and supplies to help rescue those in need.
    • Remembering Houston's offer of refuge in their time of need when Hurricane Katrina smashed into New Orleans in 2005, many Louisianans hitched boats to trucks and crossed the border en masse to assist the flooded city. They were quickly dubbed the Cajun Navy and are directly credited with the rescue of hundreds of victims.
    • When Houston's CBS affiliate KHOU was forced to evacuate its studios, sister stations in Dallas and Denver assisted with live coverage and master control for the station, while Houston's PBS station provided (and continues to host) a temporary studio.