The West Indies group of islands known as the Leeward Islands are comprised of the Puerto Rican Virgin Islands, U.S. Virgin Islands, British Virgin Islands, Anguilla, Saint Martin, Saint-Barthélemy (Fr.) Saba, Sint Eustatius, Saint Kitts, Nevis, Barbuda, Antigua, Redonda, Montserrat, Guadeloupe, la Désirade, Îles des Saintes, Marie-Galante and Dominica. The islands include independent nations and protectorates of the United States, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and France.
The Leeward Islands make up the northern part of the Lesser Antilles chain. The Puerto Rican Virgin Islands contain two islands: Vieques and Culebra. Four of the islands that compose the U.S. Virgin Islands are St. Thomas, St. John, St. Croix and Water Island. The British Virgin Islands consist of the individual islands Jost Van Dyke, Tortola, Virgin Gorda and Anegada. The islands belonging to France are Guadeloupe, la Désirade, Îles des Saintes, Marie-Galante and Saint-Barthélemy. The island Saint Martin has split ownership between France and the Netherlands. The other Dutch island in the Leeward Islands is Sint Eustatius. The islands belonging to the United States are the Puerto Rican Virgin Islands and the U.S. Virgin Islands, while those belonging to the United Kingdom are the British Virgin Islands, Anguilla and Montserrat. Before being broken up into separate nations, the Leeward Islands were a colony of Britain.