How many wars were in the history of humankind, no one knows. Most often, they talk about 5-6 thousand. However, this uncertainty does not prevent historians from analyzing military conflicts to find the “most” wars. For example, the six strangest wars, one of the many variants of which is offered to your attention.
The shortest War
The fastest ended, according to most historians, the war between England and Zanzibar. Not surprising, because it lasted less than an hour. The war between the United Kingdom, the world’s largest empire in the late 19th century, and the tiny sultanate of Zanzibar in eastern Africa began on the morning of August 27, 1896, and ended about 38 minutes later.
The immediate reason for the armed conflict was the death of the pro-British Sultan Hamad ben Tuwayni and the accession to the throne of Sultan Khalid ben Bargash, who did not suit the British. In London, they wanted to see Hamud bin Mohammed on the Sultan’s throne. According to the treaty between the two powers in 1886, a ruler approved by the British consul was supposed to sit on the throne of Zanzibar. Khalid, however, became a sultan bypassing this condition.
London considered this to be a sufficient reason to declare war. The British government issued an ultimatum to Khalid. The British demanded that he order the troops to lay down their arms and abdicate the throne. In response, the Sultan barricaded himself with the guards in the Sultan’s palace.
The ultimatum expired at 9:00 on August 27. By this time, the British had assembled at the entrance to the harbor of Zanzibar 3 cruisers and 2 gunboats with 150 Marines and 900 Zanzibar men on board. At 09.02 they started shelling the palace. The outbreak of fire put out of action the artillery of the defenders of the palace. One of the shells interrupted the staff of the Sultan’s flag. The shelling stopped at 9.40 after Khalid’s surrender. The Zanzibaris lost approximately 500 people. The British had one sailor slightly wounded.
This war between the Netherlands and the Isles of Scilly, a small archipelago 45 km off the southwest coast of Britain, is notable not only for its duration – St. three centuries (1651-1986). During all this time, not only was there not a single victim, but not a single shot was fired. However, the absence of a peace treaty, concluded only at the end of the last century, makes it one of the longest wars in the history of humanity.
Even the reason for the war has been forgotten over the years. It is only known that it is associated with the events of the Second Civil War in England.
In 1985, Roy Duncan, historian, and chairman of the Isles of Scilly, wrote a letter to the Dutch Embassy in London stunning Dutch diplomats with the most unpleasant news. It turns out that the archipelago has been at war with the Dutch kingdom for more than three centuries. The following year, the Dutch ambassador came to the islands and signed a peace treaty, and there were more authentic wars. For example, the Araucan war between first Spain and then Chile, on the one hand, and a number of Indian tribes led by the Mapuche tribe, on the other, lasted 345 years (1536-1881). Moreover, it was a real war, accompanied by numerous casualties.
However, the longest war can be considered … The Third Punic War (149-146 BC). Carthage was destroyed to the ground, and formally a peace treaty was never signed. The mayors of Rome and Carthage signed it only in 1985. Thus, the Third Punic War formally lasted 2131!
The British also participated in this strange war; only the Americans were their opponents. It happened in 1859 and was caused by disputes over the border between the United States and British North America (Canada). The conflict was caused by the San Juan Islands, located between Vancouver Island and the mainland.
The war got its name because of the killed pig. An American farmer shot and killed a pig that was ravaging his garden. When it was revealed that it belonged to an Irish employee of the Hudson’s Bay Company, he offered compensation of $10 in compensation. The Irishman demanded $100. The war began.
The increased attention to the poor animal is explained by the fact that, fortunately, it turned out to be the only victim of the conflict.
In November 1932, under pressure from farmers in the west of the continent, in Campion County, who were not allowed to live by the breeding emu, the Australian Department of Defense decided to conduct a military operation against the birds.
That summer was long and very hot. Due to the lack of food and water, the birds did behave quite aggressively. Artillery Major George Meredith commanded the operations against the ostriches. His unit was armed with two Lewis machine guns and approximately 10,000 rounds of ammunition. However, it was not easy to fight birds that develop speeds of up to 50 km / h. Firstly, they rarely gathered in large flocks, and secondly, they did not allow people to approach them. Shooting from trucks also proved to be ineffective.
For a week, out of about 20 thousand birds, the soldiers managed to kill only a few dozen. Major Meredith was so amazed at the birds’ agility and caution that he compared them to the elusive … Zulus.
In the end, Secretary of Defense George Pearce announced a cessation of hostilities. So formally, Australia lost the Ostrich War.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, two-thirds of Moldova wanted to strengthen ties with its western neighbor, Romania, and one-third, located east of the Dniester, favored maintaining strong ties with Ukraine and Russia. The east of Moldova separated and formed the Transnistrian Republic, unrecognized by the international community.
The military themselves called the war between Moldova and Transnistria … a drunken war. The fact is that at night its participants organized joint drinking parties, and in the morning, they dispersed to their positions and again began to shoot at each other.
The cause of this strange war, as the name suggests, was a football match. The war lasted 100 hours. Hence its second name – the Hundred Hour War.
Of course, football was just a pretext in the war between El Salvador and Honduras. The main reasons were political. The most acute conflict was over the migration of Salvadorans to Honduras.
Almost a war started following riots during and after the second qualifying match for the 1970 World Cup final between El Salvador and Honduras.
On July 14, 1969, the Salvadorans invaded Honduras. A ceasefire was reached on July 20 through the mediation of the Organization of American States. In early August, Salvadoran troops left Honduras.
By the way, the national team of El Salvador went to the championship in Mexico. It didn’t even manage to get out of the group at the first stage.