Shortest Wars In History: War is an aggravated level or degree of conflict between two or more opponents. War is quite dreadful because of its nature and resultant effects or casualties. Wars, by it nature often lead to breakdown of political, economic and social structures of the waring factions. It is also known to not only collapse the system but also lead to mass destruction of properties and sometimes lives. Wars stem from perceived disagreements and dissatisfaction with the parties involved over economic or political matters. Sometimes, it could arise as a result of territorial boundary disputes.
In world history, there has been quite a number of wars. Most notable was the first world war that occurred between 1914 to 1918 and the second world war that occurred between 1939 to 1945. Both of the wars lasting for over a period of four years. It didn’t go without serious casualties either and the aftermath is usually not interesting because it takes a lot to rebuild what was destroyed and some are lost forever.
Let’s take a look at some of the wars in world history that lasted for a very short period of time.
Top 10 Shortest Wars In World History
1. ANGLO-ZANZIBAR WAR: Duration- 38 – 45 minutes. The Anglo-Zanzibar War was the shortest war in history having lasted for a few minutes following a surrender. It was between the United Kingdom and the Zanzibar Sultanate over enthronement. It took place in 1896, August 27th. The war had been caused by the death of the pro-British Sultan Hamad bin Thuwaini on 25 August 1896 and the subsequent succession of Sultan Khalid bin Barghash who was kicked against by the British Empire.
They considered him not to serve the British interest and so launched a threatened attacked on him. He had surrendered the throne before much casualties could be recorded. The British replaced him with Sultan Hamoud marking the end of Zanzibar Sultanate as a sovereign state and beginning of strong British influence in the territory.
2. FOOTBALL WAR, 1969: Duration – 100 hours. The Football War which is also referred in history as the Hundred Hours’ War was one of the very brief military conflicts it was fought between El Salvador and Honduras in 1969 and had stemmed from the 1970 FIFA World Cup qualifier rioting between the two Countries.
Salvadoran armed forces had launched an attack on the Honduras faction on the 14th of July1969 which marked the beginning of the war. Shortly after, there was a ceasefire agreement brokered between the two factions by the Organization of American States on the 18th of July and subsequently in August, troops were withdrawn.
3. SIX-DAY WAR, 1967: Duration – 6 days. The Six-Day War also known by many appellations occurred from the 5th to 10th of June 1967. It was fought between the Israel faction and a coalition of Arab States like Jordan, Syria and Egypt. The war had stemmed from passage rights and trade dispute on water ways along Titan. The act of Egypt closing the Straits of Titan to Israeli shipping vessels was considered by the Israeli as an act of war.
The Israel faction had taken Egyptian military by surprise. They nearly cleared the entire Egyptian airforce with only few Israeli casualties. Egypt and Jordan agreed to a ceasefire to end the war on the 8th of June while Syria joined the agreement on the 9th. With over 20 thousand Arabian troops massacred, it was recorded to have lasted for just six gory days and considered one of the shortest wars in world history.
4. SLOVENIAN INDEPENDENCE WAR OF 1991: Duration – 10 days. The Ten-Day War also known as the Slovenian War of Independence was an armed conflict between Slovenian Territorial Defence and the Yugoslav People’s Army. The conflict arose after the separatist Slovenian Territory declared their independent from Yugoslavia on the 25th of June, 1991. The war started two days after the declaration, on the 27th of June 1991 and lasted until the 7th of July 1991.
It ended after the Brioni peace Accord was signed by the waring factions making it one of the shortest wars in world history.
5. SERBO-BULGARIAN WAR, 1885: Duration – 14 days. The Serbo-Bulgarian War which is also known as the Serbian–Bulgarian War was fought between the Kingdom of Serbia and Principality of Bulgaria. The war had erupted on the 14 November 1885. Although Bulgaria was a vassal state of the Ottoman Empire, the Turks did not find it necessary to lend a hand of intervention to the war until it ended on the 28th of November 1885.
The war was recorded to have started with the Serbian faction launching the first attack, however, they did not prevail in the assault in 1886, a final peace Accord was reached and signed by the waring parties on the 3rd of March in Bucharest.
The war led to the British acknowledgment of the unification of Bulgaria. It took place on the 18th of September 1885 before the final peace Accord.
6. GEORGIAN-ARMENIAN WAR, 1918: Duration – 24days. The Armeno-Georgian War between Armenia and Georgia was has been recorded to be one of the shortest wars in history. It was a short border dispute that was fought in 1918.
The newly-independent Democratic Republic of Georgia and the First Republic of Armenia had a misunderstanding and rife over border territories comprising largely of the districts of Tiflis Governorate which is in Borchaly (Lori) and Akhalkalaki. It had ensued shortly after the first world war when both Armenia and Georgia declared their independence from the Russian Empire.
Because Georgia controlled Lori and Akhalkalaki which were primarily populated by Armenians, the border dispute arose and escalated into full open military involvement. It officially started on the 7th of December 1918. The war continued with Armenian forces making gains when a ceasefire agreement was brokered by allied representative cities. The war was brought to an end on 31st of December 1918 making it one of the shortest wars in world history.
7. SINO-VIETNAMESE WAR OF 1979: Duration – 3 weeks and 6 days. The Sino-Vietnamese War was one that arose as a border crisis between China and Vietnam in the early 1979. China had launched an offensive attack in response to the actions of Vietna against the Khmer Rouge in 1978.
The attack resulted to the end of the rule of Khmer Rouge who was backed by the Chinese government. At the end of the war, China and Vietnam claimed victory in the war that marked the third, last and end of the Indochina wars.
8. SECOND BALKAN WAR, 1913: Duration – 1 month, 1 week and 5 days. After the first Balkan war against Greece and Serbia that took place early 1913, the Bulgaria faction expressed dissatisfaction with their share of the spoils and so the Second Balkan War became inevitable.
The second war that involved the Greece, Serbia and Romanian troops all launching an offensive counter-attack on Bulgaria, including Ottoman taking advantage of the war, saw Bulgaria ceding some of its territories that was part of it spoils from the last war to Serbia, Greece and Romania following the armistice asked for by Bulgaria. Bulgaria equally lost Adrianople to the Ottomans after the Constantinople Treaty was reached to bring the war to an end. It marked a spot as one of the shortest wars in world history.
9. INDO-PAKISTANI WAR, 1965: Duration – 1 month, 2 weeks and 4 days. The Indo-Pakistani War of 1965 also referred to as the Second Kashmir War was fought between Pakistan and India. The war was recorded to have resulted following a brief battle between small groups that took place between April and September 1965. The Pakistanian Operation Gibraltar designed and launched to infiltrate the Jammu and Kashmir in order to stem an insurgency angainst the Indian rule at the time formed the bedrock of the war.
Although it was short-lived, it was a massacre on the two factions as the tenth day was a blood bath. It was recorded to have caused thousands of casualties and experienced the largest engagement of heavy power vehicles and armored tankers. The largest since the second world war. The war was brought to an abrupt end following a ceasefire agreement brokered by the Soviet Union and the United States through a diplomatic intervention. Having lasted for barely 7 weeks, it was considered one of the shortest wars in history.
10. FALKLANDS WAR, 1982: Duration – 10 Weeks. The ten week Falklands War between Argentina and the United Kingdom took occurred in 1982. The war was over two British dependent territories in the South Atlantic. These territories includes the Falkland Islands and its territorial dependency, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands.
When the conflict began on the 2nd of April, Argentina had invaded the Falkland Islands, and then South Georgia the next day. They occupied the both territories. The British government on the 5th of April sent out naval task force to engage the Argentine naval and airforce in the territories. It followed with an amphibious assault on the Argentine forces and resulted in their surrender on the 14th of June and a surrender of the territories back to British control.
The war, having lasted for 74 days was listed as one of the shortest wars in world history.
In conclusion, wars are not great. The first impression and effect that comes with war is fear. The fear of survival and losing private and public properties. This is why many short and anticipated wars were quickly averted to save lives and properties.