We have learned about the longest, greatest and bloodiest wars in history. But not many of us know about the shortest wars of our history. While some of the longest wars lasted for generations, the shortest war in history lasted less than an hour. But some of these short wars have contributed to shaping the world as it is now. These wars are equally significant but usually forgotten. So, here are the top 10 Shortest Wars In History that you have probably forgotten about.
- Anglo-Zanzibar War, 1896:
The shortest war in history ended within 38 to 45 minutes, fought between the United Kingdom and the Zanzibar Sultanate. The war took place on 27 August 1896 caused by the death of the pro-British Sultan Hamad bin Thuwaini on 25 August 1896 following by the succession of Sultan Khalid bin Barghash. The British authorities preferred Hamud bin Muhammed. Approximately 500 Zanzibari men and women were killed or wounded during the war while only one was injured on the British side. The end of this war marked the end of the Zanzibar Sultanate beginning the period of heavy British influence.
2 . Football War, 1969:
The second shortest war in history lasted about 100 hours. The brief war fought between El Salvador and Honduras started when the Salvadoran military launched an attack against Honduras. This happened after the two countries coincided with rioting during a 1970 FIFA World Cup qualifier. The war began on 14 July 1969 and ended on the night of 18 July after the Organization of American States (OAS) negotiated a cease-fire. About 300,000 Salvadorans were displaced and 900 were dead while Honduras lost over 2,000 civilians and 250 combat troops.
3 . Six-Day War, 1967:
The Six-Day War was fought between 5 and 10 June 1967. The conflict was between Israel and its neighbouring states of Egypt, Jordan, and Syria. After the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, the relations between these countries were not stable. The question of which side started the war is still controversial. But on 5 June, a series of preemptive airstrikes were launched by Israel towards Egypt. Israel ultimately won the war losing fewer than 1,000 troops while 20,000 troops were killed off of the opposite sides.
4. Russo-Georgian War, 2008:
Fought between Georgia, Russia and the Russian-backed self-proclaimed republics of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, the Russo-Georgian War also lasted from 7 August to 12 August of 2008. Though there were still conflicts taking places after 12th August. On August 1, five Georgian policemen because of an explosion on the road near Tskhinvali. On the same night, serious fighting erupted between Georgians and the South Ossetian separatists resulting in the death of six Ossetian militiamen. On 7th August the war intensified after the South Ossetians cease fired and the Georgian villages were attacked. On 12th August French President Nicolas Sarkozy negotiated a ceasefire plan between Russia and Georgia. The war ended up displacing 192,000 people.
5. Slovenian Independence War, 1991:
The Slovenian Independence War is also known as the Ten-Day War as the brief conflict between the Slovenian Territorial Defence and the Serbian-dominated Yugoslav People’s Army (JNA) lasted for only ten days, from 27 June 1991 until 7 July 1991. The war ended with the Brioni Accord but it marked the beginning of the Yugoslav Wars.
6. War of the Stray Dog, 1925:
The Incident at Petrich or the War of the Stray Dog lasted for only 11 days from 19 to 29 October of 1925. The war between Greek and Bulgarian resulted in the invasion of Bulgaria by Greece near the border town of Petrich. There are two versions of the incident which started the conflict. According to the first version, on October 18, a Greek soldier ran after his dog, which had strayed across the border from Greece. The soldier was shot at the border by one of the Bulgarian sentries. Another version says, Bulgarian soldiers crossed the Greek border, attacked a Greek outpost and killed a Greek captain and a guard. The short-lived war ended after the decision by the League of Nations.
7. Indo-Pakistani War, 1971:
The relations between India and Pakistan has always been complicated, to say the least. The Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 started on 3 December and ended on 16 December. One of the shortest wars in history, the Indo-Pakistani War started after Pakistan launched preemptive aerial strikes on 11 Indian air stations. This led Indian entry into the war of independence in East Pakistan. The war ended after the Pakistan military signed the Instrument of Surrender. The East Pakistanis who were fighting for their independence formed their own country after the 13-day war ended, known as Bangladesh. Around 90,000 to 93,000 Pakistani army men were taken prisoner by the Indian Army and 300,000 and 3,000,000 civilians were killed in Bangladesh during the war. Many left their country to seek refuge in India after the war.
8. Serbo-Bulgarian War, 1885:
The Serbo-Bulgarian War which lasted for only 14 days started on 14 November and lasted until 28 November of 1885. The war between the Kingdom of Serbia and Principality of Bulgaria was the result of Bulgaria’s unification and Serbia’s objection on it. Serbia started the war but eventually was defeated. A peace was signed on 3rd March in 1886 and the act of Unification of Bulgaria happened on 18 September 1885.
9. Georgian-Armenian War, 1918:
Another short border dispute fought in 1918 for just 24 days between the newly-independent Democratic Republic of Georgia and the First Republic of Armenia. The conflict was over the control of former districts of Tiflis Governorate, in Borchaly and Akhalkalaki. When the Ottomans withdrew from the region by signing the Armistice of Mudros in October, Armenia quickly took control of the territory. This started the conflict between Armenia and Georgia on 18 October. The war ended on 31 December and the disputed territory was left under joint Georgian and Armenian administration.
10. Sino-Vietnamese War, 1979:
Last on our list is the Sino-Vietnamese War also known as the Third Indochina War which lasted for about 27 days. In this war both the countries, China and Vietnam claimed victory. The border war started after Vietnam occupied Cambodia and in response to that China entered northern Vietnam and captured several cities. On March 6, 1979, China declared its punitive expedition was successful but Vietnamese troops remained in Cambodia until 1989. China couldn’t fulfil its goal and the Sino-Vietnamese border was finalized in 1991.