Contrary to popular belief, not all wars took years to come to a conclusion. In fact, it took a few minutes, days and even a month to finish. These were the shortest wars in history. Yes, you may be surprised why the war took place, but there were consequences.
Wars are part of human civilization as we fight for resources or land, and most wars take a long time to end. Sometimes they pull forever, so that they end now.
But some were pretty short, and you'll be surprised it actually happened. In this article you will learn more about the shortest wars in history.
10th Anglo-Zanzibar War – 38 minutes
This 38-minute war of 1896 was fought between the British and Zanzibar. The story goes that Zanzibar was part of the British Empire in East Africa and the British had their own man in power in Zanzibar.
This man was Sultan Hamad bin Thuwaini (Sultan of Zanzibar) who was a follower of the British. But on August 25, 1896, he died and his nephew Sultan Khalid bin Barghash immediately took power. He was never appointed by the British, so he was not favored as an ideal successor.
The British gathered their 5 warships to set sail for the island. They had already brought troops ashore. Ultimates and proposals were addressed to the sultan to retire and to leave the palace. But the Sultan did the opposite and fortified the palace with his own troops and artillery pieces.
On August 26, 1896, a final ultimatum was sent to the sultan to leave the palace at 9 o'clock in the morning. The Sultan ignored the ultimatum and ignored the British warnings.
At 9:02 am on August 27, 1896, the British Royal Navy began to bombard the palace, mostly of wood, and at 9:40, seized the shelling. The palace was badly damaged, but Sultan Khalid bin Barghash had managed to escape, and it was a victory for the British.
This short 38-minute war resulted in the killing or wounding of some 500 Zanzibari's citizens and the wounding of a British soldier.
. 9 Libya-Egypt War – 3 days
On 21 July 1977, a 3-day border war began. The Libyan army attacked Egyptian border guards with artillery and mortars. These two states were actually allies when Arab states sought the overthrow of Israel from the Middle East. During the Arab-Israeli wars, they supported each other with weapons and logistical support.
However, this closeness ended when President Sadat of Egypt sought peace with Israel. This did not suit Libya's new head of state Muammar Gaddafi, who had conquered power in 1969 by a coup. This peace treaty, aimed at by the Egyptian president, was considered a matter of betrayal to the Arab world.
Muammar Gaddafi ordered all 200,000 + Egyptians leave Libya. He also organized the march on Cairo, which led to the Egyptian border. When the Libyans reached the border, the march was stopped by Egyptian border guards. Here things escalated.
The Libyans attacked the Egyptian border town of Sallum with artillery. The Libyan troops and the Luftwaffe crossed the border and attacked the Egyptians. The Egyptian Army and Air Force launched a counterattack, urging them back to Libya. Libyan military bases and training camps near the border were destroyed and the Libyan army withdrew.
On July 24, 1977, a truce was announced in which the hostilities ended. The Egyptian president did not want to invade Libya and launch a war in full. This three-day war earned the shortest wars in history, but resulted in 400 Libyan troops being killed and injured, while 100 Egyptian troops were killed and injured.
. 8 Armenia-Azerbaijan War – 4 Days
This 4-day war occurred on April 2, 2016, when the Azerbaijani Army took military action against the self-proclaimed Nagorno-Karabakh Republic supported by Armenia.  The front of Nagorno-Karabakh has always been a focal point between Azerbaijan and Armenia, and there were occasional clashes. Since the conflict of 1992-1994, which led to the formation of the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh, there have always been tensions between these two states. Azerbaijan has always considered this area an occupied area, while Armenia considered it an independent area.
During this war, both sides deployed all types of weapons from tanks, heavy artillery, rocket launchers, and air forces. The war had no clear winner, as the Azerbaijani army did not occupy Nagorno-Karabakh, while Armenia fought off the Azerbaijani army.
On the afternoon of April 5, 2016, an agreement was reached on the cessation of hostilities between the two sides. There is still a tense relationship between the two sides, but this short war has resulted in at least 60 soldiers and several civilians dying, as both sides have admitted. However, it is possible that the number is high because accurate information from the front is not available.
. 7 Georgia-Russia War – 5 days
This 5-day war occurred in August 2008, when Georgian troops launched an offensive on the breakaway region of South Ossetia. South Ossetia and Abkhazia are two provinces in Georgia that have always sought autonomy / independence from the land.
Their independence efforts have always been supported by Russia, and this has created tensions with Georgia. There was a peacekeeping mission of both the Georgian and Russian troops in the two provinces, which was part of the 1992 agreement.
When Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili was elected, he wanted to persuade the South Ossetia region to become part of Georgia. In 2006, South Ossetia rejected this plan in a referendum.
While all this was happening, Georgia strengthened relations with the European Union (EU) and NATO and planned to join. On the other hand, South Ossetia strengthened its relations with Russia. Of course, neither side liked what the other did, so there were charges and minor clashes between the South Ossetian militia and the Georgian troops.
On August 7, 2008, the Georgian president ordered his troops to capture the South Ossetian capital Tskhinvali. The Georgian troops managed to control most of the city, as it was nearly 7,500 troops with tanks and armored personnel carriers compared to 2,500 Ossetia militias.
On August 8, 2008, the Russian army crossed the border into South Ossetia and fought the Georgian troops. The Russians used their air force to their advantage to bombard Georgian military facilities and vehicles. The Russian ground and air offensive pushed the Georgian army out of South Ossetia and its capital.
The Russian army also stationed their troops in Abkhazia and pushed further forward, stopping only 45 kilometers from the Georgian capital Tbilisi. A truce on August 12, 2008 ended the Russia-Georgia War. It was a clear victory for the provinces of Russia, South Ossetia and Abkhazia. The war had devastating effects on over 100,000 civilians displaced during the war. Even during the five-day conflict, nearly 850 people lost their lives.
. 6 Six-Day War / June War – 6 Days
This six-day war occurred on June 5, 1967, between Israel and the Arab states (Egypt, Iraq, Syria, Jordan ). Since the formation of the State of Israel in 1948 and the expulsion of the Palestinians, most Arab states have regarded Israel as a threat.
There have always been tensions between Israel and Arab states such as Syria, but tensions were high when Egyptian President Nasser banished Israeli ships from Turkey The Straits of Tiran on May 22, 1967. This resulted in a deferred build-up of Arab forces ,
On June 5, 1967, the Israelis launched an air strike called Operation Focus, which targeted the Air Force of Egypt, Syria, and Jordan, and Iraq. The Arab states have lost more than 400 aircraft; while Israel lost 20. This was a devastating loss as the Israelis controlled the airspace.
The ground offensive began on the same day Israeli troops and tanks crossed the border into the Sinai Peninsula and the Gaza Strip. They fought against the Egyptian forces, which later withdrew when the Israeli forces pushed them back.
However, when Jordan began firing at Israeli troops on false claims of Egyptian victory, the Israelis responded by attacking East Jerusalem and the West Bank. The Jordanian forces suffered heavy losses and setbacks, and on June 7, Jerusalem's Old City was under Israeli control.
On June 9, the Israelis launched an offensive against the Syrian forces on the Golan Heights. It was a difficult battle, but Israel took control as the Syrians withdrew.
The shortest wars in history ended on June 10, 1967, when the United Nations negotiated a truce between the warring factions. They all accepted the truce and by the end of the war Israel had conquered new territories. Israel now had the Golan Heights, the Gaza Strip and the area between the Sinai Peninsula and the Suez Canal. Later, however, Israel returned to the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt in 1982 and then withdrew in 2005 from the Gaza Strip.
This war has had an impact on the geopolitical nature of the Middle East and is still having an impact. The six-day war changed the landscape of the Middle East, and countless refugees affected by the war still wanted to return to their home countries. The conflict created 350,000 refugees.
Although it was only a six-day war, 20,000 Arabs and 800 Israelis died in the fighting.
. 5 El Salvador Honduras War – 4 Days
This was a 4-day war that began on July 14, 1969 between the two Central American states. It is best known as the Football War / Football War / 100 Hour War. In reality, football was not the real reason why these two states went to war, but it was a launch pad for the war.
Honduras and El Salvador had a variety of problems with each other and these led to a tense relationship between the two neighbors. El Salvador is a small, high-population country, so the chances for Salvadorans in the 1960s were low. But Honduras was much larger than El Salvador, so the potential to find work opportunities was very high.
Most Salvadorans decided to emigrate to Honduras, find work and stay there. These migrants were either illegal or legal in the country. The high influx of Salvadorans into Honduras made most native Hondurans develop hatred / hostility towards the other community (Salvadorans).
When a controversial land reform program was carried out in Honduras that resulted in Honduras driving out all legal or illegal El Salvador migrants The tensions were quite high.
During the World Cup qualification rounds 1970, which took place in the countries, there were fights and riots between the two spectators / fans. When Honduran fans destroyed and attacked the homes and businesses of Salvadorans, most fled to El Salvador. El Salvador called for action and the perpetrators were arrested, but nothing was done. Diplomatic relations with Honduras were broken off.
On July 14, the El Salvador Air Force surprisingly attacked the Hondurans. The army then invaded Honduras with tanks and armored vehicles, which moved quickly as they approached the Honduran capital Tegucigalpa.
At the request of Honduras, the Organization of American States (OAS) immediately called for a ceasefire. El Salvador, however, demanded security guarantees for its citizens in Honduras and compensation for injuries and damage.
On 18 July 1969, a truce was announced, which triggered a four-day war. Although it was a short war, 900 Salvadorans and 2,100 Hondurans were killed. The war has shown how hostility between two communities can lead to wars and consequences.
. 4 Second Arab-Israeli War – 9 Days
This 9-day war occurred on October 29, 1956, when Israel, France and Britain launched an attack on Egypt. The tensions between Israel and Egypt were high because Egypt allowed Palestinian militants to launch attacks from Egyptian soil / territory. The loss of Egypt to Israel during the June war also made the relations between them poisonous and unfriendly.
While for the British, Egypt was a colony they still wanted to control because some of their troops were still in Egypt, especially the Suez Canal. For France, the support given by Egyptian President Nasser to the Algerians in their search for independence was not ideal.
This war is usually referred to as the Suez Crisis or Suez War, as the Suez Canal was the main driver of the war. You see, the Suez Canal was still in control of the French and British companies. It was so important because it was the gateway to the transport of goods and resources to the Middle East and Africa.
But when President Nasser decided to nationalize the canal, he did not fare well in the West, especially among the French and British. So Egypt took over on July 26, 1956, the Suez Canal.
Therefore, on October 29, Israel, Britain and France attacked the Egyptians. First, Israeli troops invaded Gaza and the Sinai Peninsula, and then British and French troops bombed Egyptian air bases, forcing Egyptian troops to withdraw from the Sinai to protect the canal. On November 5, 1956, the French and British had taken over the area of the Suez Canal.
The US had been surprised by this war and did not want any further escalation when the Soviet Union threatened to come to Egypt's aid. A ceasefire was agreed and the Israeli, French and British troops had to withdraw. The Suez Canal was returned to the Egyptians, while Israel withdrew from the Sinai. The hostilities were set on 7 November 1956.
After the war, Egypt was declared victorious as it got what it wanted (Suez Canal) and succeeded in removing British troops from Egypt. Although these were the shortest wars in history, this led to causalities, which greatly affected Egypt. About 1,650 Egyptian troops were killed. 4,900 injured and more than 6,000 missing persons or prisoners.
. 3 Bulgaria-Greece-War – 10 Days
This 10-day border war started on 19 October 1925. It is known as the War of the Straying Dog because of a dog moving away from its owner removed, had something to do with this war.
But before the dog swept away friction and tension, the relationship between Greece and Bulgaria dominated. During the First World War Bulgaria was on the losing side with the Germans, while Greece was on the winners' side with the Allies. Therefore, Bulgaria was punished after the war for having allied with the Germans. They were forced to give western Thrace to Greece, so they had no access to the Aegean Sea.
This left a bitter impression on Bulgaria and tensions between the two countries continued. It was occasionally border skirmishes and clashes. The situation worsened when the dog of a Greek soldier ran to the Bulgarian border. The Greek soldier immediately drove him to the Bulgarian border.
A soldier of the Bulgarian side aimed and shot at the Greek soldiers. Both sides immediately began to exchange fires, a Greek captain and a private winged the white flag as they moved into Bulgarian territory to appeal for calm. The Bulgarians shot both.
Things did not end here, as the administration in Greece had changed through a coup and Lieutenant-General Theodoros Pangalos was in command. Pangalos heard about the clashes and gave Bulgaria an ultimatum of 48 hours. They should apologize and compensate fallen Greek soldier families with 2 million French francs.
Bulgaria refused and the general ordered his troops to Bulgaria, where they took over border towns and villages. The Greeks were vast compared to the Bulgarians because they did not lose territories they had conquered. Bulgaria asked the newly founded League of Nations for help. The League diplomatically ordered the Greeks to withdraw and stop the hostilities. On October 29, 1925, the war was over.
The General resisted the league's demands but was forced to abide by it when troops from France, Britain and Italy were dispatched to oversee the withdrawal. The league also ordered Greece to pay Bulgaria £ 45,000 in compensation. This humiliation of Greece resulted in Lieutenant-General Theodoros Pangalos being deposed in a coup by his own soldiers and replacing him with the man he had previously deposed.
In this war one can not know who really won, since both sides have lost something. Although Greece was militarily powerful, Bulgaria managed to strike Greece with the help of the League of Nations. Sometimes military strength can not win alone, but only those who know / convince you can influence the outcome of a situation.
The war resulted in fewer than 100 deaths on both sides. As for the dog that led to it, it's still a mystery because there is no historical information about what actually happened to it. I hope it had a wonderful life.
. 2 First Franco-Moroccan War – 11 Days
This was an eleven-day war that began on August 6, 1844. France was a powerful force in the 1840s that had managed to conquer vast areas and Algeria was one of those places. However, the Algerian resistance under Abd al-Qadir constantly threatened them.
During a fight between the supporters of the French and Abd al-Qadir, the resistance leader managed to flee to Morocco. The French chased him to Morocco and demanded that the leader of Morocco, Sultan Abd al-Rahman, stop supporting Abd al-Qadir and strengthen his border to avoid further raids Morocco. The French did not like this and interpreted it as a statement that Morocco was resisting them.
France established a base for the troops in Lalla-Maghnia. Alawi tribesmen attacked the troops, but were repulsed by the superior French army. A feeling of jihad was spreading in Morocco against the French.
When the French navy bombed the city of Tangier, the war against Morocco had begun. When the sultan's son, Sīdī Mohammed, assembled a large Moroccan force to fight and lose the smaller French force, the war was almost over.
On August 17, 1844, the French had won this short war, and Morocco had no choice but to accept French demands. Sultan Abd al-Rahman banned Abd al-Qadir and established a closer border with Algeria. In this war, 34 French and 870 Moroccans were killed.
. 1 India-China-War / Chinese-Indian War – 32 Days
This was a 32-day border war that was fought in 1962. China and India were relatively new states, as China emerged from a civil war that emerged leading to the Communists winning; while India had just gained independence from Great Britain.
They were all concerned about domestic affairs and foreign affairs was the last thing they had to deal with. Tensions and conflicts between the two states affected the border in the Himalaya Mountains. Britain had created the Indian border without consultation with China, so this border became a controversial topic.
India claimed the China-administered Aksai Chin region while the Chinese claimed Arunachal Pradesh in India. When China invaded Tibet and annexed it as part of China, India provided a safe haven for Tibetan exile leaders such as the Dalai Lama. This greatly angered the Chinese government and tensions continued to increase.
Border skirmishes and clashes between the two states have always been observed. However, when India found out that China had built a road in Aksai Chin to connect Tibet and the western province, the Indian government was angry.
Border collisions piled up and India managed to invade the Aksai Chin region. But India had no idea that the Chinese army had accumulated along the border. Therefore, the Chinese army launched an attack on October 20, 1962, with the aim of driving off the Indian army from Aksai Chin. They have achieved this, but that was not the end of the story. India launched a backlash against a Chinese position on the controversial border.
The war was mainly in mountainous areas, and this was difficult as it was 14,000 feet. The war ended when the US threatened to intervene and support India. An armistice was declared and both forces retreated to their original positions on the border on 21 November 1962.
The shortest wars in history not only led to the dead, but also to the harsh conditions to which they were exposed. 1,383 Indian and 722 Chinese military personnel were killed. It was a clear victory for China and it showed its military strength. Although air and sea power were not used, the numerical strength of the Chinese ground force was a major asset to India's defeat.