Top 10 Shortest Wars In Human History
Some of these conflicts must have seemed over before they even started, with one lasting only a few minutes! When tensions reach the level of full-fledged war, a sequence of tragic clashes that might endure for years generally follows. Some conflicts, on the other hand, are resolved more faster, whether because one side has complete command over their opponent or because either side’s military leadership lacks enthusiasm and commitment to begin with.Each of the following conflicts lasted no more than a few weeks, with the shortest being addressed in terms of minutes. Here is the Top 10 Shortest Wars In Human History.
10. Falklands War, 1982 (10 weeks)
The Falkland Wars began on April 2, 1982, when Argentine soldiers, with the authorization of President Leopoldo Galtieri, landed on the Falkland Islands off Argentina’s coast. The islands were British territory at the time, and after the Argentinians conquered two of them, the British responded by sending soldiers into the area. They dispatched a portion of their fleet as well as an amphibious task force to assist. On June 14th, British soldiers had the Argentinians besieged on land and banned at sea after 10 weeks. The British lost 258 troops killed and 777 injured throughout the ten weeks, while the Argentinians lost 649 men killed, 1,068 wounded, and 11,313 prisoner.
9. Polish-Lithuanian, 1920 (37 days)
The length of the Polish-Lithuanian War in 1920 differs depending on which side tells the story. According to the Poles, the struggle was limited to fighting over the Suwaki Region during the Polish-Soviet conflict from September to October 1920. According to the Lithuanians, the struggle was fought as part of their fight for independence from the spring of 1919 to November of 1920. Following the fighting, the two nations agreed an uneasy armistice in October, which was followed by a diplomatic break and a ceasefire in November.
8. Second Balkan, 1913 (43 days)
The Second Balkan War ran from June 29th to August 10th, 1913, as a result of unresolved conflicts from the First Balkan War. Bulgaria had set its sights on Macedonia, but came away with significantly less than it had anticipated. Bulgaria retaliated by attacking two of its former allies, Serbia and Greece. The battle was short-lived since Romania, Montenegro, and the Ottoman Empire joined the assault, doubling Bulgaria’s troops. Several cities were destroyed during the brief but devastating battle. Bulgaria quickly succumbed and requested an armistice in the face of enemies on all sides. In response, the Treaty of Bucharest was signed right away.
7. Greco-Turkish, 1897 (34 days)
The Thirty Days’ War was fought between the Kingdom of Greece and the Ottoman Empire. It was also known as the Black ’97 and the Unfortunate War. The immediate concerns of the fighters were for control of Crete, which was under Ottoman Turkish rule at the time but considered itself Greek (as evidenced by the Cretan Revolt of 1866-1869). The Greco-Turkish War, which started on April 5, 1897, was brief. Finally, the Ottoman Empire won a huge military victory and took over areas of Thessaly from Greece. Diplomacy and the assistance of other European countries finally resulted in the concession of autonomy to Crete.
6. Sino-Vietnamese, 1979 (27 days)
The Sino-Vietnamese War, fought between the People’s Republic of China and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam from February 17th to March 16th, 1979, was a reprisal for the Cambodian-Vietnamese War of 1978. During the previous conflict, the Khmer Rouge seized Cambodian territory and slaughtered ethnic Vietnamese, prompting Vietnam to invade, occupy, and torture ethnic Chinese. The majority of the combat occurred along the Sino-Vietnamese border, with both sides declaring victory. There is no precise number of casualties since both sides downplayed their own losses while inflating those of their opponents. Despite China’s ultimate departure, border disputes persisted long into the 1990s.
5. Georgian-Armenian, 1918 (25 days)
The Georgian-Armenian War of 1918 was fought along the boundaries of Lori, Javakheti, and Borchalo between the Democratic Republic of Georgia and the First Republic of Armenia. Georgian-Armenian ties have been strained since the Russian Empire’s pre-Russian Revolution control in the area. Armenian troops arrived in Borchalo on December 5th, and war was proclaimed two days later. Both Armenians and Georgians living near the borders were slain by the invading forces, and the combat raged until December 31st, when both sides agreed to a truce negotiated by the British. Lori’s contested territory was then designated as a neutral zone, which was later divided between the states once they were Sovietized.
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4. Serbo-Bulgarian, 1885 (15 days)
The Kingdom of Serbia declared war on the Principality of Bulgaria on November 14, 1885. Despite being younger and less experienced, the Bulgarian army saw less internal strife. Despite the fact that war was unpopular in Serbia, King Milan enlisted his warriors anyhow, expecting a swift triumph. The Serbs planned to seize Sofia, Bulgaria’s capital, but after a crushing setback at Slivnitsa, they began to flee. They retreated until November 28th, when Austria-Hungary intervened, threatening Bulgaria with military action if its own advances were not stopped. Winning the battle boosted Bulgarian patriotism, cementing the recent union’s nationalist bonds.
3. Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 (14 days)
The 1971 Indo-Pakistani War was one of numerous battles between the two countries since British India was partitioned during World War II. In 1971, it occurred concurrently with the Bangladesh Liberation War. During a civil war, India aided separatists fighting for independence in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh). Pakistan conducted pre-emptive attacks on various Indian airbases on December 3rd, leading India to join the civil war. On December 16, 1971, Pakistan signed the Instrument of Surrender, dividing East Pakistan and established Bangladesh as a new nation. However, as a result of the fighting and suffering, millions of civilians were murdered, maimed, or displaced. Tensions over the Indo-Pakistani border remain strong even now. Even before British India’s partition and independence, religious and ethnic strife had become entrenched between what is now India’s primarily Hindu populations, Pakistan’s primarily Muslim populations, and Bangladesh’s ethnically Bengali, religiously Muslim populations.
2. Six Day War, 1967 (6 days)
The Six Day War occurred between June 5th and June 10th, 1967, when tensions reached a breaking point and Israel used preemptive strikes to practically wipe out Egypt’s air force. The conflict was being fought on three fronts. The three were the Egyptian Front, the Syrian Front, and the Jordanian Front. Despite the fact that the war began in June, Israel’s battle with the other Arab countries dates back decades, even to the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. The United Nations began working on ceasefire resolutions as soon as the Israeli army began to advance, and by the time all parties engaged had signed the ceasefire, Israel had captured the Sinai Peninsula, the Gaza Strip, the Golan Heights, and the West Bank. This is the second-shortest war in history.
1. British-Zanzibar, 1896 (38 minutes)
The battle, also known as the Anglo-Zanzibar War, is claimed to have lasted 40 minutes (+/- 5 minutes) and took place in the Zanzibar archipelago off the coast of what is now Tanzania. On August 25, 1896, the Sultan of Zanzibar died two days before the war began, and his cousin, Khalid bin Bargash, took over the island. This occurred despite a contract requiring all successors to be vetted by the British before ascending to the throne. The British took this as a declaration of war and gave Khalid till 9:00 a.m. to abdicate. Khalid took cover within his castle, unprepared for the British to commence fire. The British called his bluff and utterly demolished the palace. By the time the shelling ended at 9:45 a.m., over 500 Zanzibaris had been killed or injured, and Khalid had fled from the palace to the German consulate. Zanzibar was a British protectorate until 1964, when it was renamed the People’s Republic of Zanzibar and merged with the newly formed United Republic of Tanzania.
What Was the Shortest War in History?
The British-Zanzibar War, also known as the Anglo-Zanzibar War, is estimated to have lasted about 40 minutes, making it the world’s shortest war.