Shortest war?

#1
The shortest war in history lasted just 38 minutes and involved Great Britain and the Sultanate of Zanzibar on the island of Zanzibar off Africa's east coast.
For the cost of one casualty(wounded) the British soldiers and naval personel deposed a candidate for the Sultancy of whom they disapproved (He fled to the German colony in whjat is now modern Tanzania and imposed their own Sultan who was a puupet of the British Imperial will.
That said, what a pity that other wars could not have been as brief as the 38 minute British/Zanzibar war in August 1897..
Now, one wonders what was the shortest war in which the USA engaged-Grenada 1984? Germany ?-the conquest of Jugoslavia in 1941?-
However, I think it was jolly bad form to shell the outgoing Sultan's Harem as occurred during the 38 minute conflict-what military significance did that have?
:deadhorse:
 
Nov 2011
8,780
The Dustbin, formerly, Garden of England
#2
The shortest war in history lasted just 38 minutes and involved Great Britain and the Sultanate of Zanzibar on the island of Zanzibar off Africa's east coast.
For the cost of one casualty(wounded) the British soldiers and naval personel deposed a candidate for the Sultancy of whom they disapproved (He fled to the German colony in whjat is now modern Tanzania and imposed their own Sultan who was a puupet of the British Imperial will.
That said, what a pity that other wars could not have been as brief as the 38 minute British/Zanzibar war in August 1897..
Now, one wonders what was the shortest war in which the USA engaged-Grenada 1984? Germany ?-the conquest of Jugoslavia in 1941?-
However, I think it was jolly bad form to shell the outgoing Sultan's Harem as occurred during the 38 minute conflict-what military significance did that have?
:deadhorse:
There was also the matter of the Zanzibar treasury being forced to defray the expense of the Royal Nay's shot and shell used in the bombardment!
Those were the days.
 
Dec 2011
555
Norway
#6
Wouldn't some of the American Indian wars be the shortest for the US? I am no expert but presumeably there were isolated wars which lasted a short period of time before the Indians were removed or forced away from the area.
 
Nov 2011
1,749
Bolton, UK
#8
The shortest BATTLE in history was the Battle of Moore's Creek Bridge, which occurred near Wilmington, North Carolina on February 27, 1776 between treacherous North Carolina Patriots and brave British Loyalist heroes - mainly Scots - during the American War of Independence. In a brief early-morning engagement, a charge across the bridge by sword-wielding Loyalist Scotsmen was met by a barrage of musket fire. The battle lasted around three minutes. It was also the first battle of the war to take place in North Carolina.

Loyalist recruitment efforts in the interior of North Carolina began in earnest with news of the Battles of Lexington and Concord, and Patriots in the province also began organizing Continental Army and militia units. When word arrived in January 1776 of a planned British Army expedition to the area, Josiah Martin, the royal governor, ordered the Loyalist militia to muster in anticipation of their arrival. Patriot militia and Continental units mobilized to prevent the junction, blockading several routes until the poorly-armed Loyalists were forced to confront them at Moore's Creek Bridge, about 18 miles north of Wilmington.

By the time of their arrival at Moore's Creek, the Loyalist contingent had shrunk to between 700 and 800 men. About 600 of these were Scots and the remainder were Regulators. Furthermore, the marching had taken its toll on the elderly MacDonald; he fell ill and turned command over to Lieutenant Colonel Donald MacLeod. The Loyalists broke camp at 1 am on February 27 and marched the few miles from their camp to the bridge. Arriving shortly before dawn, they found the defenses on the west side of the bridge unoccupied. MacLeod ordered his men to adopt a defensive line behind nearby trees when a Patriot sentry across the river fired his musket to warn Caswell of the Loyalist arrival. Hearing this, MacLeod immediately ordered the attack.



In the pre-dawn mist a company of Scots approached the bridge. In response to a call for identification shouted across the creek, Captain Alexander McLean identified himself as a friend of the King, and responded with his own challenge in Gaelic. Hearing no answer, he ordered his company to open fire, beginning an exchange of gunfire with the Patriot sentries. Colonel MacLeod and Captain John Campbell then led a picked company of swordsmen on a charge across the bridge. The Patriots had removed the planking from the bridge and may have greased the log stingers, to make it difficult for the Loyalists to cross.

During the night, Caswell and his men had established a semicircular earthworks around the bridge end, and armed them with two small pieces of field artillery. When the Scots were within 30 paces of the earthworks, the Patriots opened fire to devastating effect. MacLeod and Campbell both went down in a hail of gunfire; Colonel Moore reported that MacLeod had been struck by upwards of 20 musket balls. The surviving elements of Campbell's company got back over the bridge, and the Loyalist force dissolved in panic.

Capitalizing on the success, the Patriot forces quickly replaced the bridge planking and gave chase. One enterprising company led by one of Caswell's lieutenants forded the creek above the bridge, flanking the retreating Loyalists. Colonel Moore arrived on the scene a few hours after the battle. He stated in his report that 30 Loyalists were killed or wounded, "but as numbers of them must have fallen into the creek, besides more that were carried off, I suppose their loss may be estimated at fifty." The Patriot leaders reported one killed and one wounded

Battle of Moore's Creek Bridge - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
Last edited:

MAGolding

Ad Honorem
Aug 2015
2,569
Chalfont, Pennsylvania
#10
Wouldn't some of the American Indian wars be the shortest for the US? I am no expert but presumeably there were isolated wars which lasted a short period of time before the Indians were removed or forced away from the area.
Not all Indian Wars were fought for the purpose of moving Indian groups.

The Modoc War lasted about 11 months from 6 July 1872 to 4 June 1873.

The Nez Perce War lasted for about 4 months from June to October 1877.

The Black Hawk war lasted for about 4 months and 21 days from April 6, to August 27, 1832.

The First Korean War or the Korean Expedition, lasted for one month and 2 days from June 1 to July 3, 1871.

And I am sure there are other examples of short military conflicts involving the USA.
 

Similar History Discussions