Top 10 Shortest Wars Of All Time


Wars are a fact of life, people have fought wars since the earliest times. There are many reasons why nations go to war, and sometimes they are

pretty silly. But in most cases it is for the enrichment of one party or to protect the rights of the citizens of a territory or country.

Wars can rage on for years or decades, but sometimes they are over before some people even realized they were on.

This is a list of the Top 10 shortest wars of all time, and some silly reasons why some of these wars were fought


10. Falkland War (74 days)


In early April 1982, Argentina launched an offensive to invade the British-controlled Falkland Islands in the Southern Atlantic. The Argentinian forces also invaded South Georgia and the Sandwich Islands in an attempt to claim sovereignty over these territories which had been a dispute between Argentina and the British for more than  a century. In response, the British launched a task force from a base on Ascension island of the West Coast of Africa. The initial battle was waged at sea between the British navy and the Argentinian Air Force. The British troops landed in the Falklands on 20 May 1982 and in a swift and fierce attack had overrun the Argentinian forces by the 14th of June forcing them to surrender. 

9. The First Greek-Turkish War (30 Days)


Also known as the 30 Days war was a war fought over the control of the Island of Crete between the Greek and Turkish armed forces. Turkey had gained control over the island of Crete and appointed Muslim rulers over the mostly Christian population. In 1896 tensions were running high as Nationalist factions from Greece instigated a rebellion. The Greece rulers saw this as an invitation to regain control of the island, and Geek forces were mobilized. Greek troops landed in early February to claim the island for Greece. The following hostilities initiated in April saw the Turkish forces overwhelming the greeks who were forced to retreat by May 20, 1897. 

8. The Sino-Vietnamese War (27 Days)


Leading up to this conflict between Vietnam and the Peoples Republic of China (PRC) was a period of relative tension in the region. Cooperation between the Vietnamese government and Khmer Rouge who was backed by the PRC had disintegrated due to some land disputes in Cambodia with the Vietnamese. This led to an invasion of Cambodia by Vietnam in 1978. In response, the Chinese government launched an offensive which resulted in the Sino-Vietnamese War which lasted from 17 February to 16 March 1979. Both sides claimed victory afterwards, but it is widely accepted that the PRC had grossly underestimated the power of the PLA during this conflict. Casualties on both sides are estimated to have been in the order of 60,000 dead. 

7. The Georgian-Armenian War (24 Days)


The Russian revolution had some far-reaching effects, these effects were not only felt in Russia, but also in the states that had previously formed part of the Russian Empire. And

The Turkish Ottoman Empire had gained control of border districts Lori, Borchalo and Javakheti separating Armenia and Georgia, but withdrew shortly after the end of the First World War. Armenia claimed control of the land, based on the majority of the inhabitants being Armenian, however, Georgia also claimed control and this resulted in a short and bitter struggle lasting from 7-31 December 1918 making it one of the 10 shortest wars of all time. The Armenian troops were no match for the superiorly trained Georgian Army and suffered heavy losses. A ceasefire was brokered with England as a mediator, and later a peace treaty signed. 

6.  Agacher Strip War (16 Days)

Mali Army

Wars in Africa in general last for years or decades, and usually involve immense civilian losses. One of the Top 10 shortest wars of all time proves that this is not always the case. The war lasted for 16 days in December of 1985 and was the second time the two nations had engaged each other over the Agacher border area.

The Agacher Strip War fought between the forces from Burkina Faso and Mali contradicts the African war theory. This war as most wars erupted because of land claims and unclear historical data, the mineral wealth of the small border Agacher strip made this a very attractive asset for the two recently independent countries. Following some minor skirmishes and an airstrike on the capital of Burkina Faso by the Air Force of Mali, a ceasefire, and consequently a peace treaty brokered by neighbouring Nigeria and Libya. 

5. Indo-Pakistani War (13 Days)


The backdrop to this crucial conflict between historical enemies India and Pakistan was the Liberation war in Bangladesh and led to the Independence of Bangladesh. Fighting erupted on the Western border of India after a general election afforded the East Pakistani Awami league a majority in the lower house, thus threatening the independence of Bangladesh. The resulting defeat of the Pakistani army between 3 and 16 December 1971 paved the way fro the independence of Bangladesh. 

4.  The Serbia-Bulgarian War (14 Days)

Serbo Bulgarian War

In September 1885, the Ottoman Province of Eastern Rumelia and Bulgaria announced the unification of the two regions. This unification was met with significant opposition from both the Austro-Bulgarian Empire and the Serbian ruler amongst others.

Greece erupted in protests, but refused a war coalition with the Serbs, This prompted the Serbian ruler of the time Milan I to declare war on Bulgaria on 14 November 1885 This step was mostly motivated by Austro-Bulgarian promises of land concessions in Bulgaria. The Bulgarian Troops had been guarding against an Ottoman invasion and was taken off guard by the attack. After the initial skirmishes and successful defences of Slivnitsa and Vidin, the Bulgarian launched an offensive. This resulted in the Austro-Bulgarian government threatening an alliance with the Serbs, which ultimately led to the cessation of hostilities. The Bulgarian unification was however recognized after this incident. 

3. The 6 Days War (6 Days)

6 day war

Also known as the third Arab-Israeli War was the result of tensions in the Middle East erupting in June 1967. Tensions had been high in the region for quite some time and was heightened by false reports of a planned Isreali offensive against Syria. There had also been increased Guerrilla attacks by Palestinian militants from Syria, Jordan and Lebanon which led to even more tension.

The incident that sparked the incident was a ban on Israeli shipping passing through the Gulf of Aqaba by Egypt as a move to show support for Syria in the fight against Israel.

This was followed by an alliance between Jordan, Egypt and Iraq in a mutual defence pact. This prompted Israel to launch a pre-emptive strike on the 5th of June, destroying both the Egyptian and Syrian air forces within three days. A consequent attack by Jordan on Jerusalem prompted the Israeli forces to strike back resulting in the capture of the Gaza strip, East Jerusalem, The East Bank and the Sinai Peninsula. 

2. Football War (100 hours)


The name of the war might suggest that this short-lived war between El Salvador and Honduras was fought as a result of a football match, the cause of the conflict, however, lies much deeper and was mostly as a result of controversial land reform legislation by the Honduran government. The laws designed in cooperation with major corporations led to the displacement of thousands of migrant Salvadorians from their peasant farmlands. The Salvadorian saw this as an act of genocide and declared war on the same day as the third and last of a series of World Cup Qualifying matches between the two countries.

The Initial Salvadoran surprise attack on 14 July drove the Honduran forces back, but pressure from the OES and military aid from Nicaragua for Honduras forced the Salvadorans to a ceasefire on the 19th of July, thus ending the war within 100 hours. 

1. The Anglo-Zanzibar War (45 minutes)


Believed to be the shortest conflict in history, the Anglo-Zanzibar war was fought on 27 August 1896. The run-up to the war started with the death of the Sultan of Zanzibar, Hamad bin Thuwaini, who had pro-British sentiments on the 25th of August. Khalid bin Bargash, his nephew assumed power and managed to assemble a small army of approximately 3,000 men in the palace. The Britsih forces did however not approve of this and issued an ultimatum to Bargash who had fortified himself in the palace. Surrender within an hour or be fired upon. Bargash did however not respond and as a result, the royal yacht was sunk and the palace shelled using the British ships in the harbour. Within 45 minutes, Bargash had surrendered. This gave the British the opportunity to install their favoured candidate Hamud bin Muhammed as Sultan.

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