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Shortest Wars in History

Renuka Savant Mar 15, 2020
It would be safe to say that fighting has been synonymous with the human race ever since its existence. We've fought for survival, and we've fought for pride. But the wars featured in this post have garnered fame not for what they achieved, but for the speed at which they achieved it.
Throughout the ages, enough has been said about fighting and the entire futility surrounding it. But has it had an impact on the human mindset? Apparently not. As North Korea trains its guns on its southern neighbor, we are pressed to wonder, are we ever going to stop fighting?
Unfortunately, fighting happens to be deeply ingrained in our DNA, and it doesn't make any sense to fight it, right? So, as long as our fighting spirit burns bright, diplomacy is bound to bite the dust.
If regular humans like you and me had our way, we'd never want wars to happen in the first place. In fact, wars tend to have an uncanny association only with the power-hungry people who helm our political affairs. We think of wars as long-winding, and a complete waste of resources and precious lives; nevertheless, inevitable under some circumstances.
The wars that have been chronicled here, however, stand apart for one peculiar reason. And the reason is that they concluded in a jiffy. We begin with a war that lasted just a month, concluding with one that was over in minutes. Don't believe me? Here's proof...

Blink-and-you'll-miss-'em Wars

Greco-Turkish War

Year: 1897
Duration: 30 days

The Greco-Turkish War lasted a month long, and therefore came to be known as the Thirty Days' War, which could only be a veiled allusion to its duration. The bone of contention here was the picturesque island of Crete, which used to be an Ottoman province back then.
The Cretans, being mostly Greek, wanted their island to be one among the many that were a part of Greece. The Greeks, wanting to gain an upper hand, marched on to Crete, expecting to intimidate the Turks with a show of strength.
Approximately 10,000 casualties later, a peace treaty was signed. The Turks, not wanting to back down, responded with an attack that killed several Greek Cretans, along with a few members of the British troops.
"International intervention" soon followed, of course, and Crete was declared to be an autonomous territory. It wasn't until 1913, however, that Crete was officially recognized to be a part of Greece. It's been a happy story ever since.

Sino-Vietnamese War

Year: 1979
Duration: 27 days

A predominantly Red war, it all began with Vietnam wanting to expand its territory, and thus invading Cambodia.

China, also wanting to expand its territory, took offense at Vietnam's move and landed on Cambodian gates, wanting to miff Russia... sorry... USSR, who was thought to be an interfering busybody by China.
Too complicated? Well, that's friendship for you in "communist talk." Adding to the melodrama was the fact that this happened smack dab in the middle of the Cold War, when the powerful lot of nations simply huffed and puffed at each other, but didn't actually blow the house down.
As for the Sino-Vietnamese War, it took all of 27 days for both sides to acknowledge that everyone is a winner for having participated, and each side went home blissfully.

Georgian-Armenian War

Year: 1918
Duration: 24 days

The Georgian-Armenian War was fought by the respective countries to gain hold of Lori, Javakheti, and Borchalo territories that were under Russian control. After WWI ended, these territories were taken over by the Ottomans for a while. The conflict began when the Ottomans withdrew from the area, and the Armenians filtered in.
In the war that followed, both Georgia and Armenia were evenly poised, with each side gaining some and losing some, until Matron Britain got the wind of it. A peace agreement was signed soon after by both sides under the watchful eye of dear, matronly Britain.

Serbo-Bulgarian War

Year: 1885
Duration: 14 days

The Serbo-Bulgarian War was possibly triggered by the most unlikeliest of suspects -- Mother Nature. It started with the river Timok, which doubled as a border, separating the two nations. This river apparently altered its course naturally, without taking express permission from either countries.
One fine day, a Serbian guard post found itself on the Bulgarian side of things and obviously realized that it was not welcome there. The weapons came out almost immediately with the Bulgarians seizing the opportunity to throw out the Serbians.
Divine... sorry... international intervention came in the form of the Austro-Hungarians, who threatened to side with the Serbs. Peace came through, but at the cost of Serbo-Bulgarian friendship, which was built with the purpose of putting up a united front against the Ottoman Empire.

India-Pakistan War

Year: 1971
Duration: 13 days

This conflict actually had its roots in the internal skirmishes of Pakistan and East Pakistan (now known as Bangladesh). The Indian intervention, however, was set off by the relentless torture of the Bengali Hindu populace of East Pakistan by the Pakistan army.
Bengalis numbering up to 10 million had crossed the East Pakistan border, entering India to seek refuge. Operation Chengiz Khan, as it was named by the Pakistani army, lived up to its name as the atrocities on Bengalis continued.
As Pakistan launched air strikes over north India, India retaliated with a full throttle air, land, and sea assault, forcing the Pakistani army to raise the white flag in a matter of 13 days.
This war concluded with the birth of a new nation, Bangladesh, and perhaps also saw the debut of the Western countries' new-found interest in Indian subcontinent politics, which continues to this day.

Six-Day War

Year: 1967
Egypt, Syria,Jordan, and Iraq against Israel

The nation of Israel had but one message to the Arabs with this war, which was that you don't mess with the Mossad. The Israeli intelligence agency, along with their air force had planned their attacks with such mechanical precision, that it spawned a long list of conspiracy theories.
In reality, the Mossad agents had ingeniously managed to infiltrate the Egyptian army, fooling them into believing that the Israeli attack would be a ground operative. No surprise then, that the air attacks that followed simply flattened the moral of the Arab armies, despite being prepared and heavily numbered.
This war remains etched in the annals of history for being an example of brain being worthier than brawn. Of course, things didn't end there for these countries. The 1973 conflict, also called the Yom Kippur War/Ramadan War went on for 20 days, and saw a reversal of equations in this region.
The Arab-led attack took the Israelis by surprise this time, signaling the relative complacency of the Mossad. This land continues to be torn apart by conflict to this day.

Anglo-Zanzibar War

Year: 1896
Duration: 40 minutes

Yes, you read it right. It took the British troops somewhere between 38-45 minutes to wind things up in Zanzibar Town and get dressed, well in time for their morning tea and scones.
Those were the glorious days when the Sun never set on the British Empire, and puny little Zanzibar didn't stand a chance. For the British troops, it was just a matter of coming, seeing, and conquering.
After the untimely death of Sultan Hamad bin Thuwaini, the British wanted Hamoud bin Mohammed to take over, as it was in their best interests. The dead Sultan's nephew, Sultan Khalid bin Barghash had other ideas and took over the royal palace after the death of his uncle.
Ignoring the British ultimatum to abdicate, Khalid bin Barghash holed up in the palace until the British cannons blasted him out. Hamoud bin Mohammed was named the Sultan by the British, and their alliance lived a long and fulfilling life, serving Her Majesty.
If you found the description of these wars to be a tad lighthearted, it was purely intended. Because, if there is any way to undermine the necessity of war, along with the futility of it, it is this. If the human race wishes to look back on all the wars it has fought, it ought be able to see the inanity of it all, and move towards a peaceful tomorrow.