5 Shortest Wars In History: From 24 Days To 38 Minutes

Shortest Wars In History
Credit: Bruce Mewett / pixabay.com

Everyone knows about the wars that lasted years, but do you know about the shortest war in history?

Amazingly, it lasted only 38 minutes, yet even the longest war on this list only lasted 24 days.

These are the five shortest wars in history:

5. The Georgian-Armenian War – 24 Days

The Democratic Republic of Armenia and the Democratic Republic of Georgia entered into a full-scale war on December 7, 1918. It ended December 31, 1918:

The conflict was over the provinces of Lori, Borchali, and Javankheti. The regions were previously controlled by the Ottoman Empire but after their defeat in World War I, these regions started to extend their claims on the region.

The war ended after 24 days without any clear victor with a cease-fire. The conflicted territories were placed under the mutual control of both Georgiana and Armenian governments. Both countries lost thousands of men in the conflict.

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4. Serbia-Bulgarian War – 14 Days

(Photo: Wiki Commons)

Serbia and Bulgaria have engaged in conflict with each other many times but in November 1885 they engaged in a full-scale conflict that lasted 14 days. The war started on November 14, 1885, and lasted until the 28th with a Bulgarian victory:

The war ended with the intervention of Austria and Hungary as they threatened to end the conflict immediately or take military action against Bulgaria. Bulgaria lost 550 men in conflict while 700 to 800 causalities were recorded on the Serbian side.

3. India-Pakistani Conflict Of 1971 – 13 Days

The Shortest Wars In History - The Indian-Pakistan Conflict of 1971
(Photo: Anthony Grossy/Flickr)

The full-scale war between India and Pakistan was the third shortest war in the history of the world. lasting 13 days. Yet, it is believed between 300,000 and 3-million civilians were killed in Bangladesh by militia during this conflict.

The Indo-Pakistani conflict started during the Liberation War in Bangladesh. What began as political unrest between the leadership of East and West Pakistan, ended with Pakistani forces attacking Indian air stations. This pulled India into the conflict.

The war started on December 3, 1971, and ended on December 16, with the fall of Dacca and the surrender of the Pakistani Army in Bangladesh.

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2. The Six-Day War – Six Days

The six-day war is the second shortest war in history and was between Israel and the Arab states of Syria, Jordan, and Egypt. It started on June 5 and lasted for six days, ending June 10, 1967.

The regional tension had been building for a long time, as Egyptian forces were engaged with Israeli forces in border disputes. A full-scale war started when Israeli forces began a large-scale pre-emptive offensive on June 5:

On June 11, a cease-fire was announced by both parties after the United Nations got involved. By this time more than 21,000 people had died. During this war, Israel captured areas of the Gaza Strip, West Bank, and Eastern Jerusalem.

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1. The Anglo-Zanzibar war – 38 minutes

The Anglo-Zanzibar is the shortest full-scale war in the history of the world. The duration of this war was no more than 38 minutes, starting at 9 am and ending at 9:38 on August 27, 1896.

The war was started with the death of the Sultan of Zanzibar, Hamad bin Thuwaini. After the death of the sultan, his nephew seized power but the British rejected his accession. The British gave an hour to Khalid bin Bargash, the nephew of late Sultan, at 8 am of 27 August to surrender, and when the ultimatum expired, they started bombardment.

Forces landed on shore and Bargash escaped seeking refuge in the German consulate. The order was restored within 38 minutes. Britain then installed Hamud bin Muhammad as the Sultan.