The World’s Shortest War

The Anglo-Zanzibar War – The Worlds Shortest War

At 9:02 AM on August 27, 1896, The British gathered 5 modern warships in the harbor in front of the palace of the new Sultan of Zanzibar (Khalid bin Bargash) and landed two battalions of their army. 40 minutes later the war was over and about 500 people, mostly Bargash’s soliders, were dead.

The war came about because two days previously the former Sultan of Zanzibar, who had willingly cooperated with the British, died, and his nephew, Bargash, had taken over. The British didn’t agree with this choice of Sultan and offered an ultimatum for him to abdicate. Bargash refused and assembled his navy which consisted of one yacht and fortified his palace. By 9.40 AM, Bargash had fled, and the war was declared over. He was eventually found and granted asylum.




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