Shortest War Between England and Zanzibar (1896)
The smallest war in History

Whenever war is discussed among people, people remember the first and second world wars. The first world war was fought from 1914 to 1918, while the second world war was fought from 1939 to 1945. But there is a war in the history of war which was decided in just 38 minutes. But it is remembered. This war took place between England and Zanzibar (East Africa) in the year 1896. In which England had forced Zanzibar to surrender after the war lasting only 38 minutes.

The foundation of this war was laid when the treaty between Germany and Britain was signed in 1890 regarding Zanzibar. Britain was trying to expand its empire throughout East Africa through this treaty. For this reason, the power of Zanzibar was ceded to Britain, while the territory of Tanzania came on the part of Germany in the agreement.

According to the treaty, the British Empire, declaring its authority over Zanzibar, placed a puppet sultan to exercise power. In the year 1893, Hamad Bean Tuwani, who was a supporter of the British Empire, was handed over the power in his hands. Hamad ruled peacefully for a full three years. On 25 August 1896, Hamad died suddenly in the palace. It is said that in the greed of power, Sultan Hamad’s nephew Khaled Bean Bergash gave poison. After a few moments of Hamad’s death, Khalid declared himself the Sultan of Zanzibar without Britain’s consent. Khalid’s decision angered British officials stationed in Zanzibar and Chief Diplomat Basil Kew ordered Khalid to immediately leave the Sultan’s throne. Khalid, bypassing the British order, deployed his army around the palace. The deployed army had the same guns to fight, which were presented by the British authorities to Sultan Hamad. Khalid’s 3000 soldiers were keeping the palace safe with weapons. At the same time, two British warships HSS Philomall and British soldiers aboard HSS Rush arrived and they immediately captured the British Counsel.

On 26 August, the British government issued a final ultimatum to Sultan Khalid to surrender peacefully by 9 am the next day. Apart from this, Kew also ordered British warships to be ready for war. British soldiers ordered an attack at exactly 9 am. After this, British cannons started thundering on the hammer at exactly 9:02 am. Within 38 minutes, Sultan Khalid’s army was defeated. At the time the Sultan lost, the clock was getting 9:40 minutes. This war is the shortest war in the world.

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