History's Five Shortest Wars

  • October 17, 2010
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Six Days War


Israel, scaring the crap out of people since 1967

As you might guess, the Six Days War was a pretty short war. But it was also a pretty decisive one. Just not in the way anybody involved was quite expecting.

Not to delve into Middle Eastern politics too much, but, basically, Egypt, around 1967, had decided it had all it was going to take from those uppity Israelis. They threw the UN out of the Sinai Peninsula, put a hundred thousand men on the Israeli border, closed shipping lanes to Israel, and got Jordan and Syria to agree to blow the crap out of Israel too. Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria all kicked in to help.

Which would have probably worked if the Egyptians had paid attention to the idea of secrecy or not letting your opponent know what you were doing. The Israelis, seeing all this, since Egypt wasn't exactly hiding it, decided to strike first on June 5th and blew up the Egyptian Air Force. And, because the Israelis had superior airfields capable of getting planes up in the air four times a day, they decided what the heck, and blew up the Jordanian, Syrian and Iraqi air forces as well.

Then everybody started telling everybody else they were beating up on Israel, and everybody attacked. Namely, they attacked the soldiers who were not only ready for them, but had a functioning air force. That ended about as well as you'd expect: Israel took the Sinai Peninsula, the Golan Heights, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, thus laying the groundwork for a peaceful, quiet ensuing forty years. Not.


Anglo-Zanzibar War


The sole proof Zanzibar fought back

This one takes the cake for a pretty simple reason: this is the only war that lasted about as long as a couple of Aqua Teen Hunger Force episodes. Calling this a war is almost insulting. Essentially, a pro-British sultan died, and an anti-British sultan took over.

He ordered the British out.

The British expressed their displeasure by shelling the palace with the Sultan in it. He wound up running to the German consulate like a wuss, and Zanzibar basically became Britain's pet state.

In forty minutes. We wonder if anybody was disappointed by the brevity of the war.

Know some more short spats from less civilized eras? Join the discussion below!

Written by Dan Seitz – Copyrighted © www.weirdworm.com Image Sources

Image sources:

  • - Georgian-Armenian War: http://pics.livejournal.com/phoenixbirdie/pic/0000bdk9/s320x240
  • - Serbo-Bulgarian War: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/ae/S-b_war_panting_by_Antoni_Piotrowski.jpg
  • - Indo-Pakistani War of 1971: http://www.lazydesis.com/attachments/chai-time/4234d1229658640-indo-pak-war-1971-picturs-1965-war-pakistan09.jpg
  • - Six Days War: http://www.britannica.com/blogs/wp-content/uploads/2007/06/image.jpg
  • - Anglo-Zanzibar War: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/70/Marines_in_zanzibar.jpg