What was the shortest war in history?

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The shortest war in recorded history is the Anglo-Zanzibar War, which took place on August 27, 1896, between the United Kingdom and the Sultanate of Zanzibar. The conflict lasted between 38 and 45 minutes, marking it as the shortest recorded war in history134678. The immediate cause of the war was the death of the pro-British Sultan Hamad bin Thuwaini on August 25, 1896, and the subsequent succession of Sultan Khalid bin Barghash. The British authorities preferred Hamoud bin Mohammed, who was more favorable to British interests, as sultan. In the agreement of 14 June 1890 instituting a British protectorate over Zanzibar, a candidate for accession to the sultanate should obtain the permission of the British consul, and Khalid had not fulfilled this1. The war began at 09:00 on the morning of August 27, 1896, after a messenger sent by Khalid requested parley from the British consul. The consul replied that Khalid would only have salvation if he agreed to the terms of the ultimatum. At 08:30 a further messenger from Khalid declared that "We have no intention of hauling down our flag and we do not believe you would open fire on us". The war, lasting less than three-quarters of an hour, is sometimes considered the shortest in recorded history. Several durations are given by sources, including 38, 40, and 45 minutes, but the 38-minute duration is the most often quoted1. The end of the war is usually put at 09:37, when the last shots were fired and the palace flag struck, but some sources place it at 09:45. The logbooks of the British ships also suffer from this uncertainty with St George indicating that cease-fire was called and Khalid entered the German consulate at 09:35, Thrush at 09:40, Racoon at 09:41, and Philomel and Sparrow at 09:451. For such a short war, the casualty rate was surprisingly high with over 500 of Khalid’s fighters killed or wounded, mainly due to the high explosive shells exploding on the palace’s flimsy structure. One British petty officer was also severely injured, but later recovered in hospital3.
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