The 38 Minute War.


Zanzibar Castle After 38 Minute British Bombardment

On August 27th, 1896 a war was fought between the United Kingdom and the Zanzibar archipelago government in the Indian Ocean east of Tanzania. Sultan Hamad Bin Thuwaini died, and that was bad because he was friendly to the British merchants trading around East Africa. His successor was Sultan Khalid bin Barghash, a decidedly non-advocate of British empire. The British had already negotiated Thuwaini’s successor and that was Hamud Bin Muhammed.

Barghash refused to relinquish his authority, assembled his police forces and holed up his capitalfortress . In typical fashion the British warships off the coast of Zanzibar issued an ultimatum. About 150 British troops and 1000 Zanzibarian loyalists deployed. At 9:02 AM the British opened fire. Thirty eight minutes later Zanibar’s government  surrendered after having taken 500 casualties.

The war last 38 minutes. The shortest war in world history.



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