Wars are often long and devastating, but there is one war that was incredibly short yet fascinating. It’s called the Anglo-Zanzibar War of 1896, and it only lasted for 38 minutes! Let’s dive into the story of this extraordinary event that took place on the small island of Zanzibar, which is now part of Tanzania.


Back in the 1890s, Zanzibar was under the control of the British Empire. After the British-appointed leader, known as the Sultan, passed away, his brother named Khalid took over without asking permission from the British. This made the British very angry, and they gave Khalid until August 26th, 1896, to leave the palace and give up his power.

The Conflict:

But Khalid didn’t want to give up. On the morning of August 27th, at 8 A.M., he made it clear that he wasn’t going anywhere. In response, the British Navy, led by Rear Admiral Harry Rawson, quickly took action. At exactly 9 A.M., they started attacking.

The Outcome:

Within just a few minutes, the British Navy destroyed Khalid’s weapons and army. By 9:05 A.M., realizing that he couldn’t win, Khalid ran away, leaving his soldiers to fight alone. By 9:40 A.M., his remaining soldiers had to retreat, and that’s how the war ended. It was incredibly short, lasting only 38 minutes!


The Anglo-Zanzibar War holds a special place in history as the shortest war ever fought. It reminds us that not all wars are long and drawn out. 

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