The shortest war in history was fought between Zanzibar and England in 1896. The war lasted only 38 minutes before Zanzibar surrendered.
The war, lasting less than three quarters of an hour, is 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 quoted. The variation is due to confusion over what actually constitutes the start and end of a war. Some sources take the start of the war as the order to open fire at 09:00 and some with the start of actual firing at 09:02. The end of the war is usually put at 09:40 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 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 09:45.