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Shortest ever British Military Campaign


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According to everything I've ever read it was the Anglo-Zanzibar War which was fought between the United Kingdom and Zanzibar on 27 August 1896. With a duration of only 45 minutes, it holds the record of being the shortest war in recorded history. If I recall correctly the British navy did an artillery barrage of the capital and then the sultan surrendered after only 45 minutes. :o

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Actually-in thinking about it I suppose the Waterloo medal is the shortest campaign-June 16th-18th (72 hours) got you the medal, so long as you were "there" and not in Brussels.

If you want to define "campaign" taht way, any of the several Naval General Service Medals had bars for single ship and small boat actions, some of which lasted mere minutes. For example, the bar "Tigress and Scorpion" to the 1793 NGS covers the capture of 2 US schooners in Cdn waters in 1813. Neither action - boarding from small boats and canoes - lasted any more than 10 minutes!

( BTW, the sole recipient of this bar was a Lt Andrew Bulger of the Royal Newfoundland Fencible infantry.

I have the honour to be Sergeant Commanding, Bulger's Company, R Nfld Reg't military re-enactment group.)

There appears to be no bar for "Zanzibar" to any British medal, using the index of Gordon's British battles and Medals, 4th edition as my source. It does say, however, that the "Ashanti Star 1896 (7th December, 1895 - 17th January, 1796) was acawarded to the 2nd Yorkshires, a composite battalion of Foot Guards, some odds and sods from various infantry units, the RA, A.M.C., and Ordnance STaff Corps & 3 nrsing sisters.

Sounds pretty short to me!

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