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The shortest war in history only lasted for 38 minutes.The war between Britain and Zanzibar (Anglo-Zanzibar )in 1896 is regarded as the shortest war in the history of mankind.
Everything started when Sultan Hamad died ,his 29 year old nephew Khalid Bin Bargash ,who was suspected by some of his assassination, moved into the palace complex at Zanzibar Town without British approval,Khālid ibn Barghash refused to accept the British Empire’s preferred successor and instead occupied the sultan’s palace which many people didn’t recognize..
The British government preferred an alternative candidate, Hamud bin Muhammed, who was more favourably disposed towards them. Khalid was warned by the consul and diplomatic agent to Zanzibar, Basil Cave , and General Mathews to think carefully about his actions.
Khalid ignored Cave’s warning, and his forces began mustering in the Palace Square under the command of Captain Saleh of the palace bodyguard. By the end of the day, they numbered 2,800 men armed with rifles and muskets.
Mathews and Cave also began to muster their forces, already commanding 900 Zanzibari askaris under Lieutenant Arthur
Edward Harington Raikes of the Wiltshire Regiment who was seconded to the Zanzibar Army and held the rank of brigadier- general .
Cave continued to send messages to Khalid requesting that he stand down his troops, leave the palace and return home, but these were ignored, and Khalid replied that he would proclaim himself sultan at 15:00. Cave stated that “this would constitute an act of rebellion and that Khalid’s sultanate would not be recognised by the British government”.
30 minutes after the late Sultan Hamad was buried ,Khalid proclaimed himself king. All peaceful attempts to persuade Khalid was to no avail and the only option left was to wage war against him.
Khalid made it clear that Cave could do whatever he wanted since he(CAVE) was going to be supported by the British government but shouldn’t take any further Step if he thinks he can’t accomplish what he’s about to start..
At exactly 9:00 am , British General Lloyd ordered his troops to open fire on the palace,there was quick and ferocious exchange of bullets and bombs ..Khalid surrenderd when the whole palace was caught in flames and briskfully escaped with his intimate comrades to reside in Dar es Salaam,Tanzania under the authorisation of the Germans…
Khalid was later arrested during World War 1 and was exiled to Seychelles before being permitted to return to East Africa, where he died at Mombasa in 1927.