The World's Shortest War

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

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Off the coast of mainland Tanzania is Zanzibar, now a semi-autonomous archipelago but part of Tanzania proper. In 1890, Zanzibar was a British protectorate, but in 1964, after an uprising, it joined with Tanzania (then “Tanganyika”) to form the modern-day country of the same name.

The uprising which led to Zanzibar’s independence from Britain was not the archipelago’s first. On August 27, 1896, the British Empire and Zanzibar went to war—for forty minutes. Before an hour had elapsed, the Anglo-Zanzibar war was over.

Two days prior, Zanzibar’s Sultan, Hamad bin Thuwaini, died suddenly. His would-be successor, his cousin Khalid bin Bargash (whom many believed poisoned Hamad), was disfavored by the British—the Empire wished for Hamoud bin Muhammad to take Hamadi’s place. And, under a treaty signed a decade earlier, the British Empire had to approve of the successor in order for him to successfully accede to the throne. Khalid refused to seek this approval. This British termed this an act of war, and gave Khalid until 9 a.m. local time on the 27th to cede the throne. Khalid responded by barricading himself in the palace, defended by the palace guards.

As 9 a.m. approached, so did the British forces. With more than 1,000 land troops amassed and five ships—two gunboats and three cruisers—the British forces were formidable. The Sultan countered with 2,800 men of his own, albeit not as well armed or trained; a royal yacht and two other boats (akin to large motorboats); and a quartet of artillery batteries. Thirty minutes before the ultimatum struck, the Sultan sent a message to the British diplomatic point of contact, Basil Cave, stating that he had no intention of ceding his throne and did not believe the British would open fire.  Cave responded by reiterating the ultimatum: step down by 9 a.m. or prepare for a rain of artillery.

And at exactly 9 a.m., the gunships received their orders: fire. Within minutes, the royal palace received the promised ammunition. The Zanzibari royal yacht, the HMS Glasgow, did its best to stave off the attacks by firing its weapons at one of the warships—but by 9:15, the British navy sunk the Glasgow and the two other Zanzibari boats. The attacks on the palace killed or wounded more than 500 Zanzibaris in about a half hour, and Sultan Khalid bin Bargash fled for the German consulate, where he successfully sought asylum.

At 9:40, hostilities ceased and the Sultan’s flag atop the palace came down. By most accounts, this 40-minute war is the shortest in human history.

In the end, Britian placed Hamoud bin Muhammad in the throne, a position he would serve in until his death in 1902. During his British-backed reign, Sultan Hamoud, to his credit, ended slavery on the island.

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war

Save Up to 93 Percent on 8 Gaming Accessories and Enter to Win a Free Nintendo Switch Bundle

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Stackcommerce

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The Long-Awaited Academy Museum of Motion Pictures Will Open in April 2021 With a Hayao Miyazaki Exhibition

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

The opening of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures has been delayed multiple times—first due to construction setbacks and then as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, Deadline reports that the highly anticipated attraction has a new opening date: The Academy Museum is scheduled to debut to the public on April 30, 2021, with an inaugural exhibition celebrating Hayao Miyazaki.

The Academy Museum comes from the same organization behind the Academy Awards, and will honor the "past, present, and future" of cinema. The Hayao Miyazaki exhibit will be among the first of many temporary installations at the museum. The Japanese writer/director co-founded the animation production house Studio Ghibli in 1985, and has gone on to direct such classics as My Neighbor Totoro (1988), Princess Mononoke (1997), and Spirited Away (2001).

The retrospective will trace Miyazaki's career through more than 300 artifacts, including original storyboards, cels, and character designs. The installation is split into seven immersive sections that highlight the filmmaker's characters, worlds, and themes. Created in collaboration with Studio Ghibli, it's set to be the first-ever retrospective of Miyazaki's work displayed in North America.

Miyazaki's body of work is just one part of movie history that will be examined at the museum. The rest of the museum will look at cinema from its inception in the late 19th century through today, highlighting artists like Bruce Lee and films like The Wizard of Oz (1939) and The Matrix (1999). The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures is scheduled to open with a gala on April 30—five days after the 2021 Academy Awards, which are now planned for April 25, 2021.

[h/t Deadline]