Zanzibar is an island off the coast of Africa that now belongs to the nation of Tanzania.
In 1896, Said Khalid seized power in Zanzibar and proclaimed himself sultan. A British fleet soon arrived at the port of Zanzibar and ordered the sultan out of the royal palace.
The sultan refused to leave. At 9:02 on the morning of August 27, British ships began to fire on the palace, beginning a war between Britain and Zanzibar. The sultan’s single warship was quickly sunk, and the palace was destroyed. At 9:40 that morning, the sultan surrendered the palace, and the war ended.
This “war” was the shortest in history. It lasted a total of 38 minutes! The British later requested money from the people of Zanzibar to pay for the shells the British warships had used to win the war.