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10 Craziest Wars Ever Fought in History

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Wars and battles always remind us of soldiers’ and civilians’ gory deaths, breaking of trust in countries, financial loss, and grief. They take a great toll on every aspect of life – be it mental, physical, financial. It also destroys the environment.

But what if I tell you that all wars are not gloomy? Some of them make you laugh, and others make you ask the question, ‘why?’. There are some casualties in some of the wars, but why we call them crazy wars is why the war started.

Hence, today we brought you the list of 10 craziest wars ever fought in the history of humanity. Are you ready?

1. The Pig War – Contention Over the San Juan Islands

pig war - craziest wars

An American farmer, Lyman Cutlar, moved to an island. He claimed rights to live on the island under the Donation Land Claim Act. He found a huge, black pig in his garden, and he shot it.

That pig, unfortunately, belonged to Irishman Charles Griffin. It resulted in the British threatening Cutlar to arrest him. American settlers took this misunderstanding to another level and took the help of the military. It eventually resulted in the Pig War.

The war continued for 13 years! In those thirteen years, there was no combat, no casualty (leaving the pig, though). According to the National Parks Service, the only threat that loomed over the peace of that area was an excessive liquor supply.  

Lastly, both America and the British took joint custody of the islands. Later, the islands went to America.

2. War of the Stray Dog – A stray dog was the reason for the war

war of stray dog - craziest wars

A stray dog started a war between two countries. Greece and Bulgaria were not friends in the 1910s since the Second Balkan War. On 22 October 1925, a  stray dog escaped from the hands of a Greek soldier. He followed the dog and crossed the Bulgarian border, and the Bulgarian sentry shot the Greek soldier dead.

Greece attacked Bulgaria the next day. 10,000 Bulgarians met with 20,000 Greeks on the battlefield. Greeks occupied Petrich. Before they could march any further, the League of Nations asked Greece to stop. The League of Nations asked Greece to pull its forces back and even pay Bulgaria damages incurred.

After ten days, Greece withdrew its army and paid 45,000 pounds. Fifty-two soldiers were killed on both sides.

3. The War of the Oaken Bucket – Fight of Two States Over a Bucket

war of oaken bucket - craziest wars

Can you seriously imagine that a war broke out between two states of Italy over a bucket? I’m not making it up. It really happened. Bologna and Modena were two city-states of Italy that didn’t go well with each other for over 300 years.

In 1325, a group of Modenese soldiers raided Bologna and stole a bucket as a trophy to show to the people of Modena. This irked Bolognese, and 32,000 of them marched against 7000 Modenese at the Battle of Zappolino. Modenese chased the Bolognese away from the battlefield.

However, the war went on for twelve years. Even after 12 years, Bologna didn’t get its bucket. The bucket remains in Modena to this day. If this war doesn’t make it to the list of craziest wars, then I don’t know which one will!

4. The Pastry War – War on Mexico for a Pastry Chef

pastry war - craziest wars

In 1828, angry mobs in Mexico City destroyed huge parts of the city during a military coup. Remontel, an expatriate French pastry chef, was also a victim of the coup. His café was destroyed and ransacked by the looters. Remontel took his complaints to the Mexican police, but they didn’t help.

He then petitioned the French government for compensation. The government didn’t respond for 10 years. After King Louis-Philippe became the king, he took a keen interest in his petition.

He was already angry with Mexico for not paying millions that they took as loans. He demanded 600,000 pesos to compensate Remontel.

Mexico denied paying such an obnoxious amount for a pastry chef. King Louis-Phillipe did the unimaginable. He declared war against Mexico! He blocked the ports and captured the Mexican Navy. Seeing this as an opportunity, the Republic of Texas helped in blocking the waterways of Mexico.

Lastly, Britain had to intervene and work out a peace deal in 1839. Mexico had to pay 600,000 pesos to the pastry chef.

5. Anglo-Zanzibar War – Shortest War in History

anglo-zanzibar craziest wars
Anglo-Zanzibar War – Public Domain, Link

After the death of the former sultan of Zanzibar, Hamid bin Thuwaini, his nephew, Khalid bin Bhargash, throned himself as the new sultan. Britishers were not happy because the uncle was pro Britain, but the nephew was not really pro Britain.

British sent him an ultimatum of leaving the throne and the place altogether. However, Bhargash locked himself up in the palace. There began the Anglo-Zanzibar War. British started shelling the palace and sinking his armed yacht.

The war continued for around 38 to 45 minutes. Bhargash then escaped to the German consulate, where arrangements were made to escape to German East Africa.

British installed a sultan of their choice in Zanzibar. He died in 1902. Fearing that Bhargash would claim the throne again, they demanded Germany to hand him over. From then, Bhargash was in exile for fourteen years.

In 1916, the British caught him and sent him to St. Helena for exile. It struck the British way later that Bhargash is getting way more importance and attention than he deserved, and they let him live in East Africa. He died in 1927.

6. The Emu War – Emus defeated Australians!

emu war - craziest wars

In the 1930s, the emu population was extremely high. An estimated 20,000 emus were seen running around destroying crops. In 1932, the Australian military sent a group of soldiers armed with machine guns to hunt down any and every emu possible. They jokingly declared war against emus.

The emus were persistent and resilient. Even after being shot by machine guns, they ran away. The war lasted for a week. The commander of the emu-killing group, Major Meredith, was dissatisfied with the results and gave up. It is one of those craziest wars of Australia.

However, in the next two years, they managed to kill 100 emus a week. Overall, they killed 57,000 emus.

7. The Kettle War – Single Bullet Fired, a Kettle Broke, and the War Ended

kettle war
The Kettle War – Public Domain, Link

The Netherlands was divided into two parts – the Northern Netherlands and the Austrian Netherlands, aka Lower Countries, in 1784. Northern Netherlands’ advantages were control over the major rivers that connected the Lower Countries to the sea and control over the sea.

But the Austrian Netherlands had the support of the Holy Roman Emperor, Joseph II. Joseph II sent a group of ships to control the sea and major rivers from the Northern Netherlands.

The group of ships was headed by Le Louis, a brand new flagship. The Austrian force didn’t expect any defense from the opposition. When the ships arrived, a small group of ships of the Northern Netherlands met the Austrian force. The Dolfijin led the Nothern Netherlands’ ships.

A single bullet was fired from the Dolfijin, and a kettle of soup on Le Louis was hit. Le Louis immediately surrendered. Once the flagship surrendered, the entire mission became a failure!

8. The War of Jenkins’ Ear – a Severed Ear Caused a War

jenkins' ear

In 1738, Robert Jenkins, a British mariner, showed a severed and decomposing ear to the British Parliament. He claimed that the Spanish coastguard officer severed his ear seven years ago on the charges of smuggling.

The British and Spain were at loggerheads since the 1700s. Britain saw an opportunity in Jenkins’ ear case and declared war against Spain, which is called the “War of Jenkins’ Ear.”

The actual fighting started in late 1739. The battlegrounds were Spanish Florida and British’s Georgia. Both Britain and Spain were spectacularly unsuccessful in their military endeavors. Finally, no side gained any new colony or power. However, they lost a lot of money and men.

This war later emerged into the War of the Austrian Succession, which finally ended in 1748.

9. Lijar vs. France – a War Between a Village and a Country

lijar vs. france
Lijar vs. France – By U.S. Navy, Public Domain, Link

In 1883, the people of Lijar, a small village in southern Spain, were angry with Parisians’ behavior towards the Spanish king, Alfonso XII. In response to this, the Mayor of Lijar, Don Miguel Garcia Saez, and the 300 citizens of Lijar declared war against France on 14 October 1883.

Not even a single shot was fired, and certainly, no casualty was seen on both sides. After 93 years, in 1976, Spanish King Juan-Carlos visited France, and he was well received and respected.

Seeing this, Lijar’s council ruled that because of the French’s excellent behavior and attitude, they would end the fighting and agreed to a ceasefire with France in 1981. The catch? France had no idea of the war declared by Lijar!

10. Three Hundred and Thirty-Five Year War – a Forgotten War

netherlands and sicily
335-Year War – Public Domain, Link

Three hundred and thirty-five year war started on 30 March 1651 between the Netherlands and the Isle of Sicily (it is located off the Southwest coast of Great Britain).

The war was never taken seriously and was forgotten. After three centuries, the two countries finally signed a peace treaty on 17 April 1986. It is not just one of the world’s longest bloodless wars but also one of the craziest wars of human history.

Did you like our craziest wars’ list? If you want us to write on more such topics like craziest wars and battles or war heroes, please comment below.

Sources: History, Listverse, Gizmodo, The Things, Wikipedia

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