Wars have always been one of the likely ways to resolve conflicts between people. But it is usually believed that very good reasons are needed to unleash full-fledged hostilities, but in reality it often happened that armed conflicts could begin because of a misunderstood word, a stray dog, and even eaten cakes. Here are 14 military conflicts that erupted for the most ridiculous reasons.
1. War of the village of Lihar against France
Even in the century before last, the concept of the honor of the ruler and the state stood on such a high place that hundreds of people could rush to defend it. This is exactly what happened in 1883, when the small Spanish village of Lichar, headed by its head, was severely offended by the impartial statements that the king had to listen to during the latter's visit to France. The thing is that the ruler of Spain had a pro-German orientation and even received a military rank from William I, as well as a subordinate regiment. And immediately after that, he went to France, and remained in the German uniform. This caused laughter among the locals - especially the headdress of the Spanish monarch.
But the inhabitants of Lihar and the mayor personally did not want to get away with such an attitude towards their king. Therefore, about three hundred villagers declared war on France. True, it did not entail any hostilities: rather quickly the gallant villagers realized that if they left to fight, their harvest would perish, because there would be no one to collect it. Thus, the war actually did not happen, but Lihar remained in the formal state of conflict with France for almost a century. And only forty years ago, the inhabitants of a Spanish village sent a note of peace to their "opponents", and they agreed with it, and the "war" was legally over.
2. War of Berik with Russia
Few people know that in Russian history there is also a similar precedent, when a small settlement found itself in a formal state of war with an entire state. And it happened like this: the city of Berik-Apon-Tweed was an important port city on the border between England and Scotland, on the shores of the North Sea, which the two above-mentioned countries could not divide for a long time. As a result, he was transferred to the English king, but at the same time having a unique autonomous status, which allows him to be separately mentioned in the titles of English kings, as well as in official international documents published on behalf of Great Britain.
Therefore, when the Crimean War broke out in 1854, it was declared to Russia "England, Scotland and the city of Berwick." But during the conclusion of the peace treaty, they simply forgot to mention the latter. Thus, small Berik was in a formal state of war with the Russian Empire, and later with the USSR until 1965 - 111 years. Only when a peace treaty was signed by the ambassador of the Soviet Union to Great Britain and the mayor of the city of Berik, the war was considered over. True, not everyone thinks so, but all because the mayor of the city of Berik is not the plenipotentiary successor of Queen Victoria, which means that the legality of the ratification of such an agreement from a legal point of view remains doubtful.
3. "War of the Oak Bucket"
It turns out that the adage that meeting someone with an empty bucket is a bad omen has a real basis. Indeed, one day, because of this object, full-fledged hostilities broke out in medieval Italy. It was at the beginning of the 14th century, when the two city-states, Bologna and Modena, had been in a state of enmity for quite some time. However, the culmination of discontent was the abduction of a brand new oak bucket from the city well of Bologna in 1325. The problem was that it was done by one of a group of deserters from Modena who regularly raided the latter.
The people of Bologna could no longer endure such bullying, they declared war on the Modena, which actually began because of the stolen oak bucket. The first battle took place on November 15, 1325, and it was so large-scale that it went down in history as one of the greatest that took place during the Middle Ages. However, the numerical superiority and righteous anger over the stolen utensils did not help the Bolognese to win: they suffered a crushing defeat, which the Modena called "the eternal shame of Bologna." Moreover, some sources indicate that the winners also brought home a symbolic trophy - the second bucket stolen from the defeated city.
Interesting fact: after the end of the war, part of the real estate that had been taken out by the Modena as trophies was returned to Bologna as a sign of a peaceful settlement of relations. But not the ill-fated bucket: it was put on public display in the bell tower of the cathedral in Modena. A copy of this pretext for war can be seen there today.
4. Paraguayan War (1864-1870)
Unlike the above-mentioned, truly ridiculous reasons, the reason for the outbreak of war between Paraguay and several other Latin American cities at once was a much more mundane desire of the ruler to realize his ambitions. This is how one of the bloodiest wars in history began: the President of the Republic of Paraguay, Francisco Solano Lopez, turned out to be such a big fan of Napoleon Bonaparte that he decided to repeat his campaigns of conquest, only on the territory of another continent.
However, the implementation of ambitious plans was hampered, first of all, by the lack of necessary warfare skills. Therefore, when Paraguay declared war simultaneously on Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay, which united in the Triple Alliance, the outcome of these hostilities was the monstrous defeat of the first. According to Novate.ru, the losses of the war instigator state reached the number of 300 thousand people, which amounted to 90% of the male population.
5. "Stray Dog's War"
It turns out that an armed conflict broke out in the last century due to coincidence of circumstances. This is exactly what happened in 1925, when Greece and Bulgaria, which during the First World War were in the opposing camps, resumed hostilities because of … a stray dog. According to the widespread version, one Greek soldier fed a stray dog, and when she ran away from him, he chased after him, found himself in the line of fire of the Bulgarian border guards and died.
Greece's response was to send troops into Bulgaria, as a result of which several dozen soldiers were killed, and thousands of civilians were refugees. The conflict, which erupted in hot pursuit of the First World War, threatened to escalate into a new Balkan War. Therefore, the League of Nations intervened on a complaint from Bulgaria, ordering Greece to pay damages in the amount of 30 million leva.
Fun fact: In fairness, it is worth noting that there is another version of the beginning of the war, where there was no dog. So, the Bulgarian soldiers decided to dig a well right at the border, and the Greek soldier mistook it for a trench. In an attempt to figure it out, they shot him.
6. Aroostuk War
The Arustuksuaya War broke out between the United States and Great Britain in 1838-1839 due to years of unceasing disputes between the aforementioned states over the border between America and Canada. The immediate reason for the announcement of the outbreak of hostilities turned out to be several cases when bear hunters on one side of the border accidentally crossed it, ended up in another country and were detained there.
During the next such "unauthorized penetration" of several Canadian lumberjacks abroad with the United States, the American authorities announced that they were illegally on the territory of another state. The Canadian authorities made a reciprocal gesture - they arrested a land agent from Maine. Then the preparation of the militia began on both sides, but a direct armed clash still did not happen - everything was decided by diplomatic means. And the victim of this unfortunate war is considered to be a farmer who died inadvertently, being shot by a stray bullet during the celebration of the settlement of the confrontation.
7. Anglo-Zanzibar War of 1896
This armed conflict is notable not only for its events, but also for its duration, because it lasted only 38 minutes, thanks to which it ended up in the Guinness Book of Records. The war began and ended on August 27, 1896, when, after the death of the Zanzibar Sultan Hamad bin Tuwayni, his throne was occupied by Khalid bin Barghash. The problem was that the British planned to continue to influence the country's politics, as under the deceased ruler, but the current monarch intended to deny them such a privilege.
Therefore, guided by the law that the Zanzibari, before appointing a ruler, were obliged to consult with the British consul, but did not do this, the British ordered Barghash to vacate the palace by 9 a.m. on August 27. However, the new ruler was not going to surrender so easily, so he began to prepare for armed resistance. And the presence of a single cannon on the only ship "Glasgow" and less than three thousand personnel did not stop him.
When the British demand was not met by the appointed time, the latter brought three cruisers to the island and shelled the Sultan's palace. The only ship of the Zanzibari by that time had already been sent to the bottom. And after 38 minutes of artillery shelling from the British, their opponents lowered a red flag over the palace as a sign of surrender. The number of casualties was 500 people among the Zanzibaris and one Englishman (according to other sources, the British soldier was only slightly wounded).
8. "The Pig War"
Another war between the United States and the British Empire, which took place in 1859, received such an unusual name. Moreover, as in the case of the Aroostuk conflicts, the problem was the disputed territories - the San Juan Islands. And the immediate reason for the declaration of war was a pig shot by an English farmer, which belonged to an Irish man who lived on American territory. This conflict also threatened to spill over into open military confrontation, but diplomacy this time also managed to avoid bloodshed and resolve it peacefully.
9. "The War for Jenkins' Ear"
Slightly more than a century before the war for the pig, the reason for unleashing hostilities between the British Empire and Spain in the period from 1739 to 1742 was … the ear. The actual reason for that war, of course, was a very large goal - another redistribution of colonial possessions. Formally, however, it began after the English captain and merchant Robert Jenkins was cut off by a Spanish officer's ear when the British was caught smuggling.
But Jenkins didn't want to leave this situation just like that. Therefore, he carefully instilled his ear with alcohol, and then presented it to the English Parliament as proof of the aggression of Spanish soldiers against English sailors. As a result, the war that broke out after this incident lasted for several years, after which it spilled over into a larger conflict over colonial possessions, which went down in history as the "War of the Austrian Succession".
10. Three Hundred and Thirty-Five Years War
It is difficult to imagine that a war that has lasted for more than one year can go without casualties. However, this was exactly the outcome of the conflict between the Netherlands and the Scilly archipelago within Great Britain, which began in 1651 and ended only in 1986, that is, it lasted 335 years. In fairness, it should be noted that such a long period of the formal war is explained by the fact that at some point they simply forgot about this war, and only thirty-odd years ago they decided to end the conflict legally.
But the circumstances of the declaration of this war were rather tense. During the English Revolution, when Cromwell's army occupied London and Parliament, some of the Royalist ships took refuge in the Scilly Archipelago. And when Dutch merchant ships appeared in the local waters, they came under fire from the fugitive British - the latter knew that the Dutch supported the parliamentarians and thus decided to take revenge. And two months later, the royalists were completely expelled from the Isles of Scilly, the Netherlands suddenly demanded compensation from its inhabitants. Just after receiving the refusal from Silly, one of the Dutch admirals declared war on the archipelago.
11. "Football War"
It would seem that this is something, but football, which has always been positioned as a game that unites millions, can become the basis for fighting. However, this turned out to be possible: for example, in 1969, a war broke out between El Salvador and Honduras after the latter's football team was defeated during the qualifying stage of the World Cup. The fighting itself lasted only four days, but this was enough for the losses on both sides to reach almost five thousand people. At the same time, the peace treaty was signed much later - only ten years later.
12. War with the emu
In the history of mankind, as it turned out, one can find such military conflicts that were not only started for strange reasons, but not even people were declared the enemy. This is exactly what happened in Australia in 1932, when local farmers finally got angry with … emu birds. And all because the latter massively devoured their crops.
At some point, the farmers realized that they could not cope with the feathered scourge on their own, so they decided to ask the military for help. As a result, soldiers armed with machine guns came out to guard the harvest of the Australian farmers. True, in fact, people lost this "war" to the birds: according to the Novate.ru editorial office, the military managed to shoot only a few hundred birds with a total population of twenty thousand individuals. Therefore, it was not possible to solve the problem, and the farmers simply resigned themselves to this state of affairs.
13. War of France and Mexico
But in 1838 the war between France and Mexico broke out over … cakes. It was like this: the owner of a French pastry shop in Mexico City Remétel filed an appeal to the King of France, Louis Philippe, where he indicated that ten years ago, in 1828, during the city riots, a group of looters in local military uniform broke into his establishment and ate all the cakes without paying … Suddenly, the king not only drew attention to this petition, but officially on behalf of France demanded compensation for the destroyed cakes in the amount of 600,000 pesos.
The amount at that time was simply fabulous, so Mexico not only refused to pay, but also froze the payment of debts on French loans. After this demarche, King Louis Philippe declared war on Mexico, after which he sent a fleet to blockade Mexican ports on the Atlantic coast. Ultimately, the matter did not go beyond the trade blockades, and after intervention in the conflict by other European states, it was resolved.
14. War between Sweden and the Commonwealth
History clearly demonstrates that even an incorrectly composed text can become a pretext for the outbreak of hostilities. This is exactly what happened in 1653 between Sweden and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, when instead of signing an agreement on friendship and alliance, they started a war. And the thing is that the Swedish king was not satisfied with the discrepancy in the text of the treaty: after all his titles, the construction “and so on” is used twice, and after listing the titles of the Polish king - three times. Swedish diplomats sent an angry response to the Poles demanding to change the text, but the Poles refused - and this is how the Great Northern War of 1655-1660 began, which, by the way, was won by Sweden.
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